The inspiration for the above animation was driven by handcrafted quill type. If you Google “paper quill type” you’ll see samples and it’s quite amazing. Before the animation was conceived I first tried my hand at making a static rendering. I made the 2d shapes in Illustrator and then brought them into Cinema 4D to create the extruded 3D renderings. The “O” was my first attempt:
After the “O” I gave the letter “T” a shot:
Then I realized I could substitute the “quillish” forms for something different. The “a” was born from this:
Below is a demonstration of me creating 3D type from start to finish. I present the letter “P”:
I got to thinking about how these shapes would make for a fantastic animation. The initial thought was to simply animate what I had already modeled and textured, but I didn’t want the type to just draw out, I wanted to have some layered look happening in which the viewer would see an initial drawing of the path followed by the final stroke which would have a different look. I started with the same textures used in the above still renderings but had a tough time finding a material for the first brush stroke. After playing for a bit I settled on glass. Clear glass for the leading strokes followed by a second glass stroke with a tint applied to it. Below is my layered glass material test:
RENDERING & POST-PRODUCTION
I knew once I decided to go with two layers of glass that this sucker was going to be a rendering beast. This little project has all the items that typically bring render engines to a slow crawl: Global Illumination, Depth of Field, Reflection, Refraction, Transparency and almost 2,000 frames to render. After spending days tweaking Cinema 4Ds new R15 GI settings I finally found something that I could live with that looked decent, but didn’t take three months to render.
The music is from freestockmusic.com which has a decent size selection of great music tracks. The final post-production was done in After Effects and eventually outputted to a Quicktime file.