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druitre
02-05-2008, 09:47 AM
Hey, whaddayaknow: another thread. Just trying to please Howard M, who seems on the verge of giving up all hope that anybody actually uses LW to do VFX :hey:

Well, I do, and I'd like to know if and how others are tackling the procedure of getting 3D camera paths from LW into After Effects. (With 3D layers in After effects)

I've been experimenting about for a bit and the only way I could do it was tracking my rendered LWscene in Syntheyes for a 3d solve, then exporting that as a .ma file for After Effects to import. Seems to work okay, although camera target information isn't always retained as it should. And I'd prefer to be able to skip the tracking step and export directly from LW, it seems a bit silly this way.

Anyone?

Cheers, Jasper

JBT27
02-05-2008, 10:10 AM
Doesn't one of Al Street's plugins do this very thing?

http://www.ats-3d.com/

Julian.

Sekhar
02-05-2008, 03:39 PM
Render from LW as RLA/RPF sequence. Import that in AE and on the layer do Animation->Keyframe Assistant->RPF Camera Import. AE will add a new keyframed camera.

pixelranger
02-12-2008, 03:00 AM
I second JBT27's suggestion. The Transmotion script suite has saved my @ss soooo many times. And he's a nice guy aswell. Excellent support! And it's cheap! And it has so much useful stuff.

druitre
02-12-2008, 03:50 AM
I tried the RPF export, it works but I cannot export nulls I think. Wich makes it hard to estimate where layers in after effects need to be placed to be locked to the objects in my lightwave scene. Otherwise cool feature, thanks for the tip Sekhar.

Transmotion does seem to fit the bill, is it able to export nulls or any object's data and transfer it to after effects as layers or nulls in a 3D scene? It worries me also that the last update mentioned on the site is from 2003 - is support still up?

Iaian7
02-12-2008, 02:25 PM
Transmotion can certainly be helpful, I used it several years ago when trying to transfer some tricky camera animations from LW to AE.

Ultimately, be forewarned: AE has some of the worst 3D controls on the planet, and rotational transformations are COMPLETELY non-standard. Al Street was very helpful, but we came to the conclusion that there was no simple solution for transferring any sort of animation that contains both H, P, and B values. AE simply scrambled itself. Things may have changed since then, so feel free to correct me! Motion tracking applications somehow handle AE transformations, so maybe there's some solution to the problem...

In VFX projects after the failed tests several years ago, I've simply had to avoid Banking in Lightwave, and have used the RPF or RLA options for motion transfers.

druitre
02-13-2008, 04:47 AM
tried RPF - it does transfer a camera, but it looks as if it's inverted on some axes. Couldn't figure out which one(s).

tried transmotion demo, but I'm not getting a transfer I can make sense of, whatever settings I use. Odd, it looks like it has all the options. There's no help files, too bad.

tried POIcam_AE7 demo (from Al Street), looks like it's working well. Transferring channels one by one from notepad. It keeps bank values correct as well in my testscene.

For all of these, I am really missing any kind of scene export - not just camera motion, but positions of nulls or objects. The Syntheyes export (in .ma format) kept all of these.

A lwscene to .ma exporter - that would be cool. Maybe something for the feature requests department.

How do Fusion, Shake handle 3D?

evolross
02-20-2008, 08:58 PM
On a side note, yet related to this thread...

Is there a way to 2D motion track a tripod shot in After Effects and then export the camera movement to Lightwave?

jin choung
02-20-2008, 11:26 PM
i'm certain al street is a great guy but i really have to take exception with a for charge plugin that requires you to cut and paste stuff into and out of notepad!

come on! it's 2008! there has to have been a way to automate this.

and you're right. rpf is next to useless without the ability to export reference nulls... otherwise, you have no idea where the AE camera is aimed or looking at anything. and you can't possibly position anything relative to camera to register to anything without such reference.

one thing that i've done is use deep exploration to convert my lw scene into maya ascii.... that loads into after effects directly.

yeah, it is unfortunate that this has not been addressed in the lw community more robustly... perhaps it speaks to the lack of need?

jin

p.s. if you want to be a masochist about it, i suppose you can use rpf to export multiple scenes with a CAMERAS instead of nulls and then load those into AE one at a time.... and then snap reference layers to the dummy cameras.... ugh.

just try to find a free app that exports to maya ascii... that seems to be the best bet.

jin choung
02-20-2008, 11:32 PM
On a side note, yet related to this thread...

