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How to Export Your Scene From Cinema 4D to After Effects 264 Comments


I made this tutorial to show you how to prepare your renders in Cinema 4D for export into After Effects. Then, I go though the process of importing your render into After Effects using Multi Pass, compositing tags and object buffers. I also show you how to change lights and add textures in AE to finish compositing your 3D scene.

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264 Comments

  1. Thank you thank you THANK you sir. I’ve been looking for a tutorial like this. Perfect timing too, I’ve got a project due which I’ve decided to do in 3D.

    Reply
    • tinderbox

      Same here! Have been searching all around the web but did not find anything that was as useful as this video. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Great. Same here was looking for a comprehensive way to get stuff from C4D to AE and this showed me how just in time. Thanks.

      Reply
  2. Hey there
    lovely tutorial, very helpful.

    We saw that the cameras were also imported into after effects, but what does that mean? How much can you play around with those? Surely you can’t move them around the 3d environment in after effects, can you? So what’s the point of importing them?

    thanks again!
    t

    Reply
    • You can add additional 3D layers/elements in after effects and they’ll be in the right position in 3D space relative to the scene..

      Reply
    • Michael

      Hi all

      Does anybody know how to link ex. a tekst layer to the camera data imported from C4D?
      I tried different options but my text layers is bouncing around the screen. I have done it before but I’m so tired from trying to reach a deadline, that I can’t remember… please help :o ) Mich.

      And Nick, THANK YOU. you bring joy to tons of people! Your tutorials are at the same level as a certain “Dr. Cramer” (And thats high)

      Reply
  3. The reason you import them is so that everything lines up in AE. Now, you can add even more elements to the scene and everything stays in the right position because we have camera data in there.

    Reply
    • Raivan

      Nick,

      You hear it all the time- BUT thank you for being so generous with your knowledge!
      I have C4D version 11…not 11.5
      What about the procedure & effects in this tutorial can version 11 NOT do? Thanks again!

      r-

      Reply
    • Raivan

      Addendum-

      I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention! I know next to nothing about C4D, so I please bear with me :/ Is there a work-around to the new feature you pointed out where you can modify the “external compositing” tag’s properties by creating a solid that becomes an alpha matte or luma matte in AE? Is multi-pass rendering my only option in C4D v.11?

      Reply
    • Agustin

      Hi Raivan Did you find any solution to your problem? because i am stuck with the same problem as you…Please help!

      Reply
    • Another method of exporting an alpha matte is to create a plane using whatever dimensions, and give it a unique object buffer with a “Cinema 4D compositing tag”.

      This works in older versions too.

      Reply
  4. artomikaishi

    Thank you mister GoRilla!
    for taking the time to create this.

    Reply
  5. I never could use the “export After Effects” thingy…The proyect file doesn´t open on After CS4…has anyone experienced this yet?

    It is a CS3-only proyect file?

    Cause if it´s like that…It really sucks…!

    Great tutorial man!

    Keep em coming!

    greetings from Argentina!

    ben.

    Reply
    • have you installed the exchange plug in? it’s included in the installation of cinema4d and alloes the .aec file to be imported into After Effects, you just have to drag the plug into AE’s plugin folder, and you should be good to go.

      Reply
  6. Seriously Nick thanks a whole bunch for this tutorial, I’ve been piecing how to do this from multiple tutorials of lower quality. This one really brings everything together.

    Ian

    Reply
  7. Joel Lisbona

    Very well explained workflow, i think i watched it on Maxon, but maybe it was a shorter version.Thanks man.

    Reply
  8. VancouverMan

    All of a sudden the Flash videos aren’t playing for me anymore. Anyone else seeing this? Not seeing it elsewhere. The only thing I can think of is that I have a QT X player open in the background but not sure why that should matter.

    Reply
  9. Thank you, I really like your cinema 4D tutorials.

    Cheers

    Reply
  10. Thanks for the tips Nick !
    About the ” external compositing ” I don’t see these option, and I can’t create a solid, is there only in 11.5 ?

    Reply
    • You should have an External Compositing tag in older versions, but the “Create Solid” is new to 11.5.

      Reply
  11. Brand new to the site and C4D, looking forward to learning, thanks Nick!

    Reply
  12. Cheers Nick, always wondered the best way of doing multipasses from C4D into AE – never released that’s what object buffers were for!
    Cheers once again dude!

    Reply
  13. Nice !
    You should post more of these compositing tuts, because imo they’re the most difficult to get right.

    Thanks !!

    Reply
  14. semerkhet

    Nice and very usefull tutorial as always.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  15. WOW. That was great, thank you Nick. Does anyone know if something similar is possible in Maya? I’m sure it is, but it seems like Cinema 4D works much better with AE than Maya does. I’ve considered ditching Maya and making Cinema 4D my main 3D program. If anyone has any opinions on that to offer it would be great, because I’m having a hard time deciding if it’s worth putting the time and money into learning C4D. Thanks!

    Reply
    • IMO maya has better tools to get separate compositing passes/render layers into a compositing software like ae. Its alot like creating different layers in photoshop, where you are able to assign varying objects,lighting conditions, textures, animations etc to individual render layers and then hit batch render rendering everything together. However im not sure that you can import the camera data from maya into different comping software. Will do some investigating and report any findings!

      Reply
    • Thanks for the info Ben, I’ll have to check that out. I have successfully imported the camera data from Maya into AE simply by importing the maya project file into AE. It’s been a while though, so I may be only half right about how simple it is.

      Reply
    • No prob guys. Am hoping to find more info on maya to AE comping… if anyone is also interested/knows anything please just let me know.

