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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.
But are times where you want to leave things open in CINEMA 4D so that you can then composite elements in After Effects later. And sometimes what I do here is I create little placeholder layers, or objects, that will then be replaced by layers in After Effects. And that's what we're going to do here. And you'll extract the cameras from the Cinema 4d file to match them up. If you want to follow along I'm in chapter 59.C4D. And I'm going to go into my Objects and I'm gong to select a plane.
Now the plane appears here if I go to my multiple view. And then we'll middle mouse click on the top view. You'll see I can see the plane. But it's obscured by these cameras. So if you're working in a Cinema 4D scene, and you want to temporarily switch off items. And stop them rendering in the previewer. You can click on these little buttons here. So you'll see each of these objects has two buttons. The top one we'll switch on and off preview rendering and the bottom one we'll switch off rendering in the final scene.
So what I'm going to do is, for my cameras, I'm just going to click on the top one twice until it goes red, and that'll temporarily Switch off the wire frames for the cameras. That makes it easier to pull this behind my two robots and we'll just place it around about 400 on the z axis. Now we need to rotate it as well so we'll go into our coordinates and it's probably the pitch value I think we're going to rotate. By about 90 degrees.
So that should take that by 90. And then what we're going to do is we're going to add something to it called an external compositing tag. If we go into our tags, Cinema 4D tags, what an external compositing tag allows you to do is send things, or send information if you like, to After Effects, about this element. Now if I create a solid. And I have my preferences set up correctly. If you remember earlier I showed you how to do that we go to Edit Preferences and you make sure you have Save Polygons For Melange and Save Animations from Melange selected.
If you have those selected you will be able to output a solid to After Effects as a kind of place filter. Now the other thing that I want to do is I actually want to switch the plane off. I don't want it to render, and a couple ways of doing it as I said, we have these buttons here which stop things rendering. So what I really what to do now is just stop this plane from rendering. It's just a placeholder. So what I want to do is select it. And we want it visible in the editor. But we want it invisible in the final render.
So switch that off. And you can see that that does the same as these two buttons. So you can always switch these buttons on here or you can choose those feasibility options down here in the object attributes. So all that I need to do now is save that file and bring it into After Effects. So here we have an After Effects, now we've got a saved copy of that file here in the after effects timeline. Now if I open up the Cineware effect and come down to the bottom here I can click on Extract and what that will allow me to do is extract both the cameras and the plane solid that I created using the external compositing tack and that's brilliant because it means that instead of having to figure out how to position my video track that's in the background what I can do is switch on 3D and then simply parent the video track to this solid that's been exported from Cinema 4D at the same position as the plane.
Now you'll notice as I bring the pick whip up to select that layer, it tells me that if I hold Shift, I can actually take the location of the parent. And that's what I'm going to do, hold down Shift, then release the pick whip. And now the video layer. Should have the same position as the parent. Now at the moment you can't see the video layer because it's a bit too small. If I select it you can actually see the wire frame of it though selected. So the first thing that I need to do is just move it up a tad. So I'm going to move it on the y axis. Okay? As much as I can kind of get away with. We can also move it a bit on the x axis.
But then, what I'm going to do is cheat, and just scale it up. So let's scale it up. Okay, and if I scale it, I can actually move it a little bit more. So let's move it up and across. Now at the moment, we can't really see the video playing, and I think that's because it's on a black frame. But if we move ahead a little bit, you'll actually see the video. Playing in the background. Now we can go up and up and up and still up a lot bigger just to give it some more dramatic effect and just gradually compensate by moving it into position.
So you just take a minute or two just to reposition it once you've got it roughly in the right position. We could even move it further back if we wanted to. Just having it there kind of giving it an effect in the background. And if I preview that now, you'll see that it actually reacts to those cameras that I set up in Cinema 4D. Now you will notice one thing, you'll notice that my cameras are not animated.
I've only got one camera being used at that moment, this one here, so if I want to animate from camera to camera there's a little bit of extra work involved. What you have to do is go through Switch on the other cameras and edit them so that they are in exactly the right position. Camera edits that are done using the stage object in Cinema 4D don't come through until After Effects. So you will have to do a little bit of extra work and match moving that video there with the background layer.
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