This idea has just struck me like a lightning. We all want 3d models in AE, right? What if we really could? I already took few attempts of expanding the range of 3d features in AE and it’s not up to me to say whether they are useful or not, but I feel theres much more to be done. Well… we all know that there is a lot to Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags be done, but I really think theres something that can be done while waiting for Adobe to introduce a 3d engine inside AE. But I will need your help to make our dream come true.
I already wrote a post about an experiment that I did that involved some [intlink id=”125″ type=”post” target=”_self”]new ways of creating 3d objects[/intlink], even importing them from any 3d package. I haven’t done a tutorial on that yet, but I assure you it’s coming. Aside that I believe I have found a new interesting way of importing 3d textured objects to AE, but I know it is a bit out of my league in terms of programming it and creating a tool for it, but I’m sure to give it a shot one day, unless of course someone will contact me to work on this.
Heres the big concept. Have you ever used vanishing point from Photoshop? If you have you probably know where this is going. One of Photoshop vanishing point features is creating a 3DS model for importing to 3d applications, or a VPE file for importing into AE. Here’s where the fun begins. What if we could reverse that process and create a VPE file from a 3DS or OBJ file?
VPE file is just a plain text file that looks a bit like XML, so it is very easy to understand it, and even create by hand. What you get after importing it to AE is a new composition with 3D layers and a camera. I use it from time to time to create panoramas, or buildings from a single photo so I could easily move the camera around.
Now just imagine that we have a tool for reading 3DS or OBJ or any other common 3d file format that creates a VPE file from it, extracting the textures and describing the geometry. Wouldn’t that be just cool? Of course there are some limitations, but still this have a chance to be far more useful than [intlink id=”125″ type=”post” target=”_self”]what I plan to show you[/intlink] in the next few weeks. The objects would have to be low-poly to keep AE running at reasonable speed. Also I think that the only objects that can be created from VPE in AE are rectangular solids, so to keep some parts of them transparent the PNG texture applied to them would have to be trimmed or modified in any other way to hide that the actual plane with the texture is a rectangle.
Above that there are already tools out there to export 3d data from 3d apps to frameworks like Papervision3D for flash. I haven’t looked into them yet, but if they can do this for flash, why not export it for AE in VPE format? This all sounds a bit crazy but I don’t think it’s that far in the “impossible” area.
Anyway… I just wanted to share that thought with you hoping that a maybe one of you my dear visitors is a programmer with to much free time that will be willing to give this idea a try. Don’t hesitate to contact me about this idea. Tell your friends about it. Maybe someone will come forward and together we can build a 3d objects importing tool that we’ve always wanted.