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  • C4D > AE: Several Problems

  • Jeremy Allen

    April 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I’m still pretty new to C4D, but I’ve composited a few test renders into After Effects and most of them have been pretty successful. Now that I’m actually working on a real project, I’m getting strange results from the renders and the AEC compositions..

    1. The whole 24P thing. I’ve set up my C4D Document settings to be 24, I then set my render settings to the preset for DVCPRO HD 23.976. When I import the resulting comp into AE, all the renders come in at 23.98, while any pre-comps come in at 24. Technically AE comps should be 23.976, so I’m not sure if I should change the frame rates of the imported comps or not. Either way, it seems like I’m having a sync issue between the renders, the imported comps and the pre-comp, named “Camera+Light”, which brings me to my second issue…

    2. “Camera+Light” – Sometimes I get this pre-comp in my main comp from C4D, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I can just copy the layers from this comp and paste them into the main comp with no trouble. Apparently that’s not the case now. Can anyone shed some light on anything about this comp?

    3. Frame size. I’m having trouble understanding how these comp sizes are calculated. My main comp comes in at 960×720, with PAR “Non-square” (1.33:75). Although this should technically be correct, I wonder why it comes in as a custom size, instead of the preset for DVCPROHD, like I set it up in C4D.

    Also, the “Camera+Light” pre-comp comes in at 960×540, square pixels, and is scaled up 133% in my main comp. I have a null inside this pre-comp which should correspond to where I want to put footage. I’ve set it up so this footage should be full screen, but I have to scale it to 73%, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me..

    4. Project and comp organization: This has been a problem with almost every test render I’ve brought into AE. For instance, in my main comp there will be a reflection and ambient pass, but no main pass. Then in the asset browser, the main comp folder contains some of the multi-pass files, while the Special Passes folder contains the original full render file. This is not a huge deal since I can just reorganize the browser, but I’m more wanting to know if I’m doing something wrong or if its just a glitch in the conversion process.

    5. Orientation – sometimes I will include nulls in the render so I can attach footage in AE. Sometimes this null comes in correctly, while other times it is rotated 90 or 180 degrees. Again, not a huge problem, but its been inconsistent and I’m just trying to figure this stuff out. Is there any reason this happens sometimes?

    I’ve been learning C4D on my own for a few months now. There may be important steps I’m missing when rendering for the purpose of compositing in After Effects. I’ve watched tons of tutorials and I’ve even taken some classes at FXPHD, so I felt like I was getting a pretty good grasp of the C4D to AE workflow. But the inconsistencies make me wonder if I’m doing something wrong, or if its just a quirky process prone to glitches in the conversion.

    Right now I’m working with AE CS3, but I wonder if any of these problems would be resolved with an upgrade to CS4? Also, I’m using C4D 11.5, and I’m pretty sure I installed the correct AE import plug-in for the version I’m using.

    Any help on ANY of these issues would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks in Advance.

    8core MacPro, 3.0 GHZ, 10GB RAM, OSX 10.5.6

    C4D 11.5
    AE CS3
    FCP 6.0.1

  • Jeremy Allen

    April 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    So nobody has had any of these problems? Was my post too long to read, or is everyone too distracted by the CS5 announcement today?

    I would really appreciate advice on any of the problems I mentioned earlier. I’m usually pretty good about figuring out problems, or at least work-arounds, but it’s a little more difficult to pinpoint certain problems when they seem so inconsistent.

    Thanks again for any help..

    8core MacPro, 3.0 GHZ, 10GB RAM, OSX 10.5.6

    C4D 11.5
    AE CS3
    FCP 6.0.1

  • Adam Trachtenberg

    April 12, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    1. My suggestion is to always render square pixels out of Cinema, and be aware that Cinema only renders integer frame rates, regardless of what it says in the render settings preset. Therefore I recommend that you set all of the frame rates to 24 (in this case) to avoid confusion.

    You have to be aware of the frame rate setting in three places: render settings, project settings, and if you render to QT or other movie files (not recommended), in the codec settings.

    Before you do your final output out of AE you will have to address the size and timing issues. Do that by nesting your comp in a new comp with the correct output settings. Then adjust the size of your nested comp to the new comp by right clicking on it and choosing, “transform>fit to comp height”. Then time shift the whole thing by 100.1% (24/23.976) to get the correct frame rate.

    4. The way it generally works is that you create all of the separate passes needed to build up the full render; that’s why the full render is in the special passes folder — it shouldn’t actually be needed. So for a typical scene you would render out (at minimum) diffuse, reflection, shadow, specular, and ambient passes. When you open the comp created by the .aec file in AE, it should layer these passes so that they recreate the full render.

    Of course if you have refraction or other effects you would need those passes too….

    5. My guess is that you need to pay more attention to how things are oriented in Cinema.

    I don’t know why you’re getting inconsistent AE imports. It shouldn’t be a problem with CS3/C4D.

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