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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'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.
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