This is from the thread on the Maya version of this, which I'm working on at the same time:viewtopic.php?f=3&t=971&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
I'm curious how others will make use of this, and what their workflows are. It seemed I was one of the few people out there who preferred to start a project in the rough in AE, working out my camera moves before moving on to a 3D package. There's been many times in the past where I would give an animatic to a 3D animator and ask him or her to reproduce what I'd done...but was always frustrated by the extra time it took and was extra disappointed if a 3D specialist didn't have the skills to do a smooth camera move. That's what motivated me to work on these scripts...I was tired of some 3D people telling me they couldn't recreate a camera move that I'd already finished in After Effects!!
So I'm wondering how may other artists like to work "backwards". : )
What I like about your script is that it allows for the crossover to occur if a project started in AE and there is a directional change and suddenly there is a call for 3D components. You can either supply the 3D guys with the camera so far and continue and as a full 3D project, or you could continue on with AE and import some 3D elements from the 3D guys who have your camera for placement.
Thanks for telling me about your workplace. I'm always curious. I've encountered the same attitude: "why would you want to do 3D in After Effects?".
In my experience it gets certain projects off the ground much faster, and since I work in TV that's very important. I seldom bother with storyboards anymore. I just sit down and animate, using simple graphics or photos in After Effects. When I show this animatic to a client, he or she gets something full rez that feels a lot like a final piece, already edited. I find this is very hard to quickly do in a full 3D package. Wireframe previews leave a lot to the imagination, and many preview renders look just horrible. After Effects is simply faster and more interactive, so it makes sense to me to start there.
If Adobe had built export features into AE, would more AE artists be doing this?
We did buy Max2AE at my office. I was happy with it and it worked well, going both directions. But since I was working on similar scripts for Maya and Lightwave I thought I might as well do a MAX version, too, that wouldn't require a licence for other machines and could do it's thing in less steps (Max2AE exports it's own format in between the 2 programs, and you need to run scripts on both ends to read it).
As far as I know Max2AE is the only other plug in written to send 3D data from AE to MAX. It's $250.
I got into this because in the past couple of years I've worked with Maya artists who had trouble copying my After Effects previsualzations, and it was frustrating. There was no solution out there. I did purchase one called MoCon, which was a decent start, but frankly it doesn't work.
The only 3D program I know and use is Lightwave, so I had a need to transfer my camera there too. I used my script to go from AE to Lightwave last month and it saved loads of time on the project.
Here's the final spot, an ad for a new DVR box, modelled in Lightwave.http://www.urbanspaceman.net/PortfolioS ... _Tplus.htm
Here's was the animatic, done entirely in AE. I was able to do this in about 3 days...http://www.urbanspaceman.net/PortfolioS ... _rough.htm
Can you imagine doing a previz that complete looking in 3 days using a 3D package? I would challenge anyone to do it. I can do it so fast because AE has all the tools...I can make simple 3D objects, I can do editing too, all at the same time. That's why I started doing this "backwards" workflow...for many projects, it's better, it's faster, it's easier. As soon as I finish these scripts and put them all together, I hope others can join me in my backwards world too. : )
I haven't used Twitch yet. Useful stuff?