6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2013 6:44 AM by Szalam

    import animated model in after effects


      Hello guys.I was wandering if there is a way to import a 3d model that was animated in programs like 3ds max an so.I mean not just rotation and possition but animated some part of the object also.e.g if it is a humman then he have to have animated hands.Thanks in advance and if there is something that u didnt understand , feel free to ask plsease.

        • 1. Re: import animated model in after effects
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You will need plug-ins like Element 3D, but even there you will have to "bake" any motion to usable object sequences first. Honest answer: Too much trouble to even bother. if you have a 3d program already, you can do it much better there...



          • 2. Re: import animated model in after effects
            PartizanTheMan29 Level 1

            Ok thnx i know that in 3d program would be much better , i just ask if there was an solution to not render the footage from 3d program and then import to ae, because maybe sometimes u dont like what u rendered when u combine it with others.Thanks you anyway bro.

            • 3. Re: import animated model in after effects
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The key to great compositing of 3D renders is to render several passes from your 3D app. Diffusion, Specular, Shadows.... Then stack up the renders in AE and use AE to make adjustments. That's how the big boys do it. A major production company would never render a single movie out of a 3D app and then attempt to composite it with other footage in any compositing app.


              If you're wanting to integrate AE's camera with your 3D rendered scene then you've got to use importing scripts of plug-ins similar to the AE integration that comes with C4D or Blender. If you want to just throw a 3D model into AE and animate away then use Zaxwerks or Element. It works fine for things like logos and 3D graphics but all of these solutions pale in comparison to the control you get with multi pass rendering.

              • 4. Re: import animated model in after effects
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Like Mylenium said, you can make an OBJ sequence and import that into Element to use in AE, but all you'll really be able to adjust is camera angles.


                If you want to do it like the pros, the key is to get the animation done right first in your 3d program with all the lights off, low polygon models, no (or little) antialiasing. After the timing and movement is right, then use a higher polygon count model with all the lights, shadows, textures and procedural shaders, ambient occlusion, and other cool things to render out your final version. You then composite those passes in After Effects.

                • 5. Re: import animated model in after effects
                  markerline Level 4

                  I already have some pretty good 3D applications that can output OBJ and DXF amongst others (also FBX).  Do I really need to buy Zaxwerks JUST to import my OBJ into After Effects CS6?  In previous versions I could export an OBJ to Photoshop Extended and then import that as a 3D layer into AE (I just saw a tutorial on it) But I just learned that that functionality has been removed from AE CS6.  So what do I do now to get a 3D model into AE as a 3D layer?  I don't necessarily want to render everything from the 3D application as stills.  I would like to try to use AE's cameras so that I can integrate other AE layers with my 3D objects. 



                  Or should I just stick to the old guns and do everything in the 3D application and render as stills?

                  • 6. Re: import animated model in after effects
                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    The Photoshop 3d was a fairly clunky prospect at best and it didn't have the integration it seems you are thinking that it had. Element is a great way to bring a fast-rendering 3d object into AE. It blows away the Photoshop 3d kludge. That being said, with most 3d packages, there is a way to get an AE file out of them with camera movement so that your AE layers can match with the 3d render. If you have Cinema4D, the process is a breeze. It can export an AE project file with lights, cameras, and null objects to get your scene matching perfectly along with all your render passes already composited.