Animated Music Video

Project Goals

The goal of this project was to create a one-minute portion of a music video taking
advantage of all the new After Effects skills we developed during the Motion Graphic’s course in term 3.

Step 1: Music selection & overall theme

My first step was to select music for the project. This was a very crucial step to my project since the whole feel and look of the music video would be determined by the music. I have always been into the look and feel of retro and I enjoy synthwave music as well as electronics so for my music I decided to go with an fast-paced music.

When I was a kid, I would put on headphones and imagine that I’m in the video for that music and what it would look like to me based on the beat or lyrics so with the music selected, I started to imagine what theme the video could have, and for that specific music, I started to picture myself being in a car driving towards the sunset, something that could go along the way of retro/synthwave.

photo of headphones in black and white

step 2: Mood Board & Research

With the music and theme in mind, I started to create a mood board to help me further decide on the colors and potential assets that could be used for the video.

I knew what I wanted to achieve for this project was going to be challenging in the sense that working in 3D using After Effects may be limited (at least to my knowledge at the time) without the use of 3d party paid plugins such as Elements 3D, and while I was researching on how I may be able to achieve this look, I came across a series of classes on Skillshare on how to use Cinema 4D and while it looked intimidating, it certainly sparked some joy in me because I may have been able to achieve the look I wanted after all.

series of images with a purple and sunset theme

step 3: Scene Creation In Cinema 4D

After finishing a series of introductory tutorials on Cinema 4D, and following a specific class in Skillshare, I was able to put together a scene with the classic DeLorean car driving towards a sunset in a retro/synthwave look.

The total time for putting the scene together may have taken me over 10 hours but I was really enjoying my time working in Cinema 4D because I was finally able to produce what I had in mind.

I do have to mention that I was lucky to come across those classes in Skillshare and free assets because without them this may have not been possible but for my first time using Cinema 4d I was quite happy with what I ended up with.

The scene was essentially quite simple but once I introduced different camera angles and other interesting elements into the scene, I was able to create something eye-catching before finally rendering my work into After Effects for coloring, effects, and other improvements that were out of the scope of my basic knowledge in Cinema 4d. After all the project was to utilize After Effects so I made sure I leave a good portion of my work to be done in AE.

Cinema 4D interface

final step: Compositing and Finalization

After rendering my scene from Cinema 4D, it was time to bring in the project into After Effects to improve on colors, introduce new effects as well as the text for a portion of the music’s lyrics.

The challenge here was to create a seamless looping animation while keeping in mind the change in camera positions as well as the car’s animation driving through the scene. But after some tweaking back and forth in Cinema 4d and AE, I was able to create a seamless animation and introduce colors, effects and text into my scene for the final look.