Lessons: 18Length: 2 hours

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2.3 Mask Blending

Hello. This is Chris Carmody, and welcome to the Visual Effects Compositing Tutorial. We've placed our first two walls, but now I want to put a sign on this wall over here. This is the graphic for the sign, which sort of matches the background that we've got. But we want to make it look as though it's a plank that's been pinned onto the wall, an actual physical sign. So to do this, we're going to use Cinema 4D. We're now at the stage where we can export the whole composition. We've got a camera, we've got some solids in there. So the export that we do now can be used for the rest of the tutorial. So I go up to file, export, MAXON Cinema 4D Exporter. And then, I name this Tunnel. Save that to the desktop. I wouldn't normally save to the desktop. It's just convenient for this tutorial. And then, I go back to File > Import > File. And, I choose the same Tunnel c4d file, and click open. That now appears over here, and I just drag it down into the timeline. It's a bit of a work around. It would be ideal if you could just create that in Situ. But exporting it and re-importing it is a way that we get around the fact that Cineware is in fact a version of Cinema 4D that comes free with After Effects. I think it's important now to think of it as part of After Effects, even though we had to do this workaround. So you can see now that the Cinema 4D layer has been laid over here. If I remove it, we're back to our corridor, and there we have the Cinema 4D plane. And you can also see that this grid up here represents the plane of origin that we placed before. So that's gonna be very useful later on. Right now though, we want to attach it into this wall over here. So we'll make sure that the tunnel layer is selected in the timeline. Then go to Edit > Edit Original. If Cinema 4D hasn't been launched, it will launch now. Mine was already open. Now, if I just grab here, you can see that we play though. And there's all our camera movement and everything that we've put in so far. If you've never work Cinema 4D before, don't worry. Although this isn't the best tutorial, I'm treating this as though you're an After Effects user. An After Effects users are probably never going to be the best 3D modelers. But, you're gonna learn enough to use them for 4D visual effects. And that's really why it's been included. So we want to attach something to this wall on the left. Then, just go up here to corridor. Click that plus, and open it up. And we can see here, that our left wall is visible there. So we'll just select that for now. Now, go up to this cube here. Click on that, and go to Cube. And over here, at our origin point a cube has appeared. So I'm going to bring it a little closer to camera. Just hover over the blue arrow. Drag it towards the camera and click the green arrow. Just a little closer, and then notice there are these little orange dots. I just grab one of those, I can expand it out like that. In actual fact, I want to expand it this way, and then I grab the one underneath. And then, expand it that way. And now, I've made something that looks a little bit like a sign that I can stick on the wall there. Although we're not concentrating on 3D modelling here, I do want it to look a little bit more interesting than that. So I'm gonna come over to these setting here and click fill it. And you can see that that's just given this a slightly rounded edge now. Looks just a little bit more realistic, shall we say. And as I grab a hold of this and move it in 3D space, you can see there that it goes through the wall. And we want to position it that it's against the wall. And it's coming through at an angle there. So it's obviously not at the same angle as the wall. Now I could just use these various controls up here, rotation and so on, to position it visually. And that's a fine way to work. I might have a decent shot there already. But, it's worth having a look at this from different angles. So if I go up to this little icon here and click that, I get four views. It's a bit tricky what you're looking at, so right click on any of these windows. We'll start with this one here and choose frame selected objects. And that brings the object into the center of this frame. And you're looking at it from the right angle, the front angle, and the top. So this is very similar to an after effect. It's just slightly different to navigate. To pull out, you see this little backwards forwards arrow here. Just drag on that, to pull out a little. And there you can see, we have our two walls and our new cube, our rectangular cube in front of it. So I can see already there, that all I need to do is get a hold of that green circle, drag it to the right, and I'll be lining that up more accurately. You can see that there. So, I'll go back to this view just by clicking the icon here again. And now, I'll play through. It's important to see does it look good visually. Well, it's certainly sitting in a good place in the frame. I'm happy with that, but it does appear to be floating off the wall a little. If I go back to my four views, we can probably see from the top view that it's not quite in line. So if I go up to this move tool, I can then grab hold of the red arrow, and just move it back towards the wall. Now, I may as well do that in the full view. So I go back to that. If I grab hold of the red arrow, you can see there I'm just pushing it back towards that wall. An actual fact, we get a better feeling for the correct angle we need here. I'm just gonna leave it there. Get the Rotate tool here, hover over the blue line, and just rotate until it's even more even, and do the same with the green. That's looking just about right. Now, I'll pull it out a little bit, and there we go. We now have a sign that's sitting perfectly on that wall, in a pretty good place for the whole shot. Before we go any further, I want to see how that's looking in After Effects. So I'll just save. That's just file and save. Or I use the shortcut. And then, go back to After Effect and it will update automatically. So I can just move through this, and see if that sign looks as though it is in a good place. I can click the visibility icon of the tunnel layer just to see where that is sitting. I can even reduce its opacity. And there by doing that, I can see that the sign is perhaps a little too far over to the left. It's gonna be too close to this wall here. So I probably want to move it further down the wall and away from the camera. The great thing is, these days when something's done in Cinema 4D, it's not set in stone. You can just go back to Cinema 4D and make a change. So I'm going to move this down the length of the wall to about there. Hit s to save. Go back to After Effects. And there, I can see that looks much better. If I play through by the three second mark, we are gonna get quite close to that sign around here. But at this point, we'll be looking up at the ceiling. So, that looks good to me. I can now go back to Cinema 4D, and finish the work on that side. We need to texture it so I come down here, click create, new material. Your new material appears here. Just double click it and with color selected on the left here. You go over to texture, choose Texture > Load Image. And from there, I'm going to choose the sign.tif. Open that. It will ask if we want to create a copy of the project location. That's up to you. It depends how you work. I won't bother because I'm not gonna be moving that tiff from there. So, we now have a suit for material. I just close the material editor, and I just drag this material from here on to the cube. I can either do that in the window here or up here on the right. I'll drag it up here on the right, and you can see the material appears there and it's also over our object now. So I'm just gonna grab the blue circle, rotate it around like that, 180 degrees. And we need to see what's going on here, so I'm going to add a light. Just go to add light object. And now, when we click the render button here, we'll get a clearer view. And you can see now that that's the right way around. I can play through this and have a look, render again, and there we go. That's looking fine. So I'll save again. Go back to After Effects, and now we can see that in Situ, I will turn the renderer from software to standard draft. And put the resolution back to full just so I can see how this looks. You'll notice that the wall that we massed off before is showing again. And that's because it's showing from Cinema 4D. So if you want to get rid of that, you just go back to Cinema 4D. And up here rather than deleting the left wall and the right wall, all we do is click on these little green checks. And those wall become invisible. Now, when we hit Save and go back to After Effects all we're seeing is the sign that's been introduced from Cinema 4D. The lighting isn't quite right, but it's looking fine for now. So anytime you want to introduce an object into the scene that's how you do it. And that's how you texture it. And even if you're not use to using Cinema 4D, it's a really good way to get extra detail into your scene.

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