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scott_sp

Plexus and Element 3d inside AE nice and matchy matchy?

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I'm wondering if anyone here has already figured out exactly what the settings need to be to have imported Element 3d .obj and imported Plexus .obj to match up (position and size) in AE. I'm getting fairly close by just brute force scaling and moving, but can't help but think there's a more accurate way that someone else has already cracked.

 

Right now I'm just inverting all axis (X,Y,Z) in Plexus and scaling to about 48.5 percent. Then moving the Element model position to match the Plexus verts. Getting really close but seems reeeeeally random. Right now I only have to do camera animation, but things will get even more wonky if I need to move the Plexus and Element models together.

 

Anyone else run into this and how did you crack it? Thanks much.

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Yeah I don't think there's any easy answer here, although I'd be happy to hear different. Matching Plexus and C4D is easy enough, I think it's just y that needs inverting when you bring in the OBJ - but Element has it's own special normalised scale, so objects all fit in a certain amount of 3D space. So it's eyeballing.

 

Having said that, once they're aligned, can't you fire up an Element control null and have that also control the Plexus coords? Or do all your animation via cameras if that's simpler? Then they should stay in touch.

 

EDIT - scratch that - looks like there may be an answer to aligning the C4D and Element view here:

 

http://www.videocopilot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=91763

 

So if you bring the C4D file in via Cineware, and extract the camera, it should line up OK according to the link. Untested by me though...

Edited by ChrisC

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Once you have Element and Plexus lined up, try adding some Form.

 

It's crazy that those three plugins have such a hard time agreeing on things. I've lost way too many afternoons trying to get things to line up. And then, just when I think I understand what's happening, I'll try the technique on a new project and none of the old tricks will work.

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You need to turn off Element's normalize Size option then the relation between Plexus scale and E3D scale will be 1:100, which is simple math, at least when you export using the default cm unit setting from C4D. Or in other words: E3D assumes 1m as the reference unit for its internal math whereas Plexus just maps the "unit" stored in the OBJ file 1:1 without any realworld relation. Still, it's not always logical and consistent. I had cases where I had to use odd scaling multipliers as well. This seems to come down to how you create your geometry in C4D and things like deformers seem to affect the bounding box and how the coordinates in the OBJ files are scaled and stored.

 

Mylenium

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Ugh... was half afraid of that.

Thankfully this particular gig can get away with just some basic camera moves once I eyeball the Element and Plexus bits into place.

 

Thanks for confirming this little blip. I have to wonder if there's a potential AE Script there. Pretty narrow market, but when you need it, you need it.

 

Brute force for now. Thanks for chiming in.

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Spent a bit more time on this one and got something that is working fairly consistently as far as getting things to match up. So far it works with 3 test models I've made... so:

 

1. Import your .obj into a layer with Element and a layer with Plexus.

2. In Element > Scene Setup turn Normalize Size off (thanks Mylenium). Then make sure that Anchor Point is set to "From Model."

3. In Element > Group Utilities > Create Group Null > Create

4. In Plexus Obj Object > turn on Invert Y and Invert Z.

5. Set OBJ Scale to 250%. (Yes, I know... WTF!?!?)

6. Now just pick whip your Plexus properties for XY and Z position and X,Y,Z, rotation to the Element Group null.

7. Animate the Group Null as desired.

 

I suppose you could also link the scale of Plexus to the Element Group null and just add the x2.5 but I haven't tested that. I did notice that if you make the Element Group Null a child of another null the Plexus model will lose it's relation... so don't do that unless you're way smart and can get some other expression voodoo going.

 

Haven't tried any of this with Form or Mir or ShapeShifter. For today, I hope this helps someone.

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thanks Scott. this will definitely come in handy for some of the element/plexus work I'll be doing this week. like you, I would just eyeball everything but it's proving to be a big chore. however, it does save a ton of time rather than rendering out some simple objects in c4d and working them into AE.

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