- When it comes time to export this out, it is going to be important to change the final render quality. What you have been working with has been essentially a real-time preview quality. That is great for working out timing but not going to give you the full 3D effect you probably want. All you need to do is select the 3D layer and in the Effects panel here, change it from Software render to either Draft or Final. Draft is going to go faster and give you an idea of what it looks like, but it is still not the full quality.
You'll notice that this is a reasonable processing speed but it still takes a bit of time. This can be useful if you want to create a preview quality animation to export and put into your nonlinear editor. But if you know that you have exactly what you want, you can switch that to Final. And you'll notice here, let's just move the play head up a little bit, that the shading and the reflections are much more realistic. We now have this great plastic-type look and gloss.
I really like this, I just want to add a power window before we render. So I will choose Layer, New, Solid, and add a dark gray solid in there. A nice dark color like that should work well. Create that layer and put it near the top then choose the Ellipse tool and double-click. That will apply the mask. If you twirl that down and invert the mask, you have a simple power window.
Now you can blur that a little bit so it is nice and feathered, and click the Mode button so you blend that together. Multiply mode is going to work best. Now you can feel free to adjust the opacity to taste, as well as the amount of feathering, but you have a much more photorealistic blending at the edges, giving us the focus at the center of the frame so that it is darker at the edge and draws your eye to the middle.
This is now a nice, simple logo animation. And of course, we can get in and be more complex, but knowing very little about 3D, we were able to create a bumper graphic here. I will let that preview out for a second. The key here is that you certainly can dig into CINEMA 4D. You'll find extensive training available here on lynda.com. And if you like 3D applications and want to learn a new one, CINEMA 4D is a great way to go about it because it is a fairly straightforward 3D application.
Notice I said fairly straightforward. Learning video editing and motion graphics and 3D might be enough to make your head hurt. The goal today was to teach you enough about 3D so you can get by, so you can create some simple things without having to dig too deep into your toolbox. What we did here was just bring in a CINEMA 4D project and convert it into an After Effects project. I just had a 3D artist build this for me, and then send it over. This means that without having to learn a whole new tool, I can still do some simple modifications and create content for my clients.
You see here that our logo animation is previewed. Now let us just stop there and look at that front part and the animated lights, the 3D camera and the final quality shading produce some very nice effects. If you are ready to render it out, just choose Composition, Add to Render Queue, and then choose your output module. You can either use a preset or click on the word Lossless, to bring up a new dialog.
Like before, I recommend you choose the format options and then consider something like the GoPro's CineForm codec, or Apple ProRes or Avid, depending upon your editing needs. Set that as you need and adjust the quality then click OK. Everything else should be fine with the standard settings. Click the Output To option and navigate to your rendered folder. There's my exports.
I will save this as a movie and click Save, and then simply capture my project by choosing Save As. This will make it easy if I want to go back to an earlier version. There we go, all my work is captured and I can now click the Render button to generate a new movie. You will notice that it begins the render process and you can track how long it is going to take. If you twirl this down, you get some more details about what is happening and you can see details about the rendered frames.
But I could tell that this won't take too long. It looks like it is going to take probably 2 to 3 minutes to export the finished file. All right, we'll let that finish out and that is one more project that we can check off as being done.
- Working with 3D layers in Photoshop
- Using Vanishing Point Exchange
- Using 3D layers in After Effects
- Creating 3D content in Illustrator