Tutorial 117: The Power of Vertex Maps

Severo Ojea | Mar 30, 2018

This week we take a look at a really useful technique in Cinema 4D—controlling effectors and shaders with vertex maps. Generally, you're limited to a simple falloff when it comes to controlling the parts of objects that effectors, uh, affect. But by adding a quick vertex map, we can add complex effects to objects and their shaders.

The C4D files for this project are available through our Gumroad store. If you're a patron, there's a link there on Patreon for you to get it.

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Tutorial 116: Filming Elements

Joe Clay | Mar 23, 2018

This week, we look at using filmed elements to get some free animation. Get someone to drive you around and film out of the windows. Bring the footage into AE and mirror it, crush it with some levels, and just have fun an experiment to see what interesting things you can do with it. Even the footage alone looks interesting. Horizontally reflected skylines have even been used in music videos.

We're switching up out project files, as noted on this post about Improvements. So this one is available through our Gumroad store. If you're a patron, there's a link there on Patreon for you to get it. This project file contains the After Effects project and four stabilized 4096x1920 h.264 clips. The edges of the clips show in some cases due to the stabilization, but there's more than enough for a full HD crop. Unfortunately, I didn't think about h.264 resolution limitations so shooting this in 4.5K vs 4K HD meant a little bit of vertical resolution loss (1920 vs. 2160).

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Tutorial 115: Audio-Based Glitch Maps 2

Severo Ojea | Mar 16, 2018

This week we build on Tutorial 114: Audio-Based Glitch Maps by using a similar technique to build our maps in Cinema 4D. This allows for a lot of interesting interaction between 3D objects in a Mograph Cloner.

We'll be using the newer Sound Effector in R19 to isolate portions of an audio track to drive movement in our clones. If you have a previous version of Cinema you can still use this effector, but you'll have to draw a graph in the Filter Shape to select frequencies. To draw in it, you'll need to Command click to add points on the graph.

We also used Tutorial 113: Texturing Parametric Faces to texture map some of the objects used in this tutorial.

In the next week or so, we'll make a few of these maps available to our Patrons. The project file is available via Gumroad. If you're a patron, there's a discount link for you on Patreon. The project file contains a Cinema 4D file for each setup shown in the tutorial. The After Effects project is not included in the download.

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Tutorial 114: Audio-Based Glitch Maps

Joe Clay | Mar 9, 2018

This is the follow-up to my blog post about The Nugget where I talked about Andrew Kramer's latest Video Copilot glitch tutorial. He had a lot of great stuff to offer in that one, so check it out! But one thing I found really interesting was a texture.

This texture reminded me a lot of an audio spectrum analyzer like the one in certain modes in Adobe Audition. And that gave me a thought. Sure, you could always control your glitches with audio, but why not make the actual displacement maps starting out with a visual representation of an audio track? So that's what we're exploring this week.

These are very simple examples. Like many of our tutorials, the possibility for extending this technique is only limited by your imagination. This can be taken way further than what I had time to explore for a few hours this week. So as always, if you make anything with this technique, tag us @workbench_tv!

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Tutorial 113: Texturing Parametric Faces

Severo Ojea | Mar 8, 2018

Today we're taking a look at parametric object mapping. Giving each face its own color/shader can be a very useful to create a variety of effects, but doing that is not very straightforward.

But, once you know the trick to it, it's really simple! You start by creating a copy of a parametric cube and then making the copy editable. Then you make selection tags for the individual faces. When that's complete, you copy those selection tags back to the original parametric cube and you've got a parametric cube with a shader for each face.

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Tutorial 112: Modular Text Systems

Joe Clay | Mar 2, 2018

This week we expand on a technique we made in Tutorial 110: Liquid Write-on to make a more modular system. This way we can add pre-made animations, point them to an existing text layer, and end up with complex animations with minimal effort. We also referenced Tutorial 96: Mask Vertex Expressions.

Since this will likely become a product, the project file is available through Gumroad. It's pay what you want for now, but this will let us easily notify you of when the product is available.

Also, make sure you check out the 15K Giveaway if you missed it!

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Tutorial 111: Wood Grain and Visualizers

Joe Clay | Feb 23, 2018

This week was kind of a tough one for me, since I ended up being way busier than I expected. So I took on a simpler tutorial I was asked about, but I couldn't leave it without adding to it. So we start off talking about wood grain and end up building a visualizer effect. We use Red Giant's Trapcode SoundKeys to accomplish this effect, though you can get there in a more difficult route with less customization using our Tutorial 70: Pump up the Jam. We'd definitely recommend the SoundKeys route.

There's a lot of associated expressions involved as well, so instead of listing them all here, I've made the project file available.

And at the end we talk about a 15K giveaway brought to you by Amazing Music Tracks. To enter, follow us @workbench_tv, then tweet out your favorite Workbench tutorial or the one you found the most helpful to you, and don't forget to tag us at the end! The winner will be chosen randomly.

And if you've just got to get some music right now, head on over to Amazing Music Tracks and use our affiliate code: WORKBENCH10 to save 10%!

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Tutorial 110: Liquid Write-On

Joe Clay | Feb 16, 2018

This week's After Effects tutorial shows you how to make a cool procedural liquid-style write-on effect. We isolate letters using a text animator to allow us to do all sorts of things to those characters. We scratch only the surface using Turbulent Displace. Since we're also using blurs here, it would be interesting to combine this technique with the technique from our first blobs tutorial, Tutorial 03: Blobs.

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Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 109: Pixel Sorting Shift

Joe Clay | Feb 9, 2018

This week's After Effects tutorial builds upon a previous tutorial, Tutorial 82: Pixel Sorting and More. Here we use an animated precomp to pull a map to feed to a bunch of Displacement Map effects. The result is a nice pixel sorted shift transition that can be changed in many ways. We only just scratch the surface of what's possible with this setup.

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Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 108: Cinematic Parallax

Joe Clay | Feb 2, 2018

In this week's After Effects tutorial, we explore a simple technique to fly over a scene using nothing but a still or a locked-off time lapse. A lot of my early career was trying to rub two stills together to make a fire, so I always found techniques like this helpful. But even now it's still fun being able to make something with a 3 dimensional feel out of 2D footage.

As for the 2D footage, shots with an even horizon work best, but we even used some odd angles and it still worked well enough. The idea for this came from YouTube user This Is Enot who asked about the transitions in this cool project on Envato—Cinematic Parallax. Since we already have Tutorial 82: Pixel Sorting and More, we passed that along but decided to make a tutorial about this style of parallax. If you like the look of the example, go check out the other stuff they're selling on Envato. I haven't purchased their animations, but they look to be worth grabbing.

Our version is built in the traditional way—masking parts out of layers and putting them into 3D space. But we also add layers of atmospherics like particulates, and round it out—quite literally—with the Optics Compensation Effect to accentuate the movement by subtly curving the edges so that it appears that you're moving through the image rather than simply scaling it.

Have fun, and take it further!

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