I'm not sure if I'm missing something very fundamental but I can't seem to view 3D material in AE I have the latest version)
When rendering from C4D I make sure to also save the .aec file as well as the finished render. When I import the 3D render from C4D it only shows up as a 2D image. I have enabled 3D layers in AE and also added a camera but when I choose orientation I can only move around the 2D plane. When I saved the .aec file and tried to double click it AE wouldn't and couldn't open it saying it wasn't supported.
So I created some text in Illustrator made it 3D and imported into AE and after the same process as above I could only view a 2D image.
AE has a 3d space in which 2d planes can be positioned- it also has cameras and lights that can be moved in 3d and can match those in a 3d app like Cinema 4D. However, AE does not natively import 3d objects that you can manipulate as you would in a 3d package, that's why it's called a 2.5D compositing software. There are plugins that allow you to bring in actual 3d models that interact with the camera and lights and can be animated in AE- The latest Zaxwerks Invigorator Pro is in my opinion the fastest. You can also use Photoshop CS5 - create a 3d layer in PSD, import the object there and open the PSD file in AE. It works but it's still very slow for my taste.
The way AE works with C4D and other 3d packages is by integrating 3d animations done in those with effects, footage and 2.5D elements. You can have the AE camera match the one in C4D and the other way around, but you can't "see" the 3d objects in AE unless you use one of the solutions described above.
[Marc Lucas]"So I have to basically do all my camera animation in C4D and then if I want to add anything extra like backgrounds etc I can then do it in AE if needed?"
The AEC file will carry over your camera and lights, as well as position data for any objects with the External Compositing tag, so you can do all kinds of additional 2.5D work on your project in AE.
You can also use multipass rendering, which can be really useful for tweaking the look of your lighting post-render.
[Marc Lucas]"I have done a little digging regarding the .aec file import problem and I do already have it in my Exchange plugin folder within C4D but still can't import those files."
The Cinema4DAE.plugin file is an After Effects plugin; you have to copy it into your After Effects plugin folder and relaunch AE for it to work.
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