View Full Version : LW camera and object data to AfterEffects

04-13-2007, 11:04 AM
I was just wondering if there will be more or better connectivity or communication between Lightwave files and After Effects files. (And maybe there already is, and I just haven't figured it out yet).

I have been trying to figure out a way to make an animation where the camera moves, and objects move, and lighting changes, and there is atmoshpere, etc. (in Lightwave)

Then I need to output the camera and lighting data, and the moving objects data into After Effects, in a usable way that logos or photos can be replaced and rendered on walls or on objects, so that they look natural, like they are really attatched to something, and belong in that environment.

I hope this makes sense, it is hard for me to explain what I am trying to do.

I have tried POIcam and transmotion, which seem to work great for the camera moving, but they don't appear to address the issue of moving objects that aren't at 0,0,0 and facing forward, muchless the issue of lighting values.

Thank you, you guys are awesome. I know someone out there knows how to do this.

04-13-2007, 02:46 PM
Other than TUM I don't think there are any LW to AE connections.

The "old fashioned" way to do this would be to assign separate materials to the faces of the objects you want to change images on and render out mask and fill passes.

So if you've got a billboard that constantly needs to change you can render out an A passof the scene that includes everything but the billboard fill image.

Then render out a B pass that includes only the billboard fill image.

This will allow you to preserve your lighting and cut down on the time it takes to render.

04-13-2007, 11:48 PM
I wrote the max to after effects script that is available on the adobe web site. I have only just recently started using lightwave and I think this would be a easy script for someone to write who knows Lscript. I would write it myself but I'm struggling to get my head around Lscript in comparison to Maxscript.

The method I used was to:
-Render out a matte of the area to replace
-Create four nulls that form a rectangular boundry around the matte area
-Link the nulls to your source object
-For the length of your animation get each nulls x,y,z position and convert this to screen space and write this to a text file
-Open After effects and place a four point coner pin on your desired layer
-On the corner pin paste the four null text files to the four corner pins.
-Lastly import your matte render and use it as the masking layer.

I did it this way so I didn't have to export a camera.

Hope this helps.

jin choung
04-14-2007, 12:29 AM
alas alas,

if only it can be as easy as it is with maya... fing after effects LOADS a .ma file!!! natively!

that's just not fair....

i have used that ability extensively for work and it exports the camera properly and i use nulls (5... one on each corner as reference and one dead center that becomes the footage that i swap) and it imports in AE well... not perfectly though... there are times where for some reason, even though all keys and frames are baked, you start getting twitches on your nulls which can be VERY bad.

there is a lw plugin you can buy now but as you have to copy and paste stuff from an fing TEXT FILE (!!!???!!!) it is far from good.

i own Deep Exploration so what i've done in the past is export a simple lw scene with nulls and camera into maya and then load that into after effects... that worked well enough.


04-15-2007, 01:01 PM
j-mation, I think the Transmotion "Corner Pin" lscript does what you just described... It takes the corners of a plane and translates the data to a text file which you cut and paste into AE. You can also save the Camera motion with POIcam so you end up with a moving camera AND object in AE. Note that AE7 and AEPro need an updated script which you have to email Al to get. (At least I did...)

But... it really IS easier to simply make a separate LW scene with just the "wall" or other object that needs to be replaced, render that out and composite it over your master scene render in After Effects. You don't even need to render a separate "mask" pass... if you have a clear background (ie: no objects or sky, etc) the object will composite just fine in AE.