How to Make The AT&T End Tag Logo in Cinema 4D and After Effects Part 2

March 28, 2011

In part 2 we finish animating and composite the scene in After Effects using Lens Care, Curves, and Knoll Light Factory. We also do some basic parenting to try and fix a wonky camera move. Find out why it didn’t quite work and the reason I couldn’t fix it in time.

Watch Part 1


Based on the excelent new AT&T work from Prologue (site)

Tutorial Focus:  

  • Wow, interesting!

  • Hey Nick : you’re really great man body :))
    this really nice tutorial my friend.I will learn C4D for your assistance my friend :)))

    Thanks again for share :)))

    • I don’t see anything necessarily ethically wrong with showing us how to do this type of WORK!

      First off – Cinema 4D is a very complex program to learn even for a novice or advanced user.

      Second – There’s not an abundance of literature out on the market. Tutorials are crap. (Crap is not even a strong enough word)

      Third – deconstructing someone’s work is a freaking skill and the only people who are “Jealous” are the ones who are not creative minded in the FIRST PLACE!

      Fourth – There sure of Hell is not a plethora of CINEMA 4D Artists in NEW YORK CITY on a 8,000 to 10,000 setup teaching themselves in the middle of a FREAKING FINANCIAL CRISIS. Plus, NYU and Parson’s are not pumping out C4D students if that’s what everybody’s worried about!

      I’m sure THE MONKEY knows that the only comp he has is from a half dozen post houses in New York that are left or are almost out of business.


      JESUS PEOPLE You really need a 10,500 dollar setup to really be in this game if you want to make deadlines overnight. I say ten because Mac Pro 5,000 if you mac it out, 2,000 for abode suite, 3,500 for C4D studio Minimum!



    • Paul

      Would love some further thoughts on why you think’s basic C4D course is “crap”.

      Any chance you could expand on this?



    • I’m going to quote another! if you need my two sense after, than I will rant on.

      fasteddie on March 29, 2011 said…

      Nick, you are THE greatest teacher not just of C4D or After Effects but of creative software, methods, thought processes…the whole damn bundle.

      Really, I have been on virtually every C4D site out there in my relatively brief time using it and nobody comes close.

      I hope this answer your question Dan.


    • Paul

      Thanks for getting back to me.

      My intro to C4D came from Rob Garrott at and I thought Rob was great: at least for me.

      I do agree that The Gorilla is not only unique but also a lot of fun too. Nick has a way of making you feel as though we are “in it together”.

      Most of all Nick has not gone to a level in his way of teaching where he assumes that everybody is a genius. That is real cool!


    • Y’know, Dan – actually there’s a very great deal to recommend tutorials that actually do this: proceed under the assumption the viewer knows the program. Where the buttons are and what they do can be (and Nick, for example here is actually very adept at this) can be explained – better, shown in terms of function – as and when appropriate to whatever given task is at hand.

      It’s practical application and the demonstration of such that teaches.

      Somewhat all too often, and no personal offense meant to those concerned at – but all too often they spend far more time than is principally useful basically just walking people around the interface and that’s it.

      A learner, especially someone completely new to 3D in general, is genuinely far better served following the likes of fuzz-face here – on many, many levels. Not just simply for the fur-grooming tips.

      Which are never less than creative, I have to stress.

      But, and in total seriousness for a change – knowledge should be shared. Made available, put out there. Freely. I’m a graphics designer and illustrator, some 30 years of practical experience under my belt – the last 12 or so in digital art and 3D – every last damn thing I’ve ever learned I’ve had to figure out myself and I think its absolutely genius there are guys of like Nick emerging – all relatively young, enthusiastic, passionate about what they do – just taking the time out to walk people through and actually great application like C4D.

      Back when I started with it it came for free on the cover disk of a magazine – there was a tutorial on how to model a space suit helmet and that was your lot as far as training went – things have clearly progressed and that’s down mostly to actually enthusiastic users keen to pass on what they know.

      Education for 3D is something frankly of a bit of a racket – I’d have a damn sight more personal and professional respect for commercial “educators” if only they did what Nick and his friends here are trying to do.

      If the vendors had their heads screwed on they’d support the like fully because this is where Maxons growing market is coming from – commercial training stems from a time when the processing power actually necessary to do much by way of 3D animation, FX and motion graphics was the prelude of commercial companies.

      64bit machines and faster, multicore processing available to the home user environment has radically altered that landscape – and training and education in this media needs to move on – instead it just cashes in. Or, more accurately, sits on its backside content to try.

      What I admire is this upcoming generation of guys, themselves not necessarily proficient at each and every last little thing – but happy as hell to simply pass on what they do know, have worked out and are still very much in the process of figuring out for themselves.

