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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 we can adjust reflections on the floor here using the multi-pass options in Cineware. We're in Chapter 12_Start_R16.aep. If you want to follow along and you have access to the files, you can open that to follow along. So I have one layer down here, which is this layer here that has the floor and the text and the robots on it. What we're going to do is just zoom in, so we're going to go up to 100%.
It just takes a minute or two to refresh there, and then we're just going to move the robots in center screen so that we can see clearly the reflections on the floor. What we're going to do is, first of all, isolate the element, so I want to treat the floor and the robots individually. To do that, what I'm going to do is duplicate this layer, so cmd + d or ctrl + d on Windows will duplicate the layer. I'm temporarily going to switch the top layer off, because we're going to work on this layer here down at the bottom for now.
I'm going to hit e on the keyboard to open up my effect, double click the effect to open up the effect control panel. Now in here, what I'm going to do is choose to work in layers. Now, if I want to work in layers in Cineware 2.0, it's a good idea to first of all think about whether you want to synchronize the layers. In this case, I want each layer treated differently, so I want to turn off Synchronize Layer for this layer and also for the top layer. So I'm just going to take a minute to switch off Synchronize Layers for both of those.
Then I'm going to go back to this layer here, this second layer. In here I'm going to click on the check box for CINEMA 4D layers, which allows me to then selectively choose which layers from Cinema 4D I want to render on my After Effects layer, if that makes sense. (laughs) So let's click on Set Layers. Now at the moment, all of my Cinema 4D layers are rendering on this individual After Effects layer. What I'm going to do is say, well, I only want to see the floor layers. So I'm going to turn off the robots, turn of the text, and I've got two robot layers, so I'll turn them both off.
Then I'm going to click OK, and we should see everything except the floor disappearing, which is fantastic. That's worked really well. Okay, now the next thing I want to do is I want to change the multi-pass options. At the moment I'm rendering the whole layer, all of the properties of the layer, onto the floor, but what I want to do is only cast reflections onto the floor and cut out everything else. So I'm also going to go down here to Multi-Pass, click on CINEMA 4D Multi-Pass, and then Set Multi-Pass, which allows me to choose which pass I want to render on this layer.
I'm going to say only show the reflection pass of the floor layer on this layer in After Effects. Now I've successfully managed to isolate not only the layer, but an individual pass from that layer. Now I can use something like Add mode or Screen mode to just composite that onto the top of the building, and I get a quite nice effect. It looks like we've got a clear glass top to that building. Then I can switch on my other layer, and that's compositing the other elements on top.
Now remember that this layer still has the floor layer rendering, so we also need to go into CINEMA 4D Layers here, choose Set Layers, and just turn off the Floor Layer and click OK. You should see that now we just have the floor on one layer, and the robots and the text on the other layer. If we just zoom out to 50%, you should see the text and the robots now. Now just one other thing.
You'll notice that when we were in the Cineware effect and we went to Set Layers for the Floor Layer that we also left the Default Layer on. That's important, because the Default Layer carries lighting, so if you turn that off it can sometimes impact how that layer looks, and you'll notice there was a slight change there as I switched off the Default Layer. So the Default Layer carries anything that isn't on another specified layer, so if an object isn't specifically put on a layer in Cinema 4D, then it will be included in this section here in Cineware, the Default Layer section.
Now, I've had words with MAXON about how this is named. I think it should really say "Anything that's not on a layer," or something like that, because saying "the default layer" implies there is a layer called default layer, and there's not. So we'll see if that gets changed in future versions, but for now it's called the Default Layer, and you need to have that on if you want things like lights that aren't on layers to be rendered in the final result. So that's a little bit about how you can isolate not only layers, but passes for layers, and adjust things like reflection.
Of course, if I want to adjust the reflection now, all I need to do is just dial down that Opacity value and we'll reduce the amount of reflection that's seen on the building. Really nice way of working.
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