      Reply
  16. Would I be correct in thinking that all this can be achieved with C4D version 11 (or 10, in fact). Also, in your example it’s unlikely to be an issue, but if you don’t separate the faces of the cube and attach the external compositing tag to the ‘front’ face, the solid or null object in AE will actually be in the equivalent of inbetween the front and back faces. If your screen had more thickness that would cause drift…

    Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      How did you attach the external compositing tag to the ‘front’ face in detail?
      Cant get this work.

      Reply
  17. Daniel

    Good tutorial! Thanks a lot for the work! Quick question: how do we export simple “nulls” from C4D into AE, if we want references for positioning AE (2.5D) elements in a scene?

    Reply
    • You can export the 3D data of any object by adding the “external compositing” C4D tag to it. Check “3D data” in the render settings, and hit save… that’s it!
      The best part is you don’t even have to render to export all of this data out, it creates the AE file instantly.

      Reply
    • diegoVONdiego

      Wow ! That’s great ! I was sure that External compositing tag wasn’t that useless before 11.5 ! Chris you are my today god !

      Reply
  18. woaw! Nice piece Nick!
    If only you we’re a Softimage user! I think I could learn a lot of things. :)

    Anybody knows how can I do this with Softimage?
    (I mean exporting camera data)

    Reply
  19. Fabian

    Tried to open the .aec file (that cinema4d had exported) into After Effects CS3. But it gave an “After Effects error: Can’t import file: unsupported filetype or extension”.

    Anyone else have the same problem?

    Reply
    • You have to install the C4D.plugin into your plugins folder. You should have that file in your Maxon Folder.

      Reply
    • Ive had this problem, i installed the new plugin for cs5 off the maxon site, now it wont even show up with the “After Effects error: Can’t import file: unsupported filetype or extension”. anybody have a clue whats wrong? many thanks.

      Reply
  20. Toros Köse

    Wow just what I needed/asked for! Haven’t watched it yet but it seems to be exactly what I was looking for!
    Thanks alot Gorilla!

    Reply
  21. Jessica Robbins

    Thanks Nick- i love how you were able to explain object buffers in 15 minutes.

    Reply
  22. vjorchid

    Thanks!! this is very helpfull!.
    But i have a question…
    i want to do the same but with a cube faces.
    i want put video on a cube face….
    how can i impot each faces of the cube for replace a diferent video on after effects .

    Thanks :D

    Reply
    • For a cube, you can offset the solid so that it matches up to the face of the cube. You may have to do some measuring, but It should work.

      Reply
      • amlyel

        I did this. I offset a new solid and parented it to my original geometry and the animation looks great in c4d. BUT when I open the after effects file the new solid is behaving so strangely like it’s on a completely different axis! Any ideas?

        Reply
    • lawrence

      I’m not sure but could you also duplicate the cube, make the copy editable and separate the faces and give each one a compositing tag? Might give it a try later, if it works it should work with any C4D version.

      Reply
  23. yo nick love the tutoial but just one problem, this external composite tag is it only for r11..

    Reply
  24. Thanks a lot Nick! Thats absolutely what I needed to know!My work is going to be a lot cooler now!

    Reply
  25. marsio

    Hi the tutorial is great,,,
    I am new in C4d and have some question
    1) why if in the render setteng if I switch the Relative to on ,,and the I save,,,then after effects seems not importing nothing,, If i Switch to on then i can import my files
    2) why the red solid create in c4d in after effects appear rotated of 90 on Y?
    thank M

    Reply
    • I have been having this same issue for some time and have not been able to fix it in C4D. The solution is simple in Ae just rotate it 90 degrees and it is corrected. It does get a little frustrating when you have a few of them in your comp.

      Will let you know if I figure it out!

      Reply
    • Christopher Scott Kn

      I realize I’m posting an answer to this 2 yrs after the first post but, yes… rotating the planes +90º on the Y axis fixed this issue for me when I was working with 7 separate planes (and 7 separate object buffers).
      The rotated planes were happening whether I had ‘relative’ selected on the exported AE file in C4D or not.
      Nick, are you still monitoring this thread?
      Christopher in Burbank.

      Reply
      • Thanks for that, Chris! One thing to keep in mind is that the planes are always angled in the Z axis. So when you make your scene, make sure you align it so that Z is facing away from you.

        Reply
  26. Awesome tutorial Nick. You just made me wana to stop learning 3d Studio Max and start learning C4D. Can’t wait for Thursday U-Stream chat. :-)

    Reply
  27. luis patricio

    Hola, agradezco este TUTORIAL, estoy comenzando en Cinema4d, y no habia podido lograr trasladar desde Cinema a After Effects, muchas gracias

    saludos desde Chile

    Reply
  28. Hi Gorilla a super great site,i see how did your renders in Cinema 4D for export into After Effects can you tell me how to do it for final cut 7 and motion 3

    Reply
  29. kwakka

    I’ve got a small problem while trying to export project as Quick Time Movie, Cinema says that it is “Unable to write file”. Works fine with Avi Movie Uncompressed frames. I am using R11.5 on win7 x64. Maybe someone knows how to fix this?

    Reply
  30. Thank you very much, this tutorial will make a lot of lives easier. One question though,I only have C4D R10.5 , and the External compositing tags only has a Name and Layer field and nothing else, is there a way to work around this or should i just get R11? anyway, salamat from manila, philippines!

    Reply
  31. Agustin

    Hello! I have a simple question, i have cinema 4d version 11, and in the external compositing tag, i don´t have the option of create solid, i just exported the 3d data and the nulls objects, but my picture or footage doesn´t match exactly with the screen, please help.

    Reply
    • Agustin

      Hi there nick! about the nulls i can´t get it right, i don´t know, but somehow, my footage doesn´t match with the 3d screen i´ve made…is there anyway that you could explain us (cinema 4d version 11 owners) how can we achieve this same effect with out the create solid option on the external composite tag??? Make us happy, please help nick.

