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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.
If I want more precision with my text, I always use Adobe Illustrator. It gives you much more typographic control that Cinema 4D does. So, I'm in Illustrator and I'm going to go to File > New to create a completely new Illustrator document. Generally, I choose the Video and Film presets here. And in this case I'm going to choose HDV/HDTV/720, and that's going to create a frame size of 1280 by 720. I'm going to make sure its a landscape of course it will be if use one of the pre-sets, but if you are creating it own custom size, make sure that you choose the correct orientation.
There's also settings in here for colour modes, etcetera, but these aren't really that important at this stage. So just click on OK and that will create a new document for you. Now, you'll notice that we have title and action safe zones here. If you want to remove them, you can double-click on this tool here, the Artboard tool. And that will allow you to remove those, if you want to remove them. You'll see here I have Show Video Safe Areas, Show Cross Hairs, Show Center Mark.
I find these quite useful, so I'm going to leave these on for now. You'll also notice that it gives you a centre point for your artboard, which is currently 640 and 360. Half of the dimensions of the width and height. It's important to note that, because as you see later, the settings of the centre point of your document are important when bringing your text into Cinema 4D. So we'll click OK and here we have our document. I don't really like staring at the transparent background. The checkerboard makes my eyes quite tired.
So I'm going to go to view, hide transparency grid, so that I have a nice white background to work with. Now, we've currently got the art board tool selected. Remember to go back and select the selection tool. Because, with the art board tool selected, it's easy to accidentally create a new art board. And that can also mess up your positioning, in cinema 4D. In fact many of the people who have contacted me to say they've had positional difficulties with Illustrator files, it's to do with them having multiple art boards.
You can check if you've got multiple art boards by going to the Art boards button, and just checking and you'll see, yes I do have two art boards in there. So, I'm going to delete this one, so that I only have one art board. And it's very important that you always do that. Make sure, only one. And then, go to the selection tool. Now, I must have just accidently clicked somewhere and created that, so you'll see how easy it is to do it. So now we've got one art board, we can create our text. So, let's choose the title. Click in the centre of the screen.
And I'm going to type in gear. Now, if I select all of the text by hitting Cmd+A or Ctrl+A. I can go in here, and I can type a font name. So I just type in Arial, and the font changes to Arial. Much much easier than having to go through a menu. I can also use my controls just to quickly go to the control panel. And adjust values rather than having to open up. The character palate. In here I have a button to make it all caps for if I want all capital letters or uppercase.
I can very quickly change that. So lots of control here. You also have kerning, which you don't have in Cinema 4D. So I generally want to go in and individually Kern these letter pairs. And this allows me to do it. So I can go in here and just adjust that value just to tighten up the spaces between the text if I need to. So kerning allows you to adjust the spacing between individual letters pairs. Gives you much more control than only using tracking.
So I just go through and individual Kern those. To get the spacing exactly right. Once I'm ready with that I can select it, and we also have alignment options. So if I click on a line centre it will align it to the centre of my art board. And I can place that in the center using my smart guides. The only thing about Illustrator, and, Cinema 4D, is, Cinema 4D only supports Illustrator eight files, and currently, it doesn't support live text, like this.
You have to create outlines from the text. So generally what I do is I go to my layers, I duplicate the layer by dragging the layer onto the New Layer button. And I switch off that layer, and I call this layer outlines. And this one, I will select by clicking on the little target button and go to type. Create outlines. And what that does is create vectors from my text. Another important step to make sure your text is positioned correctly, is to click on the Transform panel link, and just make sure that the centre point of your object is in the centre of the comp.
So, if I type in zero. Zero, it places in the top left corner just like after effects illustrator measures zero,zero from here. But, if I bring up my rulers, this little trick for you. So say sure rulers. I can change that centre point. That zero, zero point to the centre of my art board. By just clicking and dragging on this little icon here in the corner and dragging it to the centre of my art board, I can make that the zero, zero point. Of this document. And now if I go into my transform box and type in zero, zero, it zeroes it to the centre of the art board instead of the top left corner.
So a little tip for you. And if I save that now, so if we go to File > Save. It's going to ask us where to save it so desktop is fine for now, so call it gear text. Save it to the desktop. And very important choose Illustrator eight as the format. And click OK. And next, what we're going to do, is open that up in Cinema 4D and see what we can do with it there.
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