Add Real Animated 3D Type To After Effects Using Cineware And Mograph

June 16, 2013

In this tutorial, we will be learning about my favorite menu in Cinema 4D Lite, MOGRAPH. First, be sure to register your version of Cinema 4D Lite to get the Mograph menu. Then, follow along as we go though using the Fracture Object, Random Effector, and Plain Effector to make a 3D type animation to use in After Effects. Enjoy.


Learn More About Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware

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  • Hi Nick… i have a question.. After Effects dont let me import a C4D file into the project panel. How can i do that? Where can I find the Cineware plugin? Thanks a lot for your help, man!

  • Hi Nick, thanks for all these tuts related to this powerful plugin.
    A question, how can I run my R14 version and not the basic lite one?
    I was looking for a way to tell to AE to launch the full version instead of the lite one, but it seems to not be working..

  • Hey Nick i just want to say that you’re site is sooo awesome the design tutorials and your awesome presets thank you

    PS: Why you’re called : greyscalegorilla

  • Hey Nick,
    Great tutorial! One problem I ran into: once I changed the fracture mode to “explode Segments & Connect”, my text disappeared and wouldn’t show up from there on. I could still make changes to it via the random effector, and they would update in AE, but I can’t view what I’m doing in Cinema4d…what gives??? The text doesn’t disappear if I change the mode to “Explode Segments”, just “Explode seg & connect”

    Thanks for the help!

  • Don’t forget about the auto key frame button. With it selected, key framing in C4D is just like AE. It’s just turned off by default.

  • Hello, my first post! What products in your store work with the lite version of C4D? I would love the texture and light kit…

  • Hi Nick!

    I have a really important question in mind. Lets say you set up your C4D animation and you have a layer for background in after effects. I understand if you ram preview it and after you change something on the background layer it will be as fast as before because C4D render was cached by after effects. Lets say after that you close everything and open up after effects again. Will the C4D layer already rendered then? Does AE save your rendered C4D frames somewhere? If I only change an effect in AE applied to the C4D layer does it need to render again the C4D frames? (because it would be so much faster if it would just apply the changed effect to the rendered C4D frames it does not need to render the C4D frames again) I see that pre saved frames can be advantage and disadvantage too but It would be nice to have an option on that.

    Thanks for your answer. Cheers

  • Hi Nick

    Firstly great website it’s a great source of info and ideas!

    I’ve just downloaded AE CC. However I’ve run into a problem: AE CC syncs with my C4D 11.5 which does not understand the file format when saving a project. What version does AE CC work with? and how can I change the default to Cinema Lite?


  • Thank you so much for doing these tutorials. I don’t know if you know this, but you are the ONLY person on the entire world wide web that has Cinema 4D ‘Lite’ tutorials so far. I use After Effects. And I’ve just upgraded to AE CC, and I have absolutely no idea how to use C4D at all. Not a clue. And there is of course a ton of C4D tutorials on the internet, but no C4D ‘Lite’ tuts. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want to sit through a whole bunch of C4D tutorials, get really excited about them, and realize I can’t actually do any of them because I only have the ‘Lite’ version of C4D. So thank you, thank you, thank you for doing these tuts. They have been immensely helpful.
    If I may though .. could you please do some tutorials on what we can do using ONLY Cinema 4D Lite. I realize you have already shown some things in this and your other tuts, but if you could do a video on just a bunch of different things you can do with only the Lite version, I would be incredibly grateful. I have been using Blender for a year and a half or so. But from what I see, C4D is a very different program in how you use it. I have never actually bought a 3D package before, but have been wanting to jump in to the Majority for a while. Blender is great, but aside from a very few websites, there just isn’t all that much information out there to delve deeper and deeper into it. So I was thinking about 3Ds Max before, but now with After Effects giving me the opportunity to do some stuff with C4D for as long as I want. I may, one day in the future, purchase the full version and have access to the vast collection of C4D tutorials, education, forums, plugins, and extras that come along with it. Anyway, sorry this post is so long. Thanks again.
    P.S. Also, what is the real difference between C4D options? The Prime, Broadcast, and I think its ‘Visualize’ versions? And is the Studio Version just have everything all the other versions have? or even more than all those other versions have?
    Thanks so, so much again!!

  • Why when i choose explode segments and connect my text disappear?

  • Great tutorial, Nick! I only discovered your site a few weeks ago and I’m totally addicted. You’ve made a C4D convert out of me (I’m normally a Maya user)

  • I got the C4D Visualize v14 and would like to use the Mograph features of the Lite version. But I cannot start the Lite Version it seems. Is there a workaround?

    Regards, Peter

  • Nice tut!
    Nicer Hair…..
    I see your trademark mustache is coming back 😀

  • Problem with a text layer.

    Awesome tutorial BTW! I come from Luxology’s Modo and I love the fact that you can have text layer that you can change later. After messing with this tutorial for a few hours I saved and closed everything. Restarting the next day, I hit CMD+C on my Mac to reopen the C4D file in AE and when C4D lite open I was surprised to see that my text layer was replaced with a non-editable “Rounding 1” layer – still under the “Extrude NURBS” layer. I can no longer edit the text.

    Is this normal C4D behavior on the closing of a file or did I just do something wrong ?


  • thanks for the tutorial nick…learned a lot
    my result:

  • Hello Nick, I have a question. How to make a more smoother animation in Cinema 4D? (Like Graph Editor in After Effects). Thanks!