      Reply
    • Make sure you’re opening up the .aec compositing file from scratch, using the correct camera, and replace the 3D data null with the footage you have, so it maintains the same 3D space. Everything will align perfectly.

      As far as the alpha matte, create a plane where your footage should go, then add a “cinema 4d compositing tag”. This is in addition to the “external compositing tag”. Add a unique object buffer for it, and add that object buffer to your multipass render.

      This works in previous versions too, good luck!

      Reply
  32. Mark Yu

    Hello sir Nick!..that was an awesome tutorial…i have always been waiting for that tutorial!!!..keep it up…..

    Reply
  33. Ryan Ragle

    Great tutorial! You forgot to mention one thing that might get people into trouble. It at least got me into trouble when I was screwing around with this same thing. That is the external compositing solid is determined upon the axis location of the object. If you end up using a cube instead of a plane, the axis will be in the middle (unless you change it). Therefor when you do a camera sweep like your example, the plane will end up being slightly off. You can have things go really whacky if your axis is on a different rotation.

    Reply
    • Agustin

      I agree! After hours and hours of trying and trying i finally solve this problem just modifing the axis, if yopu use just a plane instead of a cube, you need to pute the axis at the top left corner, because thats where AE put the nulls. Ok, good luck!

      Reply
    • Agustin

      Hi Ryan, is there any way i can contact with you? because i tought i solved the problem, but no…im haven the same problem as before, can you help me?

      Reply
    • Ryan Ragle

      I can’t really help you all that much if you’re on R11 and not R11.5. I haven’t tried to do this same type of mapping on R11 with nulls only :(

      Reply
    • Greydog

      Ryan! Thank you! I was trying to figure out where I went wrong all weekend!

      Reply
    • In R12 you can set the axis on export in the external compositing tag under anchor point. Set it to top left. This way you do not have to change this in CD4 while building a scene.

      Reply
    • In c4d you can make the object editable then go under structure and change the axis to a point on the plane.

      Reply
  34. Hey! i’m Really missing out!
    How come the Videos never show up whenever i visit this website.all text is visible but its blank and plain where videos are supposed to be.
    I’m in China– if that will help.

    Reply
    • Can’t see it still.
      Please Gorilla,give me some link i could download the above tutorial.thanks

      Reply
    • Hi The Gorilla,
      I understand Vimeo has been blocked here in China along with youtube,facebook and others.that’s why i could not access your videos but somehow i managed.Thanks. u are great!
      what abt a C4D tutorial on how you made the billboard?

      Reply
  35. great tutorial and some very helpful tips.

    i am a max user trying to learn cinema 4d and right now i am having difficulty producing depth of field with the camera. its tricky here. can you give a short tutorial on how to achieve dof in cinema?

    Reply
  36. Ameer

    Hey, “The Gorilla” Can You Please Make A Tutorial On How To Make That BillBoard Please? It Would Be Awesome If You Would :)

    Reply
    • ryanroehl

      Check out the earlier tutorials on modeling and mograph, should be all the tools need to build this.

      Reply
    • steve davis

      hi Nick
      did you ever get around to making a …how to make a billboard tutorial ? or is your billboard available as a download ?

      cheers

      steve

      Reply
  37. Miles

    Hey thanks for the great tutorial.
    But I’m still working in V11 and was wondering if you ever came up with the same problem I am having when exporting out of V11. I have followed all the steps but when I opened the AE file my nulls are working on some camera movements but when the camera moves fast some of the videos are off from the actual point its suppose to be. I also know the trick about V11 having to have the axis on the top left.

    Reply
  38. I think this is one of the most focused tutorials you have posted. Very direct explanation from feature to feature. I followed the entire time and picked up some tips I hadn’t know. Thank you.

    Reply
  39. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your tutorials they are great.

    We are using C4D 11. Have you ever encountered problems with you image buffer luma mattes being 1 pixel too large and giving you a white halo around your object in after effects?
    I seem to get this problem all the time and as it’s a luma matte i cannot fix it with a choker. I fix the problem by adjusting the levels and bringing the whites down on the buffer object but wondered if there was something i’m doing wrong or a better way of going around it?

    Tom

    Reply
    • Vadim

      Man! you have to make *.mov and multy-pass files. thats all you need.
      NO “white halo” – I promise ;)

      Reply
    • I’ve had the same problem and unfortunately everything I tried only reduced the issue (turning off the alpha straight matte option) so your tip about using the levels helped me out in the end. You can check out my version here:

      http://tmdmedia.ca/blog/?p=156

      Also thanks Nick for another great tutorial!

      Reply
  40. antonrhoden

    nice video. i was wondering if you can do a video on rigging in c4d? because i have this model of a guy i created but i want to move his arms and legs.

    Reply
  41. Hello Gorilla, Thankx so much for this tip. Just wondering what would be the best way to replace the screens in this graphic (the square TV kind of things) to some videos. (http://www.maxon.net/products/editions-bundles/editions/broadcast-edition/extension-kit.html) (the graphic on top)

    Using the method you suggested we will have so many object buffers etc. Would that be the way we do it? Kindly comment.

    Ben: Just wanted to add on your reply. Maya to AE is also simple as C4D except that the maya Lights don’t come into AE as C4D does. Also the unit/scales are so different that a small movement of position in AE amounts to a 100 pixel etc, very troubling.
    In my learning experience I found Maya to Nuke using FBX formats the best way to work things out for VFX. For MGFX I think we can’t beat the C4D-AE combo. Thankx, this is just IMHO.

    Reply
    • Try adding nulls to everywhere you need a tv, then use the nulls to place the images. Then, you can just use a image buffer for all of them instead of each one separately.

