Join Chris Meyer for an in-depth discussion in this video Mapping a material to a surface, part of After Effects Apprentice 17: Video Walls in CINEMA 4D Lite.
- In the previous movie, we created our custom video material. We've mapped our video into the color channel of this material and now it's time to map that onto just this inner face of our 3D video wall. Initially, that looks tricky because I only have the rectangle and the extrude object. If I applied my material to the rectangle, I don't see anything because it's just a spline. It's not a 3D object that can take a texture. What I need to do is apply this texture on top of my extrude object in addition, not as a replacement of, but in addition to this metal texture and then carefully map how this video is applied.
I'm going to drag the video after the metal texture. Make sure it's applied on top of the metal. Initially it's mapped to my entire video wall and I'll type COMMAND or CONTROL + R, and that's a little bit on the ugly side. But, we can edit how it's mapped to restrict it just to that screen. I'm going to select the Texture tag for my video, go down to the Attributes manager, and look underneath the tag Tab for that texture. The initial projection is something called UVW Mapping, which tries to wrap the video around the entire model.
That's not exactly what I want in this case. I want a different type of mapping, which projected as a flat image on top of my model. I'll choose Flat, and it's tiled a bunch of times all over my video wall, the main screen, the rounding, and the sides. Well there's this important section in Tag properties called Selection where I can type in some very special codes. If I type in C1 for Cap 1, press ENTER, you'll see the video is just on that cap.
If I wanted it only on the back cap of my wall, I'd change it to C2 and for fun, let's orbit around behind my model. There it is. If I wanted it only on the rounding, the bevel, I would type either R1 for the front rounding or R2 for the back rounding. But clearly, I want the front cap. C1, and it does indeed need to be a capital C or a capital R. You cannot use lowercase. Press ENTER. There it is. Okay, I only want one video.
I don't want a whole bunch of videos. Let's turn off tiling. Now I just have one. Cool. This last section down here in the Tag properties allows me to change how many times it's tiled. One's fine. And where it's positioned on the surface. Offset is the position, left to right, up and down, and here's the length. And it look like width and the height always comes from the upper left corner. Let's go ahead and first position that upper left corner.
Then we can stretch it out. And press three and orbit around so I see this fairly face on, so I get an idea of what I am doing here. There we go. Then, I'm going to scrub until I get this just on the left and upper edge of my model. Now that I have my upper left corner positioned, I'll play around with the width to stretch it across and then the length to stretch it down, to just fills my video screen.
And it's okay if I go just a little bit over since a normal video screen would be slightly chopped of by his bezel. I'll type COMMAND or CONTROL + R to render, and there's my video on the inside of my video wall. You can even see it reflect in my metal edges here. It's a bit blown out right now by our lighting. We'll tweak that later. Right now, I just want to make sure it fits. Now, orbit around a little bit to look at some different perspectives. Render. Yeah, I like how that's working, particularly the reflections on the metal texture. That's very cool.
I'll show you one more trick to map or position textures like this. And go back to this face-on view. If instead of the tag, you select the entire model, you can go over to your command palettes and choose the one called Texture. Use Texture Mode. That will give me a map showing how this texture is stretched across this model. Now I can get a little bit more precise here in terms of positioning it where I want it. I can also directly pick up this map inside the viewport and move it around to position it as well.
Let's get that where I want it, there. And I'm happy with that. And I'll go back to my normal model mode. Again, if I want to double-check my work, I'll first position this a little bit more nicely, save, and return to After Effects. And the screen will render and update with a little resolution version of my video and my frame. Looks like I have a little bit of an edge here. I need to go back and fix this in my 4D. The thing I want to point out though is that this video is indeed animated and we'll update different frames of that texture window to match different frames in my composition.
Very cool. Let's switch back to Cinema 4D and fix this slight mapping problem. Select my Texture tag. Change my link a little bit. Make sure that I've got that entire edge covered. Save. Back to After Effects. It'll update. Looks good. Okay. I now have a lit and textured video wall. The next step is creating a camera move around this video wall, and we'll do that in the next chapter.
These courses are designed for users who are familiar with 3D space in After Effects, but who have never used CINEMA 4D. This course includes an overview of the C4D Lite user interface, as well as setup information you need to know whenever you use live C4D layers in After Effects. A bonus chapter shows how to set up a C4D Lite and After Effects scene to maximize production efficiency—and minimize render times.
Look for the upcoming courses After Effects Apprentice 18 and 19 for more C4D Lite projects.
- Setting up your After Effects and C4D Lite projects
- Creating a rectangular spline for the video wall
- Using texture and lighting presets
- Creating a simple 3D camera move
- Creating 3D text in After Effects
- Converting a parametric object to polygons
- Compositing video walls