How to Make An Animated Title Sequence in Cinema 4D and After Effects

December 20, 2011

Vimeo asked me to do a tutorial for their excellent Vimeo School series and I said “heck yes!” It’s all about how to make a fun animated title using Cinema 4D and After Effects. In Lesson 1, we build the logo from a vector file and prepare it for render. In part 2, we composite it in After Effects using the built in Tracking Software, lens blur and color correction. Follow along over at Vimeo School or watch it below.

Lesson 1 (Cinema 4D)

Lesson 2 (After Effects)

  • Nice! Loving the cross application tutorials Nick. Happy holidays and thanks.

  • Great Nick !!!

    I’m looking forward to giving a go a few of your tutorials over the Christmas Hols..

    Is this wrong ? πŸ™‚

  • I which all your tutorials where that detailed!

  • its not really animated isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

  • BTW

    Is ‘Nick for Vimeo School’ and the Greyscale Gorilla the same person?

  • Nick, you are simply amazing. I was looking for a good tutorial like this but couldn’t find one until now. Thank you so much!

  • you are nick and you are the gorilla !

  • That’s a cool tutorial for any beginner, I know some of pros want beefier and meaty tuts but it’s the holidays and I want to take a break from all things graphic related until the new year!!


  • Looks gorgeous! Thanks a lot for these tutorials, I found them really helpful!
    Have happy holidays and loking forward the new ones πŸ™‚ Meg

  • Saw this yesterday actually on vimeo’s training page. Very nice!

  • Thanks Nick! this is a very helpful tut and can be used in a lot of thinking traffic streaks with some rotating shiny type..
    Best Regards

  • Just saw you’re running OSX Lion. Any problems with plugins? Software? Is it worth updating?

  • Really great tutorials!
    Nick I’ve got a quastion maybe not applicable for this tut. But im wondering if there is something similar to AE’s motion blure in C4d? which I can use for animation inside Cinema4d? I’ll be really greateful for a quick tip.
    Ps- Hope to see some tutorial with trackings 3d graphicks using more rotations footage. And plays with nulls trackings points in C4d. I allways wonder how it works.

    thanks for these tuts!

  • Nick, Awesome tutorial like always!
    Quick Tip: When rendering with Alpha enabled, it isn’t necessary to turn off the background

    • That’s true. As long as you have the compositing tag applied with seen by camera unchecked, you’re good to go.

  • Too much DOF in the background, title text need 2 be more animated for 15 sec vid.Other then that the scene take on a railroad should make a train hit the Vimeo title and break it in pieces..

  • Hey Nick! Just a question, instead of using a FastBlur at the end for blurring a little the logo, why didn’t you use the built in motion blur in AE? Thanks a lot! Cheers

  • this came at the perfect time nick! thanks so much, just the look i was going for. love your tutorials, keep up the great work!

  • El Viajero Espacial December 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    exactly what i was looking for thanks!!!

  • how is this any different than the Gauntlet Series from Rendertime other than the fact that Vimeo asked you to do it?

  • Wow Nick!! have been trying to make something like this, and i could thanks for the tutorial you just made my Christmas i appreciate you and your work..happy holidays Nick hope you have a wonderful one with your family.

  • Great tutorial as always!
    Quick tip:
    I would put the another instance of “vimeo” inside “depth map” comp with a fill effect applied in white, so if you focus in depth, the “vimeo” remains blurry/
    Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  • Very nice tutorial Nick,very useful my friend πŸ˜‰
    your DOF effect technic is very nice but I am usually using ”Depth of Field Effect” in AE..
    ..(Effect top menu/ 3D Channel / Depth of field)
    very fast render and useful technic but firstly render settings in C4D / in the save tab;you may select format to ”RPF” and enable to ”Z Depht” in options of RPF and Render πŸ˜‰
    please try this,you like it πŸ™‚

    Thank you very much for great tutorial Dear Nick,
    You are always Best my friend πŸ˜‰

  • I watched this on Vimeo today, not realizing you posted it here. I was wondering how I had missed it on your site. Nice job Nick. While I was on Vimeo I also stumbled upon this one and will be using it for my students, it is a well rounded piece and goes over many principles of Motion Design.

    this was part of Vimeo Video School / Lessons which is found here

  • Nick, i love you

  • Nice tut as always Nick ! Have nice holidays and christmas !

  • Great Nick. But would love to see how to import tracking data into cinema4d for some rad 3d tracking action.

    • The best hands down tracker I have seen is Boujou. I will warn it is #1 expensive and I only got it since I worked for the Saudi military but the thing gives excellent results. It requires you to edit the .c4d file in a text editor though. You have to set the Quaternion rotational value to “0” instead of pi which is why it comes in backwards. The other thing you must change is the parent000002 to 1 so that you don’t import the tracking data within the camera and have the psr all out of wack. Hope this helps. I have been aware of the new camera tracker in AE but haven’t used it so I can only provide my workflow…


  • I don’t have a very good camera and its proving to be almost impossible to find decent free HD footage of something useful to have a go at tracking.
    Anyone got any suggestions?

