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Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks

From: CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Video: Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks

Now that we have our camera moving and we have out shark swimming through the scene, we need to create an entire school of sharks. That process is really easy. It's going to consistent of duplicating the original shark that we created, shark 001, and making copies of it and repositioning those copies in this frame so that it appears there is a school of shark swimming through the scene. First thing I would like to do is to grab shark 001 and duplicate it. But before I do that, let's switch to a four-way view so we can see what's happening in our scene. Now we are going to be watching our layout here in this view and moving things in the Orthographic views to get a better position on them.

Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks

Now that we have our camera moving and we have out shark swimming through the scene, we need to create an entire school of sharks. That process is really easy. It's going to consistent of duplicating the original shark that we created, shark 001, and making copies of it and repositioning those copies in this frame so that it appears there is a school of shark swimming through the scene. First thing I would like to do is to grab shark 001 and duplicate it. But before I do that, let's switch to a four-way view so we can see what's happening in our scene. Now we are going to be watching our layout here in this view and moving things in the Orthographic views to get a better position on them.

So the first thing I would like to do is to position this for shark as I scrub through the animation, my shark swims through the frame you can see that. At the start of the animation, it's not out of frame and that's okay. The important thing is that it doesn't do an ease on its motions. So it's already swimming when we cut to this shot. I don't care about the fact that it's not out of frame. Instead of towards the camera I would like to have it swim across the shot. So if I take this sharks spline and make sure that I am in Point mode, so I can see the points that make up this spline, I can now grab the points and you can see that the points travel in sort of a little snake pattern towards the camera.

As I scrub through it, if you watch the Top view, you can see that the camera is moving towards the shark. If I reposition these points, it's going to be really easy to reposition the shark. I'm going to select a single point by grabbing the Selection tool and clicking on a single point of the spline and then hitting Command or Ctrl+A and that selects all the points in the spline. Now if I use the Rotate tool, here in the Top view and this is really important, only do this in the Top view. Do not click inside. If I click inside, I can rotate that spline freely and I don't want my shark to move crazy like that.

I am just going to undo this by hitting Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on the PC. What I really want to have is I only this shark to be swimming along a single plane, and that plane is the ground plane in this case, but I wanted to stay parallel with the ground plane for the whole animation. So as along as I click-and-drag outside of this yellow circle, it makes it really easy to reposition that shark. So I can just rotate this just a bit and now when I scrub the animation, my shark swims right through.

Now it still comes too close to the camera, so let's reposition the points on the spline a little bit. I am going to grab this first point here and I'll just drag it and the great point about this process and the great thing about the Spline Wrap is that it leaves everything live for the whole animation. So anytime I don't like something, all I have to do is reposition the points on the spline and I can quickly tweak my animation. And you notice I haven't adjusted or changed any keyframes. All I've done is move their points in the spline and my shark animation changes.

Now let's scrub that one. So now I could see my shark starts near the edge of the frame, does a little back-and-forth movement, and then swims out nicely at the side of the frame and I think that's a really nice animation. So that's the first shark. I am going to need a lot more to make this school really impressive. So I need to make a copy of this. Over here in the Object Manager I am going to Ctrl+Click and drag a copy of the shark 001 file and that gives me shark 001.1.

Let's change the name of that and call it shark 002. Now shark 001 and shark 002 are in exactly the same position right now. If I twirl open the hierarchy here, I can see I have a new shark spline and if I take the points on the shark's spline and rotate them around, I am going to select all the points again, and this time when I use the Rotate tool, R on the keyboard, I am going to rotate them exactly the other direction. And then just move them over a little bit. I used the E keyboard shortcut to bring up the Move tool. I am just going to move those points around a bit.

So now when I scrub through the animation, you can see I have two sharks swimming through the scene and I want to make sure that they don't cross paths. It would be kind of weird to have two sharks swim through each other. I think that's okay. Now I am going to be adjusting the keyframes for the Spline Wrap. In the Timeline it's really important to have distinct names. Right now this Spline Wrap and this Spline Wrap have exactly the same name and so I want to change the name on these.

I am going to change the first one and call it 001 Spline Wrap, and I'll change the name on the second one and call it 002 Spline Wrap. And I'll repeat this process over and over again to make the entire school of sharks. Now this is a time-consuming process and so we are going to skip ahead in time a little bit to where we've got entire school of sharks. It's going to be about 12 to 13 or 14 sharks by the time it's all said and done. Now that I have got an entire school of sharks swimming through the scene, and you can see them moving all through the scene here, I want to preview the motion.

But before I do a preview of the motion, I need to clear out some of the elements in the frame. It's a little bit confusing having the grid here, and so I would like to turn the grid off. Underneath the Filter option in the Perspective view, I'm going to uncheck Grid and now I want to get rid of the splines in the scene. I don't want to delete them. I just simply want to hide them from view. So under the Filter menu also is a Spline option. When I do that, that gets rid of my splines in the scene. You notice my green boundaries are gone as well and I don't really care about that right now.

