Tag: cinema 4d

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!

Spline Profile Kit for Cinema 4D

Josef Bsharah just released Spline Profile 1.0, a C4D library of 40 splines you can use with sweep and loft nurbs to add detail to architectural modeling. I actually could use this on a current project where I was asked to add a chair rail & moulding to a room. Best of all: it’s free.

Spline Profile includes a wide variety of nice splines.

By simply adding the library file to Cinema 4D/library/browser, you’ll have a variety of splines at your disposal. While geared mainly towards architecture, the splines could easily be used to create abstract shapes and models for more creative uses.

Josef gives full credit to Script Spot, but at the time of this writing we are unsure of the relationship.

Go grab it!

[via @vectormeldrew & @RisingPixels (for the retweet)]

ReeperX – Free Rope Plugin for C4D

Rope generated with ReeperX 1.1

ReeperX is a free rope generator for Cinema 4D. In its simplest form, ReeperX is akin to a specialized sweep nurb that has control over the number of sweeps and twists along a spline. You simply place a spline as a child of the object, and it will create a rope along the path. It works fairly well and can create some interesting abstract geometry as well. For free, it’s worth taking a look at.

[Thanks to worldpattern for the tip.]

Cinematography for the Motion Artist: “Dutch Angle”

Welcome to the first of hopefully many posts about the use of cinematography tips and techniques to help make your motion graphics animations more dynamic and interesting.  In this first post, we will be covering a technique that is used a lot in both cinematography and photography to add uneasiness or tension into a shot.  The “Dutch Angle” is achieved by tilting the camera off to the side so that the shot is composed with the horizon at an angle to the bottom of the frame.  Adding just a slight value to the “banking” value in your Cinema 4D camera can make big differences in the mood of your animations, adding energy & making something more dynamic looking.

For example, let’s take a look at the use of the “Dutch Angle” in BEELD.motion’s Telecine Rebrand reel:

In numerous shots you can see the use of Dutch Angle where the horizon line is not straight, but diagonal.  In these instances they don’t exactly emit a certain mood but it does add energy to the shot and it looks more interesting than if it was shot with the horizon straight.

In the second shot here, the Dutch Angle adds some more playfulness to the festive activities in the scene:

If anyone has ever had the unfortunate displeasure to see “Battlefield: Earth”, they used Dutch Angle in almost the entire film, and was ripped for it by the critics.  The name of the game here is to use it, but don’t abuse it.  Any effect can be overused and in turn, not be as impactful as a result.  The next time you build something in 3D, I urge you to try out this technique and try to step back from the Xpresso, textures, dynamics, and mograph and instead take a look at how you choose your camera angles and compose your shots.

Feedback is welcome and I hope these cinematography posts can be useful for motion graphic artists!

What the F-Curve!?

What the F-Curve!?

What the F-Curve!?

Hopefully some of you out there know where I’m coming from.  You’ve been using Cinema 4D or whatever piece of software for years, and of course we all know it’s impossible to know EVERYTHING about the software.  But in our valiant effort to learn everything…we miss extremely useful nuggets along the way.  One such nugget…the F-Curve editor in Cinema 4D.

Much like in After Effects, I pretty much avoided the F-curve editor because it was difficult to understand, but soon, I learned how all those wiggly lines could work for me and take my animations to the next level while saving time and being more efficient.  One of the most useful ways to use the F-Curve editor in C4D is to be able to edit multiple animation curves at the same time.  See, I used to only work in Key Mode, it made the most sense for me and no one ever really shed light on F-Curves until I was thought to myself “There had to be an easier way than selecting curves 1 by 1 and manipulating them.”  Well, there was.

 

Key Mode

Key Mode

Go to your Timeline window and you’ll see the default “Key Mode”.  Hit spacebar.

F-Curve Mode

F-Curve Mode

Say hello to the “F-Curve Mode”. (Hit space bar again to toggle back)  In this window you can select whatever attribute on an object you want (Position, Rotation, etc.) and by holding down shift and selecting other attributes in other objects, the F-Curves of those objects will appear.  By clicking and dragging a bounding box over, say, the last keyframes of an objects animated attributes, you can do things such as easy ease the heck out of it by pulling the bezier handles to your hearts content.  You can now take your animations to the next level with very precise keyframing.  Sometimes the key to great motion graphics is the painstakingly intricate keyframing.  Subtleties sometimes separates the good animations from the great ones.  Happy F-curving!

Cinema 4D Timeline/Camera Animation Tips

I recently picked up on an excellent thread over at CGtalk regarding pro tips for the Cinema 4D timeline window. It’s jam-packed full of very handy snippets to make working with complex scenes a little easier.

I had two “why didn’t I think of that!” moments whilst reading:

1. Add a tracer object to a camera in order to permanently display the motion path

2. Modify the fcurves in pairs – x/h, y/p and z/b – assuming you’re not undertaking any massive twisting moves.

 

Both these tips are handy for avoiding annoying bumps in your camera animation and syncing your move with  other objects in the scene.

Now – go check out the rest!

— Thanks to Chris Cousins and Derya Ozturk who contributed the featured tips.

Cinema 4D Eggtion Shader Pack vol.01

Eggtion Shader Pack

Finding good quality shader materials is hard to find, and even harder to find them for free!  This freebie shader pack comes from Eggtion.net who also has plenty of other assets on his site such as an “Egg Object Generator” and plug-ins such as “Roll-It” which creates an expression to make objects roll.  Check out his site, he also takes tips through Paypal, so show him some love!

Eggtion Shader Pack Vol. 01

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