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AE/C4D integratiOn issue

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Kyle Hegge
AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 1:28:40 pm

So hopefully I can properly explain this but I'm having an issue in AE when I bring my elements in from CD4.

So I have a coin/medal model that is embossed with several items (scale, gavel, boil, etc) and I've rendered each item out separately with it's own .aec file.

So when I bring everything into AE and start pre-comping I start having problems. Specifically, the coin object, which in cd4 renders correctly with the other objects, in AE covers up the other objects halfway through the animation. It seems as if the objects have different position data from one program to the other.

So I'm wondering if anyone has encountered a problem like this or not? And I understand that I'm probably not illustratiing the problem fully and that there might be some confusion. I'll attach the project files as soon as possible, just thought id test the waters first.


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:02:07 pm

[Kyle Hegge] "So I have a coin/medal model that is embossed with several items (scale, gavel, boil, etc) and I've rendered each item out separately with it's own .aec file.

So when I bring everything into AE and start pre-comping I start having problems. Specifically, the coin object, which in cd4 renders correctly with the other objects, in AE covers up the other objects halfway through the animation. It seems as if the objects have different position data from one program to the other."


C4D can send lights, camera, and null 3D position information to AE, but C4D renders do not become 3D objects in AE. C4D's 3D scenes are rendered as regular 2D footage which can be composited in AE. As such, you need to use object buffer passes from C4D to provide you with luma mattes you can use in AE as track mattes to help isolate specific 3D objects or integrate other footage elements.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kyle Hegge
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:16:32 pm

Yeah I'm aware of the difference between a actual 3d object and the 2d tiff sequence that is rendered out of cd4 and into AE.

I thought at first it was just a problem of layer stack order, as the coin layer's stack position certainly comes into play here.
If I place the coin layer on top the start of the animation works well (in the beginning my camera starts in close on the coin's side as it orbits around the edge) with the embossed items just barely peaking out from underneath the coin edge. However as the camera pivots around to get a hero shot of the coin in full frontal it seems like th coin layer moves too far forward in space so that it ends up actually covering all the embossed objects.

If I drop the coin layer to the bottom of the stack I have the opposite problem, the hero shot ends up perfect with all objects displaying correctly but the start of the animation ends up wrong in that I am able to see through the coin layer to all the other objects which should be hidden by the coin edge at that particular camera angle.

I've made object buffers for all the objects I'm just not quite sure how to make everything jive well. I know it'll be clearer once I can provide the project file but I wont have that on hand till much later this afternoon.


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Kevin Camp
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:38:09 pm

it sounds like you might be able to split the coin layer.... essentially having two coin layers, one on top and the other on the bottom of the layer stack, but they are trimmed so that one starts where the other ends at the point where the camera crosses beyond the edge.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kyle Hegge
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:44:46 pm

Yeh, that's what I started tinkering around with yesterday. Though I feel like this should have been a pretty simple animation to import into AE with all the pieces in place and was just confused when I found that that wasn't the case. I know that there has got to be a simple way to make everything look correct but if all else fails I'll play around with splitting the layer


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:47:36 pm

Because you've made a separate AEC for each item, AE has no way of sorting their depth. If you rendered the entire scene together and used one AEC with all the elements, C4D's object buffers should correctly reflect the z-sorting order as seen from the C4D camera.

Alternately, you could add external compositing tags to the objects and watch their depths (or just eyeball it), and split the clips at the appropriate points as Kevin has suggested.

A third option might be to render depth passes, then use Curves, Levels, or Threshold in AE to manipulate them into clipping planes that you could composite with the object buffers as track mattes for the object renders.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kyle Hegge
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 3:01:57 pm

Okay, all that sounds really helpful.
I did render out depth passes for each object so will I be able to sort them using levels as you say, or will I still need a complete render? And, if possible, could you advise on how to pull off this depth sort using levels? That's a bit out of my league.


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 5:03:43 pm

[Kyle Hegge] "And, if possible, could you advise on how to pull off this depth sort using levels? "

The depth pass would only be useful for trying to build a depth-sorting composite if you set the C4D camera's front and rear blurs around the objects, and set the target distance to match one of them.

Since you'll probably have to re-render anyway, it'll be much easier to do all your 3D animation in C4D, then render the whole scene together with separate object buffers but a single AEC.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kyle Hegge
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 5:39:31 pm

So it sounds like I'll be rendering tonight :)

Thanks for your help and by the way, do you happen to know any good books/tutorials that deal with creating and composting graphics of this nature? I've been using Lynda.com, which has been a huge help but I'm always thirsty for more information as I learn.

Again, thanks a lot!


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE/C4D integratiOn issue
on Aug 18, 2011 at 6:05:49 pm

Happy to help, Kyle.

Any training or tutorials by Tim Clapham, Robert Leger, or Nick Campbell would be good. I think that MAXON's Cineversity is also very worthwhile.

The C4D manual itself is also very useful, but it's for technical reference, not really training -- you have to know enough to know what to look for.

On AE/C4D integration specifically, here are a couple relevant Greyscale Gorilla tutorials:

http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/2009/10/how-to-export-your-scene-from-cine...
http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/2010/01/camera-projection-in-cinema-4d-par...
http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/2010/01/camera-projection-and-gi-in-cinema...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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