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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.
Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects have always worked well together. And there are many different ways you can move information between the two applications, based on the style of our animation. Which is pretty straightforward, we really only need worry about getting our graphics rendered with an alpha channel. So, we'll render a couple of Photoshop image sequences out of Cinema 4D. Now, if we look at our project, I have vine elements and I have flower elements. Now, in order to have the most level of flexibility in After Effects, I want to actually render each one of these to a separate pass.
Now, those of you that have After Effects CC, you could just import the Cinema 4D project and use Synaware to access each one of these elements separately since they reside on their own layers. We'll get to that in another video. For now I'm going to show you a more traditional work flow of just rendering these image sequences. So, let's turn the visibility of our flower element back on. And make sure that, it will render. And we can turn the visibility off for our vines. Let's set up our flower render first.
So I'm going to go up under File and choose Save As and I'll save a copy of my project. We'll call this 205 Rendering Flower. Now, I'm saving this in my exercise files. You can save this wherever you like on your system. I'll go ahead and click Save. Now before we render, obviously we need to adjust our Render Settings. So let me go up to our Render Settings here and we'll start under Output. And just make sure the Frame Range is set to All Frames. Then under the Save settings, let's specify an area where we're going to save the files.
Again I'll save mine to my exercise files. In the Footage folder, in there I have a folder called Prerenders. In the Prerender folder, we can just go ahead and just name this PetalMove and click Save. Now I want to save this as a Photoshop image sequence, so I'm going to click on the TIF option here and just choose PSD. Let's make sure we have Alpha Channel enabled and Straight Alpha Channel. Now let's check our Anti-Aliasing Settings and make sure that they're set up to the best settings, and under Filter we want it set up for animation.
We can leave Ambient Occlusion checked and go ahead and close our Render Settings. Now, all we have to do is just save our Project file. Now, in order to cue off the Vines render, I'm going to go ahead and turn off my Flower element, and turn on my Vines. And I'll save another copy of my Project file. This time, this won't be called Flower, this'll be called Vines. Again, I'm saving this in my Exercise files folder, 02. And now let's specify a new name for this sequence. So let's go up under our Save settings and just click on the three buttons here.
Instead of calling this petal move, we'll call this vines. And then click Save. Now all we have to do is, close our Render settings and, you guessed it, save the Project file. Now, Cinema 4D has a Render Queue. So we can go ahead and queue this up in the Render Queue. If we go up into the Render options here, and then go down to Render Queue. In the Render Queue, I want to go up under File, and say Add Current Project, it's automatically going to add that to the Render Queue. And let's go ahead and choose Open to add our other project.
So, here I'll make sure I'm choosing the 0205 Rendering Flower Project. And click Open. So now we have vines and flowers set up to Render. And all we have to do to render this sequence is to go up under Jobs and choose Start Rendering. Now, I'm going to do a quick cross-fade here, so you don't have to sit here through the render. But, we'll just pick up here in a quick second. So, cinema 40 has finished rendering, now it's time to jump into After Effects and import what we've created. Let's double click in the Project panel to open our Import File Options here and go to the Footage folder in PreRenders.
And we'll import our petal move, make sure it's set for Photoshop Sequence, and click Open. Make sure we have the Alpha Channel interpreted as straight and we can click OK. And then double-click one more time and let's scroll down until we see our next Render, our Vines. Again, make sure we have Photoshop Sequence selected, and click Open. Again we'll make sure it's straight. And now, we can just go ahead and take our PetalMove and drag it right down into our Composition button.
This makes our new composition the proper length, or does it? Well, if we look at this you can see it's only four seconds, but the issue is it's being interpreted at 30 frames a second. So let's just undo that last move here. And I'm going to right-click directly on our petal move sequence, and go to Interpret Footage, and under Main, I'm going to change it from 30 frames a second to 24. You can do the same thing here for our vines. Interpret Footage, and we could set this to 24.
So now let's try this one more more time. I can drag my petals down. There we go, we have a nice 5-second comp. If we scrub through, you can see our animation is imported beautifully. And we can drag our Vines in as well. Notice the vines will appear in the one section where they were inside of Cinema. But we can turn around and move these around a little bit later, when we go to adjust some timings. So I'll just turn the visibility off for my Vines layer, and move it to the bottom of my layer hierarchy.
Now, even though we only have our animations prerendered as sequences. There's still plenty of ways we can stylize and continue to polish this animation.
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