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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Cinema 4D Quick Tip 04: Create a 2D Transparency Fade Effect on 3D Objects

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.

See my previous quick tip on using effectors to fade on Motext referenced in this quick tip.

Example:

fix_trans_issues

Springs & Spline Dynamics in Cinema 4D Part 02: Floating Balloons

Here’s part 2 in my series of tutorials utilizing the combination of Spring & Spline Dynamics together  to get some really cool dynamic animation!  This time around, I’m going to go over how to use Springs & Spline Dynamics to make a floating balloon on a string, a bit of an upside-down setup featured in Part 1.  There’s two techniques I use to get this floating balloon effect:  First is showing how to float a balloon that is fixed or attached to a point or object, and the second is more of a free floating balloon setup.  If you know of any other techniques you know of, please share!  Enjoy!

Part 1: Dangling Objects Off a String

Example:

Springs & Spline Dynamics in Cinema 4D Part 01: Hanging Objects On a String

Hey, it’s Spring!  What better way to celebrate it than a few tutorials utilizing the combination of Spring & Spline Dynamics together  to get some really cool dynamic animation!  In part 1 of this series, I’m going to go over how to use Springs & Spline Dynamics to make an object dangle off of a string.  It’s a pretty simple set up and it allows for a lot of control to tweak to get the right type of dynamic movement.  Enjoy!

Part 2: Floating Balloons

Example:

Using the Cinema 4D Inheritance Effector Part 03: Make Particles Swarm Along Splines w/ Mograph

The Inheritance Effector is probably one of the most underrated and underutilized effectors in the effector menu.  In part three of my Inheritance Effector tutorial, I show you how you can fake particle or object movement that follows or swarms along a spline path that would normally only be able to be achieved with an Emitter or Thinking Particles and Xpresso.  Using a combination of the Inheritance & Spline Effectors along with other Mograph Effectors, you can achieve close to the same effect as the Emitter or Thinking Particles as a simpler alternative in your normal workflow without having to touch Xpresso.  Specifically, this tutorial demonstrates the powerful combination of using the Spline Effector with the Inheritance Effector to achieve a “swarming” effect.  As in Part 2 of this series, you can also add a Dynamic Tag to the Cloner Object to make sure your clones don’t intersect one another with this technique.

Inheritance Effector Tutorial: Part 1

Inheritance Effector Tutorial: Part 2

 

Here is a sample video where I utilized this technique to make a swarm of butterflies each land onto their own individual flowers:

Using the Cinema 4D Inheritance Effector Part 02: Faking Thinking Particles with Mograph

The Inheritance Effector is probably one of the most underrated and underutilized effectors in the effector menu.  In part two of my Inheritance Effector tutorial, I show you how you can fake particle movement that would normally only be able to be achieved with an Emitter or Thinking Particles and Xpresso.  Using a combination of the Inheritance Effector and other Mograph Effectors and Deformers, you can achieve close to the same effect as an Emitter or Thinking Particles as a simpler alternative in your normal workflow without having to touch Xpresso.

Here is a spot where I utilized this technique:

Inheritance Effector Tutorial: Part 1

Inheritance Effector Tutorial: Part 3

Using the Cinema 4D Inheritance Effector Part 01: Trigger or Offset Keyframed Cloned Objects

The Inheritance Effector is probably one of the most underrated and underutilized effectors in the effector menu.  In part one of my Inheritance Effector tutorial, I show you how you can trigger or offset keyframed animation applied to an object that you cloned and offsetting the animation with falloffs.  This is just touching the very surface of what this effector can do!

Inheritance Effector Tutorial Part 2

Inheritance Effector Tutorial Part 3

Have you used the Inheritance Effector before?  If so, what for and how have you used it?

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Adding Center Crosshairs in Cinema 4D Viewport

Ever been wanting center crosshairs in your Cinema 4D viewport like you have in After Effects? Having that center crosshair is a huge help when making sure your composition is centered.  Watch my quick tip tutorial to see my simple solution.

Download the Crosshairs Photoshop file

[UPDATE:  Maxon saw my tutorial and actually created a plug-in that adds a crosshairs to your viewport, but you can only get it unless you’re a member of Cineversity.  You can find it here.]