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.

Watch the Tutorial:

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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!

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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Introducing Storage Bin

storage_Bin_banner2

What is it?

Storage Bin is a unique and essential workflow plugin for Cinema 4D that will change the way you work inside of C4D – every single day!  Storage Bin assists the motion graphic artist by aiding the object creation, modeling, and everyday workflow processes by storing backups of object states as you work.   One of the challenges of working in 3D is that you work with a ton of objects and each of them can be changed or edited.  Now think of how many times you make an object editable or change the look of a piece of geometry.  Hours, even days, of work can go into a single object.  Now what happens if you make a mistake or want to go back to a previous object state?  You have to undo many times and you’ll lose all your progress on any other work in your scene.  With Storage Bin, this is a problem of the past!  With Storage Bin, you can backup and save individual object states with a click of a button!  Backups can then be compared and restored for later use if needed.  It’s in the bin!  Save your Cloner Objects, Motext, NURB/Generator objects, Sculpts, and model states, declutter your Object Manager, and let go of the fear of messing up in the middle of your work!  No longer do you have to worry about manually making a copy before making an object editable!  With Storage Bin, you can store your object states as you go with the ability to go back to an older state and continue on from there.  You’ll never have to start from square one again!


 

How it Works

 

Interface

The Storage Bin Tag interface has 3 sections.  The number of states, a state slider, state restoration options, and buttons used to restore or delete states.

Saving States

Click the “Save State” button to save your current object state.

Total State Counter

Once a state has been saved, the Total States counter and the Object State edit field will increment to show the proper number of object states for that object.

04-restore_state_buttonToggling States

Once you have saved a new state, or 50 (if you’re that paranoid) you can just click the arrows up an down and it will toggle each state in your viewport like magic!  It’s super easy and quick to compare states!

 

Restoring a State

Hopefully you don’t mess up, but if you do, you can always cycle back through your saved states by toggling your Object States edit field.

 

Restore Options

Once you’re looking at the object state that you wish to restore, simply push the “Restore State” button. This will create a copy of that state as a new state, thus preserving the original just in case!  You also have restore options such as “Keep Current Tag Data” so it preserves your objects applied tags and “Maintain Original PSR” which is useful if you moved the object in any way, when you restore your alternate state, it inherits the PSR of your restored object.

 

Version Compatibility

Storage Bin requires Cinema 4D R12 (Broadcast or Studio version) and above.  Storage Bin is fully compatible with R13 and above.


Click here to get Storage Bin

Storage Bin will change the way you work inside of Cinema 4D!  Work more efficiently by never having to retrace your steps again.  Storage Bin will back you up by always having your work progress saved.  It’s in the bin!

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

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.]