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Now you can create impressive motion work much easily than you might think, owing to the powerful tools offered by Adobe in Creative Cloud.

Strategic partnership that emerged between Adobe and Maxon is definitely exciting news for any motion designer. A lot of time is spent by motion designers working on these applications. Although a pipeline was present between these two, scope for improvement was definitely there. Today we have such a tool in the form of Cinema 4D Lite, allowing designers to generate assets ready for compositing in after effects CC.

Earlier, exporting render passes and camera data was considered to be among the trickiest things that a designer had to work on. This task became even more tedious when it involved re-importing. Now this process has been streamlined, along with the option of handling it all inside After Effects CC in real time.

Behance

One more amazing feature is available these days and that is the ability for uploading directly to Behance. Certainly the best platform available online for making your work recognized, it allows easy and quick sharing of your work with your peers and clients. Once the cloud file storage system gets introduced, hopefully in near future, then this feature is sure to become even better, making it easier to add your projects in Behance straight from file storage of Creative Cloud.

This tutorial has been aimed at introducing you to such features. It will take you from using vector assets of Illustrator CC, and then take it in C4D Lite and After Effects CC, going through new features of workflow, prior to uploading it to Behance.

Select the Vector File

slect your vector file

In this tutorial we will be working with world map’s vector file. You can look for a similar image by carrying out a search online for ‘vector of world map’. There are plenty of files available for free public use. You can also draw it if you want.

Open Illustrator CC

open illustrator

For transferring the vector file in Cinema 4D Lite, you need to save it in the format of Illustrator 8. Open Adobe Illustrator CC, go to File menu and select Save As, first of all select a filename and ensure that it is an ai vector. In second dialog box select Illustrator 8 as version.

Move in Cinema 4D Lite

cinema 4d

Open Cinema 4D Lite, available with After Effects CC. Now go to File menu and click Open. Select the file you created a while ago, named .ai. After selecting parent object, the coordinates need to be zeroed out be 0 as value in X, Y and Z. All the objects in hierarchy need to be selected now, so right click and select ‘Connect objects and delete’.

Applying Wrap Effect

 

apply a wrap effect

In this particular project, the flat vector map sourced in the first step needs to be transformed into a globe shape that is three-dimensional. For doing this, we will be applying wrap effect. Open Cinema 4D Lite and go to Create menu. Now select Wrap, available under Deformer. Drag this in object menu to place it below spline object of Illustrator.

Change Wrap Settings

change the wrap setting

Open Wrap deformer and select the panel of Object Properties. In this some settings need to be changed – Wrap: Spherical, Latitude Start: -65, Latitude End: 80. Now we will be creating some geometry. After duplicating original spline, open Create Menu, and select Extrude NURBS available under NURBS.

Amending Geometry Further

amend the geopmetery

Another portion of geometry is required for outline. Open Create and select Sweep NURBS, under NURBS. Now go to Create and select Circle under Spline. Place original spline and circle under sweep NURBS as parent. Ensure that the circle has been placed first and has a radius of 1cm.

Adding Animation

adding animation

For adding animation in this piece, a camera move should be creating in Cinema 4D Lite. Open Create and select Camera present under Camera. You can crate a basic zoom out motion and to do this zoom in on display panel and set key frame on frame 0. Now go to end frame and repeat this.

Preparing Render Passes

render layer

After reaching this stage, render passes should be readied for After Effects CC. For doing this, right click on Sweep NURBS, as well as Extrude NURBS. Now, navigating to Cinema 4D Tags, click on Compositing Tags. For these two, go to Object Buffer for selecting them both to 1 and 2.

Field Depth

depth of filed

After, Effects CC can also be used to create field depth, which can otherwise take a long time for rendering inside C4D. For making the best use of it, we need to make a selection of camera that we created before. Go to Object Properties, open Details and select the DOF Map Rear Blur. Playing with the values at start as well as end, ensure that the focus is on the globe created by you.

Last Bits in Cinema 4D Lite

cinema 4d lite

Now come to the final set up of Cinema 4D Lite. Select Edit Render Settings under Render menu. Add object buffers for two by clicking Multi-Pass tab. It is important to put the values as 1 and 2 respectively. Select Depth option, making sure that Multi Pass box has been selected as well. Last step is saving C4D file.

Compositing

compositing

Now you can move to compositing. Open Adobe After Effects CC. after creating new composition, click Import in File menu. Now select the file you crated in Cinema 4D Lite, drag it on composition timeline.

Get Render Layers

For getting render layers that were created before, Rendered should be changed to Standard. Click over the Cinema 4D Multi-Pass checkbox and Defined Multi-Passes. Click Add Image Layers. By now you will have both, depth pass and object buffers.

Adding X-ray Feel

xray feel

Place object buffer of outline above land mesh. Blending mode should be set as Screen. Opacity of the layer should be about 50 percent. It will give you a feel of X-ray, besides offering complete control over every value in After Effects CC.

Use Camera Lens Blur

Camera lens Blur

Now you need to make the most of the option of depth of field in After Effects CC. Select Layer and click Adjustment Layer under New. Making sure that it is top layer, go to Effect menu and select Camera Lens Blur under Blur option.

Controls of Adjustment Layer

adjust layers

Select Effect Controls after clicking on adjustment layer. Select depth multi pass layer you created, under the layer named Blur Map. Blur Radius should be set to 7. Now you will have depth of field that is driven by scene camera of Cinema 4D. For making any changes in settings, just open C4D file, make changes and save it.

Importing the Camera Data

camera Data

A good quality of After Effects CC and Cinema 4D is the capability of directly importing the camera data. For doing this, go to Effect Controls after clicking original layer.  Under the drop down menu of Commands, click Extract after selecting the option of Cinema 4D Scene data.

Experimenting with Various Elements

diffrent elements

This will allow you to include the elements of After Effects CC. for demonstrating its usefulness, go to Solid in Layer menu. Now select CC Particle World in Effect menu. Open Effect settings, select Physics and set 0 as Gravity. You can also modify other settings, like setting white as Birth colour and black as Death colour.

Adding Glow

adding glow

You can set the blending mode of this layer to Screen as well. Now it is time to make add other cosmetic effects. Go to adjustment layer, click Effect, now select Glow present under Stylize. You can keep experimenting with radius, intensity and blur threshold, till you achieve the desired result.

Adding Colour

adding colour

Now it is time to add coloured solid and for this go to Layer and select Solid under New. Select any colour, setting it as top layer, set Screen as blending mode. This project is now almost ready for rendering.

Keeping File Size Low

file size low

In render settings, video codec field should be set to H.264. The file size should be kept under 50MB. It is important, particularly for next steps, where it will be uploaded to Behance.

Tweaking with Plug-Ins

plugin

The screen sheet we created might look somewhat different. This might be because of using third party plugins, such as TrapcodeStarglow and Video Co-Pilot Optical flares.

Upload to Behance

uploading the behance

Uploading work to Behance has become much easier after Adobe owned it. In the top menu bar is the icon of Creative Cloud, click on it. Register on Behance or if already registered, log in by filling your details. Now click the button named Add Work.


Miracle Studios Digital Agency

10 years Experience, Over 1000+ projects Completed. Do it right, the first time.

Visit Website
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