After Effects transforms exporter

7 votes
Date Updated: 
Author Name: 
Aaron Dabelow

Here is a free tool for copying animation from 3ds Max into After Effects via the clipboard, and the native AE clipboard data. You will be able to copy and paste keyframe data for position, rotation and scale from 3ds Max onto objects in AE.

This grew out of the old position exporter from a while ago, and runs significantly faster as well as having extra data channels and a re-vamped UI for quicker use. It also supports custom header and footer information for future versions of After Effects, so this won't need any care, hopefully.

Also if anyone knows of how to make the conversion of the max camera information to the aftereffects camera's focal length, i'd love to incorporate that into the script. Let me know what you think!

Added button to copy animated transforms directly to the clipboard, in addition to the previous method of copying from notepad, as well as added some error catching and stability stuff.

Never got posted here...

Can now export cameras, and do animated FOV on them.

Additional Info: 

Just drag and drop to use, the UI should be pretty straightforward, but you can consult the video for an in depth coverage.

Version Requirement: 
Other Software Required: 
After Effects
Video URL: 
ae_transform_exporter_1.0.zip15.91 KB
ae_transform_exporter_1.01.zip20.69 KB
ae_transform_exporter_1.3.mse16.02 KB


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flash_4's picture

yes you can

Just create the *.txt yourself and put it in c:/


jananthamatten's picture

I had the same Issue. It

I had the same Issue. It dissapears when I run Max as Administrator. Great Script!! Thanx a lot!

dvmaster's picture

Cannot export

The script "ae_transform_exporter_1.3.mse" show an unecpected error attepmting to export animation.
It show "Filestream cannot create: c:\AnimatePositionForAE.txt"
But no any dialogue about 'where to save', no even a possibility to do that.

Superhands's picture

Rotations mixed up

Hi. Awesome script, only thing is that the rotations get mixed up when I go from max to AE. How do I fix this?

Mike Truly's picture

Get Only Data for Animation Keys?

This script is awesome! Thanks!

But I have a question. I am using it not for import into AE but just to get the animation key data. In my test scene, I only have 3 keys at frame1, frame50 and frame100. But the script outputs data for every frame from 1-100. Is there a way to only output data for frames that have animation keys on them?

In my real scene, there are hundreds of animation keys and I only want the data for these frames, not where there are no animation keys in MAX.

Thanks again.


Mike Truly
Truly Media

spencertweed's picture

Strange rotation...

Hey Aaron,

Not sure why but my rotation keyframes came in mixed up. They were mapped like this:

x should have been Z
y should have been X
z should have been y

Unfortunately I'm in a crunch and can't isolate why this is happening right now, but thought I'd post it and let you know! I was also getting an unhandled exception on the "save to text file" command, whereas "copy to clipboard" worked fine (I just pasted the data into a txt file).

- Spencer

spencertweed's picture

Camera conversions

Hey Aaron, it's pretty simple really. The ONLY data that you need to get the camera focal length to AE is he Field of View (FOV). Copy that across and you're fine.

The reason the lens focal length is different is because AE by default uses a film back of 36mm, whereas 3DS Max changes this depending on your rendering resolution (I have NO idea why...). For example if you choose HD as your render preset, it for whatever reason changes your film back to 20.12mm, thus "cropping" your image and effectively zooming it in. You don't actually see a difference in the viewport, but if you change this with your camera selected you'll see all of the numbers change.

So a 50mm lens is no longer visually a 50mm lens... Just to make things confusing, right? ;)

Hope that helps!

- Spencer

Wleiss's picture


Thanx! This is a great work!

I've encountered a problem though :(

I've tried using Max2010 and 2011 with AE CS3.

Everything works except when I try to transfer a rotation from an object that rotates about more than one axis. It just doesn't match. The rotation is completely different and I can see in the clipboard data that it's different than in max.

If I rotate an object about only one axis, it matches perfectly.

Any clue as to why it's happening?

barigazy's picture


Nice script. Thanks!


theonlyaaron's picture

Is it the float value is not

Is it the float value is not great enough? I can carry the float farther, or set a value that will control the float distance. That way you wont need to 'fix' it in AE.

If this will work, I can roll it in pretty quick :)

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