How to import 3D models into after effects

Written by chris sandoval
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How to import 3D models into after effects
Importing 3D objects into After Effects can enhance your project. (Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images)

After Effects can be used to create many illusions, one of those being the appearance of a 3D world. Through the use of multiple 2D images, space and depth can be created. One limitation though is that you can not create actual 3D images with this program. However, you can import 3D images that were created in other programs. Whether made in other Adobe programs or another 3D application such as Maya, bringing in 3D objects can bring your project up to a new level.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

    Import 3D Images From Other Adobe Programs

  1. 1

    Export your 3D image from Photoshop or Illustrator as a VPE by clicking "File" and "Export For After Effects."

  2. 2

    Import the VPE file into After Effects by clicking "File," "Import" and "File." Select the saved VPE file and click "Open." This will create a new composition with a camera layer.

  3. 3

    Use the camera tool to view the 3D object in its 3D space.

    Importing 3D files from non-Adobe programs

  1. 1

    Save your file in either Softimage PIC, RLA, RPF, OpenEXR or Electric Image EI formats. These are the only formats from other programs that can be imported into After Effects.

  2. 2

    Import the file into After Effects by clicking "File," "Import" and "File." Select the file and click "Open." This will create a new composition with a camera layer.

  3. 3

    Double-click on the composition to begin editing and adjusting the 3D space.

Tips and warnings

  • Some 3D applications such as Cinema 4D can export After Effects compositions directly.
  • You can not modify or create 3D models directly with After Effects.

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