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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.
- In this project, we've already cut between two cameras that were created in CINEMA 4D. You'll see there if we go from one view to the next view, we've got two different views of our robot. What I want to do now is go to a third view, but I want to create that third view in After Effects, and I'm gonna show you how you can do that. A lot of people prefer to create the cameras in After Effects cos that's how they're comfortable, so this technique will show you exactly how to do that. And we can start working with a combination of After Effects-created cameras and CINEMA 4D-created cameras.
If you want to follow along and you've got access to the files, we're in Chapter 05, 6, R16, and the first thing I'm gonna do is create a new camera. So we'll go to Layer, New, Camera, and just create the default camera, so that's sitting on top of the other cameras. Now if I only want it to work from this point on, I'll just take a minute to trim that so Alt+[ will just trim it at that point. Now, the next thing we need to do is actually create a third CINEMA 4D layer.
You'll notice we've got one for the first camera, for my CINEMA 4D, one for the second. What I need to do now is split this layer here. So I'll go to Edit, Split Layer, and now this third layer will react to this camera above it. So I'm going to open up the Effects, so hit "E" on the keyboard, double-clicks anywhere to open it in the Effect Control panel, and I'm gonna say Set Camera in the camera settings, and I'm gonna choose, instead of one of the CINEMA 4D cameras, I'm gonna go up to the Camera menu, and choose Comp Camera.
And that's going to use the Composition Camera from After Effects. Now you'll notice, it defaults to showing us the origin from CINEMA 4D, and that's not really what we want to see. So if you want to center it around the view that you had in CINEMA 4D, you can choose Centered Comp Camera, and you'll see that that just places it around the correct point in CINEMA 4D that we want to work with, which is, at the feet of our robot, if you like. Now we can adjust that view.
We can use the Camera Tools, so I can hit the "C" key on the keyboard just to select my camera tools, and repeatedly hitting "C" will toggle through them. Now I can use the button up here to choose the Camera Tools as well. I've got Track Z, XY, Orbit, and I've got the Unified Camera Tool, which will allow me to use the three-button mouse just to adjust my views. So there I'm using the left mouse button just to rotate it, or orbit it, and then I can use the right mouse button to zoom in and out, and I can use the middle button just to move the view up and down.
Alternatively, I can cycle between these different views just by repeatedly hitting the "C" key. Now what I want to do is, I want to animate that, so what I'm gonna do is just double-hit the "U" key with that layer selected, just to open up the values that have changed. Now you'll notice that Point of Interest and Position have animated, so I'm going to click on the stopwatch for both of those just to set keyframes. Then I'm going to jump to the next marker, so "K" will jump to the next marker, the "K" key on the keyboard, "J" will jump backwards, so let's go "K" and then all I need to do is just adjust that view so again, using the "C" key on the keyboard, maybe zoom in a little bit.
Okay, we'll maybe orbit around a little bit as well. Now you'll notice that it can be a little bit buggy. Sometimes the views kind of jump between one and the other. If you're finding that there's a couple of little glitches happening, just go to Edit, Purge, and you want Image Cache Memory, and that will just refresh those frames for you. But you'll see, if you go back to here now, and I'm going to hit "B" to set the beginning of my work area, "N" to set the end of my work area, and now if we RAM preview by hitting "0" on the number pad, or hit the RAM preview button, (techno music) you'll see we've now got it animating the After Effects camera.
So we've now got three cameras. We've got an After Effects camera animating, we've got our close-up shot, and we've got our wide shot. So that's how you can animate After Effects cameras using CINEWARE.
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