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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors
Illustration by John Hersey
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Creating the cubes with text


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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors

with EJ Hassenfratz

Video: Creating the cubes with text

In this animation, the cube grid has pulsating waves that will pass through it, and that will motivate the text transition. The text will be on two different faces of the cube, and the cube will rotate to reveal each word. So we have our cube grid here with the holes that are going to be filled with our cube text objects. So we're going to create our cube text, and we're going to do this by using the same cube that's in the grid, so the cube text have the same size and dimension as the cubes in the cube grid. We're going to just make it so everything looks seamless in this cube grid scene.

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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors
1h 39m Intermediate Feb 27, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Harness the power of the CINEMA 4D MoGraph module to create complex animations with only a couple of keyframes. By stacking multiple MoGraph effectors, you can achieve nice-looking animations quickly and easily, saving you time spent keyframing moves manually. Discover how to change your text on the fly or create iterations of it, while keeping the animation intact. Author EJ Hassenfratz introduces a real-world postproduction workflow, by creating a network bumper promo. This project covers creating 3D text in CINEMA 4D, compositing, and adding final polish to the footage inside of Adobe After Effects.

Topics include:
  • Creating a cube grid with the MoGraph Cloner
  • Creating first-, second-, and third-wave animations
  • Using a null object to group and keyframe multiple effectors
  • Limiting the influence of an effector
  • Adding texture
  • Using an HDRI map for reflections
  • Lighting the scene
  • Importing a CINEMA 4D project into After Effects
  • Isolating and changing text color with object buffers
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Compositing Projects
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
EJ Hassenfratz

Creating the cubes with text

In this animation, the cube grid has pulsating waves that will pass through it, and that will motivate the text transition. The text will be on two different faces of the cube, and the cube will rotate to reveal each word. So we have our cube grid here with the holes that are going to be filled with our cube text objects. So we're going to create our cube text, and we're going to do this by using the same cube that's in the grid, so the cube text have the same size and dimension as the cubes in the cube grid. We're going to just make it so everything looks seamless in this cube grid scene.

So if I select this cube, hold Control, click and drag, I just duplicated that cube, and it has the same size as the cube grid cubes. So now what I have to do is make sure that I position this correctly. This will look flush and fit in with the actual cube grid here. So if I'm zooming in on my front view, that looks like it's pretty flush there.

Now what I'm going to do is just move this over, and this will be the first cube text. So I have that positioned. It looks like it's lined up pretty good. So now what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to turn off the cloner in the cube for right now. I have to have these cubes spell the word PIXEL on one side on the top face and NEXT on the other, because remember, our animation turns from the word NEXT and then transitions to the PIXEL word on the other side.

So how I'm going to do this is prepare one cube with one letter on the top and one letter on the bottom and then I'm just going to duplicate it and change the letters, just to streamline the process a little bit. So this will be the first letter of each word. So we're going to have P on the top and then N on the bottom, because we have PIXEL on the top and NEXT on the bottom. So let's start creating our text. Let's go up to MoGraph. Get our MoText object.

Let's just move this over, bring it up a bit. We're going to hit R while holding Shift and just rotate this, and let's just position this. Let's go to our top view here. So remember, we need our first letter to be P. So let's change that to P for right now. And we're going to change the font to something a little bit nicer, Helvetica Neue, and we're going to choose bold.

And we're going to change the alignment to middle. So let's reposition this, and we're going to scale this down a little bit, so let's bring the height down to say 185. So that looks centered pretty well. So now what I want to do, if I go into my perspective, I want to add a nice rounded edge to the P as well, as we did with the cube. What we're going to do is go into our Caps and get Fillet Caps, and let's change the Steps and the Radius for each of the Start and the End.

We're going to choose 5 steps and a radius of 3 for both the Start and the End, so we have a nice rounded edge to match our cube. And we can actually adjust our Depth as well. We don't need it that deep. So we have our P set to the top. Now we need to make our letter on the bottom, and our first letter is going to be N because of NEXT. Let's actually make sure we're naming things as we go along. So that's P, drag, click, and then select and duplicate that and change that to N and also change the text field to letter N here.