Is there a way to 2D motion track a tripod shot in After Effects and then export the camera movement to Lightwave?

not sure if this is possible.

a TWO DEE track doesn't correspond to pan and tilt of a tripod head. you could perhaps generate information from track points to export out a lw null but there would be no camera movement involved... just a floating null that perhaps can stick to a feature of b.g. footage projected through camera....

best bet is to use a 3d tracker (even for a tripod shot) like syntheyes (which is pretty dang affordable). can track from tripod footage and generate camera info for lw.

jin

p.s. but as i said, i'm not sure about it so you can google around and see if there is a way to generate pan info from 2d track.

druitre
02-21-2008, 03:38 AM
Jin, I just opened a thread in the feature requests, maybe the .ma format is just not very well known (lw users must be aware of how useful a 2d/3d workflow is, surely?)

By the way, I didn't realize maya ascii is .ma. Couldn't find free apps, if I find something I'll post here.

jin choung
02-21-2008, 01:23 PM
well, no need to find it for my sake, as i said, i already use deep exploration to do my stuff.

check maya2lw or lw2maya at flay.com... if i remember, it might translate to maya's .ma.

jin

druitre
02-22-2008, 03:36 AM
nah, it can export motion data into m2l. Too bad. search continues.

RedBull
02-26-2008, 11:12 PM
Yeah i use Al's scripts for years, earlier this year there was a discussion in which i said:

"NT need to address Intergration with After FX and Compositing Applications,
AfterFX Camera Data, And Open EXR are a must have for composition.
These types of problems really cost LW."

Jayroth replied, and said: "These items will be addressed during the 9.x development cycle."

Essentially EXR and Collada and FBX, have been implemented (well done to keeping to their promises for 9.x development) Let's hope multipass rendering and compositing to AFX are handled better in a future update as well.

Iaian7
02-26-2008, 11:22 PM
Yes! A completely different 3D app is being considered at work simply because it'll export an AE file with camera and nulls... maybe with a future update, Lightwave could be that app!

In the meantime, I'm thrilled to see EXR, HDR, and RPF (with limited camera data) support working nicely between AE and LW. Collada and FBX, while not directly applicable yet, show good progress, IMHO. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I can (I like to think) work faster in LW than in "other" apps. :D

jburford
02-27-2008, 06:29 PM
You can get those to AE without problem... well ok a bit of a pain but it works and it works fine.... just not elegant...

Iaian7
02-27-2008, 06:38 PM
Well, elegant sells. :(

and... how DO you get LW nulls into AE?

jburford
02-27-2008, 07:39 PM
Check out POIcam and transMotion Plugins as well as the POIcam Tutorial....

If I remember correctly, they come into AE as Solid Layers (use Custom Object Grid Shape for size I believe).

jburford
02-27-2008, 07:41 PM
I would test for you but have to get on a flight soon due to a death in the family so can not test at the moment.

Iaian7
02-28-2008, 07:32 AM
Jburford, I'm so terribly sorry. My prayers will be with you and your family.

jin choung
03-04-2008, 12:04 AM
hey guys, j-mation has generally posted a plugin that will export objects from lw to a text file so you can copy it to after effects!

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=664668#post664668

so use .rpf to get your camera settings out and then use this for reference nulls.

get it while its hot!

jin

druitre
03-04-2008, 03:32 AM
going there now...

dsol
03-04-2008, 06:36 AM
On a side note, yet related to this thread...

Is there a way to 2D motion track a tripod shot in After Effects and then export the camera movement to Lightwave?

I've done this on job before. It's a little fiddly and not as effective as doing a proper 3D camera solve, but it can be done.

Do your track in AE and apply the motion to a null, then use Transmotion tools to export the X & Y movement to a null in LW. Create a new null, centred and parent it to the tracked null (this centred null functions as an offset for camera targeting). Then under motions, set the camera target as the centred null. It'll probably need some tweaking to make it match perfectly, but I got a good result in the end.

