Creating the illusion of a 3D item can be much quicker than making a 3D model and texture. This tutorial makes creating a 3D spin in After Effects easy. The trick is to design in a flat field of view (image directly to camera) like in this example.
Layer 1 Object, in this case the beer can:
Simple, just make sure the design is flat and the design extends past the edge of the can. Like you were designing a real label to wrap around the can.
Layer 2 Label or decal:
The label needs to be a ‘seamless image’ what that means is the image should be able to loop left and right (or up and down if you want to rotate that way). The simple test is to copy the design and place the copied version next to the original. You should see no seams where the two meet. (see image)
After importing your illustrations into After Effects the process only requires some simple effects. The Adobe After Effects effect that will do most of the heavy lifting in this case is ‘CC RepeTile’.
The figure you are imput into the effect is a measurement in pixels. What the effect does it duplicate the canvas or image you have designed in the direction you select. There are also other settings that enable you to make the extension brick, flip horizontally or vertically. This effect is a great way to extend background images by a few pixels or video to fill a frame if required.
After effects provides many ways of doing things – You could pre-comp this animation you have created and animate it using the position / rotation values OR… You can use a Null Object.
Null Objects are the best. It’s like a placeholder or a handle that lets you control things from (it doesn’t appear on renders). To Parent the Can to a null is easier than you think – just follow these steps
The reason you need to select all of the layers is the alpha matte layer needs to follow everywhere the visible can layer goes, and for obvious reasons so does the label. You can now animate the null object however you like.
Good luck! Any questions please feel free to ask!
Watch the video for a visual demonstration: