Learn how to track and extract the camera move and ground plane from already shot footage in After Effects, and add a 3D model—complete with lighting and shadows—to the scene with CINEMA 4D Lite.
- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of Crish Design and welcome to the third of three After Effects apprentice courses, and using Cinema 4D Lite with After Effects. In the prior courses in this series, you've learned how to create a video wall and map video onto the face of it; how to animate 3D text inside Cinema 4D and then composite over background in After Effects. This one has a more visual effects bent. In this shot, you're gonna take this 3D crown and map it onto this path in a piece of already shot footage. To accomplish this, you're gonna go through the following steps: you're gonna use a 3D camera tracker in After Effects to determine where the camera actually was in the shot; set the ground plane origin; extract the camera move; and then bring that camera move into your Cinema 4D project.
We're going to import the small older crown; match it to the After Effects scene; and catch the shadows that it casts and separate them out so that we can composite them on top of the path, back in After Effects. We're also gonna take a few steps to improve the quality of the render. I think you'll agree that the results are pretty good for one of your projects in Cinema 4D Lite. Now again, this is the third of three Cinema 4D Lite After Effects apprentice courses. I do expect you've watched at least the first one because in that one, I cover a lot of details in the Cinema 4D user interface, as well as important things you need to set up in both the After Effects and Cinema 4D projects to get them to work together, but if you've watched that, really you don't need any prior 3D application experience.
I do expect you to know how to get around After Effects; be comfortable with 3D space there, but this is a nice series of your first Cinema 4D projects to get comfortable working in this really powerful environment.
The first course in the series, After Effects Apprentice 17, includes an overview of the C4D Lite user interface, as well as important setup information you need to know whenever you use live C4D layers in After Effects. We recommend you watch it first if you have no prior experience with C4D.
- 3D camera tracking
- Setting a ground plane and origin
- Merging an After Effects camera move into a C4D project
- Adding a 3D model to the scene
- Casting and compositing shadows
- Improving the final composite