Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS


Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

with Angie Taylor

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS

Primitive objects are great, but there are times when you need to create a shape that's not easily achieved using primitives. In these situations, spline objects give you more flexibility. And spline objects can be accessed here, underneath this button. Or that can be accessed here under spline in the create menu. Now, at the top, we have different ways of being able to draw your own splines freehand. And they give you more control in determining the shapes.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      2m 22s
  2. 54m 9s
    1. What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
      4m 23s
    2. What CINEMA 4D Lite can't do
      6m 54s
    3. Opening CINEMA 4D Lite in After Effects
      2m 38s
    4. Quick interface tour
      8m 46s
    5. Navigation tips for CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 5s
    6. CINEMA 4D Lite preferences and settings
      7m 28s
    7. Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1
      15m 55s
  3. 22m 34s
    1. Importing CINEMA 4D files in After Effects
      1m 5s
    2. The CINEWARE plugin settings
      4m 42s
    3. CINEMA 4D Lite render settings
      6m 15s
    4. After Effects project settings
      1m 23s
    5. After Effects previewing tips
      3m 50s
    6. Using the Picture Viewer in CINEMA 4D
      5m 19s
  4. 1h 14m
    1. Editing primitive objects
      5m 18s
    2. The Move and Scale tools
      7m 18s
    3. The Rotate tool
      4m 24s
    4. Axis limitations
      1m 46s
    5. Working cylinders
      7m 15s
    6. Linking body parts using object hierarchy
      9m 49s
    7. Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS
      7m 22s
    8. Adjusting NURBS settings
      4m 6s
    9. Using nulls as controllers
      3m 33s
    10. Creating copies with the Instance array
      6m 44s
    11. Carving shapes with the Boole array
      10m 28s
    12. Reshaping objects with deformers
      3m 14s
    13. Adding surface detail with a Relief object
      2m 55s
  5. 55m 41s
    1. Understanding coordinates
      5m 0s
    2. Understanding rotation
      2m 39s
    3. Timeline shortcuts
      3m 1s
    4. Basic keyframing of properties
      4m 31s
    5. Copying keyframes
      2m 3s
    6. Keyframe interpolation
      5m 20s
    7. Adjusting F-Curves
      5m 45s
    8. Holding values
      5m 8s
    9. Using XPresso to link properties: Part one
      4m 17s
    10. Using XPresso to link properties: Part two
      2m 27s
    11. Importing existing animations into CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 21s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 37s
    13. Animating using presets
      4m 32s
  6. 46m 57s
    1. Importing music and soundtracks
      4m 12s
    2. Customizing commands and shortcuts
      6m 7s
    3. Adding markers
      4m 25s
    4. Creating multiple cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 17s
    5. Cutting between CINEMA 4D cameras with CINEWARE
      5m 43s
    6. Creating cameras in After Effects
      4m 37s
    7. Merging 3D camera data into CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Animating cameras with Stage objects
      4m 27s
    9. Extracting cameras from CINEMA 4D files
      5m 59s
  7. 43m 49s
    1. Adding CINEMA 4D text to After Effects comps
      5m 4s
    2. Formatting text in CINEMA 4D
      5m 47s
    3. Creating CINEMA 4D text or logos in Illustrator
      6m 9s
    4. Importing Illustrator text into CINEMA 4D Lite
      4m 38s
    5. Applying material presets to text
      7m 51s
    6. Merging CINEMA 4D files
      5m 51s
    7. Registering CINEMA 4D Lite for MoGraph features
      1m 8s
    8. Using MoGraph Fracture on text
      3m 25s
    9. The MoGraph Random Effector
      3m 56s
  8. 12m 8s
    1. Creating a wiggle expression
      7m 49s
    2. The Reset Position script
      4m 19s
  9. 30m 56s
    1. Applying a custom material
      6m 32s
    2. Making a metallic material
      6m 15s
    3. Adding an environment channel
      2m 20s
    4. Adding texture with shaders
      4m 21s
    5. Built-in material presets
      3m 52s
    6. Combining materials
      2m 41s
    7. Using selection sets to isolate surfaces
      4m 55s
  10. 27m 42s
    1. 3D camera tracking in After Effects
      6m 3s
    2. Creating nulls from tracking points
      2m 40s
    3. Adjusting the Shadow Catcher for CINEMA 4D
      3m 31s
    4. Importing a CINEMA 4D file into a scene
      4m 21s
    5. Exporting CINEMA 4D files from After Effects comps
      3m 42s
    6. Merging objects from CINEMA 4D files
      3m 23s
    7. Manually adjusting scenes between apps
      4m 2s
  11. 24m 26s
    1. Setting up layers in CINEMA 4D
      5m 48s
    2. Compositing CINEMA 4D layers in After Effects
      6m 52s
    3. Casting shadows on layers in CINEWARE
      5m 18s
    4. Adding reflections in CINEMA 4D
      6m 28s
  12. 36m 10s
    1. Using preset lighting setups
      6m 24s
    2. Light types in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 38s
    3. Creating visible lights
      7m 56s
    4. Adding ambient occlusion effects
      6m 55s
    5. Optimizing your CINEMA 4D scenes
      8m 17s
  13. 38m 54s
    1. Multipass compositing explained
      2m 28s
    2. Adding passes to render settings
      2m 8s
    3. Viewing passes in the Picture Viewer
      2m 35s
    4. Adding object buffers
      4m 51s
    5. External compositing tags in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 8s
    6. Previewing and experimenting with passes
      4m 30s
    7. CINEWARE multipass options
      9m 2s
    8. Adjusting reflections
      5m 23s
    9. Isolating elements with object buffers
      4m 49s
  14. 53m 2s
    1. Extracting 3D scene data
      8m 11s
    2. Adding video elements to a CINEMA 4D scene
      5m 49s
    3. Working with proxies
      10m 2s
    4. Color correction of shadows
      4m 10s
    5. Layer styles
      3m 50s
    6. Adjustment layers
      4m 58s
    7. Setting up depth of field in CINEMA 4D Lite
      3m 10s
    8. Adding depth of field with camera lens blur
      4m 4s
    9. Speed ramps with time remapping
      4m 14s
    10. Motion blur with the Pixel Motion Blur effect
      4m 34s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. Rendering with the After Effects Render Queue
      5m 39s
    2. Background rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 6s
    3. The BG Renderer script
      4m 14s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects
8h 57m Beginner Aug 28, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
  • Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects CC workflow
  • Editing primitive objects
  • Spline modeling with NURBS
  • Animating with keyframes
  • Using Xpresso to link properties
  • Importing music and soundtracks
  • Creating and animating cameras
  • Working with text
  • Scripting
  • Creating and applying materials and textures
  • 3D camera tracking
  • Compositing layers
  • Lighting with visible lights and ambient occlusion
  • Adding visual effects in After Effects
  • Rendering in After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder
3D + Animation Video video2brain
After Effects CINEMA 4D
Angie Taylor

