Essential Animation Quick Tips for Cinema 4D

In this tutorial I’ll be sharing some quick tips to help you be a better animator in Cinema 4D. For those of you coming from After Effects, I’ll relate some of the important animation techniques you probably use very often in After Effects and how they can be done in Cinema 4D.

Topics covered in this tutorial are:

Gimbal Lock: What It Is & How to Avoid It
Quaternion Expression
Overdub
Align to Path Tag
Creating “Roving Keyframes” with the Constant Velocity Function
How to Loop/Repeat a Set of Keyframes

Hopefully after watching these quick tips, it’ll help you be a better animator in your day to day workflow!

Watch the Tutorial:

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Essential Animation Tips for Cinema 4D: The Timeline

In this tutorial I’ll be covering a bunch of helpful functions, features, and shortcut keys to enable you to be more efficient when animating and working in the timeline in Cinema 4D. A few of the topics that are covered in this tutorial are:

• Show and Hide menus to isolate object animation tracks
• Timeline Link View Options
• Folding Options
• Using View Filters to Show/Hide Specific Types of Animation Tracks
• Using the F-Curve Mode
• Numerous useful keyboard shortcuts

These are some of the features I use everyday that streamline my workflow and increase my productivity and I feel are important for any level of Cinema 4D artist to know!

Download My Custom Animation Layout

Tutorial:

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Creating a Particle Morph Using Cinema 4D’s Inheritance Effector

Tutorial:

The Inheritance Effector is probably one of the most underrated and underutilized effectors in the effector menu – and it’s probably one of my favorite effectors to mess around with!  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how you can easily create particle simulation morph-type animations using only the Mograph Module, Effectors, and Dynamics.  Using a combination of the super powerful Inheritance Effector and other Mograph Effectors and Deformers, you can achieve close to the same effect as an Emitter, Thinking Particles, or X-Particles as a simpler alternative in your normal workflow without having to touch Xpresso or learn some new particle system or buy plug-ins.

Example:

If you want to learn more about how to use Cinema 4D’s Mograph Module to create particle morphs, check out my Morphing Particles in Cinema 4D Lynda.com course where I go over some other ways to use the tools in C4D to create similar particle morph animations.

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Using the Pose Morph Tag to Morph Between Objects in Cinema 4D

In this tutorial I’m going to show you a really cool workflow for animating or morphing between 2D style, illustrative objects using Cinema 4D.  First, we will start by going over things to consider when designing your objects to achieve a nice morph.  Then, I’ll introduce you to a super powerful feature that is normally reserved for character animation, the Pose Morph tag.  I’ll demonstrate how to use the Pose Morph tag creatively and show how easy it is to record object states and then animate through the poses by simply keyframing sliders.  Finally, I’ll show you how to add some overshoot to the morph animation to give it a nice organic bounce effect.

Here’s one of my previous tutorials that shows you how to create the 2D illustrative materials using the Cel Shader that I’m using for the objects in this tutorial:

Using the Cel Shader to Apply an Illustrative 2D Style to 3D Objects in C4D

And here’s the scene file I used in this tutorial that you guys can mess around with:

DOWNLOAD CINEMA 4D SCENE FILE

Tutorial:

If you want to learn more about how to use Cinema 4D in your 2D workflow, check out my Mixing 2D & 3D with Cinema 4D & After Effects Lynda.com course where I go over some creative ways to use the tools in C4D for a mainly 2D workflow inside of After Effects.

Stay up to date with the latest Cinema 4D tutorials by signing up to the Eyedesyn newsletter.

Create a Wavy Band Surface in Cinema 4D

Preview:

In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the technique I came up with to recreate the nice, clean undulating bands in these spots:

RocknRoller Studios for The Sound of Deep House

WeAreSeventeen for Betfair

I’ll start off by showing you my thought process and my first two failed attempts and see how I finally came to discover how to recreate this look. Cinema 4D has an amazing amount of useful tools and I had to think outside of the box (or cube) to figure this one out!  The technique I demonstrate in this tutorial can be applied to many styles of mograph and hopefully helps you think out of the box next time you become stuck trying to figure out a technique!

