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Cinema 4D Tutorial Roundup: Tips for Compositing 3D Renders into Live Footage

Cinema 4D Tutorial Roundup: Tips for Compositing 3D Renders into Live Footage

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Making your 3D content look natural in a live-action shot can sometimes be challenging. It’s important to match elements in the shot, for example, the focal length, the angle, the lighting, the color grade, the grain, and all the rest. I’ll try to put these in order of the process, however, there is some crossover here.

The Importance of Compositing: A Layer By Layer Breakdown in After Effects

Let’s start with the WHY of it all. Why do you you need to composite your 3D? Nick from Greyscalegorilla talks about why and how to finish your 3D renders in compositing software.

Watch the tutorial

Track a 3D Object Into Shot Footage Using Cinema 4D and After Effects

If you have handheld video, you can make a very believable composite if your tracking is right. Nick from Greyscalegorilla walks you through how to bring in a 3D object or model into your Tracked After Effects scene using Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware. He tracks the scene with the built-in After Effects 3D tracker and brings in the 3D for compositing.

Watch on Vimeo

Compositing 3D Assets in After Effects

In the video below, Joey at School of Motion dives deep on compositing Cinema 4D animations in After Effects. He has lots of great tips.

Get the assets

Compositing a 3D Animation Tutorial

FILMOFONtube composites a cute character in After Effects. He also uses Trapcode Particular and Frischluft Lens Care DOF.

Compositing Tips and Tricks After Effects Tutorial

TunnelvizionTV talks about color grading and matching colors between your 3D and live footage.

Shadow Catcher Material, New Feature for 3D Compositing

Sean Frangella talks about 3D compositing feature, the Shadow Catcher material, which was new in Cinema 4D R18. With the Shadow Catcher, you can use a ground plane or surface in order to catch shadows and reflections and appear as a transparent surface. This will help your composite look more natural.

Tips for Compositing 3D Renders into Footage

EJ Hassenfratz of Eyedesyn has some great tips for After Effects users on compositing your Cinema 4D elements into your AE comps. You have to admit, EJ makes some darn cute characters in Cinema 4D!

Below, a basic overview of his video.

  • He talks about how to quickly set up your 3D object in Cinema 4D, matching lighting, the camera view of your footage.
  • He discusses imperfections you may find in video footage and how to apply those imperfections to your 3D footage.
  • Learn about color correcting your 3D render to match the colors in your video footage.
  • He completes a full comp color grade to help unify the 3D render and footage.
  • In the end, add a vignette to lead a viewers eye to the hero of the scene.

Some other resources and Previous Posts at Toolfarm

CINEMA 4D and Cineware at Adobe Help

Cinema 4D and After Effects: Advanced Compositing Tips – Joren from the Pixel Lab has a couple of quick, yet advanced compositing tips to help you set up your C4D scenes, so you can get a more realistic composite in AE.


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Posted by Michele Yamazaki

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