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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.
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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