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Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
Illustration by John Hersey
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Building flowers with cloners


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Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners

with Ian Robinson

Video: Building flowers with cloners

Much like a seed grows in to a plant, we're going to Now, if we render this, you can see, I've

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Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
1h 28m Intermediate Nov 13, 2013

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In this installment of Mograph Techniques, Ian Robinson shows you how to model and animate a stylized 3D flower that grows and blooms over time, using the combined power of CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects. You'll start by creating a single flower petal with traditional polygonal modeling techniques. Then you'll load the petal into a cloner object, and nest that cloner inside another, resulting in a complete flower with multiple levels of control for animation. The second phase is animating the cloners and refining the animation with the Step Effector. In the third and final phase, you'll bring the project into After Effects to add animated color effects, transitions, text, and shadows.

Topics include:
  • Modeling flower petals in C4D
  • Creating shaded materials in C4D
  • Building flowers with multiple cloner objects
  • Building a dynamic transition with camera animation
  • Multipass Rendering out of CINEMA 4D
  • Adding and animating color effects in After Effects
  • Refining transitions
  • Rendering the final composite
Subjects:
3D + Animation Video Motion Graphics Projects
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
Ian Robinson

Building flowers with cloners

Much like a seed grows in to a plant, we're going to take this one petal and have it bloom in to a flower. And the key to achieving that effect will be using the Cloner object, while remaining acutely aware of what that'll do to our render times. If you use the Cloner object properly, you should be able to create a seemingly countless number of clones without effecting your render times very much at all. Let's get started by adding our petal to a Clonar object. So I'll select my placed petal null object here and hold down Alt on Windows or Option on the Mac and go up under MoGraph and choose Clonar.

We need to make some adjustments to these default settings, so I'll make sure my clonar's selected in object panel and go to the attributes tab. Let's go to the Object settings and change the mode from Linear to Radial. This is going to give us more of a blooming effect. Let's go ahead and change the number of petals by adjusting the count from five to ten. And let's decrease the radius down to a setting of 21. This is looking pretty good, but I want to adjust the plane from XY to X Z.

Now it's starting to look a little bit more like a flower, but there are a couple more settings we need to adjust, and that has to do with the rotation. So let's go to our Transform settings here, and under Rotation I've already gone through and kind of fiddled around a little bit, so I'm going to choose these numbers based on what I've already done. So let's change our heading to minus 9. We'll change the next setting to 263 and then press tab to move down to the last field, and we can change this to 76. Now this is starting to look like a flower sort of bloomed out.

If I orbit around in the scene, you can see it's definitely starting to take a little bit more fun of a shape. Now I want to create multiple petals, sort of like rows of shark's teeth if you will. So in order to do that I'll clone my cloner, so let's make sure we have our cloner selected at the top of our Objects Panel and hold down the Option key or Alt on Windows. And go up under Mo Graph and choose Cloner. Now, since we have two cloners, let's go ahead and name our different cloners.

I'm going to rename my first cloner, petals, and let's rename our next cloner, flower. Now, for the flower settings, let's go ahead and make some adjustments. I'm going to orbit around on the scene here, just so we can see things a little more clearly. Let's go to our object settings. First thing, I'm going to enable render instances.and since I have a cloner within my cloner, I only need to enable this option for the top most version of my cloners. So I'll go ahead and enable Render instances. Let's increase the count from three to four and make sure the mode is set to Per Step.

Now we can change the position on the Y axis from 50 to eight. It's going to make it a little more close. And then, let's adjust the rotation here. Let's go to the heading setting for our rotation, and change that to 18. Now the pedals are kind of spinning around each other. If I move over top, it's sort of hard to see. So, I want to decrease the scale. Let's change the scale to a setting of 80% for all three settings. Now, if we render this, you can see, I've got this really pretty sort of repeating flower effect.

You can orbit around the scene to give yourself a better view. But this is all created just by using two different cloners. Now when you're using cloners within cloners, it's important to remember when you select render instances, that'll definitely speed up your renders. But you only need to enable it for the top most corner.

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