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Intimidated by 3D modeling packages? Dip a toe in the water with CINEMA 4D (C4D) Lite, a slimmed down version of CINEMA 4D included with After Effects CC. Motion graphics designer Angie Taylor shows you how to build a complete sequence in C4D Lite, progressing from initial object modeling, to animation, lighting, camera rigging, texturing, and final render. Plus, learn to animate text, create random movement with wiggle expressions, track cameras in live-action footage to add new 3D elements, and light your scene. Angie also round-trips the project files to After Effects for visual effects and color correction. With over 100 videos, this course allows you to explore almost every aspect of 3D motion graphics creation, within this accessible introductory tool.
In this movie, we're going to have a look at how you can use 3D camera tracking. To composite 3D elements from Cinema 4D Lite into video scenes in AfterEffects. This is just a 2D video that I've downloaded from artbeats.com. And the original is HD footage, this is a low resolution version of that HD footage that you can use in your tutorials. If you want to buy the full-res version, you can get that from ArtPetes.com, where they've got loads of really great aerial footage.
And you can see here we've got a fly past of this building roof. What I want to do, is I want to composite my robots onto the roof, so it looks like they're integrated into the scene. And the way we're going to do that is by. Capturing the movement that the camera makes in this shot using a process of 3D camera tracking in After FX. It's very easy to do I'll show you how it works. You basically select the footage that you want to track and if you want to follow along we're in Chapter09_Start.aep.
And you right-click on it. And choose Track Camera. And After Effects really does all the rest for you. You'll see in the background, it's telling me it's analyzing the footage. It goes through two stages in this analysis. Step One it looks for all the points that it wants to track. There's no need for you to set points. After Effects will find those points for you. Then it will track them throughout the whole duration of that footage. And you'll see that it's already 40% through. It gives you an update here on how long that track's going to take.
Incidentally while it's tracking you can go work on other compositions. It doesn't lock you out from After Effects. So you can go and work on this one while you're waiting for the other one to update. Now it's already finished that tracking process, and now it's solving the. 2D track that it's done and creating 3D information from it. And it did it so quickly that I've hardly had time to explain. Now you'll notice little crosses appeared on the footage but when I click the footage itself, those disappear. If that happens to you, just hit e on the keyboard to open up your effects.
Double-click the effect to open it. And just make sure you select the 3D camera tracker effect that is applied to the video. When that's selected, you can see these crosses. And as I hover over these crosses, I get this little strange target appearing. Notice if I deselect the effect. Those crosses disappear. So make sure you have that selected. Now as I said, as I hover over these, it gives me a little target. And it's basically triangulating the three points that I'm hovering over at that point.
And placing a plane in between those three points. Before we do place a plane into our scene, just a little bit about how this works. Basically, what Aftereffects does is it, there's a 2d source track. It retracts all of the points in the footage. And if I make the tracks a little bit bigger, these points a little bit bigger. You'll see, in the initial stage they were all the same size. But then After FX does a second process of analysis where it decides on the three dimensional aspect of this camera move.
It basically looks at the points and does some very clever analysis I think based on parallex and other rules of physics and determines which it thinks should be in the foreground. What should be in the background. And if you look carefully, you'll notice that the crosses in the foreground, when we use the 3D solve track, are bigger than those in the background. So it's showing us that After Effects has determined a dent from the track. Now as I said, we can just create a camera, or we can hover over and triangulate between three points.
Basically what I want to do is I want to place my robot on the roof here, so I'm looking for a flat plane on the roof. Now, I kind of get it using those three points there but I'm not really happy about selecting this point. So as well as allowing After Effects to choose a point, you can manually select points. I can hold down Shift, select three points I like and then decide I want to keep that or I could continue. Adding or removing points from my selection. I can also drag a marquee around points.
And of course I can Shift-click any that I don't want to be included or Cmd-click. So there's lots of ways of selecting these points. Now I've found that if I go for crosses of similar color. I tend to get a better result, so I'm going to go for these orange ones here. And you'll see that that selected quite a good plane for me, it's quite flat on the top of that building. Now I may just experiment a little with these until I get exactly what I want. And I thinks that's going to do me, I'm quite happy that that targets now sitting on top of the building.
I can make the target bigger or smaller as well if I need to. So, once I've decided where I want my track to go, I then have to consider what I'm going to put there. So, I want to put my robot there, and my robot's in the center of my Cinema 4D file. And the origin. So if I right-click on this target I can say, set this as the Ground Plane and Origin. And then when I bring in my 3D object, it will sit inside that point.
I'm then going to right-click on it again. And this time I'm going to say Create Shadow Capture Camera and Light. So what it's going to do now is create a camera and light similar to the ones that were used to shoot this footage and the idea is any new elements that we composite in will react to that camera and that light. We're also putting in what's called a shadow catcher and I'll explain a little bit more about that later. Okay, so down in the time line, you'll see we now have a light, a shadow catcher, a 3D tracker camera, and our video.
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