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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding textures and using an HDRI map for reflections


From:

Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors

with EJ Hassenfratz

Video: Adding textures and using an HDRI map for reflections

In this movie you will be adding textures to your scene to give it a high-end look. Using a Sky Object and an HDRI map, you'll give a polished look to the objects. So let's just go ahead and start creating our materials. I just double-click in the Material Manager to bring up a new material. I am going to name this White. This is going to be a white material that we will apply to our cubes. So the color is fine. Let's enable the Reflection channel and just give it a Fresnel shader.

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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors
1h 39m Intermediate Feb 27, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating a cube grid with the MoGraph Cloner
  • Creating first-, second-, and third-wave animations
  • Using a null object to group and keyframe multiple effectors
  • Limiting the influence of an effector
  • Adding texture
  • Using an HDRI map for reflections
  • Lighting the scene
  • Importing a CINEMA 4D project into After Effects
  • Isolating and changing text color with object buffers
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Compositing Projects
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
EJ Hassenfratz

Adding textures and using an HDRI map for reflections

In this movie you will be adding textures to your scene to give it a high-end look. Using a Sky Object and an HDRI map, you'll give a polished look to the objects. So let's just go ahead and start creating our materials. I just double-click in the Material Manager to bring up a new material. I am going to name this White. This is going to be a white material that we will apply to our cubes. So the color is fine. Let's enable the Reflection channel and just give it a Fresnel shader.

And let's switch on Additive, and that will just brighten up our reflections onto our material here. And let's change this Specular to Metal, and this will give a nice sharp specular onto our objects. Bring the height up. You can see it update in this Material Manager here. Give it a nice hot specular highlight there, and that's looking pretty good. So we can close that. Now we can apply this to our cubes. Let's go drag and drop onto our cube there.

If we hold down Ctrl and click and drag, we can duplicate this and add it to our other cube objects. So now we have to create our second material that will go onto our letters up here. So let's just Ctrl+Click and drag and duplicate that material, and let's double-click and open it. We're just going to name this Blue because we're going to add a blue texture to our text. So let's just go over and choose a nice blue hue over here, and that's looking good.

And go to our Reflection. We're going to change the Mix mode on this to Multiply. This will help the highlights not be so blown out on our blue material here. So let's close out, and let's add this to our letters. So let's select all of our MoText objects and just go over to our blue material, right-click, and just choose Apply. And that will apply that blue texture to our letters. Now, if we hit Render, you can see that there's a little bit of reflection here, but it looks rather bland.

The reason for this is we have nothing for the scene to reflect. So we're going to take care of that by creating a Sky Object. We're going to go up here and choose a Sky Object, and we need a material to apply to the sky that can be reflected onto the scene. So there's a lot of places on the Internet where you can find free or pay for HDRI images, but there's actually a good selection in CINEMA 4D's Content Browser that is built into CINEMA 4D.

So if you actually navigate to your presets and choose Prime, and under Prime, if you choose Example Scenes, twirl that down, go to HDRI, and if you double-click on this texture, you can see there is this nice studio HDRI file. Keep the Content Browser open, and we can create a new material. Double-click on it. And we're going to turn off our Color and our Specular, and we're just going to enable all Luminance, and all we need to do is click and drag our studio HDRI file into the texture, and that will apply that HDRI texture to our material.

Now we can close out both the Material Editor and the Content Browser, and we can just go ahead and double- click and rename this to HDRI. We can also fold up our Cube Grid and Cube Text. Now, all we have to do is go and apply this HDRI texture to our sky. Now let's hit Render again and see what that does. You can see that the HDRI material is being reflected onto the cubes. So if you're not happy with the amount of reflection, you can always go to the Material tag and change the Offset.

Changing the Offset of the material changes how the HDRI is mapped onto the sky object and how it is reflected onto the objects. So if we just change the Offset here to 35, let's see what that does. So now you see you have more of that HDRI texture being reflected into our scene. So depending on how you texture your scene, it can make a big difference to the look and feel of the animation. With all the rounded edges on the cubes and the text, the materials and reflections give it a high-end look.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors.


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Q: I rendered a Compositing Project File (AEC) from CINEMA 4D, but I am unable to import that file into After Effects.
A: In order to import an AEC file into After Effects, you will need to have the free Cinema 4D Importer plugin for After Effects installed. The plugin can be downloaded here: http://www.maxon.net/support/updates/plugins.html

For more information on this plugin, including instructions on how to install it, refer to Cinema 4D Essentials 5: Rendering and Compositing with Rob Garrott.  The movie titled "Rendering and importing elements into After Effects" explains how to install this plugi
 
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