Duplicate the raw source layer without the extrusion, apply the effect to the duplicate. This is the typical beginner error of trying to do everything in a single comp and on a single layer, which rarely ever works.
So I duplicated the text layer, and turned the extrusion depth to zero, didn't work. Then I turned off the 3d effect, which got rid of the text altogether. Once duplicated, what exactly do I need to do to make the text to maintain the 3d effect but have saber work? Thank you so much!
You are misunderstanding. There is no way to combine this directly by using the 3D extrusion. Saber has no way of actually accessing the 3D data since this is an encapsulated part of the API using the C4D renderer or the old Raytrace 3D not avialable to third-party developers. You have to fake it using conventional layers with masks and that simply could mean you have to create a whole ton of duplicates just to get those flaming edges or whatever you fancy and work with even more duplicates of your extruded 3D layer to use as track mattes plus you may face additional masking. There isn't a push-button solution here. This could easily become a rather complex task.