Nuke to 3DS Max

A few weeks ago I worked on a project where I needed to composite CG renders in the background of two shots.Those two shots, which were pretty long (21 & 25 seconds), needed 3D camera tracking.

After a few talks with the 3D artist, I decided to send him the 3D camera track I did as an FBX file. Nuke X can export a 3D scene as FBX, and the 3D artist was working with 3D Studio Max, I thought it was not a big deal…

After a few tests, the camera move seemed fine once imported in Studio Max. However, something went wrong and I finally figured out that there was a slight shift in the camera movement.
I tried to export many ways and many scenes and I always got the same results.

So, the FBX is absolutely not a suitable bridge beetween Nuke and 3D Studio max.

After a lot of tests, this is a strong solution I found to solve this problem.

1) Once your 3D camera tracking done, create a new camera with the camera tracker node.Be sure to uncheck the box “Link output”. Or, if the camera is already linked, bake the camera animation into keyframes.



2) Create a WriteGeo node and export your scene (or just your camera) as an alembic file (.abc), this is really important.



3) 3D Studio max does NOT support alembic files, but Maya does. So open up Maya, and import your .abc while being very meticulous about all your comp and camera parameters (FPS, resolution… etc)

4) Check if everything is alright in your Maya scene.

5) Be sure to have the last FBX plugin install on your machine (you can download it HERE)

6) Export your scene as FBX (the most recent one)

7) Open your new FBX scene with 3D Studio max using the menu “Import”, and not doing a drag & drop.

Et voila.