Exporting Camera Data from After Effects to Cinema 4D

Paul Tuersley has written a script for exporting camera data from After Effects to Cinema 4D. Paul has also written an extensive brain dump on his process of writing the script and it’s a great example of how research and development of scripts and tools can take on a life of its own. I’ve talked to a couple of people lately who feel that scripting is just beyond their reach, but I hope by reading posts like Paul’s, folks realize that a bit of tenacity and letting a problem gestate and get under your skin until you “just have to solve this” goes a long way to developing really useful tools.

Paul was also kind enough to send me his upgrades and update to my Auto Rig Script for After Effects. I’ve posted his version of the script and I hope to make his changes permanent once I can get some field testing of it working out in all situations. So, I’d appreciate it if you’d download it and give me feedback if you have any issues.

Great work Paul!

UPDATE 04.24.2007

Paul posted a project (riggedCam_noXYZ.zip) set up to animate the null instead of the camera that will allow the use of motion paths addressed in the comments below. It also sounds like Paul has a lot of ideas about new features and is looking for feedback at the thread he’s set for the script at aenhancers.

UPDATE 06.09.2007
Paul has updated his script to version 1.1

Paul writes…
I’ve posted a new version of that AEtoC4D script that exports normal
AE cameras, and more.

AE to C4D


  1. Steve said


    Am I correct in assuming that the camera rig used for this script does not have motion paths visible in the comp window, and hence cannot easily be animated along curves? Please forgive me if I’m missing the obvious and sorry for posting slightly off-topic.


  2. Dale said

    Hey Steve,

    The script simply sets up a camera with expressions. The camera will still behave like any other camera. Or am I misunderstanding the question?


  3. Alex said

    I’m sure you know how many people have been searching for something like this! Absolutely fantastic effort.

    This now needs the final step to make this the bomb. As Steve mentioned above, because you are forced to animate the camera through the camera rig expression controls, you cannot use AE camera pan/dolly/orbit tools or manual tweaking of the motion path. This makes the camera control a bit tedious, even though I can see the benefits in the camera rig.

    The trick (and this is the thing no-one seems to be able to crack) is to convert the key-frame data from an actual AE camera to C4D space. Then we can animate cameras as normal – run the script – and see it mirrored into C4D.

    This is already a lot better than any results seen so far, so congratulations on achieving this. Look forward to further updates.

    Should you get around the real-ae-camera-data, you realise you’ll have free beer waiting in most cities 🙂

  4. Dale said

    Hey Alex,

    Glad you find it useful, but I’m sort of along for the ride on this one. You can buy Paul and Stu a beer next time they are in your town.

    And now I see what Steve was requesting… and you’re right Steve the camera movement is controlled via the expression so we’d need to integrate into the AE tools which is not set up in this script.


  5. Steve said

    Hi again,

    Sorry if it wasn’t clear what I meant before, Dale.

    I do a lot of camera animation in AE and it would FANTASTIC to be able to export the moves to C4D, but I’m pretty wedded to visible motion paths, at least in the XZ plane. So it would be great if this script could be adapted for standard cameras.

    I’m going to post a comment over on your original rig thread as I’m drifting further off topic for this one.

    But listen: A big thanks! I can already imagine some more linear moves that this might come in handy for. I’ll buy you a beer in London anytime.


  6. Paul Tuersley said

    It looks like it is possible to have motion paths and use the AEtoC4D scripts, by animating the Cam Control Null’s position. One limitation is that once you start using the rotation sliders, the Null’s 3D axis won’t necessarily point in the same direction as the camera. If you can live with that, you should be ok.

    Here’s a link to the project:

    The sliders that were controlling position are now reading the Null’s position instead. This means it should still work with the v1.0 script, because it’s currently exporting those slider values.


  7. Dale said

    Thanks Paul,

    I appreciate the follow up. I’ll post an update in the body of the post for those who don’t read comments.



  8. And also, responding to Alex’s request to use a regular AE camera:

    I think I can make that work. It sounds like maybe it should be the next thing on my list?

    Pretty much all the hard work is done now. With the first version, I was just trying to get everything together for a working solution. With the amount I learnt in the process, I can see that a lot more is possible.

    For example, I should be able to create the camera rig in C4D instead. So C4D is matching AE, not the other way around. Given another week or two I could probably also export frame rate, duration, zoom / field of view, nulls, layer planes and maybe even lights.

    It partly depends on what feedback I get, so it’s good to find some positive comments. If you have specific requests, you should reply to my AEtoC4D thread on http://www.aenhancers.com


  9. Eric Henry said

    I recently contributed another AE to C4D workflow option which has the advantage of allowing translation of ALL AE transform properties. Also, it is AE-centric and doesn’t require any special rigging on the AE side. Works for cameras and scene objects. On the downside, it is not scripted and requires a bit more leg work. See:


RSS feed for comments on this post

Comments are closed.