Volume n' Tricks 2

  • Compatibility After Effects
    Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below

Author: PENCIL Park

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Quick Overview

Craft Breathtaking Animations in Faux-3D, compatible with Lottie Files.
Isometric Extrusion on Multiple Layers at Once.
Isometric Projection., Grid and moves.
Parented Isometric Shadows.
Pivot/Rotation Feature.
And more!

Volume n' Tricks 2: A Brand New Motion Design Experience



2D

Volume n' Tricks 2 is an After Effects extension for crafting isometric projections, volumes, and animations with ease. This iteration introduces functionalities that ensure your animations are Lottie-compatible, a distinction not achievable with AE 3D renders.
It's a new, straightforward and efficient tool for animation needs.

Innovations for Impact

With Lottie Compatibility , transitioning from After Effects to web and mobile applications has never been smoother. It enables seamless integration of animations into diverse platforms where 3D is not an option.

Projected Isometric Shadows brings a new level to animations, offering a visually enhancement that breathes depth into projects. Live Visualization ensures immediate feedback on your creative decisions, streamlining the design process by eliminating the need to toggle between panels.

This is a Lottie file:

User Experience Reimagined

UI

Its dynamic User Interface offers a true intuitive interaction with the tool. Controls provide the precision needed to fine-tune your designs, with new features designed for professional use but accessible enough for new comers.
The ability to project onto Multiple Layers simultaneously opens up new creative possibilities, allowing for more complex and layered designs.

2D, Simplified Yet Powerful

Volume n' Tricks 2 will fool your brain thanks to the extrusions and the unique pivot/rotation feature.
However, the tool has been optimized for reduced resource consumption , ensuring a smoother experience even on less powerful systems. This optimization does not compromise performance , maintaining the high-quality results that users have come to expect.

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Transforming Design

2D

Volume n' Tricks 2 is a tool and a creative catalyst. Transforming flat designs into dynamic faux 3D, 2.5 dimensional masterpieces opens up a world of possibilities for digital designers. Whether you're integrating new objects into an isometric scene, working across multiple layers, or creating with shapes and texts, Volume n' Tricks 2 (literally) elevates your designs to another dimension .
Your creations can be shared and modified without the need for extension , fostering a spirit of collective creativity.

Revamped for the best

Volume n' Tricks redefined how to create isometric projections and volumes in After Effects. Volume n' Tricks 2 is a complete revamp that offers what Classic, Advanced 3D or C4D render can't: A handy way to create isometric art on the fly and to export your creations in other formats like Lotties.

What's New?

  • Lottie Compatibility:  
    Seamlessly export your After Effects creations with Volume n' Tricks 2 in Lottie animations, quickly preparing your content for web and mobile applications.
  • Multiple Layers Projection:  
    Amplify your creative possibilities by projecting onto multiple layers simultaneously. 
  • Projected Parented Isometric Shadows:  Add depth and realism to your animations with accurate isometric shadow
  • Improved Pivot/Rotation Feature:  
    Animate in all directions in limitless Extrusion and apply keyframes even to the Isometric Rotation feature.
  • Live visualization:  
    See the result of your creations immediately and fine-tune your animation in your Effects Controls Panel
  • Optimized Resource Usage:  
    Volume n'Tricks 2 is designed to be poor demanding on your system's resources. The results are optimized, focusing on performances.
  • Dynamic User Interface:  
    Dive into a completely revamped, intuitive UI
  • Enhanced Controls:  
    Experience precision at its finest with newly introduced controls. Adjust, tweak, and perfect your creations with powerful, easy-to-use pro features.
  • Simplified Process:  
    Volume n' Tricks 2 streamlines your Isometric Design, making bringing your visions to life effortless.
2D


Volume n' Tricks 2: Quick Start.