You can see my end result here: http://www.digitaldistortion.net/item_kathrynWilliams_when.htm

3D tracking is definitely better though. Syntheyes is supposed to be good, but I thought it was a bit clunky and ugly. And a bit slow too. I bought PFHoe Pro and have been very happy with it. Though it's not nearly as extensive a solution as Syntheyes, it does do what it does with... um... considerable panache! There's a demo available here: http://www.pfhoe.com/

druitre
03-04-2008, 11:47 AM
Syntheyes is supposed to be good, but I thought it was a bit clunky and ugly. And a bit slow too.

Check out this thread to see other user's opinions:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31056

Don't be fooled by the thread's title. If you're interested in getting into 3D matchmoving, I'd say Syntheyes is your best bet (unless you have unlimited finances; most of the competition is 10 times as expensive).

It's a very full featured app that works flawlessly and is ridiculously cheap. I've been using it for some three years and have yet to encounter a shot it doesn't handle.

jin choung
03-04-2008, 12:25 PM
holy crap dsol,

nice work. i just kept thinking "this must've taken fing forever to render!"

but how come you didn't use synthy or some other 3d tracker to get the pan? they're rudimentary cam moves but with a few markers on the greenscreen it would have been rock solid.

jin

Doctor49152
03-05-2008, 12:30 AM
I am looking for a way to export the 2D position of something (lets say a point light or a null) and get this into After Effects. Then I could use this for 2D tracking data for somethig in AE (say a Knoll Lens flare).

No 3D tracking is needed. I just need it to say 'Object is at this X,Y location on frame #X and here is the translated X,Y loction in After Effects. Enjoy'

Any way of doing this?

dsol
03-05-2008, 04:50 AM
holy crap dsol,

nice work. i just kept thinking "this must've taken fing forever to render!"

but how come you didn't use synthy or some other 3d tracker to get the pan? they're rudimentary cam moves but with a few markers on the greenscreen it would have been rock solid.

jin

There were so many actors going past the camera (and often filling frame) it kept knackering my attempts to do a 3D track. The 2D track -> Lightwave mostly worked, so we went with that. I'm sure if I was doing it over again, I'd try and get it working with a proper 3D matchmove. I'll take another look at syntheyes at some point. I just wish it felt as slick and fast as PFHoe (which sadly only offers fairly basic functionality).

And yes, the render times were terrifying :) Vue is a very difficult beast to work with. It can produce fantastic and unique results, but my god... the render times!

druitre
03-05-2008, 04:54 AM
Doctor49152:

this plugin does it, transmotion utility pack:
http://www.ats-3d.com/
it has amongst others a lscript (world2screen) to convert lw motionpaths to after effects screen pixel positions. it's not free though, 25 bucks. but it does a whole lot more than just 2D conversions.

another way is to use the (free) lscript Eki Halkka wrote for particle illusion, it has an AE-export option as well. look for it on the wondertouch site under downloads-other:
http://www.wondertouch.com/

and then there is a free script in this thread (as mentioned above)
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=664668#post664668
which I haven't been able to use to good effect yet. it gives 3D coordinates, not 2D.

for all of these you work like this:
run the plug in lw, it creates a .txt file, open it and copy all to the clipboard. in after effects, click a layers 'position' channel and then paste the clipboard.

dsol
03-05-2008, 04:54 AM
I am looking for a way to export the 2D position of something (lets say a point light or a null) and get this into After Effects. Then I could use this for 2D tracking data for somethig in AE (say a Knoll Lens flare).

No 3D tracking is needed. I just need it to say 'Object is at this X,Y location on frame #X and here is the translated X,Y loction in After Effects. Enjoy'

Any way of doing this?

It's pretty easy - though you do the conversion from 3D to 2D space in after effects.

Translate your null/light from LW to AE (keeping it as a 3D object) - this has already been covered in this thread. Then in AE, for the 2D attribute you wish to associate with the 3D object, create an expression like this:

the3Dlayer = thisComp.layer("Your Null or light");
the3Dlayer.toComp(the3Dlayer.anchorPoint);

It converts from layer space coordinates (which is why you use anchorPoint) to 2D comp coordinates Or you could apply an Expression Control > Point Control to the Null and use that instead:

the3Dlayer = thisComp.layer("Null 1");
the3Dlayer.toComp(the3Dlayer.effect("Point Control")("Point"));

It even works if your 3D layer is parented to something else.

