AfterEffect camera tracking data into Blender?

Hi All,

We are doing quite a lot of scene extensions in AfterEffects and as long as I do not move the camera, I can easily add static Blender built objects to the scene. I can pan and tilt the camera on a tripod and that is not a problem, because the perspective of the added object does not change. But as soon as the camera moves, then the whole thing falls apart because the perspective of the object changes.

I have googled until the cows came home and found nothing. Does anyone know of a script either for Blender to import camera data exported from AEX, or a script/plugin for AEX to export camera data into a Blender readable format?

Obviously another option would be to just track the footage in Blender, but the teams workflow would have to completely change, and I am the only one that uses Blender.

Thanks, I have my fingers crossed…

Do you know if AE can read file formats like FBX or Colada. IF you track something in Blender, you should be able to convert tracking data to keyframe data. I think you might be about to export that data to the formats mentioned. I could be wrong.

I need to go the other direction. I am tracking in aftereffects and want to export from aftereffects to blender so I can add a 3d object. From everything I have been reading blender to aftereffects is possible, but not from aftereffects to blender. Maybe I can go from Mocha to blender… Another google search…

I did make some improvements on the camera matrix math so give it a try. But if you are on the Adobe cloud why not just use C4D to import your Blender models? Then you can transfer the camera back and forth between After Effects and C4D. Then you’ll be part of the Adobe team and not just the weird guy that uses Blender.

I grew up on Blender, it’s my favorite tool, and I like being that weird guy :wink:

I did find a way to import Mocha tracking to blender so I am investigating that a little more. And I might take another look at tracking in Blender. I played with it a little a while back, but nothing serious. Like most things I found in Blender, once you do it a few times it really does become pretty easy to repeat. (Cycles smoke rendering is a perfect example) For most set extensions nothing can beat the simplicity of the 3d Camera tracker in AEX. Adding objects to a scene with camera movement is the only real problem.

I haven’t found any recent tutorials on Camera tracking in blender. 2.6x seems to be the most recent I found.

Hey Place,
I grab the video when it is up via download helper…

I am not sure if you were looking for camera info ? Which will show up as a NULL in AE to then assign a camera to that Null once you are in AE.
For an object Cin4d Lite is included with the (lease me cloud) I am on Cs6 with a bad taste in mouth from Adopee hence me learning this software and only using AE for basic stuff. Wish I had learned about Blender before paying for CS6…

Oliver with shows how to use blender as you would Mocha. With it’s composite nodes you have enough lateral to Key in Blender. For final touch send it to AE for the filmic glow etc…

Well, after hours of googling I have found the solution I was looking for. Unfortunately, it is not a free solution, but it does exactly what I am looking for, that is tracking footage (both with and without a parallax) then adding 3d models built in Blender to the video. I understand that you can do all this with nothing more than Blender. The problem is, I am the only one that uses blender, and the workflow everyone wants is to use Aftereffects for the tracking. (Plus, it really is easier to camera track with AfterEffects)

My solution is to buy the Video-Copilot AfterEffects plugin called “Elements 3d”. (Actually I am bundling this with 2 other products called Metropolitan which contains city 3d elements, and pro-shaders, with gives me quick shaders) Elements 3d is $149 and the bundle is $249.

This allows me to build 3d models in Blender, export them as OBJ’s with texture, normal, and specular maps, then use them in Aftereffects and the new 3d Camera mapping feature. It also allows me to to use the TONS of models available on Blend swap, Blender cloud, and other places other people have already built.

So it’s not free, but it fits the workflow so everyone is happy.

Just know that Element 3D (not Elements) does not support raytracing, and there is no shadow support yet. Version 2 is coming soon, and will be a paid upgrade and will include shadows and other cool features like subsurface scattering. It’s a great product, and you won’t regret buying it.

Thanks for the validation that it’s a great product! I own a few of video-copilot’s other plugins and have been pleased with them. I was a little disappointed with Pro Scores. It turned out to be a lot less than I was hoping for. If the new version of Element (not “s”) 3d comes out in the near future I hope he grandfathers those that just bought it with a free upgrade (hey, we can always hope…)

Haha, well I am a bit biased I guess, since I always like Video Copilot’s work anyway (and I was somewhat involved in the development of Element as well). Even if the upgrade isn’t free, it won’t be nearly as much. Likely under $100, but don’t quote me on that.