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Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects

From: CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Video: Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects

Now that we've got our animation all timed out and looking pretty cool, we need to get this animation into After Effects so that it can become part of our cameramatic. And the way we are going to do that is by making a preview movie and then saving that preview movie out for After Effects. So we are going to go to the Make Preview option. So if I select the middle clapboard here and go down to Make Preview, when you first pull up the Make Preview option, it's defaulted to Full Render, which kind of defeats the purpose of making a preview movie. What I really want to see is just the same thing I am seeing here in the Editor window. That's going to give me a real fast render and it's going to be easy to get that into After Effects.

Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects

Now that we've got our animation all timed out and looking pretty cool, we need to get this animation into After Effects so that it can become part of our cameramatic. And the way we are going to do that is by making a preview movie and then saving that preview movie out for After Effects. So we are going to go to the Make Preview option. So if I select the middle clapboard here and go down to Make Preview, when you first pull up the Make Preview option, it's defaulted to Full Render, which kind of defeats the purpose of making a preview movie. What I really want to see is just the same thing I am seeing here in the Editor window. That's going to give me a real fast render and it's going to be easy to get that into After Effects.

So I'll change the Preview Mode to Software Preview and I'll leave the Frame Count to be All Frames and that's because I've set my Preview Range to be 0 to 160, just the way I want. Image Size is going to be set to 640x360 and I'll hit OK. I get that blue bar at the bottom left of the interface and then the Picture Viewer pops up. So I don't need to worry about caching or playing back the animation again, because I know my animation is good to go. So all I need to do is save it out. Let's go to the File menu here in the picture viewer and do a Save As and we are going to save this as an Animation and we'll change the format from QuickTime Movie to an Image Sequence.

And I like to use image sequences rather the QuickTimemovie because it makes the process in After Effects really foolproof. Let's say that you're rendering out a movie from CINEMA 4D and about halfway through the render process, your computer somehow shut down or the application accidentally quit or something happened. If you're saving to a QuickTime movie that image is no longer valid. You have to start the render process all over again. When use image sequences you can just pick up from what were you left off. So wherever the last frame was in the folder, you can just pick up from that frame and continue on with your rendering.

So it makes rendering much more safe. So I am going to save this out as a Photoshop sequence and hit OK. And that's presented with the Finder window and I am going to navigate to my Chapter 4 folder and I am going to make a subfolder in here and call it shot001 and this is preview. And then let's change the name structure to be shot001 - preview. When I hit Save, that's going to give me a blue progress bar here tell me it's saving out.

So that's almost done and there it is. It's done. Let's move over to After Effects now and here in After Effects I want to import that image sequence. So let's import it into the Audio-Video folder. So I click on that folder and go to File and do an Import file and I have navigated to my shot001 preview folder, inside of my Chapter 4 files and the beauty of importing an image sequence in After Effects is I don't have to select the very first movie. I can select any of the images here and as long as I make sure that the Photoshop Sequence option is checked, I don't have to worry about Force alphabetical order, when I hit Open, it's going to import that sequence as in entire animation.

So let's move this. I didn't have my video folder selected. So I can move that into the video folder. Let's put that right there, so everything is nice and neat. Now I need to change the Frame Rate. I can see that it's 00:05:11 here, but my comp is 29.97. If I bring up the Composition Settings, Command+K, you can see that I am working at 29.97 and my preview movie is at 30 frames a second. The important thing is that it's the exact same duration. That's the other advantage of working with the preview movie as I can change this Frame Rate here and it won't change the duration on such a short sequence.

I am going to go to the File > Interpret Footage > Main menu and I'll change the Frame Rate from 30 to 29.97. Now, I want to have a cameramatic comp that's based on the animatic comp, so all I need to do is duplicate this animatic comp here in the working comps window. So I'll select it here and duplicate Command+D or Ctrl+D on a PC and change the name of this file, hitting Return on the keyboard, and I'll change that to sz-cameramatic-001.

So now let's open that composition up and close up the old animatic. We won't need that again. It looks exactly the same as it did before but now what I want to do is bring in my first preview movie and I'll drag it right below the timecode elements and above all the JPEGs. And you can see when I do that, it comes in exactly in frame and it ends exactly when the shot does. And that's exactly what I want to have happen. So now I can do a quick RAM Preview of this by clicking on the RAM Preview option and I can see my animation caching. It will take a moment to cache this image sequence and then it will zip through everything else.

That's enough. I don't need to see the whole animation. I only really care about shot one. (Male speaker: After 400 million years, they're still the scariest thing in the ocean.) (Male speaker: Get a little closer, if you dare.) (Male speaker: Shark Zone.) So that's feeling pretty good. I'm going to stop playback and just scrub through this one more time, verifying the timecode to make sure that everything is okay. I have my shot1 preview layer selected. If I hit O on the keyboard, it takes me to the out of that particular layer. If I use the plus key on the keyboard, I can zoom in on the Timeline here and see that my shot1 preview movie ends at exactly the same time as my shot1 timecode.

