Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating visible lights


Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

with Angie Taylor

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Video: Creating visible lights

So here we have our scene in AfterEffects. We're in chapter 1103.aep. And what I want to do here is I want to add some more lighting to my scene. I want to add some lights to the robot's eyes just to give him a bit more character. And also to light up the whole scene. So what we're going to do is we're going to select one of the instances of our Cinema 4D scene dynamic timeline. And hit Command d to open it up in Cinema 4D. And here you have the scene. If I hit Command r just to do a quick render of that.
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      2m 22s
  2. 54m 9s
    1. What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
      4m 23s
    2. What CINEMA 4D Lite can't do
      6m 54s
    3. Opening CINEMA 4D Lite in After Effects
      2m 38s
    4. Quick interface tour
      8m 46s
    5. Navigation tips for CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 5s
    6. CINEMA 4D Lite preferences and settings
      7m 28s
    7. Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1
      15m 55s
  3. 22m 34s
    1. Importing CINEMA 4D files in After Effects
      1m 5s
    2. The CINEWARE plugin settings
      4m 42s
    3. CINEMA 4D Lite render settings
      6m 15s
    4. After Effects project settings
      1m 23s
    5. After Effects previewing tips
      3m 50s
    6. Using the Picture Viewer in CINEMA 4D
      5m 19s
  4. 1h 14m
    1. Editing primitive objects
      5m 18s
    2. The Move and Scale tools
      7m 18s
    3. The Rotate tool
      4m 24s
    4. Axis limitations
      1m 46s
    5. Working cylinders
      7m 15s
    6. Linking body parts using object hierarchy
      9m 49s
    7. Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS
      7m 22s
    8. Adjusting NURBS settings
      4m 6s
    9. Using nulls as controllers
      3m 33s
    10. Creating copies with the Instance array
      6m 44s
    11. Carving shapes with the Boole array
      10m 28s
    12. Reshaping objects with deformers
      3m 14s
    13. Adding surface detail with a Relief object
      2m 55s
  5. 55m 41s
    1. Understanding coordinates
      5m 0s
    2. Understanding rotation
      2m 39s
    3. Timeline shortcuts
      3m 1s
    4. Basic keyframing of properties
      4m 31s
    5. Copying keyframes
      2m 3s
    6. Keyframe interpolation
      5m 20s
    7. Adjusting F-Curves
      5m 45s
    8. Holding values
      5m 8s
    9. Using XPresso to link properties: Part one
      4m 17s
    10. Using XPresso to link properties: Part two
      2m 27s
    11. Importing existing animations into CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 21s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 37s
    13. Animating using presets
      4m 32s
  6. 46m 57s
    1. Importing music and soundtracks
      4m 12s
    2. Customizing commands and shortcuts
      6m 7s
    3. Adding markers
      4m 25s
    4. Creating multiple cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 17s
    5. Cutting between CINEMA 4D cameras with CINEWARE
      5m 43s
    6. Creating cameras in After Effects
      4m 37s
    7. Merging 3D camera data into CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Animating cameras with Stage objects
      4m 27s
    9. Extracting cameras from CINEMA 4D files
      5m 59s
  7. 43m 49s
    1. Adding CINEMA 4D text to After Effects comps
      5m 4s
    2. Formatting text in CINEMA 4D
      5m 47s
    3. Creating CINEMA 4D text or logos in Illustrator
      6m 9s
    4. Importing Illustrator text into CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 38s
    5. Applying material presets to text
      7m 51s
    6. Merging CINEMA 4D files
      5m 51s
    7. Registering CINEMA 4D Lite for MoGraph features
      1m 8s
    8. Using MoGraph Fracture on text
      3m 25s
    9. The MoGraph Random Effector
      3m 56s
  8. 12m 8s
    1. Creating a wiggle expression
      7m 49s
    2. The Reset Position script
      4m 19s
  9. 30m 56s
    1. Applying a custom material
      6m 32s
    2. Making a metallic material
      6m 15s
    3. Adding an environment channel
      2m 20s
    4. Adding texture with shaders
      4m 21s
    5. Built-in material presets
      3m 52s
    6. Combining materials
      2m 41s
    7. Using selection sets to isolate surfaces
      4m 55s
  10. 27m 42s
    1. 3D camera tracking in After Effects
      6m 3s
    2. Creating nulls from tracking points
      2m 40s
    3. Adjusting the Shadow Catcher for CINEMA 4D
      3m 31s
    4. Importing a CINEMA 4D file into a scene
      4m 21s
    5. Exporting CINEMA 4D files from After Effects comps
      3m 42s
    6. Merging objects from CINEMA 4D files
      3m 23s
    7. Manually adjusting scenes between apps
      4m 2s
  11. 24m 26s
    1. Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D
      5m 48s
    2. Compositing CINEMA 4D layers in After Effects
      6m 52s
    3. Casting shadows on layers in CINEWARE
      5m 18s
    4. Adding reflections in CINEMA 4D
      6m 28s
  12. 36m 10s
    1. Using preset lighting setups
      6m 24s
    2. Light types in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 38s
    3. Creating visible lights
      7m 56s
    4. Adding ambient occlusion effects
      6m 55s
    5. Optimizing your CINEMA 4D scenes
      8m 17s
  13. 38m 54s
    1. Multipass compositing explained
      2m 28s
    2. Adding passes to render settings
      2m 8s
    3. Viewing passes in the Picture Viewer
      2m 35s
    4. Adding object buffers
      4m 51s
    5. External compositing tags in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 8s
    6. Previewing and experimenting with passes
      4m 30s
    7. CINEWARE multipass options
      9m 2s
    8. Adjusting reflections
      5m 23s
    9. Isolating elements with object buffers
      4m 49s
  14. 53m 2s
    1. Extracting 3D scene data
      8m 11s
    2. Adding video elements to a CINEMA 4D scene
      5m 49s
    3. Working with proxies
      10m 2s
    4. Color correction of shadows
      4m 10s
    5. Layer styles
      3m 50s
    6. Adjustment layers
      4m 58s
    7. Setting up depth of field in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Adding depth of field with camera lens blur
      4m 4s
    9. Speed ramps with time remapping
      4m 14s
    10. Motion blur with the Pixel Motion Blur effect
      4m 34s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. Rendering with the After Effects Render Queue
      5m 39s
    2. Background rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 6s
    3. The BG Renderer script
      4m 14s

