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- Creating a cube grid with the MoGraph Cloner
- Creating first-, second-, and third-wave animations
- Using a null object to group and keyframe multiple effectors
- Limiting the influence of an effector
- Adding texture
- Using an HDRI map for reflections
- Lighting the scene
- Importing a CINEMA 4D project into After Effects
- Isolating and changing text color with object buffers
Skill Level Intermediate
Lighting is a very important element in real-world studio scenes as well as 3D scenes. A good animation can be ruined by not having proper lightning. So let's add our first light. Go up to Lights > Area Light. And Area Lights are the more accurate realistic-looking lights. They take longer to render, but I think they also look the best. So this will be our main light. Let's rename it Main. Let's go the Details and give it a falloff so the light actually acts as it would in real life-- it actually trails off as objects are further away from the light.
So let's just hit Render. That's looking pretty good so far. Let's actually change the Intensity to 55. So we're actually we're going to add other lights that will help fill out the lighting in the scene. So let's create our second light, and this will be a Spot light. And we're just going to zoom out, and we're going to position this light at the bottom right. It's going to be more of an accent light down here.
And I can adjust the angle of the spot light by just dragging these handles. And I'm also going to set the falloff on this light as well to the Inverse Square Physically Accurate. And you can see that the light will stop here, but we actually need to stretch this cone out so it meets the actual grid. So, that's good so far. If I move this over a little bit and maybe adjust the angle a little bit wider. So I want to change the color of this light to a more bluish hue.
I don't want all of the lights to be white, considering most of the scene is white materials. So I am going to change the color of the light to a little bit more bluish hue, hit OK, and I'm going to bring the intensity down to 90, reposition here. Now let's see how this looks. So we've got a nice little bluish accent. We need to adjust the light a little bit here and adjust the rotation. A little bit too sharp of a falloff over here. It gets a little bit dark too fast.
I'm going to adjust the length of this as well to brighten it up, move the falloff so more of the light's hitting the scene. That's looking a lot better. We have this nice blue accent light over here. So let's create our third and final light, and this will be a light that will come from overhead and then we'll make another Area Light. We'll position this to the top of our cube grid. And this will actually be the light that will create our shadows that will kind of give some depth and mood to the scene.
So I'm going to position the Area Light up at the top here, just rename our lights. So this is the fill, the color is blue, and this is more of our like rim light with shadow, rim shadow. So we have to enable the shadow, and we'll choose an area shadow. This is also the highest-quality shadow you can choose. It also looks the most realistic and looks the best, in my opinion. We've got that adjusted. Also, go to Details, and we want to have a falloff on this as well, Inverse Square again.
Let's drag the handles out so we have our text illuminated by this light up here. Reposition here and let's go and zoom in here and see how that looks. So there's a little bit too much of a highlight up here, but I like this nice shadow; it really gives it a nice mood to the scene. So I think all we have to really do is move this light up a little bit and bring it out so it's not so close and making that really hot specular right there.
We will bring it up a little bit more. We can adjust the falloff just a tiny bit. And let's hit Render again. I think that looks pretty nice. We got this nice rim light up here creating this nice shadow. We have our nice fill light that's set to blue hue, and then we have one of our main lights here lighting the front of the text so you can read it. So one more thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go to my Render settings here and I'm going to add an effect.
I'm going to add ambient occlusion. What ambient occlusion is is the effect of how real objects are shaded in real life. So when two objects are close together they naturally have a shadow in between the crack. So let me go ahead and render and I'll show you what I'm talking about. You can see that this added a little bit of shadow in between the cracks of these cubes and it looks a little bit more realistic. Let me show you what it looks like when it's turned off. So it's very subtle. And you actually go to Interactive Render Region here and turn it on again.
You can see it adds that slight light shadow there. It's very slight and subtle, but I think it adds a little bit more to the scene. So let's keep that on. Let's turn off the Interactive Render Region and close out our Render settings. You can see how adding lighting can bring a certain mood to a scene. The practice of using the traditional three-point lighting technique in real- life movie sets definitely translates into the 3D scenes as well.