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Exporting position data from Character Animator to After Effects

Community Beginner ,
Aug 29, 2018

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Hello,

I'm trying to integrate a Character animation and video footage, and I'd like the video footage to be attached to a part of my character - either hand or face.  I can create the character in Character Animator without much of a problem, and I can import the animation into After Effects in various ways, but the challenge is to find a way to attach the desired footage to the character - motion tracking does not yield good results and manual rotoscoping is quite time consuming.

Is there a way to export position, rotation and scale data from Character Animator to After Effects (or Premiere Pro) for tracking of desired or specified elements of an animation?

Thanks in advance

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Exporting position data from Character Animator to After Effects

Community Beginner ,
Aug 29, 2018

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Hello,

I'm trying to integrate a Character animation and video footage, and I'd like the video footage to be attached to a part of my character - either hand or face.  I can create the character in Character Animator without much of a problem, and I can import the animation into After Effects in various ways, but the challenge is to find a way to attach the desired footage to the character - motion tracking does not yield good results and manual rotoscoping is quite time consuming.

Is there a way to export position, rotation and scale data from Character Animator to After Effects (or Premiere Pro) for tracking of desired or specified elements of an animation?

Thanks in advance

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Guru ,
Aug 29, 2018

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I have not heard of anything like that - might be a question for Adobe staff like oksamurai

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 29, 2018

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I believe the only thing you can export currently is right-clicking the Visemes take bar to copy & paste visemes from CH into AE. More control would be great, I agree - I'd love the option to have a CH handle show up as a null in AE for example. More CH/AE functionality is requested quite a lot: Character Animator: Top (91 ideas) – Adobe video & audio apps

I'm not sure what the final effect is, but I'd put a green square placeholder in the original footage or AE file and track against that. So for example, if I wanted to add a cartoon head on my own real head, I'd maybe put green tape on my nose so I could easily motion track it in AE. Or we've seen people make headless DUIK rigs in AE with a dot at the top that they track a CH head on top of.

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Guru ,
Aug 30, 2018

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There may be another option, if the position, rotation and scale adjustments to the puppet can serve your purpose when made within the After Effects comp. In that case, attaching a pick whip from the video layer to the puppet layer will make the video move with the puppet.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 30, 2018

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My mind was going in that direction so it's great to hear from someone else that the possibility exists.  Many Thanks!

I'll dive into that topic and post here again if I need help OR with a solution

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Guru ,
Aug 30, 2018

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Here's a quick example. The elf is a mp4 video...

PickWhip.gif

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 31, 2018

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Awesome!  That's very similar to what I want to achieve! Thanks! Not making much headway with research on how to import a puppet from Ch to AE.  I can import a Ch scene into AE, and I can export a .puppet file from Ch, but don't know how to bring a puppet entity with P/R/S data available into AE.  Can you (or anyone) throw some light on this please?

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Guru ,
Aug 31, 2018

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I think Jerry was suggesting not putting that movement in CH. Just do it in AE so the whole CH scene is moving around. So you would have to redo all the movements. (Character arm movements, facial expressions etc would still be in CH. But puppet position and scale changes are done in AE making it easy to keep in sync with the elf video.)

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Guru ,
Aug 31, 2018

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What Alan said. I did the lip sync and arm wave to Chloe in CH, dragged the scene into AE, then did the P/R/S changes to Chloe in the AE comp. The elf video is positioned in the comp to where I want it in relation to Chloe, and pick whipped to the puppet.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 04, 2018

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Understood.

Thanks VERY much for your help and input!

Hopefully Adobe is listening in and will consider adding functionality like this to Ch in the future.

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Guru ,
Sep 04, 2018

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Yesterday we came up with an approach that would, in a way, let a video be added within CH.

Look at this Re: Adding a video in the background as an alternate way to do it, using cycles.

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Guru ,
Sep 04, 2018

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I wonder what a full screen cycle layer performance would be like. I would not be surprised if it was quite laggy.

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Guru ,
Sep 04, 2018

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I just tried the cycle I used in the example on full screen. There doesn't appear to be any lag that I can tell. It's jerky, but that's because I picked every 10th frame from the video. There are 108 frames in the cycle, and it took 4 seconds about. The frame rate was 30, I changed the frame rate to 1, and the cycle played out in 1:48.

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Guru ,
Sep 04, 2018

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Sorry, I was not clear. I was thinking of a full framerate video (one new image per frame) and the editing speed inside CH (e.g. moving the play head around the scene to do editing). If every frame has to load up a new image from disk I could image that to be slow. Or worse, if CH keeps all the images in memory... that would not allow a long sequence. I think the final generated video should be completely fine.

Any magic techniques you used to load up lots of images into a cycle layer? Did you create a PSD/AI file and load the images into that? Or use some CH magic to load up a directory of image files into cycle layers Inside CH directly?

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Guru ,
Sep 04, 2018

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I see what you are getting at. Yeah, a slow down is possible depending on the circumstances. and I have run into it from time to time.

To make the cycle, I created a png folder of the video frames, then picked the frames I wanted and used File/Import Cycle in CH.

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