How to use PBR Textures in Element 3D plugin?

How to use PBR Textures in Element 3D plugin?

Element 3D, a popular plugin for Adobe After Effects, provides a powerful platform for integrating 3D models into motion graphics and visual effects projects. In this in-depth step-by-step article, we will explore the process of using PBR textures with multiple maps, such as albedo, normal, roughness, specular, and opacity, in Element 3D. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to achieve stunning and lifelike 3D renders with enhanced realism.

Prerequisites: To follow along with this tutorial, you’ll need the following:

  1. Adobe After Effects is installed on your computer.
  2. Element 3D plugin by Video Copilot (latest version).
  3. 3D model is compatible with Element 3D (e.g., .obj or .fbx file format).
  4. PBR textures in the form of image maps (e.g., .png or .jpg files) for albedo, normal, roughness, specular, and opacity.

Step 1: Importing the 3D Model into Element 3D

  1. Launch Adobe After Effects and create a new composition.
  2. Go to the “Window” menu and select “Element.” This will open the Element 3D interface.
  3. Inside Element 3D, click on the “Scene Setup” button.
  4. In the “Scene Setup” window, click on the “Import” button and locate your 3D model file (e.g., .obj or .fbx).
  5. Adjust the import settings as per your requirements (e.g., scale, orientation, etc.).
  6. Click “OK” to import the 3D model into the scene.

Step 2: Assigning Materials to the 3D Model

  1. In the Element 3D interface, select the 3D model layer in the “Scene Setup” window.
  2. Navigate to the “Materials” section, and click on the “+” button to add a new material slot.
  3. In the new material slot, click on the texture slot to load the albedo map.
  4. Browse and select the albedo texture file (e.g., albedo.png).
  5. Adjust the material settings (e.g., tiling, offset, etc.) as needed.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 to assign normal, roughness, specular, and opacity maps to their respective material slots.
  7. Make sure to adjust the settings for each map according to your desired look and feel.
  8. Once all maps are assigned, click “OK” to close the “Scene Setup” window.

Step 3: Adjusting Material Parameters

  1. Back in the Element 3D interface, select the 3D model layer in the “Scene Setup” window.
  2. Locate the “Materials” section and click on the material slot you want to modify.
  3. Adjust the material parameters, such as reflectivity, roughness, transparency, etc., to achieve the desired appearance.
  4. Repeat this process for each material slot, customizing parameters for different maps.
  5. Experiment with different settings to get the look you desire, keeping in mind the realism and aesthetics of the material.

Step 4: Applying Additional Effects

  1. To enhance the overall visual appeal, you can apply additional effects to the 3D model.
  2. In the Element 3D interface, locate the “Effects” section and click on the “Effects” button for the desired material slot.
  3. Explore the various effects available, such as bump mapping, displacement mapping, ambient occlusion, etc.
  4. Enable or adjust these effects to add depth and realism to your 3D model.
  5. Repeat this process for other material slots if desired.

Step 5: Finalizing the Composition

  1. Return to the main composition in Adobe After Effects.
  2. Adjust the camera position, lighting, and other elements to frame your 3D model within the scene.
  3. Add additional elements or animations to complement the 3D model, as per your project requirements.
  4. Fine-tune the overall composition by adjusting colours, contrast, and any other necessary adjustments.
  5. Preview the final result and make any further tweaks as needed.

PBR Texture maps in Element 3D

By following this comprehensive step-by-step guide, you have learned how to utilize PBR textures with multiple maps in Element 3D. You can now create realistic materials by integrating albedo, normal, roughness, specular, and opacity maps into your 3D models. Remember to experiment and fine-tune the material parameters and effects to achieve the desired look for your project. With practice, you’ll be able to create stunning 3D renders that captivate and engage your audience.