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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 If you're saving to a QuickTime movie that image is no longer valid.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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