Cinema 4D Basics: Make an Awesome 3D Movie Title | Aaron Bartlett | Skillshare

Cinema 4D Basics: Make an Awesome 3D Movie Title

Aaron Bartlett, Motion/Graphic Designer

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8 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:40
    • 2. Creating Your Title Design

      5:47
    • 3. Modeling

      3:21
    • 4. Texturing

      6:11
    • 5. Camera & Lighting

      6:45
    • 6. Rendering

      4:13
    • 7. Editing in Photoshop

      6:08
    • 8. Fun, right?

      0:18

About This Class

Have you been wanting to learn Cinema 4D but you're not sure where to start? If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, then you have Cinema 4D Lite and you can get started learning now. This is a great chance for designers, artists and enthusiasts to expand their skillset! 3D titles are an exciting way to add quality to your print, web and design projects. In this class we’ll learn how to take 2D vector art and turn it into a more dynamic, movie-quality title. We’ll be making a simple title in Cinema 4D (or creating a design in Illustrator), converting it to a 3D model, adding detail, texturing, lighting and rendering out a final image. Alternatively, I’ll show you how to use After Effects to export a still using Cinema 4D Lite. From there we’ll color correct and tweak in Photoshop for final use.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I'm Erin Bartlett. I'm a designer. I live in Los Angeles. I have a background in print, Web motion video, graphic design and whatever else people pay me to dio. This class will cover one of the most fundamental cinema four D projects. There is three D titles. Cinema four D is a very broad in very deep piece of software, but I'll show you a simple process for getting started and using the tools to create a cool piece. Even if you haven't used it before, we'll be using Adobe software to enhance our project, and when we're done, we'll have a sweet title that can be used on a poster or any other to design. 2. Creating Your Title Design: we're going to start this lesson and after effects from there will launch cinema for delight just to be clear what we're doing. Work and Cinema four D light, But it will also work in the full version of Cinema four D. I'll show you how to export from Cinema four D Light first, but I'll also be showing you how to export from the full version. To begin, we have to make a new cinema four D object. Go to file New Maxon Cinema four d file. We'll call this three d title. So here we are in Cinema four d. I know there's a lot of stuff going on, but don't be too intimidated. Generally speaking, we're just gonna be dealing with the objects that are in these buttons. This is the been where most of our objects will be. This is where we'll be editing the Objects properties, and this is where the textures will be when we create them. Hopefully, you've worked with after effects before and are somewhat familiar with its three D layers. Cinema four D's interface is somewhat similar in that regard now that were here. The first thing we need to do is import an illustrator file. I'm not going to spend a long time on logo design. In fact, there's a lot of great tutorials on skill share on that subject, so I'd recommend you check one of those out to start. We're just going to make up a logo. You can do something complex or simple, whatever you like. If you don't want to create a logo on a separate piece of software, I'll be showing you how to make a simple one. Using just type in cinema four D in a little bit, I made up this logo, which obviously has absolutely no resemblance to any popular properties that might be in certain films or comic books at the moment. So moving on, if you save your logo in an illustrator format, you can just open it directly in Cinema four D. Occasionally, I've noticed problems with this. What I usually do is just save the illustrator file to an older version to compensate. I think it has something to do with the formatting on the newer version, so I just save it to an older one. I'm going to save a copy of this file with the same name, but I'm going to change. CC two, Illustrator eight I figured the earlier the better. Since it's such a simple file, that's all we're going to do. An illustrator. If you have any cool logo designs, I'd love for you to upload them back in Cinema four D. We just open it up like any other file. It's asking us to pick a scale that's not especially important. I've got it set two inches, so we'll just stick to that for now. There you can see that are vectors have been imported. One of the first things you need to learn is how to get around this view port. If you have a three button mouse and you hold down the altar button or option on a Mac, you can use your left mouse button to rotate your middle mouse button to move and you're right Mouse button resume. If you don't have a three button mouse, you can also use these buttons up in the corner. Move, zoom, rotate. I can select over here, and if you hit H, it will zoom the window to fit the object within it. Now, as I rotate around, you can see that it's often a weird position. It's not really centered inside the