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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 last step in our phone process is going to be to refine the video that's in the phone screen. Right now our phone screen video, it simply pops on and we need to refine that so it feels like it's flickering on over time. We are going to do that inside of the Phone Pass Pre composition, so let's go in there right now. So I am going to go to the Pre-COMP's folder and I'm going to double-click on the Phone Pass Pre, and not the Phone Screen Pre but the Phone Pass Pre. And so when I do that, I can now see my phone floating in the transparency grid here.
As I scrub through in time, my video for the screen comes in at frame 120. If I scrub into that range, I can see that my video isn't visible. The reason it's not visible is because earlier in the course we added a Platform Disc light to our composition in order to parent up the phone revealer to it. When we did that, the 3D light of the Platform Disc light started to have an impact on the Phone Screen Pre layer, which is a 3D layer also, and because that 3D light is now supposed to be hitting it but they're not lined up quite right, the Phone Screen Pre layer is now dark.
And so all I need to do to fix that is to simply turn off the Platform Disc light. Now, I don't delete the Platform Disc, because I have other layers that are dependent on it, so I will simply turn that off and now my phone screen video shows up. The next thing I want to do is to control how it comes on. Right now, it just pops on immediately when it hits its start time at frame 20, and I would like to have that flicker on as if it were gradually getting power. So, in order to do that, we are going to use transparency on the Phone Screen Pre layer. So, if I select the Phone Screen Pre and hit T on the keyboard and bring up the Opacity option, I'm going to activate the stopwatch at the starting point for that layer.
Now, I want this effect to happen over about 20 frames. We are going to keep an eye on that. We want to be done with these keyframes at about frame 139. So, if I go to the Opacity and activate the stopwatch for it, I am going to set the Opacity to be 0. And what I want t to do is I want to give the impression that it's flickering on. So each time it flickers, it's going to be a little bit brighter than the time before. So, it's going to go dark to sort of dim, to very dim, to a little bit more bright, back down to dim, little bit brighter, dim, brighter, dim, brightest, so that it's almost a stair step effect.
And so what I want to do is go to the Opacity option and I am going to page down about maybe three frames or so, four frames, 1, 2, 3, 4. And I will set the Opacity to be about 15%, so I will just type in 15 there. And you see my video layer starts to become a little more visible. And then as I page down, 1, 2, 3, 4, I want to bring it back down to about half that value, so about 7%, so I will change that to be 7. And then I am going to go forward another four frames and then I will change that to be 30, so about twice what the previous value was, and then I will go down again and bring it back down to about 20 frames this time.
Each time it dims down, it is going to get a little bit brighter, so that's going to be 20. And then go forward and this time it's going to go to about 75, and then forward a little bit more and we are at 139 right now. We are going to have to tighten these keyframes up just a bit. We will fix that. We are going to go down to about 50 and then we will go forward a few more flames and up to 100% brightness. So, now as I scrub through that range, you can see that my phone starts to flicker on.
But the problem is that it's really not a flicker. It's more of a gradual brightening and dimming and we can fix that though by making these keyframes in the Hold keyframes. A Hold keyframe holds its value until the next keyframe comes up and then it immediately switches to that new value. So there's no gradual transition in value. It's a very hard step from one value to another and that's going to make our flicker look a lot more convincing. So, if I select these keyframes, I just drew a rectangle around them, and I right-click and go to Toggle Hold Keyframe, when I do that these are now all Hold keyframes, and as I scrub through that, it's going to feel a lot more like a flicker.
Now, it's still happening too slowly; we need to shorten these keyframes. So, before I try to do anything, I am going to zoom into that area of the timeline, so I will use the Plus key on the keyboard. And now, with all these keyframes selected, if I hold down the Option or Alt Key and drag to the left, I can squish these keyframes down. What we are doing is time scaling all of the keyframes. And I am going to bring them down to about 138 or 139. And the exact number isn't important, as long as they're just before the frame 140.
That's going to give us the right amount of time for our flicker. So, now when I scrub through, you can see our screen flickers on and then it starts to move. So, that's it for the Phone parts. Let's take a look at this with one last RAM Preview. I am going to switch over to the main composition, MMM-001, and I'm going to hit the RAM Preview button and let it cache those frames. Now, once again, how long that RAM Preview takes depends entirely on your computer. So we're going as fast forward through this RAM Preview process and come back when it's just about done. Wow! That animation is really coming together.
And a lot of these effects, we've added quite a few of them in this chapter, they're all really simple techniques. The important thing to remember is to build gradually on your design and add the effects as you go. Don't try to do all in one step.
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