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Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Applying a custom material


From:

Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

with Angie Taylor

Video: Applying a custom material

When we finish doing the animation and the modeling, we want to then think about adding materials and lighting to really bring the scene to life. And that's what we're going to do here. I'm in Chapter 801.aep. And here we have our text and our characters placed into a scene. And at the moment they look very flat and grey. But if you select chapter 801C4D in the project panel, and hit Cmd+E on Mac, Ctrl+E on Windows, that will open up that project in Cinema 4D Lite. And here we have exactly the same project.
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      2m 22s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
      4m 23s
    2. What CINEMA 4D Lite can't do
      6m 54s
    3. Opening CINEMA 4D Lite in After Effects
      2m 38s
    4. Quick interface tour
      8m 46s
    5. Navigation tips for CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 5s
    6. CINEMA 4D Lite preferences and settings
      7m 28s
  3. 22m 34s
    1. Importing CINEMA 4D files in After Effects
      1m 5s
    2. The CINEWARE plugin settings
      4m 42s
    3. CINEMA 4D Lite render settings
      6m 15s
    4. After Effects project settings
      1m 23s
    5. After Effects previewing tips
      3m 50s
    6. Using the Picture Viewer in CINEMA 4D
      5m 19s
  4. 1h 14m
    1. Editing primitive objects
      5m 18s
    2. The Move and Scale tools
      7m 18s
    3. The Rotate tool
      4m 24s
    4. Axis limitations
      1m 46s
    5. Working cylinders
      7m 15s
    6. Linking body parts using object hierarchy
      9m 49s
    7. Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS
      7m 22s
    8. Adjusting NURBS settings
      4m 6s
    9. Using nulls as controllers
      3m 33s
    10. Creating copies with the Instance array
      6m 44s
    11. Carving shapes with the Boole array
      10m 28s
    12. Reshaping objects with deformers
      3m 14s
    13. Adding surface detail with a Relief object
      2m 55s
  5. 55m 41s
    1. Understanding coordinates
      5m 0s
    2. Understanding rotation
      2m 39s
    3. Timeline shortcuts
      3m 1s
    4. Basic keyframing of properties
      4m 31s
    5. Copying keyframes
      2m 3s
    6. Keyframe interpolation
      5m 20s
    7. Adjusting F-Curves
      5m 45s
    8. Holding values
      5m 8s
    9. Using XPresso to link properties: Part one
      4m 17s
    10. Using XPresso to link properties: Part two
      2m 27s
    11. Importing existing animations into CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 21s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 37s
    13. Animating using presets
      4m 32s
  6. 46m 30s
    1. Importing music and soundtracks
      4m 12s
    2. Customizing commands and shortcuts
      6m 7s
    3. Adding markers
      4m 25s
    4. Creating multiple cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 17s
    5. Cutting between CINEMA 4D cameras with CINEWARE
      4m 23s
    6. Creating cameras in After Effects
      5m 30s
    7. Merging 3D camera data into CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Animating cameras with Stage objects
      4m 27s
    9. Extracting cameras from CINEMA 4D files
      5m 59s
  7. 43m 49s
    1. Adding CINEMA 4D text to After Effects comps
      5m 4s
    2. Formatting text in CINEMA 4D
      5m 47s
    3. Creating CINEMA 4D text or logos in Illustrator
      6m 9s
    4. Importing Illustrator text into CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 38s
    5. Applying material presets to text
      7m 51s
    6. Merging CINEMA 4D files
      5m 51s
    7. Registering CINEMA 4D Lite for MoGraph features
      1m 8s
    8. Using MoGraph Fracture on text
      3m 25s
    9. The MoGraph Random Effector
      3m 56s
  8. 12m 8s
    1. Creating a wiggle expression
      7m 49s
    2. The Reset Position script
      4m 19s
  9. 30m 56s
    1. Applying a custom material
      6m 32s
    2. Making a metallic material
      6m 15s
    3. Adding an environment channel
      2m 20s
    4. Adding texture with shaders
      4m 21s
    5. Built-in material presets
      3m 52s
    6. Combining materials
      2m 41s
    7. Using selection sets to isolate surfaces
      4m 55s
  10. 27m 42s
    1. 3D camera tracking in After Effects
      6m 3s
    2. Creating nulls from tracking points
      2m 40s
    3. Adjusting the Shadow Catcher for CINEMA 4D
      3m 31s
    4. Importing a CINEMA 4D file into a scene
      4m 21s
    5. Exporting CINEMA 4D files from After Effects comps
      3m 42s
    6. Merging objects from CINEMA 4D files
      3m 23s
    7. Manually adjusting scenes between apps
      4m 2s
  11. 19m 18s
    1. Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D
      6m 11s
    2. Compositing CINEMA 4D layers in After Effects
      3m 28s
    3. Casting shadows on layers in CINEWARE
      4m 56s
    4. Adding reflections in CINEMA 4D
      4m 43s
  12. 36m 10s
    1. Using preset lighting setups
      6m 24s
    2. Light types in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 38s
    3. Creating visible lights
      7m 56s
    4. Adding ambient occlusion effects
      6m 55s
    5. Optimizing your CINEMA 4D scenes
      8m 17s
  13. 34m 39s
    1. Multipass compositing explained
      2m 28s
    2. Adding passes to render settings
      2m 8s
    3. Viewing passes in the Picture Viewer
      2m 35s
    4. Adding object buffers
      4m 51s
    5. External compositing tags in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 8s
    6. Previewing and experimenting with passes
      4m 30s
    7. CINEWARE multipass options
      7m 8s
    8. Adjusting reflections
      3m 2s
    9. Isolating elements with object buffers
      4m 49s
  14. 53m 2s
    1. Extracting 3D scene data
      8m 11s
    2. Adding video elements to a CINEMA 4D scene
      5m 49s
    3. Working with proxies
      10m 2s
    4. Color correction of shadows
      4m 10s
    5. Layer styles
      3m 50s
    6. Adjustment layers
      4m 58s
    7. Setting up depth of field in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Adding depth of field with camera lens blur
      4m 4s
    9. Speed ramps with time remapping
      4m 14s
    10. Motion blur with the Pixel Motion Blur effect
      4m 34s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. Rendering with the After Effects Render Queue
      5m 39s
    2. Background rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 6s
    3. The BG Renderer script
      4m 14s

