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This course is all about cutting-edge compositing techniques. After Effects and CINEMA 4D have an amazing toolset right out of the box, but throughout the industry, artists and studios have come to use third-party plug-ins to create a wide range of effects. Now we're going to be using some very specific effects for our animation, and I want to show you where you can find those on the Internet. First up is a plug-in called Render Elements for CINEMA 4D. Render Elements is made by a very talented artist and programmer named Adam Swaab. And when you go to Adam's web site, adamswaab.wordpress.com, the very first thing you're going to see is the Light Lister, the Light Lister is another amazing plug-in for CINEMA 4D. But the tool we want to use is called Render Elements, and it's right down here, the very second thing up.
And the latest version is 0.7.13. And there is a cross-platform download, so if you're working PC or Mac, it is right there for you. Now Render Elements is a free plug-in, and Adam distributes it freely for his users. What it allows you to do is to break your renderings into very specific forms for After Effects, all within a single project file. The normal workflow in CINEMA 4D would be to save out these versions as separate project files, and that makes going back and making changes later on much more cumbersome. Render Elements keeps all those versions right in the same file, so you can make animation and lighting and texturing tweaks right inside of a single file without having to manage multiple files.
Now for After Effects, we're going to be using a plug-in called ReelSmart Motion Blur, and ReelSmart Motion Blur is made by a company called RE:Vision Effects. If you go to their web site, revisionfx.com, and click on Products and then go to the ReelSmart Motion Blur page, what ReelSmart Motion Blur does is create a motion blur effect on top of video and compositions inside of After Effects. Now you're probably thinking, well, After Effects already has a motion blur, why do I need this? Well, when you render something from CINEMA 4D and you render it without motion blur and bring it into After Effects and you want to have motion blur on your entire composition, there is no way to do that without this plug-in.
After Effects can apply motion blur to elements that are moving that are animated within After Effects, but an external piece of footage, like a 3D render or piece of video, cannot have motion blur on it, unless of course you animate it in a 2D way. And if we animate our 3D renders from CINEMA 4D, then that will break our matching 3D data that allows us to put things seamlessly into the scene from within After Effects, and we don't want to do that. So ReelSmart Motion Blur allows us to add a motion blur effect on top of all of the other layers in After Effects so that we don't have to do that from CINEMA 4D.
The last type of plug-ins I want to talk about it the Trapcode Suite and those are distributed by Red Giant Software. So if we go to Red Giant's web site and if you click on Products, and you'll go to the Trapcode Suite pages, which is where I'm on right now. And Trapcode Suite 10 is compatible with After Effects CS5, and there is a whole host of plug-ins, and these are all of the plug-ins that are part of that Trapcode Suite. Now you can these individually, or you can buy them all as part of a package. The ones we're going to be using in this course are Particular, Shine, and Starglow. Particular is a particle generator for After Effects, and it is incredibly powerful, easy to use, and fast to rendering, and that's why it's become such a standard in studios all over the world.
Shine is an effect that creates light beams based on light and dark values in a layer or on the alpha channel of the layer. It has incredible control over the color values created by the Shine effect, and it really makes creating all sorts of glow effects much more possible. The Starglow effect creates a star pattern of edge rays based on the light and dark values within an image. Now in this disco ball image that you're seeing on the page right now is a very extreme example of that. Most of the time when you see Starglow it's used in a much more subtle way, and that's what we're going to be doing in this course.
Now you don't need any of these plug-ins to do amazing work with CINEMA 4D and After Effects, but for this course you do need them, and the reason we need them is they've created some very specific effects that you just can't get, and that's one of the reasons that these plug-ins in particular have become an important part of professional workflows all over the world.
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