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3D in After Effects

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Anushree Santhosh3D in After Effects
by on Jul 14, 2009 at 2:46:01 pm

Please tell me the acceptable file formats that after effects allows you to import. I need to import a 3D model.

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Todd KoprivaRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 14, 2009 at 4:38:25 pm

"Supported import formats"

"Preparing and importing 3D image files"

"Using 3D object layers from Photoshop"

After Effects doesn't directly import 3D models. It can import various 3D data and rendered images, though. Read the pages linked to above for details.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web

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Nico JonesRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 1:16:41 pm

If you have the Invigorator plugin you can import .3DS and .obj files.

Your options once they're in there are somewhat limited though. They'll exist in 3D space and react to your cameras but they'll break the 3D render chain and you can't really modify them very much.

Nico J BB

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Lee SkinnerRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 3:00:39 pm

The two ways I'm aware of are...

A) using Photoshop 3D (then importing a PSD file as a composition and not as footage, and making sure you check Live Photoshop 3D)


B) Using Zaxworks 3D Invigorator, which is handy but one thing I don't like about it is that you can't have other 3D objects in your composition interact with the plugin. IE if I brought in a model of an airplane, I wouldn't be able to have a 3D solid cut right through the middle of it.

You would think that 3D modeling capabilities would have come to After Effects before Photoshop, but oh well... Maybe AE CS5 will have it!

[Design is what you leave out.]

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Anushree SanthoshRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 3:51:26 pm

Thanks ALOT everybody for the feedback!!

Once the 3ds or obj model is brought into After Effects using the Invigorator plugin. Does it allow you to rotate the 3D model?

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John HammondRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 7:23:19 pm


Are you aware that you can import camera data between 3D software and After Effects?

That way you can model, texture, light and animate your object in 3D software, then render it to, say a .TIFF sequence with treansparency. Then you export your camera data and import it into after effects along with your 3d render. And voila, it all lines up nicely.

The method depends on your software. Cinema 4D has this functionality built in. For 3DS max I have used scripts that I found free online.

Oh - and if you want to animate a camera in After Effects and transfere that data to a 3D program, there are free scripts available.

Maybe there is a reason you need the actual 3D model in after effects, but from my experience most people render it first in their 3d software and just import the rendered image/video.


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Nico JonesRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2009 at 9:56:41 am

Yes, Invigorator will allow you to rotate the 3D object. You can rotate the object directly, or rotate around it with the AE cameras.

Like John said though, you'll obviously get better results if you use a proper 3D program. I starting using invigorator because we needed a simple 3D effect, and I never had time to learn Cinema 4D. You can push it to do some cool stuff, but it's a pain in the rear sometimes. The 3D car in towards the end of this vid I made was animated through Invigorator.

Nico J BB

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Anushree SanthoshRe: 3D in After Effects
by on Jul 17, 2009 at 3:48:31 pm

Thanks alot Nico and John.. very useful information!!!!

I am actually doing a bit of animation using after effects for a shoe company...(converting their educational material to animation). I have been searching all over for a 3D model of a "shoe last".

This is what a "shoe last" looks like

If you know or find any 3D MODEL of a SHOE LAST that comes in a 3ds or obj file format please let me know. That would help me immensly!!!

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