Robot Attack: Animation Process

I am so excited that only a week later I have new animation to show!

This piece was inspired by a simple music loop I made using iMachine.  When Paul listened to it he said he could imagine a giant robot walking along to the beat.  I sort of just ran with the idea from there!

My initial plan was to use After Effects puppets to animate everything like last time, but after sketching out the robots I started to wonder how successful that would really be.  It was important to me that the robot have a 3-dimensional range of motion, so I decided to use this as an opportunity to work in Cinema 4D Lite instead.


If you didn’t know, Cinema 4D Lite comes bundled with After Effects Creative Cloud!  Weirdly, the program is only accessible through After Effects itself, so for a long time I didn’t even realize it was there.

My experience with Cinema 4D was pretty limited, so  I used a few videos on to get me jump started.  Lynda is such a valuable resource, and if you have a Los Angeles County library card you can access it for free!

Once I had my robot and plane modeled and rigged, I went back and forth a lot between Cinema 4D and After Effects.  I used Cinema for animating the robot and plane, and After Effects for animating the buildings and adding post effects (color adjustment, textures, and film grain). The little bomb explosion was animated in Photoshop and brought into After Effects as a PNG sequence.


After finishing the animation side, I brought my video into Audition to add a few sound effects.  I like using to find all the SFX I need.  The final export was done in Premiere where I assembled the audio and video together.

It was super fun creating this mix of 2D and 3D.  I definitely want to use more 3D in my work now that I’m more comfortable with Cinema 4D.  I’m especially interested in the isometric camera and toon shading.  Maybe next project!

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