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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.
Our type is revealing in a much more subdued way than the phone came in. This is on purpose. If the type had just as much impact as the phone, the animation would be overwhelming in its intensity. When the type hits its mark though, we still want to draw some attention to the event. We're going to do that with the subtle Edge Ray effect using a combination of Trapcode Shine and Starglow. Now I am in my Timeline and I'm parked at the Moment marker, and you can see our type, Mobile Media Moment. It's sitting on top of the Edge Rays. The first thing we're going to do with our type is we're going to bring them down below the rays, the beams that are coming up out of the platform.
That's going to make them feel a lot more seated in the image. So I'm going to scroll down, and there is my Type Pass and these are all my Beams. I'm going to twirl everything closed so I don't have to look at those parameters anymore and I'm going to take the Type Pass and drag it right down below the Beams and above the Phone Pass. And you can see as soon as I do that, the type feels like it's really stuck inside the image now. Now our type needs to have a little bit of a glow on it. We're going to do that with the Starglow effect. So the first thing I need to do to add the Starglow is duplicate my Type Pass Pre.
Now I could add the Starglow right to this Type Pass layer, but that doesn't give me a lot of control and by adding it to its own layer, that allows me to make the effect much more subtle and interesting. So I'm going to duplicate the Type Pass Pre by hitting Command+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard. And now with this layer selected, I'll go to the Effects menu and go to Trapcode and then to Starglow and now when I add the Starglow effect, let's solo this layer out. I'm going to click the Solo button for that layer, so we can see just that layer.
Now the Starglow effect is based on the light and dark values inside of an image that you apply it to and right now our Mobile Media Moment type doesn't have a lot of light and dark values. I'm going to zoom in a little bit on the Mobile Media Moment type so we can see the Starglow effect. I'm going to hit Period on the keyboard to zoom in. That's a little bit too close. So I will hit the Comma key to back out one level and then I'm going to just hold down the Spacebar to bring up my Hand tool and bring they type right in the center of the screen. Now we've also been previewing our images at half resolution and that's making my type a little bit crunchy right now.
So I'm going to turn that up to Full and so that I can see my effect a little bit more accurately. Now the next thing I need to do is to adjust the Starglow effect so the Starglow looks at the light and dark values in an image. But right now our type doesn't have a lot of light and dark values. It has light and dark values on the edges, but that's not quite enough for the effect. So I'm going to go into the Pre- Process option and in Pre-Process controls how Starglow look at the source image and it opens up the range of values that it can consider. So by adjusting the Threshold downward, I'm going to expand the range of values that Starglow can consider and as I drag that down, I'm going to bring that down probably around 20 or so.
There we go and now we've got this crazy disco ball effect going on in our type. And that's way more than we need, but it allows them to see what were actually working with the effect. Now we can dial down the effect and it's going to look a lot nicer. So the default colors are not what I want to have. There is a lot of green in those rays. So I'm going to switch my preset to something that has a lot more warmth to it. If I click on the Preset pulldown and go to Warm Star, that warms up those rays and changes the color.
Now the rays are way too long so I'm going to dial them down in intensity. So I'm going to go to the Streak Length and bring that down to about 3 and you can see they are just right at the edges now. The next thing I want to do is adjust the Boost Light. The Boost Light will crank up the intensity in the brightest parts of the image. So I'm going to bring it to about 3 now and it's getting really, really hot. The next thing I'm going to do, I'm going to adjust the Threshold up just a bit. My type is feeling a little bit soft and so I'm going to bring the Threshold up. That's going to limit how the effect is being applied.
It was applying too much of the image at that Threshold amount and now as I do this, it really kind of tightens it up and only does it on the very brightest parts of the image. Now the last thing I need to do to the Starglow is to adjust the Source Opacity. The Source Opacity is what the Starglow is sitting on top of. Right now, it's sitting on top of an exact copy of my Type Pass Pre, but I really only want the Starglow effect and I don't want the type layer below it. So if I adjust that Source Opacity down to 0, you'll see that now I'm just seeing the Starglow effect.
