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

February 18, 2010

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

Tutorial Focus:  

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

    Guillaume from France

  • Bellissimo! I want to try it now!

  • Wow, what a awesome tutorial… thank you kindly!

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Puttin’ On the Sex

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

  • a great job Nick . sure to us it some day

  • 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.

  • how to make ur c4d like tabs and stuffs

  • Yet another great tutorial packed with helpful info.

  • Hey Nick, will your product be something similar to the SkyLight plugin? Or will it offer a lot more?

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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

  • 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™‚

  • hey nick thisi is my result:

  • hey, thanks for great tutorial. I’ve just uploaded my own version too:

  • Amazing Nick!!
    Keep it up

  • Thanks man.
    Great tips like usual!

  • 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.

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

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

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

  • Regarding recreate stuff (Justice – DVNO):

    Any of the things in there would do it for me, but specially the ones with light materials (00:49(c4d), 2:06(ae trapcode), etc).

    Thanks and keep on rockin!Β²

  • This is my outcome

    took around 10 minutes to render with DOF =]

    Thanks for the really awesome tutorial

    and please answer my question on how to organize c4d in tabs

  • 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


    my go at it, and tried some after effects this time.. Thanks Nick!!

  • Hi!
    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.


  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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™‚

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

  • 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!

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

  • Hey Nick Thanks for your blog!!! Im your fan nΒΊ1.

    my test:

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


    I donΒ΄t no where to show…

  • 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!

  • This is my animation using the cascading text effect, hope you like it πŸ™‚

  • 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.

  • Hey Nick, thanks for the great tutorial

    here is my result:

  • “…thanks for watching…”

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

  • 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!

  • wondering how this would translate into 3DS Max?

    any suggestions?


  • Hi nick,
    Thanks for that awesome piece of teach.

  • Man, you’r the best!!! You’r my hero!!! Keep it up.

  • 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!

  • dropping some thanks for the tut nick. big up

  • Hey Nick,

    Thanks for your time and know how. Much appreciated!!

    Check out my version.

    Once again thanks!!

  • 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™‚

  • Hey Gorilla, u are a great Gorilla πŸ™‚
    thank u for your all tutors

  • checking if the avatar works, sorry

  • This is my outcome
    Please notice that is my first time using C4d and AE (on my new iMac i7) !!!!

  • Gidday Nick,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your tutorials. They are absolutely fantastic.

    Here is my take on this tutorial. I took your advice and ‘made it my own'(ish) …

    All the best,


  • Hi, I used your tutorial to make a Easter egg animation for a broadcaster I work for.

    I used the principals but instead the text I used the egg shape.

    Cheers πŸ™‚

  • Took me 4 hours but I finally finished my first Cinema 4D tut! Awesome! Thanks Nick.

  • hi !
    thx for your great tutorials

    this is my version

  • Merci pour ce tutors
    thank u for your all tutors

  • This is a studio ID made up with help from your tuts:

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Hi Gorilla!

    Thanks for this Tutorial!!! Here is my Result:

    Greets from Austria! – Please dont stop making these really great tutorials!!!!!!


  • 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

  • Hey Nick,

    I did a 3D Typo-Animation based on this tutorial:

    I hope you enjoy it!!!

    Greets from germany
    Benjamin Simon

  • Fernando Sucre May 1, 2010 at 7:42 am

    very cool i try and i made

    My work:color world project

  • grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr8! πŸ™‚
    thank you so much!

    in Polish:
    Dziekuje bardzo! πŸ˜‰

  • 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

  • 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/

  • Used some of the stuff I learned in this tutorial for a recent logo animation…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Here’s my result:
    Hope you’ll like it.
    Your tuts are very usefull & well done!

  • Great tutorial. I’ve just become addicted. Thank you for sharing!

  • 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.

  • Hey awesome tutorial! Really learned quite a bit! It’s on Vimeo at


  • 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.

  • And the award for this year’s Very Best Awkward Long Wave goes to…

  • 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 (:

  • 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?

  • Who is wide

  • The BEVEL Intro Animation has been coped by RTL Germany TV

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

  • 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

  • Useful tutorial.
    Thank you

  • Is there any website like GSG in the world!!

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