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Join Rob Garrott in CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo as he demonstrates how to create a 15-second promotional video that looks and feels like a professional advertisement. Learn how to use a combination of CINEMA 4D, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator to go from concept to script to screen, creating sketches, adding animation, and rendering the final promo. This course focuses on real-world techniques, culminating in a finished, usable product. Exercise files accompany the course.
The cameramatic process is a really flexible and powerful tool for understanding the timing of your animation. When I did a RAM Preview of this earlier, I discovered that I didn't leave myself enough time at the end of the piece. When this shark swims across, it's going to be revealing the tagline, "If it's out there, it's on here." Now there is sort of a general rule in the television and promo editing world that anything less than about 15 frames is considered a flash. The human eye needs about a second in order to register or read something on the screen.
I can look at my shark timing and see that as it swims out of frame, my type is going to be readable about here. "If it's out there, it's on here" is going to be pretty much visible on frame. So if I give myself another second at the end of this shot, then that's going to give the viewer time to notice and read that copy. Now this end tag is going to be something called a see-and-say. Meaning that the voiceover is going to be saying the exact same thing that people are seeing on screen. That makes it much easier to understand everything that's happening. Now if this would just a read-only tagline, where there was no announce, then I'd need to leave a lot more time so that the viewer can have time to read the tag on their own.
But since it's a see-and-say that gives me a little more flexibility in my timing. So what I need to do is I need to take time off of shot003, about a second, and add time onto shot004, about a second, and that's going to keep my overall length of my promo the same, but just move the end point of this movie and the in-point of this movie. So let's move over to CINEMA 4D and open up our project file for shot003. So I'll go to the File menu and do an Open. I'll navigate to my Chapter 4 project files.
Let's switch the view to Name. That will make it easy to find my shot-003 file. There it is right there. Let's open that file up and in this file, I'm going to need to change the length of it. So I want to change the length in two places. In the Preview Range here, and in the final Render Settings. Now one of the great things about CINEMA 4D is I don't have to figure the math out for myself. 0 to 155 is the current frame range, but I want to take 26 frames off of that, just under a second.
So if I take this 155 and go 155 minus 26, that's going to leave me with 129. And that is the exact adjustment that I need to make. So if I go back to my Render Settings now, and change my Range From 0 To 129, that fixes it. Now I'm not quite done. My shark animation is supposed to go all the way to the end. You can see by cutting off that 26 frame, my shark doesn't quite get to the camera.
So I need to make an adjustment in the Timeline. So let's make a switch to the Animation Layout and I need to adjust the keyframes. So I'll click on the keyframe icon here and then hit H on the keyboard to make all my keyframes visible. Then all I need to do is grab these two summary keyframes here and remember, the summary keyframe selects all the keyframes underneath it, making it really easy to grab everything at once. So I'll drag this back in, put it in position right here. Now I notice that when I scrub through my animation, my shark still doesn't quite reach to the end of the frames.
That's because I've got a little overhang here and I noticed earlier that I accidentally moved a keyframe out of alignment. This happens from time to time. If I scroll down here, I can see that this one keyframe is sort of sticking out on the end and that keyframe is associated with the Spline Wrap, which is what's animating my shark, and that's what's causing the shark to not move all the way to the end of the scene. So if I take this keyframe and move it right back to the end, I've changed the position of these keyframes now and my shark, as you can see, hits the camera and actually passes through the camera.
That's not exactly what I want. I want it to get really close, but not actually pass through the camera. So all I need to do is make a tweak to the F-Curve down here and that's going to allow me to adjust the position of that shark in a really fine-tuned way. I'll switchover here to the F- Curve layout and scroll down here on the left-hand side to make sure I select my Offset curve. Now if I grab this last keyframe, you can see that the Value on the keyframe when I select it is at 73%. If I just drag this down 1% at a time, in 1% increments, I can see where my shark will come out of the camera.
That's about it right there. I'm just clicking 1% at a time. I want the shark to come right up into the camera's face and that's going to be our cut point. So let's add one more percent on there and that's pretty good. So that's the tweak I needed to make. Now I can do another preview movie, and export that for After Effects. So I'll go to the Make Preview option. Make sure that your Image Size is set for 640, and that you're set to Software Preview for the Mode and then hit OK.
