Exporting geometry to OBJ - with Animation

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Old 10 October 2012   #1
Question Exporting geometry to OBJ - with Animation

Hello!

I need to export large amounts of animated cars to OBJ for use in After Effects. None of the geometry of the cars have animation on them, rather they're rigged to a NURB's controller. These are again parented to some other controllers that helped animated large amounts of cars.

It's simple enough to export the geometry, but the animation dissapears. Does anyone know how to export with the animation, or how to bake the animation from a parent to a child? All the different geometry, nurbs cuves etc.. in the scene are all references aswell. The scene itself is empty.

Help would be greatly appriciated!
 
Old 10 October 2012   #2
Hmm I haven't dealt with AE lately but there is no method that I have ever heard of of embedding animation channels in OBJ files. You could export a series of OBJ's ..one for each frame of animation but that obviously has some limitations. Last I recall the only method for getting animation from maya into AE was by using the camera import function. I have not used it in a long time but if I recall it would require treating each animated node as if it was a camera or a null and saving separate files for each.

Like I said I haven't dealt with AE in awhile and maybe there is a better way to do this.. otherwise it's kludge city.
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Old 10 October 2012   #3
export as fbx
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Old 10 October 2012   #4
Originally Posted by f3rry: export as fbx


I can't find any documentation online that says after effects imports fbx
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Old 10 October 2012   #5
yeah, it all originated from us having a plugin for After Effects that could import OBJ files into the program. However, it turned out that the videos for the plugin were rather misleading, because the plugin does not allow animation to imported aswell.. at least for now.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #6
I think that what you need to do is look into the Alembic format and AtomKraft for After Effects - https://atomkraft.hk/aftereffects
Alembic supports both transforms and point cache, it's fast, easy to use, and quite ubiquitous these days in all the major dcc apps. Obj is a pretty ancient format by comparison.
Atomkraft on the other hand is a full featured 3delight render implementantion, but what you are looking for is the alembic support it offers for after effects.
Havent tried it myself per se (besides the nuke implementation which i use a lot), but from what i've heard they work in similar ways. You can get the trial license and see if it does what you need, but i am unsure whether or not they give a free, two thread license, with the read node unlocked as they do for nuke.

Good luck,
O
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Last edited by oktawu : 10 October 2012 at 04:42 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #7
Originally Posted by Tasselhof: yeah, it all originated from us having a plugin for After Effects that could import OBJ files into the program. However, it turned out that the videos for the plugin were rather misleading, because the plugin does not allow animation to imported aswell.. at least for now.


Well like I was saying you can use the ability to import maya cameras as a workaround. It is not ideal but if you already have this plugin for obj's then doing this way is free and will work.

Again if I recall you need to create "nulls" that represent the pivot of your car body and it's wheels. So that'd be like 5 nulls per car. Once you have those imported via a maya ascii file then you can presumably parent your objs files to the nulls in ae.
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Old 10 October 2012   #8
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