I want to use a 3DS Max model within one of my After Effects projects (Either CS4 or 5). I have read some articles referencing plugins or scripts that can be used to incorporate a 3D model, but how would this be supported in AE? The final output of the model I want to purchase is:
You can bring a .obj into PhotoShop as a 3d object and then open that in AE. That would get it in but it won't do lights in AE you would need to set them up in PhotoShop. The other alternative to try (I haven't actually used this one but I believe it should work) is to import it into AE vie zaxwerks proanimator or invigorator that should then give you better control and better lighting even if you need to set the lights up in zaxwerks.
Alternatively, you could animate in 3ds max and output an image sequence with alpha from that and import the image sequence to AE.
I would only sugest using photoshop 3d layer capabilities if you want to use the model as a simple 3d illustration, few colors and as a secondary element. Remember you can't have it animated, so all possible transformations would be 3d spins and scale. And it's kinda messy to send into after effects in a way it can be integrated in your project (camera and lightning wise).
I would prefer rendering a sequence from a 3d app in 95% of the ocasions.