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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.
One way of making your motion graphics or animation scene more dynamic is to animate cameras in time with music. It really stops the scene looking a bit dull and boring. You can imagine if you just got one view of something, it can become quite boring for the viewer. So, what I've done here is set up markers where I want to animate in time with music, and I'm just going to play that for you. So, if we go down to the timeline and play that (SOUND) Okay.
So you got a rough idea, you can see where the markers are, where the music changes from one style to another. And what I want to do is create cameras at each of those changing points. Now, I've got chapter5_4.c4d file open, and if you want to follow along you can do. The first thing I want to do is, as I'm going to be scrubbing through this, I want to turn off the audio. I also want to set up some buttons to allow me to move around the timeline a little bit easier. So, I'm going to go into Window > Customization > Customization Commands.
In here, I can access all sorts of buttons. So, if I type in Sound, all of the commands that are related to sound come up. And you can see that I have Play Sound During Animation, Play Sound and Picture Viewer. So play sound during animation is the one that I need a button for. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to drag this button down to the timeline and place it in here. So I've now button to turn the sound on and off.
I've, can also bring in the Show Sound Wave button. And there's this one here. So there's one for in the timeline, one for in the picture viewer. But basically, you can add as many buttons as you want here. You could also create a shortcut for playing sound if you wanted to. But now, if I want to switch off the sound, I can just click on that button. And now when I scrub through, I'm not having to hear the sound. If I want to hear it again, I'll switch it back on. (MUSIC) So it's handy being able to customize time line with your own buttons.
So now, I've also added some other shortcuts here, which are to go from the previous to next marker. So, this allows me to jump through one marker at a time and Shift+P goes to the previous marker, Shift+N goes to the next marker. So you can also use these short cuts. I will use the button so see clearly what I am doing. So we've got a closeup start camera, what I want to do is actually animate this camera. So, the first thing I'm going to do is go into the coordinates of the camera and just Cmd click or Ctrl click on Windows, on the little buttons for rotation and for position, just to set a keyframe at the beginning.
Then, I'm going to move to the next marker, and I can either click on this button or hit Shift+N to go to the next marker. And all I'm going to do is either use my 1, 2, 3 keys, or I can use these buttons here just to adjust my view so that we can see our robot from a kind of more distant angle. I'm going to move him over here a little bit. Let's turn him 'round, so he's facing us and we'll zoom out a little bit. So the 1, 2 and 3 keys will do the same thing.
Now there are times where you can't quite get the angle you want. You can see I can orbit around there, but I can't. If I want to rotate them slightly, it's sometimes easier to use these values over here in the coordinates. So if I want a kind of jaunty angle like that, I can just use the rotation value there to get it. So using a combination of those tools, the 1, 2, and 3 keys, I can get a really nice angle. And of course, any time you see an orange dot, you know that that needs key trimming. So Cmd+click or Ctrl+click on there, just to create my keyframe.
And now if I scrub back to the beginning, we have that kind of animation. Okay. I caught like a twist in there as well. So, I'm going to go back to this keyframe, and I'm just going to actually rotate the opposite way, and just adjust that. Okay. That might be a little bit too much. So we only want a small amount of rotation. Again, I need to update those. So let's Cmd+click or Ctrl+click on those. And now we have him going from there.
Doing a little twist and coming around to there. But at that point there, I want to stop and switch to another camera altogether. So what I'm going to do is create a new camera. So we'll go up to Camera Menu > New Camera. I'm going to rename this white shot. Now very important, I'm still looking through this camera. It's called the camera object, and this is the closeup start camera is telling me. And this is the active camera object, and that's indicated by this white button here.
If I go to my wide shot and I click on that, that now becomes the active camera. So I can now use these tools again just to adjust that view. So we can maybe be looking slightly down on him. Again, I can use my 1, 2, and 3 keys just to get that angle exactly right. Maybe adjust this angle a little bit. Now, at the moment, you'll notice that that's not changing the view. And that's because, very important, you'll see I've still got my closeup start camera selected.
And this is something that can really catch you out. So be careful with that. If you make a change over here and you're not seeing what you expect here, just take a minute to say, well, what have I got selected. And you'll see I'm actually adjusting the closeup start camera. So, I need to select my wide shot camera and now make a change. And now I can see the grand plane reacting, and we have exactly the right position. So again, I need to keyframe this. Now, this camera hasn't been keyframed yet, because it's a new camera.
So, I'm going to Cmd+click or Ctrl+click on these buttons, just to create that first keyframe. And then what we're going to do is we're going to jump over to here, and we're going to create like an opposite angle. So, again, I can use a combination of these controls just to switch that view around. Okay? I think I'm actually going to keep a similar angle, just view it from a different direction. So let's use the 3 key, the 1 key, and the 2 key, just to adjust that a little bit.
Get a little bit more detail on that shot, and then Keyframe it. Now, when we Keyframe, we've set the end point and the start point. We may need to go to the middle here and just make a slight adjustment to that. So I just want to bring the robot down, and I want to zoom in to his face a little bit, so we're getting a really good closeup. Now we could do something really extreme and maybe get a view of his claws as well, or maybe pull them up in this direction.
And zoom out, so we get a close up of the claws as we're going past. And again, let's just keyframe that. So, we're going to keyframe everything just to be sure. Okay? So now, we have going from there to there to there, which is a really nice move. So you get the idea. So, actually when you go back to the beginning, your original shot isn't there. And that's because you can only view one camera at a time in CINEMA 4D.
So if you want to see that camera at the beginning again, you need to click on this button to view it. So, when you're working on cameras, you need to kind of switch between cameras manually just to see how it's going to look. And then, in a later movie, I'm going to show you how you can animate between these different cameras, so that it will play back, animating from one camera to another.
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