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After Effects tracking data to Fusion

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Ben van Hamelen
After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 9:12:14 am

Hi,

I'm currently working on a project that involves _a lot_ of tracking. We did quite a few tracks in AE already, but found that some other tasks are way easier to do in Fusion. Now, we'd hate to lose the AE tracking data, so my question is: is there a (simple) way to export After Effects tracking data to Fusion?

Thanks in advance!

Regards,

Ben van H.

http://www.fireinthesole.com/


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Angie Taylor
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:45:40 am

You can copy and paste keyframe data from the AE timeline into an Excel spreadsheet. The data appears in columns as numeric X, Y and Z vvalues.
I'm not sure if Fusion can then copy/paste or import this data but I'd be surprised/disappointed if not!

Another option would be to use Mocha as it is excellent and supports AE and Fusion keyframing. Mocha AE is included in your Ae install so you may want to try that first to see if it gives you what you need.

http://www.imagineersystems.com/products/mochav2

cheers,

Angie

Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices

http://www.angietaylor.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Ben van Hamelen
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 12:18:46 pm

Thanks for your reply! I tried copy+pasting the data into Fusion in all kinds of ways, but it won't accept it. When copied to Excel, the Fusion format looks a lot different from the AE format, unfortunately.

Mocha would work for new tracks, but I couldn't find any way to convert existing AE tracks to a Fusion format. Or did I miss that feature (my Mocha experience is limited)?

http://www.fireinthesole.com/


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:04:49 pm

Why not copy and paste proxy transform data from Fusion into a Text file. This will allow you to view the innards of Fusion's required data input. There will, however, be an expected issue as to whether/how Fusion accepts external data.

BTW, can you elaborate what and how Fusion is more productive in what you're doing?

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Ben van Hamelen
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:24:57 pm

Well, that's the point. AE gives some nice, clean columns with keyframe data. Fusion, however, formats it like this:

{ Linear = true, LockY = true, X = -0.0992794409394264, Y = -0.189996615052223, LX = -0.00695671716811197, LY = 0.00148180934074926, RX = 0.00804443409045537, RY = -0.00309364994366964, },

I don't see a way to easily replace the values and fabricate Fusion-compatible data.

The main thing that we've found is much easier in Fusion as compared to AE is cleaning up tracking markers. We need to do a lot of clone stamping and doing it in AE has turned out to be a painful and slow process so far.

Besides that, we're also facing a lot of rotoscoping. Fusion's double edged splines could really speed up the rotoscoping of motion-blurred objects. Which we have a lot. Finally, we've found the motion tracker in Fusion to be substantially more accurate than AE's. Downside is that it operates very contra-intuitive. AE takes the price there.

http://www.fireinthesole.com/


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 2:09:44 pm

Fusion's format is indeed different from AE but it does seem to be in a concerted format. Perhaps someone has done a viable conversion that is available over the Net.

Then there is the case for MochaPro. If you're on CS4 or newer, there are minimally priced upgrades from the bundled MochaAE to MochaPro, where the latter allows for export to Digital Fusion Comp Data.

As for cloning out markers, I've found it incredibly to be productive exercise with tracking data from Mocha and then using AE's Clone tool coupled with Expression Controllers, but the Expression Controllers are required only when I have an organically moving backdrop. Otherwise, AE's Clone Tool suffices.

Apologies for not providing a definitive reply but perhaps you will have sufficient information for moving ahead. And we'll still be here if you need more assistance.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Ben van Hamelen
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:31:06 pm

The problem is that we're tracking moving plates of high reflection glass on a moving background. Due to it's transparency, we have to do some high-end marker-removal. I've found AE's clone tool to be unnecessarily time consuming to set-up for this specific goal. It's possible, absolutely. But like you say, it involves expressions, parenting and offsetting on top of the standard cloning.

Fusion just.. does it. In about 1/4 of the time. It only requires your tracking data, which you'll have anyway. It does take some time getting used to the interface, but hey, what interface doesn't?

Thanks a lot for your time and replies! Makes me love Creative Cow.

http://www.fireinthesole.com/


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:02:44 am

[Ben van Hamelen] "Fusion just.. does it. In about 1/4 of the time. It only requires your tracking data, which you'll have anyway. "

This sounds like a really cool trick. BTW, have you taken a look at MochaPro's Remove Module? It can be a wee bit slow if you're tracking large areas but it does a very good clean-up of markers. The only concern I have is that Mocha doesn't like highly reflective plates. But it's certainly worth a try.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Ross Shain
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Oct 27, 2011 at 4:10:55 pm

Hi Ben,
Just read this thread. A few things to add.

The full version of mocha & mocha Pro export to Fusion directly. If you tracked the footage in mocha AE, you should be able to upgrade to mocha full version ($499 USD) and then load the project and export in desired format.

Another good reason to upgrade might be that Fusion supports .SSF roto import and mocha full version exports to that format as a way of getting mocha roto data into Fusion without rendering.

You can find a comparison guide here:
http://www.imagineersystems.com/compare-products

and a video that shows the mocha to Fusion workflow:
http://www.imagineersystems.com/videos/mocha-to-eyeon-fusion-workflow/view

While there might be some ways to "hack" at a conversion script from mocha AE, we work hard to offer an affordable solution for Fusion owners in the full version of mocha or mocha Pro.

Cheers!
-Ross

Imagineer Systems

Ross Shain
Imagineer Systems
http://www.imagineersystems.com


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Ben Sumner
Re: After Effects tracking data to Fusion
on Apr 10, 2012 at 7:16:24 pm

Not sure if this helps you or not, but I recently had to do a similar export for Nuke, which also imports ASCII files for tracker positions.

All I did was copy/paste the keyframes from AE into notepad, and deleted the lines on top and bottom with all the intro info. Just kept the key data

Then in Nuke I clicked the animation button on the tracker positions File > import time/value ASCII, selected the text file, default column settings.

When it came in, the vertical info was flipped around the center of the canvas, so I had to select the curve and right click in the graph editor and do edit > move and set y to "(y*-1)+height"
also the time was off by one frame, so set x to "x+1"

It those last two bits of info point that AE doesn't store tracker positions the same was as Nuke, and likely fusion either, so you'd probably have to do a similar flipping in fusion.


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