Cineware Party, Part 04: Adding Balloons

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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Create Balloons using Lathe and Animate with the Fracture Object and Random Effector

Explore the exciting possibilities with the new live 3D pipeline in the next Adobe After Effects. In this tutorial series, you'll learn how to create a motion graphics piece in CINEMA 4D Lite and composite and render it through Cineware in Adobe After Effects.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a balloon using a simple bezier spline profile and the Lathe object. You'll texture the balloon, and then learn how to easily place and animate the balloons using the Fracture Object and Random Effector. The Fracture Object and Random Effector are a taste of CINEMA 4D's powerful MoGraph feature set that you have access to once you register and activate CINEMA 4D Lite.



- So far we've created and animated our text. And now it's time to get a little bit more fun and create some real 3D objects. And the first one we're going to create is the balloon. And to do that, let's just jump into a new scene so we can just focus on the balloon for starters. And we're going to want to move into a side view. So if you click this last icon on the upper right of the View panel, that will actually move you into a four panel view. And you can see here that we have the perspective, the top, the right, and the front. And we can do this either in the right or the front, it really doesn't matter. We'll go ahead and activate the right panel by clicking again that panel icon. And we're going to go ahead and create a new spline. We're going to create the profile of the balloon. So I'm going to choose a Bezier spline here. You can see that there's a number of different spline types that you can draw in Cinema 4D. Bezier is the type that you're used to from Adobe Illustator. So we'll go ahead and choose Bezier. And you'll see right here underneath the cursor the Bezier spline icon is going to show up to let you know that that's the mode you're in right now, you're drawing a Bezier spline. And you're going to want to start by clicking and dragging right here about two grid lines above where the blue and the green intersect here is the origin. And we want to make this balloon roughly 200 units tall, so that's two grid lines. So we're going to click right here and I'm going to drag out so that I've got a nice handle here to round out from that point. And we're just going to do the profile of the balloon, just one side of the balloon. So we'll go ahead and click again right around here, and again we'll soften up that tangent handle. And now we'll click again down here, and I'm actually going to move that one down a little bit, and I'm going to click just a straight handle here, and that's basically it. Now once you've created these you may not quite be happy with the shape of the balloon but you can always adjust it. So if we go into the Move tool, notice the Points mode is active. We can now go in and we'll shorten up that tangent handle. Maybe we'll bring this in a little bit and...oops, Ctrl+Z to undo anytime. And I'm going to select both of these by Shift clicking and move both of these in a little bit. That looks a little bit more like what I want for the profile of my balloon. We'll move that up just a smidge. All right, so now we have basically just a one side profile of our balloon and we want to go ahead and do what's called a lathe on it. And again you'll find that here in this first menu of green objects. So the lathe object here is another generator and you'll remember that generators make 3D geometry from whatever objects you put underneath them. So I'm going to go ahead and create the lathe. And one other trick with a generator is that when you hold down Alt when you create it, it automatically makes it a parent of the selected object. So now you can see that instead of having to drag the spline into the LatheNURBS, it was automatically created as the parent because I held down the Alt key when I added the object. Now we're still on the right view so you can sort of see the shape of the balloon but you can't really tell it's 3D yet. So what we want to do is go back into the perspective view. You can either click the panel again like we did before or you can simply hit the F1 key and that always takes you into your perspective view. And here you can see what our balloon looks like. Now this is still totally editable. I can select the Spline here and go into my...make sure my Points Mode is active and activate any of my points and adjust them to get the balloon shaped just perfect exactly like I want it. And I'm pretty happy with the look of that balloon for now. So we'll go ahead and rename it "Balloon" and I'm going to go ahead and copy it to the clipboard. Now we're going to go back into our tutorial scene and we're going to paste it. And so now we have one balloon sitting there in our scene. Now of course we need to add a texture to this balloon because gray balloons are just no fun. And we're going to go ahead and start with the text material that we already created. So what I'm going to do is just go ahead and hold down the Ctrl key and drag with the text material selected and that's going to create a duplicate of that text material. And I'm going to go and double click on it to open the Material Editor, and we're going to jump first into the Color Chanel and in this case we want to go ahead and just make it pretty much a pure red for this balloon. And I'm going to go into the Reflection Chanel and we're pretty much just going to leave this the way it is. We still want to have that fresnel effect on the balloons with just a little bit of reflections so that we can see the environment. And that nice reflector panel that's in the environment that we'll talk about a little bit later. The real difference with this material is we need to go into the Specular and instead of having this Inner Width, we want to basically bring that down maybe just about 18%. But we want to widen the entire specular so that it's just overall a lot shinier. But we don't want it to be quite so bright, quite so bright of a shininess so we're going to bring down the height. So we just get kind of nice overall shiny reflectivity on our balloon. And that's basically our red balloon, so we'll call this "Red Balloon". Helps