1/ Projection: From 2D to Faux-3D

Volume n' Tricks 2 transforms your 2D art into stunning isometric volumes. This first chapter guides you through converting flat, 2D vector graphics or Text into engaging faux-3D objects.
Ensure your vector graphics or text layers are ready in After Effects. Use clean, simple shapes for the best results with Volume n' Tricks 2. Complex designs can also be used, but remember that simplicity often enhances the isometric illusion.

Phone

Select Your Layer(s):
Click on the layer or select multiple layers you wish to project. Volume n' Tricks 2 allows for multiple selections, offering flexibility from the start.

Launch Volume n' Tricks 2:
Navigate to the 'Window' menu, then « Extensions », and click 'Volume n' Tricks 2' to open the extension panel. If you haven't docked it already, consider doing so for easier access.

Apply Faux-3D Projection: 
In the extension panel, you'll find a CUBE. Clicking one of its faces initiates the magic, applying an isometric projection to your selected layers.

Adjustment Controls: 
After projection, new controls have been added to your layer(s) under the Effects panel. These controls allow you to tweak the depth, angle, moves, and other properties of your faux-3D object. Please spend some time experimenting with these to understand their impact.

You've taken your first step into Isometric Design with Volume n' Tricks 2. You should now have a basic understanding of how to transform 2D layers into faux-3D objects. You'll see this tool's potential as you experiment with the various controls and adjustments.

Important:
If your design is a single color, adding a stroke of any color can help define the edges more clearly, ensuring the sides remain visible and distinct.

2/IsoMap

Having transformed your 2D layers into faux-3D objects, placing them in an isometric world is time.

Creating Your IsoMap:
Clicking the Isometric Grid Button of Vn'T 2 will automatically generate or delete (toggle) a customizable isometric grid within your composition. This grid acts as your canvas for placing isometric objects. Once created, you can adjust the IsoMap's size in the Effect Controls Panel at your convenience.

Your IsoMap is a guide layer and will not appear outside your precomps and in your exports.

Remember, isometric projection doesn't automatically manage which objects appear before others. You should manually adjust the layer order in your timeline to stack objects in the scene correctly.

Tip:  Consider creating multiple IsoMaps with different properties, such as spacing or orientation, for complex scenes. This can be useful for designing multi-level structures or intricate landscapes. But you will need to rename each IsoMap you want to keep. Otherwise, it will be removed.

Isometric Grid by Volume n'Tricks

3/ Rotation

One of Volume n' Tricks 2's most dynamic features is the Rotation & Faux Shadow. These functionalities add depth and realism to your isometric projects and offer the flexibility to bring your creative visions to life. Let's start with rotation.

Rotation: The Pivot of Animation:
Rotation in isometric design traditionally posed a challenge, especially when aiming to maintain the integrity of the projection. Volume n' Tricks 2 simplifies this with its enhanced pivot/rotation feature, allowing you to animate objects using its isometric axis.

Selecting Your Object:
Begin by selecting the layer or group of layers you wish to animate. Ensure they've been adequately converted to faux-3D, as outlined in the previous chapters.

Applying Rotation:
Navigate to the Volume n' Tricks 2 panel and locate the rotation controls. Here, you can specify the angle and direction of your rotation. The tool supports complete 360-degree rotations, enabling previously complex or tedious animations to achieve.



4/ Faux-Shadows

Shadows are crucial in adding depth and dimensionality to isometric designs. Volume n' Tricks 2 introduces a tricky approach to creating isometric shadows.

Shadow Projection:
Once your object is set up and potentially animated, it's time to mimic its shadow. Select the object, then use one of the four directional options in the UI. This feature calculates the shadow's angle (the IsoMap will help you to reposition it accurately).
Since it is a projection of your source, only one shape of shadow is available; for instance, a portrait would project a portrait, not the side silhouette.
Adjust shadow parameters such as opacity and distance to match your scene's aesthetics.

Integration:
Shadows are linked to their parent objects: any movement, scaling or animation of the object will automatically adjust the shadow, maintaining consistency throughout your animation.

Wheel shadowed

5/Multiple Projections at Once

Multiple Projections at Once
Vn'T2 lets you apply the isometric transformation to several layers at once.