      Reply
    • Thank you so much Nick, I will try that out. I just watched your interview at motionworks. Truly, truly inspiring!!!!

      Reply
  42. Lewis

    Thank you so so much for this tutorial.
    I had been struggling to do this and you really explained everything for me.
    Keep up the cool tutorials they really help alot.

    Reply
  43. Great! Thx.
    But will be tutorial explaining how to modeling this stuff in c4d?

    Reply
    • Paul Edmondson

      I am really struggling with this. The render set up is identical to the video. I have animated a cube moving along a spline and it comes to the camera. Then I want to add video to the front face, but when I add the tags etc and open it in A fx it is so mis aligned. I have tried the picot points in different places and still cant get it sorted.

      Reply
  44. Insomni4a

    hi can anyone tell more about render setting for rendering movie to AF ? i dont know how to work with multipass.

    now all what i can get is a single pic in AF not movie… :(

    Reply
  45. Marty

    Hey! it was the plug-in it need it to be update…:) Where did you get the billboard from–can we get it for free from you..:)?

    Reply
  46. Kaups

    Hi, I tried this amazing tutorial,bu after i exported to ae(cs4) my object with external comp tag was totally out of position(in ae)?Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Adjust your cameras position, point of interest, and orientation. Line up the object buffer at the beginning of the scene and copy and paste the key frames at the end of the scene…

      Reply
  47. Brent

    I’m getting everything to work but the Object buffer. I added a compositing tag to my object, enabled it, set it to 1 and within my render settings ensured that multi-pass and object buffer one were checked.

    Everything opens up in AE. My cameras and all that stuff is there, but there is no separate folder named “Special Passes” like you have. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
  48. Basiljen

    this is beatiful, Nick! I send my rays of gratitude 2 you.

    Reply
  49. Anyone had issues with the c4d plug in into AE with Snow Leopard? For some reason my computer cannot recognize the plug-in even when I drop it into the AE plug-ins folder. I run c4d 11.5 and AE CS3 on both my laptop and desktop; my laptop works fine, but only my desktop has Snow Leopard and I think that’s the issue. Anyone know a fix/work around?

    Reply
    • Having exactly the same. I’m still on C4D 10, but running CS3. All been working fine, installed Snow Leopard and now I can’t import aec files, When I save them out of C4D they come up as photoshop droplet files as well!!

      Please help, it’s sending me crazy!!

      Reply
  50. Stelios

    @Brent. Be sure you’ve checked Multipass render tree. Then in the save section of your render dialog box you will see a new tab called Multi-Pass Image. Write a path in the same folder as your regular image.

    Reply
    • YES!!! you just totally answered a question to a problem i’ve spent 2 hours searching online for. THANKS!

      now my object buffers/special passes folder is showing in my aec file. thanks again!

      Reply
  51. Rodolfo

    I`m having problems with R11.5 while trying to import a .aec file into CS3. I`ve installed the plugin (C4D.plugin), but when I import the .aec file, nothing happens. In CS4 it works fine. R11 worked fine for CS3 but R11.5 is not working. Any insight !?

    Reply
  52. You have no idea since i’ve been looking for the answer to this question..thanks a lot, i’ve learned a lot of things from you and i hope that you’ll have more interesting tutorials coming up…

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  53. I can’t seem to get the lights and camera to show up In AE, every thing else is working except for that.

    Reply
  54. Osiel

    Hey Nick! How are you doing. I found your site a week ago and i ve been checking it everyday since. Love your tutorials, your pretty talented man! I’m also running 11.5 but got some issues when importing into after effects since i can not open the files i believe is the plugin but anyways would like to see a tut on how to create the billboard mainly the process on how to create the lights shining through.Thanks for being such an inspiration. Greets from Canada. Saludos.

    Reply
  55. Hi Nick, Hi everyone! Im having problems ive been trying to figure this out for days now. Basically ive done everything in the tutorial ive also downloaded and installed the latest plugin from maxon. When I import i does not bring in the solid object for track matting nor the lights and cameras. Any ideas anyone im really pulling my hair out here.

    Reply
    • Hi Nick ive done everything in the tutorial ive also downloaded and installed the latest plugin from maxon. When I import i does not bring in the solid object for track matting nor the lights and cameras. Any ideas?

      Reply
  56. Thanks Nick. I’m super grateful for all the work that goes into these tutorials. Super helpful and engaging. I hate to post issues, but I’m running into something really odd with R11.5. The tutorial, as presented, works perfectly. However, if I try to export to a tif sequence, everything gets jacked up in AE. It doesn’t recognize the embedded alphas in the images. This only happens if multipass is enabled. Also, the resulting images show dimensions of 0×0 in the Finder. So weird. Anyone have insight? Thanks again.

    Reply
  57. Dude i love you, thank you i been looking for this, i have only one problem, after i render my C4D i try to open aec file but it says error its not supported what should i do?

    Reply
    • Go to your Cinema 4d >>Exchange Plugin<> “plugins” file,

      try to open the .aec file

      What AE you are running? (it will not work on AE5 :)

      Reply
    • Go to your Cinema 4d “Exchange Plugin” folder, get the CS3-4 folder and drop it to After effects –>> “plugins” file,

      try to open the .aec file

      What AE you are running? (it will not work on AE5 :)

      Reply
  58. James H O'Hagan

    Cool Stuff Nick! I support the tutorial idea on how to model a billboard like this one, sure you have some very handy modeling techniques!

    Thanks man!

    Reply
  59. Zakho

    I have waited long for such a tutorial.
    very good and clear explanation tut.
    thanq so much

    Reply
  60. Yoshi

    Is it possible that u can give that border thingy away ?
    I need it for a project

    thanks =]

    Reply
  61. Hi. Have to admit that I’ve learn a lot from this tut. I appreciate a lot you’ve decided to share it with us. Thanks. Honest.
    Now, I’ve been experiencing some problems when dealing with more than one screen/layer; it just doesn’t work for me; and I’ve done a lot of variations on compositing tags and object buffers.
    Any clue, please?
    Thanks again.