Spline modeling with Sweep NURBS

Primitive objects are great, but there are times when you need to create a shape that's not easily achieved using primitives. In these situations, spline objects give you more flexibility. And spline objects can be accessed here, underneath this button. Or that can be accessed here under spline in the create menu. Now, at the top, we have different ways of being able to draw your own splines freehand. And they give you more control in determining the shapes.

They're basically like vectors. Mathematically-described shapes, like those used in vector drawing applications, like Illustrator. So you can choose to draw your own custom shapes, using controls like you would find in After Effects for drawing masks, B-splines and B├ęzier splines. Or like Illustrator, where you can draw freehand, you can also draw linear points and there are another couple of options for drawing by hand the shapes you want. Underneath these options there are also preset spline shapes for you to use.

And we're going to use the (UNKNOWN) So you can either select it here or you can go over here and select it from this menu here. And you'll see that it creates an arc, and the arc appears here. In my objects manager. Now we're going to use this to create the rough shape of a claw for the hand of our robot. Now this plane is an empty object. Which means it doesn't render until you add depth and surface to it. And in order to do that, you need to use it in conjunction With NaRBs.

Now, NaRB objects are generators, so they allow you to create surfaces and shapes from vectors such as this. And each NaRB object needs other objects to work with, which are the splines. In other words, we use a combination of NaRBs and splines together to create objects. So, what we'll do is we'll use the sweep nobe and we can access the nobes from up here. And you'll see with Cinema 4d Lite, you have six different types of nobes.