  • >> inspiration >>> inspiration >>> and ” connecting the dots” ;))

  • Thanks for the extensive explanation on AE tracking (and for the rest of the tutorial, of course), a very interesting review.

  • Hi,

    thx for this tutorial. I like to know how to render out a shadow in C4D and compose it in AE. I know that i have to use channels, but don’t know how… Maybe you would like to make in future a tutorial for this. Some bouncing balls on a table or so? πŸ™‚

    Merry XMas To All of You

    • Nice tutorial. Like Niko I would like to know how to setup the render to have the shadows created in Cinema.

      I guess I have to use multipass, but to be honest I’m scared of multipass…

      I have found some tutorials on this topic, but all of them uses the video as a background in Cinema.

  • Thanks to Nick !! πŸ˜€

  • Nick, that was the nuts! My first foray into after effects. Last day at work before xmas and ive put the company logo into a moving scene. Brilliant! Now, is putting animation into the scene as easy?
    Happy Christmas to you and your good lady wife. Looking forward to some more lovely stuff in the new year!!

  • One more thing, what camera did you use nick?

  • Hi Nick! Big thanks for post from Russia – your english like russian for me)))
    You post is antipod to this picture )
    I talk about little less videos. 44 min for second tutorial little big.
    But very very thanks!
    Hi from Tula. (Russia)

  • Hey I’ve used the same technique few month ago doing my new reel’s intro!!
    Even the out of focus is identical! The only difference is that in my version the background was a picture too.

    below the link:

  • N for Nick!!!
    thanks a lot for the tutorials, as always so much absorb!
    cheerz, siniz.

  • Nick, your work is awesome!

    Tutorials are great… So instead of trying to make a title sequence myself, how much for you to make one for me? πŸ™‚

  • Sir Nick, take a look at what i pulled off.

  • Your tutorials are amazing. I have been working with cinema4d for only about a month now, but I’ve been able to learn a great deal just by following along and tinkering on my own. Keep up the good work!

  • Great tutorial Nick. Just got my Panasonic HDC-SD900 so this is perfect.
    Keep up the great work & happy holidays.

  • LOL Nice tutorial but its too boring cause its SO detailed!!!!!
    U r explaining each step lol!!!!!!

  • Awesome job on the tutorial man – loved it!

    Thank you so much for all the work you do on your tutorials.

  • Hey GSG, wonderful tut! I have a quick question, something I have not been able to get around in C4D on this note, a similar animation. Say my logo is on a huge cityscape, ok. In C4D the “Background” we create for perspective causes it to vanish behind it in z space, when trying to get the perspective right for sitting it far off in the distance. Figured you might know of a work-around or fix. Thanks for your time, laters.

  • It’s a very good tutorial. I had fun doing it.
    Please see my work and give me your opinion. Thank you!

  • i wish the footage was available for download :/

  • hey Nick, the stuff with Cinema was easy,good to handle and well explained but i donΒ΄t have AE is there a good way to make this stuff with Motion 5?
    Greetings from Germany you are awesome ;0)

  • Thanks Nick for the tutorial, it’s very helpful especially how you explain the reason being each move. I just had a quick question, i didn’t pick it up from the tutorial, maybe i missed it, what’s the reason why we’re attaching the tracks to the null object instead of the title itself? thanks.

  • Gorilla You are the man thanks for all the tutorials. They have helped me so much!!!!

  • Hey People,
    I got a question. i followed this tutorial.
    But can i do this with this tutorial too?

    Can i let the 3d text fly in the movie? just like it comes from the right and stops in the middle?

    (sorry for bad english)

    • Emily your test was absolutely amazing. Loved it. You should have done a tutorial. How did you go about masking the guy out and what did you manage to track in this footage?

  • Just wanted to extend my gratitude. Discovered these tutorials a few months ago and you have really opened my eyes to a lot of great techniques and concepts.

  • Hi Nick can you take a look on my reel of 2011 and give your opinion please?
    IΒ΄s a one minute video and i really liked to know what you think about it.

    Thanks man.

    Demoreel 2011:

  • Cheers Nick, My first dalliance into AE, easy enough to follow. Would love to know how to go the other way – get the motion tracking information back into Cinema, so that you could pan around a 3d object rather than just the straight on 2D look.

  • Nice Tutorial Nick. I did my own motion tracking test using this tutorial of yours. I would like to see if you could do a more complicated motion tracking tutorial than this one. How to you go about camera matching a 3D object with your camera? I can’t find to many tutorials out like that.

    Here is the link to my camera tracking test using your tutorial:

  • i did try again tracking the movement of the camera. but its still not 100 percent right. do you have any tips Nick?

  • Hi! Great tutorial. Thanks alot. Just a quick question about the grain generated by the AO. How can I reduce that? For some reason it gives me alot of grain on my shadows. Is that normal? I increase my minimum samples but it wont seem to go away. How can I fix that?

    Thanks again,


  • Very nice! I actually used it just for what you did. the vimeo logo intro. I was looking for something to do for one and you made a tutorial. Just what I needed! Thanks man! Also introduced me into how to work tracking better!

