Zaxwerks, creators of the plug-in 3D Invigorator,
has released a new plug-in for Adobe After
Effects named 3D Serpentine
( This
product enables the creation of animated noodles
(also called 3D path-extrusions) without the need
for a separate 3D application.

Path extrusion is a popular way to create film
reels, shooting stars, self-tying ribbons and
other interesting 3D effects. Until now a
complicated stand-alone 3D application has been
needed to do this type of effect. Zaxwerks’ 3D
Serpentine has broken with tradition and enables
the average After Effects artist to create
fanciful animated 3D noodles quickly and easily
right inside of After Effects, according to Zax
Dow, president of Zaxwerks.

Highlights of 3D Serpentine include:

° It offers the ability to work entirely inside
of After Effects. There’s no need to stop and
switch to another application while working with
3D Serpentine.

° It uses standard After Effects 3D paths to
control the position, size and orientation of the
3D noodles. If you know how to create an AE
motion path you know how to use 3D Serpentine.

° The length and location of the noodle can be
animated along the path, to create shooting
stars, unwinding movie film, curlicues, swashes
and many other effects.

° Noodles can intertwine with each other in true
3D space. They can be colored with pictures or
movies from an After Effects layer. Noodles can
be rendered in solid, cartoon, wireframe and
hidden line styles. Bump maps can be used to give
the noodle a texture, and reflection maps can be
used to make the noodle reflective.

°Basic cross section shapes are included such as
stars, rectangles, lines and circles for instant
feedback. You can also use AE’s masking tools to
draw any cross section shape you wish, even ones
with multiple parts.

° End cap controls give you instant pointed, beveled, rounded or domed ends.

° Heads and tails can be imported from Zaxwerks
ProAnimator or Invigorator, enabling you to use
any 3D object as the beginning or end of the
noodle. And they can all be colored independently.

° Alpha channels in the maps are used to punch
holes in the 3D objects. Among other things, this
can be used to create the sprocket holes in movie

° Shadow-catcher planes can be used to integrate noodles into existing footage.

3D Serpentine is now shipping and priced at
US$199. It runs on both Mac and Windows using
After Effect 7 or higher. Site licenses are