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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects

Creating a 3D object precomp


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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects

with Rob Garrott

Video: Creating a 3D object precomp

Before we can begin making our magic here in After Effects, we need to prepare each of the layers we're going to need in the final composition. We're going to start off with the phone. Now, this may seem like a boring step in the process, but it's really foundational. Understanding how to set up correct pre-comps and building the right pre-comps for just the right situation means that when you get into the final compositing process you're going to have all of the elements that you need right there at hand. It really is a key to sort of setting up a smooth workflow for you all the way through After Effects, so you get to the final result.
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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

Creating a 3D object precomp

Before we can begin making our magic here in After Effects, we need to prepare each of the layers we're going to need in the final composition. We're going to start off with the phone. Now, this may seem like a boring step in the process, but it's really foundational. Understanding how to set up correct pre-comps and building the right pre-comps for just the right situation means that when you get into the final compositing process you're going to have all of the elements that you need right there at hand. It really is a key to sort of setting up a smooth workflow for you all the way through After Effects, so you get to the final result.

So what I'm going to do here in the file is I'm going to go into the Video folder, and in my Phone Pass folder, I've got this pre-comp, and this is the pre-comp that was imported when we imported the AEC file. Now I could just use this composition originally, but I don't like to do that. I always like to keep a copy of it on hand. So I'm going to make a copy by hitting Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard, and I'm going to move that into the Pre-COMP's folder. Let's scrub down and go to the Pre-COMP's and now in the Pre-COMP's folder I'm going to change the name of this and call it Phone Pass Pre.

And I'll open up the Phone Pass pre-comp and you can see this is our pre-comp, and we've got our Phone Pass, and it's over black right now. And we don't want this black here, but this black as a result of the multi-pass compositing process. So we need to be able to eliminate this back, but we need an alpha channel for the phone to do that. And so fortunately for us, when we set up our render from CINEMA 4D, we did the RGBA Pass, which gives us the complete phone with an alpha channel. So if I go back into the Special Passes folder in the Phone subfolder, you can see there is a Phone_rgba.psd sequence here. And if I bring that in--and I will just isolate it real quick by hitting the Solo button-- and you can see that with the transparency active, I can now see that I've got an alpha channel. So what I want to do is have this alpha channel cut right down through all this black, and there is a really great feature in After Effects called Stencil Alpha.

It's one of the blending modes, and if I click on the Modes pulldown and scrub all the way down to the bottom and set this to be Stencil Alpha, when I do that, it's going to chop away all of that black stuff. Now I don't see the phone anymore. All I'm seeing is the result of the alpha channel stenciling out all of that extra information for me, and so that's a really important process. Now when I clicked on this, I just noticed something very important about the RGBA Pass, and that's in the footage summary information up here. It's showing me that it's millions of colors but pre-multiplied, and I know that for sure when I rendered it from CINEMA 4D I rendered it with a straight Alpha channel.

And this happens sometimes. You get confused about whether or not you meant to have it as pre-multiplied or straight Alpha channels. You have to really watch out for this. And so I'm going to right-click on this Phone RGBA Pass, and I'm going to go to Interpret Footage > Main, and in the main footage interpretation dialog, I'm going top change it from Pre-multiplied to Straight. And I will just hit Enter on the Keyboard, and that's going to get rid of that screen for me. And now I can see that it's set to be straight alpha, and that's going to make things a lot smoother for me down the road. Now those may seem like basic steps that we just went through, but once again, this process of building this pre-comp is foundational because we're going to be building on top of this Phone Pass from here on out to make our phone really sit in the stadium, so having this pre-comp built is going to make that process a lot easier.

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