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Understanding materials

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Understanding materials

When you want to add color and detail to your models, you need to explore Materials. And in order to apply materials, we need to be in Cinema 4D. So let's go to the Project panel, and make sure we have Materials.c4d selected. Then press Cmd+E or Ctrl+E on Windows to edit the original file. Once in Cinema, go to the upper right corner in the Objects panel. At the top, you'll see we have bars et cetera, which is a null object. If we expand that null, you can see I have a couple primitive objects that make up these different models, and they're bent with the bend former. Let's go ahead and collapse that.

Understanding materials

When you want to add color and detail to your models, you need to explore Materials. And in order to apply materials, we need to be in Cinema 4D. So let's go to the Project panel, and make sure we have Materials.c4d selected. Then press Cmd+E or Ctrl+E on Windows to edit the original file. Once in Cinema, go to the upper right corner in the Objects panel. At the top, you'll see we have bars et cetera, which is a null object. If we expand that null, you can see I have a couple primitive objects that make up these different models, and they're bent with the bend former. Let's go ahead and collapse that.

Our H+ logo is an extruded Illustrator file. If we open that up, you'll see we have a null object that contains different splines. This is always a dead give away that this was an extrude nerves object created from an illustrator file. I bring this up because we can apply textures differently based on the type of model that's in the scene. Let's go ahead and collapse our h plus logo. And to create our first material, we need to go down to the material manager in the lower left corner of the interface. If you click on the create option, we have an option to create a new material.

Let's do that for now. When you create your first material, you can rename that material just by double clicking on the name. Let's call this Base. This'll be our base material for our object. Now, if we double-click on the material, we'll have the Material Editor. This is where I want you to look when you're first getting comfortable creating different materials. Notice, on the left-hand side, we have channels. These channels will offer different levels of control to create that material. For now let's make sure we have color selected and change the color.

I want to change it to the blues, so let's go ahead and click in the color well and crank through the hues until we get to the blue and then we'll just click in the blue area and click OK. To be looked back at our channels the only other channel the selected is Specular, this controls this highlight on our model. Now by default the mode is plastic and the Specular highlight is kind of wide. Let's increase the height, and that's going to give a little bit more pop to the dimensionality of this material. When you apply materials to objects, it's these setting that help actually define that object in a 3D environment.

Now I want to change the width down a little bit for our Specular highlight, and that's going to give it a little bit more of that polished shine look. There's another channel we should check out, and that's Transparency. If you select Transparency, it's automatically going to make it completely transparent. I don't want that. So I'll bring the brightness down just by clicking and dragging on the slider. Now this makes it semitransparent. Let's leave it set around 50%. Now, let's go ahead and close our material editor. We have a base layer that we can apply onto our model.

In order to apply it, we can click and drag on the material and drop it right in the viewer. Or I can drag directly in the Objects Manager. Lets go ahead and, and let go. And you'll notice the materials been applied, and i can see it in the Objects Manager. If we want to see what the material looks like, we'll go ahead and load up our preview just by clicking the Render View button. Now I can see that it's transparent. And I can see some of the Specular highlights on our model. Now, even though we have Specular highlights on the model, this is our default light inside of Cinema. Obviously, when you go to export your models, or finish your textures, you want to make sure to light the scene.

Lighting will drastically change the quality and appearance of your materials. Now, just so we can focus solely on materials, we're not going to jump into working with any other light right now except the default light. Now, we've created one base material, but what if you want to create some other materials? Well, there are a number of presets that are excellent and they're built into Cinema 4D Lite. Let's go up under the Window menu, and choose content browser. In here, I have a bunch of presets. Let's look in the Light presets just by clicking on them. Let's open up the options for the Light and then go to the Material section. Materials are divided up according to classifications. Let's close the content browser and see what's going on. Down here, our material manager we have our base material. Let's click and drag on that and drop it directly onto our model. When we let go, it doesn't look like much has changed, but if we go ahead and load up a preview here, you can see, it looks different. What's happening, we're blending two textures. And there's an order to the way the textures are applied. Should you decide you want to delete a texture, go ahead and click on the texture in the object manager, and then press delete. Now when I go ahead and render the view, you can definitely see this looks a lot more like glass.

Now what if I want to add a little bit of a highlight to the edge of my model? There's some hidden selection tools. Where you can select individual areas of your model to apply the texture. Lets rename our base texture by double clicking on the name. Lets call this highlight. Now let's click and drag the highlit material and apply it to our model. With it applied, notice there's a selection area in the attributes manager. When you click in the selection area, I want you to type r1.

Let's click out of the selection area to apply that selection. Now when we load up a preview, you can see I have a highlight around the edge, and it's only applied to the rounded part of the model. You can add all kinds of different textures to your models this way. Let's model the face. I'm going to hold down the Cmd key and click and drag on my glass texture. If you drag to the right, when we let go it will be all the way to the right. I'm going to double-click on this, and we'll call this face. Now just so the texture's a little different than the one that's applied to the body of the model, let's make a change to the materials section in the attribute editor.

Let's change the color. By default, it's set to this white color. We click on it, let's go ahead and choose this kind of teal light green blue color. You won't notice much of a difference because the brightness is at 20% so let's go ahead and increase the brightness of our color texture. Okay, now it's started to blend in and we've got a little bit of a change. So let's click and drag and go to apply the face to our logo in the objects manager. When I let go, again we have the selection tag. This time instead of tying R one I want you to type C one. I know you're probably thinking to yourself, how am I going to remember these different selection tags? Well I've included some of the basic selection codes with my downloadable PDF, with some other different shortcuts for After Effects.

So you can definitely use that as a reference. Now let's preview what our model looks like, by clicking our Render View. If we rotate around the scene, we can get a slightly different angle and as you see that we have a different face from the body and a different highlight. Obviously it's not pretty, but I hope you have a quick understanding as to how you can create materials and apply those materials to your new objects. I leave you by encouraging you to go back to the content browser and browse through all the different materials, because different materials have different setting options and they're all there for you to explore.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

135 video lessons · 63408 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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) NEW
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1) NEW
      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) NEW
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1) NEW
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1) NEW
      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 35m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1) NEW
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    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) NEW
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1) NEW
      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) NEW
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1) NEW
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1) NEW
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1) NEW
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1) NEW
      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) NEW
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1) NEW
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1) NEW
      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) NEW
      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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