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
8h 57m Beginner Aug 28, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
  • Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects CC workflow
  • Editing primitive objects
  • Spline modeling with NURBS
  • Animating with keyframes
  • Using Xpresso to link properties
  • Importing music and soundtracks
  • Creating and animating cameras
  • Working with text
  • Scripting
  • Creating and applying materials and textures
  • 3D camera tracking
  • Compositing layers
  • Lighting with visible lights and ambient occlusion
  • Adding visual effects in After Effects
  • Rendering in After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder
3D + Animation Video video2brain
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Angie Taylor

Creating visible lights

So here we have our scene in AfterEffects. We're in chapter 1103.aep. And what I want to do here is I want to add some more lighting to my scene. I want to add some lights to the robot's eyes just to give him a bit more character. And also to light up the whole scene. So what we're going to do is we're going to select one of the instances of our Cinema 4D scene dynamic timeline. And hit Command d to open it up in Cinema 4D. And here you have the scene. If I hit Command r just to do a quick render of that.

You'll see the text is lit quite nicely in these robots here. But we need some lighting on the robot itself. So what we're going to do is add visible lights so that we look as if we have light beams coming out of the eyes of the robot. So, let's just move in a little bit closer so we can see that just by moving the time marker in to where the camera is got the robot in a slightly tighter view. If we look down here we have a light casing that is placed into the right eye. Now the first thing I'm going to do is give it a new material, and I've created this transparent material here.

Which I'm just going to drag and drop onto there and you'll see that that's a clear, glass material. Now what I want to do now is place a light into that to shine out through that material. So what we're going to do is go to the Light menu and just choose New Light. And the first thing that I'm going to do to get that into the light casing, is just to take it and drag it into the light casing as a child having the light casing as the parent. Okay. That's not going to adjust its position. In order to do that, of course, we need to go into the coordinates and zero them as we've done a few times during this lesson.

So we now have the light in exactly the same position as the light casing. Now generally I want to move it forwards a little bit whether it's just the front value casing. So that minus ten should do it for us. Now, at the moment if I click on Command R to render that you see we don't really see much of a difference. But, I'm going to make some changes to that light, so we can really see it. So, let's select the light and let's have a look through the properties. First of all, I'm going to change it's color.