That's going to preview the animation, and then pop up to the Picture Viewer. Now I just scrub through real quick to make sure that it does just what I want, and it does. So now I can go to File > Save As. Before I do this, when I hit OK here, it's going to pop up the Finder and I need to navigate to my Chapter 4 files, and go to my shot003-preview folder. Now that already has an image sequence in it. This image sequence needs to get out of the way, so that I can override it, because the new sequence that I'm going to put down is only 0 to 129 and this sequence is 0 to 155.
That's going to be a little bit weird for After Effects, because it's going to end up with extra frames on the end that I don't need. So let's go back out here to the Finder. Go into our shot003-preview folder. Select a single one, hit Command+A, and then move these guys to the Trash. I'm going to put those right in the Trash Can. Then go back to CINEMA 4D, and then save these. And it was called shot003-preview. Then hit Save and there it goes.
Now I can do the same thing for shot004. Let's open up the shot004 project file. Close up the Picture Viewer. File > Open and navigate to the shot-004.c4d file. Hit Open. Now this shot needs to be 26 frames longer. So we're going to go and do a kind of the reverse process for what we did in shot003. So first thing I need to do is add 26 frames onto the end of the Preview Range. So I'll go 72+26. That gives me 98. Let's extend this slider range out as well.
Now we'll change the Render Settings. Click on the Render Settings icon and add 72+26. That gives us 99 frames total. Now we can close Render Settings up and check our keyframes. Let's switch over to Keyframe view. I'll hit H on the keyboard to size everything up. Let's make the Perspective view full, and enlarge things so we can see the Timeline down here. I'll hit H on the keyboard to make sure I'm seeing all my keyframes.
Then I can zoom out a bit so I can see the entire range of frames. And now all I do is take this last set of keyframes and move them to the very end. Then just scrub through my animation to make sure that it's all there. My shark does leave the frame. That's perfect. It doesn't matter that the shark's tail doesn't clear the frame, because the animation is going to be fading to black over the end of the sequence. So that's okay. It's actually a little more dynamic that the shark never clears the frame. So that's it for the tweaks that we need to make here.
Now we can make a preview movie. So I'll go to the Make Preview option. Make sure that it says 640x360 here, Software Preview, and then hit OK. When that preview movie comes up, I need to do the exact same thing that I did for the previous shots. So I go to the Save As and do Animation. Hit OK. Then I'll navigate out to the Finder again and get rid of these shots in the shot004-preview folder. So I select that, select all the files, and move them to the Trash. Now let's go back to c4d, and then navigate to our Chapter 4, and then our shot004-preview folder and then call this one shot004-preview and that saves out.
While that's saving, we can move back to After Effects. In here, we can just simply reload the footage. Watch what happens. When I reload this footage, the new shots that are incoming are going to be different length than the original shots. You'll see their in points adjust here in the Timeline. So I'm going to right-click on the Preview movie for shot003 and do a Reload Footage. You see that the endpoint jumped over here. That's okay. That's just what I wanted to do. I'll right-click on shot004, and do a Reload Footage. You'll see that end point jumped as well.
It jumped off the Timeline. That's okay as well, because we're going to adjust that right now. So now I'll grab all three of these layers. Let's zoom in just a little bit to give ourselves a little more room. I'll make the Timeline active and then use the Plus key on the keyboard. Highlight all of these guys. Then move that over to the left, so that they butt up. Then double check the end of my animation and check my out point. You can see there my out point lines up nicely. Now we can do another ramp preview and check our animation.
There comes the transition, there is our hero shot, and our shark swims to camera, and bam! There is our short transition and the last shot. The shark reveals the logo. (Male speaker: After 400 million years, they're still the scariest thing in the ocean.) (Male speaker: Get a little closer, if you dare. Shark Zone, all week long on the Adventure Channel.) (Male speaker: If it's out there, it's on here.) So this was a great example of the flexibility of the cameramatic process and how it gives you the ability to tweak your animation timing on-the-fly.
It really is an important tool and it's a step in the process that cannot be overlooked.
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