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After Effects to CINEMA 4D

Transferring tracking data from AE to C4D By Jamal "Nimpsy" Qutub
It's a snap to translate position, scale and rotation data from MAXON's CINEMA 4D to Adobe After Effects, but what happens when you want to export After Effects 3D data to C4D?  Jamal explains a method here on DMN!

As an animator who uses both Adobe After Effects and MAXON C4D, Jamal is adept when using either application, but also knows that being able to translate data from C4D to AE is only half of the battle.  Sometimes, it is necessary to export the position keyframe data from After Effects to place that same data into CINEMA 4D.  He's joining the DMN Maxon Forum as a host and has allowed me to publish his After Effects Tracking method on here on the MAXON Channel. (preface and notes by Ko).

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TRACKING DATA FROM ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS TO CINEMA 4D
By Jamal "Nimpsy" Qutub

You will need: MAXON's CINEMA 4D, Adobe After Effects, TextEdit (Mac) and Microsoft Excel. (note: OpenOffice may be a viable alternative to the Microsoft software)

1. Track the footage in After Effects.  You can use motion tracking, or simply create your own position data.  The important thing is to create a specific position keyframe data string. (click images for larger view)



2. Once tracked, select one of the tracking point's "Feature Center" data (or select the position data), then copy it into the pasteboard, using CMD-C.



3. Paste (CMD-V)  the data into a text program.  On the Mac you can use TextEdit.



 


4. Delete the text that describes the After Effects embedded language, leaving only the data that indicates frame, and X, Y pixel position. 

SAVE the file as a .TXT file (you should convert this to a simple text document, not RTF).



5. Open Excel (*or compatible spreadsheet software) and create a new workbook.  Copy the data from the .TXT file, and paste it into the Excel spreadsheet.


6. In Excel, SAVE AS - using the format: "Formatted Text (Space delimited)



7. If you open this .PRN file in TextEdit, you'll see that the frame number, the X pixel position and Y pixel position have been evenly spaced to the Excel tables, justified right.



8. The following image shows the setup in CINEMA 4D.  A plane was textured with a material that was used to derive the tracking data.  Objects are connected to Null objects using the tracking information from After Effects using CINEMA 4D's XPresso.  The XPresso code uses Rui Mac's Text Read node (combined with help from Base 80's XPresso - TextNodes article in the August 2005 issue of 3DAttack Magazine - website - ).



I used the Text Read node to read my text file and using the basic math, counted through the text file to get the specific position values.  For each point that you want to track, you'll need to add this XPresso linked to separate text files.



For more information about this process, be sure to post questions to Jamal in the DMN MAXON Forum.



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Related Keywords:CINEMA 4D, C4D, TRACKING, 3D TRACKING, AFTER EFFECTS 2D TRACKING, KO, JAMAL, QUTUB, MAXON

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