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CINEMA 4D: Rendering Motion Graphics for After Effects demonstrates how to take a simple logo animation in CINEMA 4D and transform it into a compelling motion graphic with After Effects, incorporating two distinct visual styles. Starting with a prebuilt animation rendered from CINEMA 4D, author Rob Garrott employs industry-standard techniques, utilizing materials, lights, and the library of effects in After Effects, to enhance the project's look and feel. Exercise files accompany the course.
So our stadium is looking pretty hot from a standpoint of the glow effects and raising the temperature and energy in the scene, but now what we want to have to happen is we wanted that glow to feel as if it's emanating outward from the point of origin, and that point of origin is where the phone emerges from the platform. So, what we are going to do is we are going to use a 3D layer here inside of our composition to cause that glow to be revealed from the central platform outward towards the stand and the crowds and the lights. So, I am going to start off by making a new 3D solid.
So, I'll go to the Layer menu > New > Solid. Now, the color is not important, but the size is. I am going to make the width 960 x 960, so it's basically a square version of our composition size. Once again, the color doesn't matter. I am going to call this one Glow Reveal instead of Dark Gray Solid, and hit OK. Now, this covers up our composition. Next thing we want to do is make it a 3D solid. So I'll go to my Switches and modes and move over to Switches columns and click on the 3D Layer button, and my layer now moves.
Now the reason it moved is because of the 3D camera that we have from our CINEMA 4D file. What we want to do next is we want this 3D layer to show up exactly in the same location as this Platform Disc light, right in the center of the platform. So in order to do that, I am going to use the parenting pick whip and parent it to the Platform Disc light. Once I've done that, I don't need the Platform Disc light visible in the scene anymore. I am just going to turn its eyeball off. And now I can go to the glow reveal, hit P on the keyboard, reveal the position keyframes, and zero them out. When I zero that out, it's going to jump to the same location as that Platform Disc light.
So I will just type in 0, 0, 0, hitting the Tab key to move between those fields. Now, you can see it jumped to the right position, but now it's facing the wrong way. What I want to do is tilt this over, so that it's lying flat, or flush with the platform disc. So I am going to go to the Glow Reveal and hit R on the keyboard to bring up the rotation information. And on the x rotation, I am going to change it to -90, and that makes it flat over. Now, what I want to do next is create a circular matte on this layer, so I am going to double-click on the glow reveal, and that's going to bring it up in the Layer window. And I am going to enlarge this and then use the Comma key to get that smaller. And I am going to select the circular mask using the Ellipse tool.
Because I am working inside the Layer window, I know it's going to create an actual mask for me instead of a shape layer, so I'm going to hold down the Command key just after I click. So I am going to click to start drawing a circle, I am going to hit the Command key while I am dragging, and then I am also going to hit the Shift key. And you notice that I clicked very close to the center. I am going to undo that, just so you can see me do it again. I am going to zoom in here, and I am going to click as close to the center as I can and then drag outward, and you see it's off-center, but when I hit the Command key, that forces it to draw from the center from the click point outward. And then I'll hold down the Shift key.
That makes it constrain to a circle. And so I'll drag that out to about out there or so. It doesn't need to go all the way the edge. I just want it to go within the boundaries of the actual layer. That way if I make this matte have a soft edge, which I am going to do the next, it doesn't bleed over. So now what I want to do is bring up the Mask Feathering options. So if I raise this up and twirl open the Mask options, and go to the Mask Feather, and I am going to change it to, let's call it 50. That's pretty good. Now, I have got a soft-edge matte on there.
Let's go back to our composition window and see what that's doing. So now you can see that we have this soft-edge mask that's sitting on top of our platform glow. What we want to do is we want to use this layer to reveal the stadium glow. I am going to do two things: I am going to twirl that closed and I'm going to drag the glow reveal layer down above the stadium pass that has the actual Starglow effect on it. When I do that, you can see the glow for the Stadium Base layer. What we are going to do is set the actual Stadium Pass to use this layer as an alpha matte.
And so if I go into the switches, and I'm going to change this to be Alpha Matte and let's go to the Track Matte pulldown and go to Alpha Matte glow reveal, and you can see now that glow is now limited to the area shown by the actual Glow Reveal layer. The cool thing is if I go to the Glow Reveal layer, I'll hit S to bring up the scale. If I adjust the scale on this, it looks as if the glow is growing outward from the center of the platform, and that's exactly the effect I want.
So, I am going to start off with the stadium glow reveal at about 45%, so our stadium glow is not visible at all. And I am going to move to the camera shake point, because that's where I want the glow to actually start to emanate outward from the platform. So now if I go to the glow reveal, I am going to set a scale keyframe. I am also going to hit R on the keyboard to bring up the rotation information. I will make this a little bit bigger. For the x rotation, I am going to set a keyframe as well. Now, if I hit the letter U on the keyboard, that's going to hide all that other stuff I don't need to see and show me just the parameters that have keyframes on them.
And so now I can move forward in time to about frame 50 or so, 51ish, and at this point in time is where I want the glow to be fully revealed. And so I want to do two things: I am going to set the scale really big, about 300% or so, and then I'm also going to set the rotation to be zero. And when you do that, you can see that my glow is completely revealed. And let's make this a little bit smaller, so we can see the entire image. So now, over the course of this pullback, when they can reacts, the glow starts to reveal through the whole image.
I want to do one more thing with these keyframes. I want to take this x rotation keyframe and I want to move this one keyframe about halfway through, and that's going to have it feel as though it's really emanating outward from the platform, and then revealing all of the glow in the background. Let's go and double-check our positioning here at the last keyframe. I think that's pretty good. One other thing you should always do when working with 3D layers is move forward and backward in time to make sure they're not doing weird things for you. And if we move forward in time, we want to go to the point where the camera is farthest from the phone. And you can see that as I move forward in time, my actual reveal layer--there is the mask for it-- it's still visible.
Here I want to make sure that it's so large that it never comes back into the frame. So what I'm going to do is go to the scale and I am going to double-click on the scale keyframe that I had at frame 51, and I am going to change this to be about 375. There we go. That's feeling better. That's okay. That little creep right there won't affect us all. The important thing is that it's not showing up anyplace inside the main image. So now I am just going to just go back and scrub through to review and make sure that everything is looking okay, and I can see that my animation is revealing that glow nicely. And that's really the whole point of this exercise is creating a look and giving the impression to the viewer that the energy is emanating outward from this platform, and I think we've done that nicely.
So as you can see, animating this mask layer gives a really cool effect and really creates the impression that our energy is emanating out from the platform and we did it all with just a very few keyframes.
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