Create a Sci-Fi Space Loop in Cinema 4D and After Effects | Don Mupasi X Visualdon | Skillshare

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Create a Sci-Fi Space Loop in Cinema 4D and After Effects

teacher avatar Don Mupasi X Visualdon, Visual artist.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

18 Lessons (1h 41m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Creating & Animating the Character

    • 3. Importing the Character into Cinema 4D

    • 4. Refining the Animation and Loop

    • 5. Camera Animation

    • 6. Building The Pillars in Cinema 4D

    • 7. Animating the Pillars Reveal Effect

    • 8. Bonus 1 : Pillars Reveal Effect (Older Versions of Cinema 4D)

    • 9. Building the Galaxy & Side Details

    • 10. Bonus 2: Landscape Object (Older Version of Cinema 4D)

    • 11. Lighting Part 1: Initial Setup

    • 12. Lighting Part 2: Fog & Atmosphere Effect

    • 13. Lighting Part 3: Materials & Refinements

    • 14. Advanced Output/Render Settings in Cinema 4D

    • 15. Importing Renders into After Effects

    • 16. Compositing In After Effects

    • 17. Final Output for Youtube & Instagram

    • 18. Outro

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to make a cinematic sci-fi space loop animation in Cinema 4D and After Effects. You will also learn various techniques & tools that you can use for motion graphics projects in general such as:

  • Creating and animating a character using Adobe Fuse & Mixamo (both free apps)
  • Use animation tools in Cinema 4D to extend and loop animations.
  • How to use the various tools in Cinema 4D to build a large Sci-Fi structure and scene
  • The concept of creating a seamless loop
  • A dramatic lighting and rendering style in Cinema 4D using only reflections.
  • Atmospheric and fog effects in Cinema 4D
  • Output/render settings from Cinema 4D, how to use ‘Multi Passes’ in Cinema 4D
  • Importing the rendered sequence/s into After Effects
  • Using After Effects for post effects and finishing touches
  • The best export setting in Premier Pro for Instagram and Youtube.

This class is suitable for users of all levels. Beginners who have not used the software before will be able to follow along. Intermediate to advanced users will be able to learn about or expand their knowledge of how to make looping scenes in Cinema 4D.

If you need any help use the community section and I will respond as soon as I can.

Meet Your Teacher

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Don Mupasi X Visualdon

Visual artist.

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I am a freelance visual artist from the UK. I make retro & space visuals and loops. Most of my work is for musicians, so I make visuals for music videos and sometimes visuals for live shows and concerts. I also do a lot of personal projects and post them to my instagram @visualdon.

My main apps for creating visuals are Cinema 4D and After Effects. 


