Tip: Send After Effects 3D animation data to Cinema 4D (or Maya, Max, Lightwave…)

Thanks to this script and plug-in, cameras can go both ways

It has long been a feature of Cinema 4D that animation data, including camera animation settings, can be exported for use in After Effects. Which is fantastic, provided you do all of your camera animation for 3D/2D work in Cinema. If most of your camera animation is happening in After Effects, you would seem to be out of luck matching the camera in 3D. Untrue.

Paul Tuersley has a solution for you. Several, actually, depending which 3D app you prefer; I personally have used all of the 3D applications supported, but am featuring Cinema 4D in particular since so many artists use that application specifically for its ability to interface intelligently with After Effects.

AEtoC4D is not a script-only; it also requires you install a plug-in on the Cinema4D side. However the whole process is risk-free and, what’s more, free, period. It has been available for a couple of years, so if you’re kicking yourself not having known about it all this time, you’re not alone.

Also available at the same site (via a different script author), AE3D_Export will send the AE 3D animation data to Maya, Max or Lightwave. I have only given it a cursory test and can report that I did manage to get camera animation data into Maya with this script.

There is interest in more formats, of course, so if you know of a script to generate any others – AE to Nuke, anyone – by all means share a link.

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Designer of effects and experiences, author at LinkedIn Learning (lynda.com) and Adobe Press (After Effects Studio Techniques).

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