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Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object

From: CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Video: Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object

Our scene file for shot 1 for the cameramatic is ready to animate and the process for animating the shark is really straightforward. The Spline Wrap object has a wonderful feature called the Offset and the Offset option allows us to animate the shark along the length of the spline. In the Spline Wrap Object properties, there is an Offset field and right now it's showing 88%. That percentage is expressed as 100% over the length of the spline. So, when the field shows 0%, the shark will be at the start of the spline and when the field is at 100%, the shark is at the end of the spline.

Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object

Our scene file for shot 1 for the cameramatic is ready to animate and the process for animating the shark is really straightforward. The Spline Wrap object has a wonderful feature called the Offset and the Offset option allows us to animate the shark along the length of the spline. In the Spline Wrap Object properties, there is an Offset field and right now it's showing 88%. That percentage is expressed as 100% over the length of the spline. So, when the field shows 0%, the shark will be at the start of the spline and when the field is at 100%, the shark is at the end of the spline.

I can tell the direction of the spline using Point mode and selecting my spline and looking at the color. The white color shows the start of the spline; the blue color shows the end of the spline. So that makes it really easy to tell which direction the shark is going to travel when I'd animate that Offset property. Let's get out of Point mode for now and in the Spline Wrap, I'm going to set a keyframe at Time 0. So first, I'll make sure my Time slider's at Time 0 and it is. I'll drag the Percentage slider to 0% and next to the word offset is a black circle and that black circle indicates that this parameter can keyframe.

So if I hold down the Ctrl key and click on that that sets a keyframe for the Offset function at 0% at Time 0. Now I can move my time slider to the end of the shot and move my slider to 100%. Then you'll see that the red dot has changed to yellow circle. That indicates that I have animation on this track but I'm not parked on the keyframe and I just change the value. So, if I Ctrl+click, again that changes the value to 100%. Now my shark animates over the length of the shot, and let's hit Play here for just a moment, so we could see that animation happening.

Now the problem with this animation is that my shark starts off at the beginning moving very slowly and then comes to a very slow stop at the end,and that's something called an ease-out and an ease-in. It eases out of the first keyframe and eases into the second keyframe. So I need to fix that behavior. That's actually a normal behavior for CINEMA 4D. CINEMA 4D always try to create a smooth animation for you and in a lot of cases that's appropriate but this is one where we want to have a very linear movement. So I need to change that behavior using something called the F-Curve Manager. I'm going to switch my layout from the Standard layout to the Animation layout and it's still the same application.

All I've done is rearranged the palettes, so that I can see the timeline and all of the keyframes that I've been setting. Now here in the timeline, I don't see all of my keyframes. I only see the first one and it's cutting off the end here. So I can hit the letter H on the keyboard to frame up all of my keyframes. The next thing I'd like to do is to clean up this left-hand view over here. CINEMA 4D by default shows you everything in the scene over here in the left-hand view of the timeline, but I'll really only care about things that have keyframes on them. So if I go to the View menu and do a Show > Animated, when I let go, it cleans up this left-hand side of the timeline and shows me only the things that have keyframes on them.

And so you can see that my Spline Wrap now has a track on it for Offset. Now this Offset property's animating over the length of the entire shot. I want to see what happens in between the keyframes and that's where the F-Curve Manager comes in. If I hit the spacebar while I'm inside the F-Curve Manager or if I click on this little icon that has an EKG symbol on it, that will take me over to the F-Curve Manager. The Spline Wrap function now if I select the word Offset, that will show me the partial curve here. I want to be able to see the whole curve. So I'll hit the letter H again on the keyboard and that will frame up the entire curve.

Now you can see that ease, there is the ease-out of the first keyframe and there's the ease-in of the end keyframe and that's happening because of these Bezier handles. CINEMA 4D always trys to make a smooth curve. Now, the easy way to get rid of these guys is to simply select one keyframe, so I've done that right over here and I can hit Command+A or Ctrl+A on the PC to select all of the keyframes in my curve. In this case, I only have two keyframes, one at the start and one at the end. If I right-click any place inside the F- Curve Manager, I get a contextual menu and I can go to Spline Types and do Zero Angle/Length and that's going to eliminate these curves.

Now you can see I have a nice linear move for my animation and when I hit the Play icon here, you can see that my shark now animates smoothly over the length of the shot. Now, we've got the shark animating. You notice that we didn't worry about where the camera was or where the shark was moving in relationship to the camera and that's because the next step in the process will be to animate the camera movement and reframe the entire scene. But I wanted to get my shark moving first, so that I could easily use the spline in Point mode to reposition the shark.

