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Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D

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Nathan Bloch
Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:47:35 pm

Hi guys,

I'm a long time reader/lurker on this site. I've gotten lots of great help and answers from you guys before and am grateful for all the sane, intelligent content here. I've only now started up an account and decided to post after the better part of a week of researching and experimenting and not really getting anywhere.

My question is about camera tracking in AE CC or CS6 and then importing said track into Cinema 4D (I just upgraded to R14.042). I'm having a hell of a time to get an accurate track into Cinema 4D, and when I do get one I can't get it to come back into After Effects. Here's my issue in more detail:

When I use After Effects CC's built-in camera tracker and import it into 4D the track is totally messed up. The keyframes always form this zig-zag of an ellipse that in no way, shape or form resembles the subtle track I obtained in AE. But when I create an object in 4D with said track I can bring the 4D file back into AE and it is visible and the programs mesh -- it's just that the track of the 4D object is worthless and doesn't sync up with AE's track.

When I use the Foundry's v1 cameratracker in AE CS6 (I don't have v1.07 so I can't use it in AE CC), which, I should note, is a WAY superior track, and I export for Cinema 4D, the track is perfect: subtle and realistic and it perfectly matches Foundry's track in AE. But when I save the 4D file and bring it back to AE CS6, the file is submerged as a precomp and is worthless: there's nothing there but black and I can't see anything. There's the rub. I can get a worthless track in AE CC that will come back visible from 4D, or I can get a great track with AE CS6 that doesn't make it back into AE from 4D. I'm kind of at my wits end. I've upgraded Cinema 4D again and again, as some forums have said that AE CC is only compatible with 4D R14.042 (which is clearly not true); I've upgraded from 4D R13 to R14; I've put my Foundry plugin into AE CC (it doesn't work in CC); I've searched and I've read and I've experimented, and I just can't get these programs to work with each other.

What am I missing? I'm sorry for this long post, but I wanted to lay it all out so that anyone who could potentially help would know exactly what I've tried so as to save time. Thank you for any help you might be able to provide!


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Nathan Bloch
Re: Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 21, 2013 at 1:53:29 am

I guess I have the distinction of stumping the wizards at Creative Cow. Thanks anyway.


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Kevin Snyder
Re: Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 21, 2013 at 6:31:40 am

I have Camera Tracker for AE CS6 and I have had a good luck going to C4d and back using R13. I just upgraded to R15 and I don't have any reason to think it won't still be a solid workflow. I could record a screen capture for you of my process if you would like. Let me know.


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Nathan Bloch
Re: Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 21, 2013 at 4:45:26 pm

That would be great! Thank you.


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Kevin Snyder
Re: Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 23, 2013 at 3:56:20 am
Last Edited By Kevin Snyder on Dec 23, 2013 at 4:04:22 pm

Nathan,

Here is a little video showing my workflow between AE and C4D using Camera Tracker. I hope it helps out. Let me know how it goes. BTW, you should be able to get the latest version of Camera Tracker for free. I purchased my copy from VideoCopilot and they have all the versions for me to download.







Kevin


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Nathan Bloch
Re: Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 25, 2013 at 12:13:30 am

Thanks Kevin! Do you have to render out the Cinema 4D project every time in order for it to be visible within AE? Also, do you have any pointers for this process using AE's camera tracker?

Thanks again!


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Kevin Snyder
Re: Camera Tracking with After Effects CC/CS6 and Cinema 4D
on Dec 25, 2013 at 2:24:13 am

The workflow using the built in 3d tracker should be the same one you create a camera and solids. I used the Camera Tracker plugin because I thought that was what you were using. You don't have to render out of Cinema if you are using AE CC. Just use the plugin in CC to bring in Cinema files. I tested the plugin out with the demo version of AE CC, but it's too slow for me...


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