workspace. If we look down here at the numbers, we can see that it's offset a little bit. I'm going to reset the X and Y positions to zero hit, enter and there you can see it's lined up. I'm going to hit H again, and now you can see that things are centered. No, If I come over here to look at all my assets, I'm going to click this little plus icon and you can see that I have all these different layers. Each one of these is a separate path, just like you have an illustrator at the top. We have a no. It's exactly the same as a know you'd have in after effects. It's basically a placeholder that things can be parented to. Now, unfortunately, we're gonna have to do a little bit of a work around. If we were using the full version of Cinema four D, what I would tell you to do is select all these objects, right click, and then right around here, there'd be something that says connect objects and delete. If you do that, it will emerge all the paths in tow. One object and you'd be done. But here's the cinema four D light work around. I'm gonna grab all these objects that I'm going to drag it down here. You can see how the curse has changed that arrow. That means that it's about toe unp Arent. You can tell that it's unparalled tid because the indent went away. Then we'll delete the null and then we're going to grab a spine mask. Now we'll grab the 1st 2 paths. Drag them on top of the spine mask to parent them to it. The spine mask is just like using the Pathfinder and illustrator. It's a way to merge two paths. If I highlight the spine Mass can hit. See, it merges them all into one object. You can probably see where this is going. I'm going to add another spine mask and then I'm gonna parent the next to To that I'll hit see again to convert them. Then I will continue this process until I've gone through the whole list and I only have one object left. I'm gonna rename this by double clicking on it. I'm gonna call it logo type. So Now I've got a single vector layer. If you don't want to create a logo in a separate piece of software, we'll create a new object. Then go over here to the two D shapes and choose text. Then I can just type in whatever I want and will realign that to the middle. And you can see there's things like horizontal spacing, which I can mess around with. I could pick a different fund so you can use that to create your own custom type. So we've got our logo vectors set up. Next we can start turning them into a three D object. 3. Modeling: All right, let's extreme this out into some three D shapes. Under this menu, we can see there's an extrude object, which is what we're going to use Quick tip here when you want a new object to be the parent of an object that's already in your list. Hold down Ault or option on the Mac. Click the new object You can see it's been parented to the extrude already, and you can also see that our object has a little bit of substance. Now, if I hit control are to render, I can see that I have a solid object there looking at the extrude properties. I see we have three axes to move along X y and Z Z Z access that it's already been extruded along. But that's not far enough, so I'm going to bump it up to 50. That looks like it'll work. So now I'm going to zoom in a little bit, and then I'm going to click on the caps, caps or the ends of in extrude so the front would be the one that's facing us. It set a cap, but I'm going to switch it to fill it cap now you can see that got a little bit rounded off . There are steps. That's how many different subdivisions there are over the course of the edge. Right now, it's at one. I'm gonna bump it up to three. You can see it got a little bit more rounded. I'm also gonna bump the radius up. I'll set it to five. I'm also going to click Constrain. That will keep the silhouette of the original intact. You can see that it got a little bit smaller after I clicked it. Now I'm going to duplicate my shapes. You can do this by selecting the object and then copying and pasting. Or you can hold down, control, click and drag. And now there's a new object. Now, this new one, I'm going to do a little bit differently. I'm going to uncheck constrain because I wanted to grow. And then I'm also gonna click and drag this arrow to move it backwards. You'll notice that these look very similar to the movement handles on a three D object and after effects. So now I've got some extra bubbles here that look pretty cool, but I've also got some other options underneath. Philip type Convex is what it's set to right now, which means it's rounded outward. We could set it to Con Cave, which would mean rounded in words, but I'm actually going to set it 1/2 circle, so it'll be rounded even more than convex. I'm also going to make it a little bit bigger than the other one. It was set at five. So let's change it to 10. That looks good. I'm also going to move it a little bit closer, so it's sort of tight. I'm gonna hit H, which will zoom me back out to see the whole thing. That looks good, but I think I'd like it to recede back further. I'm going to go back to the object settings and I'm gonna change 50 to 500 much better. I'm gonna hit H again to re center, and it looks like we're in good