Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
Illustration by John Hersey

Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners

with Ian Robinson

Video: Finishing with text and shadows

If you remember, way back to our source animation, Now, I'm going to change the magnification in my timeline here, And yes, it looks beautiful, but if we stop here, at frame

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Watch the Online Video Course Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
1h 29m Intermediate Nov 13, 2013

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In this installment of Mograph Techniques, Ian Robinson shows you how to model and animate a stylized 3D flower that grows and blooms over time, using the combined power of CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects. You'll start by creating a single flower petal with traditional polygonal modeling techniques. Then you'll load the petal into a cloner object, and nest that cloner inside another, resulting in a complete flower with multiple levels of control for animation. The second phase is animating the cloners and refining the animation with the Step Effector. In the third and final phase, you'll bring the project into After Effects to add animated color effects, transitions, text, and shadows.

Topics include:
  • Modeling flower petals in C4D
  • Creating shaded materials in C4D
  • Building flowers with multiple cloner objects
  • Building a dynamic transition with camera animation
  • Multipass Rendering out of CINEMA 4D
  • Adding and animating color effects in After Effects
  • Refining transitions
  • Rendering the final composite
3D + Animation Video
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Ian Robinson

Finishing with text and shadows

If you remember, way back to our source animation, the blooming flower looked like it was kind of floating. That effect was achieved, just by introducing a shadow. And rather than using a light to create the shadow, we can more easily create the effect, simply by duplicating that layer, that contains the graphics. Now before we do that, I want to change the length of the composition and add our final text. So, let's start by making sure, we have our composition selected, and then press Cmd+K or Ctrl+K on Windows, to open the composition settings.

Let's change the duration to eight seconds. Now, I'm going to change the magnification in my timeline here, and if we scrub down, notice, everything sort of disappears. So first thing, let's increase the length of our white background here, and then next thing, we want to freeze this flower treatment. Now, in order to freeze this, I don't want these additional colors on the petals. I'm going to turn that off, because I think stylistically, I like it better without the colors, so let's add a quick fade here on Layer two. I'm going to press Option+T or Alt+T on Windows, to set a keyframe for my opacity.

And then, I'll just drag this keyframe back down the timeline, a few frames. Let's move it down to about, frame 419. Now. we can just click and drag to change our Opacity down to zero, and now, our colors sort of fade away. And we'll be left with this sort of, pretty teal color, which I really like. So, let's select Layer three and press Cmd+D to duplicate that layer, and I'll just go up under Layer and go to Time, and choose Freeze Frame. Now, with this frozen, I can extend the length of this layer, and trim the end point.

So, I don't want it to start, until the other layer ends. So, if we press page down to move down, you can see, okay. I've successfully lengthened my bloom. So, now everything has, kind of come to a stop, which is exactly what I wanted. Now, I'd like to add the shadow underneath of this, and I'd also want to add my text. So, let's grab our Text tool here and click right in the middle of the scene, and I'll type the words GROW in all caps, and with ampersand, BLOOM.

I'm just going to press Enter on my keyboard to set that and press V, to grab my Selection tool. Now let's change our settings in the paragraph, to Center Text and increase the size of our type, up to about 72. Now, we can't read the text so let's go ahead and change our white foreground text, to be black, that's perfect. And then, we can go ahead and just re-position the ampersand, right in the middle of that sort of, flurry element there. Now of course, I want to choose a different typeface.

So, I'm going to click on my pull-down here, and I'll scroll down and choose Trebuchet. There we go, Trebuchet MS. And in order to make this pop a little bit more, let's just add a white drop shadow. So I'll go up under Effect > Perspective and choose Drop Shadow. And let's just change the shadow color, to a nice white. And that's pretty much it, for stylizing that text. So let's just animate the appearance of the text, by moving our current time indicator back a little bit.

Let's move it to about frame 415, and you guessed it. Option+T or Alt+T on Windows, to set an opacity key frame. And I'll go ahead and slide that key frame back down here, to about five seconds, and change my Opacity setting, down to zero. Now, let's trim the end point of this layer. I'm going to press Option+left bracket or Alt+left bracket, on Windows. So now, when the flowers sort of resolves, our text fades in. Now, we've got everything in the scene. What I need to do is just, stylize the drop shadow into the scene.

So, to add the drop shadow, I want to duplicate my background petals' colors. But, in addition to that, I think I want to just duplicate the animation, as a whole. So, in order to deal with that, what I'm going to do, is select all of my different layers, from my vines up through my colors. And, I'll just go up under Layer and choose Precompose. And, we can rename this, Petal Animation, and click OK.

Let's scrub through the animation and make sure that, everything still appears to be the same. And yes, it looks beautiful, but if we stop here, at frame 309, notice, when I collapse the transformations, it's actually allowing the blend mode of my second layer, to go back to its hard light setting, which is exactly what I want. So let's make sure we have Collapse Transformation selected, for our Petal Animation layer. Now, I'm going to duplicate this layer by pressing Cmd+D, and for the bottom version of this layer, let's turn off Collapse Transform and then, go up under Effect.

Under the Effect, what I want to do is, fill everything with black. So, in order to do that, I'm just going to go up under Color Correction, and go to Tint. In the Tint settings, I'm going to change matte black to black, and I'm going to map black to white. Now, it may not appear as though, this is all black because it's directly below Layer three, but if we solo this layer you can see, everything is black. Which kind of works, if we turn on the white solid here. You can see, okay, yeah.

Anything that has color in it, is now black. So this is exactly what we want. Let me go ahead and turn the Solo buttons off. And we can go up under Effect, and go to Blur, and we can add a Fast Blur to this. Now, for the Fast Blur, let's go ahead and increase that up to a number, of about 36. And then, I'm going to go to my Scale options here. Let's de-select our constrained proportions, and scale this down. So now, I'm going to move this down to the bottom-most layer, in my layer hierarchy.

Now, if we scrub back out in the animation, now you can see, okay, cool. I've got paint here, and I have this really cool shadow because it's making it appear as though, this section is kind of transparent. So, in order to better blend this with the background, I'm going to switch to my Blend modes here, and I'll change this to Multiply, which isn't going to appear to do too much, but if I go to T and adjust the opacity down, now, it's starting to look a little bit more like a shadow. And if you want, you can add less detail or take the detail down, just by increasing the blurriness.

So now, we have our paint drips coming in the scene and we have this cool shadow, and the shadow is even integrated into these different bars that came shooting out, for the resolution of our final animation. The only section is right here, where we have this vortex. We need to just trim away the shadow for that, so what I'm going to do is just, move my current time indicator to three seconds, and I'll select my shadow layer. Let's go ahead and rename that layer, call it Shadow, and Shift+Cmd+D, or Shift+Ctrl+D on Windows, to trim. And let's go ahead and slide down here.

And right about here, I want my shadow to reappear, because I want it to be there, as this moves out. So, let's go ahead and just trim the endpoint of that layer, just by dragging. So now, we have our shadow for our resolution, and the only thing that we're missing, is the shadow for grow and bloom. So, I'm going to task you with just duplicating this text layer, and adding the tint and blurring it out, the same exact way that we just did, for our petals. But overall, I hope you can see how we've taken the animation up to another level, just by sort of focusing on, some of the finer finishing points, for the animation.

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