Tutorial 187: Triggering Animation in Cinema 4D

Severo Ojea | Aug 2, 2019

In this week's tutorial, we use objects in Cinema 4D to trigger the animation of other objects—without keyframing. This technique is pretty versatile, as it relies on blending objects inside of a cloner. While you can use effectors' falloff to achieve some of this, using fields exponentially increases our limits because of how much can be controlled using fields and because of what can be used as a field. We also use dynamics and collisions to trigger animation. So there's a ton that can be done if you explore!

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial. It includes the C4D files which will work in R20+. It also includes the setup for the thumbnail in C4D as well as the AE composite—with a legacy version for 14+ (2017).

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 186: Behaviors

Joe Clay | Jul 26, 2019

In this week's After Effects tutorial, we explore building a Cinema 4D-like effector by setting up behaviors based on positioning of layers. In our first example of a very wildly inaccurate Apollo mission example, we use distance to illustrate a burn of the Command Module. I also mentioned that this was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing an the new Apollo 11 (2019) documentary. There's some amazing footage in there that was recovered, and I believe it's a lot of never-before-seen footage. It was painstakingly put together, and the result is excellent.

Anyway, we continue on to make objects scale as another object approaches and finally we make a space ship capable of matter rejection. What's that you ask? It's the ability to force objects to stay outside of a predefined perimeter. There's not asteroid that can touch our ship.

There are a ton of things that can be done with this technique. You're really only limited by your imagination and ability to code. We've already covered distance and angle, so you have a good base to start from!

Expression Code

This is the more basic code from the tutorial. It covers distance only.

d = length(thisLayer.position, thisComp.layer('Moon').position);
s = ease(d, 100, 300, 80, 30);
[s, s];

This is the more complex code from the tutorial. It covers distance as well as angle.

r = effect("CC Sphere")("Radius") + thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Shield Radius")("Slider");
ptA = thisLayer.position;
ptB = thisComp.layer('Zeus Orb').position;
d = length(ptA, ptB);
if(d < r) {
    x = ptA[0] - ptB[0];
    y = ptA[1] - ptB[1];
    a = Math.atan2(y, x);
    x = Math.cos(a);
    y = Math.sin(a);
    r = r - d;
    value + [x*r, y*r];
} else {
    value;
}

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains the setup shown in the tutorial along with the textures, overlays, and other elements used in the thumbnail. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 but a version was saved that will open in v14 (2017). It shouldn't have any issues with either expression engine.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 185: Digital Countdown

Severo Ojea | Jul 19, 2019

In this week's tutorial, we create a grid of splines and deform them with a MoText Object. This setup is simple but the base can be used and deformed in a matter of ways to create anything from FUI elements to Backgrounds.

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial. It includes the C4D files which will work in R20+.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 184: CSV-Based Graphs

Joe Clay | Jul 12, 2019

This week, we're exploring using a CSV file to generate graphs in After Effects. Building a CSV allows for a lot of interesting things, one of which is the ability to use data to drive animation. In our case, a cool side effect of using a CSV is that you can change the data outside of After Effects and it can automatically change your animation.

Data driven animation also makes it really easy to version things. Basically, if you can put something into a spreadsheet, you can use it in After Effects. Graphs and data aren't the only things you can use CSVs for. You can even use them to offer different translations for a script so you can switch your project over to output another language with minimal effort. Perhaps we'll take a look at that exact use case in the future.

If you need any additional information on how to use CSVs in After Effects, check out Sergei's excellent introductory lesson over at Ukramedia—Tip 071: How to Create & Use a CSV File in After Effects.

And as always, make sure to experiment.

