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Track a 3D Object into Shot Footage Using Cinema 4D and After Effects 33 Comments


In This Video, we will go though a quick project and show you how to bring in a 3D object or model into your Tracked After Effects scene using Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware. First, we will track the scene using After Effects built in 3D Tracker, then we will bring in and composite our 3D model in for the final composite.

In this tutorial, we use some great free models that are included in Cinema 4D Lite provided by the wonderful folks at Pixel Lab.

Tutorial

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33 Comments

  1. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for this tutorial! Do you have any ideas on how to define the scale of a scene? If it’s a less surrealistic scene than the one in your example that has to be enhanced with 3d-objects, it’s hard to ensure that the 3d-result of tracking uses real world measurements. E.g. when compositing a car that has a real world size, it must fit on a road with real word width. The C4D Camera Solver has a feature that lets us define a real measure of a line. Is there something alike in the AE 3d-tracker?

    Thanks,
    Jay

    Reply
  2. Alejandro Martos

    Hey Nick, You put de 3d object manually in the 3d space. Is it possible to export from AE some null object based in the Camera Tracker to C4d? This way we could have much better control of the positioning of 3d objects.

    Thanks,
    Alex.

    Reply
  3. kennedy Aweslomn

    i feel more passionate about this new brain magic however im still a learner in after effects so it becomes unfortunate that i cant either jump into this wonder of software or even be sure that i can buy it but thank you for the turtorials and going this harder to get me use my creativity

    Reply
  4. Squillion

    Thank you Nick, this is very helpful, useful and generous. I’m guessing that this technique would work for animated objects in C4D too. Great stuff.

    Reply
  5. Syd Vaughn

    Nick, can you please tell us what camera and lens you used to film this? Thanks!

    Reply
  6. MarsCell

    Awesome!
    After your tutorial for the vimeo school with a nearly still shoot, this was the next thing i would have liked to see :)

    Thank you very much for this great tutorial!! :)

    Cheers from germany,
    marscell

    Reply
  7. Shastman

    Great look at the software/plugin. Any reason you didn’t texture your ‘sky’ in Cinema?

    Reply
  8. Martell Artrey

    Yes Nick.. Top Man

    This is just what I’ve been trying to workout.

    Super Cool

    Reply
  9. Andy S

    This is great, as always! We just upgraded to After Effects CC. Looking forward to giving this a try.

    Reply
  10. Nick, I saw and heard a enough mistakes in this video.
    But then again it looked good and as you wanted it to look.
    Just friendly. I visit your blog daily for about 5 years I believe…

    Reply
  11. cool…nick
    but how can i put an 3d objekt in realistic footage with an shadow on the floor
    in cineware???
    thanks

    Reply
  12. Jeff Troiano

    In the Balloon tutorial, you opened a jpeg still Image as a background plate, inside C4D Lite. Is it possible to do this with a video image? Could you have opened a low Rez version of your footage in the C4D lite side, and used that for object placement?

    Reply
  13. Curry

    Hey Nick, awesome tutorial! I was wondering how you would go about adding a shadow catcher into this process if your 3D object needed to cast a shadow on the ground in the live action footage?

    Reply
  14. aviram

    this is epic..but i can’t seem to track the objects properly no matter how many times i run it..the objects always seems to float in the scene and doesn’t stay put…really frustrating.

    Reply
  15. Mike L.

    Cool tutorial with bringing the camera into C4d. I’m not the biggest 3d guy, but comparing this to element 3d it seems sort of tough to do trial and error guessing the placement of the plate with a gray background in the C4d canvas, as oppose to Element where its all comped at the get go. I wish you showed us bringing in backplate footage into Cinema to use for a reference. I know you can bring in image sequences into 3d packages which are a pain with rendering and the process, but I hope it’s possible for the ease of use of just bringing in a .mov. The other thing was this shot was just a zoom so it looks like it wasn’t really necessary to 3d track but coulda done a simple 2d track and since the traffic light was so static you coulda just imported a picture of it and tracked/comped it in. I’m hoping that AE CS7 has greater integration with C4d so we can get rid of element 3d all together and take advantage of all of the 3d features Cinema has, but most importantly make the ease of use of doing the work flow super fast and simple.

    Reply
    • Joshua Smith

      Hey Mike,

      I know it’s be a couple months since you posted this, but I just read it so I thought I’d chime in.

      Putting video in as a reference in Cinema is not to difficult. All you have to do is create a new texture, under the “color” tab there is the empty bar with the button that has “…” to the right, click on that and navigate to your footage (I haven’t found a format that has not worked). Once you have done that all that is left is to create a “Background” object (which can be found where the cameras and lights are) and apply the texture to the background object.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  16. Dustin

    Since the directory for cinema 4d lite goes through the after effects directory, where do you install cinema 4d plugins?

    Reply
  17. Emilio

    Comedians… They are everywhere …. just like ninjas… lol :)

    Reply
  18. Brandon

    Hey Nick, Even though I’ve masked my footage and pre-comped it, the 3D tracker keeps tracking the entire video instead of just the masked off section. Do you have any idea why that might be?
    Thanks for all the awesome tutorials btw.

    Reply
    • I think the mask has to be in the main window and not the comp for it to read it.

      Reply
  19. tuman

    Thanks for this cool tutorial. but I’m having a problem using 3D camera tracker. Every time when I use it after solving the camera it is showing that analysis failed. Can you explain why it is happening? Nick?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Some footage is problematic – it just won’t solve no matter what you do. Other footage is difficult to solve and requires a bit of tweaking of settings and / or points tracked. Search for tutorials on matchmoving problem footage – I’m sure you’ll come up with some good ones. Then you can share them here! ;)

      Reply
  20. Laura

    Thanks for the tutorial but the 3d Camera isn’t moving, do you have any idea why?

    Reply
  21. Ignace

    Hey, I was wondering if you could match the perspective of your tracked data in C4D so that I can do camera projection and shadow catching?

    Reply
  22. Sergiu

    AWESOME! Thank you! Please do more like this. I know this is the basic principle for all but maybe do some with moving 3d objects.

    Reply
  23. Damien

    hi nick you know how to do the same but with an animation?

    Reply

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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.