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How to make a Cascading Text Animation With Cinema 4D and After Effects – Part 2 121 Comments

In the second part of this tutorial, we color correct and composite our final animation in After Effects using a combination of blending modes, luma keys, blurs, vignettes, glows, and gradients.

Final Render

Watch Part 1 of this Tutorial

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


  1. Beautifull effect on typography. It’s amazing. I am a debutant on Cinema 4D. Your blog is fantastic. Very good job.

    Guillaume from France

  2. John Prince

    Wow, what a awesome tutorial… thank you kindly!

    Ps. Haven’t heard Cassius in years! Surprised someone else still likes it aswell πŸ™‚

  3. Roland

    Quicktip: You can also switch the projects colour depth by Option (Alt) clicking on the 8/16/32bit thing in the project window.

  4. Conclusion: “It’s pretty blingy!”
    Dude, this is the best tut you’ve ever done! Never learned so much about maximizing stuff in After Effects ever!

    And that wave was legendary.

  5. Jordan Cain

    MAJOR thanks for this! Really looking forward to seeing more C4D+AE tuts from you in the future. There is an overwhelming lack of good Cinema 4D tutorials out there.

    And I agree.. best tut you’ve ever done. Hell, one of the best C4D+AE tuts I’ve seen at all.

  6. dogimo

    The waving thing is what i liked the most in this tutorial!

  7. Joshua

    Puttin’ On the Sex

    Awesome tutorial. Awesome Awkward Wave.
    thanks again, Nick.

  8. DaniSang

    Awesome tutorial. Was creating my own version while listing/watching the tutorial:

    Its amazing how much c4d you can learn within a month.

    Keep up with the amazing tutorials.

  9. amazing tut but how they create strips flying around in different direction and twisting around, also for the cuts did they do multiple renders of the scene with different camera position and composite it for the cuts or it can be animated? Thanks. your work is great!

    • The ribbons are probably made with the Sweep Nurbs. Watch my Nurbs tut to see how to use that. For the cuts, I would think that it’s the same animation with different camera angles.

  10. Sorry Nick I have a problem with the lighting. There is the possibility to find the setting of lights?
    Thanks, it would be important.

  11. \\\\\\\ Lightkit ///////
    Nick > do u have the price yet?

  12. Mario

    Hey Nick thanks again for that great great tutorial… here is my result of the tut
    I think the light its no good, i will waiting for taht lightkit

    PD: I diggy it, hehehehe

  13. Danny

    Thanks Nick, another great tutorial.

    After being terrified of programs like Maya and 3ds max for years, i thought After Effects was as far as i could, or even wanted to go with my profession. Thanks to you though (and C4D), I’ve finally jumped into the side of 3-D, and I’m enjoying it more than i ever imagined i would.

    I truly appreciate all your hard work and willingness to share.

    Thanks again. πŸ™‚

    • Yoshi

      Yes same counts for me
      I thought u only could learn 3D by buying tutorials for hundreds of dollars but..
      Nick is my Hero!:D

  14. Gazfx

    Finally had a go. Quite happy with my version of the lighting and background. Similar to the original other than the font and a few subtleties but wanted to recreate the lighting more than anything.

    C&C welcome.

  15. Nick seriously, these subtle tips, tricks and techniques are great! both C4D and AE. really appreciate it. Thanks!

  16. anime_t

    awsome….im going to try it…i’ll let you know… πŸ™‚

  17. Nick, thanks for this tutorial, it’s my favorite so far and it introduced me to better ways of using the step effector.

    • Ben Carroll

      Holy crap! That is amazing! I would love to see how this was done!

  18. Adrian

    hello, I know if I can help I am following the tutorial Intro to Physics and Dynamics in Mograph 2, but when I get to the part of the explosion of the cube asks me to implement “Rigid Body” and I do not have that plugin, as I get or if I have to activate as I do, Thanks

  19. Chrongram

    I switched to C4D from Maya for a lot of reasons including you πŸ™‚ It’s getting hard to be creative when the software is too techy. C4D gives me a lot of “instant sweetness” and I have to thank you for it. Love your work and your tuts are first grade,top of the pop,on the dot & most of all fun fun fun to watch.