  • YO cheers for the awesome tutorial, just what i needed to learn. i am having issues with the logo rending grainy! cant figure it out . . all settings are as per the tut. any ideas?


  • Thanks for the grand tutorial

    Here’s what I was able to make with it:
    I didn’t stray too far from the tutorial; it’s stylistically the same. But alas, I know nothing of Cinema 4D

  • Hi Nick!
    In Lesson 1 around 2 minutes I see some sort of dark grey area around the save as window (in which you can select recent folders etc) What is that? It looks likes a real timesaver πŸ™‚

  • Thanx Nick !!! Great tutorial , very well explained, amazing info!!, thanx a lot to share your knoledge.
    really apreciate your exellent work!!!


  • Hi Nick,

    First of all Im a HUGE fan of the Greyscale Gorilla and the Gorilla itself!

    Im having a trouble of avoid the influence of my sky color in my material.
    For example my sky is a beautiful blue sky and when a use the my material just turn blue too, i can change the material color to whatever color and hi always be blue… What Iam Doing Wrong?

    Sub Question Inside the first question: In Maya Xsi and Etc I can make a render selection and just move the attributes of the material, automatically the cene render itself without me having to hit the button render all the time… there is a way to do that in C4D?

    Thanks in advanced and cheers from Brazil to Gorilla Nick!

  • Just wondering, I first off thanks for the tutorial, is there a shadow with low opacity, I mean, a shadow really ties the whole room together, I mean, illusion.


  • Is it possible to work with 3d animated logo instead of still to get the same results? Thanks

  • It is horribly annoying to listen to your tutorials when you keep swallowing your saliva on and on and on…… ((((

    • Sorry about that, Alex. I went to the doctor recently to try and clear things up. I’m sure you don’t want the details, but i’m feeling better now. Thanks for your concern.

      • Alex is too into your voice cause I watched the whole tuts with headphone and had no annoyance whatsoever. Very helpful tuts Nick! All the explainations was very helpful to a newbie like me.

  • Hi,
    I’m looking for a video to use for this tutorial (like a landscape, railroad, city… in HD) but in Vimeo or in YouTube I can’t find nothing. Can someone link me something?


  • Hi Nick,
    This was an interesting tutorial. I tried my version with a picture as a background (I didn’t had any good video archive) and then I added some shadows moving on AE to simulate some movement.
    Here is my animated logo :
    Thanks a lot for your useful tuts ! πŸ™‚

  • Your tutorial became pretty handy in the process of creating this, Nick. Thanks!

  • What would be the main difference between using the Sky sampler (with the same BG material just like in these example) and shoot a panorama of the scene and use IR + QMC instead of Sky sampler ?
    Wouldn’t these work on the same way ?
    Can someone explain? Just trying to know how GI works.


  • thanks nick i watch all of your tuts and VCP tuts can you do more after effects tut plz great work i am looking forward to scrap some money to buy your products soon

  • This is really nice tut……
    As you can see the final output is nice…..but something missing…..if camera is shacking like this….
    and the object is just front of the camera….then the output should not be like this………i am missing the Z depth part……
    plz sort it out if you know this…….
    Thank you….:)

  • 100th comment!
    great tutorial again, cheers mate

  • You’re awesome man! great tutorial !

  • Hi Nick,

    I’m missing ‘ski sampler’ as an option in render settings > global illumination > general > GI mode. Now what?!!! πŸ™‚

  • The lesson was pleasant! Thanks!

  • thank you Nick!
    My first project using C4D

  • Hey Nick great tutorial thanks very much! One question – how do I render out my logo if it’s animated? Can anyone help? thanks!

  • Hi Nick, Your tut is always great job.

    I wonder how to do with the case that camera is rotate in 3D and how to build that rotation to a 3D camera in AE and render 3D model from that. For example, I shoot around a place or desk, and I want that box flow on that desk and render with the same angle as my physical camera.

    Sorry for poor english.

  • Hello Nick! First of all, thanks for all those magnificent tutorials!
    I’m here wondering….and if i’ve a more dynamic scene?? Like, what we have here is basicly a still camera…and if my footage include some rotation or so??
    Thanks, Miguel.

  • Cool tutorial,thx….

  • Hi Nick,

    Instead of using still is it possible to use a mov file ? I have tried to create reflections from my cloud timelapse onto my text but cannot seem to figure out how.


  • Great job, Nick!

  • Kemuel LeΓ£o From Brazil May 15, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Awesome tutorial Nick, amazing!

  • Great tutorial. I have watched so many and finally i have found one that has step to step procedures. It was a pleasure to watch and learn. Thanks

  • when i try and add my image(frame) from after effects to the material it doesn’t load onto the ball (material) at the top left hand corner? is there something I’m doing wrong I’ve followed the tutorial step by step can’t figure it out, any help would be greatly appreciated thanks

  • Hello everyone. do you know where to get this footage of the railway?

  • Hi! Nick. I’v got problem when follow along with this tutorial. I’m using C4D R19 SP2 Studio version. I import the .ai file. After applied EXTRUDE. The letter ‘e’ & ‘o’ doesn’t have alpha channels. It’s solid. Can you tell me what’s wrong with that? Thank you so much!

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