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In order to get comfortable working in the Cinema 4D environment, we need to definitely learn about the interface. Now I'm starting in After Effects just so you can see the interoperability between the two applications. If you look in the project panel, the top file is an imported C4D project. Make sure that project is sleeted, and then go up in the Edit menu and choose Edit Original. This'll cause C4D Lite to launch, and then we'll be inside of Cinema 4D. To get started, let's create an object, and then I'll go through the different parts of the interface.
In the upper right portion of the interface, we have the Create tools. Click and hold on this first tool here that looks like a box. That are cube tool, and these are different tools that we can use to create basic shapes for the start of our model. Let's choose the cube, when we hover over and let go, we've now created a cube in our scene. So this view here is like our view in After Effects. Now, in order to enable more than one view inside of Cinema, You need to go to the upper right corner, you'll see this box that looks like a box in a box,and if you click on this, battle enabled for views. You can easily switch to a different view by clicking back up in the upper right corner.
You'll always know what you you're in because the label will be in the upper left corner. Now let's jump back to the previous window by clicking back on that button again and then clicking back on our perspective view. If you look to the right side of the interface, this is the object manager. The cube that we created is a cube object, since that's currently selected in my object manager, my contextural menu down here in the lower right hand corner has updated to show me the properties of that cube object. Now if we go to the lower left portion of the interface, this is our material manager.
This is where we can create the properties that we're going to wrap around these shapes. Let's just apply a quick material to our cube. Go to the Create menu and choose New Material. Notice now that the material's selected our contextual menu has updated over here in the lower right corner. I can resize this menu by clicking and dragging on the top part of the interface. I want to choose a different color. Notice, within the interface, we have submenus. These are organized according to these little boxes. These boxes control the different channels that make up the material. So let's make sure we're on the Color section And I'm going to go to my RGB sliders and just click and drag my red over to the right. That's going to give it a slight red tint.
Now I could click in the color well here, and then just click a different color, and then click OK. Or I could click on the button just below that color and switch to a different color picker. So let's choose HSV. Now I can click and drag on the top slider and choose a slightly different hue. I'll choose this light blue. Now I can drag and drop this directly onto my cube to apply that material. When I let go, the material is now applied to my cube. Now that the material has been applied, my contextual menu has updated again.
As we continue working through different projects, you'll notice that we're bouncing back and forth through this contextual menu quite often. The interface of Cinema 4D makes it relatively easy to move from task to ask and understand exactly where you are in the process of creating your 3D elements. Now let's continue our tour of the interface. This slider here, with the numbers, is our timeline and this shows us exactly what frame we're on in the scene. I can click on this green box and drag down the scene and that'll control what frame I'm looking at in my animation.
I've transport controls here. If I click the play button, it's automatically going to play through the frames. By default, Cinema will go ahead and loop your scene. I'm going to go ahead and stop playback just by clicking on that button again. If we move over to the right, we have these red circle buttons. These are keyframe controls. There are different methods for adding keyframes in Cinema, just like there are different methods for adding keyframes inside of After Effects. Notice the different Material options in my contextual menu over here. Next to the different options we have circles, and these circles are very similar to the stopwatches that you have inside of After Effects. This is where you can add keyframes to the different parameters. Also, like After Effects, if you go to the upper-right corner of the interface, there is a Layout option.
If you click on that layout, it'll change to different workspaces. Workspaces in cinema are known as layouts. Let's choose the Animation Workspace. In here, notice I get a layout that's completely different and in the bottom of the interface I have more controls over the timeline. If we had more elements in our project. We would be able to make adjustments in the timeline. But we'll definitely get to that as we keep moving through the chapter. Let's go back out to our Layout options and change it back to the Standard layout. Rounding out our tour, over here on the left side are our selection tools. Now there are different ways to select 3D objects. Right now, I have a simple 3D object that I've added to my scene. The way 3D objects work, I can change the different parameters of that object relatively quickly and visually inside the composition window. If I click on this orange square on the x-axis, when I click and drag, I'm now changing the size of that cube on its x-axis. Notice that updates down here with this controller. This is the coordinate manager.
I can type other parameters in here. Like, let's say I want to adjust the H setting, the heading. Let's type in thirty and click A pply. Now our rectangular box has rotated 30 degrees. In the modeling process, we can convert our shapes into polygons. And to do that, it's this last button that we're going to look at, here in the upper-left corner. When I click on that, it's going to make this object editable. Now I can use these different selection methods to select different parts of the object.
For example, if we click on edges, when I hover over top of the shape, notice here now I can click on this top edge and that gives me a control that I can go ahead and click on the control handles. and change the shape. And of course as you're working through your scene you're going to have to change the angle of your view. If you go back up to the right corner of your view port. We can go ahead and click on this rotation area. Now when I click and drag I'm rotating around the scene. I can zoom in and out of the scene and I can pan around the scene. These options are very similar to using the unified camera tool inside of After Effects.
I can also use keyboard shortcuts to rotate around the scene as well. If you hold down the Opt key on the Mac or Alt on Windows, as you left click you can rotate around the scene. When you middle click you can pan around the scene and when you right click you can zoom in and out of the scene. Notice, if I right click directly over a specific area, I get cross hairs letting me know what area I'm zooming in and out of. So when it comes to making adjustments and getting familiar with the Cinema 4D interface, I hope you can see that they are very similar aspects to the After Effects work space. I know the interface appears slightly different, but underneath the hood, it's more similar than you think.
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