How to make true 3D text with gold-plated look in After Effects

Have you ever wondered how to get the gold-plated look on your text in After Effects?

Today’s post will bring answers to your question, so let’s start!

Note: Remember to watch the video tutorial Jeff, our Adobe certified expert and instructor, prepared for you.

1. Let’s create an environment.
So I need to make a new layer, a new comp.
You just have to

right-click ➨ New comp ➨ OK.

Then, you can add fractal noise or turbulent noise, in this case, we will use fractal noise.

To do so, choose Effects and Presets


type “fractal” ➨ choose Fractal Noise by double-clicking on it and dragging it.

Don’t forget to add Solid Settings.

After double-clicking and dragging the fractal noise to your comp, you should work a little bit on the contrast and brightness.

– so, you should bring the contrast up
– the brightness down for a more dramatic look
– then go to the Sub Settings
– drop the Sub Influence to zero
– then go to Transform options
– drop down the Scale a little bit
– go to Scale Height and make it much higher

edit fractal noise

All right, so there’s that.

And if I use that as an environment this is black and white which doesn’t add any color to this scene.

I want to add color to the scene.

So I can put color on this layer but it’s actually easier I think to add color to separate layers and then blend the two together.
So I’m going to add a separate layer here.

Right-click ➨ choose New ➨ Solid.

So I’m going to choose a certain color. I’m going to make it look like gold again. Click, “ok.” And that will make that just solid like that.
But now if I blend these two together will have some of the gold show through and some of the black show through. And you’ll blend it together using the blending mode.

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The question is : how to get the blending mode?

So I click on the toggle switch it at the bottom.

And that switches us to the mode and track mat. We’re worried about the mode here.
If I go through the mode I can sort of see how the various modes work, there’s a whole list of them, right?

But I can work my way through them by holding “Shift”  hyphen (-) “ or “=” sign.

So hyphen (-) takes me down through it.

Choose a mode.

I’ll choose overlay.

overlay mode

So we’re going to go with overlay here.

All right, looking at the color there, I actually want to make the color a little bit oranger.

Here’s the video tutorial :

Here’s an extra tip on how to change the color after the fact:

You can always go back and change this by

going to Layer ➨ Solid Settings ➨ change the color in the pop-up

All right, so now we’ve created this environment which is comp 4 in our particular case, just be aware of that.
2. Go back to comp 3.

I’m going to add a light to this comp before going further because I want to illuminate that text there.

illuminate text


So right-click ➨ New ➨Light.

I’ll make it a point light.

And it’ll bring the intensity up, we’ll see how it looks when it pops it on.

If it looks good then we’re fine. If it casts shadows, it’s good.

And we’ll pull it to the front a bit.

Since it’s hard to see where it is, so I’m going to change from the active camera to the custom view, and I can see right there.

active camera change to custom view

And I can see that really probably should be a little bit more intense.

So I’m going to double-click on the light and ramp up the intensities more.

Now we’re talking. Now we’re getting there. Click “Okay.”

Increase intensity in the light layer
And I’ll go back from the custom view to the active camera.

What next?

3. Now we’re going to add the environment.

So to add the environment I go back to the project panel and that one’s called “Comp 4,” remember? Because that’s our environment there.

If I bring it down here (with drag and drop), just add it to this comp anywhere.

drag comp

But we convert it to 3D.

Let me show you how to do that!

convert to 3D

And after we convert it into 3D we now have the option to turn it into an environment layer.

So right-click on the layer Comp 4 and make it an environment layer.

And now it’s wrapping itself around the entire scene. It’s like your scene—like your text and your floor now inside the globe, like the earth on your countertop or something—back in the days when people like globes on their countertops.

And now it goes all the way around it.

And you don’t probably want to see it but you do want to see its effect.

So what you do is you go to your Layer Comp 4 and you open this up a bit under Options.

We want “Appears in Refections” to be “Only,” so click on that, “Only.”

So you won’t see it anymore but you do see its reflection there.

And let me see, where is the floor? There’s the floor. I’m surprised. It does not show reflections that well.

You should just go to the layer where is your floor, in our case, White Solid 4 and check if Reflection Intensity is 0, if so, bring it up to 75, let’s say; that is the reason we didn’t see reflections.

Reflection intensity

And let’s see, so now I’ve got that and now if I could animate the environment just to see how that works.

If I go to Environment, I’ve got Rotation.

I’ll rotate it on the Y axis which is in this case—we’ll see which axis we’ll rotate it on.

It should be the Y axis because that’s not tilted so it works—so that works. You rotate the environment and it will affect how it looks on the text.
I’ll rotate it on the X axis. There, it goes across the text, so you can see how that works.

y x rotation

Now if I take the text—so I’ll zoom in a bit on this whole thing

by pressing the “Period” key.

And it won’t be quite as sharp because I’m zoomed in a bit. But it’s still pretty good.
And now I want to rotate the text.

I go to my Text Layer

and press “R.”

Go down to the animator, not to Transform but to the animator: text ➨ animator.

text animator

I’m going to use the Y rotation for the text.

You could animate the rotation of the text.

Let’s see how it reacts to the light as well.
Take the light again.

You double-click on “U” and increase the Intensity of the light a little bit more. That makes it look cooler.

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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