I had the great opportunity to be interviewed by Jared Walker from Super Giant Ninja at NAB last year. We talked about how I got started as a designer on Quantel Paintboxes and how I struggled starting out being self taught, how I began teaching, and some of the things I’ve learned along the way in my career thus far.
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!
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.
Finally got around to putting out my 2012 (more like 2011) reel. This is a collection of what I’ve been hard at work on over the past year or so. I’ve got to say in 2011 I learned a lot, worked on some of the coolest projects yet, and met a ton of very cool people in the industry, and 2012 is looking to be even better year! I appreciate all of you who have visited my newly update blog over the past few months and I hope you’ll stay tuned in the coming weeks and months. I plan on putting out some Cinema 4D tutorials and some more free stuff! Here’s to 2012! Keep on learnin and hustlin!
Here’s a presentation my buddy, @daveglanz (www.daveglanzproductions.com) and I gave at the DC Animators meetup in October. We walk through some recent projects we completed and showed our workflow and some hopefully useful techniques.
My buddy @JorenKandel at PixelLab.net was gracious enough to ask me to be interviewed by him for his website. Here I talk about my work, my thought processes, and some tips for people trying to get into the industry. Hope you get something out of my ramblings! Enjoy!