1. Project Setting in After Effects
Open After Effects.
I have a live action
footage which I have imported in After Effects. This is the footage which will
be used as the background footage to composite with the robot animation.
With the background
footage layer selected, go to Animation > Track Camera.
The 3D Camera Tracker
system starts analyzing the footage to get good tracking points. It usually
takes a couple of minutes.
When the tracking
completes, you can see several tracking points in the scene.
With several tracking
points selected, make a right mouse click and select Create Null and Camera
as shown in the following image.
You get a null object
and 3D camera in the timeline. This null object is the placeholder and sticks
with the footage and follows the camera.
You can play with the
rotation values of the null object to keep its Y axis upwards.
2. Exporting Camera Data to 3ds Max
You can find a free
script AE3D for After Effects in www.aenhancer.com. Download this
script and paste it in the Script folder of After Effects.
Now restart After Effects.
Open the same composition again. With the null
object and 3d camera layers selected, go to File > Script >
In the AE3D window, select the 3ds Max option, set the file name to camera tracker.ms and then click on Export. It saves the 3ds Max script file on the desktop.
3. Creating Scene in 3ds Max
Open 3ds Max.
Go to MAXScript >
Browse for the camera
track.ms script which was exported
from After Effects. Select the script and click on Open.
After running the
script, you get a 3d camera and one dummy in the scene.
Jump in the perspective
view and press C key for the camera view.
Right now the camera is
upside down. You need to correct the coordinate of camera.
With the dummy and the camera selected together, go to Group > Group and create group.
Jump in the left viewport. Select the Rotate tool and rotate the group to the right side. The goal should be to put the dummy on the grid line.
Adjust the dummy a
little bit more to make it straight.
Jump in the camera view.
Press Alt-B keys to open the Viewport Configuration window. Turn
on Use Files and Animate Background options. Click on Files.
Select the BG Footage image and click on Open.
Turn on the Show Safe Frame option in the camera view. Alternatively, you can press Shift-F keys.
put any 3d dummy object in the scene and put it on the grid around the dummy. I
have put a box in the scene and you can see it follows the camera movement.
4. Compositing Robot Animation
In the last part of the tutorial, I have shown you how
to animate the robot on a floor. So, now you can import the robot in the scene
and animate it here. Or if you have already animated the robot, you just need
to merge the robot animation file in this max scene.
Put a plane beneath the robot. Apply Matte
Shadow on to the plane.
Create a light as shown in the following image.
Create a dome using sphere and apply the background
footage onto it.
Render the sequence and you will get the diffuse
pass as shown in the following image.
You can also render the ambient occlusion pass
which is required for contact shadow effect during compositing.
Now you can composite the diffuse and ambient
occlusion passes together to get the final composited effect as shown in the