shape. Definitely explore your options when it comes to the different Philip types. You may want to use different ones than I picked. You might also consider using 1/3 extrude object as well, on making it even larger to create extra bubbles. Have some fun with that. And now you've got a three d object 4. Texturing: Now it's time to texture are object. But before we start texture ring, I wanted to show you that if you go up to a window and then content browser, you can see that there's some resource is available. Looking in the presets folder, you can see that there are things like materials. So, for example, you could go into this folder that has metal textures and select one of them. And try applying that. However, we are going to create some new textures from scratch to create a new material. Just double click in this space, and there it is. I'm going to double click that icon, and that will open up the material editor. The first thing we're gonna make is a colorful, shiny texture for the front part of the letters. I want to make something that'll be similar to shiny paint on a brand new car. There's a list here for all the different properties of the material. Let's turn the color off, then select, reflect INTs. I'm going to select the default and remove it a point of note. I'm not necessarily showing you the most complex, the best. The newest way to do everything Since this is a basics course, I'm trying to keep everything as simple as possible. Just think of visas. Easy ways to make this stuff happen. Definitely. Spend some time exploring in trying to find better and cooler ways to do these things. Having said that, I'm going to add this reflection and we can see that we have this extremely reflective chrome ball. I'm going to change that by going into the texture and choosing for now. You can see this makes the texture look a little more interesting and realistic. I'm also going to change the color. I'm going to pick a lime green, but that didn't seem to change anything. I'm gonna switch the mixed mode from normal toe ad. Now we've got something that looks a little bit more like a Christmas ornament, which is what I'm hoping to see. So I'm gonna close this window, then click and drag my material. You can drag it straight to your object, or you can drag it over to the name on the list. I chose the 1st 1 because that's the front. You can see that that changed. So I'm going to render again and you'll notice that it doesn't really look very good. Why is that? The material is reflective, and right now it's just existing in a black vacuum, so there's nothing to reflect. We need to fix that. So I'm going to come up to this section and make a sky object. It's basically what it sounds like. It's a giant sphere that functions as a sort of environment for everything to exist inside . If I render again, I can see that it's turning everything gray. But that light Grey is giving our material something to reflect. So now we can see the green showing through. Let's do a couple things to make this work the way we want. First, I want to right click on the sky, go to Cinema four D tags and go to compositing. The compositing tag tells an object how to behave when it gets rendered. I don't want to be able to see the sky. I just wanted to show up in the reflection, so I'm going to tell it not to cast or receive shadows, and I'm gonna tell it not to be seen by the camera. If I hit render, you'll notice that the letters air green now, but the background is black, which is good because I'm gonna want it to be transparent when I export my final. The other thing I want to change is I don't want the reflections to be perfect. I want them to be a little more interesting. So I'm going to make a new material for the sky. Double clicking here. Double click the icon. I'm going to turn off the color, turn off, reflect INTs, and I'm going to turn on environment in the environment tab. I'm going to change the texture to noise. I'm going to click this to go into the noise. I can pick other versions of noise from this menu, or I can click this little arrow and see this library of visual references for the different kinds of noise. This one looks interesting. I'm trying to create some kind of streaks in the background, so I'm going to change the Y scale to being 1000 instead of 100. Now if I close this, drag it up and add it to the sky, we can see the tag got added. Then I render again. Now we've got some interesting distance that's happening in the reflection. I'm going to rotate around and look at it from a different angle. That looks cooler, and I like it. So we'll leave that there. Just one thing left. We need to add texture to the rest of the title I want this material to appear is though it's metal is well but not as shiny and pretty. So I'm going to go into the reflect INTs, remove the default at a reflection layer, bumped the roughness up to 10% and I'm going to knock the reflection strength down to 10% in the color. I'm going to make it a dark gray. I'm going to add for Nell to this one as well. I'm gonna turn on diffusion. Let's add another noise, texture and then edit it. I'm gonna change it to the same one electric. Then we'll add it to our object, then