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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects demonstrates how to take a simple logo animation in CINEMA 4D and transform it into a compelling motion graphic with After Effects, incorporating two distinct visual styles. Starting with a prebuilt animation rendered from CINEMA 4D, author Rob Garrott employs industry-standard techniques, utilizing materials, lights, and the library of effects in After Effects, to enhance the project's look and feel. Exercise files accompany the course.
The beams that we've added have really had a lot of energy into the scene, we may also add volume and depth to our image, but they are still white and although the white color of the beams does look very hot, it sort of stands apart from the rest of the energy in the stadium and I want to beam energy to tie itself back into the platform, and the platform color has its orange to it, and so we really want our beams to tint back to that orange. We're going to use something called CC Toner in order to do that. I'm going to go to the very base Beams layer and now I'm inside the MMM-001 composition, which is where all of our compositing is coming together, and on this base Beams layer I'm going to go to the Effects menu and go to the Color Correction and then grab CC Toner, and CC Toner colorizes a layer based on the highlights, mid-tones, and shadows.
Our Beams Pass is basically all highlights and so the mid-tones and shadows don't really have an effect. I'm going to start off though by changing the mid-tones anyway, just to make sure I don't have any errant colors in there. And the color that I want to pick is an orange and I'm going to pull that one right out of the composition. So if I click on the Eyedropper and I sample an orange color out of here, I'll grab something like that right there looks pretty nice. And this orange color now, I want to have in the highlights as well. Now watch what happens when I sample that color into the highlights.
Now our beams really add heat to the scene. Not only is it adding energy but it is adding heat as well and so that really makes them blend in. I think that might be a little bit too much on the saturation. So what I'm going to do is click on the color swatch and bring the saturation down just a bit by sliding this over to the left. And then also bring it back a little bit more towards the orange. I think I picked something that was little too red before, and when I hit OK that kind of dowse it down a little bit. I won't worry about the mid-tones because the mid-tones really aren't doing that much in this image and I think that highlight color looks nice.
Now you may have noticed that I didn't need to color the other beams and that's because they're on an additive mode and because they're white adding in to that base orange color they're getting colorize themselves, so I can just leave them at their actual values. The next problem I have with the beams is that if we go back to where they first come on at the 100% value, I can actually see the beams down here below the platform and that looks kind of weird. I want to have these things cut off at the base. In order to do that, if I were just to put a mask on this I have to go back and keyframe that mask over the time so that it would appear that the beams are coming out of this area here.
But what I can do instead is use a 3D track matte to cut those beams off. That's going to move perfectly with my platform and we did that technique in another part of the course in order to reveal the phone. Now we're going to use that exact same technique in order to reveal the beams. So I'm going to make a new solid layer and I'm going to call it Beam Reveal. I'll just hit Command+Y or Ctrl+Y and I'll call this layer Beam Reveal and I'll leave it the composition size 960 x 540. The color doesn't matter. I'll go and leave it black and hit OK. And what I want to do is create a little oval sort of inversion on this using a mask and I'm going to add an ellipse to this layer and I'll start off by just clicking and dragging like that.
Using the Move tool, let's get back to our Selection tool, I'm going to grab this top and I'm going to drag it down like that. I just want to create a bit of a curvature in that, and now I'm going to soften it up. And under the Mask options, I'm going to go to the feathering and I'm going to put that at about 50, here we go. That gives us a nice soft layer. Now what I want to do is to make this a 3D layer and so I'll go to my Switches and Modes and bring those to back to the Switches and click on the 3D switch and that makes it jump away. And so I need to parent this up to the disc light and you see there is my Platform Disc light and this Platform Disc light is in the exact same position as the platform itself, the very center of the platform.
So if I take my 3D layer and parent it to the Platform Disk light, and then go to the position on the Beam Reveal and zero it out, zero, Tab, zero, Tab, zero, and now it jumps right to that position. This layer is in the center of the platform. I don't want it to be in the center of the platform. I want it to be out on the edge, so if I take this and drag it on its z axis towards us-- and this movement constrains it-- I'm going to put right about here so it feels like I said the edge of the platform.
Now we're going to use this layer as a track matte for our beams. So let's bring this beam reveal down below the first two beam layers and above the Base Beam layer, and I'll go back to my Switches and Modes and in the Modes I'm going to set the Track Matte for this layer, for the base Beams layer, and this is one that I colorized earlier. I'm going to set this to be actually in Inverted Alpha. If I did the Alpha Matte it would cut off the beams and only show up here down blow, but if I do in Inverted Alpha, watch what happens. So I'll do Alpha Inverted Matte (Beam Reveal) and you can see that my Beam Reveal layer disappears because it's off now.
It's been used as a track matte and this got just a little bit softer, so what I'm seeing here left over is the residue from these other two beams. So I just need to duplicate this beam reveal and use that as a track mMatte for the other two layers. So I'll hit Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard, drag that up above, and then I'm going to go to the Track Matte for that one and do Alpha Inverted Matte again. And then repeat that one last time. Drag that right there and do an Alpha Inverted Matte and you'll see now my beam is gone completely and it's just showing up inside the platform.
And the great thing is as I scrub through the animation you can see that it's moving with it. Now I think my layers might be just a little bit off. I'm going to adjust the matte on this one and bring it down just a bit and I'm going to do the same thing on the others. I will select them and I'm just eyeballing this. And you know there is sometimes where you need to be precise and other times where you can be much more artistic. And I'm just sort of adjusting these things. You can see as I adjust this it kind of opens that area up underneath the phone a little bit. And I think that's going to look just right.
So as I scrub through this, I'm just watching it to make sure that my beams don't do anything weird and I think they're looking a lot nicer now. Even though the beams had tremendous energy in the stadium, their color really made them stand out. By colorizing the beams we've brought the energy of those beams back into the energy at the stadium and really blended everything together in a much more interesting way.
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