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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
I can remember when I first started learning Cinema 4D that I was pretty excited about the fact that I could create my models using Illustrator files. Now I'm going to share that workflow with you right now. You just need to bare with me because we're going to bounce between three applications in a matter of a couple minutes. So I want to make sure we're starting in After Effects. If you look in the project panel, I have a composition named Illustrator, and I also have a C4D file named Illustrator. Now I did the project settings for my C4D file, and my Illustrator file. If you're unfamiliar how to match these two settings, definitely check out the matching video earlier in this chapter.
Now before we go to import in illistrator files into our C4D project we actually need to optimize our illitrator file. So I'm going to jump to my file browser and navigate in my exercise files to the footage folder. In there you'll find O2Ai folder and I want to edit the H Plus Sport Ai file. So let's go ahead and double click to open that file in Illustrator. If your interface doesn't look like this, make sure you're actually set to the essentials workspace. If it still doesn't look like this, make sure you reset your essentials workspace. Now if you go all the way to the right side of the interface, the second button from the bottom will open up our layers panel. Here you can see I have three layers.
Now we don't need to do anything with these layers so I'll just go ahead and close that panel. What we should do is click and draw a lasso around the entire logo so we can see exactly what we're dealing with. If you look closely at the text Notice that the paths are actually creating the letters themselves. This is because this text was made editable or was turned into outlines. Any text inside of an Illustrator file, you should generally turn it into outlines before you bring it into Cinema 4D.
This way you can assure that any text will be extruded properly and match the style of the typeface. If you're unfamiliar with how to create outlines, select any of your type layers and go to the Type Menu and choose create outlines. Now once you've done that you're almost ready to save the file and import it into cinema, but not twice. You need to press command r on the Mac or control r on Windows. This way will reset the zero value, so when we go to place our logo it'll actually end up in the middle of the scene in Cinema.
By default, the zero value file for AI files is in the upper left hand corner. So if you go all the way up in the upper left corner of your rulers. Go ahead and click and drag and as you drag down notice we have crossairs that have appaered. The crossairs signify the zero poitns so lets set our zero points here in the middle of the letter h and on top of the letter 'o'. Now the second I let go, if you look at the rulers, our zero point matches vertically and horizontally in our file.
Now we're actually ready to save this for import in the Cinema. Now we're going to make sure that not to save over this file. So I'm going to go up under File and choose Save As and we'll add dash eight to the end of the name. I'll go ahead and save my file into the 02_AI file of the footage folders. If you don't have access to these files, go ahead and just save your file wherever. I'm going to go ahead and click Save, and then under the Version pull-down, you want to make sure to change it from Illustrator CS6 Down to Illustrator 8. Once we've done that we can go ahead and click ok. If you get a warning dialog box, don't worry, you can go ahead and click OK.This is part of the reason why I saved it as a different name. If we ever need to go back and edit, we can just go back to the original Illustrator file.
So let's go ahead and close this Illustrator file and now, we're ready to jump into Cinema to create our 3D model. I like watching Cinema from After Effects so I'm going to go to the Project panel and click on our Illustrator.c4d layer. Now, we can go up on our Edit and choose Edit Original. With Cinema open, we can go to File and choose the Merge command to import our Illustrator file. Navigate in your exercise files to the 02_Ai folder. In there we'll see the H plus sport eight AI file. Go ahead and click open to import.
Now you'll probably see this extra Illustrator dialog box. Go ahead and click Ok. Notice the logo is imported right into the centre of our scene. Now as a general rule I like to delete any extemporaneous has that have been brought in. This is not a 3-D element yet, all that's been brought in is spline data. Think of it like outlines inside of Illustrator in your Object Manager, go ahead and click on the H plus support null object.
With the null selected, let's go over the Viewport and under View, let's choose Frame All. This will zoom out and show me any paths that have been imported into that last import.If you look to the left of the knoll in the Object Manager, there's a plus sign. Go ahead and click on that. Now the large path on the outside is path two. If you go ahead and click on it, that path will become selected in the Object Manager. Go ahead and press delete on your keyboard to delete that path. We can repeat the same process for the smaller rectangle.
That's path one, so lets go ahead and press Delete. Now to quickly zoom into our object, lets click on our H plus sport null in the Object Manager. And then go up under View and choose frame all again. Now with all our splines in the center of the scene were actually ready to extrude a 3D shape. We're going to use the Extrude NURBS command, and that can be found in the Toolbar up here, the third button from the right. Go ahead and click and hold, and then you can navigate to the Extrude NURBS option.
Make sure you hold down Opt of the Mac or Alt on Windows, so when you let go, our paths will automatically be made the child of the Extrude NURBS. If you didn't hold down Alt or Option, you're seeing what probably look like this. I'm going to collapse my null object and just move it to the side. In order to create geometry, you always want to make sure that your splines are the children of the Extrude NURBS object. This way, when you click on the Extrude NURBS object, you can specify that all of these splines should be extruded. So if you go down to the bottom of your Attribute Manager we can click on Hierarchical.
That'll make all the splines extruded. So now, if we want to see this file inside of our After Effects project, all we have to do is press Save. Now, as a general practice, when I'm finished working inside of Cinema, I like to quit Cinema. This way, every time I launch the project from After Effects, it doesn't accidentally open the same project twice. So I'm going to click on Cinema 4D Light, and just choose Quit Cinema 4D Light. Now, notice back in our After Effects projects, our Illustrator file that's been extruded has been imported into the project.
So you've successfully extruded the Illustrator paths. The next things to learn about are texturing and animation. We'll definitely continue to explore as we move through the rest of the chapter.
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