BlenderAe addon installation
BlenderAe is a Blender addon with no additional scripts to install for Adobe After Effects (by default).
In Blender go to 'Edit > Preferences > Addons' and click 'Install...'
Select the 'BlenderAe.zip' and enable the checkbox to enable BlenderAe.
In the BlenderAe addon 'Preferences' click 'Install Dependencies' (the dependencies help BlenderAe to connect to Adobe After Effects more reliably).
Connect to Ae (button)
Make sure Adobe After Effects is open before clicking the 'Connect to Ae' button.
'Connect to Ae' will automatically search for the active After Effects path. Alternatively you can manually add the path to the After Effects application file.
eg. "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects 2022\Support Files\AfterFX.exe"
When the application path is found the button will change to 'Disconnect'. Click 'Disconnect' to clear the application path.
Use Ae Comp Center (checkbox)
When checked exported objects will be centered in relation to the After Effects composition center. For example when the resolution is 1920x1080 the After Effects composition center is [960,540,0] instead of a world origin center of [0,0,0].
Export Scale (value slider)
The Export Scale value modifies the scale of the scene data for cases where you desire smaller or larger values in After Effects. (see here for more details - https://youtu.be/0be-iHfAx70?t=17).
Export to Ae (button)
First select objects, vertices or faces in Blender then click 'Export to Ae' to transfer the data directly to After Effects.
Supported in Object Mode:
- Objects and/or
- Planes (Note: Planar (flat) planes will be converted to precomposed shape layers).
Supported in Edit Mode:
- Vertices (in vertex select mode) or,
- Faces (in face select mode)
Import Ae Layers (button)
First select layers in After Effects then click 'Import Ae Layers' to import the Adobe After Effects orientation, rotation, position and scale data into Blender.
Supported layers from After Effects include:
Import Scale (value slider)
The Import Scale value modifies the scale of the scene data for cases where you desire smaller or larger values between After Effects and Blender. (see here for more details - https://youtu.be/0be-iHfAx70?t=17).
Export and Import to After Effects manually
You can export data when After Effects is not connected and save the data file for later usage or to pass over to a colleague.
Don't click 'Connect to Ae'. Instead leave the path blank. Now when you select and export object data it will create a 'BlenderAe' folder with the data file and a script file in the users 'Documents' folder.
In After Effects go to 'File>Scripts>Run Script File...' and select the script file located in the BlenderAe folder.
You can move the files wherever you like but both the ‘BlenderAe_data.json’ and 'BlenderAe_Import.jsxbin' must remain together in the same folder.
Notes, tips and known issues:
- A large number of selections, or long frame duration can take a long time to process (face selection currently takes the longest amount of time to process). After Effects may appear frozen but it is processing the data required to re-create objects and faces as nulls and shape layers.
- You can cancel the import process in After Effects by pressing the ‘esc’ key.
- Non-planar Faces (in Edit Mode) and non-planar Planes (in Object Mode) are not currently supported as shape layers.
- Multiple vertex or face selections are supported for individual objects only (not across multiple object selections in Edit Mode).
- If the ‘Ae Path’ field contains a correct path but After Effects is not open, After Effects will open and close without saving.
- Apply all modifiers and transforms to objects before exporting vertices or faces.
- When exporting data from Blender, the After Effects application window resizes out of fullscreen mode. To prevent this you can use the ‘Maximize App Window’ shortcut ‘CTRL + \’ instead. This will prevent the application window from resizing.
See video below for further details: