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Screen_Shot_2019-04-17_at_3.19.03_PM.png Cube transforms a two-dimensional layer into a manipulatable faux-3D cube.

Cube is a faux-3D effect that can be applied to any 2D layer on the timeline. Simply add the effect to a layer, and it will be automatically transformed into a cube.



Figure 1: This image has been turned into a cube.


Cube has the following settings:

Orientation determines which direction the cube is facing. Pitch (α), Yaw (β), and Roll (γ) each control one axis of rotation and are each measured in from -180 to +180 degrees. Note that tapping and dragging on the Preview will also rotate the cube. Note that when animating Orientation, Alight Motion will always adopt the shortest path between keyframe values.

Rotation allows for the rotation of the cube. Use this if you would like to spin the cube instead of moving between orientations.

Width, Height, and Depth each control the length of the cube along one axis. 

Crop shows the percentage of the base layer that is visible each cube face. A value of 1.0 indicates that the layer is stretched to exactly cover the faces of the cube. Layers with values under 1.0 are cropped from the center and stretch out beyond the edges of the screen. Layers with values over 1.0 do not fill the entire face, and are repeated on all sides.

Position indicates the position of the cube relative to the screen. X controls the horizontal axis, Y, the vertical axis, and Z the distance into the screen.



Figure 2: Unlit vs Lit Cube


The effect also contains a light source with the following settings:

Shading determines the type of lighting placed on the cube. Flat lights all faces equally with no shadow. Point Light behaves like a small local light source, like a light bulb. Directional Light behaves like a light source where all light rays are parallel to each other, like the sun. Depth Map turns the closer areas of the cube white, and the further areas black. Normal Map changes the color of each face based on the direction it is facing. Depth Map & Normal Map combines the previous two options. These last three options can be used to create a number of different 3D effects! Try using them with Displacement map, and place them on top of a layer with a lot of detail so you can see the results! 

Intensity determines the strength of the light source. Values approaching zero percent will cause the cube to approach black. Values approaching 100% will start to override the base layer's color with that of the light source.

Color changed the color of the light source.

Angle changes the direction in which the light is shining on the cube.

Elevation changes the height of the light source. Lower values will place the light as if it were further behind the cube, while higher values will place the light is if it were further in front of the cube.



Horizontally Flipped Sides

Due to how Cube is rendered, three out of 6 of the sides will be horizontally flipped. This is a side effect of the algorithm.



Figure 3: Text is inverted on the top side.


Stretch to Fill

Images will stretch themselves to fill each side of the cube. To avoid this, either make the original layer you're using square, or use the Width, Height, and Depth controls to alter the sizes of each axis to make the most visible sides appear less stretched.


Partial Transparency

Cube does not support transparency. Any transparent areas in the original layer will appear as black. However it's possible to render these parts of the cube invisible in the cube in two ways. Note that neither way will allow you to see through to the other side of the cube, they will just render the black/green areas as the color of the background.



Figure 4: Text Layer with Cube and Screen applied.

1. Color the transparent parts of the layer green, then use chroma key to make them transparent. This method will work under most circumstances.

2. Let the transparent parts turn to black, and then turn Enable Lighting in Cube to Off. Then go to Blending & Opacity and set the blending mode to Screen. This will render the black parts transparent. This method is much cleaner than chroma key, but it doesn't work if the background layer is black.



Please note that this video may have some small differences from the current version.

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