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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Don Mupasi, also known as Visualdon. I'm a freelance artist from the UK. I make a lot of retro and space style visuals and whenever I finish a piece, I post it to my Instagram page. This is where I've gotten some questions about my process. Today we're going to be recreating one of my favorite visual so far. This piece I made a while ago called Cosmic Dreams. We're going to be doing this in Cinema 4D and After Effects. It's going to be a full step-by-step guide from start to finish. Let's quickly take a look at all the different parts we'll be covering in this class. In this class, you will lend the creative and technical process of creating seamless loop animations in Cinema 4D. This is something you'll be able to apply it to other projects too. But for this project, we will start by using Adobe Fuse and Mixamo to create and animate our character. Then we'll take it into Cinema 4D to refine the animation and build our scene around it. Here I will show you how to use various tools within Cinema 4D to create a very striking and cinematic sci-fi scene. This will be achieved both by how we built the scene and also how we do the lighting. Finally, after we output render, we'll take it into After Effects for some finishing touches and post effects. As you can see that there's going to be quite a lot to cover, but it's very detailed and I go through everything step-by-step. This should be watchable by users of all levels. If you get stuck on any topic in particular, feel free to ask any question below. You can share screenshots, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Anyway, let's get started and start building our project. 2. Creating & Animating the Character: In the first lesson, we're going to use Adobe Fuse to create a character, and then another tool called Mixamo to attach the animation onto the character. Both of these are free tools by Adobe, you'll just need to have an Adobe account in order to access them. We're going to start in Adobe Fuse, and once you've installed this, this is what it looks like when you first open it, and you can start to assemble your character. Starting with the head, I'm going to go for the male scan Number 4, and when you pick each part, it then loads up the next section. Here you just want to match the previous body part to its corresponding other parts. I'm going to go for male scan Number 4, once again for the torso, we'll do the same for the leg, just the arms left. Then I will go to the customized tab. Just briefly looking at this, you can actually make several changes to the different parts of the body. But for this example, we'll just keep it simple, and move on to the clothing section. Here you can pick an outfit. If I go for the motor jacket with T, that's one of my favorites. For the bottoms, I will go for this skinny pant, and for the shoes, I will go for the short boot, and that's it. I will then simply, you save this to somewhere on my computer. Let's just call this, let's say Man Number 2, it saved and that's it. In the next section, I will show you how to animate this character. This is Mixamo, another free tool by Adobe. It contains several animation presets that you're going to apply to your characters. If we go to Adobe Fuse, let's send this character to Mixamo. There are two ways to do this. The simplest is to just go up here, send to a Mixamo. You would call this something, and then hit "Save". Or you can go to File animate with Mixamo. Then it will upload the model to the server, and this is where we will apply the animation. Once that's finished, it will automatically open up your browser. This is where Mixamo automatically rigs the character, and then we can start animating after. Once the rigging is finished, simply click "Finish", and I have a previously saved characters. I'm just going to overwrite that, go to this page, and click "Animate". On the left side is where there are various animations we can quickly load onto our character. I'm going to search for the run animation on this page here. This is the one I used, so a second row, first on the left. Click this, and it will be applied to the character. For this example, I thought this was too fast, so I changed the overdrive control to 25, and this slowed down the run. That's it. I would just download this. I will leave everything the same, but I will change the FPS down to 24. That's the film standard, FPS and is what I use for most of my projects. Let's hit "Download". It will just take a couple of minutes, and when it's ready, it will open up the Save window. I'm just going to call this Run 1. Then I will also save a different version of this, where the character will stay in place. Over here, take this switch. Instead of moving away, the character would just be running in the same spot. Once again, just download this, and make sure that the frames per second is set to 24. Once again, I will save this in the same location, this will be Run 2. In the next section, we'll take the characters, and bring them into Cinema 4D. 3. Importing the Character into Cinema 4D: So once we have our character, we now want to bring that into cinema 4D. Now so far we just have that very short symbol cycle animation, it's about one second long. In cinema 4D, we're going to take that and extend it. Opening our character in cinema 4D is very simple. We just drag and drop into the main window and just simply click Okay. Then this here is the skeleton which holds the animation. So if you open this up, you would see the different body parts and each of these is animated hence, this key frames you see down here. This is what drives the animation. If you actually want to see the skeleton or the joints, go to filter and enable joint. Now you can see what's driving this animation. It's going in the wrong direction though so what I would do is create a new null object and let's call this Run_1. I'm just going to take everything at frame 0 and place it inside of this null object. Go to its coordinates and the heading rotation, I will set this to 180 degrees. We have heading, pitch, and banking. We just change the heading, which is the direction it is facing. If I play this you'll see it's just a single run cycle which reaches this point and then simply jumps back to the beginning. So we have to expand our timeline to be much longer. So if I click in the duration box over here, I will type in 16, which extends this to 16 seconds. Your timeline is probably in frames. So if you want to change it to what I have here, go to Edit, Preferences and under Units, you want to change the animation unit from the default frames to SMPTE. This is my preferred unit in the cinema 4D. Before we move on, let me also show you some simple navigation shortcuts. Press 1, on the keyboard, click anywhere, and move your mouse around. This is going to pan around your scene. If you press two, this is going to zoom in or if you move to the left, it's going to zoom back out. Then if you press the number three, this is going to orbit around wherever you click. So you can actually orbit around specific points or zoom in into specific areas also. Anyway, we want our character to continue running because right now if I press play, he runs to that point and simply stops. To fix this, we have to go to the timeline window. If I go to window and timeline dope sheet, let's open that one. Here we have the joints which are moving this body over here. If I open this up, you can see all the other sub key frames. We are interested in the top-level one. So if I click this, you can see it selects all the other key frames too. Let me just name this run one also and you can see it renames up here. This is the same object I am looking at. So if I select that key frame track, when I select this, you can see on the right side we have track properties. Here we are interested in this after control. We want to decide what happens after this key frames have played through once. By default nothing happens. So let's change this to repeat, and we can actually type in the number of repetitions we want. Let's type in 20 and this should be enough to cover this entire timeline. Now if I hit play, you can see the animation is repeating, but always jumping back to the original point. That's because we need to do one more step. We need to pick a particular animation track, which instead of just repeating, we want to repeat and offset at the same time. This will make more sense if I just show you. If I go to the position of this top object, position Z, we can see the original key frames right there and then after that, these are the repetitions that we set up a few moments ago. But you can see it just jumps back to the beginning and that's what these lines represent. So instead of simply repeating, let's click this track and change its after setting from repeat to offset repeat. Now if you see this line extends down in this direction. This is like an imaginary line which will now continue going this way. What that looks like in the project is now if I hit play, this will now continue running. So all the other key frame tracks are simply repeating. But the key frame track responsible for movement in this direction is repeating and offsetting, which is basically adding to the previous repetition. So and the character ends up running in that direction forever. So that's how to bring in our initial character with its very short animation and extending it out into the distance. 