      These are great times for people new and interested in computer graphics – not actually bad for old farts either because younger heads look at problems differently – and again, here in places like this and increasingly others all over the net, small blogs are spouting up as the first port of call for those wanting to pick up idea’s and methods actually interesting as well as simply damn practical.

      And they are, totally. Even a relatively short tutorial like the one contained herein where they guy doing it’s head is clearly not quite entirely on his game – its still passing on more knowledge and insight into practical problems faced in motion graphics design that quite frankly you are likely to find in a whole DVD on the subject available at whatever the current rate and, frankly, pot-luck regarding the quality of the information contained.

      I’m hardly the sort to ever be first in the que when it comes to trying out for Leader of The Rah-Rah Squad around anywhere – certainly rarely about a fellow who doesn’t happen to be actually be me (I mean, the very thought… it’s preposterous. As well as very possibly insanitary.) – nevertheless at the end of this last installment Nick actually hits upon possibly the most important piece of smart you will ever pick up anywhere, from anyone, for any price – and its this:

      Developing the confidence to know you can get out of a problem.

      And the way things are – that is more true today than its ever been – not because of the likes of but guys exactly like Nick being out there, being interested, being happy to just damn well help.

      Or, at the very least. Try.

      This, essentially, is what your man above means by not being terribly complimentary about such training places as Lynda, Digital Tutors, etc, etc.

      What people need is less stock projects structured like a night school class and delivered frankly not terribly interestingly by someone who’s clearly only presenting the thing because of the fee: what they need is what they’re actively going for. People they can relate to who also happen to be good communicators and proficient enough to impart practical advice.

      Less Tutor: Student. More, cleaver kid at the back of the class who picks things up quicker than the rest and will walk you through it, happily.

      Hope that helps clarify things for you, Dan.


    • R

      My first reaction is “Wow”.

      But more importantly I’d like to thank you for the considerable time given as to your insight on this topic.

      I am familiar with more than a few graphic designers who have gotten comfortable with somewhat complex software programs without any help from anyone. Many are self taught.

      However, R, some people are not “intuitive” and lack the ability to think outside the box. They have a linear thought process. Sadly, like me.

      If you have ever attempted to learn a foreign language (fluently) after the age of maybe around 45 and you have only known one language to that point: I can tell you that you are in for the ride of your life.

      C4D is my new foreign language.

      The secret to all this is to have The Gorilla living next door and to loan him anything from my garage he wants to borrow.

      Thanks so much for the feedback, R!


    • :)…. Dan, you’re not – and I will never so much as once in my entire life ever have to clap so much as a single eye-ball on you to know this – “un-intuitive” or in anyway incapable of “thinking outside” of any boxes.

      You’re just a person who, quite sensibly actually, when new to a task sets out to knuckle down with grasping the basics first and then moving on from there.

      It’s a logical approach, but sometimes (often actually) its a good idea to just put that to one side and just follow what another person is doing. Doesn’t matter how complex the operation – it’s thinking of things in terms of them being “complex” that generally holds so many people back because they genuinely get to believing of themselves that certain things they simply cannot do because they haven’t as yet attained however much a level of experience they themselves believe they need before proceeding.

      Look at this like a kid would look at it – not actually giving a crap about logical order or structure. They simply see a thing that interests them, wonder the hell how its done and stab away at the buttons until stuff starts happening. Once things happen the way they like, now they know how to do that particular thing.

      I’ll tell you a true story – back in the days when people used to paint – and I’m talking the days of the likes of William Turner, Constable and the like – the major part of a painters training once accepted into an Academy actually consisted of them stuck somewhere adjacent to the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle with a canvas and easel trying to copy faithfully an established masters work – they wouldn’t let the buggers out of the place to graduate until they had actually successfully accomplished that task.

      It sounds incredibly counter-intuitive to today’s approach to what we generally consider the mastery of art – but this actual process in itself produced the Masters subsequent students would end up being stuck in front of trying to actually wrap their heads around how the original was first envisaged, then structured and finally executed.

      Generation after generation of fine art painter was trained exactly this way for centuries.

      C4D is only a “foreign language” to you because you’re relative new to it and you don’t entirely feel that you understand it.

      Thing is you don’t actually have to understand it in order to replicate seriously interesting and impressive results.

      Like so much of associated with learning, most of what your mind occupies itself with is basically the equivalent of muscle-memory – and you’re brain is actually structured in such a way as it’s perfectly capable of laying down its own neural pathways quite without your own personal assistance.