    Reply
  62. I’m exporting from C4D with multiple solids (with which to replace images). They are different faces of a cube-like model. When I get them into AE, the solids are all in the same place and not in the right position. Can anyone help?

    Reply
  63. Stephan

    Hai there!

    I hope you can help me! i’m doing everything you said in the tutorial, but when i want to open the ”aec” file in to After Effects nothing happens?…. When i clic on the ”aec” its opening After Effects but i dont see the folders… plees help!!! thnqs anyway.
    stephan

    Reply
  64. great tutorial nick, helped clarify things greatly. I made something similar to try out, also with a billboard but with a rising semi-opaque screen that eventually tints part of the billboard. i sent the billboard & rising screen to different object buffers but in AE when i place an image on the billboard as per your tut, i set the luma matte to either the alpha of the billboard and the semi transparent screen appears behind the image, or i set the luma matte to the semi-alpha of the screen and only the tinted part of the billboard shows through, sorry about the long windedness but i guess the question is, when there are two interacting mattes in the c4d composition, how in ae do i get the luma matte to see both?

    thanks!

    Reply
  65. BRIAN P

    How do you render the full movie other than Make Preview?
    When I Make Preview, the video is named preview.mov and I have to manually set the dimensions again. Is there a Render button in Cinema 4D?

    Reply
  66. Hey Nick. I’m try to pull video footage inside of letters made in 4D. Like a lumma matte while trying to keep the reflections etc. I made a composite tag with image buffer and the project doesn’t open in AE. Just doesn’t allow me to open it.

    Tearing my hair out. If you could suggest anything that would be grand.

    Thanks mate

    Reply
  67. Manuel

    Hy guys, hy nick..this is my first comment, and first of all sorry for my english.
    I very like this tutorial, but i still have a problem that i hope you solve me.

    I have my screen as your project, but in my scene, it rotates with a specific position of the ancor point. The problem is: When i create the solid for after effects in the external compositing of the object, ancor point must be only 1)center, top right, top left, bottom right and bottom left. The result is that in after effects, the solid doesn’t rotate in the same way of the screen, but on it own ancor point. How i can do? thanks nick and thanks guys

    Reply
  68. I followed the tutorial to a T, but whenever I open the project in AE, the Billboard solid is turned the wrong way in 3D space and I can’t seem to fix it. Has anyone had a similar problem?

    Reply
  69. Roberto

    I have a problem exporting the more than 1 object buffer in Quicktime Format.. it is possible to do this? the only way that I get more than 1 object buffer is in RPF format.. thank you.. great tutorial!

    Reply
  70. Now for a real challenge. Go from AE to C4D ;o). Did this for a music video and will never to do it again. C4D to AE is the proper workflow.

    Reply
  71. Hope this thread is still alive.
    I have a cloner object with multiple screens in a bend deformer (semi-circle videowall). Problem is when export in the way shown above my “AE solids” are placed on their original position (outside the bend deformer).

    Is there a workaround for this?

    Reply
  72. Hello
    I found your site some time ago, so I put in cinema 4d
    I have followed your tutorials but I have a problem whenever I want to make an appointment, such as a QuickTime movie made, I get an error: “error-saving image”
    I do not know where does this problem have you any idea?
    sorry for my English, I’m french.

    Thank you very much

    Reply
  73. Brandon Hall

    Whenever I save the render, it only saves as the After Effects Project file. The regular image file doesn’t save, so when i open it in after effects it tells me that the quicktime.mov file is invalid/missing. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    Reply
  74. Hey anyone have any tricks on getting scale data out to an AEC file? Specifically I have 4 objects from a cloner object in my scene and I’m using a plain effector set to affect scale only to animate these 4 objects scaling up from 0. I can get the external compositing tag to add 4 objects as nulls/solids in my AEC file, but the plain effector’s scaling doesn’t come across. Is this possible and I’m just not doing it right, or should i abandon all hope?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  75. Did someone solved the problem with the wrong Y-Rotation of the solid?
    Meaning not to alter this by hand in AE…
    Is there any C4D hint?

    And how can we use external comp tags with other objects like splines, nurbs etc?

    c u stevie

    Reply
  76. Could someone tell us something about the necessary scaling of corresponding 2D Footage (stills and videos)? I’ve got ugly stretching effects asigning 2D PNG-Images to the billboard/plane.

    Reply
  77. shuja

    Hi NIck
    What an awesome tutorial! But somehow it’s not happening with me. I am running r11.5 with AE CS3. I have done the settings part exactly as you’ve shown yet I can’t get special passes folder after importing the file into AE. Looks like object buffer isn’t coming into AE. I have installed the plugin correctly. What could be the issue?

    Reply
      • Epep

        My bad! you need to say C4D where to save de multi/pass image.
        jaja

        Reply
  78. hey Nick,

    awesome tutorial! Just a quick question about the red solid layer that is imported into AE.

    I noticed when I attached the tags to the cube and I scaled the cube, the red solid layer follows the move of the camera. Is there any way that I can get the red solid to scale with the cube as well?
    thanx!

    Reply
  79. Dear Nick,

    Thank you for your awesome tutorials, apps products etc

    I do have a question on this tutorial.
    I have followed your steps to import into after effects but for some reason when Im trying to open my after effects project from the folder where I told c4d to save it into it keeps giving me this message:

    After effects error: Cant import file “whatever.aec” : unsupported filetype or format

    what does this mean?

    do I have to set something up in c4d that allows me to do this?

    please help! its driving me nuts!

    cheers

    Mauricio

    Reply
    • Sounds like you need to install the Cinema4D Connect plugin in your AE plugins folder. It should have come with your copy of Cinema.