4. Refining the Animation and Loop: Now that we have our character in cinema 4D and we have extended the animation. We now want to continue refining it and making sure that it loops perfectly. This is very important because later on when we start to build other objects in the scene, everything needs to match up in order for the looping to work. The reason I chose 16 seconds as the duration is because that's roughly the amount of time it takes this character running at this speed to travel across 5,000 centimeters in the scene or 50 meters. This model is to scale. I was really thinking in those terms. If I bring in a Plane object and let's go to Display and go to Gouraud Shading with Lines, so we can see a bit better. I will set the Size to 5,000 centimeters, and if I go to the Z position, let's change this to 2,500, which means that the edge of the plane starts what the character started moving from also. This distance here is what we are going to build the rest of the loop around and all the objects in the scene. When we get to those lessons in this class, it will make more sense why it's so important for the character to cover exactly that distance. For now, let's make sure that is what's happening. At the end of the animation here, we can see the character hasn't quite made it, so we have to give the character more time to extend the timeline. I have to go down here and click this very small arrow next to the original duration, It's the up arrow. Keep extending this, and from my previous experiment, I know this is about 17 seconds and five frames. Now, you can see that I've overshot that point. Really you should stop about here. But, now what's happening is the run cycle is not matching up with the total duration. This is about halfway through the run cycle. It's the other leg which should be planted here instead of the one that's currently there. If I scrub through to the end, this is the point at which the run cycle is complete. Then just to double check that is the case if I go back to the Timeline and let's look at any one of these tracks. Let's say Position X. This here is the end of the current duration and if I go to the repetitions of this, drop it down to 17, you can see it's right on that line. If I extend this further, it goes beyond. I know that this is the end of that particular cycle. We need just one more frame here so that the entire line is within this side of our duration. Let's bring that up by one, and now it's contained within. With the current animation on the character and the speed is moving at its impossible to hit that point exactly. We could extend the space our loop is going to take place in to that point. But now we have this very awkward number which is not round. This would make things harder later when we're trying to arrange other objects into the scene, much easier to stick to a nice round number, like 5,000. How do we make this work? Well, this is where we can bring in that other character and this time instead of dragging and dropping, let's File and Merge Objects with the other character. This is the In Place and click Open and once again, just hit, Okay. Now this is way over here at the beginning of the scene or in the center of the scene. I'm going to select the joints for that character and I will press S, and that would jump to that exact point in the scene. Let's give this character the same treatment. Will create a new Null object and call this Run_2 at frame zero, let's drop everything into here. Let's call this joints Run_2 also. Then I will go to the top Null Object and rotated on its heading to be 180 degrees. Now that we have this second character with the same run cycle except it's in the same spot, we also want to go to the Timeline and repeat those key frames. This time we're repeating all of them. There is nothing to offset because there is no motion to offset in that direction either. We'll just go to the After control with all of these tracks selected and change this to Repeat and once again, Repeat this 17 times. If I play this quickly, you can see the animation has been extended for the movement. We are going to do this ourself. If I go and open up Position Z of the main parent joint. Let's click that track only, press S to jump to those key frames and you can see, even though it looks like there's a lot going on here, even if I remove it, there will not be much of a difference. It looks exactly the same. But now what I can do is, simply animate this to go from 0-5,000. At frame zero will go to the Position Z of this joint. Set a key frame at zero, so hold Control and click this circle right here. That sets a key frame. Let's move to the last frame in our animation and set the fine opposition to 5,000 and Save that key frame also. Actually, it needs to be negative 5,000 because we are working backwards here and then flipping everything with this null at the top, just be aware of that. It is in, so it doesn't keep up with the other character. Let's go to Window and Timeline again and look at that one key frame on its own. We can zoom out here the same way we do in the viewport by holding two. We can see the entire track and if I press it again and make sure it's linear using this switch up here, now you can see it will keep up with the other one because it moves at a constant speed. If I continue to watch, you will see both characters will stop at the end here. The difference is, our second character will stop in exactly the spot we determined, which is 5,000 centimeters. This is technically the wrong thing because at the speed of this character was moving, it should be over there because that's why he ends up if we don't change anything. But if we zoom out and look at the scene as a whole, this difference here is very small compared to the overall size of the scene so that's why we can get away with this. It means that this character here, technically we will be sliding on every stride, just this slight amount. But the difference is so small that in this case, we can get away with it and it allows us to precisely place the character where we want him to begin and stop. That's a lot of setup of the movement of the character, but this will all come together later when we start to build the other elements in the scene and making it all loop seamlessly. As you saw, we spent a lot of time making sure that the character traveled a very specific distance. You will see why this is very important when we get to other lessons in the class. 5. Camera Animation: This lesson is very simple. We're just going to set up our camera animation and you make it ensure that it also loops. Both characters is still in this scene. Over here, I can go to the first character and these two dots, the one at the top, If I click that twice, we'll hide this character in the viewport, and the second dot will hide it in the actual render itself. This are cold traffic lights in Cinema 4D and you can use them to selectively hide objects and so on. Anyway, for our camera, we are going to get a new camera from up here. Let's look through this by selecting that small square. Let's go to the rotation of this and make sure it's reset to zero degrees and do the same for the x-position. The y-position should be about halfway the height of the character. If I click on this second character down here, we can find out its total height by changing this control from size to size plus. I can now see the height is a 176 centimeters. I will just copy this number. Go to the camera and in its coordinates, let's put that number in, but divided by two, so /2, and we end up with that 88.181. The z-position is going to be minus 400. Now the camera itself needs to be much wider at 12 millimeter, this is the cameras object settings. I'm going to angle it up so that our character is closer to the base of the frame, about 20 degrees. This is roughly the same angle we have in the original example. For our camera to follow the character, we're going to create a new null object. Let's call this camera Number 1. Place our camera into this. We can look out, so we have an overview of the whole scene. Let's animate this now to move the camera. I'm already in the coordinates of this null object at frame 0, I would just keyframe the z-position, so hold control and click the Keyframe. Go to the end of the animation and type in 5,000, which again is the same distance we have here. This will have an easy ease interpolation on the keyframes. Let's go to Window and timeline, and now we have this extra camera with the new animated track. Let's select that and make it linear. Now, if we play this back, you can see the camera stays at a constant speed behind our character because both of these objects are moving at the same speed. We can look through this and see what that's like. Skip to the end here, and if we turn off the floor, you will see that this is actually now looping. Because of that setup we spent so much time doing earlier. The reason I use a null object to carry the camera is because we can always then go back to the cameras coordinates and change those without affecting its overall movement, because that's being done up here. Anyway, that's how to quickly set up the camera for our scene. 6. Building The Pillars in Cinema 4D: We're now going to start building the other objects you see in the scene, starting with the pillars that you see in the animation. For the pillars, let's start with a cube and I will set its size to 500 by 500. Let's go to the cube's object properties and let's click "Fillet" and this is going to round the edges. We actually don't want round edges though. I will go to the Fillet Radius or rather the subdivision and set this to 1. Let's say, flat sharp edge, and then I'll set the radius just to be a bit larger, so 10 centimeters. I can see some smoothing attempt by Cinema 4D. This is called the Phong Tag. If I click this two sphered icon, and the Phong Angle, let's drop this to about 20, and now we have this sharp edge. Alternatively, you could just remove the Phong Tag entirely. Let's take that cube and place it inside of a Cloner. Just grab a cloner, bring this in here. The Mode will remain as Linear because we do just want to clone in a straight line, and it's going to be a straight line going up. Let's go to the Mode which will stay as Per Step, and in previous versions of Cinema 4D, I think you don't have this Per Step mode. You have a single other mode, which is similar to End Point in new versions of cinema, but in old versions, I think it's just labeled scale or something like that. Anyway, whatever number that ends up being, we just needed to be sure that these cubes end up stacking on top of each other like this. Now in Per Step Mode, it's very easy because you just set the distance between each clone, which in this case is 500. That's the size of each cube. If I set that to 500, and then we simply set the count to anything we want. It's going to be 30 for this one, and it just creates a nice, neat stack of cubes like this. If I change to End Point where we set the overall scale, which in this case will be 14,500, and then increasing the count fills in the spaces in between. But essentially it's the same thing. Anyway, let's move on. This is going to be the cloner pillars which are slanted to the right. I'm just abbreviating here Cloner SR. I will go to the position of this and set it to 1,000. This is for the x position, so moving it to the right side here. I will slant it by going to their rotation banking in the coordinates section here. The banking is going to be 35 degrees. Let's make a copy of this, hold Control and just drag down. This is going to be Cloner slanted left, and I will flip both the rotation. To negative 35 and negative 8,000 for the position. Let's make another copy, and this will be Cloner upright, to the right. Set the x position to 5,000. The banking will be removed entirely. So set to zero because this will be perfectly upright. Then I'm going to move it to 625 in z space so that it's offset from the slanted cloners and it's just a small gap in between. If it seems like I'm just pulling numbers out of nowhere, I'm not. I've done this project at least two or three times before when I was preparing for the tutorial. These are the numbers I used when I built those other scenes. If you want to build the exact same thing I am building, you should use the same numbers. Of course you should or I do encourage that you actually experiment with different looks, and see if you can come up with something different. But generally speaking, I'm not just getting this numbers