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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors

Importing the project into AE and adjusting multipass composite settings


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Mograph Techniques: Animating with C4D Effectors

with EJ Hassenfratz

Video: Importing the project into AE and adjusting multipass composite settings

The integration with After Effects is one of the strengths of CINEMA 4D. You can quickly and easily import your 3D camera data, lights, and render passes to add the finishing touches to your animation inside of After Effects. So I have After Effects open here. I'm going to import our footage in our saved 3D data that we saved out as CINEMA 4D. I'm just going to go to File > Import > File and navigate to your AEC file that we saved. This is going to have all of our 3D information from CINEMA 4D. I'm going to click Open.

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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

Importing the project into AE and adjusting multipass composite settings

The integration with After Effects is one of the strengths of CINEMA 4D. You can quickly and easily import your 3D camera data, lights, and render passes to add the finishing touches to your animation inside of After Effects. So I have After Effects open here. I'm going to import our footage in our saved 3D data that we saved out as CINEMA 4D. I'm just going to go to File > Import > File and navigate to your AEC file that we saved. This is going to have all of our 3D information from CINEMA 4D. I'm going to click Open.

If I go to our Project window, if I twirl down this main pixel folder, you see that there is a comp in here and all of our render passes. Now, if I double-click on this comp, you can see that this has all of our cameras, lights, our 3D null that we had in external compositing tag added to in CINEMA 4D, all of our individual passes, reflection, ambient occlusion, shadow, specular, all of this stuff, and you can see that they also have all of their blending modes added as they should be added to re-create our composition inside of After Effects.

So if I go ahead and solo each of these layers, you can see this reflection pass just has a reflection from CINEMA 4D. Ambient occlusion just has our ambient occlusion from the CINEMA 4D scene. Shadow, specular and our main diffuse pass. And once you have all of these together, you create your scene as you would have seen it inside of CINEMA 4D. Then there is our 3D null as well. So since you have all of these passes separate, you can now adjust each of these individual passes.

So say I want more reflection. I'll just go ahead and duplicate this reflection pass and if I toggle this on and off, you can see that it adds a lot more reflection. Say you wanted to have less shadow. I can go in here and just adjust the Opacity of our shadow pass, and you can see that that's adjusting the shadow in our viewport. That's a huge thing to be able to make these slight adjustments without having to re-render out of CINEMA 4D. It's always an important practice to render out all of these passes separate so you can do all of these changes inside of After Effects.

So the first thing I'd like to do when I bring in footage into After Effects is do just a little bit of color correcting. So I'm just going to create a new Adjustment layer. I'm going to go to Effects > Color Correction, and I'm just going to add curves. I'm just going to add a little bit of contrast by jacking up the highlights and making the shadows a little bit darker. So you can see when I turn this on and off, it adds a nice little contrast, brightens up the brighter areas. You can also go and adjust each individual color pass. Say I wanted to add a little bit more blue to our scene, some blue hue.

All I have to do is just adjust the Blue curve here. You can see we have more blue hue being added to more of our scene, even getting these darker areas a little bit of blue tint to it. I can actually bring that back to not have these darker areas so blue. That adds some nice color into our scene. So if I turn this on and off, you can see that just adding a slight curve adjustment can really brighten things up, make your scene a little bit more interesting. So having all these passes brought in as separate layers is a smart workflow, because that enables you to quickly adjust each pass inside of After Effects and saving you from having to render out the entire animation all over again for just small adjustments.

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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