Despite its name, the new version 2.0 of MAX2AE actually goes both ways, letting you start your designs in After Effects and at a later stage import the AE cameras and lights into 3ds max for further work, and then re-import into AE again.
Do you hate to go back and forth between your 3D app and After Effects, just to tweak the lighting so that it will match your composite? If you render out a quick normal map, you can easily and quickly move and change the lighting of your 3D renders.
Now there’s a free alternative to the commercial ZBornToy and WalkerFX Channel Lighting. Stefan Minning has kindly released a set of plugins for free, called Normality & Reality, so check them out.