Below you'll find over 20 presentations showcasing cutting-edge techniques, tips and tricks for the 3D animation software Cinema 4D. All recorded live at NAB 2018.
These videos, made available by Cineversity, are a fantastic learning resource for Cinema 4D. Our thanks go to the amazing artists who took part, generously sharing their C4D know-how.
There are many reasons for using Cinema 4D, not least that it's the rock-solid, artist-friendly 3D animation tool that can do almost anything you can throw at it. But techniques are so vital if you want to be at the bleeding edge! The generosity of the C4D community in sharing knowledge used for major projects is right up there with the reasons to use C4D.
Learning Through Experimentation and Exploration with Cinema 4D
Zachary Corzine presents several advanced Cinema 4D MoGraph techniques learned through exploration - techniques which he's used in creating many of the outstanding animations he's posted on his @zachdarren Instagram page.
Zachary demonstrates how the Follow Position and Rotation options in Cinema 4D's Rigid-Body Dynamics can be used to create dynamic simulations that are art-directable with shaders and effectors. You'll see how the Blend mode within the Cloner object makes it easy to transition objects between various states - from cube to sphere, from static to dynamic, and from metallic to glass.
This master class in C4D's MoGraph toolset will inspire you to create your own outstanding animations through exploration.
Cinema 4D in a Broadcast Environment: Sci-Fi and Thriller Promo Production
In this NAB 2018 Rewind, Dan Pierse demonstrates several techniques he uses while creating promos as Motion Graphics Design Director for Fox Broadcasting. Especially for NAB 2018, Dan created four stylized promos for the fictional channel Flux. In this presentation you'll see several techniques he used in creation of the Sci-Fi and Thriller promos.
In the Sci-Fi promo, Dan quickly models interesting wall and floor designs using Cinema 4D's Knife tools. With improvements added in Cinema 4D R18, it's easy to cut various loops and also cut spline shapes into geometry. Dan quickly models an articulated arm and shows how to animate it via Inverse Kinematics (IK). He also creates hanging wires using Cinema 4D's Spline Dynamics.
For the Thriller promo, Dan creates a procedural landscape by layering noises and gradients within a Displace Deformer. Dan uses MoGraph's Cloner object to populate the landscape with trees, and applies MoGraph Selections and the Hide Selected command to art-direct the location of the trees. He also uses the Spline Deformer to add a roadway, and animates a car along the road via the Align to Spline tag.
Finally, Dan discusses how Cinema 4D's Take System and After Effects integration are invaluable when creating multiple versions of similar promos.
50 Minutes of Tips and Tricks for Cinema 4D
Chris Schmidt from Greyscalegorilla once again dazzles the Cinema 4D community with 18 amazing tips, tricks and techniques. These include: an overview of what HPB is; how to select through objects; how to clean up unnecessary geometry in a model; and how to create a second Cinema 4D executable.
Speeding Up Your Production Workflows with C4D
Motion Designer EJ Hassenfratz shares the story of how he transitioned from working as 2D graphics artist at a local news station to a 3D character artist working with some of the biggest brands around. At the same time, he shares a lot of great tips and tricks useful to new and advanced users alike.
He starts off with an introduction to the Sketch and Toon module, which allows you to create images that look like 2D illustrations. He then goes into many uses for the Jiggle Deformer for automatic squishy animation. He follows this up with a great-looking but simple technique for breaking apart a logo using the Voronoi Fracture object and Dynamics. He closes out the presentation by showing how simple deformers can be used to create great-looking and reusable character animations.
Painless Character Rigging using Deformers and Splines
In this C4D Live presentation from NAB 2018, motion designer and character animator EJ Hassenfratz shares how he took control of his career by getting back to the basics and creating personal projects that were exciting to him. This allowed him to transition from creating flying logos to incredibly charming and cute character animations. In this video, he shows that you don't have to be a technical director to create a character rig that deforms well and animates easily.
Hassenfratz starts by rigging a Penguin using only simple Bend, Twist, and Squash and Stretch deformers. Then he creates a simple rig for a sock with just a few joints and an Inverse Kinematics (IK) tag. He then shows how he created a delightfully squishy bear using the Spline Wrap deformer. He closes out his presentation with some great tips from how to reuse a rig across characters or automate your lip sync with the Sound Effector. This is a must watch for anyone looking to take their first steps into character animation with Cinema 4D.
