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Combining 2D Characters (Illustrator) With 3D Backgrounds (Lightwave) in After Effects

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Tasha KuronenCombining 2D Characters (Illustrator) With 3D Backgrounds (Lightwave) in After Effects
by on Apr 7, 2015 at 9:38:24 pm

So basically I made some 2D characters in Illustrator and modeled some 3D environments in Lightwave. I was going to try to import the .ai into lightwave and do all of the animating in there, but honestly Lightwave sucks and it's so clunky and rigging is difficult. So, I was thinking of animating in After Effects which seems a lot easier.

What is the best way to go about this if I'm moving through the 3d spaces (a character running forward in a tunnel essentially). Should I render out clips from the camera in Lightwave then import them into After Effects and animate the 2D character on top of the moving clip rendered out from lightwave? Or is there a way to animate the .ai in After Effects and then import it into Lightwave and composite there and then render out?

How should I go about this? Thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Combining 2D Characters (Illustrator) With 3D Backgrounds (Lightwave) in After Effects
by on Apr 7, 2015 at 11:00:01 pm

I guess it all comes down to the way in which you intend these 2D characters to interact with the 3D environment. Passing behind 3D objects comes to mind.

Can you describe what they'd do?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tasha KuronenRe: Combining 2D Characters (Illustrator) With 3D Backgrounds (Lightwave) in After Effects
by on Apr 7, 2015 at 11:33:16 pm

Just run through it, it's basically a maze with hallways and rooms. Not really any of the environment passing in front of the character.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Combining 2D Characters (Illustrator) With 3D Backgrounds (Lightwave) in After Effects
by on Apr 8, 2015 at 12:04:59 am

I mention that because if you render out of lightwave, your 3D environment becomes a 2D layer. AE can't work with 3D models. You'd have to fake a lot of stuff in AE.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Combining 2D Characters (Illustrator) With 3D Backgrounds (Lightwave) in After Effects
by on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:13:02 pm

You should probably render a depth pass out of Lightwave so that you can use it as a track matte for your characters so they can go behind things if needed.

The TV show Archer does all of their character animation in After Effects, but many of the background scenes are 3d too, so you're not alone in this workflow.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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