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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
Since you can bring CINEMA 4D camera data into After Effects, you want to plan ahead on what kind of effects and 3D scene data you will need for finishing inside of After Effects. You also want to take stock of all the render passes needed to ensure that you only need to be rendering out of CINEMA 4D once. So the first thing we are going to need to do is you're going to need to place a null object in our scene in this 3D space that can be used inside of After Effects to place our 2D text that will have all the retail information on shows and times for our fake PIXEL TV network.
So to do this we're going to add a null, and we're going to get out of this Morph Camera view by just unchecking the view button, and I can move around freely in the viewport. I'm going to position this null so it's just a little bit in front of the cube grid. I'm just going to move it over here. It doesn't really matter so much as where it is in X and Y space, but just making sure that it's placed correctly in Z space, because I can easily change it inside of After Effects if needed.
So I think that's good enough. I'm going to rename this null Text Null, just so we know that that's for our text. So we need a way to export this 3D position of this null and have it be brought into After Effects. The way we're going to do that is by right-clicking and adding a CINEMA 4D External Compositing tag. And what this tag is going to do is I can export all the 3D data and this will export out and bring a null into an After Effects project file just exactly as it is in 3D space here.
So the next thing we need to do is add compositing tags to just our text objects here, just in case we need to change anything inside of After Effects. By isolating the text with comp tags, you can change the color of them without having to re-render inside of CINEMA 4D, in case the client requests for something like that. So let's go into our cube text, and let's select all of our text objects here. And I'm going to right-click, go to CINEMA 4D tags > Compositing tags.
So we need to enable an object buffer, so we'll just enable this first one and set all of these object buffers to buffer number 1. Now, we need to jump into our Render Settings here and make sure, under Multi-Pass, that first it's selected and then enabled so you can now render out multipasses. Now, you have to go into Multi-Pass and make sure you add an Object Buffer. And by default, it's set to 1, which is just fine because our object buffer is set to 1 here. The other multipass objects you'll need to start creating can be added by going up to Multi-Pass and selecting Add Image Layers.
So this adds a whole mess of multipass layers. We don't really need all of them right now. So right now I'm just going to delete the ones that we don't need. So I'm just going to go into Global Illumination and hit Delete. And we don't need Caustics, Atmosphere, or Post-Effects. We don't even need Refraction because we don't have any glass objects to refract anything, so we'll get rid of that. So rendering out all these different passes allows you to have a lot of control over how you can tweak things. Like say you want to adjust the amount of specular to your scene with the amount of shadows or reflections.
You can do this all in After Effects if you render out all these passes. So the next thing you need to do is go into your Anti-Aliasing. And right now it's set to the lowest setting of Geometry. I just need to change that to Best. We also need to go to Filter, and it's set to Still Image right now. We need to change that to Animation. Now we'll go to our Save options, and we'll just render out a QuickTime movie format for each of these. And what we'll need to do now is save to a path.
So right now I'm just going to navigate to my desktop and just create a new render folder and name this pixel. And we'll just copy and paste this into the Multi-Pass Image as well. So this will save everything to one render folder. We also have to make sure that our compositing project file is enabled. So to do this, we need to enable Save. Target Application will be After Effects so that's fine. And we need to check on Relative and Include 3D Data.
That's going to be the biggie. Since we set up this text null, we need to make sure that that text null 3D data information is saved out into this After Effects file. So I'm going to save this out and just save it to my render folder on my desktop. I'll just name it pixel. But you can see in your exercise files, in chapter 5, you already have an After Effects compositing file inside there already. So the last thing we need to do is check our output. We're going to be rendering out at 1280x720, so we need to come down here to Film/Video, and we'll just choose HDTV 720 and that will give us 1280x720 at 29.97, which is fine.
Then in Frame Range, we'll go from Current Frame to All Frames because we want to render out the whole Timeline, from 0-100, and that's basically it. You're all set to render. So in setting up a CINEMA 4D scene for rendering, you want to plan ahead and set it up so that you only need to render out once. So if the client requests a minor change, such as the color of text or the amount of shadow or reflection in a scene, you can easily modify it inside of After Effects. Time is always of the essence in this industry.