will render to see what it looks like. Definitely interesting. But I think the scale is a little smaller than I intended. I'm gonna open this back up, go into noise, and I'm going to raise this global scale by a factor of 10 and then render again. There are obviously quite a lot of different properties that you can mess around with. If you want to create your own materials, ID strongly encourage you to explore them. There's a lot of different fun things that you can dio. We have only barely scratched the surface of what's available. We've managed to get some cool textures onto our object from here. We're going to get our camera and lights set up. 5. Camera & Lighting: All right, let's set up a camera and then set up our lights. As you may have guessed. First we need to click this little camera icon. Now we have a new camera object. You'll see this white rectangle that shows us the area that's actually going to render will be changing that a little bit later. As you can see, it defaults to a four by three ratio. I want to do a 16 by nine ratio like you'd have on an HD TV hit. Control be toe, open up your render settings on our output section, you can see that were set to 800 by 600. I'm going to set that to 12 80 by 7 20 we want to make sure that our pixel aspect ratio is set to one or square. Now, once we back out, you can see that rectangles gotten a lot wider and we're looking from the same perspective as our camera. Now, if we click this little icon, that means the cameras attached to the perspective you were looking through. So if we change the perspective, you in some way, we're also affecting the camera. If you click this little icon in the corner. You can switch from one panel, view toe a four panel view. You'll notice we have perspective. Top right in front views, toe. Look through. Earlier I told you about the shortcut that you used to zoom toe on object H If I select the larger of my two objects and then hit Ault or option H, it zooms all four of my windows, which is great. This green object is my camera. So I'm going to select that. I'm gonna zoom this one out so you can see what it's looking at. The cameras off center. And since this is for a poster, I'm gonna want to center it. I'm going to go down to the coordinates. I'm going to set the x 20 I'm going to set the wide 20 and I'm also going to set the rotation to zero. That's a good default place to start now. I'm looking straight at it. I'm going to shift a little bit to the right because I can see that things aren't quite centered. If this is confusing, you can always make this one bigger again. Which, by the way, if you have a three button mouse. You can use the middle mouse button to click in the center of any view port to switch back and forth between four views and one I'm gonna back the camera up a little bit because I'd like a small bit of breathing room, and I'm gonna move it just slightly to the left. Well, look at it in this view. Looks good to me now because we want this to look a little more dramatic. I'm going to intentionally move the camera down so we'll come over to this view moving on the Y axis, go down a little bit. I'm gonna hit our for rotation. Then I'm gonna grab this red band, which is the pitch and will tilt back, probably a little bit too far, because then I'm going to hit E to switch back to position. Then I'm gonna hit this little toggle. This switches between world and object coordinates. That just means the arrows will be oriented to the world, not the object, which means straight up and down. And I'll move that down a little bit. And I might have gone too far in my rotation. So hit are to go back to that. Grab my red band and rotate somewhere about there. Hey, E, to switch back to position again, and that looks good. I'll do a quick test. Render that looks nice. Now we'll set up the lights. Once again, this intuitive looking little light icon is what will click. Now we have a light object. The default type is omni. That just means light will go in every direction. We'd like to add shadows to make things more interesting, so I'll pick shadow maps soft that I'm gonna go to the details section and the fall off. I'm going to change to Inverse Square. Physically accurate. That's just trying to replicate how light is stronger, closer to a source and not so much further away in a way that has something to do with physics. That's not important. Right now you'll see that the light now has a white sphere around it that's giving us an indicator of exactly where the fall off ends. I'm gonna want to make this a bit bigger, so it's larger than the type, so I'm going to check out all my views if you click on one of these little yellow spots, you be able to drag it out and make it bigger. I'm going to zoom out here is well so that I can see on all sides what I'm doing now. It will look nicer if we offset it a little bit. And don't put it in exactly the same spot as the camera. So I'm gonna move this one forward. I'm gonna move it up a little bit in just a little to the left. I'm going to duplicate this light, but control dragging. Now I'm gonna move the new one over and down and slightly further away. Then I'm going to create one more just