Applying Vn' 2 to Multiple Layers:
Go to the Volume n' Tricks 2 panel with your layers selected. Here, you'll find the projection options. The extension will begin processing your layers, applying the isometric transformation to each one. Depending on the number and complexity of your layers, this process may take a moment.

Fine-Tuning Your Project
After the initial projection, some layers require adjustments to fit perfectly within your isometric scene. Volume n' Tricks 2 allows for individual layer adjustments even after a bulk projection, allowing you to tweak positions, rotations, or depths as necessary.

Advantages of Multiple Projections:

  • You save time and ensure consistency across your isometric scene.
  • This feature encourages experimentation with layer arrangements and depth, enabling you to explore complex compositions that were previously too time-consuming to consider.
  • Multiple projections reduce the back-and-forth between tool features, centralizing your focus on creative outcomes rather than process intricacies.

6: Movement Control in Isometric Space

This feature is instrumental in achieving the dynamic positioning of elements, simulating depth.

  • X-Axis Movement: Dragging an object along this axis shifts it diagonally across the grid. Use the Moves> 'Move X' slider in the Effect Controls Panel to adjust the object's position.
  • Y-Axis Movement: The Moves> 'Move Y' slider allows vertical adjustments to be perceived as closer and farther in your isometric world.
  • The Faux-Z Movement: By leveraging the Moves> 'Move Z' slider, you can make an object appear closer or farther away from the viewer. 

Practical Applications:

  • Use the movement controls to position objects in a way that guides the viewer's eye through the scene, creating a narrative flow.
  • Animate the movement parameters to simulate interactions between objects, such as an item being picked up or moved.
  • To animate an object's movement, keyframe the position sliders at different points along the timeline. 
Controls

7/Exporting to Lottie :

Volume n' Tricks 2 provides a seamless bridge from the rich visual capabilities of After Effects to the versatile world of Lottie files.

Before you export your project as a Lottie file, ensure your animation adheres to Lottie's compatibility requirements:

Optimize Your Composition: 
Simplify your animation where possible. Lottie works best with more straightforward paths and fewer layers.

Check Supported Features:
Verify that Lottie supports your animation's features (effects, expressions, etc.). Volume n' Tricks 2 is designed with Lottie compatibility in mind, but it's always good practice to check.

Using Bodymovin:

  • Install the Bodymovin extension if you still need to do it. It is available as a Name Your Own Price on the website aescripts:.com https://aescripts.com/bodymovin/ or through Adobe Exchange.
  • Open the Bodymovin panel by navigating to 'Window' > 'Extensions' > Bodymovin.
  • In the Bodymovin panel, select the composition containing your Volume n' Tricks 2 animation.
  • With configured settings, click the 'Render' button. Bodymovin will process your composition and create a .json file in your specified location.

Exporting your isometric animations from Volume n' Tricks 2 as Lottie files opens up a world of application development and design possibilities. Embrace the power of Lottie with Volume n' Tricks 2 and bring your isometric designs to life in web and mobile applications.





If you are not using the latest version of AE or opening an old project, here is an animation about activating the good settings in your project files.
 
 
2D
 

If you need assistance, please open a support ticket and we will be happy to assist you.


Your extension won't open:

If you are experiencing an issue where the extension won't open or opens with a blank window please try this solution:

  • Open the aescripts + aeplugins ZXP Installer or Manager App
  • Click on the gear icon to open the settings
  • Click on the ZXP icon
  • Make sure that "Enable Debugging" is checked for CEP 8 to 11.
  • Click OK
  • Retry the extension (might require restarting the host application)

 
macOS Apple Silicon 

If you are on a macOS system with an Apple Silicon chip you can also try launching the Adobe host (After Effects, Premiere, etc) from the Adobe Creative Cloud app using the Open (Intel) option from the three dot menu next to the Open button:

Be sure that you allowed 

General >

Preferences >

Application Scripting >

/ Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network

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