Follow the Stars

Created in Cinema 4D, this campaign included a competition to win a trip for 2 to Cannes Film Festival. Given the stars theme, I suggested we use the tagline “follow the stars”. This has the dual meaning of following the logo stars throughout the promo, and mingling with movie stars on the red carpet in Cannes.

The background is a combination of a Cinema 4D Floor object, lit using a large soft box from Greyscale Gorilla’s excellent  HDR lighting kit,  and Background object with a gradient texture from black to dark orange. The stars in the sky were created using a Star spline, the MoGraph Cloner Object and Random Effector, with a Plain Effector (-1 Scale,with Falloff) to clear stars away from the text and logos.


The extruded stars were created using MoGraph Spline Wrap. This was far more flexible than a using a Sweep Nurb along a spline, and allowed me to animate the Offset of the Star extrude rather than simply the Start and End points. Thanks to Tim Clapham for his expert guidance here. The particle trail is a Particle Emitter linked to the Spline Wrap Offset value using Set Driver/Driven and was set-up by Michael Tan, who assisted me with this project.


After Effects Rotobrush was used to do some quick roto work where the stars fly behind people. The shots aren’t perfect but with this tool I wouldn’t have even bothered given the tight deadline. The final project included 5 x 30 second spots and 2 x 60 seconds spots. The following example movies include the fully graphic 30 and a selection of shots from the other spots, and the fully graphic 30 with final audio mix.

  1. sparxs

    Hey JD!

    Impressive work like always!
    Best regards

  2. Eran Stern

    Great spot John! Clean and precise. Maybe you can update the post with the final audio mix as well.

  3. Tunde

    Cool Spot! I really dig the stars integrating into the movie clips… Awesome Work.

  4. John Stanowski

    AWESOME integration with the video clips! Did you have to do this without sound? How the heck do you do that?

  5. pev

    Hi John,
    Look great.

  6. illd

    Hi JD,
    great work – finally we see some of your work. I started to think you quit at foxtel 😉

  7. John Dickinson

    Thanks everyone. I’ll post the finished audio mix soon. I did have sound for this but didn’t need it because the promo producer supplied an edited cut with stand-in graphics. I imported the edit into C4D and used that as the guide for timing. Best wishes, John.

  8. Spiro

    This really needs to be turned into another MILG!

  9. digitalove

    awesome, i like how you have made a reflection in the kids eyes as the stars fly by in one of the last scenes, think its a scene from cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

    little things like that make the 3d more believable. and the sweet blur.

    also that fade on the end tail of the stars looks pretty cool. gradient in alpha i presume.

  10. Josh Johnson

    Looks nice John!

  11. md

    Looks good, the only thing that is bugging me, is the missing reflection of the headlines/movietitles. Everything else is reflecting on the floor..

    • John Dickinson

      It’s because of the scale and height of the text. The reflection is there, it’s just off screen 😉 Best wishes, John.

  12. Leo

    Very nice, I love the star transitions!

    Leo from Kansas

  13. chris

    I like the reflections in the eyes *_*
    clean work as always John!

  14. ompet

    i like it very much
    could you provide
    the tutorial, pls
    thx a bunch

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Ompet. I’ll consider a tutorial for this perhaps. Best wishes, John.

  15. zhangbo

    Can download online?

    • John Dickinson

      No this isn’t available for download.

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