I was shown this by Paul Tuersley, a friend who also happens to be a bit of an AE scripting god :) I use it all the time

Andyjaggy
03-06-2008, 03:09 PM
I've had good luck with syntheyes, I am by no means an expert at 3D tacking but on my first ever attempt at doing it I was able to get a decent track out of syntheyes in less then an hour. I was impressed.

Andyjaggy
03-06-2008, 03:10 PM
Can AE read collada files? Will this help the situation when we get 9.5?

druitre
03-06-2008, 04:02 PM
Nope, that's why this thread started. Or not, another one. I get confused, must go to sleep now.

Anyway, the situation is this:
-LW can export some things, and soon a lot more.
-AE can only import 3D scenes in one format, the maya ascii .ma format.
-Other compositing apps seem to be able to import FBX or collada.

So there are three possibilities:
-AE adds support for more 3D fileformats.
-LW adds .ma export to facilitate the LW>AE pipeline.
-use another compositor (or another 3D app)

In the meantime, you might get by using plugins but it won't be a one click solution like .ma would be.
Or you buy 3d party software (like deep exploration) that will get you your .ma file.

Personally, I'd prefer to see After Effects add Collada and/or FBX support. That way I'd be able to get Lightwave and XSI scenes into it.

jin choung
03-06-2008, 04:28 PM
or...

use deepexploration or polytrans or some other such app to translate .lws to .ma....

but can be pricey....

jin

evolross
04-01-2009, 10:57 AM
I found a script that exports After Effects' camera and 3D layers to Lightwave. This was an issue I posted about earlier in this thread. I created a new post about it below since this wasn't the subject of this thread:

http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=862250#post862250

bassmanjam
05-26-2009, 01:56 PM
I hear, though I have not tried it, that C4D can transfer camera and scene information back and forth with After Effects. Is that true? If so, how are they doing it?

meatycheesyboy
05-28-2009, 10:44 AM
Or you buy 3d party software (like deep exploration) that will get you your .ma file.

Has anyone tried this? I was looking at the Right Hemisphere website and found this in thier PDF data sheet for Deep Exploration.

"To view and save Maya files, a copy of Maya must be installed"

I would assume that means converting from one format to Maya as well.

http://www.righthemisphere.com/products/dexp/Deep%20Exploration%205.5%20Standard%20Edition%20Da ta%20Sheet%20v1.6.pdf

evolross
05-28-2009, 01:16 PM
Has anyone tried this?
I used to use Right Hemisphere Deep Exploration everyday at work . And yes, with certain formats it requires the software to be installed. We could never convert anything to MAX format because we didn't have an actual license of MAX.

I believe that whenever a format is saved as an actual binary file it must use the original software through a script. Which is really lame because you might as well just do it yourself. Why pay big $$$ for a program to make shell calls to a software you already have installed (and purchased).

It did work well on other formats like LW, OBJ, VRML, etc. It's also nice because it's like a 3D model quick viewer. It lets you quickly see assets.

nikfaulkner
05-30-2009, 01:22 AM
i can confirm that deep exploration requires max and maya to convert to their formats.

for a "workaround" how about camera tracking using something like voodoo (free and very slow), syntheyes (not free but cheapest of the protools, and really fast) or boujou (might as well get a new mortgage).

andrew kramer has this tutorial http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/3d_crater_p1/

he uses boujou, but it should work for other stuff...


maybe

Saville
07-13-2011, 07:08 PM
Hi all,

This is a decent bump I know, but I'm running out of time. Just wondering if there have been any developments on this whole situation recently?

I need to get camera info out of LW 10 in AE CS 5. I've tried the RPF route, but that seems useless without some sort of reference to where things are relative to the AE camera.

I may have to just do some manual rebuilding of the camera, just hoping there is a more elegant solution.

dwburman
07-13-2011, 07:44 PM
We're all waiting for VFX Wizard's plug-in to be released: http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1153113&postcount=19 | http://www.youtube.com/vfxwizard


In the mean time there's Petter's Lscript: http://mentalfish.com/2009/08/lw-2-ae/

and, of course, the Transmotion plugins: http://www.ats-3d.com/transmot/index.htm

Saville
07-14-2011, 01:23 AM
OK thanks. I'll take a look at those.

JeffrySG
08-10-2011, 07:59 AM
OK thanks. I'll take a look at those.

