Creating a cool 3D website animation in After Effects with Element 3D – Tutorial

Creating a cool 3D website animation in After Effects with Element 3D – Tutorial

Hello, everybody! This is Videolancer! Today we’ll consider development and animation of a similar 3D site in After Effects, with the help of plugin Element 3D. But before we start I’ve got a news for you. I have hidden a little secret in this video. Whichever one of you who will find it first will get $100 through transfer to PayPal from me. I will announce the winner in the next video. In the meantime, others are looking for this secret, subscribe for my channel! And also leave comment under this video, what tutorial you would like to see next time. Well. Let’s start. Make a screenshot of the site. I use “Full Page Screen Capture” extension. Import the screenshot into After Effects. Create a new composition with Full HD resolution. Drag and drop the screenshot here. Place the screenshot so that an upper half of the site was fitted in the composition. Try to avoid a similar half pixel effect. Make sure that all lines are sharp. Call this composition “Shot – Level 1”. Duplicate this composition and place the screenshot so that the second half of the site was fitted in the composition. The more sites levels you want to show the more similar compositions will be required. Now create main comp of the project. Drag and drop composition with the screenshots into this comp. Then we’ll create masks for elements that should be in 3D. In my example they are covers of video. Duplicate this Level 1 Comp. Set 50% transparency for the copy below. We’ll use it as an reference layer. Create a square mask on the top layer. In order to double the mask push hotkeys Ctrl + D. In order to shift the mask push Ctrl + T. Now let’s create masks for background panels. Delete unwanted reference layer and repeat all the steps for the Level 2 Comp. Next we’ll continue working in Element 3D plugin. Create a new Solid and apply Element 3D. Go to the “Custom Layers” tab. Here set layers as Path Layers. Here set layers as Texture Maps. In order to optimize textures calculation, set First Frame in the Sampling Layer parameter. Now let’s go to scene settings. Create the first Extrusion Model for Level 1. Set Level 1 as texture in setting of the material. In order to match texture with the 3D-model, set the checkbox – “Use Layer as UV”. In order to dispose of these white edges, reduce the value of Expand Edges. Duplicate the model and set Custom Path 2. Set Level 2 in the settings of the material. Shift the model so that its position could be the same as on the original site. Create a new Group Folder and drop these models here. Rename folder to – “Covers”. Create a new Extrusion Model for background panels. Set Custom Path 3 and for texture – Level 1. Fit the model in accordance with position of cover models. Duplicate the model. It will be the last lower section with panels. Set Custom Path 4 and “Level 2” in setting of the material. Create a Group Folder and name it – Panels. Move models with panels into this folder. Now let’s add 3d volume to the model with covers. To do this, just change position and scale along the Z-axis. In order to change position of individual element of the model, click on it with holding Control key. Change the size of other individual panels so that they are not in the same plane. Next, we’ll create the bar with channel banner. As for my channel, it is extrusion of the logo, which was made in Element 3d. Here, we will do the same. Just copy masks in Adobe illustrator and paste to solid in After Effects. Set this solid in the fifth slot for Path Layer. Create a new Extrusion Model for the logo. Add some suitable material. For example this one. Now, let’s make a model for the background of the logo. As you can see on the final render, there are small mirror reflections on the panel. Although the Element 3D has this feature, it is very limited and simplified. We can make a nice reflection effect only on flat surfaces. As our model consists of several blocks that are at different height we should divide the model into several parts. Switch off display of this block and duplicate the model. Here, return the display of this block and switch off everything else. Switch on side-view mode. Select Mirror Surface in the Reflect Mode parameter. Turn Surface mirrors so that it is parallel to the model plane. Shift Surface into a one line with the model plane. Now reflection is hardly noticeable. In order to strengthen it, just increase reflection intensity in the settings of material. Repeat all the steps for the upper block. Due to reflections some elements of design look dim. In order to correct it you can copy diffuse texture into Reflectivity slot. Next, we’ll prepare the model for animation. Divide folders with models into individual groups. Set the first and the second group for the Covers folder with holding the Shift key. Later you will see why. Set group 3 for Panels folder . Now you can click OK. Next we’ll animate site appearance. First, background panels will appear, then covers models. We’ll animate them by two different methods. So, create a new camera. Temporarily disable groups 1 and 2 in plugin settings. We’ll return to them later. Switch on Multi-Object option in the settings of Group 3. Animate Displace and Position parameters on Y-axis. Smoothen the animation end in Graph Editor. Let’s add rotation animation. Now the logo is broken into several parts. It looks not good. Alternatively, it can be animated individually. Go to scene settings. Select logo model and add Channel 1 in the Auxiliary Animation section. Go back to After Effects into the Aux Channels tab. Animate Scale for Channel 1. Now we should delete covers image from panel texture because covers will be animated as individual group. To do this, duplicate compositions with screenshots. Here, hide all the cover images, overlapping them using shape layers. Now replace the compositions we use for panels in main comp with holding the Alt key. Also add them as Texture Map. Replace textures in all models of Panels group in scene settings. Next, we animate covers models. Switch on groups 1 and 2 as well as Multi-Object option for them. Switch on Animation Engine option and set 50% value for the Animation parameter. Now animating any parameter in Group 1, all the elements will be gradually transformed into Group 2. Set element size on 0 in Group 1. Animate the parameter Animation in the tab Animation Engine. In order to change animation direction, change the angle in Directional Options settings. Set Ease Type on Ease-Out. Finally, you can add a small rotation animation for elements. Well. We are done with animation of 3D models. Next we should animate the camera. Not to waste your time, I will not describe this stage in detail. If you are not experienced in camera animation I recommend you to see Andrew Kramer’s tutorials. If you do not have time to study, but you want to make cool professional video quickly, try our ready to use presets for After Effects and Premiere Pro! Here you can find more than 4000 transitions, graphic elements, motion design templates and many other. All links are in the description. So back to the tutorial. All we’ve got to do is to setup a render. Switch on Ambient Occlusion. Add extra lighting and customize it. It’s ready! Well. It was Videolancer. Bye!

