View Full Version : LW and After effects

05-25-2005, 03:48 PM
how do I import an object that I modeled in LW modeler into after effects

05-25-2005, 05:17 PM
Short answer, You don't.

Now, for the more helpful answer; you need to render the frames out and then import them into AE just as you would any other footage item.

Hope his helps, your question was a little vague. What are you trying to do? Maby I can help more if I had more info


05-26-2005, 07:35 AM
You can if you buy a plugin for AfterFX called Zaxwerks Invigorator.

05-26-2005, 07:44 AM
check that info, as far as I know Zaxwerks is just for Illustrator Vector files, not LW. I do own Zaxwerks but find it not terribly useful.


05-26-2005, 08:12 AM
I thought you still had to render the images, but extra channels were available to AE in the 3d-image formats. I think I remember reading in the AE docs that Soft Image and Electric Image can export images with 3d channels that AE can use-- like a z-depth channel. Is this what Zaxworks does for LW?

05-26-2005, 08:18 AM
Ok, so I was distracted by a phone call and didn't refresh before posting-- thus, didn't see J-Rod's reply. However, now I'm curious. Is there a plugin to export 3d data from LW for compositing in AE?

Darth Mole
05-26-2005, 08:49 AM
After Effects doesn't deal with 3D space in the traditional way that LW does. It's very much a '2.5D' system, designed to have multiple 2D layers that can have Z-depth (ie move into and out of the canvas). The app can't load in polygonal meshes from any 3D software.

To view a LW scene in After Effects you need to render it out as an image sequence or a video clip (like a QuickTime movie). You then simply import it ito AE and hit play.

To composite layers of LW footage, you could, for example, render a background sequence out as a movie. Then, keeping the exact same camera move, delete the background objects and import a model plane/spaceship/whatever. You then render this out as a movie, but using a blank, empty background, making sure it's a QT movie saved as 'millions of colours+' (ie, it has an alpha channel) or a 24-bit TIFF sequence or whatever.

These are called 24-bit files, because they have 8 bits of information for the red, green and blue channels, plus 8 bits of data for the alpha channel (ths is a greyscale image that tells After Effects which pixels in the scene are transparent - and how transparent they are. Think of it like a clip map.)

Import this new sequence into AE and place it as a layer above the background footage. The areas around the plane/spaceship/whatever should become transparent allowing you to see the background undereneath. You have just created your first composite. Now you can add effects to these separate layers, recolour, alter the contrast, etc without having to re-render.

LW and AE is a mighty powerful combination...

Zaxwerks is a plug-in for AE that can create simple models and bevelled 3D text from Illustrator files or AE text. It's a like a basic modeller/renderer all-in-one. But that's it.

05-26-2005, 01:00 PM
fgreen, what it seems you're talking about is RLA or PRF formats. They export the render with some special buffers for depth info. Really useful if you're using AE. You can render the image and then use AE to add depth of field, 3d fog effects and such, even place objects within the scene already rendered.

I hink this seems like more what you're looking for. There were some tuts for it somewhere, lemmie look and see if I can find them.


05-26-2005, 01:02 PM



try these

05-26-2005, 02:37 PM
Just test it and Zaxwerks Invigorator loads lwo objects.

05-26-2005, 03:16 PM
You might be referring to the higher priced version of Invigorator called Invigorator Pro which can import 3d objects. The version of invigorator (called "classic") that comes with AE is more or less a logo extruder. I don't think it can import anything besides an Illustrator document.


05-31-2005, 11:21 AM
J-Rod. Thanks for the tutorial links. I've never tried the depth info in AE. Seems like it could be really handy and a big time saver. DOF in AE must be a LOT faster than in LW with the really high anti-aliasing needed. Thanks again for the info!

05-31-2005, 12:35 PM
It's faster and gives you mor immediate feedback, but I still think the looks of LW's DOF is better. Doing it in AE is good for a few occasions and I've used it before but it's too generic, dosen't feel real. Some places it'll work, but I wouldn't use it everywhere.

Glad they could help, LW and AE together can do some really amazing things that people tend to overlook. Play around with it some


05-31-2005, 11:50 PM
J-Rod. Thanks for the tutorial links. I've never tried the depth info in AE. Seems like it could be really handy and a big time saver. DOF in AE must be a LOT faster than in LW with the really high anti-aliasing needed. Thanks again for the info!

Not really. AE only uses a simple box blur based on the distance of the layer, so it doesn't look really convincing in many cases. There is no real per-pixel depth info in AE. To do that, you need Buena Software's Depth Cue and another DOF effect of your choice, preferably Frischluft Lenscare, which i think is the best. AE's native DOF is also not really fast - in the end it really doesn't matter much if you let LW render a bit longer due to more AA passes or if AE takes forever to do just the same.