I get black underneath it. Now I can add my Type Pass Pre. I'm going to add the Solo button for that one and that's going to give me my effect. This is a much more subtle look than we had before and it allows the a lot more control over the glow effect. Now that we'll have the Starglow effect added, we're going to add this subtle Edge Ray effect using the Shine filter that happens when our word Moment Hits. So in order to do that, I'm going to duplicate this Type Pass Pre layer one more time, Command+D or Ctrl+D, and that brightens up our Starglow because now we have two Starglow effects.
So on this layer, I'm going to delete the Starglow effect, Delete, and that makes my type show back up again and we're going to go to the Effects > Trapcode, and add in Shine. Now Shine has some similar settings to Starglow and what we want to do is to first off adjust where it's coming from, and then we do that using the Source Point and we want this glow effect to feel like it's coming from right behind the logo, and so by clicking on the Source Point and bringing the Source Point right up here, that's going to adjust where that Shine effect happens from, and I'm going to bring this down just a little bit.
The really cool thing is you can see that effect in pretty much real time and I can adjust it right from the fly. I'm going to have it coming from right below the base. There we go. Now it feels like the light source that's creating these rays is right behind the type. The default colors for the Starglow are little too red for my taste and for this image. So I'm going to go into the Colorize option and we're going to change that by making the shadow color this same sort of orangey yellow value and so I will just click on the Eyedropper and select that and that's going to brighten up that edge ray.
So now it more closely matches the glow that we have on our type. Next up, we want to adjust the Boost Light. Boost Light controls the intensity of the effect, not so much the visibility of the rays, but how intensely are they interacting with the source image, and so we adjust the Boost Light upward, you can see that we really crank up the brightnesses of those rays and I'll bring it up to about 10 or so, and I'll dial it back down to maybe 7. I think that'll be a little bit more subtle. And these edge rays are much longer than we're going to actually need. All I'm doing right now is sort of adjusting the base parameters for them and we're going to be keyframing these over time so that the edge rays sort of emerge on when the word Moment hits.
So let's go ahead and do that process now. I'm going to unsolo all of these layers. I'll be able to see the glows here in the image. Now these are what the glow value is going to be at their brightest point when the word Moment hits and then they're going to taper off to something a little bit more subtle. So let's set keyframes for Opacity for these layers at this point in time. So the Type Pass Pre layers that have the effects on them are these two right here. I'll hold down the Shift key and select both of them and hit T on the keyboard. So let's bring up the Opacity and set keyframes right there.
So now what I'm going to do is to back up in time to the point where I want the edge rays to start appearing, and so let's back up. The word Moment becomes visible and starts to fly in right about here. So about just before it hits its mark, which is right around frame 85 or so, I'm going to set these values down to 0 and so let's go bring the Opacity of both those layers to 0, and the type is going to fly in and gradually become more intense, hit its mark, and then the edge ray should dim out, and they should dim out over about maybe 15 or 20 frames or so.
So right about the time that the Flash bulb start coming on and we can set these values back down a bit. And rather than set them to 0, I want to adjust them visually. Now I do want the edge rays to go away completely. So I know I'm going to set that value to be 0, and then I'm going to adjust the intensity of the glow, and I'll bring that down to about may be 50%. There we go. So now our type has a very subtle glow effect on it that doesn't overwhelm the legibility of the type. So now I think I've got that effect just about dialed in, but you should always RAM Preview your animation to check the actual timing of it.
Now rather than RAM Preview the entire Timeline, I'm going to adjust the Preview range and bring that over to just before the type starts, and then I'll hit the RAM Preview button and let it preview just those frames. Okay, I think that's about enough frames to give us a feel. Now one thing I noticed, if I stop the RAM Preview action and let it play back, that looks pretty awesome. My palettes are kind of overlapping the window now. I'm going to just enlarge that a bit and enlarge this a bit. And I don't have enough screen room here in order to see the entire image.
So I'm going to hit the Comma key on the keyboard to back down just a bit and also re-center this in the frame, and then I'm going to start my RAM Preview again so that I can see the entire animation. So our type now has a really nice subtle shine effect on it that happens when it falls. This is sort of a season to taste moment. You guys can feel free to adjust the values that we use on this effect and really either dial it up or down, based on your personal taste. That's one of the great things about these effects is they're completely nondestructive and so we can have a lot of fun experimenting.
We can push them over the top. We can make them more subtle. It really depends on your style.
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