  20. Another great tutorial, I also think it became awesome, I made every step and it’s really nice! I will post after I go to after πŸ˜‰

    Thanx a bunch!

  21. Patrick

    Nice tutorial Nick. I always like getting new ideas from your site. Thanks a lot. Here is my feeble attempt at motion graphics.For a local band. Here’s what i came up with.

  22. Shahrez Rafiq

    Well, I followed you, but used thinner slices and used GI (at pretty low settings just to uniformly distribute the light), didn’t used those softbox reflections and also didn’t created shines in AE. It’s just a sleek look I was intending. Here’s what I got.

  23. What did I learn from this tutorial?
    Well, at 15:03 I learned that Nick is a connoisseur of the Beatles Abbey Road.
    Two classics: the Beatles, and Nick Campbell.

    Very nice tutorial.
    Thanks for all you do to help us.


  24. Very nice!
    But I find it awkwardly hard to combine several splines to do the masking. You can of course combine splines, but not moving splines.
    I know a boolean object can do it, but it really is buggy.

    But it was very useful in animations only needing one spline πŸ™‚

    • Magic

      I used 2 moving rectangle splines as a mask when following this tutorial without a problem. They move seperatly toward eachother.

  25. Jonas

    Very good tutorial!
    I like the fast pace and that you don’t get stuck on what specific numbers to use and such. I am a product designer and I just started playing with Cinema 4D and you’re tutorials is just what I need to get by.

    I made my own attempt at this thing as well and this is actually my very first render ever out of After effects:

    Thanks, and keep up the great work with the blog!

  26. WOW! cool tutorial! I appreciate all your tutorials and I would like to see some Thinking Particle tutorials like how to create a avalanche.

  27. “Put… hum… all the sex on it, right?” – 18:46 –
    That’s a line!
    Thanks Nick for that and the rest !

  28. Thanks a lot for that!
    I hope my next showreel will have a lot more “Oumpff” to it. Got to learn to use those curves and glows!

  29. Chris

    This has been really inspiring, Nick! Been following you for a while now and you always have great stuff. Thanks for all the effort you put into everything, it’s truly a blessing for everybody.

    P.S. That wave was legendary.

  30. Antonis

    “…thanks for watching…”

    Thank U for creating this, Nick!It was an awesome tut.

  31. Wow, there were so many things that I didn’t manage to put my finger on before I watched the tutorial. So that’s how the professionals get their text look nice. :O

    I’m making some of this right now!

  32. Andrew F

    wondering how this would translate into 3DS Max?

    any suggestions?


    • Hey Andrew. Can you give some clue about how to do this in max. I tried Spline Booleans but it doesn’t animate.
      I don’t wanna do C4D just for this trick.

      Great stuff Nick. Loving it !

  33. Great man! I followed along and learned a lot. I’ll post it soon. Seriously keep doing these, I couldn’t ask for a better tutorial. These are marketable skills you’re teaching.

    Thanks so much!

  34. Hi gorilla
    I had a lesson a long time searching.
    Thank you
    If you help me a lot more happy about me

    Even though I did not find much between hdr Lighting Kit Beta
    Please send me πŸ™
    ty and ty and ty and ty πŸ™‚

  35. barry barrera

    hi nick,
    very impressive…but how about the background? how do i make the swirling ribbon like stripes at the background….please make a tut soon…thanx master…more power

  36. Thanks you for this fantastic tutorial Nick, you teach and inform well, all the asides around the walkthroughs are priceless. This helped me, big understatement, to create the titles for this project on the STRATA TOWER in London. So hats off to you big guy…! best stuff…max

  37. Thanks gorilla. I learned a lot from part 1 and 2. I’m diggin this C4D and AE. Keep doing tutorials. Ur are the man! \m/

  38. Esteban

    Thanks for this tutorial. I just my take on it. My AfterEffects conked out on me when opening it up. Ended up trying my best to follow along in Apple’s Motion. Adjustment layers pretty much killed that. But still really happy with how it turned out. Have learned a lot pretty quickly by following along with your tutorials. Thanks again.

