How to Transfer Camera Tracking Data from After Effects to Blender

How to transfer camera tracking data from After Effects to Blender in easy steps
How to transfer camera tracking data from After Effects to Blender in easy steps

Table of contents

Introduction

Tracking footage in Blender can be a challenging task. Unlike After Effects, where tracking can be done with just a few clicks, Blender lacks a straightforward method for tracking. However, in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to transfer tracking data from After Effects to Blender for free. By following these steps, you can enhance your motion tracking workflow.

YouTube video
Transfer Camera Tracking Data from After Effects to Blender – Video Tutorial

Step 1: Track your footage in After Effects

  • Open After Effects and import your footage into the project. Create a composition from the footage.
Import your footage into After Effects and create a composition
Import your footage into After Effects and create a composition
  • Navigate to the Effects and Presets panel on the right-hand side. Search for the “3D camera tracker” and drag it onto your footage.
  • Access the advanced tab of the 3D camera tracker and ensure “detail analysis” is turned on.
Add the After Effects 3D tracker to the footage
Add the After Effects 3D tracker to the footage
  • Allow the computer some time to analyze the footage.

Step 2: Create a plane on the spot you intend to place your 3D model

  • On the spot where you intend to place your 3D models, select multiple tracking markers.
  • To select multiple points, hold the left mouse button and drag your cursor.
  • Once selected, right-click and choose “Create Solid and Camera.”
  • This action generates a 3D plane based on the selected tracking markers, along with a 3D camera that we’ll use in Blender.
Create Solid and Camera
Create Solid and Camera

Step 3: Export camera tracking data from After Effects

Install the script that lets you export camera data from After Effects
Install the script that lets you export camera data from After Effects
  • Reopen your project in After Effects.
  • Select the “Track Solid” and “3D Tracker Camera” on your composition layers.
  • Go to File > Scripts > Export Composition Data to JSON Script.
  • When you run the script, a dialog box will appear.
  • In the dialog box, click “Browse” button to select where you want to save the file
  • Make sure to check the “Time range” and “Export selected layers only” boxes in the dialog box.
  • Click “Export” button.
Exporting camera tracking data from After Effects
Exporting camera tracking data from After Effects

Step 4: Import camera tracking data into Blender

Install the add-on that lets you import camera tracking data into Blender
Install the add-on that lets you import camera tracking data into Blender
  • Go to “File” > “Import,” and you should see a new option called “After Effects Composition Data Converter. Json.”
  • Select the JSON file you exported from After Effects.
  • You’ll see a camera and the plane you created in After Effects.
Import camera tracking data into Blender
Import camera tracking data into Blender

Step 5: Make some adjustments in Blender

  • Select the camera and go to the camera options panel.
  • Enable “Background Images.”
  • Click on “ADD image” and set the background source to “Movie Clip.”
  • Open the background footage from After Effects.
View your tracked footage in Blender
View your tracked footage in Blender
  • This step isn’t mandatory but allows you to see the background footage directly in the camera view.
  • Make sure the frame rate of your footage matches the frame rate you’ve set in Blender.
  • When playing the scene, you might notice that the track isn’t perfect. This discrepancy is due to Blender starting at frame 1 and After Effects at frame 0. To resolve the frame offset issue, shift the keyframes of the camera by one frame. The first keyframe should now be on frame 0.
  • You can now add various objects to the tracking plane.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve successfully transferred tracking data from After Effects to Blender for improved motion tracking. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask in the comments. Good luck with your motion tracking projects!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why transfer tracking data from After Effects to Blender?

    After Effects is known for its efficient tracking capabilities, but Blender offers more advanced 3D modeling and animation tools. By transferring tracking data to Blender, you can leverage the strengths of both software for complex projects.

  2. Can I transfer tracking data from After Effects to Blender for any footage?

    In general, this method works for various types of footage, but the quality of tracking largely depends on the quality and clarity of the footage you use.

  3. Does this process work for all versions of After Effects and Blender?

    The compatibility of scripts and plugins may vary with software versions. Ensure you use compatible versions or seek updated scripts if needed.

  4. How do I deal with frame offset issues between After Effects and Blender?

    Adjust the keyframes of the camera in Blender to account for the frame offset. Blender starts at frame 1, while After Effects starts at frame 0.

  5. Can I use this method for 2D tracking in After Effects and then transfer it to Blender?

    This tutorial primarily covers 3D tracking, but you can adapt the process for 2D tracking as well. The key is exporting tracking data in a format that Blender can use.

  6. Can I seek help if I encounter issues during the process?

    Absolutely! Feel free to ask questions or seek assistance in the comments section of the tutorial. The community is often willing to help troubleshoot any problems you may encounter.