Expression Code

Before adding these expressions, be sure to add three sliders to a layer named Controller. One should be named Start Row, one should be End Row, and the final should be Tangent Radius

This generates the months from a CSV file that has dates in the format YYYY-MM. Apply this to a text layer's Source Text property.

start = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Start Row")("Slider");
end = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("End Row")("Slider");
str = '';
options = {
    month: 'short',
    year: '2-digit'
};

for(i = start; i < end; i++) {
    d = new Date(footage("WBsubs.csv").dataValue([0,i]) + '-1');
    str += d.toLocaleDateString('en-US', options) + "\t\t";
}
str;

This generates the line graph itself. Apply it to a path inside of a shape layer.

start = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Start Row")("Slider");
end = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("End Row")("Slider");
tanR = thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Tangent Radius")("Slider");
x = 296 - 960;
y = 766 - 540;
pts = new Array();
inTan = new Array();
outTan = new Array();

for(i = start; i < end; i++) {
    ptX = x + ((i-start) * 147.7);
    ptY = y - (linear(footage("WBsubs.csv").dataValue([1,i]), 0, 3000, 0, 452));
    pts.push([ptX,ptY]);
    inTan.push([-tanR, 0]);
    outTan.push([tanR, 0]);
}
createPath(pts,inTan,outTan,false);

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains the setup shown in the tutorial and the CSV with authentic Workbench data from Social Blade. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 and it requires it due to using the newer JavaScript engine.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 183: Outbreak

Severo Ojea | Jul 3, 2019

In this week's tutorial we use Cinema 4D's Fields along with Redshift to make a growing viral look.

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial. It includes the C4D files which will work in R20+.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 182: Compression Glitches

Joe Clay | Jun 28, 2019

This week, we're looking at how to achieve a compressed jiffpeg look using a procedural stack of effects. If you're curious, Big Black is built from Bashcorpo textures—number 8 on this list, though I have a copy numbered 10. Also, the eagle-eyed of you might notice there's a Base composition in the Base 2 comp. There's just text in there. I made base contain all of that in case I went a little crazier in the Base 2 comp! And finally, if you're wondering what the hell JSplacement is, go check out our tools post. That's it. Now go out and experiment!

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains the setup shown in the tutorial, the LUT that we use for the final look, and all of the graphic elements. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 but there's a version included for v14 (2017).

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 181: Shadow Catcher

Severo Ojea | Jun 21, 2019

In this week's tutorial we use Cinema 4D's native tools to create a shadow catcher.

We will also go over the setup to do the same using Redshift.

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial. It includes the C4D files which will work in R20+.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 180: Organic Web Look

Joe Clay | Jun 14, 2019

This week, we take a look at a simple, but useful effect. The main idea is to take an image and put some dots or a texture above it. Then you can use CC Vector Blur to make web-like connections between the bright areas that remain.

We're using this royalty free brain image, if you'd like to follow along.

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial, the LUT that we use for the final look, and all of the graphic elements. An animated version is also included. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 but there's a version included for v14 (2017).

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 179: Flowering MoSpline

Severo Ojea | Jun 7, 2019

In this week's tutorial, we create a flower structure in Cinema 4D. Using MoSpline's settings in conjuction with a Cloner, we'll create and animate a flower structure.

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial. It includes the C4D file setups which will work in R20+.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

Tutorial 178: Biometric Scanner

Joe Clay | May 31, 2019

In this week's tutorial, we grab a character from Mixamo, bring it into Cinema 4D, and then bring that into After Effects to treat it with a scanner look. We're using the Grid effect combined with Card Dance to make boxes that outline the character's features.

You can find the M1911A1 model we used at GrabCad. To make the moving background, check out Tutorial 148: Tech Backgrounds. For the circle nodes, Tutorial 167: Intro to Nodebox will get you to where you need to be. And Tutorial 175: Looping Noise shows you how you can make the x-grid background. The technique is similar, but the expression on SourceText is different because we know the exact amount of characters we need.

line = text.sourceText.repeat(96);
txt = '';
for(i = 0; i < 54; i++) {
    txt += line + '\n';
}

txt;

And that's it. I hope you guys have fun with this one. There's a lot of possibilities for using this technique, and there's a lot of character rigs on Mixamo to experiment with!

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains all of the setups shown in the tutorial, the LUT that we use for the final look, the graphic elements, and the C4D file. The C4D file should open in any modern C4D version. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 but there's a version included for v14 (2017). I've baked the expression that builds the x-grid for previous versions as I don't believe it works in older versions. The original layer is still in the file, but it might throw an error.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today

 123456789101112131415161718192021