Essential Animation Tips for Cinema 4D: Layers

In this tutorial I’ll be covering one of the most overlooked features for organization and viewport speed optimization in Cinema 4D…LAYERS!  If you’ve never worked with them before, you will do yourself a disservice to not watch this and learn how much it can improve your workflow!  I’ll go over the basics of layers, how to add objects to layers, and then break down all of the aspects of each layer and how you can use it to your advantage and optimize your viewport speed to the fullest!

I was once someone who was ignorant of layers and never used them…man am I glad I learned about them!  Without Layers, some of my projects would be unworkable in Cinema 4D’s bogged down viewport.

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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!

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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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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.

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Cinema 4D Quick Tip: Creatively Using Dynamics for 2D Style Animation

dynamics

In this Cinema 4D quick tip I’ll go over how you can utilize Cinema 4D’s Dynamics & Cineware creatively to spice up your 2D animations by applying real world physics to them.  To get real world physics to be applied to your 2D animations, you either need to painstakingly keyframe it by hand or buy an expensive plug-in for After Effects, not to mention taking the time to learn it!  But for those of us that have Cinema 4D, you can use it as a “plug-in” and apply dynamics to your 2D style objects in Cinema 4D and easily bring them into After Effects via Cineware.  Check out the link below to see a free excerpt from my Lynda.com course on Mixing 2D and 3D with After Effects and CINEMA 4D.

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You can also view the rest of my Cinema 4D courses on Lynda.com here.

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Using the Spline Shader to Create Text as a Material in Cinema 4D

Spline Shader

In this quick tip I’ll show you how to totally bypass Photoshop and create 2D text materials and apply to 3D objects as textures by using Cinema 4D’s Spline Shader.  Using the Spline Shader you can use text as simply as a 2D resolution independent material, or get creative and use is in the bump or displacement channels of a material to get some embossed or stamped metal looks. The Spline Shader also isn’t limited to just text, you can use any spline shape to create a texture!

Tutorial:

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Cinema 4D Quick Tip: Using PSR Constraint Tag Targets

PSR Constraint

In this Cinema 4D quick tip I’ll go over a useful option when doing character animation, Constraint Tags.  Specifically, I’ll be demonstrating how to use the PSR Target option to be able to morph an object from one target to another.  For example, this can come in handy when you have a character picking up an object or placing it down, this option allows you to morph between the grasp of the character and the final placement of the object.  Check out the link below to see a free excerpt from my Lynda.com course on rigging a robot arm and find out more about using PSR Constraint Tag Targets.

Watch Tutorial

You can also view the rest of my Cinema 4D courses on Lynda.com here.

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