Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
Illustration by John Hersey

Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners

with Ian Robinson

Video: Working with CINEWARE

If you're working with the latest version of Adobe After Effects, you

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Watch the Online Video Course Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
1h 29m Intermediate Nov 13, 2013

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In this installment of Mograph Techniques, Ian Robinson shows you how to model and animate a stylized 3D flower that grows and blooms over time, using the combined power of CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects. You'll start by creating a single flower petal with traditional polygonal modeling techniques. Then you'll load the petal into a cloner object, and nest that cloner inside another, resulting in a complete flower with multiple levels of control for animation. The second phase is animating the cloners and refining the animation with the Step Effector. In the third and final phase, you'll bring the project into After Effects to add animated color effects, transitions, text, and shadows.

Topics include:
  • Modeling flower petals in C4D
  • Creating shaded materials in C4D
  • Building flowers with multiple cloner objects
  • Building a dynamic transition with camera animation
  • Multipass Rendering out of CINEMA 4D
  • Adding and animating color effects in After Effects
  • Refining transitions
  • Rendering the final composite
3D + Animation Video
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Ian Robinson

Working with CINEWARE

If you're working with the latest version of Adobe After Effects, you can import your Cinema 4D projects directly into your After Effects projects. And we're going to do just that. I just want to touch on some settings inside of Cinema before we jump on over. Now we have two main elements that have been created in our animation. If I scrub through, you can see I have my petals and I have these vine objects. Now these colors are telling me that I have these two separate cloner objects on two separate layers.

This is going to be really important when we use Cineware to actually import our Cinema 4D project. Also, if you go to your Render Settings in the project, check the Anti-aliasing. When you're working inside of After Effects with your CINEMA 4D projects, you can leave this set to Geomentry. But before you go render it, you'll probably want to bump up your Aliasing to Best. And, set your Filter for Animation. Just for speed's sake, I'm going to go ahead and not enable this for this project right now. Let's just jump over into After Effects and inside of After Effects, let's import our Cinema 4D project.

So I'll just double-click in the project panel and navigate in my exercise files under chapter two. Let's import the zero two zero six cinaware.c4.5. If we go ahead and click open, notice it's automatically been imported, and it's been interpreted properly. Five seconds at 24 frames a second. So, I can just drag this right down to my new comp icon, and I've automatically created a comp. Now, it's going to take a second to refresh the scene because it's actually pulling everything from Cinema 4D into After Effects and then rendering through the applications.

And this is made possible by the Cineware plugin. So, with Cineware, I have the option of bringing in the entire animation or bringing in individual layers. So as I scrub through my animation here, you'll see it will take just a quick second to refresh the scene. And notice here I have my vines popping into the background. Well, if I don't want to see those vines, I can separate the layers. So let's go ahead and do just do that. With layer one selected I'm going to do a couple things to optimize the workflow and then we'll split things up.

So first thing, I don't need any pre-calculation because I don't have any particles or anything like that going inside of Cinema. We can go ahead and keep textures in RAM. If you have a decent amount of RAM on your computer, this is not going to be an issue. Now, in order to look at the highest quality render when you're working, you'll want to change your renderer up to final. Now for right now, I'm going to leave this set to software, just so things move a little more quickly. If we come down here to Cinema 4D layers. If you go ahead and enable that option, right here I can set my layer.

So let's go ahead and click on the Set Layers button. And sure enough I'm seeing both layers. So if I only want to see the petals, I'll just deselect vines and click okay. Now this layer is the petals layer. So I will rename it and now I can go ahead and duplicate this layer, press Cmd+D on the Mac or Ctrl+D on Windows and on the duplicate layer let's rename this one vines and with layer one selected, let's go to Set Layers and we'll choose vines and de-select petals. Okay, now to keep things organized. I'm going to move my vines below my petals.

Now, it's almost like I have two separate pieces of footage, and I don't have to do any rendering. Now there's one last thing I want you to pay attention to when you're working inside of Cineware. And that has to do with having multiple layers. Anytime you have more than one Cineware layer. It's really important to keep hitting this one button called Apply to All. Now, not the apply to all under layers. But, apply to all under the render settings. See, what this allows me to do is, make sure that all of the layers in this composition will use the same render settings.

So, here if I go up under the renderer and change from software to final, it's going to take a second to re-render but I what I want to do is go down here and say, apply to all. That way, its going to change the render for both layers and then give me the preview for both layers. Now of course as I'm looking at this, I have a lower magnification. So I'm not really seeing the full quality. So let's go ahead and set this up at 100 and now you can see things look nice and sharp and clear. Now usually when I work, I use Cineware for my work flow.

But for maximum speed with my flexibility, there's another plugin that I really recommend using. I'm going to jump over to my Web browser here and just show you, on the aescripts website, there's a plugin called CINEWARE proxy. And what this does is, creates a link between your Cinema 4D project and After Effects, and then it caches and creates a proxy file of your Cinema project, and this speeds up your workflow exponentially when you're working with Cineware. So, if you find that your system is lagging a little bit when you're waiting for refreshes and things like that, obviously you can change your render settings and make sure that work in the software settings as you're generally working and make sure to always click Apply to All.

But if you really want to speed things up you could use Cineware proxy. Now just for ease of use for the rest of this course, I have pre-rendered these two different layers, so we'll be working with image sequences in the next chapter.

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