Holiday Ident

This Christmas holiday ident, created using Cinema 4D and After Effects, was inspired by an ident from Proud Creative.

The screen was modelled from a cube, adding a simple inner extrude on the front face.

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The cube was duplicated, resized and stacked to form the shape of a Christmas tree. A large, seamless cyc was used for the floor and background.

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Cool and warm Area lights were positioned as key and fill lights.

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A third Area light was placed behind the tree and set to -100, to remove illumination from that area.

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A simple metal material with a Fresnel in the Reflection channel and large, soft specular was used for both the tree and the background.

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The Morph Camera tag (R14 and above) was used to create the camera move. With this tag creating complex camera moves is as simple as creating individual cameras at various key positions.

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Because Cineware doesn’t currently import Morph camera data, the keyframes had to be baked before importing into After Effects.

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Before exporting to After Effects, the front polygon of each screen was split off and an External Compositing Tag added to each face.

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Each tag was set to export as a Solid, with the size matching the size of the split polygon faces. The Anchor Point was set to Top Left to match After Effects.

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The Cinema 4D file was imported into After Effects using Cineware, and the project data was extracted including the Camera, Lights and the External Compositing Tags. Note the different coloured solids in this shot, with the After Effects Null Object Anchor Points positioned top left of each Solid.

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Each Null Object was switched out for a star (small screens) and footage (large screens).

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The screen polygons were rendered out of Cinema 4D with Object Buffers and imported into After Effects to use as mattes.

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Notice how the mattes ensure that the footage is cropped to fit the screens precisely.

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The Set Matte and Fast Blur Effects were used to create soft outer frames for each screen. This combination of effects is also great for creating light wraps in After Effects, which are commonly used in compositing.

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The frame composition was used as a matte for the footage and stars.

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This was then blurred using Sapphire Blur…

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…and comped to add a soft glow around the edges of the frames. I decided to do it this way because it was more subtle then adding a glow over the entire image, and doesn’t affect televisions or background.

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The Curves effect was used for a warm colour grade.

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Sapphire Grain was used to add some subtle, all over grain.

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The reflections for the 3 bottom screens were created by duplicating, flipping and blurring the vision for those screens.

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The message and logo were added into the scene by switching out the nulls created by the External Compositing Tags from Cinema, with a subtle blur added to both.

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