Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with proxies


Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

with Angie Taylor

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Video: Working with proxies

Proxies are low resolution images or movies that you can use as place holders for your layers in After Effects, to speed up your workflow. And when you are working with CINEWARE, things can get pretty slow. So, using proxies is a really good way of speeding up your workflow. I've included as part of this course the demo version of CINEWARE proxy, which is a script which will make proxies for CINEWARE layers. If you go into the footage folder, you'll find the CINEWARE proxy folder in there.
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      2m 22s
  2. 54m 9s
    1. What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
      4m 23s
    2. What CINEMA 4D Lite can't do
      6m 54s
    3. Opening CINEMA 4D Lite in After Effects
      2m 38s
    4. Quick interface tour
      8m 46s
    5. Navigation tips for CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 5s
    6. CINEMA 4D Lite preferences and settings
      7m 28s
    7. Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1
      15m 55s
  3. 22m 34s
    1. Importing CINEMA 4D files in After Effects
      1m 5s
    2. The CINEWARE plugin settings
      4m 42s
    3. CINEMA 4D Lite render settings
      6m 15s
    4. After Effects project settings
      1m 23s
    5. After Effects previewing tips
      3m 50s
    6. Using the Picture Viewer in CINEMA 4D
      5m 19s
  4. 1h 14m
    1. Editing primitive objects
      5m 18s
    2. The Move and Scale tools
      7m 18s
    3. The Rotate tool
      4m 24s
    4. Axis limitations
      1m 46s
    5. Working cylinders
      7m 15s
    6. Linking body parts using object hierarchy
      9m 49s
    7. Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS
      7m 22s
    8. Adjusting NURBS settings
      4m 6s
    9. Using nulls as controllers
      3m 33s
    10. Creating copies with the Instance array
      6m 44s
    11. Carving shapes with the Boole array
      10m 28s
    12. Reshaping objects with deformers
      3m 14s
    13. Adding surface detail with a Relief object
      2m 55s
  5. 55m 41s
    1. Understanding coordinates
      5m 0s
    2. Understanding rotation
      2m 39s
    3. Timeline shortcuts
      3m 1s
    4. Basic keyframing of properties
      4m 31s
    5. Copying keyframes
      2m 3s
    6. Keyframe interpolation
      5m 20s
    7. Adjusting F-Curves
      5m 45s
    8. Holding values
      5m 8s
    9. Using XPresso to link properties: Part one
      4m 17s
    10. Using XPresso to link properties: Part two
      2m 27s
    11. Importing existing animations into CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 21s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 37s
    13. Animating using presets
      4m 32s
  6. 46m 57s
    1. Importing music and soundtracks
      4m 12s
    2. Customizing commands and shortcuts
      6m 7s
    3. Adding markers
      4m 25s
    4. Creating multiple cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 17s
    5. Cutting between CINEMA 4D cameras with CINEWARE
      5m 43s
    6. Creating cameras in After Effects
      4m 37s
    7. Merging 3D camera data into CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Animating cameras with Stage objects
      4m 27s
    9. Extracting cameras from CINEMA 4D files
      5m 59s
  7. 43m 49s
    1. Adding CINEMA 4D text to After Effects comps
      5m 4s
    2. Formatting text in CINEMA 4D
      5m 47s
    3. Creating CINEMA 4D text or logos in Illustrator
      6m 9s
    4. Importing Illustrator text into CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 38s
    5. Applying material presets to text
      7m 51s
    6. Merging CINEMA 4D files
      5m 51s
    7. Registering CINEMA 4D Lite for MoGraph features
      1m 8s
    8. Using MoGraph Fracture on text
      3m 25s
    9. The MoGraph Random Effector
      3m 56s
  8. 12m 8s
    1. Creating a wiggle expression
      7m 49s
    2. The Reset Position script
      4m 19s
  9. 30m 56s
    1. Applying a custom material
      6m 32s
    2. Making a metallic material
      6m 15s
    3. Adding an environment channel
      2m 20s
    4. Adding texture with shaders
      4m 21s
    5. Built-in material presets
      3m 52s
    6. Combining materials
      2m 41s
    7. Using selection sets to isolate surfaces
      4m 55s
  10. 27m 42s
    1. 3D camera tracking in After Effects
      6m 3s
    2. Creating nulls from tracking points
      2m 40s
    3. Adjusting the Shadow Catcher for CINEMA 4D
      3m 31s
    4. Importing a CINEMA 4D file into a scene
      4m 21s
    5. Exporting CINEMA 4D files from After Effects comps
      3m 42s
    6. Merging objects from CINEMA 4D files
      3m 23s
    7. Manually adjusting scenes between apps
      4m 2s
  11. 24m 26s
    1. Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D
      5m 48s
    2. Compositing CINEMA 4D layers in After Effects
      6m 52s
    3. Casting shadows on layers in CINEWARE
      5m 18s
    4. Adding reflections in CINEMA 4D
      6m 28s
  12. 36m 10s
    1. Using preset lighting setups
      6m 24s
    2. Light types in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 38s
    3. Creating visible lights
      7m 56s
    4. Adding ambient occlusion effects
      6m 55s
    5. Optimizing your CINEMA 4D scenes
      8m 17s
  13. 38m 54s
    1. Multipass compositing explained
      2m 28s
    2. Adding passes to render settings
      2m 8s
    3. Viewing passes in the Picture Viewer
      2m 35s
    4. Adding object buffers
      4m 51s
    5. External compositing tags in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 8s
    6. Previewing and experimenting with passes
      4m 30s
    7. CINEWARE multipass options
      9m 2s
    8. Adjusting reflections
      5m 23s
    9. Isolating elements with object buffers
      4m 49s
  14. 53m 2s
    1. Extracting 3D scene data
      8m 11s
    2. Adding video elements to a CINEMA 4D scene
      5m 49s
    3. Working with proxies
      10m 2s
    4. Color correction of shadows
      4m 10s
    5. Layer styles
      3m 50s
    6. Adjustment layers
      4m 58s
    7. Setting up depth of field in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Adding depth of field with camera lens blur
      4m 4s
    9. Speed ramps with time remapping
      4m 14s
    10. Motion blur with the Pixel Motion Blur effect
      4m 34s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. Rendering with the After Effects Render Queue
      5m 39s
    2. Background rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 6s
    3. The BG Renderer script
      4m 14s

