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Ok, so Ive imported a path from illustrator into AE and made it 3d, so I have this -

enter image description here

What I want is an outlined version, but of the extruded path. This is rough, but like this:

enter image description here

Dynamic while it is spinning. Is this possible without significant hacking in AE? Or better to use a 3d program?

  • I'd say bring in a proper 3D asset for greatest flexibility. – GerardFalla Oct 22 at 21:40
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If I understand correctly you imported a 2D shape from Illustrator that just looks like a 3D shape. Right now it's as good as a bitmap for what you want; you can't extrude it or rotate it since it's essentially a flat image in a fixed 2D projection.

If you want that to spin (like a cog spinning on its own axis) you need a front view of the cog, extruded in a 3D program then imported to AE. Or you can use Cinema 4D Lite (that is included with AE CC) to create your object. Here's a video tutorial, essentially you'll use the Pen tool > Cogwheel then Extrude it. From there you can delete the front face and tweak the material to get the proper shading.

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The extrusion that After Effects creates via the Geometry Options settings, doesn't really have a wireframe geometry that could be rendered in the way you need it. You will need to create the extruded element in a 3D software and then import it, as Luciano already proposed, and continue with that.

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