to get some backlight in there. Then I'll move that down and do a test render to see what I've got. That looks pretty cool, but it's also highlighting another issue in the default lighting. I couldn't tell that my secondary texture was a lot higher contrast. So I'm going to fix that. I've turned the reflect its property off. It's not a shiny as it was before, but it also has too much contrast. I'm going to knock the mixed strength down to 50%. Let's wonder that again, that's more like what I was hoping to see. It gives it the impression of being more metallic. The lighting looks pretty cool, but also looks kind of dark in some places, and I'd like it to be more even. I'm going to switch back to my wider view and then grabbed my back light. I'm gonna move it down and forward a little bit more. It seems like it's a bit brighter than I wanted. So I'm gonna go to General and knock it down to 75. I'm gonna move my key late down a little into the left, a little and maybe even further. And then let's do another test runner. Seems like things have evened out a little bit. I don't want to completely ruin on the contrast. So I think I'm pretty happy with this. At this point, you're probably thinking it's still kind of looks crunchy and not so great. Why is that? Well, don't worry. We'll fix that in the next video. 6. Rendering: Now we're ready to choose our render settings. Let's hit control. Be to open up that window. Then we'll go to save check Alfa because we don't want the background. Orender. We'll go to anti alias ing Geometry is what it's set to, which is why it looked a little crunchy before. We're going to switch that to best and leave the rest of the settings. This will make it render a little bit slower, but it will smooth everything out. I'm also going to add, in effect, ambient occlusion. This is a property that creates slightly more realistic shadows. It does things like darkened corners were light won't be able to get in as well, since this will take a little bit longer to render. I'm going to use another function so we'll go to render render region. This will let us draw a window and only render what's inside it. I'll just choose a section here and we can see that things look smoother and we've got some more shading going on. I think I'm gonna bump up the ambient occlusion just a little bit by dragging this slider this way, it'll make the dark sections a little bit darker. We'll do another quick test. Now. I can see more definition in the edges, which is good. Now that we've got this all set, I'm going to save it as a new object agent man logo. And with that, we'll switch back to after effects. I know we originally created this file called three D title, but since I've created a new one, we can just delete it. I'll import my object. It'll drag it into my timeline. Now, this doesn't look all that great, but that's OK because it's set to the software renderers. If I upgrade that to standard draft, it looks a little bit better, but it's still just a draft mode. I'm going to change that to Standard Final, which will inevitably take a moment. This is essentially forcing after effects to render out the Cinema four d project the way that we set it up. So it's probably going to take a minute. Don't worry about that. One thing that's worth mentioning. You don't actually have to wait for this render to finish. I just chose to do that because then after effects would have the frame cashed so the final render would happen more quickly. You can just go straight to setting up the render if you want. And don't worry about the preview. So with my comp I lighted, I'm going to go to composition, save frame as file. I'm gonna leave it on photo shop. I'll set this to render out, and I'll call it Agent Man Logo and they'll hit Render, which went very quickly because the frame was already cashed. That's how we get a still rendered out of cinema four D Light. Now I'm gonna show you how to do it with the full version of cinema four D, It controlled be toe open up our render settings. If we click on save, you'll see you have a field that says File. We'll click this button and then we'll save It is the same name as the project. One thing worth noting, This will literally save the file with whatever you type into the field, so make sure you have the correct file extension. In this case, I'm going to make it a targa, so I'm putting t g a will change tiff to Targa. Alfa Channel is already checked, so that's good. All the settings had already been put in place when we did this the first time, so I'll leave them alone. But just to check them over, output was set up with the correct resolution and aspect ratio the anti alias ing is set to best. We have Ambien inclusion in the file, saving to the right place. Let's close that we can save this. Then we'll hit shift our, which will render out of final image. We can check to make sure that it worked. If we look in our folder, we see that we've got an agent man logo targa. So that's good. On the off chance you had a problem with your export. You can always right click on this image and say Save as and you're still able to save that Render in. The next lesson will move to photo shop. 7. Editing in