UPDATE:  I’ve had a few Twitter buddies share their alternate methods of recreating this look that are very interesting; there’s no one way to do things!   Here are all the project files, including my project file using the method I demo’d in this tutorial.

Watch the Tutorial:

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Creating an Illustrative 2D Style Ribbon in Cinema 4D

In this tutorial I’m going to keep with the nice, 2D illustrative look theme and apply it to create those popular and trendy 2D style ribbon banners with 3D depth by using Cinema 4D.  I’ll start by showing you how to use C4D’s Spline Wrap to create our ribbon along with some handy tips to sell that 2D illustrative look.  Then, to get the flat 2D color, we’ll use materials created by the Cel Shader & Spline Shader.   Finally, I’ll show you some creative ways to animate the ribbon to give it some nice organic movement.   You’ll even learn some Latin!  This tutorial has it all, huh?  Again when working with Cinema 4D to create 2D vector looking art, be sure when you render to turn up the Anti-Aliasing settings as well as using a sharper Filter than Animation; such as Cubic (Still Image) or Sync so you have nice crisp edges in your animation to sell the 2D style.

Here’s the tutorials I mention in this video that shows you how to create the 2D illustrative materials using the Cel Shader as well as the text material using a Spline Shader that is applied on the ribbon element:

Using the Cel Shader to Apply an Illustrative 2D Style to 3D Objects in C4D

Using the Spline Shader in C4D to Create Text as a Material

And here’s the scene file I used in this tutorial that you guys can mess around with:

DOWNLOAD CINEMA 4D SCENE FILE

Tutorial:

If you want to learn more about how to use Cinema 4D in your 2D workflow, check out my Mixing 2D & 3D with Cinema 4D & After Effects Lynda.com course where I go over some creative ways to use the tools in C4D for a mainly 2D workflow inside of After Effects.

Stay up to date with the latest Cinema 4D tutorials by signing up to the Eyedesyn newsletter.

Using the Cel Shader to Apply an Illustrative 2D Style to 3D Objects in Cinema 4D

Since presenting for MAXON at NAB 2014, I’ve received a bunch of requests asking me to go further in depth on how I used the Cel Shader in a client spot in my presentation.  In this tutorial, I’ll show you just that:  how to create and apply a cool, stylistic, flat, illustrative 2D look to 3D objects in Cinema 4D. We will achieve this look by using the often overlooked Cel Shader & Spline Shader. Learning how to leverage C4D in your 2D workflow is critical when it comes to saving time creating elements and animating. If you’ve ever tried to make something look 3D with 2D objects, you know how painstaking it can be to sell the 3D depth using flat layers.  I’ll also show how you can use the Cel Shader to apply shadows to objects with 100% luminance.  One final note, be sure when you render to turn up the Anti-Aliasing settings as well as using a sharper Filter than Animation; such as Cubic (Still Image) or Sync so you have nice crisp edges in your animation to sell the 2D style.

Here’s the tutorial I mention in this video that shows you how to create the text material using a Spline Shader that is applied on the ribbon element:

Using the Spline Shader in C4D to Create Text as a Material

And here’s my MAXON NAB 2014 Presentation where I go over many ways to use Cinema 4D in a 2D workflow:

My MAXON NAB 2014 Presentation

And here’s the scene file I used in this tutorial that you guys can mess around with:

DOWNLOAD CINEMA 4D SCENE FILE

Tutorial:

If you want to learn more about how to use Cinema 4D in your 2D workflow, check out my Mixing 2D & 3D with Cinema 4D & After Effects Lynda.com course where I go over some creative ways to use the tools in C4D for a mainly 2D workflow inside of After Effects.

Stay up to date with the latest Cinema 4D tutorials by signing up to the Eyedesyn newsletter.

Cinema 4D Quick Tip: Using an Area Light’s Built-In Softbox Option

softbox_template_horiz

In this Cinema 4D Quick Tip I’ll uncover a useful feature that turns your Area Light into a softbox shape that shows up in your objects reflections.  I’ll then elaborate and show you some examples of interesting ways to use the Area Lights shape visibility settings to add some nice reflections to your objects.