And we're going to have a look at some of the others but later but we use sweep nobes. And what sweep nobes allow you to do is define shape. And then sweep it with another shape. So, in this illustration here you can see it has two white lines highlighted on it, and that indicates what you're going to need to make this nerb work. We need one line or spline for the shape of this path if you like. And then we have a circle here which determines the cross section.

So we're going to select the sweep nurb and you can see appears up here in the object manager of the sweep nurb object is above the arc object. Ok, so we got our arc We've got our sweet nerb. We want to create a claw. Now, at the moment, the claw would be facing this way. We want it to kind of be along the plane between the y and the z axes, rather than between the x and y axes. And if you have a look down here in the arc object attributes, you can see that the plane setting is at x and y.

And that's why The spline is going between the X and Y axes. We can change it so it goes between Z and Y. And that means it's in the correct orientation for our claw. Now I'm just going to middle click, and then middle click on my right view, so I can see it from the right. And you can see here's my nice claw shape. Now at the moment it's too big, quite clearly, so I'm going to bring it down to a radius of 50, so it's much smaller. Now I'm going to resist the temptation to move it at the moment, because while I'm modeling it's really best to keep everthing at that origin point.

Because what we're going to do now is we're going to create a cross section. So the first plane is to determine the basic shape of the object. The second spline we create is the contour spline. And that's used to define the cross section that we see highlighted up here by these white lines. So this first one would be like our arc. And if we were creating a pipe, a kind of circular shape we would use a circle. But we don't want that. We want to create a kind of. Blade so I'm going to go back into my splines and instead choose a rectangle as my cross section.

Now at the moment again it's on the wrong plane we need to either have it on the x y plane. Or the z x plane. Okay? It's sometimes a little bit hard to think. But, you basically want it across the top, or across the bottom of this sweep norbe shape. The, the initial shape that we've got here. So we're going to change it. And in this instance, I'm actually going to change it to xy. And now it's flush against this top edge of our claw, which means it will sweep along that way.

Now it's quite important that they're both at the same origin and that they're the right shape and size before you use the nobe. (UNKNOWN). So I'm going to make it 23 by 1 and we'll put a little bit of rounding on it value of .5 should be enough. Ok, so we're all set up. Now we need to create my sweep nobe. How do I do that? Well I do it by dragging the shapes onto the sweep nobe and basically using the sweep nobe as a parent for these objects. They can (UNKNOWN) children of the sweep nurb And I do that by dragging, first of all the rectangle.

And you'll notice that, as I move, I get a different, pointing rectangle. So, if I place it directly onto the (UNKNOWN), So I'm going to do that and then let go. And then do exactly the same for the arc. Drag it onto the Sweet nobe and then let go. Now, at the moment, if we go back to our standard view, and I'm going to click once on here, and then click once again on here, you'll see that we can't, first of all, see the object very clearly, and that's because it's at the origin point.

So we really need to move it out. Now if we're going to move it out, I'm going to go back to my live selection tool, and I'm going to select the sweet nobe. You don't want to move the arc or the rectangle You want to move the actual sweet nobe and we're going to drag it out. And you'll see what its done its created a weird shape and that's because we're actually putting the arc along the rectangle so its trying to take an arc and sweep it along the rectangle so we get this weird shape. So we need to swap these around so the contour or cross section should be at the top.

So I'm just going to click and drag the rectangle above the arc and we want the arrow pointing from right to left and now if we have a look you'll see we've got roughly a claw shape and I'm just going to move that so you can see that a bit more clearly. Lets zoom in a little bit. So you can see we've roughly got a claw shape and we can now use the controls of the suite nobe just to adapt that and adjust it, and perfect it a little bit, which we'll do in the next movie. (BLANK_AUDIO)

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: This course was updated on 01/15/2015. What changed?
A: We updated movies in chapter 5, 10, and 12, and added a new set of exercise files to make the course compatible with the latest versions of After Effects CC (2014.1) and CINEWARE. Watch the "Checking out the new CINEWARE features with After Effects CC 2014.1" movie for an overview of the changes.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.