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Tuts+ Hollywood Movie Titles Series: Star Trek Into Darkness

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Read Time: 9 mins

Today we are going to look at the animation style of "Star Trek Into Darkness". We will make this incredible title using Cinema 4D for the modeling and animation of the logo. We'll take a detailed look at how to achieve a fuller and more professional result using the lights system. Lastly, we'll wrap up in AE for the final composite using the new "Cineware" module.

The actual example of the "Star Trek Into Darkness" title is just for training purposes and is not to be used in a final personal project without permission from the original creators.


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Hi, and welcome back, I'm Antonio Cerri from crrntn.com. Today on "Hollywood Movie Title V5” series. We're going to be looking at the animation style of "Star Trek - Into Darkness". We will make this title style, using Cinema 4d for the modeling and animation of the logo and After Effects for the final composite. The most interesting part of this tutorial, it's like an excellent system of animated lights, can give a final result very cool. Look at on screen and follow me. At the end of this tutorial, you can learn how to draw and animate your own title with Cinema 4d and After Effects. The actual example of the "Star Trek - Into Darkness" is just for training purposes and is not to be used in a final personal project without permission from the original creators. Ok, create a new file on Cinema.

The first important step is to have the three separate spline: The "Star Trek" logo, The text "into darkness" and finally a very large rectangle base. To get the spline of the logo, you can use the 2d drawing tools, as a reference I have used the original poster of the film. Is possible directly use of the famous font of the legendary TV series. But if you like the final impact, you can experiment with your logo or whatever you like. Done this, we can proceed with the second step. For the text of "Star Trek", we have a negative depth value of extrusion. To be out forward in the front part. In this case, the end fillet cap has a radius of 3, with step 1. Activate the check constrain, so that our bevel is very evident. For the creation of the perforated base, we need a "Spline Mask" tool.

Dragging the two spline inside it, in this way we can have a unique immediately boolean object, where only can apply a simple extrude nurbs. I show you how simple it is to change the base hole. After inserting a new text, convert it to spline. Replace it with the logo layer "into darkness." This tool allows you to get amazing animations. As we can see extrusion is essential to have a perforated base. I chose a depth of 40, but you can change the value on the basis to your needs. At this point, we can proceed with the animation of the camera. But first it is important to set the correct parameters of the project. Follow on-screen values​​. Our entire sequence is about 127 frames at 24 frames per second. Obviously with the anti-aliasing parameter on: best.

To see the true contours of the final size of the render, go to: Options> Configure. And here we can setting a value of about 33 percent of opacity. Perfect. The type of Camera used is that of with the target point. The camera starts from frame 0, with z position: minus 2220. To get to the final frame with value, minus 1880. With the help of the target point at the center of the scene, we can automatically have the vertical inclination of the camera, inserting the value of minus 150 at the y position. But you can get other impacts of camera inclination as you prefer. Ok now I show you a more complex using of lights to obtain a final result of revelation logo, very interesting and professional.

This lights system is designed to give the revelation of the logo "Star Trek" during the sequence. Reflections in the top part of the hole of the base, ambient light and dark shadow on the entire scene. With this aerial view, I show you better all details. We start from the spot light. This light has the task of revealing the logo, but also to project the shadows under the letters on the base. The revelation starts by the frame 50. At the same time with an interpolation which controls the "Decay Radius" the two omni lights: top and bottom, completes the revelation of the base. Fantastic! This animated horizontal light, with a small movement and also in this case we have the use of "Radius Decay", creates a lights movement that reflects on the upper part of the hole of the base.

I show you better. Finally this other light with horizontal fixed position, only works on only on the bevel of the Star Trek logo. I must say that even without texture this logo impact is very cool. To have well-defined shadows, on the spot light panel, exactly on the shadows parameter is important set the type: "Area". And on the shadows panel, you must enter a value very high density. This will allow you to have shadows always visible, even with very dark texture. The lights top and bottom, are setted to "Soft Shadows". The horizontal animated on "Area". Finally, the fixed horizontal is on "Soft Shadows". This mix of lights together to objects exclusion settings for each light. Will allow you to have absolute lights control. So the end result will be very professional, and will save your time in the job compositing on "After Effects".