That's okay because they were made up of splines. I'm going to deselect by clicking over here in the right-hand of the Object Manager and get rid of everything. And now I am going to go to the Make Preview option and as a general rule you should never trust the Editor view for a judging animation speed and you always want to make a preview movie. In the preview movie, when you do it, it will be defaulted to Full Render, so you want to change that to Software Preview and Software Preview will show you exactly what you're seeing here in the Perspective view. So the Preview Range or Manual option would be checked if you were working at a different Preview Range then you're down here. Because we have our range set to be 0 to 160, the same as our shot length, we can just use All Frames.

I am going to change the Image Size to be 640. The default is 320. And you will notice that it keeps in mind the aspect ratio. So I hit OK and I get a blue line down here at the bottom of the frame. That blue line shows me that the preview is calculating. So now when I hit Play, the image will cache and while it's caching, it will start to play. And in the second time through it will play at the correct speed. The first time through it caches the memory. So I can see now that my sharks are moving through the frame but you'll notice that as I scrub through this animation, the sharks are kind of all hitting the center at about the same point.

So I'd really like to have them at varying speed so that they are not all swimming at exactly the same speed throughout their frame. So the best way to do that is by moving the keyframes around in the Timeline. So let's close the Picture Viewer up and I am going to switch my layout to the Animation Layout, so I can see my keyframes and curves. And let's bring the Perspective view to full and then raise this up. I am going to make the Perspective view very small here. Now I'm going to switch over to Keyframe mode by clicking on the key icon here in the Timeline and then I now can see all of my elements here that have keyframes on them.

Let's twirl closed all of the Spline Wraps. You can see that I have the Offset Animation track visible for all these guys. I know that the Offset function I'm adjusting, so I don't need to see that. So I am going to twirl all of these close and that's going to make it easier to see each of the shark animation tracks. So I'll twirl each of those closed. Scrub down here and twirl that last one closed. Now I can see all 13 tracks without having to adjust my view up or down, like that.

So you can see that all of the keyframes are exactly the same speed, from 0 to 160. So what I want to do is I am going to navigate out here and you can adjust these range of keyframes that you are seeing here in the timeline by clicking on this icon right here and dragging left or right, and that allows you to do a pan here and the next icon over allows you, when you drag left and right, that will zoom the range of frames. So if I zoom out just a bit, I can now take these keys one at a time and just slide them over. So I'll quickly just move them. And you notice I am moving them beyond 0 and beyond 160.

And the important thing is that I want my sharks to swim a little bit slower and I don't want them all to be exactly the same. So the important thing is that the keyframes don't line up. So by just dragging a keyframe to one side or the other, I can easily adjust the timing on those. So I can just drag them. You can see I am going about 30 frames on either side of the animation and I just work my way down here. The important thing is that the keyframes don't need to be the same. So you don't have to be real precise about what you do.

This is really a "flying by the seat of your pants" sort of moment. You can just quickly move the keyframes around. I would like to make sure that I don't actually touch the camera keyframes. So don't touch this keyframe track or this keyframe track. Just the keyframes for the Spline Wraps. So now as I scrub through the animation, you can see that the sharks are no longer swimming at exactly the same speed and they're not hitting their marks at the same time either. Let's make a couple more adjustments and we'll do another preview movie. Make one that swim really slow, there we go, so that will-- There we go. It's going to look great.

Let's do another preview movie to make sure. So I have got all my filter elements turned off, so I can go to the Make Preview option, select Make Preview, and leave all the settings as they were before and I hit OK and that blue line is going to come up and show us that it's calculating a preview, and now here in the Picture Viewer, remember the first time you hit Play, it's going to cache the frames. When it gets to the end of that caching processes, it's going to play it back in real-time. So I hit Play. You could see that 0 flashing on the left-hand side and that indicates that it's caching, and then when it gets to then end, boom, it starts to play back smooth.

You can see that my sharks are no longer all at exactly the same speed and it actually feels pretty good. Let me pause playback for a moment here. I wanted to make sure as I was doing this animation that I kept at the center of the screen kind of empty and you can see that none of the sharks are really concentrated in this area here. There are sharks in the background in that area, but they're not in the foreground of this area, because that's where my type element is going to go. So I wanted to keep this area clear for the type. So now we've got our animation, we're ready to create the preview movie that we are going to be using in After Effects.

The process for creating these sharks was straightforward, but a little bit time-consuming. But it's a really important step for getting the animation just right. And the beauty of working with dummy sharks is that you get very near real-time performance and you can create the animation in a very short amount of time.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

70 video lessons · 13483 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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