Cinema 4D – Basic Course Vol.2
This course is about 3D graphics with the aim to realize an animated video for the motion graphics field by using Cinema4D.
This time we’ll travel throughout the production workflows creating a little more complex objects, that will offer us the occasion to see new tools.
You don’t have to be an expert: the course is a basic one and you’ll be able to manage all the creation aspects on the fly.
The course is organized by videos and are available to download the textures used into the project.
To end the course, it’s enough 1 week.
The course is divided in 2 main areas: the first show how to realize a static rendering, the second how to animate objects and build a video.
So the starting topics are related to modeling and texturing, to pass in time at rigging, animation curves and rendering of animated sequences.
This time we’ll use mograph objects and Effectors too.
The softwares used are:
– Cinema4D: modeling, lighting, cameras, materials and animation.
– Photoshop, Mudbox: texturing.
– After Effects, Premiere: Compositing and editing.
The main topics clearly are focused on using Cinema4D.
This course will explain to you everything you need to create a 3D animation giving you more tools and methods.
How to model an house starting from a box . We'll see how to cut surfaces, bevel edges, extrude faces and weld vertices.
Until now we've modeled starting from a basic geometry and proceeded by memory to build our objects. Now we'll use a reference image (that is a design) to have a corresponding 3D model.
Once you've completed some models, you can start to build up the scene merging them in an unique file.
Let's complete the scene adding the sun and a cloud. The sun will be modeled starting from a cylinder. The cloud using the same technique applied to build the tree instead.
In some easy cases, you can apply a material to an object and see the texture well distributed at once. But these are really rare cases. Most of times, you'll have to define first UV maps over the objects.
Let's start painting the sun and the cloud by Mudbox. We'll use the simplest tools and methods to paint monochromatic colors and to project textures.
Keep going painting objects ! This time we'll see how to overlap different projections and how to hide their boundaries.
3D Painting is fun. But to be really happy we need to check our textures inside Photoshop and eventually fix them.
After painting the textures inside Mudbox and after their export, you're ready to apply them to the objects inside the Cinema 4D scene.
Maybe you could go forward and back between Cinema 4D and Mudbox a little more for the last fixes, but it's just a matter of time by now.
A flat surface isn't interesting at all. Luckily we can add into a material other maps beside the Color. In fact the Bump channel will give us relieves, and the Reflectance channel will give us shininess.
Set a main light for the Sky and the Sun, and some secondary lights to simulate the diffuse lighting from the ambient.
Anyway, to decide where to place source lights you need a Camera to fix the shot as well.
In all this, some retouching among the material parameters are needed to avoid overexposed areas or too much saturation over the surfaces.
Subdivide your scene in layers so to render it by separated objects. This is a method really useful to make the ompositing phase more manageable inside After Effect.
Let's start populating this scene by distributing trees all over the hill by a Mograph object Cloner.
Just one hill is too few. We have to avoid to take with a shot the boundary of the ground. So we'll create other hills and we'll add another Cloner to make grow more trees.
Let's use an effector Plain over the Cloner to make the trees go underground, so to have sad and deserted hills.
Create different cameras and animate them to create different shots, so to watch the disappearing trees from different angles.
By recycling the same techiques used to make trees disappear, create the animation of a series of houses popping up from the ground, so replacing the trees.
Let's animate the final shot making the scene to compose: trees disappear, the final house goes up and the sun and cloud enter the scene as well.
Make some render test on the main shots to set properly the lighting system and the material properties for the surfaces.
Let's add a motion blur effects to moving trees and houses, so to make a more realistic rendering.
Create some layers so to prepare the animated scenes to be rendered by layers
Create some test rendering by layers and compose them to see if the settings are right. Once found the right structure for a single frame, it will work for the whole animated sequence as well.
Let's render a first sequence. We'll make some last fixes over the layers, then we'll export them as animated sequences and we'll import them in After Effects to recompose the scene.
The first render generally works as a first main test. So we can decide to make some fixes to obtain a better result. Such as refining a texture or an animation. This means that we'll have to make a new rendering overwriting the old one. But sure this doesn't means to have lose time.
Once you get the method to render a sequence and manage a scene by layers and passes, the same workflow apply to all other shots. You've only to be careful to synchronize correctly the layers and passes among different files.
After you've rendered all the sequences, you can use them to build the Compositions, so to reconstruct the final scenes, but keeping open the door for an easy editing of every part of it.
Some scenes, as such the final one, are more complex than others. So we need to manage the layer subdivision in a more detailed way, so to have more freedom when it will come the moment to apply editings into the compositing phase.
To modify a composition and to animate some elements of it, you don't need necessarily to render new sequences inside Cinema 4D. It is possible indeed to use the right effects inside After Effects.
From After Effects we can now export the sequences and make a video editing by Premiere. So we have ready the main structure inside After Effects and Premiere to export the final video. But for now, we won't. We miss a last editing to make to the 3D scene.
To make the animation less rigid we can introduce some squash and stretch over the trees and the houses. Rendering again the sequences inside Cinema 4d will update the imported footages inside After Effects. And rendering again the sequences in After Effects will update the imported footages inside Premiere.
Finally we are ready to export our final video. We have the occasion this time to add sounds, titles and to make last fixes to the video tracks.