Freelance Commercial Production Workflow in Cinema 4D
Zachary Corzine shares how the efficient workflow and specific tools in Cinema 4D play a vital role in his production workflow as a solo freelancer. You'll see how Zachary approached the design process in four specific projects and the specific Cinema 4D techniques he used to achieve the design goals.
In a campaign for Odwalla, Zachary made extensive use of Cinema 4D's MoGraph toolset and Cloner object, as well as Greyscalegorilla's Signal plugin to fill the scene with kaleidoscopic fruit.
For Audi, Zachary was asked to develop several rapid design prototypes, and leaned heavily on Camera Projection techniques in the Octane render engine.
When asked by Blank Repository to create animation showcasing their 3D food scans, Zachary once again turned to C4D's MoGraph toolset to create dynamic simulations of food flying off a table.
In a promotion for Del Taco, Zachary needed to create a lush landscape, and used layered displacements and noise-based falloff to create an art-directable landscape. He also used Octane's Scatter feature to fill the landscape with foliage.
In closing, Zachary outlines some of his favourite Cinema 4D features for efficiency, including the layer system, Takes, Tokens (including the CV-Tokens plugin), the Selection Object, and Vertical Tags.
Make it Mographable: Creative Concepts for Production
Robyn Haddow demonstrates how she creates Fantasy User Interface (FUI) elements using Cinema 4D's MoGraph toolset. You'll see how the Inheritance Effector and the X-Particles plugin combine to create a brain morph visualization. Next, using a project from Spider-Man: Homecoming, Robyn shows some techniques for creating a variety of nulls on the surface of an object, which she exports to Adobe After Effects and uses as 3D locators for 2D text elements or effects.
Robyn builds out a "MoGraph Tech Sphere," and shows the power of MoGraph Selection tags to art-direct changes to clone colour and scale made by effectors. You'll also see how the PolyFX deformer can add greeble effects on an object. Finally, Robyn shows how to create an orbiting telemetry visualization using the Cloner object's Rate option.
Cinema 4D in Editorial Animation
In this C4D Live presentation from NAB 2018, motion designer Caitlin Cadieux shows how she produces 2D-style animations for The Atlantic in Cinema 4D. Cadieux presents some simple techniques that allow her to create and animate 3D elements for long animations with short deadlines.
Over the course of her presentation, Cadieux breaks down shots she created to illustrate an interview with author and humorist David Sedaris. She begins by modelling and texturing a pencil. After this, she creates (and rigs!) floating eyes that serve as an abstract stand-in for Sedaris.
She follows this with her efficient and effective strategy for animating books whose pages are flipping. After Effects artists interested in making the jump to 3D would do well to watch this inspiring presentation!
A Lazy Artist's Guide to Using Cinema 4D Commercially
Nate Rodriguez-Vera shares his journey from music to design, and from 2D to 3D, in this NAB 2018 Rewind. You'll see how easy it is to get started in 3D design and learn some of the tricks Nate has picked up as used in projects for Camper Shoes and Trident Gum. You'll see how to arrange simple shapes and use Booleans to create a geometric design used as the hero image for Camper's lookbook.
For the Trident spot, Nate used C4D's Cloner object and Dynamics, and added a fluid simulation via the X-Particles plugin. Finally, Nate reveals the power of exploiting perspective, and you'll see how simple models arranged in just the right way helped him create imagery highlighting various shoes in the Camper campaign.
Pitch to Final Product using Cinema 4D
Phil Roberts outlines three projects he created while working for London-based marketing firm Taylor James. In the Heart Island project, Phil made use of C4D's Polygon Reduction generator to simplify a complex sculpt and added foliage via the Scatter feature of Octane. Phil needed to create a scanline laser effect in a project for Superdry Shoe, and demonstrates two different techniques for achieving the effect within Octane. Finally, Phil shows a project for Bombay Sapphire and explains the role Index of Refraction plays in photorealistic rendering.
