Lightwave Plugin of the Week: AE Link
This week’s plugin was released a few short weeks ago, and it provides welcome relief for LW artists who use After Effects. AE Link by vfx wizard takes the hassle out of moving camera and object animation from LW to AE by providing a one-click solution to move your animation data and rendered frames into an AE project. It not only sends the motion data from your camera or whichever objects you choose, it creates an AE comp that matches LW’s camera and scene settings automatically adjusting rotations and sequence start times.
That’s all well and good, but what if you want to change your camera animation, but you’ve already added things to your AE Project. Do you have to start again from scratch? No! you can simply press the sync button again and AE Link will update the AE project with your new settings.
Some of the other methods/plugins for getting motion data into AE require you to bake the all your motion curves in LW before sending it to AE. AE Link uses “Soft-Baking” to send the data over. This leaves your keyframes alone and does the baking behind the scenes so that you can still easily edit your motion curves in LW. You will still have to bake your keys on items driven by IK or motion modifiers applied after IK.
This plugin has been in use for years at vfx wizard and has only recently been polished up to be a commercial product with new features added.
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to make a demo video of this plugin for you to see. However, here’s one of the official demo videos from vfx wizard to give you an idea of how easy and accurate this makes the LW->AE workflow.
Liberty3d is an official reseller of this amazing time-saver. Check out the AE Link product page for more info.
Macintosh: Lightwave 3D 9.6.1 or higher, After Effects CS3 or higher. AE Link Mac is a Cocoa plugin, working both in 32 and 64 bit.
Windows: Lightwave 3D 9.6 or higher, After Effects CS3 or higher. Both 32 and 64 bit versions are provided.
Feel free to leave a comment about this week’s plugin or suggest a plugin for us to highlight in the future either here or in the Forums.