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There is no native 3D animation program in Adobe's portfolio except the very, very limited Cinema 4D Lite version that comes with After effects. anything beyond that requires shelling out extra money for plug-ins or using native 3D programs.
Element3d is a plugin for After Effects that imports, animates, and renders 3d models.
Trapcode Particular is another plugin for After Effects that allows all sorts of particle effects based on 3d model import.
Alternatively, use Blender at no additional cost to animate 3d models, and import the rendered result into After Effects.
Shmay: Adobe Fuse could be a starting point for your 3D character creation. As a coworker described it, "Fuse provides creation of 3D humanoid character models that can then be rigged using Mixamo and the 3D model can be put into a CC Library or saved to desktop. Then open the rigged 3D model in Photoshop and use the 3D features and animations for body and face movement. There is a lot to this process. I think there are some videos, but I’d have to track down the links."
I found some links that might be useful:
You don't need to animate 3d models frame by frame! Most 3d animation software offers tweening.
Anyway, Cinema 4D Lite the comes free with After Effects CC has some pretty great functionality. Sign up for a free account on Cineversity (from company that makes Cinema 4d]) and you can go through this pretty comprehensive training series from one of my favorite Cinema 4D instructors: Cinema 4D Lite Reference [Video Tutorial Playlist] - Cineversity Training and Tools for Cinema 4D
Thanks for all the replies guys!
Mylenium, that's what I was struggling with, the limited features of cinema 4D lite, I'm still starting out, just learning 3D so I can't really afford any other 3D softwares yet. Do you have a user friendly one in mind that I can start with?
rayek.elfin I'll give the plugin a check! Thanks
Stefan Gruenwedel I already have a 3D model but I couldn't turn it into video? If that makes sense. I wanted to animate the model and have an alpha(transparent) background. I got the 3D model I needed from Fuse too haha, Fuse is fun.
Szalam OMG I learnt something new today. Tweening! I know what keywords to use to Google for now. I will definitely check out Cineversity, this helps a lot. I've been watching YouTube videos but was still struggling with Cinema 4D Lite, maybe Cineversity can tell me what I have been doing wrong.
Thanks again guys!!!
Blender is an open source, totally free, full feature 3d program with a huge online community and tons of training material. Here's an example of what can be done with blender. Sintel - Third Open Movie by Blender Foundation - YouTube
Definitely gonna chek it out. Thank you!!!