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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects demonstrates how to take a simple logo animation in CINEMA 4D and transform it into a compelling motion graphic with After Effects, incorporating two distinct visual styles. Starting with a prebuilt animation rendered from CINEMA 4D, author Rob Garrott employs industry-standard techniques, utilizing materials, lights, and the library of effects in After Effects, to enhance the project's look and feel. Exercise files accompany the course.
The simple glow set up that we used to create our glow for the Stadium Base platform is really going to be sort of the foundation effect that's going to be repeated throughout our animation. We can use that effect that we created for that base and copy and paste it on to our Stadium Pass. That will save us a lot of time. So what we're going to do in this movie is basically repeat that glow and then set up some keyframes so that the glow appears gradually over time. So let's start off by going to the Stadium Pass Pre. And what I want to do is I need to have a layer to apply the Starglow effect to, so I'll still be left with my original stadium, so I am going to duplicate this by hitting Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard, and that gives me a second Stadium Pass Pre.
Now if I go to the Stadium Base Pre, and I am going to select the Starglow effect that shows up in the Effects controls and I am going to copy it, and then I'm going to paste it down onto this second Stadium Pass Pre layer, and when I do, it looks as if nothing happened. And once again, that's because of the Threshold values and the Pre-Process settings of the Starglow effect. Remember, this effect is based on the light and dark values in the image, and so what we have to do is adjust the Threshold to expand the range of how the Starglow effect gets applied to the actual layer.
Before I do anything though, I want to verify that the Source Opacity is still set to 0, because that's going to give me just the glow effect and not any of the stadium underneath it. And so let's go down to the Threshold and adjust the Threshold downward to expand the range of values. And so as I do that, you're going to see the glow start to appear on different parts of the stadium. I'll just go backwards and forwards and just reveal that slowly. You can see, somewhere in the 30 range, it starts to feel pretty good.
It gets really, really hot in there. And that's what we're doing is we're creating that heat, that energy, for the phone to emerge out of. And so if I turn this Starglow effect off and on, you can see that the image looks really different now, and it just feels like it's on fire. Now just to review, the Source Opacity is set to 0, so if I solo this layer out, you can see it's just the glow, and that shows me where the glow is showing up at. So I'll un-solo that. And that's the great thing is by using this technique, we can now reveal the glow using some simple transparency keyframes.
So I'll go to the Stadium Pass Pre, and I want this glow to show up right at the moment where the phone emerges from the screen, and we have a time marker set for that. So I am going to use the Plus key on the keyboard to zoom into my Timeline. And the phone marker is where I want the glows to actually be at their brightest, so I am going to go here and set keyframes throughout the Stadium Base PRE layer and the Stadium Pass Pre layer that has the glow on it. I'll like both of those layers and hit T on the keyboard to bring up the Opacity keyframes. So now I am going to set Opacity keyframes for both of those guys at that moment in time, and then I am going to backup about 10 frames or so to frame 22. Let's back up right about to there, and I am going to set these opacities to be 0.
So now what's going to happen, is over the course of about 10 frames, our glow comes on and gets hotter. So you can see that the temperature rises inside the room as the glow gets hotter and the phone starts to emerge. Now don't worry that your phone is not actually coming out of that; we're going to fix that later. The important thing is what the glows are doing. Now the last thing I want to do is to brighten up this glow a little bit using some Blending modes. And right now our Stadium Base PRE and the Stadium Pass Pre that have the glow effects on them, their blending modes are set to Normal.
And watch what happens when I set the Stadium Pass Pre. I'll just select just that one, and I'll set the Blending mode to Add, for example. It's a very subtle shift, but you can see that we're now seeing more of the underlying image, and it feels a little bit brighter in there. And I'll undo just so you can see what the before was like. See how much red or everything feels? When I Shift+Command+Z to get that back, you can see it's a very subtle effect. Blending modes really are the difference between a good compositor and a bad compositor.
Good compositors really understand the process of blending modes and how to make them subtly enhance their images, and so using blending modes is always, always a good thing. You want to not overdo it, but just know when to apply them to get just right subtle effect. So I am going to repeat that process for the Stadium Base layer that has the effect on it. So I'll go here and change that Blending mode to Add. There we go. You can see it just got a little bit hotter right in this area here, and that just kicks up the intensity quite a bit. One thing I need to do, especially on the stadium there itself, my platform is feeling really, really hot and bright, and my stadium is still feeling a little bit dull.
It feels warm, but it doesn't feel intense yet. And so if I select the Stadium Pass Pre layer that has the Starglow effect on it and I go into the Boost Light, the Boost Light kicks up the intensity of the actual Starglow effect. And what I do is take the Boost Light and I'll dial it up. I am going to crank it way up initially so I can see that affect. Watch as I crank it way up, you can see it gets much, much, much hotter. It's almost as if the stuff is starting to glow and emanate light. And so that's way too hot.
I just wanted to exaggerate it, so you see what the Boost Light does. I am going to bring this down to about maybe 5 or so. And you could see, with the Boost Light at 0, you can see that it looks hot but the Boost Light at 5 though--I'll bring that up to about 5 again--has a much more intense effect, and that really feels and has the energy that I'm looking for here for this scene. This Starglow effect really helps us to kick up the intensity of our piece. And when you're working with filters, it's really important not to overdo it.
We want to kick up the intensity we're seeing without really making the whole image feel like it's on fire. We just want to have it feel hot and warm and intense, okay? So use the filters, have fun, but don't overdo it.
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