Activity Industry Sector
Arts, Media & Entertainment

Activity Originally Created By: Walt Hebern

Procedural Steps - Laundry Jug

Part of Lesson Plan: Compositing

Activity Overview / Details

We are going to create a composite shot with an animation and a photograph as a background. (See sample below) We are going to begin with the following elements:

1. Model with basic motion (Access C4D file below)

2. Background photograph (Access image file below)


1.      Open the basic animation.

2.      Create a Background and a Floor object. These are the objects that will contain the image and capture the shadow.

3.      Adjust the Floor object so that it appears to sit on the same surface as the animation.

4.      Apply a compositing tag to the floor object. Turn on the 'Background Compositing' property.


1.      Choose a background image that matches your final output size. This will depend on the image ratio you are using (4:3 or 16:9). This example is set to 780 X 460 pixels.

2.      Create a material and apply the background image to it. (This is in the color channel for Cinema 4D.) Take off any specular or highlight on the material.

3.      Apply the material to the Background object and the Floor object.

4.      Map the material on both objects: Projection: Frontal,  No Tiles.


1. Adjust the three point lighting system.

2. Set your key light in the same direction as the main, existing light in the photograph.

3. Turn the key light shadows on. Check the intensity and direction of the shadow coming off the animation model and compare it to the shadows in the photograph.

4. Adjust the key light to match existing shadows.


1. By carefully adjusting your camera view, you can set the perspective of the animation, as well as size and position on the Floor object.

2. Render out the final shot.

Answer to Bonus Question: They used a cylinder in the place of the  Floor object.

Extension: By using a Plane instead of a Floor object and reshaping it, the animation shadow can follow existing contours in the background photo.

Materials / Resources