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
8h 57m Beginner Aug 28, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
  • Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects CC workflow
  • Editing primitive objects
  • Spline modeling with NURBS
  • Animating with keyframes
  • Using Xpresso to link properties
  • Importing music and soundtracks
  • Creating and animating cameras
  • Working with text
  • Scripting
  • Creating and applying materials and textures
  • 3D camera tracking
  • Compositing layers
  • Lighting with visible lights and ambient occlusion
  • Adding visual effects in After Effects
  • Rendering in After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder
3D + Animation Video video2brain
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Angie Taylor

Working with proxies

Proxies are low resolution images or movies that you can use as place holders for your layers in After Effects, to speed up your workflow. And when you are working with CINEWARE, things can get pretty slow. So, using proxies is a really good way of speeding up your workflow. I've included as part of this course the demo version of CINEWARE proxy, which is a script which will make proxies for CINEWARE layers. If you go into the footage folder, you'll find the CINEWARE proxy folder in there.

And what I want you to do is go into that folder and take out this file here CINEWAREproxy.jsx bin and put it into this folder. You need to go into Adobe After Effects CC folder which is in your applications folder, into Scripts, into Scripts UI Panel and place it in there. Now, if you're on Windows, it's slightly different. There are instructions here for both, and it will tell you where to place that on Windows.

It's in Application Support on Windows in the Scripts folder, and inside the Scripts UI Panels folder. Once you've done that, you need to, in After Effects, also set your preferences to allow scripts to write files and access networks. So make sure you have that selected, and the script installed in the After Effects folder before start this tutorial. Now, there's one more thing. I've actually created some templates for you.

And these help with rendering. So, if you go to Edit > Templates > Render Settings. And if you click on Load, you'll notice that in the chapter 13 folder, I have a Cineware Render Proxy ars file. That's After Effects render setting file. And if I click on Open, that will load the settings for you. I've already loaded them, so you don't need to do it. And then just click OK so you get access to those.

And also, go back to Templates and go to Output Modules. And you also need to load the output modules as well, Cineware Render Proxy.aom, After Effects output module. Again, I already have that on there, so it's not going to reload it. Once you've done that, click OK. If you haven't restarted After Effects, you'll need to restart After Effects to load the script, and then you're ready to go. Now, before we actually use the script, I'm going to explain how you normally use proxies in After Effects.

As you'll see, this is starting to really slow down this composition, and it's becoming quite difficult for me to work creatively within it. So, I need a way to speed up the workflow. I'm at the stage where I want to do color correction, and really, I don't need to have this live kind of rendering from CINEMA 4D to After Effects, whilst I'm doing this process. I just need to have a high resolution render of this file, which will run quicker. The other thing is, the videos are playing in the background, which is kind of taking up a bit of time to process as well.

So we'll start by creating proxies for the wall and the floor the traditional way, and then we'll have a look at the script for creating proxies from CINEWARE layers. So to create a proxy, you go to the original source file in the Project panel, right click on it and say Create Proxy. Now, for the video layers, I really only need a still image to represent them. I'm only really concerned about the color. I'm not really concerned about the movement in the video, because I'm aware of what that does and it's not going to to change. So, I'm going to say Create a Proxy > Still.

