NAB keeps getting better and better every year! It was amazing to hang out with all of the people that make the tools that make our jobs pretty awesome along with having the honor of presenting with talented artists for MAXON again this year! If you haven’t seen the presentations yet, all of the Cinema 4D NAB 2013 sessions are now up on Cineversity here:
In my presentation, I demo a few different ways you can achieve amazing results using the very underused Inheritance Effector. A Twitter followed called it an “Inheritance Effector workout”! Well put, I’d say!
In this Cinema 4D quick tip, I’ll be going over the Matte Object. This feature is crucial for when you realize you accidentally forgot to set an Object Buffer in your scene after you rendered everything. We’ve all been there, right? I’ll show you why using the Matte Object beats the other mainstream way of “faking” an object buffer with creating materials with black and white luminance channels and, of course, why it’s not smart at all resorting to re-rendering the entire animation just because you forgot to set an Object Buffer.
If you want a powerful plug-in that takes everything in this tutorial and automates it, check out Quick Matte Pro! Quick Matte Pro plug-in that I teamed up with an amazing plug-in developer, AJ Haines, that is essential for an optimized and fast workflow and will change the way you work in Cinema 4D! Set your mattes, add object buffers, and add every single object buffer in your scene to your multipass render settings with just a single click!
You all may have noticed I’ve been quiet on the tutorials front the past couple months, but not without good reason! I’ve been very busy preparing my first in depth project based Cinema 4D course for Lynda.com, and I’m super excited to announce that it has finally released! Check it out here!
I am honored to be a part of the Lynda community and getting the opportunity to share my creative process through my courses!
What’s It About?
So you might be thinking, “What’s it about and why should I watch it?” Well, for one, it’s my first project based Cinema 4D course. Unlike my tutorials I host here on my blog which are fairly short, quick blurbs on a certain workflow technique or tip; in my Lynda course I’ll show you from start to finish the process I go about creating a finished and polished animation. From setting up and animating a project in Cinema 4D, preparing it for render, and importing and putting on the finishing touches inside of After Effects. In this course, I’ll show you how to create a network promo bumper for a fictitious TV network using Mograph effectors efficiently so to animate the entire thing, all it takes is two keyframes, along with some workflow tips and tricks along the way.
How Do You Learn?
I’ve found that I learn a ton from watching people go through the process of creating a project from start to finish and developing my first course demonstrating how I do it was very interesting because I literally had to write down all my steps, all the things I do to create an animation. When I watch other people work, I love observing all the little habits and processes someone goes through while working in Cinema 4D or After Effects. Being a freelancer, I don’t have the benefit of sitting around a bunch of other artists and being exposed to how other people work day to day and learning from them, so I hope seeing my process is just as beneficial for those of you out there in similar situations.
Some people have already asked me if I have any more courses in the pipeline, and I’m happy to say that I’m planning on releasing a total of 8 courses this year for Lynda. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m definitely excited to take it on. The course I released is almost 2 hours of content, so it was definitely an adjustment coming from doing 5-15 minute tutorials for my blog. My Lynda producer was great in mentoring me in the process of creating professional training content so I’m looking forward to my continued improvements in how I can deliver information and knowledge to you all in the future!
What’s This Mean For the Blog?
It means better content for you! I’m going to continue producing my own short Cinema 4D based content here on eyedesyn.com just like I’ve always been, I’m committed to creating better and better content and my experiences working with the great Lynda.com folks will only make me better at creating training content. I already have tons of tutorial ideas backlogged in my brain! Not to mention a big update to Text Edge FX that should be coming out soon!
For those of you who check out my course (or for just those who watch tutorials on my blog), please let me know if there’s anything I can do better, or if there’s anything you’d like to see for any of my next Lynda courses or even my tutorials here on my blog. What’s something you’d really like to learn? What’s some workflows you’d like to see me demonstrate? I’d greatly appreciate any and all input you can give!
What is Lynda.com?