      Trust me – find yourself the most stunningly awesome result you can find that comes with a chap walking you through it attached to it and, instead of saying to yourself – self, that looks complicated – monkey-see-monkey-do with it and I guarantee you will end up with yourself in possession of a completed scene file and render of whatever goes on inside thereof chocked to the gunnels full of awesome that you yourself have actually accomplished.

      No, in the first instance you indeed may not be able to say to yourself that you yourself understood in the slightest how to originate the thing from scratch, but – irrespective – you will have pulled the thing off and, in the process, layer down the foundation of the most important thing you will ever need to know about yourself that – yes. Actually this is something you can do and have done.

      Afterwards you can always pick the thing apart and see what happens and why when you break it – and that will be you really understanding and discovering why the thing works in the first place. Deconstruction. Its a far faster learning path than building from the toe-nails up.

      Do first – understand it after you’ve done it.

      You don’t, after all, actually think about how you speak before hand in order to speak the language you already know, do you? In fact you were actually speaking it perfectly well years before you were ever stuffed inside a class-room and forced to learn the basic rules concerning how you go about using that language. You just talked, perfectly adequately and entirely uniquely perfectly well before all that stuffy Thou Must First nonsense education insists on stuffing down everyone throat.

      You’re a Modern Human, Dan. Not giving the first crap about what the rules are and making them up as y’go along – it’s innate. This is why 100,000 years before Modern Humans made it up into Northern Europe Neanderthal Man was making flint tools with edges so refined a modern day surgeon could work with then today – and yet 100,000 later there the buggers we’re still doing exactly the same thing with exactly the same tools produced in exactly the same way they’re ancestors did – where as Modern Humans arrived and already they were trading immediately upon arrival.

      It’s in your genes, Dan. Y’never either want or need to sweat it – the human brain is actually far smarter than we are. Let it do its stuff, maybe our brains will let allow us to stick around a few hundred thousand years longer.

      Less thinky more do’y – there is no try: only do or do not do…

      Unbelievably ghastly as it is to be reduced to quoting George Lucas on a Tuesday afternoon, it is of itself a philosophical view point far older and wiser than Starwars.

      The fact that its actually true, chalk it up to the fact that humans have been far smarter than they generally like to let on for a lot longer than we generally like to give our species credit for.

      Limits are perceptual barriers only – other than those concerning gravity and the wisdom of seriously considering having full penetrative sex with crustaceans and marrying ones own Father – pretty much everything else is wholly negotiable.

      Nobody knows enough to ever start anything, sensibly. It would be our species of Human that would be extinct today if we’d seriously ever decided to hanging around long enough waiting until that ever became a viable option.

      Fools rush in, and all that – but incredibly often fools actually get away with it.

      The trick is to find the useful balance between these two fundamental states – complete know-nothing-dumb-ass and Yoda…

      If I ever get to the Yoda bit I’ll be the first to actually die of surprise. Y’seriously never want the lack of being in such a blessed state ever get in the way of anything in the meantime.

      Yoda does, after all, actually die in the movie.

      If he was actually smart he’d’ve avoided that…


      • Feeling a whole lot of “man love” here… and yes I fully tap into the sentiments that are being expressed! Group hug?!…

        Actually, no reservations, ifs or buts.

        Very much appreciate Nick’s generous way of both providing knowledge and making me feel part of a community.

        Cheers to all of us!

        Oh. and thanks Nick

    • Mr Rayne

      Before I bid Adieu to you, Mr Rayne, on this topic, (as we may be very close to having worn out our welcome), I’ll leave you with a final thought.

      1. Nick Cambell has inadvertently brought together two people who’s ideas would never have otherwise crossed paths!

      2. I believe that you believe that intuitiveness is not necessary. I’ll agree to disagree with you on that point, R.

      3 I learned to speak fluent French at the age of 45. It took me ten solid years of living the language. I wanted it so bad. And the getting it hurt even worse.

      4. Your comments have been more than helpful, R, but without Paul Gennaro’s initial comment: I’d never have even replied.

      5. So….. The Gorilla can move in next door and you, Mr. Rayne, can move in one house down the street.


      So let’s get back to Xpresso,……..?

      Thanks, Nick for the intro!


  • great one. don’t have the frishluft software, but it works without it^^

  • Dude! Great tutorial, as usual =) I really liked your final speech. I often find myself thinking of me like I’m not prepaired to take jobs because I don’t feel prepaired (I mean I don’t know everything so I’m afraid that if someone ask me for something and I don’t know how to make it It’d be the worst thing that could ever happen). Thanks for remainding us that if we knew how to make it, then we wouldn’t be designing.
    thanks! you’re awesome!


  • Nice to see everyone screws up every now and then 🙂

    This business is really about figuring out whats wrong without going nuts.

