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CINEMA 4D Essentials 5: Rendering and Compositing
Illustration by John Hersey

Understanding the 3D animation workflow


From:

CINEMA 4D Essentials 5: Rendering and Compositing

with Rob Garrott

Video: Understanding the 3D animation workflow

CINEMA 4D is an amazing application for generating images, but is not made for manipulating them. When it comes time to manipulate your images, you need to move to a compositing program like Photoshop or After Effects, or even Nuke. CINEMA 4D's rendering and compositing controls allow for tight integration with compositing applications. This means that you can change your images dramatically inside the compositing program without having to go back to CINEMA 4D to re-render. So this is a rendering I created in CINEMA 4D. I'll hit 0 on the numeric keypad.

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CINEMA 4D Essentials 5: Rendering and Compositing
1h 36m Beginner Sep 20, 2012

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CINEMA 4D Essentials with Rob Garrott is a graduated introduction to this complex 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program, which breaks down into installments that can be completed within 2 hours. This installment covers the basics of rendering images and animation and compositing those elements and effects together into a single movie. Rob shows how to optimize your render settings and configure batch rendering for maximum efficiency. On the compositing side, he shows how to use the compositing tag and object buffers to create a flawless composite, and how to round-trip assets between CINEMA 4D and After Effects.

Topics include:
  • How the CINEMA 4D render engine works
  • Adjusting the render settings
  • Rendering still images and animation
  • Setting up multipass rendering
  • Understanding the linear workflow
  • Rendering and importing elements from After Effects
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Video Compositing Visual Effects
Software:
CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

Understanding the 3D animation workflow

CINEMA 4D is an amazing application for generating images, but is not made for manipulating them. When it comes time to manipulate your images, you need to move to a compositing program like Photoshop or After Effects, or even Nuke. CINEMA 4D's rendering and compositing controls allow for tight integration with compositing applications. This means that you can change your images dramatically inside the compositing program without having to go back to CINEMA 4D to re-render. So this is a rendering I created in CINEMA 4D. I'll hit 0 on the numeric keypad.

This will generate a RAM preview. That's not a bad looking rendering, but I want it to have a little bit more of a dramatic feel to it. And so what I created here inside of CINEMA 4D was this, I darkened it down a little bit, I adjusted the colors a little bit better, to be a little more monochromatic and less saturated. This is a RAM preview for that. The other thing you'll notice is that I added some type, and that type is a 2D element here in After Effects.

I want to be able to change out this type on a regular basis. Right now it says external compositing tag, but what if I wanted it to say coming up next or Saturday? Well, I can do that because that type was generated in After Effects. I don't have to go back to CINEMA 4D to re-render that type. And that is the power of using After Effects to manipulate your images. You have total control over what you can change by using the compositing tools inside of CINEMA 4D; things like object buffers, external compositing tags. They allow you to manipulate in post without having to go through the hassle of re-rendering.

This entire chapter is dedicated to the process of working with the compositing program. Now I work with After Effects, but a lot of the principles I'm going to use here will work with both Photoshop, or any other compositing program; Nuke or Smoke or Flame. The ideas are the same. The main idea is that you're not stuck with the image that you get out of the 3D program.

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