This project was created using a combination of Cinema 4D and After Effects with Zaxwerks ProAnimator and Knoll Light Factory. The simple 3D text supers were created using ProAnimator inside After Effects and the supers with characters were created in Cinema 4D and finished in After Effects.
I could have used Cinema 4D for the text supers as well but they didn’t require any reflections or enhanced features of Cinema 4D, and using ProAnimator allowed me to set them up and render as proxies in After Effects whilst the Character supers were rendering in Cinema 4D. Prerendering the ProAnimator layers as Proxies sped up the workflow quite dramatically, making the final render of over 20 ProAnimator supers take about 15 minutes. Making It Look Great 1 covers using Proxies with After Effects and ProAnimator in detail.
The lens flare was built from multiple Knoll Light Factory elements, linked together using the expression pickwhip. The extra circular shapes around the flare are four Shape Layers which add interest to the flare and add enhance the overall look of the graphics.
A Compositing Tag was added to a back light in Cinema 4D and placed behind the text, this was used to position the Knoll flare in After Effects. As Knoll flares are 2D only, I used this expression: thisComp.layer(“Back_flare”).toComp([0,0,0]) applied to each flare element’s Light Source Location property to position the flare correctly on the Back Flare layer (which is 3D). Thanks to Harry Frank for that one.
All of the main elements of the Character supers were rendered out of Cinema 4D with object buffers, allowing easy color correction in After Effects. The characters were cut out in Photoshop and saved with alpha channels, then imported into Cinema 4D as textures and applied to simple plane objects. These were animated to rotate towards the camera to hide (as much as possible) the fact that they had no depth.