Animating architectural drawings in AE


I’m just getting my head around the possibilities of what AE can achieve.

Working in Arch Vis, one thing I’d like to be able to do is to animate a building ‘growing’ out of an architectural plan, viewed at an angle - the kind of effect you see in Grand Designs and other similar programs.

I’ve discovered the ‘extrude shape’ option which is fine for simple vertical elements, but won’t cater for angled roofs, etc.

Can I import textured 3D geometry and render it scaling / moving about? There seems to be a link with Cinema4D but we don’t own a copy in the office.

Am I expecting too much? Is it something I’d need to animate and render elsewhere? Sadly our CAD package doesn’t support animated geometry…




As long as you have After Effects CC, you do have Cinema4D - the Lite version. It’s pretty limited in terms of functionality but it can be an effective pipe between, say, an obj created in a different package and After Effects. You can either export your comp to C4D, or create a new c4d file with File > New > C4D.