9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2016 5:17 PM by djmattyz

    confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d

    djmattyz Level 1

      im trying to get the hang of integrating after effects with 3d but im not sure what way i should be approaching it

       

      for example,  one option would be to open a cinema 4d file in after effects..

       

      another might be to export a video file from after effects and open that in cinema 4d....

       

      what way should i be approaching it?   and how do i best tackle the issues such as matching camera movement , lighting etc..... do i have to essentially duplicate these as best i can in each program, or is the idea to have camera and lighting controled through AE and  the movement & interaction of the 3d objects done in cinema 4d ?

       

      can i animate the individual cinema 4d objects in after effects? 

       

      so many questions.....

       

      i would appreciate any help, thanks

        • 1. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Tthere are a bunch of possible workflows. Maybe this will get you started:

          Sorry ry there is no audio. It's just basic camera tracking then export to C4D and place an object in the scene and make it do something.

          • 2. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
            djmattyz Level 1

            ok this is very interesting,  so from what i gather in this video,  the camera movements must be replicated in both programs.

             

            im still thinking it would be best to import the video into C4d to use as a guideline in order to get the timing right...

             

            and i guess the lighting might be best left to c4d since it probably has some more advanced lighting features for 3d objects

            • 3. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              There are a few options in C4D lite, much more in C4D. You can extract a camera from C4d or you can add an AE camera by exporting an AE project. There is a lot of training on the Maxon site.

              • 4. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
                djmattyz Level 1

                thanks very much for the help,  im so close to where i want to get now, its amazing

                 

                i  have encountered a problem though,  when trying to composite my 3d animations in after effects i cannot seem to keep the shadows from c4d, which kind of defeats the purpose......

                 

                  im creating a 3d text animation and using a plane under my text to catch the shadows then the idea is to set that plane to transparent, so that the shadows appear to be on the surfaces in the video.

                 

                unfortunaly cinema 4d seems not to have the option to make an object invisible, but retain the shadows ..seems like an outrageous ommision for c4d not to have this feature.      i used shadow catcher plugin but it just does not work for some reason.

                 

                 

                EDIT;  OK....i seem to have made it work somehow.  and the workflow i have found is as follows.

                 

                • track camera in after effects, set ground orientation and create some objects such as planes and nulls in the scene for reference.
                • export all this data to C4d
                • Create 3d animation in C4d  using that data   ( and using the video as a background for reference)
                • Render the 3d animation out directly from C4d in 2 passes (one pass for  the shadows and one for object)  (no background)

                • Import into after effects, composite the 3d objects into the original video....color correct

                 

                i have no idea if this is the best way...or if its the intended way if it will work at all, but ill report back  

                • 5. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
                  djmattyz Level 1

                  reporting back

                   

                  i think i have discovered a bug.  the effect of the 'Shadow catcher' plugin in C4d  does not seem to materialise when it crosses over to AE (the item which should become transparent is still visible)  therefore the render has to be done from within C4d

                   

                  however rendering in C4d is not ideal.  in my case,the export from C4D did not go well, maybe there was a resolution or frame rate mismatch. in any case it took AGES to render out and didnt work... the items were not sticking to the scene anymore.

                   

                   

                  i think its a better option to do all the rendering in AE if possible, it is way faster and less problematic.

                  in the end i just  drew in the shadows by hand using masks on a plane in AE


                  .it is a shame to lose all that amazing shadowing and occlusion from C4D..

                   

                  you can see my result here.

                   

                  the text and the rotating object are the 3D objects made in C4D ...obviously

                   

                  does anyone have any clever ideas how i might get better results?

                  • 6. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
                    adamneer Level 2

                    if you're just wanting simple 3D integration like your sample shows, save yourself TONS of time and effort by buying the plugin by Video Copilot called Element 3D. It takes some fiddling with settings to get quality somewhat on par with C4D, but render times are fractions of those from C4D and you can work with your scene in real time. Trust me, the speed alone is enough to forget dealing with the ridiculous C4D workflow.

                    • 7. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
                      djmattyz Level 1

                      thanks,   i actually bought Elements last night,  im thrilled to hear i can do THIS with it, as i was not fully sure. I will be tryng this out.

                       

                      Incidentally I did find a work around for the issue i had with C4d shadows...

                       

                      what i did was, i duplicated the C4d file  (saved under two different names)   made one of them all plain white materials so i can only see shadows.

                       

                      then I put it into AE  with a  'multiply' blend mode,  so the white dissapears and the shadows work as an overlay on top of the animation.  this is a similar idea to the multipass rendering from C4d  i guess.

                       

                      I could not get the shadow of the rotating ball to dissipate quite as much as I would have liked, probably due to lack of knowledge on my part.  so I used masks and camera blur in AE to 'fake' it

                       

                      the difference now is that it is taking 2 hours to render this 10 second clip instead of 16 minutes for the one with hand drawn shadows.   when its ready Ill post it up here.

                       

                      rendering directly through AE is way handier, but, as i understand it,  if i go through C4d it gives me a few more render possibilities through the 'physical renderer' , right?

                      so  in the event that I would want to render out through cinema 4d  I would be interested to know what are the settings I should ensure to match up with my AE comp so that it integrates properly.

                      • 8. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
                        djmattyz Level 1

                        so there is the render using C4d shadows.  I think there is an improvement,  but at 2 hours for 10 seconds video thats a ratio of 6000:1 render time....hmmmm....

                         

                        ill try something with elements now and see how i get on.   I realised I can create objects in C4d and import them using elements, which is fantastic !!!

                         

                        • 9. Re: confused about workflow between after effects and cinema 4d
                          djmattyz Level 1

                          as far as i understand, most of this kind of 3d compositing in AE involves "fake" shadows.  right?


                          that seems to be what they are using in elements 3d

                           

                          the cinema 4d workflow slower for sure, (even the playback can be a bit slow) but if i use fake shadows, it is considerably quicker .  very do-able, in my opinion...... so i think a good workflow might be to create a scene in cinema 4d,  study the shadows,  and then recreate them with fake shadows in after effects.

                           

                          i also am realising now, how to edit and customise the objects in cinema 4d and import them into elements which means im getting all 3 programs working together.

                           

                          very exciting..thanks for the help guys