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You can use an application such as Automatic Duck to import OMF project files on Windows or Mac OS.
Note: You can also output to OMF. See “Render a composition to OMF (Windows only)” on page 622.
The following OMF codecs are supported for importing and outputting to OMF: Uncompressed, Avid AVR, Avid JPEG, JFIF, and DV.
The OMF file format supports video only. Avid editing systems store audio files as separate.wav files, which you can import into After Effects if desired. Depending on the resolution and codec, each frame may be composed of a full noninterlaced frame, two interlaced fields, or a single line-doubled field (for single-field media). The codec used to encode the media is displayed in the footage information area in the Project panel.
To ensure that the project that you want to import conforms to general AAF specifications and is compatible with
After Effects, consider the following:
Character limits for names The folder name (based on the AAF file name) created in the Project panel is truncated to 31 characters, the maximum limit in After Effects. Names for items in the Project panel and for layers in the Timeline panel are also truncated to 31 characters.
Platform-specific footage references Footage references are saved with platform-specific paths and file names in the AAF file.
Separate video and audio tracks An AAF file can have separate clips for audio and video. When the AAF file is imported into After Effects, each clip is converted into a layer. For an audio clip, only the audio switch is enabled for the layer. For a video clip, only the video switch is enabled for the layer.
Clips on the same track Clips that appear on the same track in Avid appear as separate layers in After Effects.
Missing media Referenced media that is not accessible during the import operation appears as placeholder footage in After Effects.
Empty sequences If a sequence contains no tracks, the composition created when it is imported is set at DV resolution (720 x 480; 0.9 pixel aspect ratio) with a length of 10 seconds.
Cuts-only video and audio clips Supported.
Audio Audio gain (level) changes are supported, but audio pan is not. Mono and stereo audio are supported; 5.1 audio is not supported. Separate audio channel tracks (even if out of synchronization) are imported into After Effects as a single audio layer.
Clip Speed Clips with a Motion Effect are converted to the corresponding layer Stretch value (for slow or fast motion) or layer Time Remap keyframes (for reverse motion).
Empty tracks Ignored.
Muted tracks Avid does not save muted track information in an exported AAF file, so muted tracks cannot be preserved in After Effects.
Composition size and pixel aspect ratio Created based on the StoredWidth and StoredHeight values for the first media file in the first sequence found.
Importing DDR-based footage To find out if After Effects plug-ins are available for your digital disk recorder (DDR), contact your DDR manufacturer. For information on using your specific DDR with After Effects, refer to your DDR manufacturer’s plug-in documentation.
Edit audio in Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition While working in After Effects, you may want to use the more comprehensive audio-editing capabilities of Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition to fine-tune your audio layers. You can use the Edit In Adobe Soundbooth or Edit In Adobe Audition command to start Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition from within After Effects.
If you edit an audio-only file (for example, a WAV file) in Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition, you make changes to the original file. If you edit a layer that contains both audio and video (for example, an AVI file), you edit a copy of the layer’s audio file.
Important: Adobe Soundbooth is only available for Windows and for Mac OS running on Intel processors. Adobe Audition is only available for Windows. Neither Adobe Soundbooth nor Adobe Audition are available for Mac OS running on PowerPC processors.
1 Select the layer that contains the audio that you want to edit. The item must be of a type that is editable in Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition.
2 Choose Edit Edit In Adobe Soundbooth or Edit Edit In Adobe Audition to open the clip in Edit view in Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition.
3 Edit the file, and then do one of the following:
• If you’re editing an audio-only layer, choose File Save to apply your edits to the original audio file, or choose File Save As to apply your edits to a copy of the audio file. If you choose File Save As, you need to reimport the copy of the file into After Effects.
AFTER EFFECTS CS3 77 User Guide
• If you’re editing a layer that contains both audio and video, choose File Save As. After you save the file, import it into After Effects, add it to the composition, and mute the original audio in the audio-video clip by deselecting the Audio switch in the Timeline panel.
Note: Any effects applied to audio in After Effects aren’t included in the copy that is sent to Adobe Soundbooth or Adobe Audition.
Importing 3D image files 3D files from other applications After Effects can import 3D-image files saved in Softimage PIC, RLA, RPF, and Electric Image EI format. These 3Dimage files contain red, green, blue, and alpha (RGBA) channels, as well as auxiliary channels with optional information, such as z depth, object IDs, texture coordinates, and more.
Note: Some 3D applications, such as Cinema 4D, can export an After Effects composition directly.
With RLA and RPF files, all of the auxiliary channels are included in a single file. Softimage PIC files have a corresponding ZPIC file that contains the z-depth channel information. Although you can’t import a ZPIC file, you can access the additional channel information as long as the ZPIC file is stored in the same folder as the imported PIC file.
Similarly, Electric Image (EI) files can have associated EIZ files with z-depth channel data. Just as with ZPIC files, you cannot import EIZ files into After Effects; instead, you simply store them in the same folder as the EI files. For information about creating EIZ files, see your Electric Image documentation.
After Effects can also import baked camera data, including focal length, film size, and transformation data, from Maya project files as a single composition or two compositions.
Though you can import composited files with 3D information into After Effects, you cannot manipulate or create 3D models directly with After Effects.
A common technique when working in a 3D modeling application is to insert null objects, such as null lights or null locator nodes in the locations where you want to composite in an image in After Effects. Then, after you have imported the 3D file into After Effects, you can use these null objects as a reference for the placements of other visual elements.
After Effects treats each composited 3D file from another application as a single 2D layer. That layer, as a whole, can be given 3D attributes and treated like any After Effects 3D layer, but the objects contained within that 3D file cannot be manipulated individually in 3D space. To access the 3D depth information and other auxiliary channel information in 3D image files, use the 3D Channel effects.
