A few days before heading out on vacation, I was tasked with making a little animation for the SuperHeroes Christmas Newsletter. Not having a tremendous amount of time, but also wanting to make something nice to look at, I decided to revisit a technique that I played around with when AE Cineware first came out: setting up basic animation/keyframes in After Effects and then bringing it into C4D to give it the special touch.
Basically, all the animation (except for the camera animation) is triggered by either the a sound file, or by very simple position keys set in After Effects.
Personally, I find keyframing to be simpler in AE than C4D (as well as curves manipulation) – so I did a simple animation of a flute moving back and forth in the x-axis within AE 3D space.
After that, brought in the AE keyframe data seamlessly into C4D and used some Xpresso (mostly the Range Mapper) to guide and accentuate the 3D flute on the model. Furthermore, the avatars as well as the background elements are animated by a mix of the AE keyframes, as well as by the sound file.
For the sound file triggers, I used RenderKing’s Sound Control, but made some adjustments at the end of his Xpresso setup to fine-tune the results.
Finally, as I applied the AE + Sound triggers to objects, I would duplicate the keyframe track and offset it slightly so there would be some subtle differences from flautist to flautist. Same goes for the Sound Control, with different settings each object would have a different way and intensity of reacting to the triggers.
Here is another example, from when I first tried this method (AE keys to C4D) but in this case driving X-Particles.