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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the wave animation with plain effectors


From:

Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors

with EJ Hassenfratz

Video: Creating the wave animation with plain effectors

Using MoGraph effectors to animate your scene can be a huge timesaver over keyframing by hand. Using effectors to procedurally animate objects allows you to automate much of your animation. In this movie, you'll begin creating the procedural animation with effectors. So you see we have our cube grid cube text all set up. Now what we need to do is start applying effectors to create our animation. So we're going to go up to MoGraph, go to Effector, and the effector type that we are going to be using specifically for this animation are just Plain effectors.

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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors
1h 39m Intermediate Feb 27, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Harness the power of the CINEMA 4D MoGraph module to create complex animations with only a couple of keyframes. By stacking multiple MoGraph effectors, you can achieve nice-looking animations quickly and easily, saving you time spent keyframing moves manually. Discover how to change your text on the fly or create iterations of it, while keeping the animation intact. Author EJ Hassenfratz introduces a real-world postproduction workflow, by creating a network bumper promo. This project covers creating 3D text in CINEMA 4D, compositing, and adding final polish to the footage inside of Adobe After Effects.

Topics include:
  • Creating a cube grid with the MoGraph Cloner
  • Creating first-, second-, and third-wave animations
  • Using a null object to group and keyframe multiple effectors
  • Limiting the influence of an effector
  • Adding texture
  • Using an HDRI map for reflections
  • Lighting the scene
  • Importing a CINEMA 4D project into After Effects
  • Isolating and changing text color with object buffers
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Compositing Projects
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
EJ Hassenfratz

Creating the wave animation with plain effectors

Using MoGraph effectors to animate your scene can be a huge timesaver over keyframing by hand. Using effectors to procedurally animate objects allows you to automate much of your animation. In this movie, you'll begin creating the procedural animation with effectors. So you see we have our cube grid cube text all set up. Now what we need to do is start applying effectors to create our animation. So we're going to go up to MoGraph, go to Effector, and the effector type that we are going to be using specifically for this animation are just Plain effectors.

The reason for this is, if you look under the Parameter tab, you can see that under Transform, you can only transform Position, Scale, and Rotation. Since we're only animating the object's position and rotation, Plain effectors are going to work just fine for what we need. So now what we have to do is apply our Plain effector to our cube grid and cube text. Under Cube Grid, we already have an effector applied. Keep that in mind. Now if I select the cube text as well, you can see under the effector tab that the Volume effector is still here.

Now, watch what happens when I click and drag the Plain effector and apply it to both the cube grid and cube text. You can see that our cube text just disappeared. You can also see when I select the cube text and look under effectors, not only did it apply the Plain effector to the cube text, it also applied that Volume effector that was only originally applied to the cube grid. Now this is just the way that CINEMA 4D works when applying a new effector to multiple objects where an effector is already applied to one of the objects.

So that's just something you have to keep in mind. Now, to easily fix this issue, all you have to do is delete the Volume effector from the cube text and you can see our cube text reappears again. So this first Plain effector is going to motivate the first wave, and it's going to push the cubes forward in Z space. So we're going to delete out the 100 in the Y, and we're just going to scrub this forward, scrub this in the negative Z space, and you can see that that is pushing all the cubes forward in Z space.

So we're just going to push them forward 150 centimeters. And we don't want this to be applied to the entire cube grid at the same time. We want it to come on in a wave. So to do that we need to go into our Falloff, and our Falloff Shape is set to Infinite and that's why it's being applied to our entire grid. If we go for the Box, you can see that the position value change only applies to where our falloff is in our viewport. So what we need to do is make sure that this falloff area encompasses the entire cube grid area here as well.

So now if I move this from left to right, you can see that that is creating a nice little wave pushing our cubes forward. You can see that the wave just start taking shape. So in our original animation, we also have that wave coming through and rotating the cubes and revealing our first word. So now we have to make a second Plain effector. Before we do that, let's go ahead and rename this Plain effector, just to keep things organized.

