How to create CGI ads?

Guillaume Chichmanov
February 21, 2024

CGI advertising is reshaping digital marketing with its stunning 3D graphics and animations, offering brands a dynamic way to engage audiences. This trend not only enhances storytelling but also sets new standards for creativity and impact in ads. 

With CGI, advertisers can craft unique, immersive experiences that capture attention and foster deeper connections with viewers. 

We've recently prepared a CGI video for the oscars and decided to share a quick tutorial on the process!

Our technical tutorial delves into creating effective CGI ads, providing key insights for leveraging this technology to stand out in today's competitive landscape.

1. Record the base video

Begin by solidifying your idea before recording the base video. This approach ensures that the initial concept guides the filming process, preventing constraints that may arise from recording without a defined concept.

Upon clarifying your idea, consider these key characteristics for the base video to enhance CGI integration later, marking one of the pivotal steps:

  • Camera Movements: Minimize sudden movements. Utilize a tripod or stabilizer to curb unwanted motion, facilitating the tracking process. Avoid or neutralize motion blur.
  • Uniform Lighting: Aim for consistent lighting throughout the scene. Varied shadows or light shifts complicate tracking. Opting for an overcast day may ease the integration of environmental shadows and lighting with the CGI.
  • Scale References: Incorporate objects of known dimensions to keep scale consistent when adding CGI elements.
  • Recording Quality: Capture in the highest quality available, offering more detail for tracking and improving CGI output.
  • Tracking Markers: Strategically place markers within the scene. These could be high-contrast items or specific shapes aiding the software in recognizing camera movements.

Example of a good base video: 

2. Track video information with After Effects

After recording, take your video to After Effects for tracking:

  • Begin by creating a new composition: drag your video onto the timeline.
  • Open the Tracker panel via the Window tab.
  • In the Tracker panel, start tracking by selecting "Track Camera." This analysis might take a while, as it examines the entire video.


  • When tracking completes, look for colored points across your video; if invisible, enable "Show track points." 
  • Check the tracking quality in the Advanced tab under the effect; an Average Error under 1 pixel signifies accurate tracking. If it's more, expect potential issues.


  • For successful tracking, select multiple ground-level tracker points with Shift + Left Click, then right-click to "Set Ground Plane and Origin," and again to "Create Solid."


  • This action generates a Camera and Solid layer in After Effects, preparing for data transfer to Blender

3. Transfer tracking information to Blender

After the tracking is done, it is time to send the information collected by After Effects to Blender.

To do that, we will use an Addon called AE2Blend, which will make things much easier.

Once the addon has been installed and activated in Blender, it's time to copy the After Effects data and transfer it:

  • After installing AE2Blend, copy the position and orientation data (including all keyframes) from the After Effects camera.
  • In Blender, use AE2Blend to "Create Camera" with this data.
  • Repeat for the Track Solid from After Effects, copying all but opacity data, then in Blender, "Create Plane" for reference.

You now have all the necessary information from After Effects, in Blender!

Next step is to now configure some things within Blender:

  • First, make sure to match the FPS amount of the base video with those of Blender.
  • Second, make sure to match the Film size and Focal Length of the camera, with the one of After Effects (to find out the configuration of the After Effects camera, click on the camera layer, and press Ctrl + Shift + Y at the same time)


  • Now, to verify that everything fits perfectly, we will place the video base on the blender camera.
  • In the camera options, activate the "Background Images" option and load the base video, if the video is vertical, take care of rotating and scaling it with the settings provided by this panel, make sure it fits well.

4. Model and animate the 3D objects in Blender

  • Once you have the camera movements from the original video in Blender, and already have references in the scene, it is time to model and animate the 3D objects to integrate them into the scene.
  • It is important that you try to match the lighting and shadows of the 3D world to those of the base video, it does not have to be perfect for now (brightness, saturation and more can be adjusted in post production in After Effects.)
  • A good HDRI can make your objects receive lighting similar to that of your video. If you choose the right one, make sure to pick something that not only has the correct lighting but also matches some of the surroundings. This is important because the colors and some additional details from the HDRI will also be reflected (A good website to find them could be Poly Heaven.

5. Export the Blender animation to After Effects

  • Once you have the desired animation, it's time to export the video from Blender to After Effects again. 
  • It is recommended to export in PNG sequence to later be able to edit different parts of the video without having to export everything together again.
  • Make sure to export everything with transparency. For this: go to the rendering options, and within the "Film" option select the Transparent option.

Example of the isolated blender animation:

6. Add effects to integrate animation into the video

Once integrated, it is up to you to try to match the colors, contrasts, and more, with those of the original video, add blur effects, masks, camera movements, and everything necessary to integrate both videos.

Some of the effects we like to use:

- Levels

- Noise

- Gaussian Blur

- Hue/Saturation

- CC Light Sweep

- Chromatic aberration

Here is an example of a final result:

Are you looking to create a CGI video for your brand? Leave us a message at info@comintedlabs.io or just complete the contact form.

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