  39. Hey Nick!

    First of all i’d like to thank you for all these great tutorials you’re doing! You really removed the fear I had over 3D because I really thought it was only for professionals, but you simplified everything, and it’s not easy!

    I’m in my third year of graphic arts in Paris and following all of your tutorials I tried to make my first 3D animation based on 2 of those tutorial which are the Cascading Text and the Volumetric Lights.

    Here’s what I’ve done :

    It’s not that good because I really wanted to do that just to learn how to make stuff, Then I know that designly speaking it’s awful but it wasn’t the purpose of this little project.

    What I wanted to know is that if the first silver circles (the one that vanish in the beginning) could have been hollow instead of being solid (I’m sorry because the light is to bright in the begging and is covering the silver circle but at some points you’re going to be able to see it) ?

    Thank you


    • You can turn off objects in the render, but still have them effect the scene by using the “traffic lights” beside your layers. One of them turns off in the editor and the other in the render.

  40. Laurel

    Learned so much – even the w/ “awkward wave” part (very funny) you are so appreciated! taking my first class along w/ your tutorials which are in real time – excellent.

  41. Thanks for the tutorial, was really useful in learning about the timeline and type in C4D.
    Also, I used the Easy Cam tutorial which was super helpful with animating camera movements. Heres the result:
    A little bit different twist on it but it was fun to experiment in C4D. Thanks Again.

  42. Polo-

    Excellent tut man, i’m just starting off with C4D and AE. It seems i’ll use a lot of this AE stuff in other projects (C4D its a little bit difficult for me, since I have some experience in PS, i can see that After Effects is kinda similar), most of all because you explain the way that every tool you use works.
    Anyway, i have finished this. Since my project doesn’t have that silver emboss that your’s have, i desaturated the colours in the curve layer so the image won’t “bleed” without sacrificing those glowy edges.. Instant hotness!

    Thanks and greetings from Argentina (:

  43. Hi Nick, im basically studying cinema 4D from you, im having one problem though…. your videos are not loading, the dont even buffer… any idea why?

  44. You’re hilarious, man. And that’s making the tutorial less heavy even though it’s a long one.

  45. Hey Nick, I’m just following the tutorial and then I had to start over and when I previewed the file from first inputting the TIFF Sequence intro Ae I found this

    Will it show this in the end or is this just Ae glitching out?

    Thanks for the tutorial πŸ™‚

    • I’ve found the problem and it is in Cinema 4D
      Why does this happen, could anyone help me. All I need to do is edit that frame and then render that current frame and replace frame 39 in the tiff file. But I do not know how to fix that. The hole project took 5hours + to render and I really don’t want to have to start from scratch.

      Thanks for the help

    • I’ve figured out the issue. To solve it I had to change the time offset in the Step Effector. I had it on 20 so I moved it down to 19 and it worked fine. may just glitch a little when put into Ae I’m not sure. I’m guessing it was something to do with the spline movement and the time offset. So if anyone has the same problem just try reducing or increasing the frames in the time offset in the Step Effector and check before rendering. Sorry for the spam

  46. craig

    Hey Nick, this is one of the best tutorials on the net!-and your expertise, and teaching skills ( teaching is harder than we think, ; ) ) are tops-I have a dilemma; I am using this technique for three words. It works fine except, when I add texture to the third word and the outer casing, the word doesn’t appear gracefully like the others, but just “pops” into the scene, any thoughts?, without the texture tags, looks great, except when I add the textures. Any chance I can send to you my files to have you dissect it ? if you are busy or just won’t, I understand, couldn’t hurt to ask, thank you in advance, Craig


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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.