  7. Are there any limitations or challenges in transferring tracking data between the two software?

    Some limitations may include differences in coordinate systems, scaling issues, and minor adjustments needed during the process. The tutorial addresses these challenges.

  8. Can I use this method for professional projects?

    Yes, you can apply this method to professional projects, but it’s essential to thoroughly test and refine your workflow to ensure high-quality results.

  9. Are there any specific project types where this workflow is particularly beneficial?

    This workflow is advantageous for projects that require a combination of advanced tracking, 3D modeling, and compositing, such as visual effects in films, animations, or commercials.

A Blender interface screen recording demonstrating the utilization of the Product Rendering Tools Addon in Blender.
Get Product Rendering Tools Addon

Share With Friends

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit

Ask a Question

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

39 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
oscar cinta
oscar cinta
1 month ago

hey it doesnt work in blender 4.1? just gives an error message

cesar
cesar
4 months ago

why can’t I export the files to blender I wont let me select the file ?

cesar
cesar
Reply to  E. Gachoki
4 months ago

yes I can see it on blender but I wont let me select. is it cause I’m. on Mac or I have to tweak the setting

Анастасия
Анастасия
9 months ago

Там же же экспорт композиции, а не камеры из афтер эффекта

Aldo Gonzalez
Aldo Gonzalez
11 months ago

Thank you Gachoki!!!!

Daniel Grove
Daniel Grove
11 months ago

I feel like there’s a step missing here as to how I track the footages camera motion in AE and what do I do with that / the camera object I create?

dief
dief
11 months ago

does it work on blender 3.5? doesnt seem like tbh

LexFazio
LexFazio
Reply to  dief
10 months ago

Just checked on blender 3.6 and it worked. Everybody should look at the right frames! Say, if you’re exporting an animated camera that in After Effects it starts in frame 1300 and ends in frame 1800, you should check there in blender, at THOSE FRAMES.

Nicolas
Nicolas
1 year ago

The dialogue box doesn’t have the “comp camera is centered” checkbox. I wish there was because for the moment I can’t tell blender where the center is 🙁

Billy Vader
Billy Vader
1 year ago

After using track camera in AE to set up the camera data, I use your script and it brings everything into blender which is great, but the camera animations are empty, they do not move at all.

Billy Vader
Billy Vader
Reply to  E. Gachoki
1 year ago

My dialogue box says “Bake Transforms” instead of “Comp camera is centered” Maybe I installed it wrong? I will try downloading again.

Billy Vader
Billy Vader
Reply to  Billy Vader
1 year ago

Nothing In have tried has worked. Also the AE menu says export composition data instead of export camera data. It brings everything in but never with any keyframes.

Billy Vader
Billy Vader
Reply to  E. Gachoki
11 months ago

I made a whole new scene and the camera came in to Blender with keyframes. Not sure why my other scene does not work, but if I find out I will let you know.

Ethan K
Ethan K
1 year ago

Hi! Great plugins! However, I have encountered an issue after weeks of debugging, and I still can’t solve it. I’m hoping to get some help.
After importing JSON from After Effects into Blender, all the transformations are mostly accurate, but the position is shaking around the tracking spot. This issue seems to be more noticeable when scaling up.
I’m wondering if it’s because I’m using the AE plugin Geolayers, and the scale and position values are quite huge (around 200000 for position and 75000 for scale). I’m not sure if these values exceed the maximum allowable limit.
Is it possible to fix it?

hayden??
hayden??
1 year ago

when trying to import the file into blender, the actual export isn’t appearing. the time on folder location it should be in is updating as if something is in there but when i click on the folder it’s empty.

this could be something on my end.
could it be because im mac?

Christopher
Christopher
1 year ago

when I export after effects data it’s coming as text document not JSON format. i couldn’t import the data in Blender

Christopher
Christopher
Reply to  E. Gachoki
1 year ago

Thank you so much !!!
One more doubt, After I import the camera data, camera is going under the grid. How to align the imported camera orientation to the grid.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christopher
Christopher
Christopher
Reply to  E. Gachoki
1 year ago

Thanks a lot !!! For the quick response

robin
robin
1 year ago

thanks this is really good

Juan Muñoz
Juan Muñoz
2 years ago

Hey, thanks for this addons- but i would like to know, if i have mi AE camera in vertical format, like instagram histories, when i import in Blender, it´s by default in 1920×1080. How can i config that?

Elpadre
Elpadre
Reply to  E. Gachoki
5 months ago

I shot my footage on 4K vertical. I did all the processes and it went well except my footage in blender is still horizontal until I set my X & Y to 1080×1920. Kindly help Gachoki

More Like This

We use cookies on our website to enhance your browsing experience. By continuing to browse this website you consent to the use of all essential and non-essential cookies. For more information, please read our Privacy Policy.