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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 process for modeling a finished shark is pretty detailed. But for our cameramatic, we only need to model the basic outlines. We have our actual outlines set up here in C4D. Now we're going to use the HyperNURBS modeling process to actually create a very rough shape of the shark. So, the first step I want to do is to group these front and side plane objects underneath a single Null, so that way I can have just one parent that I can turn off and on. So, I'm going to go to the Modeling Objects and add a Null Object to the scene.
A Null object is simply an access point with no geometry associated with it. I can take both of these objects and make them children of the Null. The Null I'm going to call image planes. I have the ability now with both of these children under the same Null to hide them both. I can click on this center column here. These two dots relate to the status of the object in the render and also in the Editor view. If I click the top dot red, the images will be hidden from view in the Editor window. But if I hit the Render button, they still show up in the render.
I want to actually have the reverse of that in this situation. I don't want these planes to show up in the Render view. I just want them to be visible in the Editor. So I'm going to make the top dot gray and the bottom dot red. Now when I hit the Render button, I can see the planes here. But when I render, they don't show up, and that's just the way I want it. So, by clicking on the image planes, I can redraw the frame here. The HyperNURBS process most of the time starts with a cube. So, let's add a cube to the scene underneath the primitive objects and we'll add a cube. That cube I want to make the same size as my side view plane.
So, by going to the Object properties for the cube, I can take the x-value and I can just scrub it. I don't need to be real precise with this. I just want to eyeball it into position. So, I make that cube about the same size as the x-axis and about the same size as the y-axis. That's good. I'm not going to worry about the z-axis for now, because we'll come back and fix that in a little while. The HyperNURBS is a NURB object that's got a green icon. That means it's a generator. When I add it to the scene, in order for it to have an effect, I have to add my cube as a child of the HyperNURBS.
So I take the cube and drag it out of the HyperNURBS and make it a child of the HyperNURBS. Now I get this sphere-like object in the scene. That is the result of the HyperNURBS. I'm seeing the shape that's being created by the HyperNURBS. Now, I want to be able to see my side view through the HyperNURBS. I want to have this be sort of grayed out, so that I can look at my shark outline and make it really easy to move the shapes around. So, under the HyperNURBS, if I click on the HyperNURBS and go to the Basic properties of the HyperNURBS, I can turn on something called X-Ray mode.
When I click on X-Ray, X-ray makes the HyperNURBS translucent. When it renders, if I click on the Render button, it still renders in the correct way. But when it's in the Editor window, it shows up translucent. It makes it a much easier to work on from a modeling standpoint. Now, my cube is still in its primitive state. What I want to have access to is the actual points and edges and polygons that make up that cube. So I have to make the cube editable. The command for that, there's a keyboard shortcut and there's an icon for it.
The icon for it is over here on the left-side of the interface. The keyboard shortcut is the letter C. If I click on this icon or hit the letter C on the keyboard, you notice my cube changes in state. It now has a triangle next to it. You can see it's no longer a primitive cube. Now I have access to the points, edges, and polygons that make up that cube. If I click on the Point mode here on the left-hand side, I can now grab a point on the surface of the cube and move it around. By moving that point in space, I can affect how that HyperNURBS is shaped.
Command+Z to get back to the original shape. Now, the default mode for working in HyperNURBS is something called Isoline Editing. You can see that there is curved blue line on the surface of this object. I don't like to work like that. I prefer to see the original low-res cube in the scene. So, underneath the Tools menu, I'm going to turn off Isoline Editing. You can see that there's a Use Isoline Editing command here and that's highlighted. You can see that the box is shaded there. So if I uncheck Use Isoline Editing, I now see the original cube surrounding my HyperNURBS object.
That makes it a lot easier to see the low- res model that we're going to be creating. Now that I'm in Point mode and I've got my box visible, I can now start to make some cuts on this to get it roughly shark shaped. I don't want to add a lot of detail. The point of this is to get something that looks basically like a shark, but it doesn't take long to generate and renders really fast too. So I don't want to add a lot of detail to it. Let's move into the Modeling layout. In the Layout button, I'm going to click on the Modeling layout, which is right here fourth from the top. That resets my palettes and rearranges things, so I can see the modeling tools in CINEMA 4D.
Still the same application. It's just a different arrangement of icons on screen. I'm going to be using something called the Knife tool to make cuts. Then I'll be moving points around based on those cuts. That's going to give me the shape that looks roughly like a shark. So, let's get the Knife tool out. The icon for the Knife tool is this icon right here. I also like to right-click and get it sometimes. So, if I right-click any place in the Editor window, I can grab the Knife tool. When I grab the Knife tool, its attributes show up here in the Attribute Manager.