So that process of creating the files for the cameramatic is really straightforward. It's essential though that you do this with dummy files and that will make your process much more quick and get you to the end result a lot faster.

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This video is part of

Image for CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo
CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

70 video lessons · 13924 viewers

Rob Garrott
Author

 
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  1. 5m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
    3. Overview of the project template
      2m 37s
  2. 11m 12s
    1. Creative brief
      1m 57s
    2. Sketches and script
      3m 8s
    3. Understanding the graphic animation process
      6m 7s
  3. 25m 5s
    1. Understanding the animatic process
      2m 15s
    2. Importing sketches into After Effects
      6m 20s
    3. Timing out the animation
      10m 4s
    4. Adding onscreen timecode for reference
      6m 26s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Creating text and logo elements in Adobe Illustrator
      6m 44s
    2. Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D
      8m 24s
    3. Creating guide planes for modeling a rough shark
      6m 13s
    4. Creating a rough shark model
      12m 14s
    5. Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object
      6m 27s
  5. 53m 17s
    1. Setting up a project file for the cameramatic
      6m 15s
    2. Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object
      5m 14s
    3. Animating the camera
      6m 8s
    4. Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks
      11m 4s
    5. Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects
      5m 45s
    6. Assembling the cameramatic
      8m 34s
    7. Fine-tuning the cameramatic timing
      10m 17s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. Preparing for the modeling process
      6m 7s
    2. Outlining the shapes using the Knife tool
      9m 50s
    3. Creating the mouth using the Extrude tool
      10m 40s
    4. Adding eyes using the Symmetry object
      9m 57s
    5. Creating fins using the Extrude tool
      7m 11s
    6. Creating the tail and dorsal fins using the Extrude tool
      10m 38s
    7. Creating gums using the Symmetry object
      6m 45s
    8. Creating teeth and finalizing the model
      8m 6s
  7. 15m 5s
    1. Understanding the rigging process
      2m 0s
    2. Opening the shark mouth using the Morph tag
      5m 9s
    3. Using XPresso to link the jaw to the Morph animation
      7m 56s
  8. 33m 25s
    1. Using BodyPaint to prepare the model for texturing
      8m 22s
    2. Applying color to the shark using BodyPaint
      6m 45s
    3. Giving the shark character by painting in the diffusion channel
      5m 29s
    4. Roughing the surface using the bump channel
      4m 34s
    5. Texturing the eyes
      3m 51s
    6. Texturing the teeth and gums
      4m 24s
  9. 21m 24s
    1. Replacing the rough shark model in the intro shot with the finished model
      6m 47s
    2. Replacing the rough shark model in the transition shot
      3m 43s
    3. Replacing the rough shark model in the hero shot
      4m 28s
    4. Replacing the rough shark model in the end page shot
      3m 42s
    5. Updating the cameramatic with the final animation
      2m 44s
  10. 50m 27s
    1. Creating an underwater look using Global Illumination and atmosphere
      9m 47s
    2. Lighting the objects and creating shadows
      6m 54s
    3. Shading the text using materials
      6m 28s
    4. Creating a reflective floor for the underwater scene
      3m 58s
    5. Lighting shot 1: Copying and pasting a lighting setup from another project
      5m 49s
    6. Lighting shot 2: Pasting a lighting setup and making adjustments
      3m 57s
    7. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the shark)
      3m 13s
    8. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the text)
      10m 21s
  11. 22m 7s
    1. Preparing shot 1 for rendering to After Effects
      6m 20s
    2. Preparing shot 2 for rendering by saving and using render presets
      4m 45s
    3. Preparing shot 3 for rendering
      2m 37s
    4. Setting up shot 4 to render in two passes
      4m 4s
    5. Performing a preflight check to ensure clips are ready to render
      2m 9s
    6. Batch-rendering
      2m 12s
  12. 1h 13m
    1. Importing assets and setting up the After Effects project for final compositing
      6m 5s
    2. The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere
      8m 38s
    3. The intro shot: Compositing in stock video footage to add character
      4m 51s
    4. The intro shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      8m 32s
    5. The hero shot: Controlling the look using precomps
      7m 59s
    6. The hero shot: Using stock video footage to add character
      7m 19s
    7. The end page shot: Combining multiple passes to form a final composite shot
      2m 41s
    8. The end page shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      7m 44s
    9. Compositing the transition shots
      3m 47s
    10. Assembling the final composition
      9m 2s
    11. Adding the final audio to the composition and rendering
      7m 10s
  13. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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