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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects demonstrates how to take a simple logo animation in CINEMA 4D and transform it into a compelling motion graphic with After Effects, incorporating two distinct visual styles. Starting with a prebuilt animation rendered from CINEMA 4D, author Rob Garrott employs industry-standard techniques, utilizing materials, lights, and the library of effects in After Effects, to enhance the project's look and feel. Exercise files accompany the course.
The animation compositing process is really all about affecting your image from 3D using filters and effects inside of After Effects. Now in this movie, we're going to be using a very special third-party filter called Starglow to create glows within our 3D image. Before I get started, I want to have a 3D camera in my scene that's going to allow me to add 3D layers that will move around, matching my 3D render from After Effects. Now in each of my pre-comps I have got that 3D camera, so I'm going to go and grab the one that's inside the Stadium Pass. And if I go under to the Pre-COMP's folder, I'll go under the Stadium Pass PRE.
I'm going to grab the Camera, the Platform Disc light. I'm holding down the Command key or the Ctrl key on the PC to select multiple items without selecting one in between. And I'm going to copy all three of these, Command+C or Ctrl+C, and I'm going to go back to my main composition and I'm going to paste these down. What that does, it looks like nothing has changed, but now I have this three information, so it means any 3D layers that I create in here, like a solid, for example, is going to move around inside the scene the same way it would if it had been in CINEMA 4D.
So now what I need to do is to add a Glow effect to just a base and I happen to have the Stadium Base Pre-COMP that we've created earlier, and I'm going to use that as the basis for that glow. So I'm going to bring that Stadium Base PRE into my composition and place it right above the Stadium Base. And now I'm going to use the Starglow effect, and I'm going to go to the Effect menu, to Trapcode and add Starglow. And it doesn't really look like much has happened, and the reason is when you first add it, it's based on the light and dark values in an image. And if the light and dark values aren't strong enough, you won't see the Starglow effect. And we're going to need to make some tweaks to the settings, but before we do, let's move to a point in time where we know we'll be able to see the glow results.
And so if I go to right around frame 26 or 27, I can see the top of the platform, and this is right around the point in time where the phone emerges from there, and this is where we want our glow to happen. You can see a little bit of the edge of the glow there. What I need to do is adjust something called the preprocess on the Starglow effect, and what that does is open the Starglow effect up, allowing it to affect more of the image underneath. So if I twirl open the Starglow > Pre-Process effect, and I go to the Threshold value and I bring the Threshold value down, you're going to see the glow expand across the surface of this platform. And as I do that, the platform starts to look like it's glowing.
Now, it's glowing with the wrong colors, but we can fix that really easy. The important thing to understand is what this threshold value is doing; it's expanding the range of values that the Starglow filter is allowed to affect. So as you can see, the glow is expanded across the surface, but it's really the wrong color glow. We want to have a much more fiery hot feel to our image, with lots of oranges and reds. And so what I'm going to do is change something called the Colormap. And so as I twirl open the Colormap A down here in these options, if I click and hold on this pulldown, there is some presets here.
I'm going to select Fire. That changes how the glow looks, and I'm going to do that. There are two different colormaps, and I'm going to change them both to be Fire. There we go. And so now I can see I've got this really nice hot glow. Now, the streaks are way too long right now. I'm going to dial those down a bit. And so if I go up into the Streak Length option, and I'm going to drag that down, dial it down here, right around maybe somewhere between five and seven. And this is one of those sort of season- to-taste moments that you always see on cooking shows. And if I were really feeling spunky, I could go back to and crank this all the way up and have all kind crazy starry effects on there, but that's really not the style I'm going for.
I wanted it to be a little more subtle. So I want to bring it down into the roughly 7 or 8 range. So it looks like it's hot. It looks like it's illuminated. It's got a very slight glow on it. Now my glow is bleeding onto these vertical pillars, and I don't want that. The other thing that's happening is if I solo this layer out, you can see the glow is happening right on top of here. What I really want is just the glow; I don't see the base platform. And there is a cool feature inside of the Starglow effect at the very bottom called Source Opacity. If I dial the Source Opacity down to zero, I'm left with just the glow, and I don't see the Stadium Base layer anymore.
Now when un-solo my layer, I see the glow on top of the original image, but I don't see anything else except for the glow and the original image. So as you can see, the Starglow effect is a really powerful tool, and it makes a beautiful glow based on the light and dark values of our image. And this is really the first part in this process that we're going to use to create a spectacular-looking motion graphics piece.
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