So, I'm going to choose a kind of yellow, bright yellow, orangy yellow color, 2551820. Now we want to make the light visible as well. So we're going to go down to Visible Light and just change that to Visible. And now you can see a kind of sphere around the light and if I hit command R again, you'll notice that we are actually seeing that light render. So we are seeing the light emitting from the central point. Now the moment that's a little bit over the top.

So what we want to do is go into the settings and make adjustments to that, so I'm going to go into Visibility, and this is the tab that controls how visible that light is, so you switch on visibility in general, then you go to the visibility settings here. Now we have an inner and outer distance, if I reduce the outer distance, notice that sphere around the light is reducing, showing us the size that the light's going to be. And I want to bring that down quite far, probably to about 100. And now if I render it.

And I'm going to create a interactive render region around my robot's head because I don't really want to spend time rendering everything else. Once it updates you can see that's reduced the size of the light. Now there's all sorts of other settings we can make adjustments to. If I want to increase the quality of this render, by the way, I can just adjust that slider, so that we can see this rendering at our best quality. Now there are all sort of other changes we can make. We could go into General again, and switch on Ambient Illumination.

And if we preview that, you'll notice that it's starting to illuminate the other objects as well. Which I quite like. We're quite getting some light spill from the robot's eyes onto the other objects. Now I want to go back into visibility and I'm going to reduce the size of that even more, about 75% should do it. You've also got an inner distance setting and brightness setting. We could maybe bring the brightness down to about 90%, just to reduce that a little bit more. So once we've got that in there, what's the next step? Well we would want to duplicate it, so, we would either duplicate the light, or we could just create an instance of it.

So create the instance of the light. If we scroll down here you'll see under the right eye, we have another light casing, so again, we just drag it onto that light casing. And then, down in the Coordinates, we zero those. And we'll leave the minus ten on there. So, we now have two lights. Now, just to show you some alternative ways of doing this, at the moment, we have regular lights. Now, we could change those before I create my light instance.

Or even after I create my light instance, I could change that. And, of course, the instance will update. So I could go in to my general settings of my light and change it to say a spot light and look at very different result if we do that. Now at first you will need to select Appear to go off. Let me just bring that quality down, seems to have a trouble rendering at the moment, I am going to switch off my interactive render region just for a second. Now if you notice, you'll notice that as a default the spotlight will point in a positive direction on the z axis.

So the first thing I need to do is go into the coordinates and just adjust that and we will just turn that light round, so if I do that 180 degrees. You should see that we now have our light facing in the right direction. Now that won't update the Instance so we also need to go into the Instance and adjust that by 180 degrees. So let's put plus 180 into this field. Now that's interesting, the Cinema 4D text entry fields allow you to do masks just the same way as After Effects do.

So if you click after a value and type in plus 180 it will add 180 to the current value. Now if we render that, we should now see the lights are facing forward. But because we've reduced the settings, we're not really getting a result from that. So let's select the light again and we'll put on our interactive render region again so we can see it. I will extend that out that way. In our visibility we might now want to increase the outer distance.

Let's put that up to say about 200 and by doing that we are increasing the range of the light. You can now see the light starting to come out from the robots eyes. Let's do it even higher. Let's put the outer distance up to 500, and let's adjust by switching off the Interactive Render region, or in fact, going to one of the other views. What we can do is adjust the size of the cone as well, so we can start to make the light emit out of a wider area.

And if you come back here, you'll now see that we're getting. Spotlights emitting from the eyes of our robot. So a few different approaches to this, let me just turn off my interactive render region again, and we'll just hit command R to render that and see how it's looking. So you can add lights to your scene. Make them visible, and switch on ambiance illuminations so that they light up your scene and give it a little bit of warmth. So, that's how to make a light visible, and adjust its settings using Cinema 4D Light.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects .

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Q: This course was updated on 01/15/2015. What changed?
A: We updated movies in chapter 5, 10, and 12, and added a new set of exercise files to make the course compatible with the latest versions of After Effects CC (2014.1) and CINEWARE. Watch the "Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1" movie for an overview of the changes.
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