2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2010 10:46 PM by Mylenium

    Can I export an AE project to OpenGL data for programmers?

    tape and glue

      A client posed this question to me...  "Does After Effects have an intermediary file format?  If so we may be able to read that and translate it into OpenGL effects for the iPad.".....  Essentially, we want to somehow recreate some after effects camera moves on some still images in 3D space using OpenGL and objective c+ for an interactive book for the iPad.  I guess we are looking for a way to simply translate camera and object positional data from AE to something the programmers can use in OpenGL.  That way, as the animator who would mock everything up for the programmers, I could be sure that my delicate motion is not butchered. Does that make sense? Any info or a direction to look is greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Can I export an AE project to OpenGL data for programmers?
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          Your subject line asks about a project, but the rest of your message talks about much lower-level items: basically camera movement information and position information.


          You can export keyframe data as tab-delimited text. (Here's a page that talks about this from the perspective of using the data in a spreadsheet application.) You could then write a program to parse and interpret that tab-delimited text and use that animation data however you need to. That's how programs like mocha-AE (the planar tracker) communicate data to After Effects (though for mocha the data flow goes the other direction).


          If you go this route, you may initially find that you're losing some information because the keyframes don't record things like Bezier handles, so the curvature of a path between keyframes is lost. A handy little trick there is to add a simple no-op expression to a property (Just use the value method) and then run the Convert Expression To Keyframes keyframe assistant to put a keyframe at every frame.


          Or, a rather different approach: You could use scripting to extract camera information. Here's a thread about a script that extracts camera information for Maya, just as an example: http://aenhancers.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=971

          • 2. Re: Can I export an AE project to OpenGL data for programmers?
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
            Does that make sense?


            Not really. Since AE does not work with real 3D geometry but rather an infinite plane model, you will find it infinitely hard to generate proper reference data and yeah, as Todd wrote already, there is no direct way to glean OpenGL compatible data. That doesn't mean it's impossible, but frankly, it sounds like attempting to spend 5 days of work in AE on something that takes 5 minutes in Unity or any 3D program, for that matter. It's just not a smart idea.