if you spell correctly. And we'll go ahead and once again close our Material Manager and just drag that right up onto the balloon object in the Object Manager. And again if we go ahead and hit the Edit or Render button, you can see what that looks like. And the real power of this here is that Reflector panel that's back there in the back of the environment that we'll talk about a little bit more later. So we've got our one balloon but one balloon does not make a party of course, so we actually want to go ahead and create a lot of balloons. We have our balloon lathe here. We're just going to copy it to the clipboard again and we're going to paste maybe six or seven times. We don't want all of our balloons to be red so we're going to need to create some more materials. So we'll take our Red Balloon material, copy it to the clipboard and we'll paste that a bunch of times too. Now we'll go ahead and open each one of these materials and tweak the color. So let's go ahead and make ourselves a blue balloon. Make sure that you're in the Color Chanel when you do that. So we'll go ahead and make a blue balloon, maybe we'll take a purple balloon like that. We'll maybe do a nice yellow balloon. Go in here and do a green balloon, maybe a orange balloon and let's see, maybe a lighter blue balloon, sort of a lighter blue, like so. So what we can do now is replace the material on each of these balloon instances with one of these new materials that we created. So we'll drag our blue up and onto the balloon. We'll drag our purple up. Now you won't see the effect right away because all of our balloons are sitting in exactly the same spot. But we're going to fix that in just a minute. So we'll just keep dragging. And you notice that by dragging right on top of the existing Texture tag here or Material Swatch in the Object Manager, it just replaces the one that's there already with our new one. Okay so now we have our seven balloons here and we don't want to have to worry about manually placing and animating each one of these. And this is where the Mograph Module can come in handy again. So we're going to go ahead and create a new Fracture object, just the same as we used for the text. This time though we just need it to be in Straight Mode. If you remember we talked about how Straight Mode will cause it to affect all of the objects that are its children without breaking them apart or anything. So we'll go ahead and select all of these balloons and drag them right underneath the Fracture Object, and now they're all being affected, you just can't tell yet because there's no effector. So we'll go ahead and create a random Effector this time. And again the Fracture object's already selected so it's automatically going to be applied to that Fracture. You can see that here if I select the Fracture in the Effectors tab, there's our Random Effector. And if you didn't have your Fracture object selected you can just drag the Random Effector right down into the list. While I'm thinking about it here, I'm going to go ahead and rename our Fracture "Balloons" and we also want to go ahead and move this Fracture up a little bit so that all our balloons are going to appear above the text. So we'll go under the Coordinates tab and we'll just drag up with the Y to about 200 centimeters so that it's all above the text. Now we're going to go back into our Random Effector and we can play with the parameters again. So what the Random Effector is doing basically is it's moving each balloon up to 50 centimeters in each direction. So we can go ahead and adjust this. Let's go ahead and spread them out a little bit more in the X direction. Maybe a little bit more in Y as well, and also in Z. Let's go ahead and spread them out, have some closer to the camera, some further away from the camera. We also might want to add some rotation so that they are all kind of bouncing around in different directions. We'll go ahead and add some heading even though you don't really see that until we mix it with other rotation. We'll go ahead and put in some Pitch and we'll go ahead and add some Bank too. So now we have all of these balloons just sort of randomly placed in the scene. But they're still kind of just sitting there flat and that's not very interesting. What we want to do is actually switch the mode in the Effector. Right now the Random Mode is just random. And that's static. What we want to do is switch it into Noise. These two options here Noise and Turbulence actually have animation built into them. So we're going to go ahead and choose Noise and we want to activate the Index check box here because what that does is it applies the noise individually to each of the balloons. And now you can see that these are actually going to fly around in the scene. They're moving way too fast though so we're going to need to bump our animation speed or drop our Animation Speed down to maybe 5%. Now they're just sort of lazily floating through the scene. We can still continue to adjust our parameters. They're kind of all bunched up now again just because of the way that the Noise profile is different from the Random profile. So we're going to go ahead and increase the X again and I think I'm actually going to move the entire Fracture object over just a little bit just because they kind of aren't centered as much as I'd like. So now we have something like that with our balloons just floating around up there in the area above our Party text. And if I render this, you see that we got some nice looking balloons there and the profile Spline maybe could still use some work. You can tweak that yourself on yours so that you can get that nice round looking balloon but we've got a nice balloon effect here and we want to just go ahead and drop it into a new layer again. So we're going to select the Balloon object here and the Random Effector, we're going to choose Edit, Add to New Layer, and we're going to go into the Layers panel and you can see that we have our new, sort of fuscia layer there. Actually the automatic color looks a lot like the text layer so I'm going to double click on the Color chip and we're going to change it to, say, a green and I'm going to go ahead and double click on the layer text there and call this "Balloon". And we'll go ahead and save our scene. And we're ready to move on to the next portion of the tutorial.
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