Lynda.com has a multitude of excellent training content for everyone, not just motion graphics artists. For example, they have great courses on how to be a freelancer, how to conduct business meetings, photography, setting up video shoots, and the list goes on and on! Not only that, but they’ve joined up with Video2Brain.com to add even MORE great content (including multilingual content) to the Lynda.com universe. And even if you’re just interested in After Effects and Cinema 4D, they have some AMAZING artists on there sharing their knowledge such as my fellow authors Chris & Trish Meyers, Chad Perkins, Mark Christiansen, and Rob Garrot. In the coming year there is going to be a ton of new AE and C4D content to go along with the highly anticipated updates for both pieces of software, so stay tuned!
When I first launched my blog a little over a year ago, I didn’t imagine that it would grow as much as it did, that I would be presenting for MAXON, working for Lynda.com, or having all the other great opportunities I’ve been given along the way. I couldn’t have done it without the support of all you out there pushing me to keep doing what I’m doing and seeing that people are learning a bit of something here on my blog. I did this in an attempt to pay forward all the training that has been provided to me for free online when I have been learning Cinema 4D the past few years, to give back to the awesome motion graphics community that inspired me all these years. Thank you!
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create the “Decoder Fade In” text reveal just like the text preset from After Effects inside of Cinema 4D using mograph effectors. There’s a couple ways to achieve this and both ways are quite simple. The hardest part is the initial tedious set up, but I’ve provided a Cinema 4D scene file that saves you the initial work!
When changing objects transparency using a Display Tag or using an effector, you’ll most likely run into the undesirable effect of the seeing unwanted parts of the 3D geometry being revealed when that transparency is adjusted. Most of the time, the only way you’d think to get around this would be by rendering everything out and compositing and adjusting opacity in After Effects. In this Quick Tip, I show you how you can avoid that and make your 3D geometry fade like it was a 2D object without revealing the unwanted parts of the object geometry.
You know I like me some text tutorials! Here’s another one where I’ll teach you how to recreate a wood block or cast metal embossed type style and create it procedurally so it is easily edited and iterated without having to create a bump channel map for every letter or ever leaving Cinema 4D for Photoshop. Using this workflow, it’s possible to perfect the look of one type block and use it as a template for the other type blocks you need for your scene by simply duplicating it and changing the shape of the block and the letter or font.
The Cinema 4D R14 demo has been out for a few days now, so hopefully you’ve had a chance to check it out! Coinciding with the demo being released, I’m releasing my first R14 related tutorial on one of my favorite new R14 features, Aerodynamics. With the new Aerodynamics function, Rigid and Softbody objects can now interact according to their aerodynamic shape with all of the particle modifiers such as Wind, Turbulence, and Gravity. So a balloons shape will be taken into account when floating about when a wind object is applied to it and not just float linearly. In this tutorial, I’ll be going over all the settings to recreate a balloon being blown around realistically in a gust of wind and along the way show off some of the other R14 features such as the Morph Camera.
It’s Christmas in August! Cinema 4D version R14 has just been announced and I’ve had the opportunity to be able to play with R14 over the past few weeks and check out all the new features. While you may be hearing most about the new Sculpting features in Cinema 4D, I’m going to focus on some of my favorite new features that I think I’ll be using heavily.
1. New Snapping Tools
You can now move and align geometry with more ease now with the new snapping tools. You can have splines or polygons faces, points, or edges snap to other objects geometry in the scene as well as being able snap to guides and workplanes. This makes having a cubes face align to another cubes face very simple and you’ll spend less time in the Coordinate manager.
2. Aerodynamic Wind
This has got to be one of my favorite new features and one that I noticed was missing when I did my balloon tutorial. With the new Aerodynamics function, Rigid and Softbody objects can now interact according to their aerodynamic shape with all of the particle modifiers such as Wind, Turbulence, and Gravity. So a balloons shape will be taken into account when floating about when a wind object is applied to it and not just float linearly. Along with this new feature, there is also Acceleration and Force modes. Force Mode takes into account individual object masses and affect it’s interaction with the modifiers, while Acceleration mode disregards object mass.
Sky Sampler GI mode has been replaced with a new and faster Discrete Sky Sampling (DSS) mode. This new Sky Sampling mode works as the last one did where you use a Physical Sky or HDRI texture applied to a Sky object to light your scene, but new in R14 is the ability to have your Sky or HDRI texture cast shadows in your scene according to your Sky or HDRI textures contrast. Along with DSS is the new GI Sampling Method of using Radiosity maps that, long story short, speed up GI calculation. Radiosity maps can also be saved and used again like prior GI sampling.