      Reply
  80. NIck thank you so much!
    This is so helpful specially for people starting in C4D. I really like your explanations of WHY are we checking boxes and using tools.

    Mauricio you can download the plug in for after effects directly from maxon website. Make sure you drop it in the rigth folder.

    Reply
    • giobix

      could you tell me which the right folder is, please???
      thanks!

      Reply
  81. Hi Nick. Nice tutorial. How come the matte layer animates, despite the fact you rendered it out as a bunch of Tiffs and only dragged one in? Thanks.

    Reply
  82. Hey Nick,

    Just started exploring Cinema4d and stumbled upon this tutorial again today! I’d seen it awhile ago but never found the time to get into Cinema.

    Very helpful, thank you!

    Reply
  83. Hey Nick,

    Attempting to make a wall of TV monitors that can be replaced. I built a monitor, put the correct tags on the screen, then duplicated several times before dropping into an array to create the finished wall.

    Once in after effects however, there were no solids from the external compositing tag.

    My initial thought was that I was still only using one object buffer for all the screens, and a 2nd for my lights, but I would think that I should at least still get one big red solid, if not the many separate ones I’m trying for.

    Any suggestions? Has anyone else run into this problem?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  84. Kerry

    I really like this Tut, but I have C4D 12.0. when I went to render my file for after effects it wont render as yours does. There are some slight differences between C4D 11.5 and C4D 12.0 please help. The Solid replacement does’nt work correctly.

    Reply
  85. Tobias Woelke

    Hey Gorilla.
    Working really fine but du you have a workaround if some glass is in front of the layer what i want to replace? :)

    Reply
  86. This a very helpfull tutorial. Thanks Nick.
    I`m trying to bring a stage with 3 cameras, but I don´t know why, when in AE, everything goes well for the first camera. Then, the object I bufferd gets stoped, as if not being in sync with the other cams. Does anyone knows how can I fix that?

    Reply
    • marcus

      Same problem here, 4 cam, stage, 7 object buffer, help Nick!

      Reply
  87. W. Scott

    Truly loving these and I’ve learned a ton. Thanks for giving of your time. However… I’ve done this one at least 10 times and I’m missing something. I’m on c4d broadcast version 12. simple scene, logo sitting on a beach. on a plane. logo and plane come in fine into AE, but background item comes in black. will this method not import backgrounds? thanks again.

    Reply
  88. I am having an issue Syncing Cinema 4d camera to After Effects. It seems to drift slightly. Anyone have this issue?

    Reply
  89. Chris Wood

    Does anybody have a solution for the problems about 20 of us are having here? When we render, using the exact same settings you have, it creates the .mov, and a .aec file, which then does nothing. You can’t drop it into After effects, it just sits there. Can anyone help? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Chris Wood

      Hi Diego, this is what a lot of us have been doing. Instead, this is the problem. When you use the multi-pass tags, you then need to save a filename under “Save>Multipass” in the render settings. If you don’t do this, then nothing loads up.

      Reply
  90. khaled

    is ther a way to do the same things in 3dsmax please?

    Reply
  91. riley sykes

    when I try to open that .aec file in after effects it says that filetype extension cannot be opened then it says 0:: 1 or something like that. What is going on?

    Reply
  92. Hi i just watched the tutorial and what iff you have a solid thats bigger then what it lets you put in? the screen is 2214 by 1249 and the solid can only be made up to 1000 by 1000

    Reply
  93. mirza

    Hi everyone, my first comment on gsg :)
    First of all I love what nick does, really great tutorials.

    I have a trouble which is unsolvable for me. Regarding exporting the scene 3d elements (camera, nulls, etc) to after effects. I used external tag, and everything is ok when imported to ae, except one thing. Everything is orientated wrong, -90°. I saw a lot of other people have the same problem, but didn’t see adequate solution to this. Any thoughts? Cheers from Sarajevo.

    Reply
      • mirza

        finally my friend! it was ALL ABOUT THE AXIS ORENTATION AND POSITION!

        The AXIS!!!!

        :D

        Sorry for my caps :D

        Reply
    • All about the AXIS indeed, but anybody an idea about the rule in which order to put these? In a project of mine I needed to put the orientation to +X, +Y, -Z. In this tutorial I see Nick working with +Z. I’m interested in why this is?

      Reply
  94. Mr Rayne

    RE: Problems importing .aec files produced in C4D r12 into AE CS4+

    Anyone having this problem, install the C4D exchange plugin into:

    After Effects CS4 / Plugins / Extensions

    I have no idea why, on some machines the exchange plug works fine just dropping it loose into AE’s plugin folder. On others, it has to go in Extensions.

    For those with the former problem, try the latter. Fixes whatever bug it is no problems, perfect import.

    R

    Reply
  95. Hey Nick,
    Thanks for the tutorial! Just what I am looking for, 2 years after the fact! I do have a question. I have a plane in C4D that I am slicing into 6 parts. I’m then collapsing these parts in, like an accordion, to use as a transition. Is it possible to use this technique to have a movie playing on the entire object as it deforms within after effects? Thanks man!

    Reply
  96. justice

    thanks a lot for your tutorial.
    But my question is, how can use external composite on a curve object to exported to After Effect

    Reply
  97. Im having trouble generating solids in after effects from c4d. I am trying to create solids from an array of imacs I built (just the screen element); it seems as though the compositing tags only work when you put them on the entire array rather than the child element. Any Ideas? Am I approaching this the wrong way?

    Reply
  98. Kirakira

    plz help, i cant drag pic onto screen solid like tutorial, why?