And that's going to create a proxy using the best settings, which is great. And also using Photoshop sequence. If I click on the Output module settings, you'll notice it's also got a post-render action, to set this file as a proxy automatically for me. So I don't need to do it. So I'm going to click OK. I can choose a save location if I want. I'm going to save it into the Chapter 13 folder, and I'm going to create a new folder called Proxies and save it in there.

Then all I need to do is click Render and watch what happens. Once I've finished rendering, you'll notice that my video layer in the Project panel is replaced by a PSD, a Photoshop file. And a little switch appears beside it. Now, if we come down here and just solo those layers, you'll notice they're also represented by a PSD down here in the timeline. And if I preview that, you'll notice that we just have a still frame from the video, playing throughout the animation. So that's great, it's a lot quicker than rendering the video.

And to prove that to you, I can use this switch to toggle the proxy on and off. So if I toggle the proxy off, we now have the videos again. And if I preview that, you'll notice that the frames just take a little bit longer to render. Once they're rendered, we can preview them at full screen. Now, the great thing is you can toggle between the two. And of course the persistent disk cache holds the frames so that once they're rendered once, we can just switch backwards and forwards between them.

So, we have proxies for those, what about the main robots in the shadows? Well, let's have a look at them, first for the shadows. Now really, I want my proxy to be high resolution, and this is only in draft quality. So, I'm going to up here and I'm going to say Standard Final as my render, I'm going to say pre-calculation and then apply to all. So, now, if we have a look at the main robots, they should be in high quality as well. And notice how long that is taking to render.

Now what we want to do is render them with alpha channel and at best quality. So, what I'm going to do is go up to the Project panel and watch what happens if I choose exactly the same technique as I did before. So I'm going to Set Proxy or Create Proxy rather, this time I'm going to create a Movie. It's going to default to draft settings, but even if I put that on best settings. And I am just going to change the frame rate to one frame a seconds, so it doesn't take too long to render is choosing QuickTime. It will also set proxy automatically, choosing Animation, Codec.

And it says our GBNL so it looks like we are okay. So, we shall create a proxy and we'll got to Render. Make sure that is going into the correct folder. Yup, click Render and that's going to render our scene for us. Now, it's changing fairly quickly which is surprising. You would think at best quality, it's going to take a long time to render those frames. But it crunches through the frames pretty quickly. And then when it's finished, it will replace the CINEWARE file (SOUND) with.

Hang on a minute. That's not best quality. So, you'll see it defaults to rendering it using the Software Render, which isn't good enough. It's not good enough for me to a composite with. So, this is why I am not really that keen on using the built in proxy feature for CINEWARE files. I could take the proxy off, so Set Proxy > None. Then what I could do is pre-compose each of these, and actually set a proxy for the pre-composition.

That's fine, it would work really well and that's probably what I would do if I didn't already a script installed. And this script is fantastic. It's specifically written to create proxies for CINEWARE, and it will basically do just how I explained. It will create a nest of compositions that contain the best quality settings for my CINEMA layers. And it will maintain the shadows on one and the other elements on the other. So all I need to do is select those elements in the timeline.

The ones that I want proxies for. Select them in the timeline. Go to Window > CINEWARE proxy. Now, it will ask you for a license code. You can use it in trial mode for 14 days, I think it is. If you want to buy it, then you can get a license. I've bought it because it's, I use it all the time. And for me it's really worthwhile. This scripts are not expensive, but just use it as a trial for now. And basically, all you'd want to do is say Create Comps, and then dialog will come up where it's going to add your files to the render queue.

You can then choose what settings it uses. Now, it will default to best settings, but I want you to choose CINEWARE proxy which is from the output module and render settings that I save for you. And on this one, we want you to choose CINEWARE and proxy. That will normally default to TIF sequence with alpha, but we're going to choose CINEWARE proxy with alpha. And this is basically creating QuickTime movies with alpha channel and with low frame rate. Click on OK.

It's just asking here, is it okay to create these folders for you. I'm going to say Yes. So it's created some folders for me in the background. It's placed the Elements in the Render queue. All I need to do now is click Render, and it's going to render my proxies for me with the correct settings. Now, obviously, this will take a little bit longer, because it's using the best quality for those layers. So, I'm going to leave that to render, and in the next tutorial, you'll see how we can do color correction on our layers using proxies.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects .

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Q: This course was updated on 01/15/2015. What changed?
A: We updated movies in chapter 5, 10, and 12, and added a new set of exercise files to make the course compatible with the latest versions of After Effects CC (2014.1) and CINEWARE. Watch the "Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1" movie for an overview of the changes.
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