4. Camera Morph Tag & Camera Calibrator Tag
Animating cameras in any piece of software has always been a pain, trying to get from framed shot to another. CSTools has eased this a bit with EasyCam, etc. But, basically what the Camera Morph Tag does is bring that CSTools functionality completely integrated into R14. Now when you’re setting up camera moves, you can keyframe multiple cameras, throw vibrate tags on them, etc, and using the Morph Tag, you can now seamlessly transition between all of them. You can also add “steady cam” like shake effects to add some natural shake to your camera animation.
Camera Calibrator Tag helps you recreate the camera’s focal length and position from a still image. Using this, you can easily composite geometry into that flat background image. Huge new features for sure!
5. New Normalizer and Weathering Shaders
Normalizer- This sort of makes the Bump Shader obsolete. By using a Normalizer shader in the Material Normal Channel, you can use regular textures (grayscale or otherwise) that you’d normally use in the Bump Channel to calculate a pseudo Normal Map.
Weathering Shader- Adds realistic grunge or bleached effects to your objects to give it that weathered look.
6. New Xpresso Features
Xpresso got a lot of great new additions that range from new UI and workflow enhancements to entirely new nodes.
R14 brings a new, slick UI to the Xpresso Editor
Create ports by simply dragging and dropping one or multiple attributes into the XPresso Editor
New Xpresso Node “Track Operator” – Very nice addition. This node outputs animation values and can pass on animation and time information to other objects
New Xpresso Node “Dynamics Body Status” – Using this node, you can now trigger dynamics on and off using Xpresso when a boolean value of True or False is used.
7. Import .C4D Files Directly Into After Effects
Cinema 4D has always been lauded for it’s integration with Adobe products, specifically After Effects. In addition to being able to export out an .aex file from C4D for use in After Effects, you can now open C4D files directly into AE and PS. On top of that, you can create a “.c4d” file from After Effects (that includes all animation (including Expressions), Cameras, Lights, 3D materials, and Null objects) and open it into Cinema 4D.
8. Overall Interface Enhancements
Not exactly the most sexy addition, but there are a load of tiny GUI improvements that you’ll barely notice but will really enhance your workflow.
Object highlighting – Hover over an object and a white outline will surround the geometry, select it, and the white outline turns yellow.
Camera Crosshairs – One feature I clamored for that is now in R14 is a center crosshairs option for your Camera Object that stays visible in the viewport even when the Camera Object isn’t selected.
Specular and Specular Color Channels have been combined into just one material channel.
All Dynamics caches can now be baked from inside a Dynamics Body tag. No more having to dig into the Attributes manager to find that option under project settings.
“Commander” is very cool, it works just like in After Effects when searching in the Effects & Presets search bar. Commander lets you search for objects, tags, tools and much more by beginning to type the name in the Commander search bar. You can also drag and drop search items directly into the interface so you can customize all the commands in your C4D layout.
In a response to a question I was asked on Vimeo about how to spin objects on a single axis using dynamics, I go over a couple ways you can achieve this effect so the dynamics rotation looks realistic and can interact with real world physics and gravity. First, I’ll show you how to get a cube to spin on it’s edge and then show how to slow it down to a stop and topple over. Then I’ll demonstrate how you can get your logo or text have a cool, dramatic, and energetic spin reveal using dynamics on a logo made with Text Edge FX.
In this tutorial, I’ll explain a very simple way that you can effect Light Objects intensity in Cinema 4D with an effector and how to get a “turn on/turn off” look as well as a gradual light fade on/fade off type of example. I’ll go over another use for this method to create a noise meter animation where meter bars light up and glow, all controlled with an effector. And to finish it off, I’ll throw a little Cappucino & Mograph Effector action to animate the noise meter to look like it’s reacting to crowd noise and sync it with a shaking camera as the intensity builds as the “crowd” gets louder!
If you haven’t learned about the many awesome uses of Cappucino, check out my Cappucino 101 tutorial here.