    Reply
  99. saleh okby

    great tutorial as always, i just have some notes it might be useful for u and some thing i want ask u for;
    1st i see that after u had transferred ur work to AF u remained working in none liner work flow here wht u have to do to work in liner work flow in AF after opening the project from cinema 4d
    1-import the project.
    2-go to file >> project setting
    3-in the color settings “work space” choose SRGB IEC61966-2.1, then enable linearize work space, then ok, bam ur in a linear work flow now.
    the thing i want to ask u about in C4D when i use external composting and enable the solid if the box or the plan i am taging is in a different orientation than that which work with XY plane and after rendering and export to AF i found the generated solid has different orientation than that i want is there any way to adjust the external composting so that it give me the right solid orientation that i want….

    Reply
  100. Followed the tutorial and it worked great, but I’m getting a white line around the object when it is composited together in After Effects. I think I saw it a little in your example too. Do you know of anyway to get rid of the white border?

    Reply
  101. PLEASE HELP…ANYONE…..ok thanks for looking. I am totally stuck on this project…what I am trying to do is mask out the blue light trail thingy when it is behind a sphere….what I have done is create the footage in C4D and imported the .mov into AE….then I created the trail in AE…but I have tried so many mask and track mask ideas…but honestly I don’t know what I am doing…so I am wondering if I need to import the cinema file as shown in this tut into AE to be able to get the trail to actually be behind the sphere/s in 3D space…Any suggestions?

    take a look at the video I am talking about:

    http://www.d3graphic.com/for_the_spheres/for_the_spheres.mov

    Thanks a lot…I am wracking my brain over this…cheers

    Reply
  102. Jacob, First your render from c4d need to have Alpha, On render settings check the Alpha box and use (straight alpha), In After Effect you will have to place your “trail” lights behind your c4d render. or in case your environment comes from c4d do two passes one with the background/environment and the second all the other elements you want to have in front of the “trail” light. use the composite tag to separate them it make work!

    Good Luck

    Reply
  103. I have tried a very simple run at this with a floor and a screen. When I follow this tutorial, my “screen/billboard” is not just an object I can place video onto and see the floor and the background, etc. When I drop my movie onto the “screen/billboard” it fills up the entire editor screen. I must be missing something and can not figure out what.

    C4D Version 12
    After Effects CS4

    Dave

    Reply
    • gypsieboy

      my friend, u need to select the layer first before u drag it and press Alt. I hope it will be helpful for you.

      Reply
  104. JamesM

    For anyone having issues importing- I installed the C4DExporter and Cinema4ADE plugins to:HD/library/applicationsupport/adobe/plugins/CS5/fileformats

    It worked for me!

    Reply
    • Christos

      Thanks for your help!
      My problem was slightly different.

      Had already tried installing both files ‘Cinema4DAE.plugin’ & ‘C4DExporter.plugin’ on the two recommended locations:
      ‘HD/library/applicationsupport/adobe/plugins/CS5/fileformats’
      ‘Applications/AdobeAfterEffectsCS5/Plug-ins’

      My problem would have been that the ‘C4DExporter.plugin’ was still the old version supplied for 11.5 and that’s why those files where still opening fine… When re-doing the procedures stated above, I replaced those plugin files with the new version (named exactly the same) but supplied together with C4D r13.

      Its all working fine now.
      Cheers.

      Reply
  105. Ksenia

    Thanks a lot, Nick! This tutorial is very helpful and super!

    Reply
  106. No matter how many times I open the project up in afx the solid I am replacing is NEVER in the right place. I had a soild between two headphones. When I open in afx its in front and not masked correctly and not in right place. And the Luma mask does not help me. :(

    Reply
  107. So my object is not rotating properly and would hate to have to animate the rotating. Is this because the null light is inside an object. And the partent of the light is inside another object. The lights rotation values are at 0,0,0 but the parents are different rotations. Thanks for any feedback!

    Reply
    • Ok so looks like you don’t need lights anymore (to have an object follow the null). Just use the compositing tag?

      Reply
  108. Hi gorilla
    thanks a lot for your tutorial.
    I need to see this tutorial but I can`t see any things!!!
    can you help me . I think your old files need to upload again.

    Reply
  109. gypsieboy

    Hey Mr. Nick, The Gorilla! I’m your avid follower, you always inspired me with your tutorials, keep on rockin’ Gorilla we always support you and follow you everywhere! thanks for your effort, more tutorials and God bless Us all!

    Reply
  110. jacob

    Dere nick

    I cant Export my video becuse i dosent have the right codes
    how can i get more codes to a avi video

    Reply
  111. Marcelo

    Hi Nick, first thanks for the tuts, they realy helpme to lern to use cinema, I realy thanks for your help.
    Nick, when I export my composition from cinema to after effects, the solids do not appear in the correct position, are all in same rotation. why this happens?
    thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  112. Kyle Fowler

    all i am doing is using 3d text

    and when i export it from AE it comes out as a black screen

    Reply
  113. Alex Roberts

    If I have a cloner (that’s animating) of screens and I want to be able to change their video in AE afterwards, how do I go about that?

    If they’re in a cloner lights and external comp solids don’t end up exporting to AE. I tried with lights as well.

    Alex

    Reply
  114. Awkward

    hey nick i did exactly what you did but it’s not letting me do anything in after effects is there a way you can put the cinema 4d file of the billboard so me and other people that watch this can practice your tutorial the same way

    Reply
  115. talkstock2me@hotmail.com

    I followed the instructions to the letter, but I have a very odd problem.
    All the layers exported exactly as they did in the video, with solid, special passes, etc. But when I replaced the solid with my image, it doesn’t show up on screen.
    In my version, I am animating a small, square object that rotates around a ball. I want to replace the square (exported as a solid from C4D v12) with an image. When I drag and drop the image onto the solid layer in AFX CS4, the name and description of the layer changes (to show that it’s been replaced) and maintains all the keyframes,etc. But it doesn’t display! It continues to show the “solid”.
    Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • talkstock2me@hotmail.com

      UGH! I didnt mean to leave my email in the name field! My names Shaheef!

