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Import SoftImage 3D model?

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Derek HaderImport SoftImage 3D model?
by on Jul 30, 2010 at 8:57:18 pm

AE CS5


Hello AE community,

I have not yet ventured into the world of 3D programs. But I notice that that world is moving closer to the AE world. Like the Photoshop Live 3D, etc.

My question is this. I have an artist on the other side of the world who is learning SoftImage, and he is designing for me a 3D logo. Is it possible for him to export a logo for me that I can import into AE, and orbit with my AE camera in the same way that I can using a Photoshop Live 3D .psd ?

I found this on an Adobe site, but I'm not sure if it answers my question:
Softimage PIC files have a corresponding ZPIC file that contains the z-depth channel information. Although you can’t import a ZPIC file, you can access the additional channel information as long as the ZPIC file is stored in the same folder as the imported PIC file.

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS510B8F17-8644-43ce-977F...


Many thanks!

Derek in Vancouver



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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Import SoftImage 3D model?
by on Jul 30, 2010 at 11:13:36 pm

Derek -

Here's what I believe to be the case with AE, although I use 3D Studio Max and AE as my workflow:

I don't believe it's possible to bring a 3D model into AE and then fly around it and do real 3D moves on it, unless of course you import it into Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator, in which case you have a plugin which can access 3D models. That said, what you can do is import an animation from 3D software in RLA or RPF format to AE, then convert the 3D information from the file into a camera in AE. You will not have control over that camera, you will simply have the animation from the 3D software, which will allow you to use elements created in AE with the camera from the 3D software. I don't know what formats SoftImage is capable of exporting, but just about any 3D package worth its' salt will output either an RLA or RPF file.

On the Photoshop side, you can do the same thing with the extended version, you can import various formats of 3D models, then use the Animation feature to create an animated logo which can be exported to AE. I don't know if the Linking feature between Photoshop and AE allows for the 3D animation to be tweaked from the PS side, but that might work. As of now (and I'm refering to AE CS4 -
I haven't made the jump to CS5 until it's stable and the first service packs are in) I don't think there's any way to get true 3D short of 3D Invigorator.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Derek HaderRe: Import SoftImage 3D model?
by on Jul 31, 2010 at 3:19:02 am

Hey Joe,

I had the same thought about invigorator. So I went to blow the dust off of the version I had installed on my old PC with CS3, and attempted to install it on my new PC... but then I remembered that I now have a fancy 64 bit Windows 7 machine and the old plugin wouldn't work. I went to see if they had released an update, which they haven't. AND... they say when its ready, it will not be a free upgrade. In fact, it won't even be available at upgrade price.. they're gonna try to make us pay full price all over again just to keep up with the times. No thanks. I'm gonna save my pennies and get a real 3D program next time.

Another thought i had was to get Blender... cause its free, and maybe it could help me somehow. Or i could even buck up and finally learn a 3d program. But nope, it doesn't seem to be available in 64 bit yet either. So my hands are tied there too.

I found a site that lets me download free 3D Studio Max models. I believe the extention was '.3ds'. And that I was able to import into Photoshop, save as a PSD and then import into AE while retaining 3D perspective... so there might be potential there if SoftImage can make such a file. The lighting and colouring I think I'd have to do in Photoshop, but its better than nothing i think.

If you're still reading this, thanks again Joe, and anyone else that wants to share their 2 cents.

-Derek



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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Import SoftImage 3D model?
by on Aug 1, 2010 at 2:07:44 am

Derek -

Don't worry about Blender on a 32 bit machine. It will still run, but won't take advantage of the 64 bit capabilities. Give it a try. It's a bear to learn, but the fact that it's free and very powerful may be a good incentive to take the time to learn it. There are plenty of free tutorials out there, and some of the new fluid and smoke simulations are pretty nice looking. I'm pretty sure it will both open and output .3ds format, the basic Max file format which works all the way back to the DOS version of Max, and can be imported by quite a few other packages. It's one of the true 3D file format standards.

It's also worth your while to play around with Photoshop Extended's 3D capabilities as far as texture mapping and animation. It may do the trick for you.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Derek HaderRe: Import SoftImage 3D model?
by on Aug 12, 2010 at 5:24:19 pm

Thanks again for all your help Joe.

I ended up taking what I know to the next level. I've scrapped the true 3D idea, and instead built my logo with a couple hundred layers offset by one pixel each to create a 3D logo entirely with AE.

Render was quite slow, but the results look good. When time slows down, I will build on my education with other options. And thanks for the 32-64 bit Blender tip, I have installed it now. And will attack it someday.

Thanks,

-Derek



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