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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.
So here I have this claw that I've created for the hand of my robot, we now need to move it into position. We've created it by using the sweet nob and two splines, a rectangle and an arc. Now what I'll need to do is be able to move this easily and rotate it around a point on the claw. Now at the moment, if I move it around is not too difficult. Let's have a look at how we can move it around now. I'm just going to adjust my view slightly, and I'm going to move it, and you'll notice that it moves into position quite well.
So let's just move up to the hand, get in position, roughly where we want it. And I think we need to switch to another view, so we're going to go to first of all, Front view. Get it roughly positioned in Front View, and then we're going to switch to Right view, and get it positioned in Right view where we want it. So we want it kind of coming out of the hand like that. Now, positioning it is not too much of a problem, but when it comes to rotating it, watch what happens.
If I pick up the Rotation tool and I rotate that, it's actually rotating around a center point over here. I don't want it to do that, I want the center point to be here. So what we're going to do is, instead of rotating it using the controls of the Sweet NURB, we're going to create what's known as a Null. And a null will allow us to group these elements together and move and rotate them as a group, and we can use it to reset the center point of this layer or object rather.
So I'm going to go up to this menu here, and I'm going to choose Null, and this is the indicator for a null. A null is a non-rendering layer, invisible layer, that can be used to group other layers together, but also to control other objects. So, what we're going to do is we're going to call this claw null. Okay. But, it's down at the feet. So, what we need to do is somehow get it up here. Now, I don't want to go through that whole process of moving it in different views. So an easy way of getting it into roughly the right place is just to select the Sweet NURB, go to the coordinates and select x, y and z by Shift+clicking these values.
And then in the Attributes menu, you can go to Edit > Copy, make sure it's in this menu not in the Main menu. And then we select a Claw Null, and those properties should still be selected, so we go to Edit > Paste. And that pastes it roughly into position for us. We can then move it into position a little bit more by clicking and dragging it across. Now, important to do this before you set up any parenting. Because, if you had parented the Sweet NURB to the null, the null would have followed as you did all of those movements.
So now we have it roughly in position, what we can do is drag the Sweet NURB onto the Claw Null as a child. So, we're placing it with the arrow pointing down onto the Claw Null. And now whenever I take the Claw Null and rotate it, you'll see that the claw rotates correctly. So, by using nulls as controllers, you can reset the center point of a layer so that it moves as expected. So, we get much finer control without having to mess around with adjusting the layer or the object itself.
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