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Tracking 3D objects in After Effects

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John KimTracking 3D objects in After Effects
by on Sep 22, 2010 at 2:27:04 pm

We are trying to create 3D text in C4D. Then in mocha we are tracking footage we have shot, export tracking data to AE. Can anyone out there help with the workflow of compositing the 3D text into the tracked footage in After effects? Similar to Fincher's open for "Panic Room". Thanks.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Tracking 3D objects in After Effects
by on Sep 22, 2010 at 3:10:15 pm

I would use C4D to model the text (if you want some fancy modeling- otherwise just create that and texture in Zaxwerks invigorator). Then I would use Zaxwerks Invigorator to bring in (or create) the text to AE.
Use Boujou/SynthEyes or any other 3D tracker to match the camera move from the footage. Apply that data to a camera in AE. Position the 3d text to match the perspective in your footage - make sure you check the "use AE camera" option.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Tracking 3D objects in After Effects
by on Sep 23, 2010 at 3:17:27 pm

If you're creating your text in Cinema 4d you can actually export an After Effects project from C4d. It will include the camera, lights, solids, etc. You can also have certain layers set to produce alpha mattes so you can easily composite AE layers into the space.
There are several tutorials out there on this, but one should have been included on your C4d extras disc.

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

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Tracking 3D objects in After Effects
by on Sep 22, 2010 at 3:25:37 pm

Another workflow I've used successfully (with 3DS Max, not C4D) is to output my text as RLA or RPF files, with the render switches turned on for Coverage, Z Depth, and Alpha Channel.

When the files come into AE (as a file sequence), you will have the option to actually import the camera into AE. Here's what Adobe has to say about it:

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia

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