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Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
8h 31m Beginner Aug 28, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
  • Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects CC workflow
  • Editing primitive objects
  • Spline modeling with NURBS
  • Animating with keyframes
  • Using Xpresso to link properties
  • Importing music and soundtracks
  • Creating and animating cameras
  • Working with text
  • Scripting
  • Creating and applying materials and textures
  • 3D camera tracking
  • Compositing layers
  • Lighting with visible lights and ambient occlusion
  • Adding visual effects in After Effects
  • Rendering in After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder
Subjects:
3D + Animation Video Motion Graphics Compositing video2brain
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
Angie Taylor

Applying a custom material

When we finish doing the animation and the modeling, we want to then think about adding materials and lighting to really bring the scene to life. And that's what we're going to do here. I'm in Chapter 801.aep. And here we have our text and our characters placed into a scene. And at the moment they look very flat and grey. But if you select chapter 801C4D in the project panel, and hit Cmd+E on Mac, Ctrl+E on Windows, that will open up that project in Cinema 4D Lite. And here we have exactly the same project.

I'll just scrub through so that you can see the text and the characters. So what we want to do is start by creating some materials for our robot. Now This is the materials manager here, and if I click on create I can go to new material. And the default is to create a kind of white basic material. And if I drag that onto my main robot, so let's find our main robot. I'm going to drag it to the top of the stacks so it's easier for us to find.

We're going to open it up, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to drag that material. So, I've lost it because I've been selecting things up here. So in order to bring it back, I just click on it again in the material manager. And now I can drag it onto the chest object. And you'll see that it colors not just the chest, but the neck and the head. If I don't do that, and just drag it onto the main robot, you'll see it colors the whole robot. So if you have an object were it's mainly one material with maybe just highlights or accents on other objects with another material, it's quite good just to drag it on to the null that contains the all the body parts and it will apply it to all of them.

But now we could go ahead and edit it so I could Double-click it. Go into the editor, and we could do things like maybe change the color. So I can click on here and choose a color from my color picker. Let's choose a gray color, and now you see it interactively changing as I make changes to the material and updates here in the viewer. I'm just going to switch off my cameras for a second. Stop them rendering in the preview window. So we'll click once on this top button and then click once again to hide the wire frames of the camera.

So what else could we do to this material? Well, let's have a look through the tabs. We have our basics tab where you select what properties are applied. And at the moment color and specular are the two things are applied, because they are ticked here. And when they're ticked you see a tab for them up here. So here we have the color, we've also got a brightness slider if I want to bring this brightness down I can do using that slider. You could also apply textures as well, which will take a look at later. Then you have this specular value and the specular value basically decides how shiny something is or how shiny it appears to be.

And if we go down here, you'll see we have different presets for shininess. And at the moment is a plastic preset. Now, really if you want to see how this is going to look in the final render, you really want to put and interactive render region around the object that you're working with. And if I'm working on materials, I generally put it up to. Quite a high quality so that I can see how it is going to look. You see with that plastic surface, it's kind of a little bit dull, if we change it to metal, it's even duller okay? You'll notice that it adjusts the setting as I choose these presets.

Okay so we've got colored as well. So, what we're going to do is we'll start with Plastic and show you what you can do with this. You can adjust the width and that makes the highlights spread out a little bit farther giving it a duller appearance. If you bring this in narrower, you tend to create a really Sharp shiny area. So if you want to make something look more shiny, you really want this to be narrower. And you probably want the height to be higher.

And you'll see that by doing that, we start to make the surface a lot more shiny. So, by bringing that down and increasing the height we can really make it look like a shiny surface. Now you've also got control for fall off. Okay and that will allow it to gradually fall off. Obviously you need to be careful you're not creating any clippings. So if you're doing that you may need to make adjustment to the height as well. And really I probably want my fall off to be somewhere there at the most.

And then you've got inner width as well you can adjust the inner width. That allows you to extend that shiny area, but giving it a kind of core if you like in the middle, which allows you to extend it by moving the shiny areas apart rather than just making bigger shiny area if you get my drift. I tend to explain things in a very non technical way, as you've probably gathered by now. If you want a technical explanation about how all of this works and how it interprets these values then you can look in the wonderful online help that comes free with the application.

And can be accessed here in the help menu. Now, if I want to add other properties to this. I need to go back to my basic tab, and add them here. And this is where I can add things like glow, environment, transparency, reflection. And we'll be having a look at those in one of the following movies. So that's a little bit about how you can create your own material and edit it here in the attributes manager. You'll also have access to standalone material editor if you Double-click the material, and that will open up a standalone editor.

It has exactly the same controls as this does, it's just in a different format. If you click on these. It gives you access to all of these things without having to activate them. So you can quickly see what's contained in each of these, without having to create a tab for it as you down here in the attributes manager. So, if you want a quick look at what's available before you apply it, use the Material Editor here. And you access that by Double-clicking in Material. In the next movie, we'll have a look at how we can make this material more metallic.

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