out of nowhere. Make another copy of that. Once again just hold Control, click and drag down, and let's flip the x position this time to negative 5,000, so we end up with this very odd looking abstract shape. Now I want to group all of those cloners into a single null object, which I will call Pillars. Let's just bring that in there. Now, they will move as a single object and I want to clone this also. Here's a quick tip. If you select any object in Cinema 4D when you're inserting another object, and hold the old key, that new object will automatically become a parent of the object you previously had selected. You don't have to do it manually like bringing the cloner and then do this. It just inherits the position and rotation data of whatever you had selected, and becomes the parent. Anyway, just a quick tip there. In the Object settings of this Cloner, we are using the Linear mode, once again, in Per Step mode. This time, we are moving in the z direction, and the distance between each set of cloner is going to be 1-50. Let's have just 4, and just to make sure that this starts flush with our 50 by 50 plane, let's go to the Cloner and then the coordinates tab, let's go to the position and set this to 250, and you can see it lines up perfectly with the edge of the floor. Once again I'm hoping that it's becoming more and more apparent why it was so crucial that this section be, 5,000 by 5,000, it just makes the setup for the rest of the scene much easier because you are using nice whole numbers all the time. I have inserted a new null object here, which I am going to call Section. In this section, I'm going to drop the floor and our cloned pillars. We have this thing now where everything besides the character and the camera moves as one object. With the section no selected, I can go to this icon. Let's get the instance and this is with the null object selected over here, so that the link is created automatically, and an instance just means a copy. This will now copy whatever is happening inside of here. For example, if I go to the floor and drop the number of segments to 10 by 10, you can see the instance over here updates automatically and I'm also going to set the width of the floor to be much wider. Let's go for 25,000. This new instance or this new copy, its position is going to be exactly 5,000 and now you can see once again, because we set that up properly, it lines up perfectly with the first segment. What does this look like? Well, if we jump into the camera, you can now see this starts to resemble the view we're looking at in this example. But we just need more of this going into the distance, and this is where these instances will really help us. If I make another copy of that instance, and then move the position of this new instance to 10,000, so each time I am just going up by 5,000 centimeters, so this will now be 15,000, and so on. Lets just go ahead and let's put in seven total. That's currently Four instances plus the original, that's six. I'm going to make a copy of the last one here, and this one will be actually set to negative 5,000. It starts behind the character, because before I did that, if I jump into the camera at frame zero, we don't have anything in front of or behind the character here. That's what that is the. Just to be safe, we'll make another copy, and make it negative 10,000. Now we have numerous pillars like this, and because of the way we set up the scene, what the camera is looking at at this point in the animation is basically the same as what the camera is looking at at this point, at the end. If I let this play through and the scene will start to slow down a bit because we have so many objects. You see it jumps back to the beginning. Of course there is a slight glitch because at the beginning, it's looking down, was it four set of instances? But at the end, after traveling through one of the instances, it's only now looking at three, so that's one less, and that's why there is that slight glitch. But it's not a problem because if you look in the final animation, instead of just jumping at the end, I came up with this idea where these are constantly being spawned, or coming out of the ground and that's what completes the seamless loop. I will show you the setup for that in the following lesson, and we'll once again be continuing with the rest of the elements that you see in the scene. 7. Animating the Pillars Reveal Effect: With the pillars in place, we now want to do the cascading effect, which you see in the animation, what the character is walking down or running down this path and then you see the pillars coming up at the end. Before we fix this jump we see at the end of our loop here there is one other thing I missed which is randomizing the position of these pillars. If I click the Cloners at this level the four different set of pillars that we set up earlier. Let's go to MoGraph Effector and Random. By default, it affects the position of the cubes which is what we want just not in the Y direction. Let's just drop that to zero but will leave X and Z at 50 and it just displaces the position of the cubes slightly and we have something that looks a bit more, I think looks more interesting than just purely some straight lines. But once again, this is one of those creative decisions that you can change for your own scene. Let's make a quick comparison between this here, you see in these pillars are constantly shifting we don't have that yet, in this scene, we just have a jump and that's destroying the illusion of the loop. This solution actually is something that I came up with and it's one of those things which ended up being a technical solution to a problem and also looked really cool creatively. Now the setup for this will be quite different in the latest version of Cinema 4D, which is version 21 at the time of this recording. Starting with how this works in Cinema 4D 21. At this level, this Cloner here which clones these pillars into the four sections. Let's select that Cloner and go to MoGraph Effector and Plain and the Plain Effector I just applies equally to everything, if I go to the position here I want to set and this isn't a Parameter tab of the Plain Effector. I want to set this to negative 10,000 and it's going to push everything down into the floor. What I want to do is to only affect certain clones down in the distance over here, I have to use what's called a falloff field. In our 21 you go to the end here and click "Falloff" and let's click "Linear Field". This is going to create a falloff of how this effect is applied in a linear direction. I will set the length of this field to be 1,000 and the direction of this Linear Field is going to be the Z direction so Z plus. When I do that you will see a shift in the way that the clones being arranged and now if I move this out in front of the camera, you can see as it passes through it is actually moving the pillars up from under the floor which is what the Plain Effector up here is doing. This is pushing them down by 10,000 centimeters and then the way we are mapping that is by using this linear field, everything behind is back to its original position, everything in front is below, and then as this passes through it creates this animation. If you're working in earlier versions of Cinema 4D you'll be keenly aware that whatever you are trying to do right now is not going to look like what I just did here but we'll get to that shortly. Let's complete this effect. If I go to the end of the animation, let's just push this as far as it goes without moving that last line off columns maybe about here actually, I might even bring it back even further. Let's just put a nice number of let's say 20,000 and then I will take this Plain Effector and place it into the same null object that the camera is in, now it's going to move at the same rate as our camera and what this looks like from within the camera is that the pillars out there in the distance are constantly growing and filling out the scene and it's a nice-looking effect and also it makes sure that our scene is going to loop seamlessly and there is a slide stop because of just the way the animation has to recalculate and start again, but if we render this out and output the final animation, this would be a nice smooth loop. Anyway, once this is set up you can do things like change the length of the Linear Field and this is going to change the smoothness of how these pillars are coming up. Currently, it's almost like one by one, one row at a time. If I lengthen the timeline to order the length of this field rather to 2,000 centimeters which is double now it's more gradual. There's always like two or three rows moving at a time and that's a different creative effect. But I quite like what we have here one-by-one I think that's very similar to what I had in this fashion. Anyway, that's something you can play around and experiment with and see what you can achieve. 8. Bonus 1 : Pillars Reveal Effect (Older Versions of Cinema 4D): In this short lesson, I'm just going to go over how the plane effect and falloff used to look in earlier versions of Cinema 4-D. If I select the cloner here, the one that created the set of four. Once again, if I go to mograph effector and plane, and let's go to the parameter tab. We'll once again set the Y position to negative 10,000. Up to this point it's the same as an R 21. But let's go to the falloff tab. Instead of having a separate fields section down here, you simply have a shape control. The shape is going to be linear. Orientation, needs to be Z minus, this time instead of Z plus. It operates a bit differently but you can now see this is essentially the same effect. Length is controlled by these three size boxes. We only want the Z direction size. Let's set the size Z to 1000. You've got X, Y, and Z. If I set that to a 1000 and you can now see, oops, and I just knocked it to 10,000 and see this, yellow, red and yellow again squares, and they represent the falloff range. Now for this, actually, I need to set this to a 100 percent. We just have a single straight line falloff. Also the function is going to be set to linear so that we have a falloff which applies equally across the entire width of this falloff. I don't know if that made any sense, but just use this settings and this is what's going to give you the same result as we just did earlier in our 21. Once again, I will position this at about 20,000 in Z space to start with, which is nearly at the end here. Go to the end of our animation, and then make this plane effect a child of the same known object which is carrying our camera. That when we do look through the camera and this is now moving with it and constantly revealing those pillars out there in the distance and if I play this through at the end here, it loops back to the beginning. 