Skill Level Intermediate
- [EJ] Welcome to another Motion Graphics Weekly, where you up your mograph knowledge one week at a time. I'm EJ Hassenfratz, let's get our learn on. In last week's video, I introduced you to XRefs, the external project file reference object, and how you can integrate it into your workflow. Well, in this video, I'm gonna build on how to use XRefs in a way that can vastly improve how you work on projects and use materials across multiple projects by building a master material project file that can be referenced across multiple project files.
Now, there are two certainties in life, death and client revisions, and this quick tip is going to be handy for at least that second thing, so when working on projects, typically, you'll have a color palette or color scheme and these tend to change as you develop the final look and you know having to update colors across multiple project files is quite a tedious process, so you're gonna see that I have this very simple project file, with a red blue and green material on these little paintbrushes, and I also have this other awesome scene that was also using those same colors.
Now, what happens if the client's like, you know what, these colors, we want to shift them to another set of colors that we have for our brand. Okay, so, this is where creating a master material XRef file is gonna be super helpful, because instead of going into each individual project file and updating the materials on each one, we can actually go ahead and develop a color palette file that we can reference and update across a bunch of other project files, so let me just demonstrate this.
So let's just say the client says, you know what, instead of this kind of green, let's make it a little bit more yellowish green, maybe something like this. Maybe for the red, we want a much deeper, darker crimson, perhaps, so maybe something like this. And then for the blue, maybe more a royal blue, so I'll just update these colors as well, to something like that.
So we just updated all these colors and of course they're probably gonna be uglier than the colors that you had initially (laughing) but you know, you've got to do what the client wants, right? So what we're gonna do is set this all up to be saved as an XRef, and having these materials just down here in the Material Manager aren't going to translate, so we need to go ahead and apply them to an object, and here I just have a simple null that you can pull up right there. I named it Color Palette and with these materials applied, we can have a bunch of materials here, whatever materials you're gonna want to be referencing and using in all of your other project files, you're gonna want to apply to this one null, okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and save this file so this color palette.c4d.
I'm gonna jump into my first awesome scene and just load up this color palette as an XRef so I'm just gonna say add XRef, and I'm going to go ahead and navigate to the XRefs color palette, there it is. Hit Open and there are my materials, so what I can do is, Command + click and drag, and you're gonna see I can actually rewrite over the existing colors, so there's my red. I'll hold Option, click and drag, and Option, click and drag to replace the green there, and go into my other awesome scene, go and create this XRef here as well, this color palette, there it is, and do the same thing where I Option, click and drag to replace all the existing colors there as well, and there we go, so everything's updated with these colors.
Well, let's just say that the client's like, you know what, I actually liked it the other way, which of course that's gonna happen, so we're gonna go into our color palette, our master color palette file, and, you know, tweak this again to get the colors that we originally had. So let's bring this red back to, close to where it was, before, and something like that, we're getting kind of close here. Make this a little bit more like teal, okay, so I changed all of those, all right, and what I'm gonna do is just save this now, and instead of having to reapply the materials again, all I need to do is go into each scene, go into my color palette XRef, and just hit reload, and it'll update all those colors dynamically, so I can go into my other scene, go into my color palette XRef, hit reload, and voila, it's updated again.
So your client can be as picky and finicky as they want to be, and as long as you have this XRef master file, this color palette, and you update all the materials in here and apply these materials through that XRef in all of your other files, as we did here, you can easily update throughout many, many multiple projects, and this workflow is such a huge time saver, being able to update over multiple projects, and I really hope that you find this little workflow trick helpful in your very own workflow.
Don't want to wait until the next week to learn something new? No problem. Here are other ways to feed your creative brain to keep you busy in the meantime. You can check out my other courses in the library, visit my website, eyedesyn.com, for more tutorials, subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when I post a new video, join my Facebook page for daily mograph inspiration, and keep up to date on all my latest mograph creations on Instagram. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you here again next week.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.