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Join Rob Garrott in CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo as he demonstrates how to create a 15-second promotional video that looks and feels like a professional advertisement. Learn how to use a combination of CINEMA 4D, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator to go from concept to script to screen, creating sketches, adding animation, and rendering the final promo. This course focuses on real-world techniques, culminating in a finished, usable product. Exercise files accompany the course.
The shark is really the star of the entire animation, but for this cameramatic, we only need a very rough model of the shark, just enough detail to give us the impression of the shape. We're going to use an outline of the shark to create this rough shape using polygonal modeling tools and something called a HyperNURB object. So, the first step in modeling is to save the file. Let's go to the File menu and do a Save as. We're going to save this in the Chapter 03 folder. We'll call this one roughshark, and then I like to put a version number in case I save out an additional version.
I'll call this 001. I'll hit Save. The first part of the modeling process is to import images that we're going to be using as references. Let's go out to the Finder here and explain something for just a moment. Here in the Chapter 3 folder, I have something called a tex folder. This tex folder contains two PSD files, a shark front and a shark side. Now, these are just Illustrator outlines that I converted into PSD files and I traced the images that I found of sharks online and used those as a basis for creating the shark outline.
I want to be able to import these into CINEMA 4D. The way CINEMA 4D works is that it looks in a very specific place for these texture images. The place it looks for the images is in a folder called tex. That folder has to be at the same level as the project file. So you can see, here's my roughshark- 001.c4d file and then here is the tex folder and they are in the same level of the folder. That makes it really easy for CINEMA 4D to find these images. If you were to have these in a different location, you'd get an error message inside of C4D, prompting you to copy those elements into the tex folder.
If you hadn't had a tex folder there already, you would copy them into that location just loose and that would be kind of weird. So, it's much better to be organized ahead of time and have this tex folder with the images setup for you already. Now, here in C4D, I've got my roughshark file opened. We're going to make a new material. I created that new material by double- clicking here in the Material Manager. You can also go to the File menu and do a New Material that way. But I like to double- click, as it's a lot faster. I'm going to double-click on the word Mat and call this one front, as in the front of the shark.
In the Basic properties for the material, I'm going to turn off the Color channel and turn off the Specular channel and turn on the Luminance channel. Now, the Luminance channel allows us to place images into the material that will not be affected by any light source in the scene. So, if I click on the Add Texture button right here, which has a series of three dots on it, if I click on that, that presents me with the Finder window, and I can now navigate to my Desktop/Exercise Files/Chapter 3, and then to the tex folder. Let's add the shark front file, and hit Open.
That shows up in the Luminance channel, just the way I wanted. Now let's make another new material, and let's change the name of this material and call it side. The side material, I'm going to do the same thing. Go to the Color properties, turn off Color, turn off Specular, turn on Luminance. Then in the Luminance channel, I'm going to load in that image once again. So I click on the Load Image button and add the shark side.psd and hit Open. Now, the materials are going to be showing up here in the Editor window.
In order to do that, I have to place them on a plane. If I select the side material and look at the dimensions of the actual image and if I go to the Luminance channel, it shows you the resolution of the actual image that's being used in that channel. I can see it's 982x389. I'm going to create a plane here in the Editor window and make it exactly that resolution, 982x389. So, if I go to the Primitive Objects and add a plane to the scene, under the Plane Properties, I'm going to change the Orientation to be -Z.
The reason I do that is that it makes the images that I drag onto that plane show up right-reading, meaning they'll show up with the top up here at the top of the plane and the right-hand side on the right-hand side of the plane, just the way I wanted. So now, I'm going to make this plane the same width. If I go to the side material and look at it. See it's 982x389. So if I select the plane and make the Width 982, and the Height 389, and then the Segments determine how subdivided the polygon is.
How many polygons are making up this thing? We only need one polygon. So I'll change the Width Segments and the Height Segments to 1x1. Now when I drag my side material from the Material Manager onto the plane in the Object Manager, when I let go, my shark shows up exactly on the plane, just the way I want it. Let's make another plane. And we're going to repeat this process for the front. If I add a plane to the scene-- and let's name our plane so that they make sense. I'll call this plane side, and then I'll call this plane front.
On the front plane, I want to change the Orientation once again to -Z. They're in the same location right now. Let's turn the side plane off for just a moment and go to the front material and take a look at the resolution. You can see the resolution of my front is 305x389. So, let's take the front and make the Width 305 and the Height 389 and then the segments one-by-one just like we did on the side plane.
Now, if we take the front material and apply it to the front plane, you see our shark shows up right there. Now, I want to have the front of the shark show up along the x-axis. So if I just take the front plane object and go to the Coordinate properties, and the rotation value that I want to change is the heading, and if I scrub that value around to 90 degrees over here, I've got to put 90 degrees in numerically, then my shark is now facing down the x-axis. If I turn on my side now, you can see that they intersect perfectly. Now I can use that to identify the front of the shark and I can use the side panel to identify the side of the shark.
This is going to make our modeling process really easy. The purpose of all this has been to prep our cells for modeling and the image planes that we have here in the scene are going to be used as guidelines for modeling our rough shark. So, now that we have our planes, we're ready to begin the process of actually modeling.
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