46 thoughts on “Creating a cool 3D website animation in After Effects with Element 3D – Tutorial

  1. @videolancer
    you are awesome! free scripts, free presets, free transitions and free and free and free….. much more
    Realy love u bro 🙂 keep it up plz

  2. Friends! For your convenience, I added a project files with the final result. Free download here ►

  3. Hey, i don't have the "sampling layer" option under my "custom texture maps" Is there something i can do? Because my textures in Element wont show up

  4. The final render shown here has the youtube search bar also extruded inward, which isn't shown through the tutorial. Is this the secret? To make us "Search" for a secret which is the extruded "search" bar ? Lol i'm hopeless

  5. So… Who found my secret and got $100?! Watch here:
    P.S. For some reason, this hash tag #howtogethundredusdfromvideolancer is not working now. Does not find the right video in the YT search: (
    The "secret" video here:

  6. cuando veo esto lloro, en 2015 descargue 25 GB de librerías originales, básicas y premiun de 3 D element de un canal árabe y me robaron la computadora y el back up que hice 😞😭😭😭😭

  7. Amazing although quite tough for me to understand, 3D Website animation, since i use only FCP but this is the new trend soon to be followed. Great Tutorial. oh yeah Subscribed and will check what can be bought. Thanks

  8. May I know how you make the 3D camera wiggle a little bit at the beginning of the video? It feels like a real person holding a camera. I really love that!

  9. Hola, tengo una duda! Al momento de realizar el logo 3d con element cuando le doy ok no aparece el logo en la capa, es super raro, lo intente varias veces y nada, la capa queda igual como la cree y el archivo 3d nunca me aparece en la capa sólo cuando me meto a setup, sabes que está sucediendo ?

  10. I got the secret! (#howtogethundredusdfromvideolance). Shame I found the video 7 months late 🙂

    Great video, thank you. I assume you are using a robot voice? It is very impressive that you have it making such good English, when I think this is not your own language? Do you use a service like or similar?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *