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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.
When you get to this stage in a project, things can start to get pretty slow. You'll notice that now that I've added light and reflections and shadows and all those elements, things are really starting to slow down here in After Effects. I'm in chapter 11 or 9.aep. And what we're going to do is have a look at ways of optimizing our scene in Cinema 4D to help speed up our work flow. There are certain things that you can do here in After Effects with adaptive resolution. And some of the Cineware settings that we've had to look at, but what we're going to concentrate here is how to optimize a scene in Cinema 4D.
So open up chapter 11 or 9 and follow me. I'm just going to select chapter 1109 here in After Effects, if you haven't already got it open, hit command E, or contorl + E on Windows. I'm just going to jump straight to Cinema 4D 'cause I already have this file open, chapter1109.c4d. What I'm going to do here is, I'm going to have a look at various ways of optimizing the scene. But the first thing I'm going to do just to check how quick it is to render is to go to Render in the Picture Viewer.
And the shortcut for that is Shift+R to Render to Picture Viewer. And you'll notices that when I render it, it will tell me here how long it's going to take to render. Now, I've just done a test rendering it took 11 seconds to render one frame. And that's really too long for this project. You see this frame is actually taking 13 seconds, or, seems to be longer. So, how can I optimize it? Well, I can optimize it in various different ways, but one way is to use the Render Settings.
And if we have a look here at my Render Settings, I'm going to go to Render > Edit Render Settings. I just have my standard rendered settings setup here. And I've added ambient (UNKNOWN) to them so that actually makes things take a lot longer to render. Now you can adjust the settings, I could bring the maximum (UNKNOWN) say 30. And it'll take the accuracy down to 25.
We'll also adjust the minimum and maximum samples two and six. And let's see what a difference that makes so lets hit Shift + R. And we should see our scene rendering a little bit faster than before. Now I can adjust the view here. So I can see my image at 100%. So we could go down to, say 50%. But it takes 8 seconds, so that really has improved the amount of time.
That's 5 seconds we've lost. Now you'll notice that it's 63%. I can't really see my image clearly enough, so I'm going to go back up. To 100 of course I could type in 100 here. But I'm just going to keep clicking. And then what else can we change? Well, if you're going to be changing a lot, it's best to create a child of your render settings. So I'm going to create a new child, and I'm going to call it. Optimized ambient occlusion, and now when I make any changes it won't affect my original.
Now that is selected as the current one, so what I'm going to do is go into my options and another checkbox I'm going to check is limit shadows to soft. Now I'm not sure if I have any area shadows in here. But if I do, switching them to soft will really help the render time. Now that has helped the render time but it really changed the appearance of my image. So, let's go back, time that back to what it was before which was area shadows.
And then we can maybe revisit that a little bit later. If there's something that you think you want to keep, you can compare the frames here. You can say, OK, that's it without area shadows, that's it with it. It's actually a lot better with than without. Can I find other ways of reducing this? So let's try some other ways. So lets go into antialiasing and we can take the filter for antialiasing from cubic still image to Gaussian animation. Now for producing frames for animation they don't need to be as accurate as frames for a still image have to be and you'll see that softened our image a bit.
But it's acceptable. Particularly when it's moving, I think that's perfectly acceptable. Now, that hasn't really given us much time for, so let's try some other ideas. So let's go back into our options. And let me think. What could we take out here? Well, let's go and see if we can adjust that light somehow. So, we're going to go into our project, and we're going to find the lights that are causing the problem. So I'm going to type in light into my search field And I think the light that's actually causing the problem is the left eye light here which has an area setting instead of shadow map setting.
Now let's just render that quickly, Cmd+R, Ctrl+R on Windows just to see how it looks. Now I've just switched that one off so let's. Hit Shift + r, to find out if that's going to help us. And that's brought it down to a value of two, so rather than switching off at the preferences, switching the lights off individually can sometimes give you a better result. So there we are at eight seconds, there we are at two seconds, and not too much difference. And a lot better than the result we had before when we switched off the shadows through the preferences.
So what else can we do? Well, I've lost a little bit of detail, I think what I'm going to do is go into my render settings again. So let's go to render, edit render settings and what I'm going to do is just come in here To ambient occlusion, and just adjust the contrast. So let's give it 30 percent contrast. And let's go back to here, and hit Shift + r again. And that's starting to bring back a little bit of detail.
You'll see it's darkening some of the areas. Giving us the effect of having a little bit more detail in the image. And we're still at two seconds per frame. So I think that's pretty good, actually, two seconds per frame is pretty acceptable. But I have one that I've worked on a little bit further, and I'm going to open that up here for you. So, it's also in the Chapter11 folder. Chapter11_End.c4d. And you'll see here I've done even more work, and I've gone into the render settings, and actually saved an optimized render setting there.
So you can see my ambient occlusion settings in here, then in my options, I have limited the shadows, and I've done some work on the individual lights. To try and compensate for those shadows. I've also taken the sunlight out and created my own infinite light which is easier to control. And that reduces the amount of rendering because the sunlight uses area shadows as well. So by bringing in a new light that mimics sunlight, has no shadows, I can really start to optimize my file.
So if I hit Shift + R with that one, you'll notice that's down to 2 seconds, as well. So I've got now 2 or 3 images that are 2 seconds. I can go through and just decide which one I want to go with. This one's got a little bit more reflection, this one a little less. So it just depends on what you want for your individual needs. So that's a little bit about how you can optimize the frames of your animation to decrease render times. And you'll see that if I open up this second After Effects project which is the finished one.
With the optimize cinema four d file I can preview my composition a lot faster than I could before. So taking time to do a little bit of optimization is really quite useful and essential to working smoothly with after effects in cinema four d.
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