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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.
- Up until now we've worked on individual layers that contain all of the elements for the Cinema 4D file. But there are times where it makes sense to break things into individual elements and to treat them as individual elements within After Effects. If you're used to a layer-based, compositing work flow, then working in layers is a good option. And we're gonna have a look at how you can work with layers in Cinema 4D, and how you can take those layers and use them in Cineware to isolate all the elements within the scene.
Now we're in Chapter10_Start.aep. If you want to follow along, you can open that project, too. And the first thing I'm gonna do is select Chapter10_Start, and I'm gonna hit cmd+e to edit original. That's gonna open up Cinema 4D Lite R16, which is the version that I have installed on this machine. And this tutorial covers all of the new features in regard to layers in version R16. There's a few differences, both in Cinema 4D and the way that you set up the layers, and also in After Effects in terms of the way that Cineware interprets those layers.
So as I said, we'll start in Cinema 4D. What we're gonna first of all is set up layers. This currently doesn't have any layers. If we go to our layer manager down here, which is next to the attributes manager, you'll see that we currently don't have any layers. Now you can create layers by going to File, New Layer. But I tend to do it a different way. I tend to select my elements up here, and then add them into layers. Now we've got a few different elements here.
We've got our main robot, and then we've got our array, which is actually our group of circular robots. If I switch that off and on again, you'll see that's the array of robots. So first thing I'm gonna do, just to make this a bit more obvious as to what's happening, is I'm gonna put both of those robots groups into a null. So I'm gonna create a null called Robots. OK, and into that I'm gonna drag the main robot and the array. OK, so I've now got one element that represents both of these elements.
OK, now if I select that and right-click on it, I can say Add to New Layer. Now if I add that to the layer, notice it's added the top level elements, so the robots now. It hasn't added these elements, and it's highlighting the color of the layer that it's been added to here. And if I switch that on and off, you'll see nothing's actually happening. So this indicates why it's important, when you add something to a layer, that you select the element, but also all of the individual elements that are within that element.
OK, so if I want to add all of the elements within this robot now, first thing I have to do is go to Select Children, and then Add to Layer. OK, and now I have one layer that has all my robots in it. I can switch that on and off. So I've got a easy way of being able to turn elements on and off on a layer basis, OK, rather than having to go in and select all the individual elements from within here, I can select them on a layer basis.
OK. So let's close that up. Let's rename that Robots. OK, so I have one layer called Robots that I can solo, I can switch visibility on and off, and there are various other ways of making changes based on layers available to you in the layer manager. Now the next thing I'm gonna do is create a group for my text. Now these two elements are my text elements. I'm gonna just rename that one 'cause I've spelt it wrong, so let's rename that Back Building.
So Back Building text element, Front Building text element. What we're gonna do is create a new null called Text. OK, and we'll drag both Front Building and Back Building into it. We'll right-click on Text, say Select Children. And then we'll right-click again and say Add to New Layer. So this will create a new layer and add all of the elements within there to that layer. We'll call this Text. And again, we can now turn off that text, we can isolate the text.
Makes it a lot easier to manage our project in Cinema 4D. Now the final layer we're gonna create, we're gonna create by going to File, New Layer, and we're gonna call it Floor. OK, so the other way that you can get elements onto a layer is just by dragging them. I can just drag that element onto the floor there, and you can see now it's highlighted, showing me that it's part of the Floor layer. Now again, if I want to be consistent, I can drag that out from this group here, create a new null.
We'll call this Floor, and we'll drag the shadow catcher onto the floor. Also I just need to make sure that's added to the layer, so we'll say Add to Layer Floor, and now we have three layers with all the individual elements on the layers. So that's how you set up layers in Cinema 4D. And then we'll have a look later at how we can take those layers and access them in After Effects.
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