  • Hey, what’s that Crossprocess icon doing there on the taskbar? Is there a crossprocess app for Mac in the making? That would be cool


    Nice Tut by the way!

  • is there a way to do anaglyph renders in cinema 4d.

  • Hi great tut, I’m trying to figure out if there is a way to have the mesh globe structure lines draw on to kinda connect the dots. Wondering if you know or a solution for this. I think it would be cool to have everything kinda build on but so far no luck. I’ve tried using the time offset in the random effector or step effector with poor results. I feel like it is doable any tips would be coo. Thanks and great tut.

    • you could try it this way:
      a)Take a Matrix object, set it to Objectmode and choose your globe as object, choose for distribution “edge”

      b)Use a Tracer object and set as Tracer link the Matrix object. Set the Tracing Mode to connect all objects.

      c) Throw the Tracer into a Sweep nurb and animate its growth parameters.

      If you don´t like the seed (which is not very “network” like) – redo the whole workflow but do some edgeselections on the Globe and use them inside different Matrix Objects. That allows you to choose and animate your favourit parts of the “network” branches…

    • thanks, I will give it a go

  • Bit dodgy speech there at the end, Nick. Anyway, why didn’t you just export a zbuffer from C4d rather than building one by hand?

  • Thanks Nick

  • I wait for the second part by refreshing GSG blog 🙂
    So, thanks for great tutorial-time, Nick

  • Thanks for another great tutorial Nick. This video really reminded me why this is such a great site and why your videos are so helpful. You don’t tell us what to do step by step but rather give us the general outline of how to design a piece of work. This is what really sets you apart from the other tutorials and please don’t change!

    Thanks for reading.

  • Hey nick thank you man… Cheers from istanbul 🙂

  • The tutorials from simon are awesome – so are chrises and obviously the greyscale gorilla himself – well just wanted to so thumbs up bro cheers yet once again…

  • One last thing I had some suggestions for chrisses screen name sucha as:

    “Could be Chris The Pirate, Chris the CocoNut Chris the BananaBoy – I would choose Pirate out of this bunch…”

    just an humble opinin thought what have you say 🙂



  • YO! your last last comments in your Vid about everyone screws up, its awesome and totally true! it made me feel better about my work. Thanks dude 😉

  • maybe i missed it in the vid but there was no mention of the glow/glitter applied to the spheres on the vertexes or the sweep nurbs that trace the edges of the facets. is there a special technique to do that in AE or is it something to be done in C4D?

    your tip about 32bit rendering for color correction from pt1 came in handy for a job today, thanks.

  • wow interesting!Sir but missing one Effect optical Flares( Top Small 200+ Sphere ) Not Glow please make one new tutorial

  • Hooray for part 2! Thanks Nick!

  • whats the plugin to impor to aae from cinema ?
    p.s amazing tut

    • Grab it for free from the maxon site.

    • YiannZ (aka mpoulis) March 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      …or you can find it in the c4d install directory, under exchange plugins-aftereffects.
      then all you have to do is copy-paste it in after effects plugin directory!
      hope that helps..

  • Great speech at the end….

  • I’ve been digging your blog. Check out the little post I wrote about the AT&T logo. It’s very similar to the patterns I find in my painting (derived from CGI landscape software).

  • Just finished watching part 2. WOW! You were kind of crazed in this one, I sense a shift to the dark side….

    Nick, you are THE greatest teacher not just of C4D or After Effects but of creative software, methods, thought processes…the whole damn bundle.

    Really, I have been on virtually every C4D site out there in my relatively brief time using it and nobody comes close.

    Just please for the sake of us that love what you do, keep doin’ it man! In return I will keep buying your great plugins – speaking of which….maybe you could revisit the City Kit soon, perhaps?

    A 2 hour C4D/After Effects tutorial in this style for the City Kit with some really different uses for it would be very cool…

    P.S. ZBrush is also awesome, gotta learn that too…

  • hi nick,

    your tuts are just great! if you, simon and chris open up a studio – i’m in! and even it’s just for cleaning desks, rubber bins and making «gooood» coffee (besides making some graphica as a taught graphicdesigner) 😉 and i bring some really tasty chocolate from switzerland along. deal?

    keep up the nice work and if you send me your address i maybe send some chocolate anyway 🙂


    sir Please check a pic
    How to use optical Flares( Top Small 200+ Sphere ) Not Glow

    trick Same glow Sphere

  • YiannZ (aka mpoulis) March 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Really nice words at the end..very touching
    Keep Up….Thanks for all the effort..

  • Thanks Nick… keep these great tuts coming!