Here is the scheme of the lights animation. Now we proceed with the completion of the project on cinema with the insertion of materials. In this project, you can choose from stone and metal styles preset, In this case, I chose two styles stone is a "concrete" for the logo "Star Trek". I have distributed it this way: the "concrete bare 04" on the entire basis of the text, instead the style "stone 08" with the selection "C2" on the frontal surface, and finally the same material is repeated for the frontal bevel with the selection "R2". This distribution allows you to have a front very bright and a very dark impact on the rest of the body of the letters. While the perforated base, I chose the material "gold grunge". Obviously I changed all the colors to gray scale, so you have a very dark material and unusual.

Infact, if you do not use a "HDRI sky" reflection map, this material works as a middle ground between the metal and the stone impact. I love it! Now the system lights shows us all his magnificence. Great! Now we can proceed with the work on "After effects CC". As many of you, know the biggest news of this "creative clouds" version, is to be able to directly import our cinema project inside After Effects, without making any video rendering. This is possible thanks to the new plug in. I talk about "Cineware." The only problem is that you need to set the preview display in order to make visible the animation sequence. Because if your computer machine does not have a minimum of 3 gigabytes of onboard memory on the graphics card, on the full HD projects, the preview sequence animation, will be very very slow.

The import procedure is very simple. Select your files with the extension "C4D". And drag it over the icon "new composition". It opens automatically our project with all the parameters already setup of cinema 4d render-setting. Obviously this type of pre-visualization is the most raw, but allows you to move fast enough. If we go in draft mode. We also see the effect of the lights but everything becomes slower. The final mode in full view, is like having your files immediately on pre-rendered video. Fantastic! I repeat this only for those who have high-performance graphics card. Let's go back to our project. We need to put in the background.

As image, to be on the same style as the original video. I have previously created in photoshop, using the impact part of the ruins of the original poster. You can insert the image that you prefer, but be careful, at the end of the sequence to make it look good, it is preferable to an light gray impact. As we can see, we have an interpolation of vertical movement together a particular effect of under-exposure light. We start from the frame 0, with the offset value: to minus 0.03, and opacity to 0. In frame 15, we have exposure and gamma: minus 1 and 0.5. Obviously according to the image, the initial value must be set for vertical movement. In Frame 70, the opacity is to 100 percent, while the parameters ​​of the exposure they arrive to their default values​​.

From frame 113, we have a fade-out up to the end. In the last frame, it is important to set the final value of the arrival. Although the opacity value is 7 percent, the black fade-out layer, will close without problem with full black color. This effect of initial revelation, is accompanied with a large oval mask. Because everything is completed by the light of the lensflare that appears and moves to down slowly. This dark impact is very particular, infact if you play a bit with this technique, you can get other interesting results. I forgot, the feather mask value must be very high to have a black border very nuanced. To complete our impact, we have need an adjustment color correction layer.

In this case, we can apply just a curves filter, and an exposure effect to 0.8. Follow on video, the dispositions of the individual RGB channels. Green. Red. And blue. As lensflare, on Optical-Flares you can choose what you prefer, but in this case, I preferred to use a different dirty map to obtain this result. I show you better than what I'm talking about. If you use the "dirty" preset. We have a texture with an impact too large. That's the difference. Another important detail, in the lensflare revelation, the center and xy position parameter, when they move to down, must move away so as to trace a triangular shape. At the end, we complete our animation with a black fade-out layer, that starts from frame 117. To arrive at the frame 127.

Ok, add the audio file and proceed with the final rendering. This is the result of our project. Great! Very darkness style. As we have already said, a fuller and professional use of the lights system, can save a lot of time on After Effects. And with the new Cineware module, the future is already here and now! Guys, I remind you the next appointment for the new tutorial of the hollywood movies titles v5 series. "Fast & Furious 6". Awesome! I love this style. Stay Tuned! I hope this tutorial has been to your liking. By Antonio Cerri from crrntn dot com. Cheers!

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