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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.
I'm starting off with the shot-003- lighting file that was created in the previous movie. Now this is not included in your project files. If you'd like to get to this point, you'll need to complete the previous movie. Global Illumination and Fog set the atmosphere of our shot. But our text and shark are blending together a little bit and needs some separation. We're going to use lights to get that separation using the scene lighting options so that light for the shark doesn't influence light for the type and vice-versa. Now with the project file here, I'm going to add something called a Target Spot Light. I'll click on the Scene Objects here, and go to Target Light.
This Target Light is simply a spotlight that's being forced to always point at a Null object called Light.Target. This little tag right here is called the Target Expression. That Target Expression says always look at Light.Target, so wherever I move that Light.Target, the light has to follow. Let's undo that by hitting Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on the PC. Now I'm going to leave that Light.Target at the center of the world and move my light around. Let's select the light, and position in the scene. I'm going to switch to the 4-way view. Now my environment sphere is getting in the way of things.
I wanted to still show up in the render and the Compositing tag prevents it from being seen by the camera so that it still influences the scene. But I don't need to really look at it anymore. So let's go to the envirosphere and turn its top dot red. That makes it invisible in the Editor window, and makes it visible still in the render. You can see the bottom dot is gray. So that means that it will show up in the render still. Now we can actually see the elements in our scene. So let's take the light here. Let's move it on the Z-axis. I'm going to back it way, way out.
I'll zoom in just a bit. Now the field of view for the spotlight is this cone that's surrounds it. I'm going to drag the center dot, and let's zoom in a little bit on this. So you can see exactly what I'm grabbing. In the Top view, if I grab the center dot and drag it, that extends the cone of light outward. Now because I'm not using falloff for that light, the cone really doesn't mean anything, except that it allows me to see where my light is falling much more accurately.
So I'm going to drag this light on its Z-axis out a little bit more. As I drag it out, I'm going to repeatedly drag the cone down towards the center. That makes it a lot easier to understand what the light is hitting. I want to make sure that it's covering my entire scene. So now that it is, let's do a little quick test render here, Command+R. You can see it analyzes the scene first. Now it's blowing out all my elements. So I'm going to that make adjustments to the light. But first, I want to have this light only affect the Shark Zone type.
So let's go to Light. First, let's change the name and call it text light. In the Scene option for the text light, I'm going to change the Mode to Include. Then drag my sharkzone parent, which is the object that has my Shark Zone type it into the Include field. When I do that that means now this light is only affecting the type and not the shark. So when I render, you can see the shark is actually not illuminated in the scene and it will show up darker than the sharkzone type.
So that's my text light. We'll duplicate this light. We'll call the new light shark light. Let's take the shark light. Underneath the Scene option, we'll change the objects out. So I'll delete this object, the sharkzone parent. Notice, I'm on the shark light, not the text light. Let's drag the Shark Uber object into the Include field. Now this light, the shark light, is now only affecting the Shark Zone type. That gives me a lot of control over the scene. I can now light these objects independently.
So let's take the text light object and dial that down to about 30% or so. So I'll go to the General properties for that and drag the Intensity down. You can see the Shark Zone type getting darker, but the shark does not get darker. So let's drag that down to about 30%. Then let's take our shark light and dial its Intensity down to about 40% or so. Now when I render the scene, you can see that type is now starting to pop out a little bit and my shark has a lot better light on it.
The scene is still a little bit too bright. So in order to dial it down, I'm going to adjust the material on the HDRI. That's more of like an Exposure setting. The lighting affects individual objects and brightens them up. But for the entire scene to get lighter and darker, I'm going to adjust the HDRI. So if I click on the HDRI material in the Material Manager, and under the Luminance, I'm going to add black to the Color channel. What that's going to do is, the Mix Mode when it's set to 64%, means that this object, means that this HDRI material that we have in the Texture channel is now mixing back into whatever you have in the Color channel.
But in this case, it's mixing into white. So let's make it mix into black. So I'll drag that down. I clicked on the swatch to get the color picker up and made the color black. You can see that the entire material got darker and so did my scene. Now when I render, you can see the entire scene got darker, but our shark and our text are now starting to pop a little bit more off the background. The next thing we're missing is a little bit of shadow information. You can see that the areas in between the letters here are bright.
They really should be in the dark. Also, the text should be casting a shadow onto our shark as it passes by. So let's duplicate this light one more time. We're going to duplicate the shark light and call it shadow light. In the options for the shadow light, we're going to go to the Scene property. We're going to delete the shark uber object out of there. Then this is very important. We're going to change the Mode from Include to Exclude. When you do that now, because it's excluding nothing that means it's going to affect all the objects in the scene.
Right now, our light is casting light on our objects. But we really only wanted to cast shadows. That way we have two lights for light and then one light for just shadows. That gives us a lot of control over the scene. So we have to tell this light to be a shadow caster. So let's go to the Details property, and tell it to be a shadow caster by turning on the Shadow Caster button. This light is no longer affecting our scene from an illumination standpoint, but it's also not casting shadows yet. So we have to turn shadows on. We go to the Shadow page, and then change the Shadow type from None to Area.
An Area shadow is the most accurate type of shadow that's CINEMA 4D can draw. When I render this now, you're going to see-- You can actually already see it in the analysis pass. But you can see now we have some nice dark shadows in the in between on the letters, and our shadow being cast onto our shark. So this Lighting setup gives a lot of flexibility and control over how our scene is illuminated. Our underwater look is really coming together.
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