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Welcome to 3D Model Import in After Effects!

Adobe Employee ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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Today is one of those really exciting days for us on the After Effects team. The ongoing work building out our 3D design space now gets the best addition yet – native support for 3D models. As of today’s build (23.1 Build 44) you can now import .OBJ, .GLB or .GLTF models directly into your project, and drop them into your composition. 

 

We are anxious to get this into your hands so we can learn more about the features you want us to focus on. This is not meant to replace a dedicated 3D product. We are building a 3D toolbox to enhance your creative options directly within After Effects. 

 

Choose CMD/CTRL + I (or File > Import > File) and import your model from the browser window. When you drag your model into the comp, a Model Settings dialog will appear. You can also reopen this dialog any time from the Layer menu. Change the settings to get the model to the sizing you want, or choose the ‘Make Comp Size’ button to have AE do it for you. 

 

ChristineGoldby_0-1666107638087.png

 

 

 

With this first build, the models will import with any materials already attached, into your composition – alongside other 2D or 3D layers. In the same way that there is now a default 3D camera until you choose to add your own, there is a default light which will be disabled when you add new lights to the scene. 

 

Rendering-wise, we are starting from the ground up. When you add a model to your comp, your 3D renderer will change to the new ‘Mercury 3D’. Turn on Draft 3D to use the ground plane or extended viewer, as well as faster previews once your composite gets busy. Work on the render engine has been focused on basic functionality, and there are plenty of features not present yet, such as shadows or material modifications. We look forward to learning more about what you need here specifically. 

 

We’ve created this FAQ with answers to the first set of questions we anticipate, as well as Known Issues in this build. We will add on to this as we go along.  

 

We hope you are as excited as we are, and we can’t wait to see what you create. ENJOY! 

 

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2023 Mar 01, 2023

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How will the 3d integration affect computer performance? I am building a new computer now and would like to consider the AE advances. Cheers Tief

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 02, 2023 Mar 02, 2023

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Hi @Tief,

 

The Mercury 3D renderer uses the GPU, so a fast GPU with lots of VRAM would be your wisest path if you plan on working heavily in 3D. Apart from that general guidance, I don't have specific recommendations yet.

 

As with any 3D or graphics app, performance will depend a lot on what you're asking the renderer to do. Generally speaking, Mercury 3D is tuned for fast, game-style or mobile device rendering (it shares the same render engine with Adobe Aero), so we've seen it quite performant in most cases, but more complex scenes will slow it down.

 

Mercury 3D is still in Beta and it is still under heavy development with more features (including render-intensive features) coming, so we haven't profiled performance characteristics because too much is changing. Once we get closer to the first public release, we will be doing more performance testing and may be able to provide additional guidance.

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New Here ,
Mar 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023

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Hello, it would be fantastic if you could integrate a 3D orthographic camera as well. This would make beautiful isometric animations possible.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023

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Agreed!

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2023 Mar 09, 2023

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I have a motion graphics project and have some 3D models I would like to integrate into it, so I made sure I was up to date on After Effects (23.2.1 Build 3) and attempted to import an obj file. However, the file is greyed out on the import dialogue screen, and if I drag the folder with the obj, mtl and skin folder, the only thing that gets imported is the flat jpg skin. I was able to successfully open this same obj file in Photoshop, so if the file type is supported, I'm not sure how to activate it.

 

Is there a step I'm missing? Thanks!

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 09, 2023 Mar 09, 2023

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Hi @jeremymathewsnsps,

 

3D model import is currently only available in After Effects Beta. The current beta version of After Effects Beta is 23.3 build 46.

 

It sounds to me like you're looking in the public release build of After Effects, which is version 23.2.

 

You can install After Effects Beta, or update to the latest version, via the Creative Cloud desktop app. More information about Beta apps is available here:
https://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/creative-cloud-beta.html

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2023 Mar 09, 2023

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Ah, that would be the issue — thanks, I'll install it!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 05, 2023 Apr 05, 2023

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The main thing I find sorely missing from After Effects' toolset is 3D projection mapping capability. Currently you can project onto planes in a very crude way but it would be great to be able to do basic 3D modelling possibly encorporating the 3D camera tracker to block out a scene and then project the clip onto the basic geometry. I feel like this is a big thing that is missing compared to other compositing software like Nuke or BM Fusion. Thanks

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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  • It'd be great if you can rough out a scene with 3d models and the 2D elements and then send that information (boxes for text, boxes for shapes, model and camera properties) to Cinema 4d.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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Also a nice toon render would be awesome to blend with shape layers!

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New Here ,
Aug 23, 2023 Aug 23, 2023

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Is there a minimum hardware spec for this funtionality? I can import a glb but when placed in a composition all I can see is a bounding box, not the object itself.

 

Screenshot 2023-08-24 at 12.46.57 pm.png

 

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 05, 2023 Nov 05, 2023

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Seems like it does not have embeded textures. What format is that?

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 06, 2023 Oct 06, 2023

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Isn't AE 2024 still not able to import 3d objects and only the 2023 beta is?

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2023 Oct 28, 2023

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I'm on AE version 24.0.0 and it won't let me import ANY 3D object. I tried .obj, .glb, and it just doesn't accept it. Why?!

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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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I did the same thing you did, but the file format does not appear when I want to transfer the file. When I try to put it in a folder and try, it says the file format cannot be read this time, what should I do?

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Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2023 Dec 04, 2023

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No you can't.  I have the latest AE and I can't import any 3D models...was this feature removed in v24 !?

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I've predominantly spent time in the 2d world and dabble in incorporating 3d in my work. 

One thing I'd love some help with is scale. When I create objects in 3d software and bring them into AE they are tiny or huge I just have no idea about scaling when it comyto importing.

Does anyone have like a rule of thumb for scaling objects in 3d into AE. How many metres is a HD comp for example. In a typical view.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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There's button on import - make comp size. Stick to it

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Make comp size may work for a project with just a singular object but falls apart if multiple need to be imported at their respective scale but within a sensible rescale within the new 3d application. AE's problem is that this seems to be completely arbitrary without any means of conversion ratios/tables. This is actually problematic with more advanced renderers because things like ambient occlusion, shadows and other rendering techniques may be impacted by scene size.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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The eternal problem with exchanging 3D files is, apps and formats have never had consistent rules about which way is up (Y or Z?), which way is left (-X or +X?), and what unit of distance is 1.0 (usually m or cm).  

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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LATEST

Does AE (I'm on Beta 24.5.0 Build 21) support animated GLB files? I have an animated GLB file (all animation is baked etc) which plays fine if I import it (the GLB file) into Blender or an online viewer, but when I import it into AE, I see the Animation Options, but regardless of which one I select, there is no animation (yes, I have the comp set to Advanced 3D Renderer).

hellopaul4_0-1714399876520.png

Interestingly, if I import that same model into the public release version of AE (24.3.0 Build 50), there are no "Animation Options" at all - just the Transform and Compositing Options (and the comp's set to Advanced 3d).

 

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any help!

~ Paul

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