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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 next step in the evolution of our project is to combine this animation with the raw snowboard render. The movement that we have on our camera has it coming to screen and then hitting the screen and that's really the transition point for us to get to full screen video. And so we're going to combine this video with our full screen video in a third composition and that will become our final rendered composition. So over here in the Project window I am going to go up to the very top and I have a folder here called Render. This is a folder that I put things in when I know it's the final composition in the pipeline that's going to be rendered out for the client.
And so I click on this folder and I am going to hit the New Composition button, and I am going to call this one MMM- 001 and then RSMB as in ReelSmart Motion Blur and then render. We're not going to be adding our ReelSmart Motion Blur in this particular movie. We're going to do that in the next movie, but I want to make sure to notate that on the name of the composition right now. This composition needs to be long enough to account for the length of our animation plus the snowboarder video, so I am going to make it 300 Frames long. And you can see I've already got a composition 960x540, 30 frames per second, 300 frames long.
I am going to hit OK. Now, we've got our composition open. And the two parts that we need are the composition that has the camera shake on it and then the full screen snowboarder video. Let's close up that video folder. And in the Working COMP's folder I am going to grab the shake composition and bring that in. And then in the Pre-COMP's folder I am going to get the Phone Screen PRE and bring that in. Now, I need to know where the Phone Screen is going to start. What I need to do is to go into the actual Phone Pass Pre and find out where that Phone Screen starts.
And so if I go into the Phone Pass Pre, I can back out in time here, I can see that here's my Phone Screen Pre layer and the video comes on at Frame 120. You can see I moved the time slider there. It shows me Frame 120 is where we're coming in at. So now, After Effects does a really cool thing. If you have compositions that are all linked together, it keeps the timelines of those and the time markers of those compositions all lined up. So if I go back to my ReelSmart Motion Blur render fold composition, I can go into that composition and it has already moved it to Frame 120 for me.
So now I can select my Phone Screen Pre and then hit the left bracket on the keyboard just above the Return key, and that automatically pops my layer in point to the current time marker. So now what I can do is check the transition from the animation where the phone hits the screen to the full screen video. So I am going to go forward in time to just before the phone hits and I'll use the Page Down key to go forward. So I am going to Page Down until the phone hits. And there is the last frame of the video. And when I go forward, you can see there's a jump.
I am hitting Page Up and Page Down to get back and forth. This is the last frame in the animation where the phone hits the screen and this is the full screen video. What's happening? There's two things going on. It's being colorized and also it's not the right size and position. So we're going to need to do some tweaks inside the precomps in order to make this video line up and also to change the color of it back to the more original color. We're going to go into the MMM-001 composition and inside there I am going to go to the last frame. I will hit End on the keyboard.
You can see that our video is in fact a little bit orange, and what's causing that orange are the light beams that we added to make our platform feel like it was emanating light. And so what we want to do is to keyframe the opacity of the light beams over time. Let's make this window just a just little bit larger. If I grab all three of these beams, I will hold down the Command or Ctrl key to select all three of those and hit T on the keyboard, I can see that at this point in time these two layers are all 0 and this third layer is at 50% and that's the layer that's colorizing my video.
So if I turn that layer off, you can see my video goes back to clear and so that's what I want to do. I am going to keyframe this Opacity. So I am going to back up in time, about five frames so I will Page Up, there we go, 144. I think that's good. And I am going to set an Opacity keyframe by clicking on the Make Keyframe button, go to the end of the composition again, and I am going to change the Opacity to 0%. So now that Opacity for that Beams layer will gradually turn to 0 and our video will become the correct color.
Now what we need to do is to go into the Phone Pass Pre and make some tweaks in there. So we're going to go into the Phone Pass Pre composition and there's two tweaks we need to make here. The first tweak we need to make is the Opacity of the reflection. The reflection at the very last frame needs to be out of the way. It needs to be off. And so at that point in time we need to make it 0% Opacity. So let's hit T on the keyboard for that layer. We've got the Phone_reflection there selected. And I am going to set a keyframe for that by clicking on the stopwatch.
That keyframe is 100% at the end frame. I am going to move this keyframe back to about Frame 146 or so and then let's go back in time. You know what, let's move it to about Frame 144. So I am going to move it to that point in time right there. Now I will scrub back to the end of that actual layer. And be careful. There's a slight discrepancy in the length of this composition. It's one frame too long and that was because of a render setting that we had set in CINEMA 4D. It's not a big deal for the compositing process, but it's something to be aware of. And so what I need to do is if you hit End on the keyboard, it takes you to this transparent frame, and I am going to hit Page Up on time.
That's the actual last frame of our actual animation. And so I am going to set the Opacity keyframe to be 0 here. So I'll set that to be 0% and now my reflections are out of the way. The last thing I need to do is to adjust the Position, Scale, and Rotation of our snowboard video so that it more closely lines up with the boundaries of the frame. That's going to make that transition to the full screen video much smoother. So let's find our Phone Screen PRE. That's this layer right here and I want to adjust the Position, Scale, and Rotation over time. So if I hit the P on the keyboard and that brings up the Position.
If I hold down the Shift key and hit R for Rotation and S for Scale, that brings up all those parameters. I only need to change the Position, the Scale, and then instead of the Orientation, we're going to change the X and Y and Z Rotation. And I think we're probably only going to have to change Y but I'll set the keyframes for all of those. Now, I am going to back up in time about to Frame 144 again-- And actually I am going to do it right about Frame 146. And at Frame 146 I am going to set keyframes again and these are going to be our starting point keyframes.
So now let's click to the next keyframe button and at this keyframe let's adjust our video so that it more closely matches the actual boundaries of the frame. So to do that, I am going to make this a little bit smaller and the first thing I am going to do is adjust the Rotation to try and get this line here parallel with the top of the frame. So if I go to the Rotation, I'll scroll down here and grab the Y Rotation, and if I actually scrub that forward, I can see that I have to go into the positive range to try and get it.
Now, I don't have to get it exact. I just need to get it close enough and I think I just about hit it with 2 degrees. Now what I need to do is adjust the Scale down. I am going to click on the transform handle and start to drag and then I'll hold the Shift key down and scale this into position. What I am looking for is the top and bottom of the frame to line up and that's pretty close right there. Now, the next thing I need to do is move it over to left so I don't have this black gap over here. So I will take this X handle and just drag it to the left so that our frame edges are even on both sides.
And I think I've got that pretty close. The way we can check it is by going back to the final composition and then paging up and down through the frames to check the smoothness of the transition. So let's go back to that composition and I am going to Page Up a few frames. And now I'll Page Down again and look at our video and you can see that's a much smoother transition. There we go! And I think that's going to work just fine. Checking the accuracy of that transition is really a crucial step and one that can't be overlooked, but as you can see, the effect of going from full screen animation to full screen video really creates a dynamic transition.
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