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Harness the power of the CINEMA 4D MoGraph module to create complex animations with only a couple of keyframes. By stacking multiple MoGraph effectors, you can achieve nice-looking animations quickly and easily, saving you time spent keyframing moves manually. Discover how to change your text on the fly or create iterations of it, while keeping the animation intact. Author EJ Hassenfratz introduces a real-world postproduction workflow, by creating a network bumper promo. This project covers creating 3D text in CINEMA 4D, compositing, and adding final polish to the footage inside of Adobe After Effects.
By making a complex animation that is controlled with only two keyframes, it makes adjusting the overall animation incredibly easier than if you keyframed it by hand or all the falloffs individually. Now, to adjust the pace of the animation, you just have to adjust those two keyframes. So let's open up our timeline by going to Window > Timeline, and let's just zoom out and frame up our two keyframes here. And let's open up our Effector Control, Position, Scale, and Rotation tracks here.
We don't need the Rotation, so let's just delete that. We don't need Scale either, since we're not changing any of the rotation or scale values. Let's twirl down our Position. And you can see that the only track we really need to worry about is the position X, because that's the only track that has any movement. So we can get rid of the position Y and the position Z. So now that we have our timeline all uncluttered, we can see that this is our animation curve. And by default, when you just hit keyframes in CINEMA 4D, you have an ease-in and ease-out applied to your animation track.
Now you can simply adjust this by just grabbing one of these keyframes and adjusting the handles. So by changing just this handle, you can change the pacing of your animation really easily, because you're only dealing with these two keyframes. So, say you want the animation to have a constant speed the whole entire way through. All you have to do is select both of these keyframes, right-click, go from Spline Interpolation to Linear Interpolation, and you can see that we now have a straight line.
This means that we have a constant speed maintained throughout the whole entire animation. So let's close our Timeline. I am also going to bring the frames down to 100. Hit Play. So you can see all of the waves pass through our animation at an equal speed. Let's go back to our Timeline. Say we want our first wave to go faster and the second and third waves to pass through our animation slower. We just go in, select both of our keyframes, go from Linear Interpolation back to Spline, and just adjust this first keyframe so that the curve is steeper at the beginning and shallower toward the end.
Now, if I close this Timeline again, go to frame 0 and hit Play, you can see that our first wave passes very quickly and the second and the third waves pass through a little bit slower. So you can adjust the pacing of the animation that way or you can just simply zoom out and reposition your effectors. So let's move up our first wave a little bit closer and just adjust our Text.Pos.Wave effector there.
So we want a little less time between the first word and the second word. Those are two ways to adjust our animation's pace. I'll zoom in here. Let's go back to frame zero. Hit Play again. That's feeling pretty good. So you can easily change the way the animation flows. We have a vertical movement to our waves. It's just straight up and down. Say you want to add a slight angle of this. We can easily do this by just going to the Effector Control and just adding a slight rotation value, and this rotates all of our effectors.
So let's say you change the rotation to 11 degrees. Let's zoom out, go to frame 0, and let's hit Play. Zoom in here. You can see that just by adding that slight rotation to our effectors really adds a lot. Our animation looks a little bit more interesting just by adding that slight rotation. Now let's smooth out this animation and give it a little bit more organic look. We're going to add two Delay effectors. Let's go to MoGraph > Effector > Delay.
And this first Delay effector is going to add some spring to our animation. You can see the mode is set to Blend by default. If you go down and select Spring and make sure you have it applied to both your cube grid--make sure you're applying it as the final effector in the effector list so it effects all of the effectors before it. And add it to the cube text. Also making sure it's the last effector applied--it is. And let's rename this Delay effector to Delay Spring, because this is going to add spring to our animation.
Let's zoom in here, go to frame 0, and hit Play. You can see how that adds a nice dynamic look to our animation just by adding that Delay effector set to Spring. Let's hit Play again, and then I'm going to bring the strength value up to say 60. That may be a little bit too much spring, but what I'm going to do is add a second Delay effector. Let's go up to MoGraph > Effector > Delay, and this one is actually going to smooth the entire animation out.
We're going to set it to Blend Mode. It is by default. And then I'm going to rename this to Delay Blend. I'm going to make sure I apply this to both the cube grid and the cube text, making sure that's the last effector applied in the effectors list. Apply it to Cube Text. There it is. Let's go to frame 0 again, and let's see how this looks. You can see that it smoothed out that springiness and smoothed out the animation overall.
Now let's adjust the strength, change to say 75. Now you can see by adding that Delay Blend effector, it blended and smoothed out the spring effect and also the entire animation. So that the transition is a lot more smooth than natural, and the animation has a lot more energy to it. So by fine-tuning keyframes and applying subtle easing effect using Delay effectors can add a lot to the final animation. Focusing on these details can be the difference between making a good animation or a great one.
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