Baltimore Ravens: Cinema 4D Pipeline Tips & Production Techniques
In this C4D Live presentation from NAB 2018, motion designer Chris Villa from CAKE Studio breaks down how he and the rest of CAKE's team created a stunning sports graphics package for the Baltimore Ravens. However, these aren't your typical sci-fi sports graphics - they exist in the dark and fog-filled world Edgar Allan Poe imagination.
As we've come to expect from CAKE, this is a presentation jam-packed with tips and techniques that will dramatically improve your ability to turn around graphics in a team production environment. Villa begins his presentation with an overview of the Ravens Graphics Package. He then discusses how to set up projects to render in multiple layers so that you have maximum flexibility in the composite.
He then gives an in-depth introduction to Takes, followed by a demonstration of just how much time they can save you when combined with Render Tokens. After this, he shows off some of the great particle and fluid effects possible with the third-party plugins X-Particles and TurbulenceFD. He closes his presentation with some rapid-fire quick tips that will save you time and stress.
The Pioneer DJ Tradeshow Booth: A New Spin with C4D
In this live presentation from the NAB 2018 Tradeshow floor, Sabour Amirazodi shares how he created an incredible amount of content for a DJ equipment booth at another tradeshow. He breaks down three key scenes from a much larger piece: a creepy warehouse, a pirate ship on the high seas, and the futuristic interior of a time machine.
In addition to inspiring visuals, Amirazodi peppers his presentation with strategies for how to work faster so that you can get home sooner. He makes extensive use of preset content and then combines it in novel ways so that it's unrecognizable.
Make Beautiful Renders in Seconds with Cinema 4D
Nick Campbell of Greyscalegorilla shows a technique that will take something that used to take three hours, and turn it into something that takes three minutes. He'll also be sharing a link that will give you access to a free tool that can take that three minutes and turn it into 30 seconds.
Campbell begins his presentation by sharing the story of how he went from a digital photography enthusiast to industry-respected 3D artist. Afterwards, he dives into Cinema 4D's OpenGL Viewport, significantly improved in Cinema 4D R19. He shares how his colleague Chad Ashley accidentally introduced him to the new viewport. He then goes into a bunch of gorgeous scenes, each highlighting one setting and how to adjust it. He finishes out his presentation by reviewing the whole process of rendering out a great-looking preview render by building up a scene from scratch.
Nick Campbell and Chris Schmidt of Greyscalegorilla answer audience questions about Cinema 4D, just as they do each week in their AskGSG livestream. In this edition, Chris shows how to create a working helicopter animated only via C4D's Rigid-Body Dynamics. Chris attaches rotor blades to a cube using a dynamic connector object, and then drives their rotation with a Motor object. Adjusting the aerodynamic lift within the Dynamics tag completes the simulation and allows the helicopter to fly.
Next, Chris and Nick work on replicating some imagery of chameleon skin, and the project morphs somewhat into a commercial for a fancy TV. The basic technique uses C4D's dynamics to distribute spheres in an organic way. Nick adds reflective materials and an HDRI (surprise, surprise) and renders the scene using Cinema 4D's Enhanced OpenGL Hardware Render.
My First Year in Cinema 4D: A Creative Journey
Phil Roberts discusses his journey from creative retoucher to 3D artist, providing valuable insight into how to make the transition to 3D and highlighting three projects. You'll learn about valuable assets in the C4D community, like greyscalegorilla.com and Brograph's Rando Render.
For the "time" project, Phil created dynamic camera animation by adding a Vibrate tag to a simple camera animation. In a further exploration, he shows how to create a triangular grid dissolve using the PolyFX deformer. To create his "raidCity," Phil made use of Octane's Scatter feature, and demonstrates how to easily animate between two camera positions with the Morph Camera tag. Finally, Phil shows how he used the Boolean object with purchased rock assets to create a destroyed Earth.
Simple Tools for Complex 3D Artwork and Animations in Cinema 4D
Barton Damer is a motion designer and digital artist who founded the design and motion graphics studio AlreadyBeenChewed.tv - a boutique studio that has created a variety of design, motion graphics and 3D animated content for some of the most iconic brands in the world including Nike, Vans, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Marvel Comics.
