Here is a simple way to blur 3D text in action. It basically uses two source nodes to accomplish the trick, separating out the foreground and the matte. You must use two nodes, because the transparency channel for geometry is derived from the blue channel of text. However, using expressions, you still only have to modify one set of geometry.
- Enter action with a white frame over a background. Create your 3D text, using white text. Make sure you’re happy with the bevel, because if you change the bevel later, you will need to relink some expressions.
- Rename the axis “axis_parent” and the text “text_parent (this makes things easier to explain).
- Add an image (layer1).
- Add a source node for layer 1- Front Source
- Parent the 3D text and parent axis under this source node.
- Add a source node for layer1 – Matte Source
- Select the 3D text and parent axis.
- Copy Branch
- Parent this copy underneath the Matte Source node
Now, we’ll link the animation channels so that you only have to modify one text branch:
- In the channel editor, select axis_parent. Press [Copy]. Then select axis_child. Press [Link].
- For the text, we don’t want to copy over the material color properties (since we want the matte to always be white). In the channel editor, link up the channels for depth, kerning, and size (and whatever else you want). Simply copy and link the single specific channels you want to from the parent_text to the child_text.
Now, you can turn shading on to light the text. Put any lights under the front source node (don’t put any on under the matte source node).
Make any adjustments you need to the axis and geometry under the front source node. If you need to add any new axes, simply add them under the front source and then copy them under the matte source node and link in the channel editor.
One caveat/bug: As you move the axis under the front source node, the matte source won’t update until you jog a frame forward or backward or hit the [Update] button.
Submitter: John Montgomery