Knife tool has a Mode pull-down. The default mode is not what I want to use. I want to use something called Loop mode. And the Loop mode allows me to make a cut all the way around my object in a really easy way. So, if I select Loop and I uncheck all the options, I don't want to restrict a selection and I don't want to create an N-gon. Now when I hover the Knife tool over my edges, you can see it creates this white outline all the way around my object. I can use that outline to determine where my cut is going to happen. So the first cut I want to make is right here at the nose of the shark.
You want to be really careful about where you're cutting. It's always a good idea to highlight the exact edge that you're going to be cutting. So when I click that, my HyperNURBS changes shape. It adds a set of points all the way around my object. Let's do the same thing about here, just before the dorsal fin, and then just after the dorsal fin, and then somewhere around the tail. We'll add one more near the tail. Now, the great thing about this process, because we're doing it in a rough way, that's probably all the points that we'll need for the side view.
Let's start to shape those guys into the shape of the shark. I'm going to grab a new Selection tool, the Rectangular Selection. I'm going to uncheck Only Select Visible Elements. I want to be really careful when I'm selecting objects that I select all the way through my model and only select the points that are visible to the camera. When I use this tool in this mode, I can select points all the way through my object. So now, let's switch to the side view, because it's going to make it a lot easier. If I click on the View button, and then bring the Front view, in this case the right-hand view shows us the front of our shark, because we're working on the X-axis.
The Front view is going to show us the actual side of our shark. So I bring the Front view to the foreground. It's showing me only outlines. Let's change the display mode to be Gouraud Shading. With this shading mode, I can see my outline of the shark. I can see my points and edges and I can see the HyperNURBS just fine. So now we'll use the Rectangular Selection tool and just start to push those polygons into position. Now, you don't have to be real precise with this. The important thing is to double-check from time-to-time, and make sure that you are selecting your points all the way through.
You can see that even though I was drawing in the side view, it's selecting the points that are not visible to the camera. And that's very, very important. Now, here in the side view, let's reshape this shark. I don't have to be real precise. I'm going to just rough it in. The important thing is that the points be the same approximate size as the shark. And that's all I really care about. I'll grab the top points here. Let's grab both of those at the same time and move them down.
We get this sort of torpedo shape. A shark is really a beautiful creature. It has very smooth flowing lines. We want to be kind of faithful to that as we're creating our temp element. There we go! We're going to end up at something that looks kind of like a goldfish. Let's do one more cut with the Knife tool and make a cut right around the tail section here. If I switch to the Perspective view, full-screen, and make a cut right about there, and switch back to the side view, and get my Selection tool one more time and grab some points and move them around one more time...
I'm going to turn on a feature. In C4D that's not on by default, but it makes working in this view a lot easier. Under the Filter menu is something called Axis Bands. If I turn Axis Bands on, I now have this gray band here. It makes a lot easier. I can grab this gray band and move those points around without having to click on an actual axis. And it just makes things a lot faster. That's pretty good, I think for the basic shark shape.
I don't need to worry about the fin at the top. I don't need to really worry about the pectoral fins. The pectoral fins are the fins that are on the side. The dorsal fin is the one that's on the top here. But you know what, let's go ahead and add one just to be safe. Let's go back to the Perspective view. In order to get this dorsal fin, I'm going to go into Polygon mode. Let's switch Selection tools one more time. I'll grab this polygon right here that's on the top. I'm going to use something called an extrusion. The Extrude tool looks like this right here.
If I click on that, and you want to be really careful when you use the Extrude tool. If I click on the arrows, all I'm doing is moving that polygon. But if I click any place in the gray area and drag to the right, it extrudes up. So I want to extrude that up just a bit. Now I can use the Scale tool, letter T on the keyboard or click on the Scale tool icon. I can bring that right into the side. Now, once again, I don't have to be real precise about this. Remember it's just a dummy shark. Let's move this down and add one more extrusion though.
Switch back to the Selection tool, grab that Z handle and bring that down. Let's use the Extrude tool again. The keyboard shortcut for it is D for the Extrude tool. But I can also grab it by right-clicking here in the interface and going to Extrude. Now I click-and-drag. And that gives me a shark fin right there. Now, I can just push that back just a bit. Notice I'm clicking on the arrow handle instead of using the Extrude tool. I think that's pretty good for now. Let's switch back to Point mode, get our Rectangular Selection tool, and I'm using the Axis Band here to shape that up.
There we go! You want to always be careful when you're working in the Perspective view to make sure that you didn't accidentally move points around in the wrong way. Now, here on the front, I'd take the nose and scale those points in. Use T on the keyboard to bring up the Scale tool and click on the blue handle and drag those in and just frame that shark out like that. Now, I don't need to worry about the pectoral fins, because I think our shark is close enough for rough animation purposes.
It's going to be really easy to render this. We'll get very good performance in the Editor window. It'll render very quickly for us for making our cameramatic. So, this is a good starting point.
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