Tag: c4d

“Winding Roads” – Twisted Poly

Winding Roads is a short, fun animation by Nejc Polovsak, aka Twisted Poly. Nejc got started in motion design after first getting into 3D as a hobby about 10 years ago. Within three years, he had his first job. “I began with doing lots of modeling, texturing, just doing lots of stills, some game graphics, but not so much animation,” Nejc recalled in a brief email interview. That changed a couple years into his job. “I fell in love with animation and started experimenting with motion design.”

Nejc was drawn to the freedom and many possibilities of creating something in motion. “I really like idea of having good, polished design which is taken to the next level when in motion.” The converse, he says, is also true. “The best and most fun thing for me is try to combine both in the elegant way.”

Still render of Winding Roads by Twisted Poly, using Cinema 4D and Octane Render.

Still render of Winding Roads by Twisted Poly, using Cinema 4D and Octane Render.

Winding Roads came about from Nejc’s daily/weekly personal projects he uses to learn from. In this case, he was experimenting with Octane Render. “I was just trying to come up with something cool and interesting in a couple of hours,” he said. “[T]his was a good project to test out how render engine behaves with multiple lights and lots of out of focus areas.”

Staircase Ball by Twisted Poly. Rednered using Cinema 4D and Octane Render.

Staircase Ball by Twisted Poly. Rednered using Cinema 4D and Octane Render.

The layout and design we’re an extension of previous still renders Nejc had done arranging things into spherical forms. Those and other renders can be found on his Tumblr. “I wanted to try and continue to make little a series of them. That’s how I got idea of this crazy roads twisted in a ball.” Originally, cars were not even going to be a part of the project, but came about in the process as an extra detail.

Animation itself was not even one of the original goals, but Nejc thought it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity, especially given feedback from people asking to see it animated. “I didn’t plan the animation when I started this, but when I finished the still, I thought it could look pretty cool animated if cars are driving around.”

In the end, Nejc had a nice, polished little piece and learned more about how to use Octane. he leaves us with one last bit of advice. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of any free time and dive into similar fun personal projects.” Learning by doing… and having something pretty cool to show for it.

Nejc’s current setup includes a PC workstation with a 3930K over clocked to 4.2GHz, 32gb of ram, nVidia GTX 670 and 780, SSD, and dual displays (27“ + 24”) running Windows 8 with Cinema 4D and After Effects.

Week in Motion – Dec. 20th

“Week in Motion” is a series of posts where we will cover a few motion design related events that occurred during the past week. These might be bigger posts/announcements you have heard, or some smaller things that slipped through the cracks. This week:

Krakatoa for Cinema 4D was announced.

ArtSmart v2 was released on Cineversity featuring some nice updates.

Ryan Summers posted Crazy Robo – Animation Test featuring some nice C4D animation and particles created in Photoshop.

Shader Effector for After Effects. SHADER EFFECTOR. AFTER EFFECTS.

Video Copilot released a new model pack for Element 3D: Future City Pack. Oh, it’s free.

Beeple just being awesome again. This time for The Glitch Mob’s Can’t Kill Us music video.

Greyscalegorilla has 40% off everything today only using code “40OFFGSG”

The Mac Pro is finally available for order, though you might have to wait until February or March to actually get one.

Slightly older, but Pantone announced on Dec. 5th that the color of 2014 is officially Radiant Orchid. (You can also view past colors of the year.)

What did you see happen this week?

Low Poly Paintings

This came across my radar last week, and it’s too good to not post. Tumblr (and Twitter) user Sock Gardner has a collection of classic paintings recreated in low-poly 3D. The low-poly thing seems to be just about peaking as a trend, but this seems like a great use of it. This also seems like a great way to practice modeling skills as well. For archival purposes, I’ve included several of the renderings in this post in case the Tumblr goes away or migrates to other posts in the future.

MoChat 13 Transcript & Summary

Earlier this week on MoChat, we discussed round-tripping between various apps. The most common transitions seem to be PS/AI>AE, C4D>AE, AE>NLE. Some of the highlights of the chat:

  • Dynamic Link between AE & Premiere Pro can work well if you know the limitations.
  • Info on interchange between After Effects and other Adobe apps.
  • AE CS6 has the functionality of Automatic Duck from their acquisition last year.
  • People tend to prefer importing AI & PSD at layer size, but importing at doc size can have its benefits.
  • ⌘/⌃E for editing documents in their original apps from AE.
  • Make sure to have the most recent plugins from Maxon for moving between AE& C4D.
  • PNG works great as an image sequence out of C4D, but can be slow to render out of AE.
  • OpenEXR, RPF, and RLA are other options to look into when rendering out of C4D.
  • If using the new Camera Morth tag in C4D r14, you will want to use AEC files instead of importing the C4D file directly into AE.

– Read More –

MoChat 11 Transcript & Summary

Last night on MoChat, we discussed Cinema 4D plugins & scripts. Some presets snuck their way in there, too. There were quite a few handy links & plugins being tossed around. Several I had not heard of, but that’s not saying much since I’m still relatively new to the Cinema 4D community. Below is a list of the resources that came up last night. The full transcript follows.




