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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.
There are times when you're using Cinema 4D where you want to import an animation or an object from another file. There are lots of people giving away free elements for Cinema 4D, my favorite being Beeple. If you do a search for Beeple, Mike Winkelmann, you'll find his website here, where he has lots of resources, and inspiration that you can use in your projects. But the great thing about Mike is that he gives away lots of his resources for other artists to use.
So I've actually taken a robot from his project, and I'm going to include that here and allow you to import it into the Cinema 4D file. Now before we do, I've extended the project. I've made it a lot longer, if we have a look here in our Attributes Manager, you'll see it's 300 frames long now. And I've made it 25 frames a second. Now, at the moment we only have 75 frames showing down here in the timeline. If you want to see all of the frames from the project, you can go to frame, frame project settings and it will show you the entire timeline.
And now we can select those key frames and just copy and paste them, so that we get a looping animation. I've also made the animation loopable. So that's, involves starting and finishing with the same frame. Just a case of copying and pasting the first frame back in. So now, you can see I've got my little robot doing a little robotic dance, okay, throughout the whole animation. So I want to import our little robot friend to keep this robot company. So I'm going to import one of Beeple's robots.
So I'm going to go to File in the Objects Manager. Very important. Remember to be in the correct menu. So File > Merge Objects. And that allows me to select another Cinema 4D project. I'm going to select Beeple_Robot.c4d, which is in the Chapter 04 folder. And here, I have my little Beeple robot. And I can use the settings down in the coordinates manager. Just to make sure that's in exactly the right place. Let's just move him across a little bit. Okay, and he's facing my robot, so that's the way I want it.
So, let's just have that preview and you'll see one robot is doing the (UNKNOWN) So I don't just want one robot (UNKNOWN) . Now we've already looked at the instance operator here, which allows you to create multiple instances. But we also have an array operator which allows me to do really funky things like if I drag my robot on top of that array And pair it into it, you'll notice that it creates multiple instances.
And if I just zoom out a little bit so you can see those and just adjust my view. And then, if we go into the Arrange Settings and into the Object Settings, you can adjust things like the radius, okay? It starts to get a little bit of what I call laggy here because we're inputting multiple animations. You'll see there as I'm adjusting the radius value. It's actually dropping to Wireframe resolution or wire frame display setting, in order for me to see things happen in as near real time as possible.
Now, I want to look at that from my front view. So I'm going to middle mouse click, and middle mouse click again from my front view. And we'll just zoom out a little bit by holding down the number 2 key. And as we drag on the mouse, now I can select my array and go to the coordinates of the array. So if I want to move the robots up, I can just adjust that value. While I'm in there I could select my original robot, which is actually called hips at the moment. I should really create a null for that. But we'll do that later.
And make sure that they're all standing on the ground plane. So let's middle mouse click, middle mouse click again to come out to this And let's just use the 3 key, so that we can see our robots facing the main robots. So I've got Beeples Robots dancing around my main robot using the array operator. Now, if I want to change the direction that they're facing so that they're all facing the main robot, what I can do is open up this robot. And in there, I have a mover null. And that null is used to move these robots.
And that includes moving position, but also the rotation. You'll see that if I adjust the heading value, I can change the direction that they're facing, and turn them so that they're all facing the main robot. So, if we have a look at that now let me just tilt that out a little bit. And we'll zoom in a little bit, and just adjust the view using the 1, 2, and 3 keys. So now you'll see, again, it's not able to play that in real time for me. So it's creating it in Wireframe to be able to show me the animation in real time.
So if you want to see it in real time, best way, of course, is to use the picture viewer. And if we say Render to Picture Viewer and just click on Render to Picture Viewer button, we should get that now rendering to the picture viewer, so we can see the animation. Now, of course, if you remember earlier, we changed our Render settings. So, if we're going to our render, Edit Render settings and Output, you'll see that I only output the current frame. So, let's output all frames.
And so, we'll change that setting. And now, if we go to Render to Picture Viewer, don't worry about the filename for now. We'll just continue without saving. And you'll see it now renders the animation. And once it's rendered, I can play it back in the picture viewer in real time. The other nice thing about rendering to the picture viewer is that we'll save this render on disc, so you can come back and compare it with newer renders a little bit later.
You see it's crunching through those frames quite quickly for me. So there we go. That's rendered and we can now play that back and see the animation playback in real time. So we've got one main dancing robot with other dancing robots around it.
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