Join EJ Hassenfratz for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying dynamics to text, part of Mograph Techniques: Mixing 2D and 3D with After Effects and Cinema 4D.
By utilizing Cinema 4D to build our 2D cell elements, we can really get creative with some of Cinema 4D's awesome features. One of them being the Dynamics model that applies physics to objects in your scene. So let's go ahead and navigate to our project file. Go to Open, we'll go to chapter three. And we'll open the 03>03_01_UsingDynamics Cinema 4D file. So you'll see here in the scene, I added some MoTech objects to our books.
So now we have Adobe After Effects on one page, and Max on Cinema 4D on the other. You can see that in my book group hierarchy here. There they are. So they're just flat pieces of text here. So let's add dynamics to our text so they will slide and fall of the pages of the book to add some really cool, dynamic looking effect. Let's select our two pieces of text here, and I'm going to right-click. Go to Simulation Tags, and go to Rigid Body Tag.
Now this will apply dynamics, or real world physics, to our objects here. So if I hit Play, you'll see our text just fall right through our book. So the next thing we have to do, is apply a few more tags, and we need to make our page and our back cover of our book dynamic, as well. So we need our Dynamic system to recognize that these are dynamic objects as well. So with our front cover, our page, back cover, and our second page selected, we're going to right-click go to simulation tags and use a Collider Body.
Now this will make these book elements or these book objects be recognized in the dynamic simulation. Well, actually, we have to set our dynamics to actually start, not at the beginning of this composition, but further on. So, we can do this by going to our two pieces of text here. Clicking on their Dynamics tags. If you go to the Dynamics tab here, you can see that we have an option that we can key frame to turn the dynamics on or off.
And also ghost. But, we're just going to worry about on or off. So, we only really want our dynamic simulation to start maybe at about frame 75. So, let's go to frame 74. So, frame 74 is where we're going to go from turning our dynamics from off to on. But I won't be able to do it right here because, as you can see in our view port, our text is kind of floating above our book and that's because dynamic simulations, by default, initiate from frame zero.
So I have to drag all the way back to frame zero and then I can actually turn my dynamics off. So there we go, we see our text. At frame 74, we'll hit a key frame on both these dynamics tabs. And then at frame 75, we'll turn this dynamics from off to on. So, that will enable the dynamics on these two pieces of text. So, now let's hit Play and see what we have. We have our dynamics turning on at frame 75 and our text starts to fall off.
But you'll see our text is falling as two separate groups. We want our texts to fall as individual letters. Now, to fix that, let's go back to the beginning here. To do this, we're going to go into our two dynamic tags on our text. And under Collision, we're going to change individual elements from off to all. So this will make dynamics recognize each of these letters as individual objects. So now if I go back to frame zero and hit Play, all of our letters are falling individually.
You can see that if I pan down a little bit, you can see all of our text is falling as individual pieces. So to make this even more interesting looking, let's actually tilt our book up at around frame 85, let's go and click on our book group. And we're going to set a key frame for the rotation in the pitch. So you can see that's controlling our book rotating up. And then at frame 95, we'll change our pitch rotation from negative 30 to about negative 70. And we'll hit a new key frame.
So now our book will be standing more upright. So now let's do our animation again. So right now our text is falling off and sliding off a little bit too fast. To fix this, we'll actually go into our dynamics tags on our text again, and we're going to crank up the friction values. Let's change it from 30 to about 400. Now let's hit Play. So now you'll see by adding that friction value of 400, our text is sticking to our book a lot longer, and it needs a lot more force to actually move off our book here.
So this is looking pretty good. So with the Dynamics module, you can add real-world physics to your 2D-style animations and get really creative with your animation. To be able to do this inside of After Effects, you would either need to painstakingly hand key frame all these pieces of text or buy an expensive plug in to do it for you.
- Adding materials, lights, and camera to a scene
- Using bend deformers
- Using the spline shader to add text
- Applying dynamics to text
- Importing CINEWARE layers into After Effects