9. Building the Galaxy & Side Details: Now we're going to create the rest of the other objects in the scene and we'll do the initial setup for the galaxy that you see in the distance. The other two elements in the scene, these things at the side and the galaxy itself. Let's start with the side bits. These were created using the landscape object. If I go to the primitives icon, let's get the landscape. I will go to the width and height segments, let's lower, that to 40 and 40 and the size will be set to 1250. I will just change the X value, press Enter, and it automatically scales up the entire thing. If you want to individually just scale up one side, you have to go and do this up here in the object settings. I will go for the height, let's set this to 300. I can see there is some smoothing taking place. Let's go to the landscape object and remove the phone tag. That creates this much sharper looking object. If I go to the landscape object, I will go to the sea level setting and I will drop this or increase it to 70 percent. If I slide this up and down, you can see the effect that has. I'm going to temporarily hide the other instances. We just have the original section on its own. This is something you can do if you just want to speed up your movement around the scene. You can turn this off and then turn them back on when you're ready to output the project or move on to something else. Let's take this landscape object and place it inside of a cloner. This time, we will use Grid Array mode. We want two in the X direction and five in the Z direction. If I start to scale this, if I just grab one of these scaling points, I don't know why it's not letting me do this. Here we go. We can scale it out like this. Now I know the actual number needs to be 2000 for X and 1000 for Z. This is in the past step mode. If we go to endpoint mode, it's 2000 and 4000. The position here needs to be set to 2500 in z space so that it's in the center, along with everything else. Here, I will go to more graph effect and random. With the cloner selected it means that this will automatically be put into the effectors section of our cloner. We don't want to change the position only the rotation. Let's go and turn that on. This is in the Parameters tab of the factor. We just want to randomize the heading rotation. I will set this to 360, which means the rotation of our clones will be somewhere between 0 and 360. It makes it look like we have several different types of shapes, but it's just the same shape, spun around to look different. The other part of that at these edges you see an outline effect. It's more obvious where there are some reflections, so that was created using the atom array object in cinema four D. This is found under the same menu as the instance, and on its own it's not going to do anything. Let's create a copy of our cloner setup or here just the instance. With the cloner selected, let's get an instance object and then drop this instance into the atom array. When I do that, you will now see this outline effect. This is made up of two parts. If I click on the Atom array, the cylinder here controls the width of these lines in between and the sphere radius here controls the size of the joints in between. I think we need something like 0.5 for the cylinder radius and two for the sphere radius. Then subdivisions I will lower down to five just to speed things up a bit. Then I'm going to take all of these elements and drop them into a null object. This is going to be the cloner, it's random effect and the atom array. If I go to the coordinates of this null object, first of all call it side section. I will go to the coordinates and lower the Y position to negative 2.5 just to make sure that it sinks below the floor so we don't have this edges sticking out. If I then take all of this, place it inside of our section. No, the main section,no this entire thing here. Then I will re-enable the instances. You can see that it has been automatically updated across the entire length of our scene. Looking through the camera, this is what it looks like. It's not large enough. Let's go to the original cloner. In the transform tablets, go to X, Y, and Z and just bump this up to, let's say 1.4, 1.4 and 1.4. This will make the whole effect larger and more obvious. That's how we make the sections on the side. The last element is the galaxy itself. This is going to be placed on a disk shape. If I go to the cube icon, hold left-click and get the disc, we are going to make sure it's upright. Set the orientation to Z plus and this is in the object properties. The size of this, if I recall correctly, it should be 65000. It needs to be about 30000 in the distance, 22,500 in the up direction. I've done this before, so I remember those numbers. Then if I go to my project folder, I have this material or this texture. It's just an image of the Milky Way galaxy. Let's drop this into our materials box over here. Just click No, and apply that over there. The preview of this is very blurry. Let's open up the material. Just double-click. Go to the editor tab and the texture preview size. We'll put this edge, let's say 2K and now the image is much clearer. Also, the galaxy is facing the wrong direction compared to the original. Let's go to the disk shape, set the orientation to Z minus instead. The final step to the positioning of the galaxy is to jump out of our camera. We can see it way out there. Let's put that disk as a child of the same null object which is holding the camera. If I zoom out even further here and just scrub through the timeline, you can see the galaxy is moving with our camera. Which means its relative position when we're looking through the camera will stay the same. It has no parallax and will appear as if it's way out there in the distance. Crucially, for our looping to work, that's the setup we need to do. 10. Bonus 2: Landscape Object (Older Version of Cinema 4D): In older versions of Cinema 4D, the landscape object behaves differently. If I bring a new one in, let's go to display with lines again. First of all, it's a different color. But more importantly, it's anchor point, the point at which you move it around, rotated like this and scale it and such is not at the base. It's somewhere in the middle. So before you continue with this, let's just make it the same as the one in version 21, 40 segments. Let's remove the form tag and I will make it roughly the same size. Before I continue, I will always have to look at its height, its y height, which I will set myself up here to 300. If I want its anchor point to be at the base, I have to create a new null object, place the landscape inside of here, and whatever the height is here, the y position of the landscape needs to be half that. So in this case it's going to be 300 divided by two, which gives me 150. So now the null object is like the main object and I can do things like scaling here, rotating, and that will be from that base point down here. By the way, the shortcut for bringing up rotation is r on the keyboard and for scaling, it's t, which I guess stands for transforming. But I just wanted to cover this in case anybody is using older versions of cinema 4D and this is what you would then drop into the cloner when building the side sections in the scene. 11. Lighting Part 1: Initial Setup: We are now going to start the lighting of our scene in Cinema 4D, and this is where we begin to develop the look and style of the animation. There are actually no real lights in this scene; the entire look is based on reflection. So if I jump back to Cinema 4D, I will double-click to create a new material. Let's go to the color channel, set this to black, and then I will go to reflectance and turn off the default specular, and I'll add a reflection legacy instead. Let's lower the roughness all the way down to zero, as well as specular. The reflection strength will stay at 100. The attenuation would be set to additive. We can quickly apply this to our object, so the floor itself, and we just to do this into the interface. It should apply correctly. If we are not sure, we can just apply this to the various objects up here instead. Let's do a quick preview render to the picture viewer. By default, Cinema 4D has this default light. That's why the character is currently visible and not a silhouette like we have here. What I will do is go to the lights, let's grab a new light, and I just set this intensity in the general settings to zero. This will reset all of the lighting in the scene. Now everything is dark now, so we have to go back to our galaxy material and move this image from the color channel to luminance. I can just click and hold on this, drag over the luminance channel and drop it in the texture section. Let's enable the luminance channel and turn off color and also turn off reflectance. That will now light up our scene once again, but really, it's just a reflection. I can see this hard edge though, which doesn't look very nice. Let's go to our galaxy once again and make some changes. One, I want to make the galaxy more colorful, so in the luminance channel, if I drop down on the texture. Let's put this inside of a filter so it's at this first level down here. In the filter, we can do some effects such as increase the saturation. So this will be set to 25. I will take this same layer, so I just drop down, copy shader and go to the Alpha channel and paste this here. This time I don't need the saturation to be anything, so I just set this to zero. Instead, let's turn on colorize, which will make this black and white for use as in Alpha channel. I will then enable clipping and the low clip will be set to 10 percent. What this does is any value below 10 percent will be clipped down to black. For the high clip, I will do the opposite. I will bring it down to about 65 percent, which means that any value of gray above 65 percent will be clipped to 100 percent white. This is going to create this nice-look in Alpha channel for our galaxy material. You can already see this in the picture viewer. If I render this out, once again, it looks much brighter and colorful than before, and we now have this nice fade off instead of that hard edge that we had before. 