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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.
Another great way of applying effects in After Effects, particularly when you're working with (UNKNOWN) files is to use adjustment layers. And that's what we're going to do here. If you want to follow along, we're in chapter 13 cu05.aep and I'm going to go to layer new. Adjustment layer. And an Adjustment Layer is a layer that carries effects and applies them to all the layers underneath them in a comb. It's kind of a, we have applied a combined effect, if you like, that's applied to several other layers.
So we're going to use this to create a vignette type effect. So let's bring out curves first of all. Okay, so I'm going to bring up curves. And I'm going to apply that just to the main robots. And you'll see that as I do that, it's only affecting the robot layers. It's not affecting any of the other layers obviously. So, I'll just make a slight adjustment to my curves just to get a little bit more contrast in there. Now the difference is, when we apply it to an adjustment layer, so I'm just going to apply levels, notice that any changes that I make are applied to all the layers, not just the little bot there, so if I maybe darken it a little bit, either by jugging the gamma or the black input slider then it affects all of the layers so everything is being darkened down, but the good thing about an adjustments layer is it's also affecting all the layers underneath like watch this, if I drag it underneath main robot.
They are no longer affected. When I drag it above, they are affected. The other nice thing about them is I can apply a mask to them, so I could double-click the elipse tool with that layer selected and it'll create an elipse the size of my layer. And then I can invert it so that we're creating like a vignette type of thing, so it'll be darker out here. And lighter in the middle. Now, I can increase that, make it even darker, exaggerate it. We can feather it as well so that we're getting a nice soft edged vignette.
I can adjust the expansion, so we'll bring it further in or out. Okay. Maybe bring the feather value down a little bit. And adjust the gamma just to darken those mids down a little bit more. So, you get the idea. It gives you a lot of control over how to apply effects to certain parts of your image. So it really allows us to kind of highlight the robots a little bit more, and as I said, if I only want to apply it to the background, I can drag it behind the main robots, but I actually quite like it darkening down the robots as well at the edge.
We have a vignette, so let's call that vignette. I'll select the adjustment layer. Hit Return on the keyboard type in vignette. I'm then going to create another adjustment layer this one I'm not going to mask and I'm going to use it to add some noise. If I don't want to see the mask every time I select the vignette layer I can just click on this button here to hide my mask. And then, select this adjustment layer. And I'm just going to type in Noise. Now, that are some very good third party noise effects, but I'm just going to use this one here, the built-in 32 bit noise.
Now, if you want to make sure you're only selecting 32 bit capable effects, because, of course, we're working in a linear work flow. Make sure to select that in the one menu here of the Effects and Presets panel. And I'm just going to give it, maybe 5% noise. And it will apply it to everything. Now if we zoom up to 100% You'll be able to see how that looks a little bit better. So we can maybe even go a little bit higher, maybe up to ten percent to add some noise to our scene.
Just helps pull the whole thing together by adding overall noise to the whole scene. So let's just go back up to fit up to 100. And we'll rename this noise. So we've now got an adjustment layer that adds noise and an adjustment layer that adds a vignette to our scene. The vignette's a little over the top, so I'm going to select it again and just adjust those levels back a little bit. They're a little bit too OTT as we say.
And that's a little bit more subtle. So that's a little bit about how you can use adjustment layers on all the layers within your composition, just to bring the whole thing together. Of course, you can also use them to apply color safe effects as well. That's another good use for adjustment layers.
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