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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 a few tools and hot keys which will help you navigate in Cinema 4D more easily and we're going to have a look at those now. So we're in Chapter_01_End.aep. And from within there you can select the Chapter_01_End.Cinema4D file and hit Cmd+D or Ctrll+E to open that file up in CINEMA 4D. Now here you can see the tools for moving, scaling, and rotating objects. Move is currently selected, so if I click on one of these axes, in this case the green y-axis, I can move that object up and down.
And it's telling me by how much I'm moving it in the little tool tip that jumps up on top of box there. Also, down here in the Coordinates Manager, it's showing me any differences in the coordinates. Similarly, with Scale, I can adjust the scale by using these axes. Now you'll notice that as I switch from one button to the other. It changes the axes. The appearance of the axes changes. So when it's the Move tool, I get this little arrowhead.
When it's a Scale tool, it changes to a square. And you'll now see that I'm actually adjusting the size of the cube. Now, if I select Rotation, then I get this nice little gimble which allows me to rotate. The wheel on the x, y, or zed axis. Just by clicking and dragging on these three colored coded wheels. Now you'll notice it gives me a nice, little display of the angle that I've rotated it by.
So it's very easy for me to see exactly how much I've rotated it by with that little display there. So nice tools. And If I want to reset them, easiest way actually is to undo in this situation. But if you've done several adjustments, you could undo them by changing the values down here. Now you can jump between those tools if you want to. But a little shortcut is to use some modifiers on the keyboard. So if I hold down the 4 key Number 4 on the numbers at the top.
That will allow me to move that object around freely and you'll see that I can move it around freely, change the x, y and said axis. No matter which axis I drag on, it allows me to drag it freely. I'm going to undo that once I've moved it, till I get back to zero. And then if I hold down 5, you'll notice it changes to a scale. Now it doesn't change the symbols on the axis, so just be aware that you're just going to be scaling uniformly.
It's not giving you any indication of what it's doing on the actual axes itself, but you can see down here that you're scaling uniformly. So I'm going to undo that, so that's the number 5 button. Number 6, if I hold down number 6 and click and drag allows me to rotate freely. So if I want to do some free hand kind of experimental rotation I can use those keys to do so. Now, I'd be careful with those while you're starting out. They are handy little short cuts, but you want to be absolutely sure that you're only animating or rotating or scaling or moving on one axis at a time.
You are better just to use these three-way axes. You'll notice that you also get these little indicators of planes. So if I want to move it parallel, to this plane, I can click on this blue plane button, and that will allow me to move it on the x and y axis, but not on the z axis. Similarly here, this one will allow me to move it on y and z, not affecting x. So those are really useful, because they allow me to move planarly. I don't know if that's a real word. I think I just made that up. So, on different planes, so to speak.
So that's a little bit about how you can move your objects around and scale them and rotate them. Now, the other thing that you can change is the view that you're in. Now, you have these buttons up here, and these buttons allow you to adjust your view. Notice that if I click on this one, it allows me to move my view round and round, so I'm moving things up and down or left and right with that view. And as I do, it changes the angle of my view. Okay, so I'm moving the view itself rather than the object. And what I find really useful here is that ground plane.
We don't have a ground plane in After Effects as such. So I always find it quite difficult to position things and know where exactly where I'm positioning them. But what I love in Cinema 4D Is being able to see that ground plane. It gives you a real sense of grounding if you like and allows you to see where your object exists in 3D space. We then have this button, which allows you to zoom in and zoom out, so I may want to zoom in and then just move it over a little bit so I can see it. And you'll see how these buttons start to work.
And then there's this button which allows me to rotate the views so I can see things from different angles. Very, very useful indeed. Now if I get stuck and I want to go back to my default view, it is very difficult to control it exactly by using these buttons. So what I can do instead, you'll notice that if I'll do an undo Okay, a regular undo is undoing the action, it's not undoing my view. But I can undo a view by using a keyboard shortcut. And that is Cmd+Shift+Z or Ctrl+Shift+Z if you're on Windows.
And that allows you to undo any changes to the view without undoing any actions that you've made. So that's really useful. For example, if I move this over here, and then decide I want to change the view, maybe get in a little closer to that box, move it over here a little bit. Okay, I can do, and if I want to undo those view options. If I undo the, with, using a Cmd+Z, that would undo the position of the box. So I don't really want to do that, so instead I'm going to redo that.
And hold down Cmd+Shift+Z and undo til I'm back to my default view, or the view that I want to look at my object from. These buttons are very useful, but there are shortcuts for those as well. Let me just quickly reset my box back to zero again. And this time what I'm going to do is use the buttons 1, 2 and 3 on the top row of numbers at the top of my keyboard. To quickly toggle to these buttons. So if I hold down the 1 key that allows me to, just with the mouse selected, move my view left to right or up and down.
Okay if I select the 2 key, that's going to toggle this tool which allows me to dolly the camera in and out. So I'm moving closer to the object or further away from the object. And then if I hold down the number 3 button, I can quickly toggle to this button here and which allows me to change the angle of the view. So adjusting the perspective and the angle of the view. Okay, so 1,2, and 3 allow you to access these buttons which allow you to move around the individual views. And then 4, 5, and 6 allow you to adjust the position of the object that you have selected.
So they're very handy keyboard shortcuts for navigating within a particular view. And of course we can switch between views by middle mouse clicking on the view to go back to our four way view. And then toggle back to whatever view we want to work in. So that's a little bit about navigating in Cinema 4D Lite. Of course, we'll use all of this as we proceed through the forthcoming tutorials.
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