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In this installment of Mograph Techniques, Ian Robinson shows you how to model and animate a stylized 3D flower that grows and blooms over time, using the combined power of CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects. You'll start by creating a single flower petal with traditional polygonal modeling techniques. Then you'll load the petal into a cloner object, and nest that cloner inside another, resulting in a complete flower with multiple levels of control for animation. The second phase is animating the cloners and refining the animation with the Step Effector. In the third and final phase, you'll bring the project into After Effects to add animated color effects, transitions, text, and shadows.
Let's face it. Without animation, motion graphics would be, well, just graphics and we all know, it's the process of creating motion in your motion graphics when the fun really starts to begin. Now, if we look at our project, you can see we have kind of a complicated or busy element in the scene that's just dying for some animation. Now usually when I have something busy like this in the scene, I like to animate the camera first. That way I know exactly how much of the object I'm going to be seeing at any given time, before I start moving it around the scene.
So let's start by adding a camera into our project, we'll go up to the Cameras and add a Target Camera. Let's make sure we're looking through the view of that camera, and change both the x and z parameters to zero. Now for the y parameter, I want to change this to a negative value because I'd like to fly from the back of the flower through to the front, so let's change this y parameter to a setting of about -520. Now, you notice when we're behind the flower, we can see our vines here, and it creates a rather busy scene.
Now, we know we're going to be animating the vines a little bit later in the project, so let's go ahead and just turn them off for right now. Let's go to the Layers tab and just turn the Visibility off in the viewer, and in the Renderer. Okay, now, select the Camera and make sure we're in our Attributes Panel here, and we can add our first Key Frame for the Y parameter, but let's make sure we pay attention to where our Play-head is. I don't want the camera move to start for a few seconds, so let's move our Playhead down the Timeline to about frame 48, this will be about two seconds in.
And now we can hold Down Control, and just click on the Y Key Frame button here, to set our first Key Frame. Now I want this fly through to happen throughout the rest of the animation, so I'm going to change the magnification on my Timeline here, and then just click and drag on my Play ahead to bring it to the end of the Timeline. Now in order to have this fly through our object, all we have to do is just change the Y parameter from a negative value to a positive value. So I'll just delete that negative for 520, and now we're through, and on the other side, let's go ahead and add our second Key Frame.
Hold down Control, and click on the Key Frame button. Now if we scrub through, you can see, we've got a beautiful animation going right through the middle of our flower. Now, there's something funny happening here as I scrub through, notice how the scene flashes gray. This is because we have a target for our Camera and its set exactly at the origin of our project. So, the Camera is literally is flying directly through the targets, so for one frame, it has no idea what to do, so let's offset the z parameter for our Camera. I'm going to select my Camera here, and just change the z value from zero to about seven.
It's a minute adjustment that you'll barely notice in the animation, but when we scrub through, you'll see now we can actually see a little bit of the flip here. That's perfectly fine, because when we actually start animating the colors in After Effects, you won't even notice that flip. Now let's go ahead and Preview our animation and as you can see, we have a nice flip and Zoom through. Now I want to add a little bit of a spin, so let's stop playback and move our play head back to about frame 24. This way we'll have no motion and then at frame 24 we'll have some spinning happening in the scene, to create the spin I want to animate the banking of our camera.
So let's go to the Banking parameter, and just hold down Ctrl and you guessed it click the Key Frame next to banking. Now if we move down the Timeline here, let's move all the way to the last frame, and change the bank parameter from zero to 720 and of course, add another Key frame, just control clicking. Now let's preview our animation, you can see we have kind of a cool spin, and then we fly through and it spins and resolves on the other end. Now, I know there are no added Padded Frames at the other end, but I did that on purpose because, when we actually go into After Effects, we can recreate extra frames as needed without necessarily having to slow down any renderers or anything like that with extra frames.
I'll just stop playback there, so now that we've created our camera animation, we are actually all set to begin the process of animating our more complicated objects.
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