Any place I move that shark spline, my shark is going to follow and it's always going to animate along the length of that spline. So if I hit Play, I don't even need to stop playback. I can grab a single point and move it around and have my shark travel along the spline. So this technique makes it really easy to set up the scene file.

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This video is part of

Image for CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo
CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

70 video lessons · 13920 viewers

Rob Garrott
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
    3. Overview of the project template
      2m 37s
  2. 11m 12s
    1. Creative brief
      1m 57s
    2. Sketches and script
      3m 8s
    3. Understanding the graphic animation process
      6m 7s
  3. 25m 5s
    1. Understanding the animatic process
      2m 15s
    2. Importing sketches into After Effects
      6m 20s
    3. Timing out the animation
      10m 4s
    4. Adding onscreen timecode for reference
      6m 26s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Creating text and logo elements in Adobe Illustrator
      6m 44s
    2. Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D
      8m 24s
    3. Creating guide planes for modeling a rough shark
      6m 13s
    4. Creating a rough shark model
      12m 14s
    5. Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object
      6m 27s
  5. 53m 17s
    1. Setting up a project file for the cameramatic
      6m 15s
    2. Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object
      5m 14s
    3. Animating the camera
      6m 8s
    4. Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks
      11m 4s
    5. Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects
      5m 45s
    6. Assembling the cameramatic
      8m 34s
    7. Fine-tuning the cameramatic timing
      10m 17s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. Preparing for the modeling process
      6m 7s
    2. Outlining the shapes using the Knife tool
      9m 50s
    3. Creating the mouth using the Extrude tool
      10m 40s
    4. Adding eyes using the Symmetry object
      9m 57s
    5. Creating fins using the Extrude tool
      7m 11s
    6. Creating the tail and dorsal fins using the Extrude tool
      10m 38s
    7. Creating gums using the Symmetry object
      6m 45s
    8. Creating teeth and finalizing the model
      8m 6s
  7. 15m 5s
    1. Understanding the rigging process
      2m 0s
    2. Opening the shark mouth using the Morph tag
      5m 9s
    3. Using XPresso to link the jaw to the Morph animation
      7m 56s
  8. 33m 25s
    1. Using BodyPaint to prepare the model for texturing
      8m 22s
    2. Applying color to the shark using BodyPaint
      6m 45s
    3. Giving the shark character by painting in the diffusion channel
      5m 29s
    4. Roughing the surface using the bump channel
      4m 34s
    5. Texturing the eyes
      3m 51s
    6. Texturing the teeth and gums
      4m 24s
  9. 21m 24s
    1. Replacing the rough shark model in the intro shot with the finished model
      6m 47s
    2. Replacing the rough shark model in the transition shot
      3m 43s
    3. Replacing the rough shark model in the hero shot
      4m 28s
    4. Replacing the rough shark model in the end page shot
      3m 42s
    5. Updating the cameramatic with the final animation
      2m 44s
  10. 50m 27s
    1. Creating an underwater look using Global Illumination and atmosphere
      9m 47s
    2. Lighting the objects and creating shadows
      6m 54s
    3. Shading the text using materials
      6m 28s
    4. Creating a reflective floor for the underwater scene
      3m 58s
    5. Lighting shot 1: Copying and pasting a lighting setup from another project
      5m 49s
    6. Lighting shot 2: Pasting a lighting setup and making adjustments
      3m 57s
    7. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the shark)
      3m 13s
    8. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the text)
      10m 21s
  11. 22m 7s
    1. Preparing shot 1 for rendering to After Effects
      6m 20s
    2. Preparing shot 2 for rendering by saving and using render presets
      4m 45s
    3. Preparing shot 3 for rendering
      2m 37s
    4. Setting up shot 4 to render in two passes
      4m 4s
    5. Performing a preflight check to ensure clips are ready to render
      2m 9s
    6. Batch-rendering
      2m 12s
  12. 1h 13m
    1. Importing assets and setting up the After Effects project for final compositing
      6m 5s
    2. The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere
      8m 38s
    3. The intro shot: Compositing in stock video footage to add character
      4m 51s
    4. The intro shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      8m 32s
    5. The hero shot: Controlling the look using precomps
      7m 59s
    6. The hero shot: Using stock video footage to add character
      7m 19s
    7. The end page shot: Combining multiple passes to form a final composite shot
      2m 41s
    8. The end page shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      7m 44s
    9. Compositing the transition shots
      3m 47s
    10. Assembling the final composition
      9m 2s
    11. Adding the final audio to the composition and rendering
      7m 10s
  13. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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