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Well known by C4D users, Mograph still remains one of the most powerful and robust procedural cloning and animation module.
AfterEffects users can taste a little bit of its power for free, thanks to the "Fracture" and 2 "Effectors" (Plain and Random) that come with the Cinema 4D Lite version, packed with every AfterEffects CC version. But it is definitely limited and frustrating, since the most interesting tool is still missing : the CLONER !
How many times a motion designer has to duplicate and animate sequentially a bunch, sometimes dozen, of similar graphic shapes in their projects ?
Of course you can animate your designs with keyframes, then duplicate them, sort them with a time offset... but it is time consuming and what if you are asked to change the whole animation later ? Well, you'll have to redo the entire process, again and again, until your client is really satisfied !
Some existing tools aim at making this process way more efficient and less tedious, but you'll still end up with a lot of duplicated layers in your timeline, and, who wouldn't prefer to keep a well organized timeline, just like in Cinema4D, where you can just deploy or close objects hierarchies to keep things tidy up.
Introducing... Moglyph FX, a Mograph like toolset that allows you to clone predefined glyph shapes and animate them proceduraly, within one single text layer !
Moglyph FX comes with a neat UI panel divided in 2 tabs, that let's you concentrate on how you'll generate and manage your glyph clones first, then on how you'll want to animate them thanks to the 6 different effectors available.
Here are the two tabs and their tools shown side by side :
The Generate tab
Follow the steps in this exact order :
The Animate tab
From top to bottom and left to right :
Moglyph FX allows you to use all the 5 Cloner setups from Cinema4D (drag your mouse over for animation)
SPLINE Cloner (= "Object" in C4D)
Moglyph FX comes with 6 C4D Mograph like effectors :
The MoglyphFX cloner's properties, generated glyph shapes and effectors are all handled by a single text layer, which allows you to :
- Keep your After Effects timeline light and clean (and you can add as many cloner setups as you want in a same comp)
- Extrude the generated glyph shapes within Element 3D (just choose your Moglyph Cloner layer as a custom Text & Mask layer in E3D)
- Use "3D per character" to animate the glyph clones in 3D (you can customize it and add any animator or property like any text layer)
- Use 3rd party text scripts and presets on top of the cloners (animate clones with cool tools like Animation composer or Text Evo)
- Save your setups as reusable presets (drag and drop all the Cloner's text groups, mask and effects in the preset library to re-use them later)
- Use the thematic Moglyph fonts in Illustrator’s glyph panel (perfect for the design and storyboarding process)
Please click on the VIDEOS tab above for a full series of in-depth video tutorials.
Important Disclaimer :
Some of you may have noticed that another tool, called Cloners+Effectors available here on aescripts.com, aims at animating clones in same Cloners setups procedurally, like Mograph as well. It is true, and this tool is really cool and efficient for this purpose, so... What are the differences between both products ?
In order to help you make your choice, here are a few arguments and comparisons :
- Moglyph FX relies entirely on Afters Effects Text layers, which means that you will always be bound to use the one-color symbols, called "glyphs", provided in the different thematic Moglyph Fonts. This is the main limitation of Moglyph FX and where it really differs from its contender Cloner+Effectors, since this one lets you use any layer (that can be precomposed with animated graphics in it) as clones. And this is mainly why, Moglyph FX costs almost half the price of Cloners+Effectors.
I will do my best to provide as many useful and nice glyph shapes as I can, in a continuously growing font library, but this is definitely something to keep in mind while purchase one of these products.
- Another major difference between both products is how the "Falloff" options for the Effectors affect the clones. In Cloners+Effectors, you'll find the 2 most used Falloff shapes that Cinema4D (and other procedural modules like Mash for Maya) offers : "Linear" and "Radial", which allows you to animate your clones just by dragging the Effectors accross them, just like in Cinema4D. Moglyph FX is an entirely different beast while dealing with Effectors falloff ; since the effectors are in fact some complex "text animators", you'll never be able to separate their position from the cloner and, then, to animate your clones in this way. Moglyph FX Effectors' falloff rather consists of a bunch of "completion" sliders (with a "Start", a "End", an "Offset"...) than will help you animate your clones one by one, depending of their index order, from the first to the last by default, or row by row if you check the corresponding option in the "Animate" tab. Note that you can randomize these clones indexes with another cool Effector's option from this tab, if you do not want to animate clones in a sequential way.
- Moglyph FX offers ALL the 5 Cloner types that Cinema 4D has, including the really awesome "Spline cloner" (which I use a lot in real productions) and the "Honeycomb" that appeared for the first time in Cinema 4D R18 versions, while Cloners+Effectors has only the Linear, Radial and Grid types. Note that Cloners+Effectors offers another great feature that mimics the "Fracture" object from C4D (called "Cluster"), that MoglyphFX will never be able to reproduce due to After Effects Text layers limitations.
- Since Moglyph FX is based on presets with all the proerties linked to some effects, it is faster (almost in realtime, just by playing with "Count" slider) to generate a large amount of clones in your comp, while Cloners+Effectors is a bit slower on this point because of the way the script duplicates each layer. But keep in mind that both products, whichever it is, will become to slow down your composition's preview and render, as soon as you try to animate a large amount of clones with the help of effectors. This is totally normal, and this is mainly due to After Effects own limitations. If you feel that you have reached the limits and it slows you down in your workflow, just consider learning and buying a real 3D software like Cinema4D (but even there, large amounts of clones can become very slow !).
- Moglyph FX is based on Text layers, so you'll benefit from all the arguments already written above
- First install all the Moglyph fonts (like you would install install any other font on you OS) contained in the folder called Fonts > MoGlyph-StarterPack
- Allow Scripts To Write Files and Access Network by turning on the corresponding option in your AE Preferences > General tab.
- Either use the aescripts + aeplugins manager app (easiest) or manually copy both the "MoglyphFX.jsxbin" file and the whole "MoglyphAssets" folder, then paste them at the same level inside your Application > After Effects' current version > Scripts > ScriptUI Panels folder.
- Restart After Effects
- Launch the toolset called "MoglyphFX.jsxbin" from the Window menu, then enter your license code.
- Depending of your OS and permissions, a few more steps may be needed ; just follow the instructions that appear on the screen and restart AfterEffects again when the message asks you to do it.
- Once AfterEffects has re-opened, dock the panel wherever you want in your AE's layout and you are ready to go !
Video overview - PART 1 : Cloners and Procedural cloning mode
Video overview - PART 2 : Moglyph/custom fonts and Manual mode
Video overview - PART 3 : Updates, Plain effector and Effectors basics
Video overview - PART 4 : Delay, Formula, Random, Step and Time effectors
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