21 votes
Date Updated: 
Author Name: 
Nikolay Tashev

max2afx UI

Export the motion data of any object from 3D Studio to After Effects without rendering, postproduction tracking etc.

The workflow can be seen here (~30MB Quick Time):

The quality is pretty bad, but you can get the idea (no sound due to bad english and microphone absence) Cry

Additional Info: 

Workflow steps:

3D Studio Max :

1. Add the objects to use as motion trackers (Any object; The script gathers the pivot position of the object even if it's outside the camera FOV.)

2. Choose animation range and framestep (interval between motion tracker keyframes)

3. Tricky Part - for faster export isolate only the objects used as motion trackers.

4. Press "Write Data", select filename (*.jsx) and voila.. on to After Effects.

After Effects:

1. Create or Open a project and choose File -> Scripts -> Run Script File

2. Locate the script file (*.jsx), open it and wait for the calculations.

3. Now we have a new composition called "max2afx_...." which contains a single Solid object called... "max2afx"

4. The solid has a Motion Tracker with Tracker Points corresponding to each max object used for tracking

5. Tricky Part: Since AFX can use Motion Trackers only on Footage Items we must copy the Tracker from our "max2afx" solid to the desired Footage (watch out for the first frame of the tracking data, and the frame in which to paste the tracker)

6. With footage selected on the Tracker Controls Panel choose Motion Source to be our footage and the Track Type to whatever serves your needs.

7. For best results (in motion tracking at all) create a new null layer and apply the Tracker data to it (Tracker Controls Panel -> Motion Target -> Edit Target ). Now you can link any object to follow the null and in the same time transform that object anyway you like without affecting the tracked motion.

...and that's it. Cool

You can check this link for a simple method of smoothing out the motion

Version Requirement: 
3ds max 2008 (not tested on prior versions)
Other Software Required: 
Adobe After Effects CS3 (not tested on prior versions)
Video URL: 


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paranoidx's picture

Work nicely on 3dsmax 2013

It works on any scale of 3dsmax 2013. Perfect. Thanks for the great work.

Just copy feature tracking point then paste into null position.

tracking-e.gif 262.34 KB
Creative & Architectural Visualization

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