3D Facial Animation made easy with Cinema 4D, iPhone X & CV-AR


Cineversity has released an exciting new plugin for Cinema 4D which lets iPhone X users capture facial movement, textures and sound. Even better, it's a doddle to apply that data to any 3D character, like the robot seen above! Read on to find out how.

Apple's iPhone X introduced some very interesting technology which allows you to record your facial expressions and speech to drive animojis. The idea is to give users a fast way to create and send animated cartoony faces that have been personalised by them. It's a fun gimmick, but one that has little benefit to a business user, as far as I can figure.

Making Animojis Interesting For Business

To make Animojis interesting for business use, you need to somehow harness that technology and use it to create work that you can sell. One way of doing that is using the technology to drive something other than the animojis included on the iPhone X. That's exactly what some bright sparks over at our US office have come up with: a way to pull that data out of an iPhone X and into our 3D animation software: Cinema 4D.

Why's that cool? Well, you can then use that data to add animated faces to your existing 3D projects. Or if you have Cinema 4D Studio, you can make use of Pose Morph and XPresso to use the data to drive the animation of any 3D object or objects!

Also, as it brings in the sound recorded from the iPhone X microphone too. That means it's now so simple to create animated characters that react like the person speaking and you can even have that occur in real time. That opens up things like live performances of a CG character where a person can be behind the scenes reacting to what the audience says, but his or her expressions are immediately translated onto the 3D character on a main screen.

What do you need to get started?

You will need:

  • 1 x iPhone X
  • 1 x Cinema 4D R19 (Studio version if you want to apply animation to any character with Pose Morph)
  • 1 x CV-AR app from the App store
  • 1 x CV-AR Kit using CV Toolbox from Cineversity (membership required; if you've not got this, grab a MAXON Service Agreement, which includes Cineversity membership at no extra cost.)
  • 1 x stand for iPhone X (recommended to keep animation capture smooth)

Learning How To Use CV-AR 

Donovan Keith has made a brilliant tutorial showing you how to use CV-AR. He shows you what you can do with the tool and even better he shows you how you can apply the captured data to affect any 3D object in Cinema 4D.

View it below and also see the links to the various tools you need. But you'll need to be a Cineversity member to get it.

 View CV-AR Tutorial 

Fancy Trying Cinema 4D Yourself?

Easy to use, powerful, stable and fast. If you'd like to try Cinema 4D and have a go with all the powerful features on offer, then be sure to grab yourself a free trial. The trial gives you access to virtually all of Cinema 4D's features, and you can also activate it, which will allow you to save scenes for 42 days. Simply fill out the form on the link below to get started!

Get my free Cinema 4D trial!


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About the MAXON Blog

Welcome to the official MAXON UK Blog. This blog provides the most up-to-date official information about MAXON, its products – in particular its flagship product Cinema 4D – and the Cinema 4D community. You can expect to see posts from a wide variety of MAXON UK employees.