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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 phone really looks like it's emerging from the platform now, but it really doesn't feel too energetic. To set up the huge explosion that we're going to add later on, we really need to give our phone some energy. We're going to use the Starglow effect again to add some energy to the phone. So let's go into the MMM-001 Working COMP and this is where all of our compositing is coming together and if I scrub back in time, you're going to see that phone now emerge up out of a platform, and that's all thanks to that track matte that's in the Phone Pass Pre-COMP. If I use the page down key and just page through that, you can see that the phone is coming out, but it still looks the same as it did.
It's coming out of this white hot energy environment, and so it really should have energy imparted into it as it passes through that boundary. So I'm going to use the Starglow effect and I'm going use it a couple times. The first -time I use it it's going to give a warm energy to it. The second time I use it, it's going define more of the shape of the phone. And so let's start off by giving it the warm energy. If I go and twirl these layers closed, I'm going to scroll down and find my Phone Pass Pre and there it is right there. Duplicate the Phone Pass Pre by hitting Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard.
When I do that, I now have a layer that I can apply my Starglow effect to. I go to the Effects and to Trapcode and to Starglow. And you see initially nothing happens. That's because the Starglow effect in its default settings is based on the light and dark values within the phone. Our phone is almost entirely black. So what I want to do next is change the basis for the Starglow. I'm going to start off by changing it from Lightness to Alpha and watch what happens when I do that. Now it's looking at the alpha channel for that layer and using that as the basis for the Starglow and that's giving me a much brighter affect. You can see it's completely overwhelming the phone.
Now there are some really cool presets and the Preset pulldown, and we're going to use Warm Star as our basis. And now I want to make some tweaks to it. I am going to dial down the Streak Length. I'm going to bring this down. It starts off at 20. You can see it gives these really long streaks in there. That's a little too much for my taste and I am going to bring this down to about four or five. Sart off with four. That actually feels pretty good. I'm going to leave it there. Boost Light, I might want to kick that up just a bit. Watch what's happens. the Boost Light controls the intensity of the effect and as I scrub that forward, you're going to see the phone get brighter and brighter and brighter.
I'm just going to crank this way up so you can see just how hard it can get. The problem with thought is that it sort of starts to kill the rays effect the higher it goes, and so what I want to do, instead of cranking it up that high, I'm just going to bring up to about maybe seven or eight. So I'm going to click on that and go seven and that feels pretty good. What I want to do next is to turn down something called the Source Opacity. When you add the Starglow effect to a layer, it sits on top of the existing layer, but there's a lot of times where you'd much rather have just the Starglow effect and this is one of those.
By turning down the Source Opacity, I now will only see the actual Starglow effect and not the phone layer underneath. That allows me to change the blending mode of the entire layer and have some interesting blending effects with the layers below it. Before I change that layer though, I want to create the next Starglow effect. I'm going to duplicate the Phone Pass Pre layer one more time. I hit Command+D or Ctrl+D. And now for the Starglow effect that I'm going to use here, I'm going to change it from Warm Star to White Star. Now I haven't changed any of the other settings.
It's still using the alpha channel as the input basis and you can see that basically it is just sitting on top of the existing Starglow effect and that's not really what I want to have. I want to add some shape to this phone. So in order to do that I'm going to change the basis from Alpha to Luminance. That's going to look at a more subtle variation on the light and dark values and I need to now change the Pre-Process. The Pre-Process controls the range of pixel values that the filter uses to generate the Starglow effect. So if I twirl this open, I've got some options here. The Threshold value controls the pixel values that it uses to generate that affect.
Higher values limit the effect, lower values expand the effect, and I want to expand this effect almost all the way to zero, and in fact let's just put it down to zero and see how that does. I'm going to scrub it to the left and as I do that, you're going to see more of the White and the closer I get to zero, actually I will bring it all the way down to zero, there we go, and you can see that now that it's at zero I have a little bit of shape. And that's what it has done is that's given me some shape to my otherwise orange blob that I had created with the first Starglow effect. Now if I increase the Boost Light, that's going to brighten up that effect.
I don't want to get it too bright, but I wanted to just expand it up just a little bit. I think that might be too bright. That's 15. Let's bring that down to more about 10. That's pretty good. Now what I can do is to change the blending modes for these layers to mix them back in the background a little bit. So I'm going to go to Switches and Modes column and they bring back by modes. This layer here is the orange Starglow and so I'm going to change that blending mode to Add. Now you can see that mixes that Starglow back, especially into that area where it intersected with the platform, and then I'm going to do the same thing for the Phone Pass Pre layer that has the white Starglow on it.
So I'll change that blending mode to Add as well, there we go. Now you can see how it really burns into that orange effect. Now that it is doing that, it's burning in so hotly, I'm going to dial down the Boost Light so that it's not quite so intense. I will bring that down to about five, there we go. Now we got a little bit of that color back into it. It's a very subtle difference, but with a Boost Light at 10, it was completely white here. When I change the Boost Light back to 5, I got little bit more yellow in here and white only in the most intense parts of the image.
Now though we got our glow in place, what we need to do is to make the glow disappear over time. When the phone emerges out of the platform, it's going to explode with energy and during that explosion the Starglow needs to disappear so that we're left with the clean phone at the end. So I'm going to use Opacity keyframe on these Phone Pre Pass layers to make the Starglow effect disappear. Now the place where the Starglow effect needs to start disappearing isat something called the camera shake point, and if I zoom in on the timeline-- I'm going to use the plus key on the keyboard and hit that a couple of times.
And you can see, I'm parked on the camera shake point. This is where the phone explosion is actually going to start. The camera jumps back from that point to show the explosion. And so that's where I want my Starglow effect to start disappearing. So I'm going to select this first Phone Pass Pre, hold down the Command key, and select the one right below it, and I'll hit T on the keyboard to bring up the Opacity effect. So now that I've got the Opacity visible, I'm going to click on the stopwatch to set a keyframe and with the stopwatch active, now I've got keyframes at this point in time for 100% opacity.
Now with my Opacity at 100%, I want this to disappear over time and so let's scrub forward in time and see about where it needs to disappear. I'm going to use the minus key on the keyboard to back out just a bit. Now the place where the camera stops moving is somewhere right around in this range here and so I want the Starglow effect to be gone before then. So I'm going to scrub through and find that point. We'll go right about here I think. I think that's a good spot and I'm at frame 48 and I'm going to go the Opacity and set it to be zero for both of these layers.
So I'll hit the Tab key. That's going to bring me to the next Opacity and I hit zero there. You can see each time I do that it sets the keyframe automatically. Now, as I scrub through the piece, the Starglow effect is really bright and then it dissipates right around frame 50. Adding these glows really helps to define the shape of the phone as it emerges from the platform, and the technique of using blending modes to dial in your effects really helps to add subtlety to your animation.
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