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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.
Now I'm starting off with the scene file created in the previous movie. Now if you are following along and you haven't completed the first two movies, this file is not included in the project files. So you'll need to complete the first two movies in order to get to this point. Our underwater look is really coming together, but our type can use a bit more help. Let's do a quick rendering here and talk about what's going on. So when our scene renders, the Shark Zone type here is very, very flat. You can notice that especially here on the Z and the S. The face of the Z blends back into the sides.
That makes the type a lot less legible than it really should be. Promo and motion graphics in general are really all about communication. You want your viewer to be able to absolutely read the type that's on screen. That's the most important thing. The shark is cool in all, but the promo is really all about the Shark Zone block. That's what this type represents. So I want to make this type very, very legible. What we're going to do is create a set of materials that are going to lift the face off the surface of the type and darken down the sides so that the face of the type really pops out of the scene.
I'm going to in the Material Manager create a new material. I'll do the File > New Material. Let's call this one text face. Now I don't need to add any color to this, because all of the color in our image is coming from the HDRI material that's surrounding our scene. So I can leave it flat gray. I'm going to punch up the Specular on it though just a bit. So it has a little more sheen to it, about there. I'm going to apply this to our Shark Zone type.
Now this is the face material. The next thing I'd like to do is create a material for the sides that is based on the text face material. So the easiest way to do that is to hold down the Ctrl key and drag a copy of text face right to the right here. I'm going to click on the Material and drag right to the right. See that thick white line indicates I'm dragging? And when I let go, I get a new material right next to it. I'm going to double-click and call this material text side. This text side material needs to be darker than the face because I want the face of my letters to really pop out of the scene.
So let's darken this down. I'll go to the Color channel and bring the Brightness slider way down in the 30% range. Let's apply this to our Shark Zone type as well. Drag across from the Material Manager onto the sharkzone Extrude NURB. The order of the tags here is very important. CINEMA 4D evaluates the materials here from right to left. So whatever materials on the right- hand side is what gets evaluated first. Everything else is considered underneath it. So right now, our side material is covering up the face.
You can see our Shark Zone type got much darker here in the Editor view. Let's reverse this order. When I do that, you see my Shark Zone type brightened up. But now if I render this, it still doesn't have the pop that I'm really looking for. The sides still blend into the faces. What I need to do is limit this material to only showing up on the face of the object. So underneath the Texture tag that's applied to the Shark Zone type, there is a tag property. In that tag property is a Selection field.
Now on the text object sharkzone, it's an Extrude NURB. There is a built-in Selection tag. The Selection tag allows you to limit how a material shows up on the surface of an object. There is a built-in one to the sharkzone Extrude NURB object. This is something that's particular to the Extrude NURB. If I type the letters C and the number 1 in that field, suddenly now my Shark Zone type will have a face that's brighter than the sides. Let's render that. You can see it really makes the face pop out of the background.
The sides of the type now are much, much darker than the background. So now that I've got that type to pop out a little bit, I want to add a little bit of edging to the letters to help them stand out a little bit more from the sides. So let's create a new material that's going to be called the bevels. We're going to limit that to showing up only in the bevels on the type, the edges that connect the face to the sides. So let's duplicate the text face material. I'm going to hold down the Ctrl key and drag a copy over. Let's call this one text edge. The text edge material now needs to be quite a bit brighter than the face.
So let's go back to the Color channel for that text edge material. You can see that the Brightness is set at 100%. There is really no way to get that brighter than that, except by changing the Color value here. So if I change this color, you'd see it's at 204x204x204. If I bring this to all the way to 100% white, it's going to get brighter. I want it to be even brighter still. So another technique I like to use is adding the Luminance channel to the mix here. So I'll go to the Basic properties and add Luminance.
My material goes completely white. That's normal. The Luminance channel in the situation will usually override the Color channel. When I select the word Color here in the Properties and hold down the Shift key and select Luminance, I can see both channels together. What I'd like to do is just dial down the Brightness on the Luminance so that it is much, much darker than the Color. That will give me the benefit of having a Luminance channel in there. So my material gets brighter, but it still has all the shading of the Color channel. So let's bring this down to about 10%.
Now let's apply this to our Objects. I'm going to drag the text edge over to the sharkzone. Remember now it's sitting on top of all my other materials. If I render this, my type will be a lot brighter. So what I like to do is use another one of those built-in Selection tags and to limit the material to only showing up on the bevels. That Selection tag that I'm going to use is called R1, capital R and the number one. They are case-sensitive. So it has to be uppercase R and the number one.
When I hit Return now and then render one more time, you'll see that my edges are now going to pop off the edge of the type. You can see that on the edge of the letter Z that my edge really stands out now. It makes the type much, much more legible than it was before. Even though the shark is really cool, and the whole promo is called Shark Zone, it's really not about the shark. It's about the type. It's about the message that people should tune into the Shark Zone. So it's really crucial to make sure the viewer sees our number one priority. Now with our shading in place, our type element really jumps out at you.
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