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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.
Now it's important that you understand how the render settings used in the CINEWARE plugin relate to the CINEMA 4D render settings, and that's what we're going to have a look at here. We're in Chapter_02_03.aep, and if I want to open a CINEMA 4D file. In Cinema 4D to make changes, I can just select it, even in the timeline or the project panel in After Effects. And go to Edit > Edit Original, hit Cmd+D or Ctrl+D on Windows.
And that will open up Cinema 4D lite with that project open. In fact, if you have another version of Cinema 4D, say Studio, or Prime, it will open those with the file. And then I can make changes to it. Now we're going to start by just changing the display options. If I jump back to After Effects for a second, you'll see that it's using the current shading. If I jump back to Cinema 4D, and change the display options to Lines, and then save my Cinema 4D project, and jump back to After Effects, we should see that the file updates to show us lines.
So, current shading is relating to these settings here in the Display options. So, if I go back to Gouraud shading and save that and then jump back to After Effects, that will update in After Effects. It always take a little minute or two to update. Don't panic if you don't see an update straight away. Now once we've done edit original once, we don't need to do it again. Just be aware that if you do, if I do edit original again. It will try and open up another version of this file.
And we don't really want that to happen. Cinema 4D can have more than one file open at once, so you have to be a little bit careful because you can end up with 10 versions of your file open. So if you see this, just hit Cancel. And that will cancel that, so you only have one version of your file open. So what we're also going to do here is, adjust the Render settings. Now, if we go over to here, and go into Edit > Render Settings, these are the Render Settings that are used to render the file.
Now, we're using the standard renderer. And these are the settings for the standard renderer. And we have things like anti-aliasing in here. And also we have a different filters that can be used to make the image look nicer if you like. Now, if we jump back to After Effects. At the moment, when we're using the software renderer. It won't update anything that we change in the standard renderer settings. In order to see this, we really need to go to Standard Final. Now, when I go to standard final, you'll see that we see reflections, we see shadows, we see anti aliasing.
And if we have a look at that 100%. At full resolution, we can really see the quality that's being used. I'm just going to use space bar just to move around that image, so that I can see some of the edges there. And see the anti aliasing quality. And you can see it's not perfect, but it's fairly good. But if I jump back to Cinema 4D, and change that to Best Anti-Aliasing. And if we go up to something like 2 by 2 as a minimum. And maybe 8 by 8 as a maximum.
That's really going to improve the quality. One more step we'll do in here is we'll change the filter, to Cubic (Still Image). Now, Gaussian (Animation) filter, isn't quite as clear in terms of quality as the Cubic (Still Image) filter. You will find that this is going to take a lot longer to render, but you will get a lot better quality. Now, I'm just going to save the project, because you need to save the project in order for these render settings to update. And if we jump back to after effects, you'll notice that there's a slight delay as After Effects re-renders that.
Okay, at a higher quality. But you should see, when it stops rendering, see the rendering is indicated by this, orange bar here, you'll see when it stops rendering, what a superb quality we get on the edges there. There's no more stair stepping. So, the renderer uses the render settings that are set up here in CINEMA 4D. Under Options, you have the ability to turn off things like reflections and shadows, limit the shadows to a certain type.
In Cinema 4D's case, the soft shadows are quicker to render. So there's all sorts of customization options in there. To allow you to optimize your composition, which we'll have a look at later. There's my Anti-Aliasing options again. We have Multi-Pass options, which we'll look at later. Save options as well, which allows you to choose the bit depth for your project. Now, in this case, we want to be working in 32 bits per channel because we want to maintain that linear workflow throughout both applications.
And then, you've also got your output options, which just allows you to determine. How many frames you're outputting, what size of frame, and what frame rate you're outputting. If you wanted to put out the whole animation 250 frames, you would change that to 250, to output all 250 frames. Now when you're working in Cinema 4D quite often you only want to protect one frame at a time while you're previewing because you can use what's called the picture viewer in Cinema 4D to render your output.
And when you're looking in terms of quality, you may only want to see one frame at a time. So, we'll have a look at that later but that's a little run through of the render settings in Cinema 4D. One thing to note before we finish is if we now go to the main Window and hit Cmd+R again, it will take a bit longer to render now but it's going to be using those really nice Anti-Aliasing settings. So, the Anti-Aliasing will add detail, and will increase your render time.
But it will make your image look all the clearer and nicer.
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