Camera Tracking After Effects to Cinema 4D

For a while now I’ve wondered if the flashy new After Effects Camera Tracker would be useful for tracking live footage for processing in Cinema 4D.

I’ve been rediscovering 3D and Cinema 4D is my go to tool for such work, but… I’d always had limited success getting Cinema to play nice with After Effects.
The arrival of the Camera Tracker in After Effects CS6 caught my attention, maybe now things’ll work out. Surely the two were meant for each other?

So I rolled up my sleeves. Camera in hand I headed out into the wilderness to shoot some background plates. Here is the result of my efforts…

Workflow

It began with footage shot on the Canon 6D.
For the reflections and lighting I made a rough HDR probe at the location using Photosynth on the iPhone.
The camera was solved in After Effects.
The 3D is done in Cinema 4D.

Compositing

Back in After Effects I faked a shadow (I really need to figure out how to render out a shadow map. Anyone?)
I then cooked up some snow with Particular and coloured and trashed the footage using Magic Bullet Looks.
There’s also some RSMB to add motion blur to further sell the illusion.

All in all the process was a bit of a fiddle but I think I’ve nailed a workflow for a more challenging concept.


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