Barton breaks down the main element of a recently created fully animated CG commercial spot for Xtep Footwear. Barton models a sidewalk using a single primitive and the MoGraph cloner. He then uses a deformer and effectors to create an animated wave effect that occurs when the shoes hit the ground and rise up.
Next, he uses RedShift to add materials and HDR lighting to finish out this amazing project.
Cinema 4D: The Best Tool A Motion Designer Could Ask For
Artist and tutorial author Andy Needham shares how he created a series of fun GIFs featuring a beverage and sports stars. Needham covers the whole process, from importing footage, to tracking real-world movement, to adding 3D objects and particle effects. He rounds out his presentation with an introduction to Python. Whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned pro - there's something for everyone in this talk!
Cinema 4D in a Broadcast Environment: Action and Comedy Promo Product
Dan Pierse demonstrates several techniques he uses while creating promos as Motion Graphics Design Director for Fox Broadcasting. Especially for NAB 2018, Dan created four stylized promos for the fictional channel Flux. In this presentation, you'll see several techniques he used in creation of the Action and Comedy promos.
In the Action promo, Dan used Cinema 4D's Voronoi Fracture to procedurally break apart buildings and roadways as they're hit by meteors. Learn several techniques for creating fractures and controlling their dynamic animation.
For the Comedy promo, Dan created a scene controlled entirely via C4D's dynamics. You'll learn how to design a working conveyor belt using Cinema 4D's Motor and Hinge objects, as well as the MoGraph Cloner. Dan also shows how to use the sculpting toolset to quickly add icing to donuts, and then applies soft-body dynamics to the donuts with the help of the Mesh Deformer.
Tales from the Tour Bus: Modelling, Animating, and Cineware
Two-time, Emmy-nominated art director and digital artist Penelope Nederlander walks you through her modelling, animation and compositing process for the main titles of Mike Judge's new Showtime show, "Tales from the Tour Bus."
Penelope provides an overview starting with the boards that were provided by the client for opening title project, "Tales from the Tour Bus" and her approach to the project based on those boards. Penelope breaks down and walks through the three major steps in creating the title sequence. Starting with a simple primitive, Penelope walks you through how she quickly and easily modelled the main element of the opening titles, the tour bus. Next, she models and animates the lanyard and badge for the show titles. And finally, Penelope illustrates how to add your Cinema 4D files as footage and tweak the timing of the final output from After Effects.
Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football: C4D FTW!
Julia Siemón has over 15 years of experience working in Motion Graphics as a designer, animator and director. She teaches 3D design and animation to senior design students at the School of Visual Arts. Julia has worked on award-winning rebrands for Spike, TV Land, and The Weather Channel as well as commercial work for Kind Bar, Mucinex, Yoplait and many more.
During this presentation Julia breaks down a few sections from three spots for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football. Julia covers a little of everything, from hand tracking of green screen footage, to character rigging and weight painting, to creating an animated backplate for a futuristic city.
Designing for Comedy TV: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cinema 4D
In this live presentation from NAB 2018, Sarah Wickliffe gives us a peek in the fast and funny world of motion graphics for news satire shows. Wickliffe has designed for The Onion News Network, The Chew, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and The Rundown with Robin Thede.
She shares her journey from 2D character animator, to 2D motion designer, to eventually adding Cinema 4D to her workflow for 3D graphics. Similarly, she shows how to create a fast-moving graphic using only one render of 3D text. Next she shows how to create a 3D piece in the style of CNN's breaking news graphic. She concludes her presentation with breakdown of her design process for the show opener for The Rundown with Robin Thede.
The World of Sports Production: High Volume, High Quality, Zero Time
In this live presentation from NAB 2018 motion designer for MLB, DJ Stange, gives a whirlwind tour of his process for creating a game opening animation for the Orioles that is both a homage to Game of Thrones and the city of Baltimore.
Stange came to motion design by way of being a rock musician, and wants you to know that you can do it too. In his presentation, he breaks down simple C4D techniques that when layered can create gorgeously complex finished pieces. Throughout his presentation he shares tips for idea generation, and the creative process he uses to handle the ambitious deadlines of Major League Baseball.
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!