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3ds Max + AE: Learn VFX, Camera Tracking and Compositing

Add Drone and other live footage to your workflow by using built-in tools from 3ds Max and Adobe After Effects.
Adam Zollinger
1.096 estudiantes matriculados
English [Auto-generated]
Take drone and other live footage, camera track it accurately, and composite 3D elements into the footage for a convincing visual effect.
Camera track footage using Adobe After Effects.
Match 3d models to your tracking information in 3ds Max.
Composite using After Effects to accurately match lighting, color, etc. of the two footage tracks (rendered 3D and live action).

There are few better ways to present a project to your clients than through aerial fly-overs of a proposed building.  Drones have made it easier than ever to aerial footage of your projects sites.  In this course you will learn to take drone footage (or really any kind of footage), whether it is shot by you or someone else, and composite in your 3D creations easily and convincingly. 3DS Max and After Effects already have all the built-in tools that you need for creating visual effects using 3D composited into live footage.  Follow this course and you will be amazed at how quickly and easily you can be up to speed, creating your own movie-like effects, using software you probably already have access to.

This course is broken down into three main sections:

  1. Inside of After Effects — This is where I will show you how to generate and export 3D camera tracking data for later use in 3DS Max.
  2. Inside 3DS Max — From AE, we will get a camera the exactly matches the zoom angle and movement of our live video footage, but in Max we will have to adjust its scale and rotation in order to get it to match with the real world.  Once we have that, we can add any 3D elements we want to the footage.
  3. Bring It All Back Together In After Effects — This is where we will do some compositing. The goal is to make the 3D animation elements and the live footage mesh together seamlessly and convincingly.

This course is hands on.  You will be following along with me creating a basic aerial fly-over.  You will learn the exact workflow that you need, plus a ton of tips and tricks that will help you to not get hung up when you graduate to your own projects.  I have already done all the troubleshooting for you, so learn from my experience. Check out the promo video to learn more about me, and about the project you will creating in the course.

Join the course today for lifetime access!

Check out my other Arch Viz / 3D courses as well (More about those at the end of this course).  I have learning opportunities for all levels, and courses that cover various different aspects of the industry.

*This course uses the latest and greatest in the two main software packages that are discussed.

**Frequent updates and additional lectures

***Lifetime access to all content and future content


Instructor Intro and Course Overview
  • A little bit about me
  • My credentials

Camera Tracking in After Effects

Section Overview
  • Section overview
  • Various different aspects of camera tracking that we will learn in After Effects
Get Your Free Drone Footage
  • download the drone footage
  • link to free drone footage on the internet that can be used for your practice
  • watch the licensing of the video in case you want to publish it somehow
  • follow the lecture resources for link
Import Drone Footage Into After Effects and Track It
  • Import drone footage into after effects
  • render it as a .jpg sequence for use later in 3ds Max
  • Use the 3d camera tracking utility to generate tracking data
Use a Script To Export The Tracking Data
  • follow the resource link for script download
  • use the free script to export your data as a maxscript file
Section Review
  • Section recap for the camera tracking part of the course
  • What did we learn in this section?

Using Tracking Info in 3ds Max

Section Overview
  • Section Overview
  • What will you be learning in this section?
  • Here we learn what to do with the tracking data once it comes back into 3ds Max.
Import Footage as a Background
  • Import the footage and set it up as the scene background
  • safe frames
  • settings
Import Tracking Data and Link it to a Dummy Object
  • Import the camera track data by running the maxscript file
  • link all your data to a dummy object
  • manipulate the dummy object to ensure that your tracking data matches the real world
Place 3d Models
  • follow the link to download the free 3d model to be composited
  • place the models in the scene and see how they match perfectly
Set up Masking and Render Channels
  • match lighting of footage in 3d
  • set up matte materials
  • set up shadow casting stand-in objects
  • set up render channels if necessary
  • prep for rendering
Render 3d Footage
  • render your footage
  • mine footage will be uploaded so you can follow the link and use mine if necessary
Section Recap
  • Recap of the 3d portion of the course

Back in After Effects: Composite and Render Your Final Video

Section Overview
  • Section overview
  • What will we learn here?
  • This covers the basics of compositing 3d + video in After Effects
Import 3d Footage to After Effects
  • Import your 3d rendered footage back into after effects
  • Use your alpha channel to overlay the 3d properly
Use Alpha Tricks in After Effects to Blend Two Tracks Better
  • Create a new mask inside of After Effects that helps to cutout existing objects in the video footage
  • Blend two tracks together more convincingly
  • Learn how to place 2d elements in your composition that are also tracked properly
Adjusting the 3D to Match Perfectly
  • Final Color Adjustments 
  • Lighting adjustments
  • Any other effects you want to add to the video
Export the Final Composite
  • Export your finished composition from After Effects
Fixing and Troubleshooting Potential Problems -- Alpha Channel & Z-depth
  • Not everything worked properly with our initial rendering
  • See how to go back and fix / troubleshoot some of the problems you might encounter
Section Review
  • Review
  • What did you learn in this section?

Keep Learning

More Ways to Learn
  • Thank you
  • Please keep learning with me
BONUS: Thank you
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