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Intimidated by 3D modeling packages? Dip a toe in the water with CINEMA 4D (C4D) Lite, a slimmed down version of CINEMA 4D included with After Effects CC. Motion graphics designer Angie Taylor shows you how to build a complete sequence in C4D Lite, progressing from initial object modeling, to animation, lighting, camera rigging, texturing, and final render. Plus, learn to animate text, create random movement with wiggle expressions, track cameras in live-action footage to add new 3D elements, and light your scene. Angie also round-trips the project files to After Effects for visual effects and color correction. With over 100 videos, this course allows you to explore almost every aspect of 3D motion graphics creation, within this accessible introductory tool.
Now we're in Chapter 3_10.C4D and what we're going to do is have a look in this menu here in Cinema 4D. Now you may notice that these object items are all color coded and let's just talk a little bit about that. The first color you'll notice when looking in the Object menu is blue and this represents parametric objects. Objects that have parameters, that can be adjusted in the Basic Settings over here. And these arcs and rectangular splines that I created are also parametric objects.
And they usually have an Object tab where you can adjust the basic properties for them. And you can see if I open up the Splines tab, here are my Parametric Splines. These all have parameters and they get very easy to adjust them. Whereas, these are more like kind of freehand shapes and you reduce the points to adjust them. These have parametric controls to adjust things like the size, the height, the rounding values. Then we have these green objects and these are usually generators.
So we had to look at Sweep Nurbs that allow you to take splines and generate various different surfaces with them. We also have these generators here and these are the ones we're going to have a look at the moment. So the significance of the green color is the older things in the Generator menus, both this one and this one, are dependent on having other things combine with them to create something. So, in here, it's usually Splines, but in here, it's usually Objects.
So, what we're going to do is we're going to just come out of there for a second, and the object that we are going to create an instance of, or a copy of, is the Sweep Nurb here. I'm not going to create copy of the null and I'll tell you why in a minute. And I'll select the Sweep Nurb and to create a copy of it, we go to Instance. And that creates a Sweep Nurbs Instance. Now, if I was to select that and rotate it, so select in the Rotation tool and rotating it.
You'll notice it rotates around the center point here which doesn't really give me what I want. Again, I want to rotate around here. So, what I'm going to do is create another null. Now I'm going to select this null and I'm holding down the Ctrl key and Clicking and Dragging and placing it above itself. And I've created a second null. Now obviously, also, that creates all the other elements. So I've now got two claws as well as two nulls. Now you might think, well, why didn't you just create a duplicate by doing that, just duplicating the null.
Well the thing is, if I have two separate Sweep Nurbs, two separate rectangles and two separate arcs, if I decide to change any of these values, I have to change them both. Whereas, if I create an Instance, it's dependent on the original items. So if I change anything of these settings, my Instance will update. So, that's a benefit of using an Instance over just duplicating these items. So, a bit of a long winded way but I'm just going to delete these elements and drag my Sweep Nurb Instance onto the Claw Null 1 so it becomes a child for that.
And I'm going to rename that so we'll call it Claw 2 Null. So now, if I rotate that, it rotates correctly around that point. Now, there's one other problem, which as you'll notice that is facing the wrong direction. I really want these to be like Pincers, which are able to grab things between them. Now, there's a couple ways you can adjust this, but the quickest wa y is to go into the Coordinates and in Scale, we can just change these to minus values.
So it could change that to minus one, I could change that to minus one, and I could change that to minus one. Now, if I do all of them you'll see it's just going to go back to being in exactly the same direction. So what I need to do is just figure out which ones I need to have at one and which ones I need to have at minus one. And the one that I need to have at minus one is the y Scale value. So by scaling it, a negative value in the y-axis, I can reverse it so we've now got a controller for our top null and a controller for our bottom null.
And we can use these to control the pincer movement. We also have the Hand, of course, so let's just parent those to the hand. So, we'll take both of our claws, parent them to the Hand, or child them to the Hand, make the Hand their parent. And then when I select the Hand, the claws will follow now. You'll see I've actually done it to the wrong Hand. Easy done. So I'm good to go until this Hand here. And now, when I select the Hand, I can rotate the Hand.
When I select the Claws, I can rotate the Claws and get a really nice animation going with my robot. So there you go, using an Instance, means that if I go back to this one here, and make a change to these values, for example, if I change the Arc, let's go into the Object Properties and just adjust the Size. Notice that both are updating at the same time. And that's the benefit of using an Instance over just duplicating an object or a series of objects.
Now once we've done that, we can just create an Instance of these. Now the only thing about that is you may want the different Pincers to be moving at different times. So in this case, I would probably just duplicate these and drag them onto the other Hand and that's what I'm going to do here. Hold down Ctrl, drag them up and place them on the other hand so that they become parented to that one. The only other thing that we need to do is then move that, these into position. So we can select them both. Select the Move tool, move them on this axis first. And then we can switch to our front view and just move them across so that they're in position.
Okay. And if we go back to our Full view, we could select that Hand and just rotate it around if we need to. So that the claws are in a more sensible position. And let's zoom out and just move that so that we can see it, and we'll have a little orbit around it. So, there you go. There are the Pincers on the end of the arms of the robot ready to animate.
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