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CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object


From:

CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

with Rob Garrott

Video: Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object

Our dummy shark here is just about ready for swimming. We have a couple of extra steps we need to take care of before we can actually start making him move around though. I'm going to switch my Layout back to the Standard Layout. In the Standard Layout, here in the Object Manager, I'm going to do a little bit of cleanup. I'm just going to close these image planes up. We don't really need those anymore, so I'm going to hide them from view. You can see our shark here looks kind of like an aggressive goldfish cookie. With the image planes hidden from view, I can now see the shark outline for what it is.
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  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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CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo
7h 0m Intermediate Jun 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Project planning, covering the scripting and initial drawings
  • Using hand-drawn artwork in After Effects to time the animation
  • Creating text and logo elements
  • Animating the camera
  • Organic modeling techniques
  • Rigging models for animating
  • Fine-tuning animation timing
  • Adding realistic textures
  • Lighting and shading techniques
  • Rendering and compositing a finished animation
Subjects:
3D + Animation Video Compositing Projects Visual Effects
Software:
CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object

Our dummy shark here is just about ready for swimming. We have a couple of extra steps we need to take care of before we can actually start making him move around though. I'm going to switch my Layout back to the Standard Layout. In the Standard Layout, here in the Object Manager, I'm going to do a little bit of cleanup. I'm just going to close these image planes up. We don't really need those anymore, so I'm going to hide them from view. You can see our shark here looks kind of like an aggressive goldfish cookie. With the image planes hidden from view, I can now see the shark outline for what it is.

Let's do a little rendering here. We have sort of a very aggressive swoopy shape, and that's really all we need to communicate our shark with. It doesn't have to look fancy. It just needs to be about the same size as the shark. Before we make it swim, we have to do a little bit of cleanup work here in the hierarchy. So I'm going to add a new Null object to the scene. This Null object I'm going to call shark. I'm going to take that Null object. The Null object is at the center of the world. It comes there when you add it to the scene, by default. It shows up at the center of the world. I want to take this HyperNURBS now and parent it to the shark.

When I parent it, I want to move the HyperNURBS back so that the nose of the shark is exactly at the center of the world. So, let's take it on the Z-axis only and drag it so that the tip of the shark is right at the center of the world. That's about right for our purpose here. Anytime I'm not sure, I'll always double- check things in the Orthographic views. You can see that I'm lined up pretty well there, pretty well there.

So, let's go back to the Perspective view. I've got my shark Null object here and we're going to be making this shark swim using something called a Spline Wrap object. Now, the Spline Wrap object is part of the MoGraph Module. Its icon is purple. That means it's an operator object and that it will work on either its parent or its peer. Now, I like to use the Spline Wrap object in the peer position, meaning that it has to be in the same level of the hierarchy as the object it's going to deform. So, let's add a Spline Wrap object to the scene.

Then we're going to add another Null object, and this Null object we're going to call shark wrap. I'll take the Spline Wrap and parent it to the shark wrap object. Then parent the shark to the shark wrap object. Now you can see that the shark and the Spline Wrap are peers of one another. They're at the same level of a hierarchy. So, when I activate the Spline Wrap, it's going to have an impact on the shark, the thing that's at the same level as it. The Spline Wrap needs something in order to actually start working on the shark and that's it needs a spline.

If you look at the Spline Wrap Object properties, you can see that there's a Spline field here, and this Spline field is empty. So, it's looking for a spline in order for it to actually wrap this shark around it. So, let's go to the Orthographic views. I like to draw my splines in the Orthographic view so that I get a very predictable result. Now, let's draw our spline in the top view in this case. Let's back out just a little bit. I'm going to navigate out until my shark is kind of small in the frame. Let's add something called a B-spline.

The B-spline is an amazing spline type that is not present in the normal Adobe products. It's something that I didn't really understand until I started using CINEMA 4D. The B-spline creates a very smooth path based on points. It's actually really hard to put a kink in the B-spline. That's one of the reasons it's great for making motion paths. I'm going to start here at the top of my top view and draw a series of points by clicking the mouse. I click once, click twice. The second time I clicked, I got a straight line. The third time I click, I'm going to get a nice, smooth arc.

The fourth time I click, I get another smooth arc. The B-spline creates a smooth path based on three points or more. So you can see that these three points created this arc. These next three points in succession created this arc here. So, I can keep on adding points. That's enough for now. We can always change the spline later, but that's enough for our purposes for the dummy shark model. Let's call this shark spline. Now, in the Spline Wrap, in the Object properties, there's a Spline field.

If I take the shark spline and drag it into the Spline field, something strange is going to happen. Now, let's go back to the Perspective view to see what happened. Here in the Perspective view, I'm going to hit the letter H on the keyboard. That's going to frame up my scene. So, I can see the entire scene now. My shark is looking a lot more like an eel than it is a shark. That's because the Spline Wrap, by default, does something called fitting the spline. It's taken that shark and it's stretched it along the entire length of the spline. I don't want that to happen.

I want my shark to stay its normal length. So, if I go to the Fit Spline pull- down and select Keep Length, then my shark suddenly snaps right to the end of the spline. Now, the thing you'll notice about it is that, let's zoom in on that area right there, the shark is upside down. That's normal behavior for the Spline Wrap object. It doesn't really know which way is up. So we have to tell it. In the Object properties for the Spline Wrap, I'm going to go to the Rotation field and change the Banking option to be 180.

That's going to flip my shark over exactly so that it's facing on the correct axis. The Spline Wrap is a really powerful tool. It allows us to animate objects along the spline and the setting you used to do that is something called the Offset. By setting keyframes for the Offset value, I can animate the shark and have it appear as it's swimming across the spline. So, I can input values numerically here. It's a percentage based on the length of the spline. Or I can just scrub this value. As I scrub the value, you can see my shark now swims through the scene.

Now, we don't really need to set any keyframes right now. Hit the letter H on the keyboard again to frame my scene up. All we really want to do is just get the rig built, so that it is ready for rough animation. I think we've got that set here. I just want to check the animation along the spline. The Spline Wrap is a really amazing tool and it makes something like this swimming shark incredibly easy. Our dummy shark is now ready for the cameramatic. Because we'll be building the hero shark in the same size as our dummy, we'll be able to easily swap out the dummy for the hero when we get to the final animation.

That's why it's very important to keep your sizes consistent throughout your workflow.

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