  • Hey Nick! Awesome tutorial, easy to follow and pretty clear. But, i have been wondering, can you make any xpresso particles tutorials? Thanks again for being SO F*CKING AWESOME!

  • Hey Nick! great tutorial
    question please – i need something like this to a project
    but i need that Each letter will be a different color
    What is the best way to do this?
    Thank you!

  • This was brilliant! 😀
    Absolutely loved the tutorial!
    Thanks Nick! C4D without GreyscaleGorilla is unimaginable! D

  • Hi Nick! I’m having trouble importing the tracked camera on AE and exporting it on C4d.. i tried merging the Camera control but i dont see my camera moving on C4D. any tip?

  • This is cool tutorial and i want to finish it,but i have a problem with text: when i choose explode segments and connect my text disappear.I try to turning on and off Fracture and after that i changed the Intermediate Points on the objects tab under the text menu, to None, no one doesn’t work..what should i do?

  • This is cool 🙂

    I have one question.When i turn Global Illumination GI,why i don’t have same render in after efects like in C4D…


  • Nice tutorial, thanks a lot!

  • why you called greyscalegorilla anyway?

  • Very nice tutorial as usual Nick.
    I wonder if there’s a tutorial about animating the camera and lights inside c4d then tweaking that animation inside AE? That would be really helpful.
    Thanks a million man.

  • Just wanted to say thanks for these great tutorials. They are very easy to work with and have really opened up some great worlds in AE CC for me.

  • Hi, Nick.
    Thank you for the great tutorials you have been sharing.
    I was trying to make the MoGraph type animation you taught us in this tutorial.
    However, there is a problem that I can not figure it out.
    When I animate the letter “i”, the Fracture object can never see “i” as one object.
    The animation is always treated as two objects.
    Is there anyway to fix this problem?

    Thank you so much and happy holidays! 🙂

  • Grayson Mendenhall January 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I loved this tutorial. It was my first real project in Cinema 4D Studio. I plan on going through your full intro series on C4D.

  • I am really, really thankful for this video because i learned about linear falloff!
    It was exactely what i needed for my project. I used it to pop out the golden segments, take a look!

  • Hi Nick and thanks for this great tutorial. I have a weird issue with C4D lite and was wondering if you can help: when I use more than one layer of text inside fracture, C4d chokes itself to death. What I’m actually trying to do is build a paragraph of 4 lines of text, where every line has a different size, but when I go over one line, I get stuck.

    Any clues?

  • Hi,

    Thanks for this tutorial. I made this using motext. All is working fine animation and
    so on, but this does’t render. All the letter are invisible. What should I do?
    When I remove the plain effector. It render, but not with it…

    Thanks forward,

  • That was one hell of an informative tutorial!!!! Bravo and thank you!

  • Rad tutorial, Nick. Thank you so much!

  • Cineware ROCKS!!!

  • Hi Nick , thanks for this great tutorial , and thank you for getting me an A on finals by this great tutorial:)

  • ibrahim öztürk July 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Nice tutorial, thanks awfully!

  • You are a great teacher……..keep up the good work

  • Excellent! I did it! Although this is my first lesson on c4. Greetings from Russia and thanks =)

  • François Houlbrèque November 2, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Hello there,

    Just following your tutorial, I went into two issues:
    – Owner of both CC subscribtion and student version of C4D studio, I set up Cineware to use Studio rather than lite version of C4D. I went into an issue with Media Encoder, giving me error when rendering the composition. It works fine After Effects but I’ve less format options there… If you have any idea.
    – I would like to extend your animation idea there, using random and plain effectors, but I want the letters to use dynamics simulation and to collide. I’m unable to find a way to handle it properly, if you can help me to set this up (a bit lost there with MoGraph/Dynamics interactions.

    Thank you for your great tutorials anyway! They are very educational and gives me a lot of new ideas to use in my works.


  • Hi Nick,
    Wonderful Tutorial. Thanks a lot for sharing.!!!!

    I tried to recreate this effect taking it a bit forward as an exercise.
    Unfortunately I end up with some problems and I’m stuck now 🙁

    Essentialy I used a sort of gold checkboard as a texture for the letters.
    The problem is that the texture doesn’t show up in UV Mapping mode, and if applied as cubic or flat doesn’t follow the mograph letters.

    I tried in flat mode with stick texture tag, and is a bit better. At least it follows the bender deformer on the letters.
    But then I applied random and plain deformers on top for scale and rotation and so the texture doesn’t stick to the letters.

    How can avoid this problem? I’m knocking my head for days and I can’t come up with a solution :((


  • Alvaro Letelier April 7, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Nice !

  • Hello Nick
    At 16.23 (tuto) when I use explose Segment & Connect, my text disappears….
    Can you help me please.

  • Thank you for this! Your tutorials are the best. Please more C4D Lite tutes for us AE folks. Thanks again!

  • Good Tutorial. Been following up at first I realized Cinema 4D for after effects 2020 has upgraded and was missing most of the functions. I have R20 and been working under that independently, everything was flowing just got stuck at 27:08 fallout sector has really changed no option for fallout function. Was really looking forward to complete this tutorial

  • Hey Nick,

    The plain effector is only turning the text green, how do I get it back to previewing the effects? I’ve checked in the renderer too and it only displays the fields as a green strip…

    Thanks for the great tuts,

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