5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2008 11:05 AM by Navarro Parker

    Can we import 3D objects into AE?

    Level 1
      I have v6.5 and in the manual it says AE can import certain 3D files. Yet everyone in this forum always say to render stuff in whatever 3D app and import the *video* into AE. Even 3D plugins like zaewerks seem to export only video into AE, not 3D model (or so I'm told).

      So what is it, can AE read 3D models or not? If not, is there any reason why it hasn't been improved to do so? Shouldn't this be a high priority thing and easy to do, since it's already almost there.

      If yes, why isn't anyone doing it? At least I haven't read about how to import 3D objects into AE.
        • 1. Re: Can we import 3D objects into AE?
          Level 1
          As you said has been said before, AE cannot import true 3D models.

          AE is for the most part a compositing program, not a 3D program. It's also not a video editing program, a vector drawing program, a web development program, or a digital audio program, though it has some abilities in each area. However, After Effects is a fantastic video compositing and Motion Graphics application, which is all it's ever claimed to be.

          I, for one, go to Lightwave, Maya or Cinema 4D (all 3D apps) when I want a 3D app.
          • 2. Re: Can we import 3D objects into AE?
            Navarro Parker Level 3
            Zaxwerks Invig Pro allows you to import 3D geometry. But AE does not have any native 3D mesh support.
            • 3. Re: Can we import 3D objects into AE?
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8
              This area of functionality has changed little between After Effects 6.5 and CS3, so the " 3D files from other applications" section of After Effects CS3 Help on the Web is still relevant for you.

              Here's an excerpt:
              "After Effects can import 3D-image files saved in Softimage PIC, RLA, RPF, and Electric Image EI format. These 3D-image files contain red, green, blue, and alpha (RGBA) channels, as well as auxiliary channels with optional information, such as z depth, object IDs, texture coordinates....
              After Effects treats each composited 3D file from another application as a single 2D layer. That layer, as a whole, can be given 3D attributes and treated like any After Effects 3D layer, but the objects contained within that 3D file cannot be manipulated individually in 3D space. To access the 3D depth information and other auxiliary channel information in 3D image files, use the 3D Channel effects."

              Also, you can import camera data and other data from 3D applications.

              So, yes, you can import files from 3D applications; but, no, you can't import 3D models per se and do new camera moves on them, et cetera.

              Yes, this is a common feature request. Yes, it is being very seriously considered.

              P.S. Mylenium has a lot of information about working with After Effects and data from 3D applications on his website: http://mylenium.de/creation/motiondesign/ae_vault/ae_vault_main.html
              • 4. Re: Can we import 3D objects into AE?
                David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
                Bring on the FBX support! :)
                • 5. Re: Can we import 3D objects into AE?
                  Navarro Parker Level 3
                  FBX is teh awesome! It's a real life saver working between Maya, Cinema 4D, and ElectricImage. (Although it's not 100% perfect)

                  Everything that deals with 3D space needs FBX support. I consider it to be the "Quicktime" of 3D projects.