12. Lighting Part 2: Fog & Atmosphere Effect: The next step to the lighting is to add some more depth and dimension to our scene and we're going to do this using the fog and atmosphere effects in Cinema 4D. To create the fog, we will jump back to our scene and let's get a physical sky. I want to see the changes as I make them here. I'm going to enable the interactive render region by pressing Alt and R. It will open up this part of your view port and it would do a preview render of what the scene looks like. Let's put the quality slider all the way up to the top and we could maybe make the window itself a bit larger. So with our physical sky, let's go to the basic tab. Let's turn off sky and sun, but enable fog and I just wait for that to update. Let's go to the fog tab and make some changes. In the color, it's going to be blue. Then the saturation and brightness would just be at 100 percent. I'm going to set the start height to negative 5,000 and the end height to 2,000. This are the settings are used in the original project. But once again, you can actually try different settings and see what you can come up with. For the density, I will set this to 80 percent. I'm going to also adjust my camera here. But as far as the fog settings are concerned, that's it actually it's very straightforward. If I disable this interactive window, let's make a copy off the camera. Just hold control and drag down and look through this new camera. I will lower the position to 60 and angle it up more, so instead of 20, let's have 25. I just want to move the galaxy closer to the center of the frame. So this is before, and this is after. As far as the fog and atmosphere effects, that's it. But let me show you a glitch which is going to happen anytime you use the fog effect in Cinema 4D. If I close this project, so go to file and close and then reopen it again. Under recent files, it's this one at the top. If I just open this up and start rendering, you will immediately see that the fog effect does not appear, correct. That's because anytime you use the fog effect in Cinema 4D and close and reopen a project. The fog effect does not load correctly. You always have to go to it and change one of these values by a unit, change it back to what it's supposed to be, and then it will render correctly. Now, this is not something you want to be doing all the time you reopen a project. The solution is to animate one of this values slightly. At frame zero, I will go to the Start height. Let's just change it down by one unit. So negative 4,999. P frame this, move forward one frame and set it back to what it's supposed to be, which is negative 5,000 and then I will save that key frame. What this means is that each time this project reopens, this animated value will force the fog effect to reset and reinitialize properly. Then it's always going to be rendered correctly after that first frame. It means that we may have to cut out that first frame from all subsequent renders of this animation, but that's actually okay because this is a loop. So the first frame is actually identical to the last frame in the animation. These frames are repeated anyway. If we have to cut out one of them, it may as well be the frame that renders incorrectly because of that one odd glitch, in Cinema 4D. It's been around for basically all versions of Cinema 4D up until now, hasn't been fixed. But if you run into that issue, which you will now you know how to fix it. 13. Lighting Part 3: Materials & Refinements: The next step in developing our lighting and style of the scene is the materials and textures on the objects. That's what we'll cover in this lesson. Also, I will show you various techniques for cleaning up and refining our image so that it looks as good as possible whilst maintaining a reasonable render time. We currently just have one material, which is this shiny material. I'm going to open this up and call it pillars. Then I will make a copy call this floor. Once again, just hold Control, drag and click to make a copy. This last one is going to be called the side details. For the pillars and the floor, we're going to use these two images as the textures. These were generated in a free app called J space meant it just creates this sci-fi paneling type of image. I will create a separate bonus tutorial where I show you how to use that app. But for this lesson you can just use the project files. Let's drag the both of them into our scene. We can click no for both. Starting with this image, I will go to the color channel, and let's copy the shader. Lets go to the pillars and we want to go into the normal map and enable this. In the texture, let's paste that image here. Now, a normal map does not work on a black and white image. We have to normalize this for the normal channel to understand what's going on. Under texture, let's drop this down and go to effect and normalize it. Then we can open this up, right-click this window. It creates this blue, purple normal map. This is what the normal map can then understand. If I open this up again, I will change the filter from condensed to Sobel 2x and the strength that will increase to 100 percent. This material is currently applied to everything still. Let's make sure we apply the correct materials to each section. The floor is just the floor. The side detail, that's this landscape and its atomic array effect. Then the pillars I will apply to the four different pillars. If I were to just render this out now to the picture viewer, the image is very messy, so we need to clean up how this looks. It's because there is just too many reflections being thrown around. Also we have tiled this texture too tightly, we need to expand it to create larger surface details. Let's go in and make those adjustments. If I select this four materials all at once, let's change their projection from UV mapping to cubic and then set the length q and v, to 1,000 and 1,000. So one more 0 there. Once again, if I render this out, the surface detail is now larger, but it's still very fuzzy. That's because of our actual render settings. If we open these up in the anti-aliasing this is going to control how smooth the pixels are rendered. The idea is you want to have this as high as possible, but not too high, that it ends up making your render time too much. I will change this from the default geometry to best. Let's go for a minimum level of one-by-one. Max level, lower this to two-by-two and a threshold of just five percent. I will do another preview just to see the difference between the default geometry anti-aliasing setting and the best setting set to one-by-one and two-by-two. It is definitely cleaner than before. But now it's taking longer to render. But we can also bring that render time down and clean up this reflection's by a change in the following settings. If we open this up again and go to options, we have this ray controls over here, which control how many times rays and reflections in the scene are bounced around. By default, it's set to 15 and five. We don't have any shadows in the scene, so we are not concerned with this right now. But the ray depth, let's lower this to six and the reflection depth, let's lower this to two. If I re-render, it's going to be faster than before. Also it's going to look cleaner because the reflection bounce cutoff is lower so the reflections don't continue being thrown around and being bounced around in our frame. This is the result. This is before, and this is after. Now, we still have some reflections on the slanted pillars Z. This is actually coming from the upright pillars and being thrown on to the. What we're going to do is go to the upright pillars and render tags, which in older versions of Cinema 4D was just compositing tags. Let's get the compositing tag. In that tag settings, we're going to go to scene by reflection and turn this off. That means the upright pillars will now no longer appear in any reflection. If we do there before and after, instead of reflecting the other pillars, this slanted pillars are now reflecting more of the galaxy. I think that looks better and cleaner. We can continue to refine this even more by putting some more render times on the slanted pillars. I wanted to exclude the pillars from seeing themselves. If I go to the exclusion tab, let's just drag this here, go to the next one, and do the same. We'll move on down the list and do this for the upright pillars to so that when I do another render, this is before and this is after. Now you can see that is once again less reflections being thrown around. As we just continue to make those refinements, our images looking cleaner and cleaner. Let's take this one more step. I can see these pillars are reflecting the previous set of pillars, and so on. Let me cut that out also. This will actually be done by going to this cloner here. Let's change its instance mode from instance to render instance, which means that it's no longer a real physical object. Rather, we just see it as if it is but the result of that is if I render, because it's not a real object anymore, it's just a render instance, it will no longer appear in reflections. That means that this pillars will no longer reflect each other. I much prefer the style and look of that. Let's do the floor material I will actually just make a copy of the old pillars material. Then go to this image we brought in earlier. I will copy this, go to that copied material let's call this floor in the normal channel, I would just do the same thing I did before. Just replace this image though, with our other generated texture. Let's apply this to the floor and remove the old one. Let me look out of this camera. Let's get closer here. On the floor we will change the projection from UV mapping to cubic. Let's set the length for v and u to 250 just to tile that a bit larger again. Let's look through our camera and do another preview. That's before and that's after. Great. But from here on, we're just going to make some refinements to all the materials at once because they're essentially the same material. We set them up the same, which means we can select all three at once. In the reflectance channel, I just want to make everything brighter and more reflective. The first layer of reflection we have I want to change the attenuation to additive, which is just a bit brighter, lower the reflection to let's say 50 percent. It's because we're going to add another layer actually and add this layer on top of the original reflection. Let's set the roughness down to 0, specular strength to 0, attenuation to additive and make sure that it's adding on top of the previous layer. Then under layer color going to enable the for now effect under texture. Let's go to for now and it makes the reflection more intense on a shallower angle. But if you're looking at an object that on, it will be less reflective there but more reflective on the edges. This creates a very interesting effect where the edges of our objects will be way more reflective. One other change I will do is in the luminance channel of our galaxy. Let's open up this filter. I will enable the clipping and bring down the high clip to about 65 percent, just to make this brighter. Now if I run another preview render, we can see the difference. Generally just more dramatic looking, more contrasty, and the highlights are stronger. As you can see, the lighting really in the scene is not technically lighting. It's just reflections and a bright galaxy image out there in the distance. That's how we achieve the look and style of this particular visual. One other change I might do here is to the side details. I'm going to start by bringing them in just a bit. Let's set the size to, let's say 1900 on the cloner x size. That's going to bunch them inward just a bit. Then the landscape itself, I wanted to be taller. In the example, I was using a seed value of seven that gave me a different randomly generated looking landscape, which had this higher peaks. I just preferred the look of that. We could also go to the height, let's say 350, just to make those even taller. We have now finished the project in Cinema 4D. Then next thing is