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Old 01-21-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
Paradyce
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Robert Dyce
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Exclamation Max 2013 to After Effects Interoperability / Scale

Hello,

I am using max 2013 and trying to wrap my head around the max to AE interoperability workflow. From what I can tell, max sends out transform data into a .sof file and After Effects can use this data to create a scene with camera, objects and nulls.

Awesome! It's about time we have something this powerful built in to max!
Too good to be true? Quite possibly!

The scale of camera, objects and nulls transfers as 1 unit in max to 1 pixel in after effects.
This makes everything VERY small in after effects and it it nearly impossible to move a null around or do much of anything in After Effects.

Has anyone used this new functionality in production? It seems to me that without a 'scale factor' control from max to AE, this new feature is worthless. Is it possible that Autodesk took the time to add this new feature without any real-world testing? Surly there must be something I am missing. I'm not terribly keen on attaching everything to a null and scaling it up to trick After Effects into a usable scale. Seems like there ought to be a scale factor multiplier that affects the data in the .sof file.

Any help from someone who is using this new functionality successfully in production would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Bob Dyce
 
Old 01-22-2013, 12:41 AM   #2
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You shouldnt have to do that, I dont have 2013 at home right now, but i can check tomorrow at work. What are your max units set to?
 
Old 01-22-2013, 03:12 AM   #3
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I believe I was set on standard/generic units. It seems to translate one generic unit into one pixel in AE.

Has anyone else used the max to AE functionality successfully in production?

Last edited by Paradyce : 01-22-2013 at 04:06 AM.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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Hey I just had a go with 2013 and AE CS5.5. I sent a camera, a dummy and a plane. it all lined up perfectly and the size was fine. Is it literally one pixel when you bring it in? Are you updated with all you hotfixes and things?
 
Old 01-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #5
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resetXform everything before you export.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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Question

Thanks for your responses.

Everything transfers from max to AE fine, everything lines up fine, and animation + cameras sync up perfectly...the compositor link works as advertised. There is just a lack of scale control when you write out the .sof file.

Everything I transfer into After Effects is VERY small - this makes it really tough to nudge a null around, use a 2D particle system, use a mask, etc.

Here is what I've found:

In max 2013, I have 2 objects/nulls/whatever that are 20 generic units apart, when I link to the comp in After Effects, the nulls are 20 pixels apart (this is quite small).

If I use centimeters, meters, or any other unit, I get a 1 to 1 result. 10 meters = 10 pixel.
If I adjust the 'system unit setup' so that one system unit is a meter/kilometer/whatever, it doesn't seem to make any difference.

This ultra-small AE scale pretty much sucks and makes for a great 'idea' that was never pressure tested in a real production environment.

The one workaround we have discovered to successfully adjust the scale is to go through:
Utilities>More>Rescale world units>Rescale... and recale the max scene by a scale factor.

This allows me to transfer my scene into after effects with a reasonable/controllable scene scale, but you pretty much end up with a throw away max scene since you've screwed with the scene scale and this will potentially screw with lights, render settings, etc.

I'm really scratching my head on why we cannot keep the Max and AE scenes as is and just adjust the scale at the time that the .sof file is created.

Anyone using the Max to After Effects transfer have any tips?
I get that it 'works' - I'm just wondering if people are getting good results and finding it to be a pressure tested, flexible, usable method in production.

Thanks!
Bob Dyce
 
Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradyce
Thanks for your responses.


If I use centimeters, meters, or any other unit, I get a 1 to 1 result. 10 meters = 10 pixel.
If I adjust the 'system unit setup' so that one system unit is a meter/kilometer/whatever, it doesn't seem to make any difference.


This is the behaviour I am getting also as we work in centimeters . I know its not ideal since the built in features are supposed to work but have you tried Max2AE? We have been using this at our studio its pretty solid.
 
Old 01-22-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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Hello,

Yes - We've been using max2ae for years at our studio, but we only have one license and I thought it would be cool if all the designers could have the max to after effects functionality natively.

Is it just me, or is this a total 'Autodesk' move to add a piece of functionality that works in theory, but breaks down in actual / practical production work. LAME!

B
 
Old 01-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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Edit: taken out because it added nothing.

Last edited by Diffus3d : 01-23-2013 at 12:11 AM.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradyce

Everything I transfer into After Effects is VERY small - this makes it really tough to nudge a null around, use a 2D particle system, use a mask, etc.



Howdy Bob,

I would really like to understand your issues and workflow better. Maybe this is something were a scale multiplier can be added. There are certainly many users using Media Sync heavily in production but this issue as not been brought up yet.

My goal is to make sure State Sets and Media Sync are rock solid for production so please shoot me an email that details this...maybe with a basic scene that shows the issue? That would be great and help us out a lot.

Thanks so much!
Michael McCarthy
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradyce
Is it just me, or is this a total 'Autodesk' move to add a piece of functionality that works in theory, but breaks down in actual / practical production work. LAME!


I've had this problem as well but I was able to work around it. It is an annoyance. But this is to be expected with any new feature. It's not like they can test every new feature in all production environments, they rely on users to report problems. This seems like something they can address - IF they know about it, so report it. The more users that report it, the higher up the issue is escalated.

Michael McCarthy, the guy who has been handling a lot of the Max>AE interop, has been very proactive about fixing problems and taking suggestions, he may even weigh in on this.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #12
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double post
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for the offer Michael - I'll shoot you an email and hopefully we can hop on a call and chat about the issues we see with the current implementation.

cheers,
Bob Dyce
 
Old 01-23-2013, 10:33 AM   #14
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I have also noticed the need to scale things down to ridiculously small sizes in AE. It would be good if there was a solution to this.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 09:35 PM   #15
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Really, the simplest solution would be a scale factor that you could set before you update the linkage to AE. The MAX2AE plugin has this functionality...works like a charm.

A simple one to one translation 'works' but totally limits what you can do in AE.
 
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