So remember, this affects both the cube grid and cube text, so let's rename this All. And this affects the position only, so Pos for short. And then this is part of wave one, so we'll just type Wave1. So now let's create our second Plain effector. Go up to MoGraph > Effector > Plain. And this is going to be the Plain effector that is going to rotate our cubes and reveal our first word. So we need to deselect Position and we also need to make sure that we apply it to both our cube grid and our cube text.

So if I go back to our Plain effector, select Rotation, and if I go -90 in the Pitch, you can see that that reveals our first word. And again, we need to change that Falloff value from Infinite, and we're going to change this to Linear, because we want this to work linearly from left to right. And right now you don't see anything changing because if I actually get rid of the cube grid and zoom in here, you can see our falloff of our Plain effector has this arrow.

What that means is that effector is going to be applied from left to right in this direction, in the Z. And you can see that that's not the correct direction we want it to go. We're going to re-enable the cube grid. I'm just going to rotate this 90 degrees and make sure that that arrow is now pointing to the right. And now as I pass this through our scene, you can see from left to right, that's going to reveal on and rotate our cubes 90 degrees and reveal our first word.

Right now our falloff is a little sharp. We just drag this handle out. I'm going to pass this through again. You can see it's a little bit more softer of a transition there. That's looking pretty good. I'm just going to pass this effector off right here. So now, let's rename this again to keep things sorted, and rename this All because this is also applied to the cube grid and text. And this deals with rotation so Rot, also part of wave one, so put in Wave1.

So now if select both of these, and pass them through our scene, we really start to see the animation taking shape. That's looking pretty good. Finally, we need to add one last effector to complete our wave. And that's another one to push these cube text cubes forward a little bit more, just to make a pop off that back cube grid, because right now it's looking kind of bland and boring. So to do this again we need to create another Plain effector.

Let's rename this again. We're only going to apply this to the cube text so we're not going to name it All; we're just going to name it Text, and this is positions. It's going to affect the position. It's going to position it forward in Z space, and this is also Wave1. Now if we go and apply this, you're going to see, that it actually pushes it back. And if we go, our default value is 100 in the positive Y. We know we need to push it negative in the Z space just like our first Plain effector here.

See how we have that -150? We also needed -150 in this, but you see that it's pushing it upwards; it's pushing it in the wrong direction. The reason for that is the way that these effectors are being applied. So first the position is pushed forward by this Plain effector. Then the rotation comes through, and because the rotation comes through, it actually changes the orientation of the axis of this object. So that's why when we apply this final position effector, it's pushing it up in the wrong direction.

To fix this issue, we actually just need to move our text position wave first in our stacking order, and you can see that we've got our desired result. We just want the text pushed a little bit forward to really get some contrast and really make this look nice and be a focal point of our grid here. So keep in mind that effectors are applied procedurally, so whatever is first on the stacking order is the first thing that gets applied. So now if I zoom out here, I need to change the Falloff of this text position wave as well.

Change it from Infinite, and we're going to change this to Box. We're going to make sure that it encompasses the entire word here. So as I drag this, it comes forward. We need to make sure that as it passes through, the entire word comes forward. So that's looking pretty good. So now if I go and select all of our effectors, and I go from left to right, you see our wave comes through. The cubes are getting pushed forward.

They're rotating, and then that final text position effector is pushing that cube text object forward even further, and that's looking pretty good. So you can start to see the beginnings of the animation taking shape. Organization is going to be key when applying all these effectors, just in case changes are needed down the line. And in this industry, changes are almost guaranteed.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors.


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Q: I rendered a Compositing Project File (AEC) from CINEMA 4D, but I am unable to import that file into After Effects.
A: In order to import an AEC file into After Effects, you will need to have the free Cinema 4D Importer plugin for After Effects installed. The plugin can be downloaded here: http://www.maxon.net/support/updates/plugins.html

For more information on this plugin, including instructions on how to install it, refer to Cinema 4D Essentials 5: Rendering and Compositing with Rob Garrott.  The movie titled "Rendering and importing elements into After Effects" explains how to install this plugi
 
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