Photoshop: So here in photo shop, let's open up the two different files and see how they're similar. Looking at the two files, we can see that they're identical. And if we go to our channels, we can see that we've got an Alfa Channel here, and if we look at the other image, we have the same thing. I'm going to close the Photoshopped file and just work with the Targa. I'm going to make a selection based on my Alfa Channel by control, clicking or command clicking on this icon. Go back to my RGB, make a copy of this layer, then go upto layer layer. Mask reveals selection. We'll turn off my background layer and we can see we've got our transparency, which is good. I'm going to rename this layer and call it type, and the next thing we want to do is add a background behind it. I'm opening up a texture image. I wanted to find something that was rough and gritty and interesting, like you'd find on a movie poster. Since this image is so big, first I'm gonna resize it to a width of 12 80 that I'm going to hold shift and drag it over here, move it behind my type. Change the name to BG for background. That looks cool, but it's kind of bright. So I'm going to go to image adjustments, hue, saturation, color, eyes. I'm going to darken it a fair bit and I'm gonna make it a bluish color. Now I'm gonna tweak my type player a little bit, but I want to make sure that I only edit the type and not the background. So I'm going to control or command click the icon to create the selection for the Alfa again. Then I'm going to make a new curves adjustment layer and you can see that it added the Alfa . As a matter now, I'm gonna make the darks a little bit darker and the brights a little bit brighter. Kind of a typical s curve just to enhance the contrast. Now I want to make it look like the colored part of the letters air glowing a little bit. So I'm going to select my type player, making sure this is highlighted. I'm gonna go up to select color range. I'm going to select somewhere in the green, add some of the other greens in and I'm gonna knock the tolerance up higher, even higher than that. That might be a little bit much, I think will not get slightly back. That looks good. So now that I've got a selection based on my green area, I'm gonna make a new Phil Layer. I'll call it color and then pick a bright green. Now I'm going to blur this, Matt so that it looks more like a glow. 10 looks pretty good. Yeah, I like it better at 10. I'm gonna set this blending motor, linear Dodge, But I also think I'm gonna knock it back slightly, So just set this to around 80. Now I'm going to add a fake depth of field blur. This will make it look cooler and slightly more realistic. First, I'm going to duplicate my type player. Then I'm going to right click and apply my layer mask. Now, make a selection around the area that's receding into the distance. I'm going to feather the selection by hitting shift. F six 10 is good for this size. Then I'm gonna go to filter, blur, Lens Blur. You can already see the effect that looks cool. I'm gonna bump it up to 15 hit. Okay, de select. I'm gonna turn off my old type player because it's showing through and I don't want that. And now I'm going to add something that no movie poster could do without a lens flare. Just for the record, don't ever use photo shops lens flare, but we're going to use photo shops. Lens flare. I'm gonna make a new layer, then fill it with black Good a filter. Render lens flare. I'm going to select movie Prime based on the nature of our poster, and I'll move it over a little bit. So it's lined up with the A. I'll change the blending mode to screen, and then I'm gonna move it a little bit that I'm going to switch to my eraser and clean up some of these lines. It's kind of bright, so I'm going to set the opacity to 70. If you use the number keys on the right side of your keyboard, you can set the opacity of any layer that's highlighted. For example, if you hit seven, it'll change to 70. But just so you know, if you have a brush selected that has its own opacity that will change instead of the layer opacity. So I always switch back to the move tool first, just to be safe. I think it would look cooler if I tented this lens flare. I want to make it blew. So I'm gonna hit control you or command you for hue saturation. I'm gonna check colorize. I'm gonna knock the saturation all the way up, and I'm gonna shift over to a blue color. And there we have our very own awesome three D movie title. One of the best parts of this tutorial is you don't have to stop there. Feel free to add any other creative ideas you have, like dust particles or sparks in the background or blood splatters or whatever you think is appropriate. If you want to go the extra mile, make a full movie poster and put your logo on it. I'm looking forward to seeing your uploads of your logos or even your movie posters. Great job on finishing this project. 8. Fun, right?: Here's the silly poster I made with my logo. I'm excited to see what kinds of creative things you've come up with. I highly recommend spending more time exploring the features cinema four D and cinema four d Light have to offer. I hope you enjoyed the lesson and I'll see you next time.