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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.
In order to get the highest quality 3D graphics out of your cinema 4D layers in After Effects, you'll want to utilize the multipass work flow. And if you're unfamiliar with the term multipass, let me go ahead and create some multipass layers so we can talk about how those layers function to give us an added level of control over the appearance of our 3D objects. Let's select layer 1. And then with layer 1 selected let's go to our effects control panel. In there we have our CINEWARE options and if you scroll down towards the bottom. We have multi-pass linear workflow.
Go down to the Add Image Layers button and press it. Now we've automatically added a bunch of layers of multipass renders. The object that was rendered out of Cinema was originally being displayed as one individual layer. But the way After Effects works, you can blend multiple layers together to get a high quality image. Well, if I make the size of my timeline a little bit larger, just so you can see all the different multipass layers. You can also notice that we have different blend modes applied to those layers. So it's the mixture of all these layers that actually makes up the quality of this model.
Having the ability to access each one of these individual layers gives me the ability to apply just slight tweaks and changes. For example, if we go to the specular layer I could go ahead and solo that layer so you can see exactly how it's affecting the image. So let's turn the specular layer solo button off and press T to open its opacity. And let's just click and drag to change how it blends into our 3D model. And notice as I drag it down to around 40%, now our model is significantly less bright.
If we crank that up to 100%, now it's kind of popping off the screen. If I wanted to have even more control, I could just select this layer and press command D to duplicate. And then I'd have an even brighter scene. You get the idea. Once you have a multi-pass layer created, you have the utmost control over the individual aspects that make up that model. Now most of the time when I'm working, I don't want to automatically create all of these different layers. I just want to be able to specify The individual layers that I'd like to be able to work with. So to do that, we actually need to go over into Cinema. But when we're in Cinema we're also going to look at some of the other render options to make sure that we're going to have the highest quality models, coming out of our Cinema 4D projects.
So before we jump over to Cinema, I'm going to collapse layer 11, and, click on layer 12 and shift click on layer one to select them all and we'll just delete all these extra layers. Let's make sure to turn Visibility of our multipass c4d layer back on. Now let's select Layer1 and press Cmd+E on the Mac or Ctrl+E on Windows to edit the original file. Once you're in cinema, go to the button that has the clapboard with the cog on it. That's our Render Settings button. We'll go ahead and open our Render Settings and I want you to jump down to anti-aliasing.
With anti-aliasing selected, let's change the aliasing from geometry to best. This'll ensure that the model renders at beautifully high quality. Now the filter option allows me to render for still images and animation. So let's click on that and choose Gauss animation. Now that we have our antialiasing settings set up, let's go ahead and click on multipass. Notice in the multipass section, we don't have anything loaded yet. So let's go down here to the multipass button. If you click on the button, you can see all these different multipass layers, like we just created in After Effects.
Now I just want to access a few of these areas. Let's start by adding a material colour pass and then we can click on multipass again. And this time we'll choose specular. And then we'll add one more thing. Click on multipass and this time choose object buffer. Now, the object buffer is specified as buffer number one. Now, we haven't added an object buffer yet, but we'll do that after we close our Render Settings. Now we want to make sure to enable multi-pass, so go ahead and check that box. Now we've specified the individual passes that we'd like to render out of our Cinema project.
Let's go ahead and close our Render Settings. Now we need to specify that object buffer. So go over to your H plus logo and select it. If you go to the tag section you can go to Cinema 4D tags. Then under here we have a compositing tag. If we select that, there's a channel called object buffer. When we're in the object buffer channel, go ahead and click enable. The buffer is set to number one. It's important that this buffer match the object buffer number that we set up in our Render Settings.
Now we're actually ready to save this so we can go back into our cinema project. So I'm going to go up into the file menu, and choose Save. Now I'm going to jump into After Effects. Make sure to wait for a second, and then After Effects should reload with all the new changes. Go ahead and select layer 1. With layer 1 selected, now you'll notice Defined Multi-Passes is able to be selected. Let's go ahead and select that. Now, when we click Add Image Layers, it's only going to add the three different channels that we specified.
Now notice it automatically turned off my main background layer, so let's just turn that back on. Now things still don't look quite right. Any time you realize you're in this situation, that's when you utilize the Solo button. So, let's select our Object Buffer layer and go ahead and click the Solo button. Here you can see I've got a luminescence render of my object, that's how the Object Buffer works. It gives you the alpha channel of whatever your 3D graphic is. We'll use this in a second. For now, we want to drag it to the top of the layer hierarchy and just disable it. So let's turn off solo and turn off the visibility for our multi pass object buffer.
Now we have our specular layer that's on top and I know that's fine. And then our next layer is this material color. I have a feeling when we turn this off everything is going to look okay. And shown off it is. The material color pass is designed for us to actually change the color of our graphic and in order for it to function properly we've to change the blend mode. So first lets turn on the visibility for layer 3 and then go up under the effect options. In here I want you to go to color correction and then we can choose color balance hue levels saturation. Now that we've applied this effect, it's giving me a warning, just letting me know that, hey, this isn't a 32-bit effect.
But honestly, that's okay. The way that we're going to blend this, it'll work. Now, if we go to our Modes panel, let's change the Blend mode from Normal to Color. Now once we've changed it to color, notice our logo has popped back into the scene. But let's change the color. I'm going to click and drag on the hue value, and it's going to crank around the hue. But since I don't have any saturation in my original render, I'm going to go ahead and just increase the saturation, cause it's there. It's just very subtle. So now we've made our logo kind of red.
I'm going to keep clicking and dragging around 'til I get something that's a little more purple. There we go. We'll set it for a value of 92. Now, since I have this material color layer as its own individual layer. I can press T to adjust the opacity. Let's click and drag the opacity down just the blend the purple in a little more subtly. Now just like in our earlier example, we could duplicate the specular channel or adjust its opacity. For now, I actually think this looks perfect.
Let's look at the alpha channel for our graphic, though. If we click on the channel pull down, we can switch it to alpha. And notice We don't have any transparency in the background. Well, that's why I rendered the object buffer. So let's turn our RGB channels back on and enable the object buffer. Now when you see it, it's just going to blow everything out. But if we change the blend mode, we can switch it from normal To stencil luma. What this will do is create a stencil based on the luminance value.
So we can go ahead and enable that, and sure enough, we've got our logo back in the scene, and yes. if we go ahead and check out our alpha, we have our full alpha channel. So, I'll just enable our GB again, and as you can see, when you have multipass rendering enabled inside of Cinema, you can really step up the quality of your renders.
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