  • Hey Nick,
    a big thank you from Germany!
    Again a great tutorial! Love your style and your sense of humor!

    Good teaching needs both, humor and knowledge.

    Keep up the good work!



    • Drop the object into an Atom Aray – scale the lines and points down – drop a material simple white material with high luminance values on it – done.

  • thx mr rayne

  • thx mr rayne

  • Nick – I like the fact that you give tips for getting jobs in the industry. I have a bad habit of following tutorials and slapping that work on my reel. I credit the websites, and reason that it’s to show my potential.

    However, I learned that if I follow tutorials by the letter, I don’t remember much. So I’d already started creating original work with guidance and inspiration from tutorials, even if my work isn’t as awesome — it’s mine. So to hear you say that we should NOT put the work from tutorials on our reels reassures me that my new direction is the correct one.

    I am in the process of removing all tutorial work, but haven’t done it completely. But also, 3D is secondary for me. I list it as a skill I am “familiar with,” so I don’t think potential employers will have great expectations when they ask for people merely familiar with it. I assume they want non-3D artists to be able to know terminology and maybe tweak files from real 3D artists.

    • :)… erm, BlkN? The reason y’shouldn’t put work followed from tutorials on your reels is principally the fact that, chances are, the bugger you’re looking to hire you probably followed the tutorial themselves – if for no better reason than just to demonstrate to their own satisfaction they can do the same thing quicker and smarter.

      The point is idea’s as such are applicable in many ways yielding vastly different effect. Its for the individual to apply the idea, creatively.

      The above tutorial’s a good point in case – the spot produced itself is exactly as tediously dull as the original – but – taking the key principal idea’s it concerns itself with should put a person in good stead for making something actually interesting with them. There’s certainly enough idea’s rattling around in there to fire up the old imagination engine – and this is primarily what these things are exactly for.

      In the interim there is technique – the purpose of a Show Reel is to show creativity, ones own.

      Consider the tutorials as a start point. Play with, deconstruct – these are the working blue prints for some seriously nice little toys.

      The point is to basically play with and learn from them.

  • @ Dan – I read what Paul Gennaro stated about being “crap,” and I have to respectfully disagree.

    I have been a member of for years, and it’s kept me working due to the vast courses and quick references.

    Websites like this and Video Copilot have inspiring ‘how to do this cool thing’ tutorials, and I appreciate them. But provides the beginner’s foundation that allows me to even be able to follow advanced tutorials.

    My favorite C4D instructor at is Rob Garrot. He teaches at a pace that’s easy to follow, and repeats his steps so that it gets reinforced in your mind. He also teaches advanced techniques. I feel much more confident here as a result of having watched his tutorials as a foundation.

    I study from the best I can find and take a little from each. I do not believe in discarding anyone. I may learn a new shortcut from this person and an efficient workflow from that person.

    Nick, Andrew Kramer, and Digital Tutors are/have instructors who have helped me build my skills beyond my degrees in multimedia.

    • I agree that Rob Garrott at has been a great instructor for new students to the world of C4D.

      It was Rob Garrott’s teaching that actually introduced me to The Gorilla.

      I once asked a question at The Cafe re Preference Settings in C4D (as I know that this topic could take volumes to cover): but was somewhat dismissed.

      Newbies should walk carefully in the minefield of the professionals. But that is part of the process.

      Mr. Rayne went beyond the call of duty to help a beginner.

    • Pish! I’m just simply British. When it comes to talking the backside off anyone, we’re incapable of doing it by half’s…


  • Great tutorial, but what about those animated lines with the titles that are composited in certain shots in the anthem? How you do that?

  • Here’s my result 🙂

    Thanks for this tutorial, great as allways.


  • Thank you Nick 🙂

    Here’s what I’ve made:

  • Fantastic tutorial man, what I love is that you don’t actually know fully what you’re doing, you figure it out on the spot which gives us viewers an insight into how you work and also how you overcome problems! Keep it up!

  • Awesome stuff. thank for this.

  • Found a super easy way to get the data field effect. Probably less control then using cloners, but possibly less render time too. Just drop an icosahedron into an atom array. I dunno if that’s stating the obvious, but I figured I’d share since I’ve never really messed with atom array before.

  • Ooh wee!! That was a ton of information crammed into my head. I kind of lost you during the After Effects parts, but that’s mainly due to my lack of knowledge in that program. I still ended up with a great animation, plus a wealth of new info, out of Cinema that I wouldn’t of been able to create without your help. I’ll come back to part 2 after I watch some Video CoPilot.

    Thanks a bunch!

  • Well said! I learned so much about After Effects through this tutorial; I can’t thank you enough!

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