Camera offset not included in .aec file?


Hi - hope someone can help. I’ve just rendered a series of long camera animations that included an animated camera film offset, only to find that none of my animations match up with the camera position when brought into AE - the film offset is ignored. Any ideas how to get the animations to match? It’s a bit of a problem as the camera moves have all been signed off and now I need to get the AE file to match! Using Cinema 11.5 & AfterEffects CS5/CS3.

Thanks for any help - Chris


did you check “include 3d data” in the rendersettings before saving the .aec-file?


Thanks for the quick reply! But sure, the 3D data is included, it’s just wrong:


hmm, works fine here. maybe a exchange-plugin-problem? reinstall it?

edit: in AE, how many keyframes does your cam have? maybe the output settings is set to “current frame” (i´m quite sure you checked this, but just an idea…)


Thanks again for the reply Mark - the animation transfers fine, it just ignores the x-film offset. I’ve just installed the CS5 link so I don’t think it’s that - and I get the same result in CS3.

If anyone fancies testing there’s a simple file here.

I’m dimly remembering that film-offset maybe doesn’t work with the AE, which would be a big old drag…


Worst case scenario, you can parent a second camera to the first back in c4d, physically offset that one–then export again.

Im not sure if that will duplicate film offset exactly…


Ah, if only it were that easy… the film offset is animated. Also film offset is different from a displaced camera, the perspective is physically shifted around the frame. The more I think about it, the more it seems like this isn’t possible in AE, the camera’s perspective is always going to sit centre-frame.

Anyway I had to get this one out the door so I did it the old-fashioned way - four markers in Cinema, render, then good old corner-pin in AE…


I feared as much. I use animated film offset all the time–a handy feature–but hadn’t given it much thought to what the actual optical process was. Glad you worked it out for the deadline.


the way I would do it is to pre-compose the C4D composition in AE and then drop that Comp into a new comp and shift this in 2D space left of right depending on the X or Y shift of the camera, using opposite values of the ones you used in C4D.
That’s what the X and Y shif actually do. It’s like moving the rendered image in 2D space.

I know that it may be tedious but it should work.

I’m interested to see if it will work, or if I’m being totally out of it :slight_smile:



Actually, i’m using the same method that Noseman describe : i hope not being wrong but i’m affraid AE does not handle camera offset :-/
…even in the last CS5 version… and that’s a shame !
and that’s the reason why .aec files does not include thoses offsets !

but, please, tell me i’m wrong :wink:
i do really need this feature in AE too !


Hey T - sounds promising, but there’s two problems I can see with this one. First is that the offset is animated with a fairly complex curve, but I can use a null to get that data into AE and use it in an expression to offset the frame, so that’s ok in theory - the bigger problem is that moving the comp is going to expose un-rendered parts of the scene, ie there’ll be big bits of black space…

Or did you mean to offset the AE camera only (and its centre of interest)?

Anyway, luckily tracking markers worked fine in this instance but it would be interesting to see if this works, so I’ll give it a go when I get a tic and report back.

Cheers - Chris


well, I haven’t tried it. It was theoretical, based on the way things work.
Thinking about it again after your very accurate comment about the render having to stay fixed, is to separate the 3D elements (nulls - solids e.t.c) into a separate comp and use that comp offsetted by your inverse camera shift.
One problem is that the camera shift is calculated in percent of the screen size so maybe create an expresso that converts the percentage to a pixel value, multiply that by -1 (to negate it) and assign that value to a null and export that data to AE and use that to drive the counter motion of your 3D comp.
Don’t forget only to offset things in 2D space and not 3D space. Moving the camera, will change your parallax and you don’t want that. Remember that moving a comp on your screen in 2D space reflects the same thing as the camera offset does in C4D.
That should bring everything in place.

Again, this is all theoretical, so if you make any progress, I’d love to know if it actually works.

I may give it a spin later and try it myself.



So, I got off my lazy butt, and nailed it.

here’s the zipped file, with C4D file including the expresso, the .aep file and a final AE project.
I am using a simple expression in AE to get the 2D shift data from the “shift_corrector” null.

So the procedure is the following:

  1. make a null and assign the expresso. Make sure you input the correct output resolution in the 2 “constant” operators in Expresso (I used 640x480 resolution)
  2. export that as you usually do in AE.
  3. in AE, import the .aep project and duplicate the Comp. Name one “3D-elements” and the other “MAIN comp”.
  4. in the “3D-elements” comp, leave all the 3D data containers and the camera, solids and lights but remove the “shift-corrector” and the rendered image.
  5. in the MAIN comp, leave the rendered movie and the “shift-corrector”.
  6. drop your “3D-elements” comp into the MAIN comp and apply the little script to the “position” value of the “3D-elements”. You can do that with the “whip” BUT don’t forget to adjust the values to reflect an added offset of half your X and Y resolution (look at the script and you will understand). e.g. the last part of the script reads: [temp+320, 240]
    I added the “+320” and 240. The whip gives you: [temp,temp]

and that’s that.
Works like a charm!




Hey noseman - your butt is far from lazy :wink: (if you know what I mean…)

Anyway - that’s spot on, and a great help. All we need is some COFFEE dude to dig out a way of feeding in the document x/y resolution and we have a general solution, which will be excellent.

Nice one! Chris


why are you waking me up?

here’s what you want. This is the first EVER coffee script I have ever wrote… honestly
new amended expresso in file. Uses a coffee node to extract the document X and Y dimensions.

The Link


That’s it! Now rest easy, your work is done here… either that or do the work you were supposed to be doing while fixing this up for me :wink:

Thanks again - C


ha ha.
it’s my pleasure.
Good luck with the project.

I’m holding you up for a beer if I find myself in Brighton sometime.



Good thread and a nice resolution at the end.


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