Tutorial:

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Introducing Storage Bin

storage_Bin_banner2

What is it?

Storage Bin is a unique and essential workflow plugin for Cinema 4D that will change the way you work inside of C4D – every single day!  Storage Bin assists the motion graphic artist by aiding the object creation, modeling, and everyday workflow processes by storing backups of object states as you work.   One of the challenges of working in 3D is that you work with a ton of objects and each of them can be changed or edited.  Now think of how many times you make an object editable or change the look of a piece of geometry.  Hours, even days, of work can go into a single object.  Now what happens if you make a mistake or want to go back to a previous object state?  You have to undo many times and you’ll lose all your progress on any other work in your scene.  With Storage Bin, this is a problem of the past!  With Storage Bin, you can backup and save individual object states with a click of a button!  Backups can then be compared and restored for later use if needed.  It’s in the bin!  Save your Cloner Objects, Motext, NURB/Generator objects, Sculpts, and model states, declutter your Object Manager, and let go of the fear of messing up in the middle of your work!  No longer do you have to worry about manually making a copy before making an object editable!  With Storage Bin, you can store your object states as you go with the ability to go back to an older state and continue on from there.  You’ll never have to start from square one again!


 

How it Works

 

Interface

The Storage Bin Tag interface has 3 sections.  The number of states, a state slider, state restoration options, and buttons used to restore or delete states.

Saving States

Click the “Save State” button to save your current object state.

Total State Counter

Once a state has been saved, the Total States counter and the Object State edit field will increment to show the proper number of object states for that object.

04-restore_state_buttonToggling States

Once you have saved a new state, or 50 (if you’re that paranoid) you can just click the arrows up an down and it will toggle each state in your viewport like magic!  It’s super easy and quick to compare states!

 

Restoring a State

Hopefully you don’t mess up, but if you do, you can always cycle back through your saved states by toggling your Object States edit field.

 

Restore Options

Once you’re looking at the object state that you wish to restore, simply push the “Restore State” button. This will create a copy of that state as a new state, thus preserving the original just in case!  You also have restore options such as “Keep Current Tag Data” so it preserves your objects applied tags and “Maintain Original PSR” which is useful if you moved the object in any way, when you restore your alternate state, it inherits the PSR of your restored object.

 

Version Compatibility

Storage Bin requires Cinema 4D R12 (Broadcast or Studio version) and above.  Storage Bin is fully compatible with R13 and above.


Click here to get Storage Bin

Storage Bin will change the way you work inside of Cinema 4D!  Work more efficiently by never having to retrace your steps again.  Storage Bin will back you up by always having your work progress saved.  It’s in the bin!

MAXON NAB 2014 Rewind

This years NAB was a blast!  Thanks to all who made it great and thanks to everyone who made the trip out to actually watch some of our presentations live!  It was amazing to hang out with all of the people that make the tools that make our jobs fun along with having the honor of presenting with talented artists for MAXON for the third year in a row!  If you haven’t seen the presentations yet, all of the Cinema 4D NAB 2014 sessions are now up on Cineversity here:

MAXON NAB Rewind 2014

This years speakers included many heavy hitters in the mograph world including:

Nick Campbell, Casey Hupke, Rob Garrott, Josiah Taylor, Jeremy Cox, Kevin Aguirre, Donovan Keith, Andy Needham, Athanasios Pozantzis, Michael Delaneymyself, and many more!

In my presentation, I break down three projects covering the many handy tools in Cinema4D including

• Rigid Body Dynamics, Xrefs, and the Mograph Time Effector for the LA Kings

• Hair Shader, Tracer, Jiggle Deformer, Vertex Maps, Cloth, Mesh Deformer, Cel Shader, Rigid and Softbody Dynamics for Chick-Fil-A

•  Mograph Inheritance Effector, Shader Effector, Camera Morph, and Volumetric Lights for CSC.