to render this out and exported out of Cinema 4D. 14. Advanced Output/Render Settings in Cinema 4D: In this section, we're going to export our animation from cinema 4D. We're not just doing a simple single render. We're going to separate our image into different layers that will then be able to control individually later in After Effects. So let's see how that works. Now we don't want to just do this in a very basic way. We want to have a lot of control later in After Effects. So in addition to the normal image sequence, I'm going to output various layers, breakdown the image into different layers, and also output some masks so that we can selectively affect different areas of our image later in After Effects. This will make more sense if I just show you. If I go to the Output tab to start with, let's go for a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a frame rate of 24. We are outputting all the frames, let's go to the Save tab, and the format I like to use is PNG 16 bits. This is what I use for like 99 percent of my projects, and we can specify a output path. Let's create a new folder for our main sequence and call it main sequence. I'll just call it Main_S. In here I will just save this as Main. This is for our regular image and I will always render this out as a backup. But what I actually make use of in After Effects are Multi-Pass layers. So if I go down here to Multi-Pass for this particular project, we are going to export the Ambient layer, the Specular, Reflection, and Atmosphere. You might be wondering what they are. Let's untick Save up here, so we can just output to the Picture Viewer, and we will see this broken up into those four layers I just showed you. It's attempting to render the entire sequence, so I will stop it after just this first frame. Actually, I don't have to. I can just go to Layer over here and Single-Pass. Now, I can click these layers we have just enabled in the output. Atmosphere will contain just the fog. Reflection as the name suggests, are the reflections in the scene. Ambient contains any object with a luminance channel, in this case, just the galaxy, specular, actually I thought I had real lights in the scene, but actually we don't need it. You can see it's completely blank, so we are going to not include that. If I press Esc, that's going to stop the render. Let's go back here. We don't want to output anything unnecessarily, so let's delete that. Actually we're just going to use those three layers. In addition to separating our image into the different layers, we also want to create masks for the various objects in the scene. If I start with the character, I'm going to go to Render tags once again and Compositing, and there is a tab here called Object Buffer. This is what the masks are called in cinema 4D. Let's enable this, and then let's go to the columns, and let's enabled Buffer number 2. We just make sure that each Buffer contains only one group of objects. You can of course combine things if you want, like we just did there. All of these will be combined into group number 2 but these are all pillars. I'm just separating the objects in groups. For the galaxy in the distance, I will put another Compositing tags there and enable Buffer number 3, and then that leaves just the floor. Let's go to Render Tags, Compositing, and this is going to be an object Buffer number 4. We could take this even further, and do things like put the sign bits in their own Buffer 2. In fact, I will do just that. That's this side's object. This will be in number 5. With that setup in the Compositing tags, we need to go to our Render Settings again, Multi-Pass, and let's add the object buffers. However many you setup here is how many you would need in the Render Settings. So we have five. Let's select all of them at once by holding Shift and just selecting the first and the last one, then we just need to make sure this IDs go from 1-5 just like we set up in the project. Let me go to Output current frame for now, and I am still not saving anything here because I am just testing to see if my layers have been split up how I want. Once again, if I go to the Layer tab, let's go to Single-Pass, we have our three image layers, and then on top of that we have this object buffers or masks, which we can make use of in After Effects as the luma mattes and track mattes to only affect those parts of the image. Exporting your image this way just gives you a lot more control in After Effects later on. I'm happy with how this is going to output. If I now re-enable the Save tab, let's also make sure that our Multi-Pass image, which is all of these, are going somewhere. So this will be the same settings as above, PNG 16 bit. We just need to also save this into a different folder. I'm going to call this Multi_2, and let's save that in here as simply Multi. We have our main image sequence rendering to this folder, and then all of these various Multi-Pass layers rendering to a separate folder. Once I'm happy with this setup, I can either Render to Picture Viewer which just renders in this window here, and let's make sure that we are doing all frames because I have done that before, where I thought I was rendering the entire animation, only to return and realize I outputted a single frame. Of course, this would take some time. This is something I would recommend you do overnight perhaps or if you're heading out somewhere for the day, you can leave this rendering on your computer. You can of course do things like lower the Anti-Aliasing settings, that's going to speed up your render or lowering the resolution too. But in general, rendering in 3D is a time-consuming process. Another way to render is to go to the top part of our Menu under Render, and let's add this to a Render queue. This is the one we have just added, and this will show up here in this queue and you can line up several renders if you wanted to. Then when you're ready to go, just start rendering, and then his will start processing in the background. It gives you an estimated time remaining based on how long it takes to render each frame, and once that first frame finishes, you can actually double-click to view this in the Picture Viewer. This is that first frame we'll be cutting out later because it always renders incorrectly, because of that fog glitch, but subsequent frames will render correctly anyway. But that's it. That is how we output our image sequence from cinema 4D. 15. Importing Renders into After Effects: With our animation finished when need to bring all those images into After Effects so let's see how that works. So the process of importing our files into After Effects goes like this. You want to be in the project tab, double-click anyway in this window, and this will open up the import dialog and from here we can just choose any frame from our sequence. This is the main sequence right here. Let's pick the first frame, if I pick PNG sequence and click import, After Effects is going to automatically detect the rest of the sequence and this will come in as an animation. So if I quickly just scrub through this you can see how that looks. So that's the main image sequence, but what we are actually going to use to build our final look and those multipaths layers that we outputted from cinema 4D. They were all rendered into the same single folder, but we can still separate them out quite easily just by selecting a frame from each particular sequence. We may have to scroll down and find the rest but it's all in here and this is atmos. We also have reflection and I think those are the three main image layers and then the rest would just their object buffers. So if I just find object buffer number one there, scroll down and find number two. It's a bit tedious perhaps but as you can see here, the whole process of important, like six or seven sequences really won't take that long in this case and I'll just grab the final buffer and if we quickly just look through these, these are the object buffers, they or the masks. Once our footage is in After Effects, we want to make sure that it's been interpreted at 24 frames per second so if I right-click any sequence, let's go to interpret footage and main and assume a frame rate of 24. Now you see it's a updated over here and we have the new duration of 17 seconds and seven frames. I can then right-click this once again, interpret, remember the interpretation, and then right-click the rest, interpret and apply and now all of these are the same. Another thing to keep in mind here are the color profiles in After Effects. Let me use the atmos pass as an example and this is the one that holds the fog layer. If I bring this down into a new composition, the color profile which I use is SRGB and that happens to be the same color profile which is on my monitor. So whether I use the display color management over here, or if I turn it off and then go to project working space, it's set to SRGB also here because my monitor is the same, it appears the same whether I use it here, or load it separately in here. Now, you may use something different, for example, Adobe RGB is a popular working space. If I click "OK" there are no changes because I am still overwriting with my display column management. But if I untick this, now you see this appears a bit different. The Adobe profile in particular is supposed to have more range, I guess but I don't really like the look of it so much. I much prefer SRGB, it seems to have more saturation and a bit more contrast. So this is what I would suggest for your project to go to the project working pace and use SRGB and also make sure it's 16 bit because our renders from cinema 4D, we're also in 16-bit. 16. Compositing In After Effects: We're now going to build the final image in After Effects. We're going to take all those layers that we brought in from Cinema 4D, and blend them and use various effects inside the program and see how that works. This is what we're trying to build here. We're going to combine all the various layers that were rendered out and see what we can come up with. Starting with the reflection layer, let's drag this to a new composition button down here. Let's get the ambient pass, which is going to contain our galaxy. Set that to screen on its blending mode. If this menu isn't there, press "F4". It cycles through between this menu and this one. The atmos layer. This is the fog, also set to screen. So very quickly, we've reconstructed our image using those three layers. Let's see what we should do next. I think these light rays on the galaxy. These were done by taking the ambient layer, duplicating it. On the top layer, let's go to Effect, Color Correction and Tint. I'm going to just solo this so we can just see that layer. Let's map on the tint effect. Let's map white to orange, but like a deep orange. About 20 degrees on the hue slider and then max brightness and saturation. Then if we go to Effect, Blur and Sharpen, we want the CC Radial Fast Blur effect. Set this to 90, and the zoom will be set to brightest. We now have these bright spots emitting