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Blender to AE is easy. Look here. I've used it many times.
Going from AE to Blender is a bit more difficult. A google search didn't bring up any options. It's more common to take the animation from a 3D program and put that into AE than it is to do an animation in After Effects and try and put that camera data in a 3D app.
Thats what i was afraid of..
I guess i could just use the blender to AE method to get the model into after effects. Since there is no complex movement i could just keyframe its movement and hope it works well in AE's 3d space with camera tracker.
Thanks for the link
Actually it doesn't seem like that method will work.. unless there is another way to get actual 3d meshes into after effects
What you do is render each 3D mesh as a movie, bring them into AE, then use the nulls to replace any images (the tv screens in the tutorial). You can also drop 3D layers from AE into the scene or use particle effects like particular, to fly particles around your scene while AE recreates the camera moves you made in Blender. You just have to figure out how to stack up the 2D layers, use mattes in blender, render only certain parts, and set up the composite. The most complex one that I did had about 40 render passes from blender for various elements. Many of these were used as track mattes for 3D effects in AE so that the composites would work out.
The techniques are exactly the same as importing camera data from C4D or Maya into AE. There are a lot more tutorials on the web for that workflow. I'd take a look there and see if you can get a handle on it. I can't imagine a 3D scene in Blender that I couldn't use the Blender to AE script to complete.
I just noticed that you mentioned the camera tracker. If you need to track something in a video there are ways to do that with Blender. It works much better than trying to get a track from AE to hold up. Please tell me a little more about your project so I can help.
Hey Rick.. heres what i am trying to do.
I have live action video that I need to be motion tracked. The video consists of me holding the camera walking around the driveway, i "hear" a noise and point the camera at the sky and there is a menacing spaceship flying above. Maybe it takes down another ship or something. The camera follows the spaceship across the sky until in rests at a location, revs up its engines and gets the heck out of the atmosphere.
I know its a concept that has been done millions of times, but i'm trying to further my knowledge with mixing cgi and live action. I originally was unaware that getting camera information from AE to Blender was so hard. I thought there was maybe an easy to get the 3d camera information created by camera tracker into blender so i could animate the spaceship in the correct location with the 3d copy of the real camera. That way I could just render it against a blue or green screen and composite that back into after effects.
When that didn't seem like it could work I noticed a program called Icarus that creates camera tracking very similar to AE's camera tracker, and then generates a script to bring into blender which is applied to the camera. I looked up some tutorials on it and understood those, but when i tried to open icarus it told me that powerPC apps are no longer supported.
If there is a way to do the camera tracking right inside of Blender than that would save an extra step, i haven't found out how though. I may fire up my older iMac which still runs Snow Leopard and see if Icarus will work on that.