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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
Creating Cinema 4D files inside of After Effects is a great way to open up your workflow to a true 3D application. After Effects supports Cinema 4D files in two different ways. If you currently have a license of Cinema 4D, you can import your C4D projects directly into After Effects and render out of After Effects. If you're a new user of After Effects you have Cinema 4D as part of the build. And you can create Cinema 4D files from within After Effects. That's the work flow that we're going to explore today. If you look in the project panel you can select the Create Composition. I want you to make note of the project settings. Here where are project is set at 1280 by 720 square pixels. It's 10 seconds long at 24 frames a second. It's important to understand this because when we launch cinema 4D we're going to have to make some adjustments to make sure that the C4D project matches what we're doing inside of After Effects.
So to create your first C4D layer make sure you've selected the composition panel then go up under the layer menu and choosie new, maxon cinema 4D file. Now if you don't have access to the exercise files you can save this file anywhere i just recommend saving it to somewhere next to your After Effects project. If you have access to the exercise files you can navigate to the Chapter 8 folder. In there, I'm going to create a new folder and just coll it Cinema projects. You probably already have this folder.
So you can just choose that folder when you save your project. I'll name our file explore and then go ahead and click Save. You probably already have a file with this name, so you can go ahead and save right over that old file. If this is the first time you've launched Cinema, you may get a popup menu asking you to register the software. I definitely recommend registering. And when you've finished with that process, go ahead and come join me here inside of Cinema 4D Lite. I realize the first time you open Cinema 4D Lite the interface may look a little intimidating because it's so different from After Effects.
But believe it or not, a lot of the features function in a very similar fashion. If you look to the right side of the interface you'll notice that we have panels. And these panels are very similar to After Effects in that they have the little grips on the left side. And you can move them around the interface. Let's focus on this panel in the lower right corner. I'm going to click on the top of it and just drag up so we can see all the information. In your normal Cinema 4D workflow, this panel is contextual, and it'll change based on what you have selected in your project.
By default, it's opening to the project settings. So let's look at our project settings and remember what our After Effects composition settings were. So if we look at our project, the first thing we should notice right here is this FPS setting. This is the frames per second, and it controls our view of the timeline down here in our project. So let's change our frames per second from 30 to 24. Now come over to the Maximum Time area. This will allow us to change the length of the project.
Now since our composition settings in After Effects were 10 seconds at 24 frames a second, we need to choose a maxiumum time of 240 frames. See the settings inside of Cinema go off of frames. Typically in a 3D applicatoin you would be rendering still iamge files, and each image file would represent one frame in your animation. Now with this integration we don't have to render frames out of cinema, we have rendered them directly out of After Effects but its important that we match all the sentences, so lets continue on and go down to the bottom of the project settings panel down here you will notice linear workflow is selected This is color management and linear workflow is going to give you the highest quality renders outside of After Effects. I did talk a little bit about the specifics of linear workflow earlier in the course, but to summarize Linear work flow gives you an expanded range of colors and luminance values.
This will allow you to create some really realistic renders straight out of your cinema 4D projects. You don't have to use linear workflow. I just generally recommend using it. So we'll leave linear work flow selected. And then we can leave our color profile set to RGB. Before we jump back to After Effects, we need to make one more adjustment in our Render Settings. Even though we're not creating files straight out of Cinema, After Effects will reference the Render Settings when it goes to create the render. So let's go up to the top center portion of the interface. In this tool bar here,you'll see three buttons that have clapboards on the front of them.
The rightmost button are your Render Settings. It's the one that has the cog in the background. Go ahead and click on that button and open the Render Settings. Now even though our comp settings in After Effects are 1280 by 720 Cinema 4D will only render a maximum 800 by 600 out of these Render Settings if you tried to render just a frame. Since we're using this round trip work flow, we can change our output sentence. Go ahead and click on this button underneath the word output. This is very similar to the preset options you have inside of your comp settings in After Effects.
If we go to the film and video group. In here let's go down and change our project to HDV HDTV 29.97. Once we choose that, we need to change the frame rate to 24. Now you'll see this message that says image resolution applications license limit of 800 x 600. This is just a function of Cinema 4D Lite. And like I said, as long as you're going to render this project directly out of After Effects, you don't have to worry about this issue. Now if we come down to the bottom, we have an option for frame range here. You can render still frames out of Cinema and, by the default settings here, it's just going to render 1 frame.
just because I like everything to have the same settings I'm going to click on the frame range and change it from current frame to all frames. Now notice our project goes from 0 frames to 240. If you're working with interlaced footage you can change the fields settings here. Since we're working with progressive footage I'm just going to leave that alone and close my Render Settings. Now that we've set up our Project Settings, our Render Settings, and our Color Profile, we're ready to go to our project settings and press Save. After Effects won't load any of these settings until you save the project file. Now, let's jump back into After Effects and make sure that everything's lined up. I'm going to press Cmd+Tab on the Mac, on Windows you can press Ctrl+Tab to jump over to your C4D application.
On the left side we have Effects Control panel, and this is the Cineware Control panel. We'll definitely continue exploring this, but I want you to go down here to the timeline. If you select a layer 1, notice it ends at three seconds. I can click on the right side of this layer and drag it all the way out to make sure that it's going to last the full 10 seconds of our project. Now the last thing we need to do is set the color settings of our After Effects project. Since we did turn on linear workflow, we have to increase the color settings in After Effects.
So, let's go over to the project panel. If you look in the bottom of the project panel, see how it says eight BPC? That setting is too low for a linear workflow. So what we need to do is go up to the file menu, and go to our project settings. In the project settings, you want to go to the color setting section and change the depth from 8 bits per channel to 16 or 32. I generally recommend 32. Now for the work space, this is where we want to make sure we match the SRGB setting.
So click on that pull-down and choose sRGB. Last thing we need to do is confirm that we are linearizing the work space. Once we've done that, we can go ahead and click OK. Now we can save our After Effects project and the workflow between Cinema and After Effects is going to work perfectly.
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