Importing 3D images from Photoshop Extended and Illustrator 3D models in Photoshop Adobe Photoshop Extended can import and manipulate 3D models in several popular formats, including 3D Studio (.3ds) and Universal 3D (.u3d). You can manipulate these 3D models in Photoshop Extended and then save one or more frames as PSD files that you then import into After Effects.
Vanishing Point exchange When you use the Vanishing Point feature in Photoshop Extended, you can then use the File Export For After Effects CS3 (.vpe) command to save the results as a collection of PNG files—one for each plane—and a.vpe file that describes the geometry of the scene. You can then import the.vpe file into After Effects. After Effects uses the information in the.vpe file to recreate the scene as a composition containing a camera layer and one perspectivecorrected 3D layer for each PNG file.
The camera is on the negative z axis, at (x,y)=(0,0). The point of interest for the camera is in the center of the composition. The camera zoom is set according to the field of view in the Vanishing Point scene.
The 3D layers for the planes in the scene have a parent layer with its anchor point at the center of the composition, so the whole scene can be transformed together.
Vanishing Point exchange only works well for images that have square pixels in Photoshop.
Illustrator 3D effects The effects in the 3D category in Illustrator—Extrude & Bevel, Revolve, and Rotate—give a three-dimensional appearance to any vector graphic object, including text and drawings. If you want to add depth to your vector art and text, consider creating it in Illustrator, using the 3D effects, and then importing the results into After Effects.
See also “Working with 3D layers” on page 171 “Cameras, lights, and points of interest” on page 176 Import RLA or RPF data into a camera layer After Effects imports camera data saved with RLA or RPF sequence files. That data is incorporated into camera layers—one for each camera in the sequence—that After Effects creates in the Timeline panel. You can access the camera data of an imported RLA or RPF sequence and create a camera layer containing that data.
1 Add the sequence to a composition, and select its layer in the Timeline panel.
2 Choose Animation Keyframe Assistant RPF Camera Import.
Note: To create an RLA or RPF file with the camera data in 3D Studio Max, save your rendering in RPF format with Coverage, Z Depth, and Alpha Channels enabled.
Baking and importing Maya data After Effects imports camera data from Maya project files. Before importing Maya camera information, you need to bake it. This makes animating with keyframes easier later in your project. Baking places a keyframe at each frame of the animation. You can have 0, 1, or a fixed number of keyframes for each camera or transform property. For example, if a property is not animated in Maya, either no keyframes are set for this property or one keyframe is set at the start of the animation. If a property has more than one keyframe, it must have the same number as all of the other animation properties with more than one keyframe.
Reduce import time by creating or saving the simplest Maya file possible. In Maya, reduce keyframes by deleting static channels before baking, and save a version of the Maya project that contains the camera animation only.
Note: The following transformation flags are not supported: query, relative, euler, objectSpace, worldSpace, worldSpaceDistance, preserve, shear, scaleTranslation, rotatePivot, rotateOrder, rotateTranslation, matrix, boundingBox, boundingBoxInvisible, pivots, CenterPivots, and zeroTransformPivots. After Effects skips these unsupported flags, and no warnings or error messages appear.
By default, After Effects treats linear units specified in the Maya file as pixels.
You can import camera data from Maya project files (.ma) and work with the data as a single composition or two compositions.
For each Maya file you import, After Effects creates either one or two compositions:
• If the Maya project has a square pixel aspect ratio, After Effects creates a single, square-pixel composition containing the camera data and transformations.
• If the Maya project has a nonsquare pixel aspect ratio, After Effects creates two compositions. The first composition, which has a file name prefixed by Square, is a square-pixel composition containing the camera data. The second, or parent, composition is a nonsquare-pixel composition that retains the dimensions of the original file and contains the square-pixel composition. When working with imported camera data, use 3D layers and squarepixel footage in the square-pixel composition, and use all nonsquare-pixel footage in the parent composition.
When you import a Maya file with a 1-node camera, After Effects creates a camera in the square-pixel composition that carries the camera's focal length, film size, and transformation data.
When you import a Maya file with a 2-node or targeted camera, After Effects creates a camera and an additional parent node in the square-pixel composition. The parent node contains only the camera’s transformation data. After Effects imports 2-node cameras automatically with the locator node as the point of interest, with the camera's AutoOrientation option set to Orient Towards Point Of Interest.
After Effects doesn’t read 3-node cameras.
Note: After Effects reads only the rendering cameras in Maya files and ignores the orthographic and perspective cameras.
Therefore, always generate a rendering camera from Maya, even if it’s the same as the perspective camera. If you apply the FilmFit camera setting, make sure to use either horizontal or vertical FilmFit, not fill.
After Effects can read Maya locator nodes, which enable you to track objects from the Maya scene as it is translated into After Effects. After Effects creates a null layer and applies the relevant transformations to it if a Maya locator node’s name contains the word Null, NULL, or null. Avoid parenting locator nodes to each other in Maya; instead, parent the locator nodes to geometry.
Note: After Effects doesn’t read World or Underworld coordinates in the LocatorShape. Use a transform node to place them.
AFTER EFFECTS CS3 80 User Guide See also “Working with 3D layers” on page 171 “Cameras, lights, and points of interest” on page 176 Importing still images Preparing still-image files for importing You can import individual still images into After Effects or import a series of still images as a sequence. You can import still images from Adobe applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator, or import images using the Adobe Stock Photos service using Adobe Bridge. For information about the still-image formats that After Effects imports, see “Supported import formats” on page 48.