It's been out for a little while now. This is the best solution.

http://www.vfxwizard.com/software/lightwave-to-after-effects-exporter.html

skype6
11-07-2011, 09:39 AM
I read these posts and can not help but comment. Namely, it is impossible at all to do what you say! I have win 7 64bit and lW 10.1 64bit ..so, there is no good tutorials that show step by step for Lw to AfterEffects or just lW 10 made ​​a huge mistake in that field. Whatever I tried to eject the RLA or rlf from LW, did not work! All I want is to make Dof in the "post" but not succeed. Lw could make a nice button and to do it with one click and not to lose three days and finally not do anything. I'm sorry but I just frustrated! If someone would been kind enough to explain's nice step by step I would be grateful to him....o' and i try http://mentalfish.com/2009/0lw-2-ae/ but not working in LW 10.1 64bit .Thank's

dsol
11-07-2011, 09:59 AM
I read these posts and can not help but comment. Namely, it is impossible at all to do what you say! I have win 7 64bit and lW 10.1 64bit ..so, there is no good tutorials that show step by step for Lw to AfterEffects or just lW 10 made ​​a huge mistake in that field. Whatever I tried to eject the RLA or rlf from LW, did not work! All I want is to make Dof in the "post" but not succeed. Lw could make a nice button and to do it with one click and not to lose three days and finally not do anything. I'm sorry but I just frustrated! If someone would been kind enough to explain's nice step by step I would be grateful to him....o' and i try http://mentalfish.com/2009/0lw-2-ae/ but not working in LW 10.1 64bit .Thank's

If you just want to create DOF in post, then just export a z-buffer for your scene as you render. Then you can user the camera lense blur in AE, using the Zbuffer as a luminance depth map. Obviously, you'll have to manually set the focus depth in AE though, using keyframes.

For much better control (to export cameras and nulls), use AE Link as JeffrySG suggested:
http://www.vfxwizard.com/software/lightwave-to-after-effects-exporter.html

druitre
11-07-2011, 02:08 PM
That AElink plugin looks really interesting, can anyone with userexperience say something about it? Does it meet expectations?

Small note about the DoF in AE with Z-buffer workflow: be sure to always use the lenscare plugins by Frischluft instead of AE's built-in lenseblur, the difference is simply astounding. Instant bokeh, very convincing.

dsol
11-07-2011, 02:22 PM
Small note about the DoF in AE with Z-buffer workflow: be sure to always use the lenscare plugins by Frischluft instead of AE's built-in lenseblur, the difference is simply astounding. Instant bokeh, very convincing.

I would have agreed with you in the past, but the new CS5.5 Camera Lense Blur is astoundingly good. It's GPU-accelerated and unbelievably quick. It's also integrated with the built-in cameras in AE so you can mix AE elements seamlessly in too!

djwaterman
11-12-2011, 12:53 AM
That AElink plugin looks really interesting, can anyone with userexperience say something about it? Does it meet expectations?

Small note about the DoF in AE with Z-buffer workflow: be sure to always use the lenscare plugins by Frischluft instead of AE's built-in lenseblur, the difference is simply astounding. Instant bokeh, very convincing.

Yes, it's great, worth the money, super easy and does what it says. Also for exporting camera and null objects out of AE into LW, there is another free plug in that is also super easy and works perfectly, used it on the last job, perfect matching moves, frame rate, aspect ration. I'll try to locate the website for it and provide a link.

djwaterman
11-12-2011, 12:57 AM
http://www.motion-graphics-exchange.com/after-effects/AE3D-Export-Maya-Max-and-Lightwave/4bff8b4034916

This is for exporting camera and object reference out of AE into LW, and maya also. It's free and works.

But AElink is great for exporting LW stuff into AE, so with these two solutions you can go either way.

druitre
11-13-2011, 09:52 AM
Thanks!

amiblackwelder
12-01-2012, 11:33 AM
We are using LW primarily for our film. Some of the models are in maya and blender and then we will be texturing in LW and rendering in LW and animating LW, compositing LW. My question is if some of us have after effects for compositing, can we do this on the LW files, or will this mess everything up. Do we need a LW for this as well?

Areyos Alektor
12-04-2012, 07:25 PM
If you use After Effects is on the render that you will work not on the scenes. And for this you need export channels.

jeric_synergy
12-04-2012, 09:06 PM
AE is not really the same beast: you're a bit comparing apples to oranges.

Don't worry: you can use the imagery generated in LW in AE.