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Tutorials: The Ray-traced 3D Renderer in After Effects

Rich Young at AE Portal put together a series of tutorials on the Ray-traced 3D Renderer. Read the article here.  To expand on Rich’s articles, here are a couple of tutorials from Adobe TV.

This reminded me of an article I wrote in August 2013 titled In Depth: Optimizing After Effects for the Best Performance. Here are a few things you need to know.

  1. The Ray-traced 3D Renderer was introduced in After Effects CS6.  If you’re using an older version of AE, this article is not pertinent to you. See
    After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) update: bug fixes and added GPUs for ray-traced 3D renderer
  2. To use GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D renderer you will need CUDA on specific graphics cards. More on Graphics Card (CUDA, OpenGL)
  3. You have to have CUDA enabled. See How To Enable GPU CUDA in Adobe CS6 for Mac

Introduction to Ray-traced 3D

Brian Maffitt gives an introduction to Ray-traced 3D. Learn how to activate it and about the 3D layers it adds and the many options that are available in those layers.

Ray-Traced 3D in After Effects

London, England based digital artist and animator, Birgitta Hosea, shows the powerful Ray-traced 3D engine in After Effects, including how vector shapes and text can quickly be extruded in 3D. She also demonstrates the new materials options for translucency, refraction and reflection.