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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.
The compositing process really boils down to control. How much control can I get over my image, so that I can affect any part of it without having to go back to my 3D application? Multi-pass rendering gives us that control, and fundamental to that process is something called an object buffer. And an object buffer is a matte for any individual object within your scene, and what it allows me to do is to control that object inside of After Effects, or any other compositing program that allows for the idea of track mattes. Setting up an object buffer in CINEMA 4D is a two-part process. In this movie, we're going to do part one, which is creating a list of these object buffers that we're going to need inside of After Effects.
And so when I generate that list, what I'm doing is I'm looking at the image and asking myself a very fundamental question: what do I want to be able to control inside of After Effects, so I don't have to come back to CINEMA 4D? And if I scrub to the hero position for the whole animation--I'm just going to scrub ahead here, and we're at frame 96-- but now I can see all the important elements in my scene. And I know that I want to build control the type, that's one object buffer. The phone, that's another object buffer. The phone screen, that's another object buffer. And then the platform and the stadium, all of these different elements--and I think about the lights there as well--those are all things that I know I'm going to want to be able to control inside of After Effects.
And so I make that list. Sometimes I'll write that list out on a sheet of paper; sometimes it's just a mental list that I go through. And then I'll create a list for those elements inside of my Render Settings. So I'm going to click on the Render Settings button right here, and underneath the Multi-Pass options, I'm going to click on this and add in an object buffer. Now this is part one of the process, which is creating our list. And so we're going to be eventually changing this group ID here. But for now what I want to do is change the name, and the name that I want to use here is for the phone. The phone screen is the most important element in the entire scene, and so I usually put the most important element first. And so I'm going to double-click on that and hit number 1 on the keyboard, and that tells me it is object buffer one, and then write out where that object buffer is going to be assigned to. And it's going to be assigned to the phone screen, so I go, 1 phone screen.
Now this list that we're creating in CINEMA 4D is really for own informational purposes. We don't see any of this named inside of After Effects. What we are going to see inside of After Effect is the object group ID, and that's this number that shows up over here. Now because you can't name them, it's good to have a list here that does have a name, so it's easy to go back and figure out, well object buffer one, that goes to the phone. Object buffer three, that goes to something else. It makes a really easy go back and double-check that information. I need one more object buffer, and we're going to have seven in total, so we're going to repeat this process. I'm going to click on Multi-Pass, go to Object Buffer, and then I'm going to double-click on this one.
I'm going to call it 2, and crowd, and that's going to be for the crowd element that is repeated behind our actual stadium. So all this noise information here, that's the crowd of the stadium, and so I want to have an object buffer in case I need to change the color of that crowd. Next up are the stadium lights, so I'm going to add another object buffer, and I'll double-click on it, hit three, and call it stadium lights. And the stadium lights are these white panels that show up behind in the background that sort of rotate in the stadium, and those are going to be actual stadium lights that have a very bright glow on them, and so I won't to be able to control that glow in After Effects, so I need to have them as separate elements too.
Next up, add another object buffer. This is going to be number four, and number four is going to be something called pulses. And the pulses are these little guys. They look almost like little sausages traveling on a pole here, but what they are is a cylinder with rounded edges that is traveling along the length of another cylinder inside of a tube. I want to be able to control them inside of After Effects, so we need an object buffer for it. Next up is, let's add one more object buffer, and this is going to be number five, and number five is going to be for the pistons. And the Pistons are, what these guys, originally when I did the animation before I added the pulses, these were just going to be these large piston elements that sort of extruded from the base of the platform. And so eventually they turned into these light tubes with energy pulse, so I still call them pistons in the file.
So I'm going to call them pistons in the Multi-Pass settings as well. But what that's going to be is these tubes that surround the pulses. Let's add one more object buffer. It will be number six, and this is going to be base platform, and base platform is this guy right here that our phone emerges out of. And that's going to give us the ability to control the light and dark values on this base platform, so that we can have a little bit control in identify and highlighting that phone when it emerges out of it. The last object buffer we're going to add is going to be number seven, and that is going to be called all bg.
And basically all bg is everything in the scene that is not encompassed in one of these other object buffers. So basically, the stadium, the panels of the stadium itself, and all of these other background vertical shapes that are all throughout the scene, they are not a major element, but I still won't be able to control them in case I need to do some color correction. Now the last step in this listing process is going to be to make sure that our group IDs are all different and distinct. And if I click on the phone screen and hold down the Shift key and click of 7 all bg, now that shows me a listing now on the right-hand side of all of these group IDs. And you can see that it shows me the name up here and then the group ID right here below it.
And so what I want to do is make sure that each one of these matches the number on the list. So I'm going to go to the group ID and change it to match the number on the list. And so the first one is one. That's okay. The next one I'm going to change to number two. I-'ll just hit Tab and change that one to number three, and I'll tab over to hit number four, five, six, and seven, and that's very, very important. The group ID is the identification that CINEMA 4D uses in order to identify that particular object buffer, and if the groups IDs don't match the tags, which we're going to set up in the next movie, you will not get an object buffer.
So it's very crucial to know what these numbers are and to make sure that they're all distinct. One thing you may have noticed is that I don't have an object buffer for the type, and that's because I'm going to be rendering the type out as a completely separate pass. And so that pass will have an alpha channel, so I don't necessarily need an object buffer for it. So I only have object buffers for things that are going to get rendered together in the scene. That's gives me the ability to control those rendered-together elements inside of After Effects.
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