Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D


From:

Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

with Angie Taylor

Video: Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D

- 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.
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      2m 22s
  2. 54m 9s
    1. What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
      4m 23s
    2. What CINEMA 4D Lite can't do
      6m 54s
    3. Opening CINEMA 4D Lite in After Effects
      2m 38s
    4. Quick interface tour
      8m 46s
    5. Navigation tips for CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 5s
    6. CINEMA 4D Lite preferences and settings
      7m 28s
    7. Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1
      15m 55s
  3. 22m 34s
    1. Importing CINEMA 4D files in After Effects
      1m 5s
    2. The CINEWARE plugin settings
      4m 42s
    3. CINEMA 4D Lite render settings
      6m 15s
    4. After Effects project settings
      1m 23s
    5. After Effects previewing tips
      3m 50s
    6. Using the Picture Viewer in CINEMA 4D
      5m 19s
  4. 1h 14m
    1. Editing primitive objects
      5m 18s
    2. The Move and Scale tools
      7m 18s
    3. The Rotate tool
      4m 24s
    4. Axis limitations
      1m 46s
    5. Working cylinders
      7m 15s
    6. Linking body parts using object hierarchy
      9m 49s
    7. Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS
      7m 22s
    8. Adjusting NURBS settings
      4m 6s
    9. Using nulls as controllers
      3m 33s
    10. Creating copies with the Instance array
      6m 44s
    11. Carving shapes with the Boole array
      10m 28s
    12. Reshaping objects with deformers
      3m 14s
    13. Adding surface detail with a Relief object
      2m 55s
  5. 55m 41s
    1. Understanding coordinates
      5m 0s
    2. Understanding rotation
      2m 39s
    3. Timeline shortcuts
      3m 1s
    4. Basic keyframing of properties
      4m 31s
    5. Copying keyframes
      2m 3s
    6. Keyframe interpolation
      5m 20s
    7. Adjusting F-Curves
      5m 45s
    8. Holding values
      5m 8s
    9. Using XPresso to link properties: Part one
      4m 17s
    10. Using XPresso to link properties: Part two
      2m 27s
    11. Importing existing animations into CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 21s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 37s
    13. Animating using presets
      4m 32s
  6. 46m 57s
    1. Importing music and soundtracks
      4m 12s
    2. Customizing commands and shortcuts
      6m 7s
    3. Adding markers
      4m 25s
    4. Creating multiple cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 17s
    5. Cutting between CINEMA 4D cameras with CINEWARE
      5m 43s
    6. Creating cameras in After Effects
      4m 37s
    7. Merging 3D camera data into CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Animating cameras with Stage objects
      4m 27s
    9. Extracting cameras from CINEMA 4D files
      5m 59s
  7. 43m 49s
    1. Adding CINEMA 4D text to After Effects comps
      5m 4s
    2. Formatting text in CINEMA 4D
      5m 47s
    3. Creating CINEMA 4D text or logos in Illustrator
      6m 9s
    4. Importing Illustrator text into CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 38s
    5. Applying material presets to text
      7m 51s
    6. Merging CINEMA 4D files
      5m 51s
    7. Registering CINEMA 4D Lite for MoGraph features
      1m 8s
    8. Using MoGraph Fracture on text
      3m 25s
    9. The MoGraph Random Effector
      3m 56s
  8. 12m 8s
    1. Creating a wiggle expression
      7m 49s
    2. The Reset Position script
      4m 19s
  9. 30m 56s
    1. Applying a custom material
      6m 32s
    2. Making a metallic material
      6m 15s
    3. Adding an environment channel
      2m 20s
    4. Adding texture with shaders
      4m 21s
    5. Built-in material presets
      3m 52s
    6. Combining materials
      2m 41s
    7. Using selection sets to isolate surfaces
      4m 55s
  10. 27m 42s
    1. 3D camera tracking in After Effects
      6m 3s
    2. Creating nulls from tracking points
      2m 40s
    3. Adjusting the Shadow Catcher for CINEMA 4D
      3m 31s
    4. Importing a CINEMA 4D file into a scene
      4m 21s
    5. Exporting CINEMA 4D files from After Effects comps
      3m 42s
    6. Merging objects from CINEMA 4D files
      3m 23s
    7. Manually adjusting scenes between apps
      4m 2s
  11. 24m 26s
    1. Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D
      5m 48s
    2. Compositing CINEMA 4D layers in After Effects
      6m 52s
    3. Casting shadows on layers in CINEWARE
      5m 18s
    4. Adding reflections in CINEMA 4D
      6m 28s
  12. 36m 10s
    1. Using preset lighting setups
      6m 24s
    2. Light types in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 38s
    3. Creating visible lights
      7m 56s
    4. Adding ambient occlusion effects
      6m 55s
    5. Optimizing your CINEMA 4D scenes
      8m 17s
  13. 38m 54s
    1. Multipass compositing explained
      2m 28s
    2. Adding passes to render settings
      2m 8s
    3. Viewing passes in the Picture Viewer
      2m 35s
    4. Adding object buffers
      4m 51s
    5. External compositing tags in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 8s
    6. Previewing and experimenting with passes
      4m 30s
    7. CINEWARE multipass options
      9m 2s
    8. Adjusting reflections
      5m 23s
    9. Isolating elements with object buffers
      4m 49s
  14. 53m 2s
    1. Extracting 3D scene data
      8m 11s
    2. Adding video elements to a CINEMA 4D scene
      5m 49s
    3. Working with proxies
      10m 2s
    4. Color correction of shadows
      4m 10s
    5. Layer styles
      3m 50s
    6. Adjustment layers
      4m 58s
    7. Setting up depth of field in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Adding depth of field with camera lens blur
      4m 4s
    9. Speed ramps with time remapping
      4m 14s
    10. Motion blur with the Pixel Motion Blur effect
      4m 34s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. Rendering with the After Effects Render Queue
      5m 39s
    2. Background rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 6s
    3. The BG Renderer script
      4m 14s

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
8h 57m Beginner Aug 28, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
  • Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects CC workflow
  • Editing primitive objects
  • Spline modeling with NURBS
  • Animating with keyframes
  • Using Xpresso to link properties
  • Importing music and soundtracks
  • Creating and animating cameras
  • Working with text
  • Scripting
  • Creating and applying materials and textures
  • 3D camera tracking
  • Compositing layers
  • Lighting with visible lights and ambient occlusion
  • Adding visual effects in After Effects
  • Rendering in After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder
Subjects:
3D + Animation Video video2brain
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
Angie Taylor

Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D

- 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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects .


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Q: This course was updated on 01/15/2015. What changed?
A: We updated movies in chapter 5, 10, and 12, and added a new set of exercise files to make the course compatible with the latest versions of After Effects CC (2014.1) and CINEWARE. Watch the "Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1" movie for an overview of the changes.
 
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