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

Applying material presets to text


Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

with Angie Taylor

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Video: Applying material presets to text

In this movie we'll have a look at some of the material presets that are available in CINEMA 4D Lite. If you want to follow along, you can open up this project here that I'm rendering. It's called Chapter 06_07, and it involves this animation, where I've done half of the animation of the gears in After Effects, using ray traced 3D environment, and the other half of the animation. The text is done with Cinema 4D Lite. And you'll see I've got two Cinema 4D layers in the timeline.
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      2m 22s
  2. 54m 9s
    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
    7. Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1
      15m 55s
  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 57s
    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
      5m 43s
    6. Creating cameras in After Effects
      4m 37s
    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. 24m 26s
    1. Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D
      5m 48s
    2. Compositing CINEMA 4D layers in After Effects
      6m 52s
    3. Casting shadows on layers in CINEWARE
      5m 18s
    4. Adding reflections in CINEMA 4D
      6m 28s
  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. 38m 54s
    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
      9m 2s
    8. Adjusting reflections
      5m 23s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
8h 57m Beginner Aug 28, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2015

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
3D + Animation Video video2brain
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Angie Taylor

Applying material presets to text

In this movie we'll have a look at some of the material presets that are available in CINEMA 4D Lite. If you want to follow along, you can open up this project here that I'm rendering. It's called Chapter 06_07, and it involves this animation, where I've done half of the animation of the gears in After Effects, using ray traced 3D environment, and the other half of the animation. The text is done with Cinema 4D Lite. And you'll see I've got two Cinema 4D layers in the timeline.

And, I've also animated the camera in After Effects. And those Cinema 4D layers are reacting to that After Effects camera. The reason I created them in Cinema 4D rather then in After Effects, is because I've got many more options in terms of material options, how to create realistic textures and materials for my text. So, what I'm going to do is start with the gears layer. So, I'm going to slant gears layered in the timeline and hit Cmd+D, or Ctrl+E on Windows, to go to Edit Original.

Now, I don't really have to worry about the camera view here, because the camera view that's being used in After Effects. The effect is looking at the after effects camera rather than the Cinema 4D camera. So, I can just adjust my view here and it's not going to effect my After Effects comp too much. So I'm just going to move that so that I can see it a little more clearly, and we will zoom in on it a little bit as well. So here's my text, if I hit Cmd+R or Ctrl+R on Windows, to render that.

You'll see that hasn't really got much in terms of surface detail. It's basically got a little bit of a bevel but it just uses the default grey kind of standard material that Cinema 4D comes with. But if I go to the Create menu down here and this manager here which is called the material manager. I can create a new material. Now you can create new materials and we'll have a look at that later, but you can Load Material Presets from here. So, I can just go into light materials and these are all free materials that come with cinema 4D light.

We have dark layers, effects, fire effects, glass effects, glossy shiny surfaces. Icy, snowy surfaces, liquids, metallic surfaces, organic surfaces, sci-fi surfaces, stone, surfaces, toomy effects, and wound effects. Now, we're going to go for metal material because it's a mechanical animation. And we're going to choose metal, stainless steel, brushed radial. And if we select that.

It appears down here in the materials manager. Now it hasn't applied it yet. If we want to apply it, we need to drag it from the Material manager, and drop it onto the Extrude NURB. Not onto the text, but onto the Extrude NURB. And you'll see that, immediately, it updates my view here. Now, I don't want to keep having to hit Cmd+R or Ctrl+R, so another preview option is, I can select from this render button, an interactive render region. And I can extend that, so that I can cover the text.

So that when I make any changes. It will automatically update. Now, at the moment, it's rendering on a kind of choppy draft render preview quality. So, if I update this slider and move it up to the top, it will render with more (UNKNOWN). So if I save this, and then jump back to After Effects, you can see that's updated. And if I preview that, you'll see how much better it looks, even at draft quality. Just to get a kind of brushed metal surface that I just couldn't get in After Effects easily.

And you'll see its reflection and highlights are changing depending on the camera angle. Now if I put that on a better quality, so if we go into our Cineware effect and put that onto standard final, you'll really see the quality of that surface. And let me just turn off my title and action safes so you can see that. Now I could create all the cogs in cinema 4D as well. But I don't really need to do that here. I'm only going to create the text.

So let's do the same with the get in text. But maybe let's apply another preset to that. Maybe a more colorful preset. You can see there that lovely reflection moving across that shiny surface really gives it a lot of quality. We'll select the get in layer and we'll hit Cmd+E or Ctrl+E on Windows. Again, I'm just going to adjust my view. You can either use the buttons up here to adjust your view around the center or you can use the three key, the two key to zoom in and out, and the one key to move up and down, and get your view so you can see your text easily.

Again, we're going to put our interactive render region around it, so we don't have to keep hitting Cmd+R. So let's just adjust that, put it up to the best quality available. So we can see our material updating. It's quite good to experiment with these. Let's put something quite wacky on there. Let's go to Materials > Effects and I'm going to put in bubble blue. And drag that onto the extrude nurb. Okay and then save it.

Jump to After Effects and it updates immediately. So you see it's really nice to get this immediate update in After Effects to see how it looks in the composite. So let's open the Cineware effect, make sure that it's on Standard Final. Both of them. Now, if I say standard final on one and then click apply to all, it will apply to all of the layers that use the Cineware affect. Now, you can also adjust these options. You could go to Off Final Quality to see it render with the actual final quality.

So let's jump back Cinema 4D and let's try something else. Let's try going into light materials and I'm going to try wood. So let's try oak, see what oak's going to look like on our text. And if I drag a new one. It will override the old one. You see it's overriding the setting that I had before. You can combine them and we'll have a look at combining them a little bit later. Now I'm not keen on the words. So I'm going to delete them, select them, by clicking on them. And Shift clicking, and then just hit Backspace to delete them, or the Delete button will work too.

And let's go back to create loaded material preset. Materials, and we'll try one more. Let's try pinewood. Okay. And we drag that onto the extrude nerve. Scene update. And of course let's just jump back to After Effects, just see how it looks in set two. Of course it looks terrible, so we're going to go back here and we're going to create one more. So enter Materials and I think it's going to have to be another metallic one, so let's try crumpled metal. A nice crumpled metal effect.

And I'm going to drag it onto the Extrude nurb. Select the other one and delete it. And we can see it looks quite nice. It's got a nice textured surface. So we'll save it, jump back to After Effects. And we can see we've got a different kind of effect on that one. So a much more rough, kind of textured metal. On the top layer. They're fairly similar. It doesn't have quite as much detail in terms of the brush, steel surface that the other one has. I kind of prefer the one that we used for, gear.

So, anyway, that's a little bit about how you can just drag and drop materials onto objects in Cinema 4D.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects .

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Q: This course was updated on 01/15/2015. What changed?
A: We updated movies in chapter 5, 10, and 12, and added a new set of exercise files to make the course compatible with the latest versions of After Effects CC (2014.1) and CINEWARE. Watch the "Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1" movie for an overview of the changes.
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