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MoChat 6 Transcript & Summary

Earlier this week, #MoChat covered the upcoming Cinema 4D R14. While it won’t be released until sometime in September, Maxon did release a limited demo the same day as the chat, so some people were able to play with it and give us their impressions. Dave Glanz, one of the beta team members, was also available to answer questions.

Some of the main features people are looking forward to: Sculpting, motion cams, aerodynamics simulation, new work plane modes/snapping, and importing C4D files directly into AE & PS. There are also some smaller features that look to make using C4D a bit easier: new xpresso nodes/UI, rollover popups, and camera morphing.

Cineversity has a playlist up covering several of the new R14 features, and C4D Live has been showing presentations from this year’s Siggraph. Hopefully they will have the archives up soon, too.

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Octane Render review

Octane render preview material

Octane Render preview material

Octane Render is a standalone, unbiased render engine which works with most modern 3D packages. It also uses your CUDA-enabled GPU for rendering.

That sounded like a lot of jargon, so let me make this simple – Octane is fast. Very, very fast. Some people will remember a CGTalk thread where the idea of rendering purely from the GPU was dismissed as fantasy. Well I’m happy to report that my opinion has changed completely – it’s fast, accurate and I never want to go back!

Like Maxwell Render, Luxrender and the new physical render in Cinema4D R13, Octane will render as long as it can until you tell it to stop. If you’ve never used an unbiased renderer this can take some getting used to, but it’s certainly an enjoyable way to work. What’s unique about Octane (at least to people who haven’t used the hardware acceleration in apps like 3DSMax) is that it renders every change you make directly to the viewport. What you see is literally what you get. All material changes, quality settings etc. are rendered progressively in real time, so there’s no need to sit around waiting for your GI to calculate before you can get feedback on a material.

Did I mention that Octane is fast? Let me give you an example. At work, I use a fairly old quad-core workstation with bags of RAM. A 1080p frame with AO, some reasonably complex geometry and soft shadows will take me around 3 and a half minutes to render in Cinema4D’s native renderer. In Octane I can get much higher quality (including, I might add, working AO) in about 1 and a half minutes. Better yet, this is all done on the GPU. All of it.

Another little gem hidden away here was the option to undertake a little instant post-work on the fly- as far as I can tell there is no render overhead for things like exposure changes or tonemapping.

I should mention at this point that my graphics card is very modest – a nVidia GTX470. It’s certainly not a high end workstation card, but it does a good job with both Octane and general viewport navigation. And this little sub-£180 card is better at rendering a complex 3D scene than my quad-core CPU.

So. Octane is fast, it’s interactive, it’s required hardware is relatively cheap. What’s the downside?

Well – for one thing it’s In Beta. Yes, a commercial engine in working beta, so sometimes you are left with decisions that feel like least-worse options. You can find examples of these all over the fairly obscure interface, and even to experiences like making a purchase and receiving a license.

Secondly, there is no official plug-in for Cinema4D (which I’m going to assume you use if you’re reading this post), “just” an exporter script. Its basic, but enough to get an .obj with material separations into Octane, ready to render. It’ll also send an animation over, too. A recent email from the developers assures me that they expect a C4D official plugin to be released as late as a years time – and it will cost extra.

Finally on the Cons side; there’s the realisation that your prior efforts at shading weren’t that great. With the current system, you might as well not bother shading in C4D at all, such is the difference between a material translated to Octane and its counterpart in C4D. I’ve also not managed to find a way to export a full scene including disparate objects from C4D; instead each component must be exported and imported as a discrete node.

Summing up: Incredible power, simply mindblowing for those with mid-range or slightly old machines and the right graphics cards. However there’s a big trade-off here in terms of living with quirks and a greatly changed workflow.

If you have any questions regarding Octane, I’ll try my best to answer them in the comments or via Twitter. Alternatively, you could head over to Refractive Software and give the demo a try for yourself.

Free #C4D Models: Holiday Pack

Tis the season!  Here are 4 free Cinema 4D models for use in you holiday animations this season!  You’ll get the 4 models along with the .OBJ format versions for people using other 3D programs and earlier versions of Cinema 4D.  Included in the files are the HDRI textures I used for some of the nice reflections.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Download Holiday Pack

Export After Effects to C4D

Maxon just announced the availability of a new free plugin to export comps from After Effects (CS5 or CS5.5) directly to a .c4d file. There were some scripts that previously existed to get some 3D data out of After Effects. However, this plugin looks to be much more robust. According to the press release:

The CINEMA 4D export appears directly in the After Effects export menu and generates a .c4d file containing 3D layers, cameras, lights, solids, nulls and footage. Even nested compositions are supported. All major layer attributes including animations (rotation, position, parameter, anchor points, POI, etc.), expressions, layer parenting, layer locking and layer visibility are retained. Render and document settings in CINEMA 4D are adapted accordingly to the After Effects’ project settings.

We haven’t had a chance to thoroughly test this yet. But when we do, we’ll post the workflow, any potential pitfalls, and workarounds necessary. The plugin is free, so go grab it now!

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