After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface


From:

After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface

In order to get comfortable working in the Cinema 4D environment, we need to definitely learn about the interface. Now I'm starting in After Effects just so you can see the interoperability between the two applications. If you look in the project panel, the top file is an imported C4D project. Make sure that project is sleeted, and then go up in the Edit menu and choose Edit Original. This'll cause C4D Lite to launch, and then we'll be inside of Cinema 4D. To get started, let's create an object, and then I'll go through the different parts of the interface.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 36m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 27s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface

In order to get comfortable working in the Cinema 4D environment, we need to definitely learn about the interface. Now I'm starting in After Effects just so you can see the interoperability between the two applications. If you look in the project panel, the top file is an imported C4D project. Make sure that project is sleeted, and then go up in the Edit menu and choose Edit Original. This'll cause C4D Lite to launch, and then we'll be inside of Cinema 4D. To get started, let's create an object, and then I'll go through the different parts of the interface.

In the upper right portion of the interface, we have the Create tools. Click and hold on this first tool here that looks like a box. That are cube tool, and these are different tools that we can use to create basic shapes for the start of our model. Let's choose the cube, when we hover over and let go, we've now created a cube in our scene. So this view here is like our view in After Effects. Now, in order to enable more than one view inside of Cinema, You need to go to the upper right corner, you'll see this box that looks like a box in a box,and if you click on this, battle enabled for views. You can easily switch to a different view by clicking back up in the upper right corner.

You'll always know what you you're in because the label will be in the upper left corner. Now let's jump back to the previous window by clicking back on that button again and then clicking back on our perspective view. If you look to the right side of the interface, this is the object manager. The cube that we created is a cube object, since that's currently selected in my object manager, my contextural menu down here in the lower right hand corner has updated to show me the properties of that cube object. Now if we go to the lower left portion of the interface, this is our material manager.

This is where we can create the properties that we're going to wrap around these shapes. Let's just apply a quick material to our cube. Go to the Create menu and choose New Material. Notice now that the material's selected our contextual menu has updated over here in the lower right corner. I can resize this menu by clicking and dragging on the top part of the interface. I want to choose a different color. Notice, within the interface, we have submenus. These are organized according to these little boxes. These boxes control the different channels that make up the material. So let's make sure we're on the Color section And I'm going to go to my RGB sliders and just click and drag my red over to the right. That's going to give it a slight red tint.

Now I could click in the color well here, and then just click a different color, and then click OK. Or I could click on the button just below that color and switch to a different color picker. So let's choose HSV. Now I can click and drag on the top slider and choose a slightly different hue. I'll choose this light blue. Now I can drag and drop this directly onto my cube to apply that material. When I let go, the material is now applied to my cube. Now that the material has been applied, my contextual menu has updated again.

As we continue working through different projects, you'll notice that we're bouncing back and forth through this contextual menu quite often. The interface of Cinema 4D makes it relatively easy to move from task to ask and understand exactly where you are in the process of creating your 3D elements. Now let's continue our tour of the interface. This slider here, with the numbers, is our timeline and this shows us exactly what frame we're on in the scene. I can click on this green box and drag down the scene and that'll control what frame I'm looking at in my animation.

I've transport controls here. If I click the play button, it's automatically going to play through the frames. By default, Cinema will go ahead and loop your scene. I'm going to go ahead and stop playback just by clicking on that button again. If we move over to the right, we have these red circle buttons. These are keyframe controls. There are different methods for adding keyframes in Cinema, just like there are different methods for adding keyframes inside of After Effects. Notice the different Material options in my contextual menu over here. Next to the different options we have circles, and these circles are very similar to the stopwatches that you have inside of After Effects. This is where you can add keyframes to the different parameters. Also, like After Effects, if you go to the upper-right corner of the interface, there is a Layout option.

If you click on that layout, it'll change to different workspaces. Workspaces in cinema are known as layouts. Let's choose the Animation Workspace. In here, notice I get a layout that's completely different and in the bottom of the interface I have more controls over the timeline. If we had more elements in our project. We would be able to make adjustments in the timeline. But we'll definitely get to that as we keep moving through the chapter. Let's go back out to our Layout options and change it back to the Standard layout. Rounding out our tour, over here on the left side are our selection tools. Now there are different ways to select 3D objects. Right now, I have a simple 3D object that I've added to my scene. The way 3D objects work, I can change the different parameters of that object relatively quickly and visually inside the composition window. If I click on this orange square on the x-axis, when I click and drag, I'm now changing the size of that cube on its x-axis. Notice that updates down here with this controller. This is the coordinate manager.

I can type other parameters in here. Like, let's say I want to adjust the H setting, the heading. Let's type in thirty and click A pply. Now our rectangular box has rotated 30 degrees. In the modeling process, we can convert our shapes into polygons. And to do that, it's this last button that we're going to look at, here in the upper-left corner. When I click on that, it's going to make this object editable. Now I can use these different selection methods to select different parts of the object.

For example, if we click on edges, when I hover over top of the shape, notice here now I can click on this top edge and that gives me a control that I can go ahead and click on the control handles. and change the shape. And of course as you're working through your scene you're going to have to change the angle of your view. If you go back up to the right corner of your view port. We can go ahead and click on this rotation area. Now when I click and drag I'm rotating around the scene. I can zoom in and out of the scene and I can pan around the scene. These options are very similar to using the unified camera tool inside of After Effects.

I can also use keyboard shortcuts to rotate around the scene as well. If you hold down the Opt key on the Mac or Alt on Windows, as you left click you can rotate around the scene. When you middle click you can pan around the scene and when you right click you can zoom in and out of the scene. Notice, if I right click directly over a specific area, I get cross hairs letting me know what area I'm zooming in and out of. So when it comes to making adjustments and getting familiar with the Cinema 4D interface, I hope you can see that they are very similar aspects to the After Effects work space. I know the interface appears slightly different, but underneath the hood, it's more similar than you think.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .


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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
 
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
 
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