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July 14, 2016 /After Effects /

After Effects CC 2015.3 In Depth: Maxon CINEWARE and Cinema 4D Exporter Updates

Earlier this summer, we released After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8), which features a variety of performance and workflow enhancements.

In this article, we’re sharing more detail about the updates to the Maxon CINEWARE 3.1 plug-in, which includes the Maxon Cinema 4D Exporter.

Please, if you want to ask questions about these new and changed features, come on over to the After Effects user-to-user forum. That’s the best place for questions. Questions left in comments on a blog post are much harder to work with; the blog comment system just isn’t set up for conversations. If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so here.

Maxon CINEWARE 3.1 plug-in

Maxon CINEWARE 3.1.14 includes the following features:

  • improved Cinema 4D Exporter, including support for animated 3D Text and Shape layers
  • enhanced OpenGL rendering
  • bug fixes

Cinema 4D Exporter: animated 3D text and shape layers

The Cinema 4D Exporter (File > Export > MAXON Cinema 4D Exporter) now exports 3D text and shape layers into the .c4d file.

3D Shape layers are exported as extruded spline objects, and includes animation of shape layer properties.

When you export a composition that contains 3D text layers, you will be prompted to choose between exporting extruded spline objects or extruded text objects:

  • Extrude Text as Shapes
  • Preserve Editable Text

The Extrude Text as Shapes option exports 3D text layers as extruded spline objects in the .c4d file. This option retains the fidelity of the layer: character and paragraph formatting, and animation of text layer properties. The font and text content can not be modified in Cinema 4D.

The Preserve Editable Text option exports 3D text layers as extruded text objects in the .c4d file. The font and text content can be modified in Cinema 4D. This option has limited support for character and paragraph formatting, and animation of text layer properties. Text animation features that are not supported include: text animators, kerning, tracking, vertical text, paragraph text, and text on path.

Strokes are exported for 3D text and shape layers into the .c4d file. Note that while the Ray-traced 3D renderer in After Effects does not render strokes for 3D text layers, strokes will still be exported when enabled. To view 3D text layer strokes before exporting, make sure that the composition renderer is set to Classic 3D.

Other Cinema 4D Exporter improvements

To improve the workflow between After Effects and Cinema 4D, the Exporter now shifts the scene coordinates for the parent null object so that the center of an After Effects composition matches Cinema 4D’s center at 0,0,0.

Also, when you import and add to a composition a .c4d file that was created by the CINEWARE 3.1 version of the Exporter, you can view the scene through an After Effects camera by first adding a camera and then setting the Camera setting in the CINEWARE effect to Centered Comp Camera. Any After Effects 3D layers you add to the composition will now line up with the Cinema 4D scene layer. Extracted 3D Scene Data from the .c4d file like nulls, cameras, and lights will also line up, provided that any new objects added to the .c4d file are grouped under the same parent null object as created in the exported .c4d file.

The default name for the exported .c4d file is now the name of the composition, instead of “untitled.c4d”.

Exported .c4d files are saved as version 17.0.

Enhanced OpenGL rendering

The OpenGL renderer in CINEWARE now supports the same level of Enhanced OpenGL quality as Cinema 4D for these properties:

  • Transparency
  • Shadows
  • Post effects
  • Noises
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