the light rays. Let's bring this back. Very quickly then, we now have the light rays effect on the galaxy. We can choose the direction by moving this center point. I'm just going to have this right there somewhere, so the rays are going up. If I zoom in, this may be a bit too pointed in some areas. Let's go to Effect, Color Correction or rather Blur and Sharpen once again. In the Fast Box Blur, I'll set this to two on the radius. There's a weird dark edge. We just need to repeat edge pixels, and that's going to fix that. That's it really for that effect. Quite straightforward. Next up we can do the glow that we see on the pillars, and then these are the side bits. We can do this by taking the reflection layer, duplicate this. So press Control and D. Let's precompose the second layer, call it glow. Move all the attributes into the second layer and then click open. In here, we want to isolate the effect to the pillars and the side. We don't want this to be on the floor. What I'm going to do is if I take the mask for the pillars, and then the side section. Let's set the blending mode of the side section to add, so that we combine those two masks together. I'll precompose these two and call them mask number one. Then on their reflection layout, we'll go to Track Matte and point to mask number one using the Luma Matte mode here. If I toggle transparency, you can see we have taken out everything except for the pillars and the side section. Then I will take a Adjustment Layer and put a Levels adjustment on this. Just push it to the right and create some contrast. I just want the bright yellow and orange parts of this, so we need to take out some of this blue. If I get a Hue and Saturation control in Color Correction. Let's go to blues, desaturate and put the brightness down to make that completely disappear. Just to be safe, let's do the same for the cyan. Let's go back to the main composition. If I press the tab key, I can just to use this node to jump back. It looks a bit strange in here now. If I solo this layer so we can just continue to work on that alone, I will go to Color Correction, Tint, and I'm going to map white to that same orange color that we used on the galaxy itself. About here. Then the effect in here will be CC Cross Blur. This allows you to blur either on the x-axis or the y-axis individually. So I've set x to 50, and the transfer mode we'll set to add, because it's brighter. Now if I bring this back, I want to set this blending mode to be add also. So this is a before and after. But this is just on one axis. We want this to go on the other one too. If I duplicate, once again control and D. Let's change white this time to be around 300 degrees for the hue, which is this pink color. Then about 60 percent saturation. Then let's blur in the other direction, so 50 on the y direction. This time because it's still a bit too bright, I will set the blending mode to screen instead. But if we just take those two layers, solo them, you can see we have now created this custom glow effect by combining those two colored layers. That is the difference. I think the whole image is too bright right now, so let's go to the original reflection layer. Go to Color Correction, and let's go to Levels once again. Then I'm going to drop the gamma here to point seven five just to darken everything a bit. Next step, we want to just add some detail to the galaxy layer. This is going to be done by sharpening on the original ambient layer. This one. Let's call this one up here rays, just to differentiate between the two, and this is the galaxy. I'll go to Effect, Blur and Sharpen, and Unsharp Mask. On the first one, let's do a radius of three. Duplicate the effect, control and D, and then set the radius down to one for a finer level of detail. So now we have this just popping a bit more. This is how it is now, this is before. Just a bit more contrast. I like how that's looking. The fog layer seems to have a different tone to it compared to the reflection and so on. I'm going to go to Effect, Color Correction, Hue and Saturation, and then let's just push the hue to the right a bit. So ten degrees, I just prefer that style. Now you're seeing the advantage of separating the layers out like that from Cinema 4d. You have a lot of control at this level in After Effects. Our pillars up here are disappearing a bit into the darkness up there. If we look at this example, you can see there was a bit of a color difference. Right now, it's all just the same. Once again, I'm going to take our buffers. Let's drag them to a new composition starting with the pillars, which is buffer number two. Let's also get the side bits on the floor, which is four and five. This will be added on top of each other. Let's get the buffer for that character too, let's just set that to add. Let's call this composition every masks, because this is combining all of them together. If we go back to the main comp, I can bring it down here below everything. Below the galaxy and all that stuff. Let's create a new solid. This is going to be like, maybe about 210 for the hue. But the brightness will be like five, so very faint layer. But it's what we need to just create that separation in the background. With every mask above that, I would change the track matte to luma matte in point there. Except it's going to be inverted because we're putting the background in between. So this is before and this is after. This could be brighter if you wanted it to. Maybe about 10 percent instead, just to separate the pillars out from the background. Just a touch. If you wanted to take this further, you could even have like an image of a star field or something back there just to add another level of detail. But this is what I did for the original project, so I'll leave it there. Finally on top of everything, I'm going to create an adjustment layer. Let's go to Effect once again, Color Correction and Lumetri Color. We just want to warm up the colors. If I go to basic correction, let's set the temperature to 40 and the tint to about 10. Just for some more purple, I will go to the Creative section. Just to fade this slide there, let's say 10. Then I'll also sharpen the entire thing to about 25, just to bring out a bit more detail. This is the comparison. It's just a bit warmer and a bit sharper everywhere. One final effect on top of everything could be if we go to Stylize and Glow. We want to put threshold all the way up to 100 percent, put the radius to 100 percent. But instead of using the original colors, I'm going to go to color A. This is going to be that same tone we used for the pink about here, and the same orange color also. Maybe desaturated a bit this time though, so about 80 percent. Let's choose A and B colors. This is a very subtle effect. We can maybe make it more obvious. It's really just making the center part brighter and then just adding a slight diffusion glow to the brightest parts of the image. But that's just a small extra. See if you can do other things to create something a bit different. I'm going to press space bar here to do a full preview and see how that looks. That's it, as you can see, it plays through fine. The light rays up here actually react to the pillars. That's some nice extra movement there. When it gets to the end, it just jumps back to the beginning, and we have our nice seamless loop. Okay, the project is finished as far as what we need to build and the compositing and after effects. In the next section, I will show you the best output settings for your animation. 17. Final Output for Youtube & Instagram: In this lesson, we're going to do our final render out of after effects and then I'm also going to show you the best output settings in Premiere Pro for Instagram and You Tube. Lets take a look. The Render settings from after effects are very simple. We just go to composition and to Render Tube and the preset I use is the QuickTime Animation Preset. If you go to format options, select the animation video codec. If this isn't there on Windows, just make sure you have QuickTime installed, reopen after effects and you'll be able to access that particular codec. Anyway, this is going to create a very large file which contains a lot of color information, so that if you want to make further changes in Premier Pro, you'll be able to do so without degrading the image. That's what I recommend and you would just outputs this to somewhere on your hard drive. Then in Premiere Pro, because I've already done this, I'm just going to bring in the render I did before, and just dragging this from my other screen. If I import this, I can right-click and new sequence from clip. In Premiere, I can just play this out on this timeline. Now, if you recall much, much earlier in the classes, I mentioned something about the first frame being identical to the last one. If I go to frame zero, move forward one frame, I'm going to split this clip right here. If I get the razor, just cut that off, and I can delete that first frame. Let's move this now to start at frame zero. If I copy this, move to the end, I can snap this to the end of the first clip. Anyway this is the kind of thing I would do when I'm editing and maybe adding some music to this and then when I'm finished, I go to file, export and media and here I have some presets I like to use. For You Tube, I just choose the H 264 and for the preset, there is actually a YouTube preset. You can do 1080p, but I actually like to do the 4K ultra. I always post my 1080p videos upscaled to You Tube. They end up playing back at a higher quality than if I just upload at regular 1080P. I do the same for Instagram, except I then just have to make it square. If I take this height, make sure that it's not linked to the width, so that if I paste it in here, it would change my frame to A square and then in the source scaling, I would change this scale to fill. Instagram still scales down the video of course, but I just find this seems to help with the video quality a bit. Anyway, that's it. I would just export this to somewhere on my hard drive and then post it to those two places, Instagram and You Tube. 18. Outro: That's it. Hopefully that was easy for you guys to follow. If not, if you run into any problems in particular, you can use the community section below, and I check that regularly. I will be able to answer your questions and if you post screenshots that makes it even easier, and other people can maybe benefit from the answers I give there too. Please feel free to use that section and I will respond as soon as I can. Beyond that, I would recommend trying out different things with this style. For example, here's an animation I did with a different galaxy and different colors and so on, so this is what I would recommend you guys. Try to use what you learned from this class and apply it differently to your own projects. Anyway, my name is Don Mopasi. You can check out my work on my Instagram and my website, and I'll put those links on the screen now. Once again, thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next one.