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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Compositing a dynamic 3D background


From:

CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects

with Rob Garrott

Video: Compositing a dynamic 3D background

The Stadium Pass is going to be broken up into two parts: the full stadium and then just the base that the phone rises out of. What this gives us the ability to do is control the intensity of effects that are going to be based on the platform that the phone rises out of. Now, the first step in this process is going to be isolating the stadium, and so let's go into the Video folder and go into the Stadium Pass subfolder and grab this composition, and we're going to move it into the Pre-COMP's folder. Before I do that, I want to duplicate it so I have myself a copy to go back to. So I hit Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard, and let's drag this down now into the Pre-COMP's folder.
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  1. 5m 48s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Using the exercise files
      50s
    3. Essential plug-ins
      4m 1s
  2. 51m 44s
    1. Essential render settings
      6m 24s
    2. Setting up an object buffer list
      6m 17s
    3. Creating object buffer tags
      10m 48s
    4. Setting up multi-pass image layers
      5m 37s
    5. Creating an external compositing tag
      1m 47s
    6. Creating render passes using the Render Elements plug-in
      9m 39s
    7. Using Render Elements to optimize render passes
      5m 12s
    8. Batch rendering
      6m 0s
  3. 31m 33s
    1. Importing files and organizing an After Effects project
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a 3D object precomp
      3m 15s
    3. Attaching a video layer to a 3D object
      8m 17s
    4. Compositing 3D text
      2m 47s
    5. Compositing a dynamic 3D background
      4m 23s
    6. Setting markers for major events
      5m 53s
  4. 39m 46s
    1. Adding the Star Glow effect to a layer
      4m 32s
    2. Creating a glow on the stadium background
      5m 56s
    3. Revealing the background glow using a 3D layer mask
      7m 19s
    4. Creating a glow using the Ambient Occlusion pass
      6m 9s
    5. Using the Ambient Occlusion glow to create an energy animation
      4m 25s
    6. Creating a stadium light effect using object buffers
      4m 38s
    7. Adding flash bulbs with the CC Light Rays effect
      6m 47s
  5. 53m 16s
    1. Creating the phone reveal
      5m 10s
    2. Creating the phone reveal glow
      7m 49s
    3. Creating the phone reveal beams
      7m 17s
    4. Colorizing the energy beams
      6m 21s
    5. Creating the energy burst
      10m 19s
    6. Using Trapcode Particular to add sparks to the phone reveal
      10m 53s
    7. Creating the phone screen video
      5m 27s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Creating the type glows
      9m 36s
    2. Adding the type glint
      6m 1s
  7. 34m 33s
    1. Creating a camera shake effect using precomps
      8m 12s
    2. Adding depth of field with the Lens Blur effect
      8m 14s
    3. Transitioning to full-screen video
      8m 17s
    4. Using the ReelSmart Motion Blur effect
      4m 17s
    5. Putting together the final comp
      5m 33s
  8. 1m 25s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 25s

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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects
3h 53m Intermediate Apr 22, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a multi-pass render
  • Batch rendering in CINEMA 4D
  • Importing 3D elements into After Effects
  • Creating and using precomps for compositing control
  • Compositing 3D text in a dynamic 3D environment
  • Creating a glow effect using Trapcode Starglow
  • Using 3D layers to create masking effects
  • Adding a flash bulb effect with CC Light Rays
  • Adding glows and glints to type
  • Creating a 2D camera shake effect using pre-comps
  • Adding depth of field with the Lens Blur effect
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Video Motion Graphics Compositing
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

Compositing a dynamic 3D background

The Stadium Pass is going to be broken up into two parts: the full stadium and then just the base that the phone rises out of. What this gives us the ability to do is control the intensity of effects that are going to be based on the platform that the phone rises out of. Now, the first step in this process is going to be isolating the stadium, and so let's go into the Video folder and go into the Stadium Pass subfolder and grab this composition, and we're going to move it into the Pre-COMP's folder. Before I do that, I want to duplicate it so I have myself a copy to go back to. So I hit Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard, and let's drag this down now into the Pre-COMP's folder.

And in the Pre-COMP's folder, I'm going to name this Stadium Pass Pre. Now the Stadium Pass Pre, if I open that up, that has all of our stadium elements in it. Right now, the stadium element has these lights in it, and I don't want these lights to be visible right now. We're going to be using a different layer in our final compositing process to make the stadium lights, so what I want to do is just cut them out. So I'm going to use an object buffer to cut a hole in this Stadium Pass, so that I don't see these lights anymore. I am only going to see transparency back there.

So if I go into the Stadium Special Passes folder, so I am going to grab object buffer number 3 and drag it into the Stadium Pass Pre. When I do that, you could see I have this black-and-white layer now that is just the stadium lights. What I want to be able to do is to have this light-and-dark layer cut a hole in everything below it, and there is a special blending mode for that and that's Silhouette Luma. And so if I go down into the blending modes and go all the way to the bottom, and there is Silhouette Luma. When I do that, I've now cut a hole in this layer, and you are probably thinking, well, what's the big deal? The big deal is we're going to be generating glows based on the light pieces of information inside this render.

And those stadium lights were the brightest thing in the whole render, and so my glows would have been based on those stadium lights primarily. By covering these guys up like that, it makes it easier to pull a glow based on just these gray values that are the parts joining up the stadium. So that's going to make it a lot easier. The next thing we want to do is to isolate the base, so that we can have control over it for our explosion effect that we're going to be creating when the phone rises up out of it. So if I go back now into my Pre-COMP's, and I'm going to take the Stadium Pass Pre, and I'm going to drag it onto a new composition button, that gives me a copy of it that's already pre-comped together.

And what I'm going to do is I'm going to name this copy and call it Stadium Base Pre. Now the Stadium Base is just going to be the base that the phone rises out of. So I am going to scrub over here to the hero position, where the phone is prominent in the screen. We just want this little bit here, and we have an object buffer for that entire element, and so I'm going to grab object offer number 6. And if I go back into the Stadium Special Passes and grab object buffer 6 and drag that down in here, you can see that that's the stadium base right there.

What I want to be able to do is to isolate the stadium base so that we can control the effects on it when the phone emerges out of it. So I'm going to use this object buffer as a luma matte for the Stadium Pass Pre. So I am going to click and hold on Track Matte and set it to be a Luma Matte Stadium_object_6. When I do that, that gives me just the stadium base all by itself. The next thing I want to do is I want to adjust the contrast of it so that it has much brighter verticals on there. So I'm going to select the Stadium Pass Pre. I'm going to go to the Effects > Color Correction > Levels.

And in the Levels effect--I am going to enlarge this window a little bit here-- I'm going to take it and push the contrast of it by bringing the highlights over here to the left just a bit, and I'll push the midtones just to the left a little bit more. What you can see that does for me is it gives me much brighter verticals. If I turn the Levels effect off and on, I am going to zoom in on that so you can see what's happening. Let me bring that up into full-screen here. So that's with the Levels adjustment. That's without the Levels adjustment. And remember, we're going to be using this base to generate a very special glow for our phone, and having this high contrast version of it will make generating that glow a lot easier.

I'm going to just do one last thing and that's push the blacks just a little bit more. I don't really want all that noise in between the columns here. By pushing the blacks over just a little bit, that helps to isolate that stuff just a little bit more. There we go. Put it right on up there. Now that we've got all the pieces isolated, the process of adding glows to the stadium is going to be a lot more simple.

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