Last month Adobe and MAXON dropped a huge bomb on us all. It was a vague bomb, that left tons of room for speculation and dreaming. What we did know at the time was a romance had blossomed. Very much in the same vein as when Ross and Rachel first kissed, when Zach and Kelly first started dating, and I’m assuming when Ted finally meets his wife… I mean honestly?! How long are they going to make us wait for that one?! But I’m off track. What we heard then was that Adobe and MAXON had come along side each other to make the workflow between the two applications more seamless and easy to use. And that was enough!
At the time, if I was using all my power of imagination I was hoping for something along the the lines of the workflow between Premiere and After Effects or Illustrator and Photoshop. Mostly that last one. I was looking forward to being able to bring in native Cinema4D files and orbit a camera around the object and all that fun stuff. Then if the object needed to be edited I could double click the layer and it would open in my version of C4D for me to then get down into its sub-polygon parts and adjust or reanimate. Save the file, then see it automatically update inside of AE. Just like you would do if you imported an illustrator file into photoshop, double-click the layer, open in illustrator, make some adjustments then save, and see it update automatically back in photoshop. That was the dream. I thought that was the “next level”, that somehow that would be pushing the envelope and moving us into a brave new world.
We Get a Taste of Reality
We still don’t know the full power of the marriage however more details have come out as of this morning. I could not be more surprised. I would have never imagined what they did with the connection between the applications. Introduced this morning is an After Effects CS7 plugin called “Cineware” made by MAXON. I have added a workflow piece that John from Motionwork uploaded this morning to his vimeo showing the plugin in motion. So I won’t go into too much detail about it in order to not be too redundant. I will just share a few of the things that I’m most excited about.
First, much like what you can currently do with VideoCopilot’s Element3D, you can input native C4D files into After Effects and orbit your camera around them. However Cineware takes it to the next level. After rendering the scene once, you now have full power to move the camera around the object as you see fit without having to rerender the scene from C4D. If you feel like you need to retexture or reanimate something simply go into the now included version of C4D Lite and make your adjustment there. You can use any of the animated cameras you have created inside of your C4D file, or create a new camera there inside of your AE comp to then move around as you see fit.
Second, the ability to get all of your multi-pass renders inside of After Effects without having to rerender out of C4D. There are just a few specific things that need to happen inside the Cineware plugin, but it seems like getting an object buffer you forgot or the reflection pass you accidentally unclicked into your AE comp is super easy.
Last. The ability to export your AE camera into C4D. This is great because of the 3D camera tracker tool introduced in AECS6 is great for solving basic camera shots and sometimes does a crack up job of some more complex moves. Then you’d export that camera data into C4D, create your 3D element, then have everything match exactly. That is pretty huge!
Here Comes NAB
Now, they mentioned that still this isn’t all that they have to announce about this marriage. This is again, just a taste of what we could expect to see from these two powerhouses. They’ve got plans to finally spill all the details on all this next week at NAB in Las Vegas. So make sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled to the internet to make sure you don’t miss a beat. But if you do, make sure to check back here and I’ll be updating on everything I see and hear.
Below are some links to the official press releases of the updates. The first one, make sure you scroll down the page a bit and look for a video titled, “After Effects: Live 3D Pipeline”.