Join EJ Hassenfratz for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding lens-flare lights with Xpresso, part of Mograph Techniques: Movie Trailer Titles in Cinema 4D and After Effects.
- Now that we've fully animated our titles it's time to set up our scenes for render. To start we'll make sure that our highlight lights follow our texts so that we can composite and track lens flares on top of them when we actually render it and bring these animations into After Effects. So the whole process for getting out lens flares lights, and track to our text is complicated by the fact that since we're using effectors to animate our letters and since the actual position values of the texts don't change just simply placing a light as a child of one of these letters won't work.
Luckily there's a fairly simple expressive set up that'll track our lens flare lights to our letters. Now Espresso is a node based system that's super powerful but very deep and can be intimidating for beginners. But it's important to learn the basics of it because you don't have to go very deep into it for it to be useful in your every day work flow. If you'd like to know more about Espresso be sure to check out the Introducing Espresso movie in CINEMA 4D R12 Essential Training with Rob Garrett in the lynda.com online training library.
So what we need to do is actually have our fracture object output the PSR Data or Position Skill Rotation Data of our individual text letters as they're being moved around in our scene by Mode Graph Effectors. So here are my lens flare lights, they're the highlight lights. And what I'm gonna do is let's start with the F Highlight light and let's just rename this F Lens Flare. And we're gonna make this a child of a null. So I'm just gonna group objects so that light is placed under a null.
And I'll do F Lens Flare Null as the name for our null here. Now what I'm gonna do is actually have this null track to the letter and then because I made the lens flare a child of that null, I can independently move this lens flare light as this lens flare null is getting tracked. So let's go ahead and create an Espresso Tag, and start writing some espresso here. So what we need to do is drag our lens flare null into our Espresso Editor as well as the fracture object.
So what we need to do is export the position skill rotation data from the individual letters in our fracture object and feed them into this lens flare null. So what we're gonna do is go to our fracture object node and click on the little red square there and we're gonna choose object. So then what we need to do is actually input it into our flare null and have it control the global PSR, position skill rotation data over a null. And in Cinema 4D this is called the Global Matrix.
So we click on the blue rectangle. We'll just select Global Matrix. So to be able to access the mode graph data of the fracture object we'll need another node that will export out the individual position skill rotation of the letters as they're being affected by the effectors. We can't just simply export out the fracture PSR data and feed it into the null global matrix data because that would just export out the position skill rotation values of our actual fracture object and not the individual letter objects underneath it.
To be able to access that data or these letter position skill rotation information we need another node. So what we're gonna need is a data node, and I'm gonna right click, go to new node, go to motion graphics and data. So right now we have a few ports that will help us out here and we need to feed in the fracture object node into the object port on the data node. And you'll see we don't have any Global Matrix on our data output node yet.
We actually need to add that. So if we click on the red rectangle we have this Global Matrix port there, and then we'll just connect the Global Matrix Node port to the Flare Null Port, and you can see that our flare jumped and it's right on the K right now. So we're getting there. Now if we select the Data Node you'll see we have this parameter index of zero. Now what's that? Now when we have a MoGraph Object or a Fracture Object each object has its own Number ID.
So the first cloner object will be Index Zero as you can see here. In our Index Zero is the letter K, or our first letter here. So therefore the letter E would be one, Y would be two so on and so forth. So as I change this index you can see the lens flare light jump to each of our letters as I change this index node. Now we want this light to actually be on the F. This is the F Lens Flare Node. So that's an index number of three.
So now what's gonna happen I can close this now. Now what's gonna happen is you can see our letter F is right down here and our lens flare null is now tracking and following it, and that is exactly what we want. Now notice this is the whole reason why I made this lens flare null be the thing tracked because I want to be able to independently move the actual lens flare light around. So now I can just move this back into position I want it to be.
So I want it to be just right on the front of the letter F. So it's right there. I can continue moving this wherever I want it to go. And wherever I put it it'll now be tracked onto that letter in that exact position. So that's exactly what we want. So now since we can move this F lens flare light object independently we can actually set a key frame and make this lens flare light kind of just move along this F profile.
So I'll set a key frame for the X, and I'll just go back in time here and let's go right here. I'll just move this slightly off to the left here and then hit a key frame. So now I have the lens flare moving from left to right very slowly. I can actually bring this out. I just want a very subtle move there. So there's our lens flare lights slowly moving from left to right.
And what we're gonna do is do this exact same set up with the other lens flares and connect them. This light to the R and this light to the E. So with some simple Espresso you now know how you can attach objects to other objects animated by MoGraph cloners or fracture objects using the set up. Now we can also composite lens flares onto these track lights once we're in After Effects.
- Exploring movie trailer trends
- Creating eye-catching bevels with Sweep NURBS and chisel techniques
- Texturing and lighting title text
- Animating the titles and cameras
- Setting up for render
- Adding optical flares, motion blur, and other effects
- Compositing motion graphics and live-action footage
- Color correcting composites