And we're going to rotate this 180 degrees, and let's rotate here in our viewport, and let's center this on the bottom. Let's actually go to our top view again, uncheck our P so we hide it in the viewport, and let's make sure we have our N here nice lined up and centered. That looks good.

So now what we need to do is we're going to make these letters, select them both, and make them a child of our cube. We're going to name this Cube.1 because this will be our first cube. And the reason why we make our letters a child of our cube is because we're going to eventually apply animation to this, and we're going to have these cubes rotate. And since the P and the N are a child of that cube, once we rotate this cube, it's going to rotate the letters along with it. So we're going to have it so it starts with a P and that's going to rotate and reveal the other side.

So that's important to have the letters child of the cube. Let's go and and set that back to default. And let's turn our cloner back on here. Let's go to our front view. We're just going to duplicate this. So we have our cube with our letters as the children. We're just going to duplicate this whole entire rig by holding Control and click- dragging, and let's rename this to Cube.2. So that duplicates the cube as well as the MoText objects that are children of that cube object.

And we're just going to drag and by holding Shift, we can constrain that movement in increments of 10. So remember, our cube is 150 centimeter, so if we go over 150 centimeters, that should line things up pretty well. So now let's do this three more times. So Cube.3, holding Shift, and line that up. And let's duplicate again, Cube.4 move that over to the right, and make our last Cube.5 here.

So now what we have to do is if I hide our cloner, our cube grid, now what I have to do is go in--go into each of these cube objects and then just change out the letters. In our Cube.5, we actually don't have a letter on the bottom, so I'm just going to delete that right now. So we have PIXEL on the top, so we need to change this P to an I. Let's change that to I. And let's also remember to change the names of our objects in the Object Manager to reflect the change in the text as well, just to keep things organized.

We're ready to go, and select our letter, go to our Object tab. This is X, P-I-X-E-L. Make sure you double-click on the P. You rename the object to what the letter is. Let's go to our fourth, and that will be E, and make sure we go down to our text down this text field and change that to E as well. And then PIXEL. This last cube will be an L. Let's rename it in the Object Manager and change the text field to L on this MoText object.

So we have PIXEL spelled out on the top. That's looking good. Let's go and rotate down to the bottom. This is where we will have the word NEXT. So N is fine. Let's go to our second cube. Select the MoText object. Let's just rename that to E and also change the text field to E. It'll update it in the viewport. Go to Cube.3 and that will be N-E-X-T, so that will be another X. Go and change it in the text field in our MoText object.

And then on Cube.4, we will change the N to a T. So let's go and change it in our text field and in our MoText object as well. So now we have our letters all set up. Let's actually--you don't want it poking out too, too much because, as you can see, if I re-enable my cloner object, you can kind of see through the cracks there, a little bit of the object. So let me hide those again. Let me select the P, the I, the X, the E, and the L. Let me just bring this down a little bit.

That looks okay now. Let's re-enable our cloner object. And now what we have to do is make it so these cube objects can be affected by effectors, and how we're going to do that is simply throwing them in a fracture object. So you go up to MoGraph > Fracture, and let's just throw all of these cubes into the fracture object. Straight mode is perfectly fine, and now you see you have your Effector tab that you can start applying effectors to.

Now just a little bit of cleanup work, we're just going to rename these two objects. So we're going to rename the cloner to Cube Grid. And our Fracture object is actually our cube text, so we're just going to rename this Cube Text. So now we can easily see what's what. You now have the scene set up with all the objects able to be affected by MoGraph effectors. You should always work as if changes are inevitable because they usually are. A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to tackling those changes or iterations.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors.


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Q: I rendered a Compositing Project File (AEC) from CINEMA 4D, but I am unable to import that file into After Effects.
A: In order to import an AEC file into After Effects, you will need to have the free Cinema 4D Importer plugin for After Effects installed. The plugin can be downloaded here: http://www.maxon.net/support/updates/plugins.html

For more information on this plugin, including instructions on how to install it, refer to Cinema 4D Essentials 5: Rendering and Compositing with Rob Garrott.  The movie titled "Rendering and importing elements into After Effects" explains how to install this plugi
 
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