      Reply
  116. Great tutorial. If you could help me on my issue. I have a piece of video that I motion tracked in PFtrack, then brought it into C4D and created some text, then outputted to AE, however, during the output, the AE file isn’t working…When i go to locate the file, it’s not Blue, it’s an exclamation mark in a yellow triangle and says, “Diagnostic Report” ….not sure what i’m doing wrong…I’m using C4D-13 and AE, 11.0.2. Oh, also whenever I open up AE for the first time it says my disk cache folder is on a drive that doesn’t have enough space to safely store the full amount specified in my preference….Not sure if that matters?
    thank you for any help.
    marc

    Reply
    • Marc,

      I am having the same issue — getting an unopenable “Diagnostic Report” file when i try to export a basic scene from C4D to be composited in After Effects. Have you found a solution?

      Your help will be GREATLY appreciated right now as I am under a deadline pressure!

      Reply
      • Dolores

        Hey guys,

        had that same issue. What you have to do is get the plugin from either the installation disk or from Maxon’s website:
        http://www.maxon.net/support/updates/plugins.html
        After that make sure you put the plugins in the folder
        “Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Plugins/CS5/File Formats”
        That should fix things.

        Reply
  117. Hi Nick,

    Great tut as usual. I followed all steps, have the scene inAfter Effects fine. But when I Alt Replace the red layer, for some reason it makes my artwork that I added sit at a right angle to the panel.

    Any idea why? And how I can avoid this?

    Reply
  118. Laygir

    I can’t get the object rotation information by using external compositing tag. If there is a camera animation, I have no problem with that. But if there is object rotation animation, it doesn’t work.

    What am I missing?

    Reply
  119. Steven

    Hi Nick thanks for al your super tutorials!

    Now for this specific tutorial, is this all still possible in After Effects CC ?
    Are there still solids that can be replaced in AE CC?

    Many thanks four your reply.

    Best regards

    Reply
    • Steven

      OK, found it.

      Cineware Commands -> Extract
      Add 3D layer to the image I wanted in the solid & connect via parent to the solid.

      Cheers

      Reply
  120. Tom Daigon

    I really enjoy & benefit from your tutorials. Is the billboard model available for download.? I find that following along enhances my learning experience. Just watching or working with a completely different model undermines the point of a hands on tutorial for me. I will skip this tut until I am able to follow along using the same model. Thanks!

    Reply
  121. Koolstof-Arsenicum

    If you render a cinema 4d template on this way with text, can you edit the text in after effects?

    Reply
  122. Denis

    Hi Nick

    How do I get reflections on the ground, when I put a video on a TV screen in After Effects for example? Because when I render the scene in C4D the screen’s empty and when I put in the video, I don’t get how to make it reflect…

    Thanks by the way for all the great tutorials! Please tell Chris not to talk & click that fast! ;)

    Cheers, Denis from Switzerland

    Reply
  123. Tried a thousand times, i have a screen on a model i want to replace in afx, I add the external compositing tag to it, and export.. open in afx the null is miles out, not in correct rotation either.. am really getting fed up and do not know what else to do.

    Reply
  124. Dan Summers

    Hey Nick,
    Greta tut, moving into AE is a good challenge. I have just updated to C4D R13 and AE cs6. In the exchange plugins dir in C4D under win there is no plugin. I found the C4D Importer and Exported pluging and put them in the after effects plugin dir. When I followed your tutorial I seam to have problems when opening the aec file C4D produces. The info (animation and so on) is there but there but the output is off, white and spotty and not clean like the quicktime video it produced. Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Reply
  125. hi nick i have tried this billboard and followed your steps but the solid in after effects is different from c4d and facing the wrong way what is the problem you think my units in c4d i changed it to meters still no good result lol i am going nuts dude

    Reply
  126. fernandoalencar

    you guys might as well give the download of these projects tutorials

    Reply
  127. dani raving

    my problem is I had a ae cs4 n c4d r13 render from c4d .ace file cnt open in ae n nothing happen, nothing ther ..whereas plugin is latest vir from maxon site. plz any one help…

    Reply
  128. pierrefabre

    Hi Nick,
    I built a rocket in C4D that is parented to a null that came from AE CS6 tracking data. Unfortunately, when I bring it back in AE to use particular for the rocket exhaust (I don’t have pyrocluster) the Z axis is at 60,000+ units from the camera.. Particular can only go to 30,000. I tried changing the units in C4D but nothing changed when I’m back in AE CS6. This is very frustrating as I spent hours on the rocket, got it to track perfectly in C4D, and am now stuck with a problem that seemingly hasn’t been answered anywhere on the internet… people have asked the same question on CCow, but no one answered. Any help would be very greatly appreciated… I’m building this for a reel and need to get it out there.
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  129. Souza

    hello everyone. Amazing tutorial
    i am doing the same thing in tutorial, but after that i do render in the C4D i found only file AEC which is not open in the after effects. what is happening? Please help me.

    thanks.

    Reply
  130. I’m running C4D R15 Studio and After Effects CC. I’m doing everything exactly as is shown in the tutorial, however, AE is not recognizing the file being output by C4D. Obviously, the tutorial is quite old by now so it’s possible there are better ways of doing this now that I am not aware of. Could this issue be addressed in a follow up tutorial?

    -Thanks

    Reply
  131. Steve

    Hi Nick. Know this is an old tutorial but do you have a link for the billboard model you used or would you mind sharing it?

    Reply

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