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Solution: Creating a tree with cloners


From:

Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners

with Ian Robinson

Video: Solution: Creating a tree with cloners

So here's my solution to our problem. I've created a tree with multiple cloner objects based off of a single branch. So, let's see what I did to create this. So let's start with a primitive object. Instead of choosing the polygon object like we did for the leaf, this time I'll choose a cylinder object. Let's decrease the radius of that cylinder so it's pretty narrow. Here I could use a value of about three. And let's increase the number of height segments.
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Watch the Online Video Course Mograph Techniques: Modeling and Animating with C4D Cloners
1h 29m 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
Software:
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Author:
Ian Robinson

Solution: Creating a tree with cloners

So here's my solution to our problem. I've created a tree with multiple cloner objects based off of a single branch. So, let's see what I did to create this. So let's start with a primitive object. Instead of choosing the polygon object like we did for the leaf, this time I'll choose a cylinder object. Let's decrease the radius of that cylinder so it's pretty narrow. Here I could use a value of about three. And let's increase the number of height segments. Let's divide it up to about eight.

And let's press C to convert this into polygons, and just so we can see our points. Let's go into Point Edit mode. So here in Point Edit mode, I want to select my different points, so I can move them around to add some distortion to my shapes. So, let's choose Rectangle selection and make sure that you don't have only selected visible elements checked. You want it deselected. Now, I do want to enable soft selection so this has a little bit of an organic shape. So, let's draw a lasso around a bunch of these different points and kind of move the shape around.

Now if you need to make an adjustment to the soft selection you could just decrease the radius so that way you could get a little bit more knots in your branch. Now to kind of add a little taper to the end of this, I'll select my top points there and press t to grab my Scale tool and then just scale this down. There we go and we could do kind of the same thing here with the next group, T. And then I'll just scale that a little bit. Okay. So now we have kind of a pointy branch. Now, I want to smooth this out so it renders a little more clearly.

I'm going to hold down Option on the Mac or Alt on Windows, and click to add a hyper-nerves object. Now when we render this, it's starting to look a little more like a smooth branch. Now before I drop this in the cloner, I want to make sure that it's set at zero on the origin. So, I'm going to go back to my Live Selection tool, just so I'm not in the scale selection tool here. And let's add a null object in the scene. With our null selected we can re-position that down towards the bottom of our branch. If you want to better see where you are, you could jump in a four up view here and just make sure that it's at the base of the branch.

You can actually try sliding it over there a little bit too. Okay, so once that's all set up. Let's add our hyper nerves object into the null object. So, let's select the null object. And go to the coordinates channel and make sure that it's set to zero, and zero, for X, Y, and Z. So now, I'll just press S on my keyboard to sort of re-frame this, and zoom out. So, we're ready to add this to our cloner object, but I'm going to go ahead and name my null branch.

So, hold down option on the Mac or Alt on Windows, and go up under Mograph and choose Cloner. Now I want this to go in a radial fashion, so let's look at the Object section. And under Mode, change it from Linear to Radial, and change the plane to xz. Now I want this to kind of be fanned out, so let's go to the Transform section here and adjust the pitch. To fan this out a little bit. We'll adjust the pitch to around 70 degrees. 72, that's fine. Now let's go back to our object channel here and just increase the count so we can have a solid set of branches.

All right, so now we have our set of branches, I'm going to rename this cloner branches. Plural, and then in order create the tree going up, we need to add this clorner into another clorner. So I'm going to hold Option on the Mac, Alt on windows and then go back up under Mograph and choose Cloner again to add this to a new cloner. Now we can rename this cloner tree, and let's look at the cloner options. First thing, since this is the highest cloner in the cloner heriarchy.

We can go ahead and select render instances to speed up our work flow. This render instances will flow through to the lower cloner object. So we're fine with that. Now, I do like how it's moving up on the Y axis, but let's increase the count of branches so it's a little bit larger. We'll crank it up to a value of about 11. So we've cranked this up here, right, and now I want to add the scale property. So let's adjust the scale. Let's choose a value of about 80%. And look at what happens.

Well, I'm going to set this down at 50%, just so you can see. It's going to look kind of crazy, but if I zoom in here, and just move down in the scene. Notice I have two clones and then an empty clone and then more clones going up the other way. Well, the mode is set to per step. So each clone is going to get 50% smaller each step. So when I get up to my fourth clone here, that's at negative 50%, negative 100%, etc., etc.

So if you ran into this, change the mode from per step to end point and then notice when we switch to end point it updated the values, so I'll go ahead and update this value to a value of zero. Now if you didn't have this many clones you may not have run into this issue but if you did, now you have a solution for it. Now let's decrease the amount per step here. I'll just bring that down a little bit. And just to kind of fold this up into a slightly more of a tree shape here, I'm going to increase the count a little bit more.

And then in my branches section here, I'll go back to Transform and just increase the pitch up a little bit. So now if I render this, you can see we have our solution to the tree.

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