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Preparing for the modeling process

From: CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Video: Preparing for the modeling process

The shark is a really beautiful and terrifying creature. The smooth flowing shapes haven't really changed in hundreds of millions of years. The process for creating these smooth flowing shapes can be daunting at first. It can also be kind of time consuming. In this movie and in this series of movies, we're going to be skipping through the tedious part and showing you the major elements of the shark modeling process. Creating the basic outline of the short body, extruding the fins out of the body, creating the mouth shapes, the gills. The goal for this, showing you the major steps, is that you'll understand all of the elements that are required for making this shark and without having to go through all the tedious process of actually making the shark from scratch.

Preparing for the modeling process

The shark is a really beautiful and terrifying creature. The smooth flowing shapes haven't really changed in hundreds of millions of years. The process for creating these smooth flowing shapes can be daunting at first. It can also be kind of time consuming. In this movie and in this series of movies, we're going to be skipping through the tedious part and showing you the major elements of the shark modeling process. Creating the basic outline of the short body, extruding the fins out of the body, creating the mouth shapes, the gills. The goal for this, showing you the major steps, is that you'll understand all of the elements that are required for making this shark and without having to go through all the tedious process of actually making the shark from scratch.

This is not really intended to be a modeling tutorial as such. It's really all about the process of creating a promo. So rather than I show you the entire shark modeling process, we want to take you through all of the major steps involved. I have a rule when I'm modeling that if it's an object that I can do within a certain amount of time, then I'll model it myself. If it's going to be more than a certain amount of time, then I'll buy it off of a web site and save myself the hassle of modeling it from scratch. The way I justify that is basically I assign my hourly rate to a modeling process and I say okay, if it's going to take me two hours to model something, and I pay myself $50 an hour to model it, can I find that same model for $100 or less? If I can't find that model for $100 or less, then I'll model it myself.

If it's going to take me more than that amount of money, then I'll go ahead and buy it off the web site, as long as I can find it for cheaper than what it would cost me to make it from a time standpoint. One of the great websites for that is a website called TurboSquid. There is quite a few of them out there. TurboSquid is probably the most popular. So for a project like this, I would go to the homepage for TurboSquid and just type in the Search field shark. When I hit the Go button, it's going to present me with a whole bunch of options here. I'm only really concerned with the 3D models. So if I click on the 3D Models filter that will reset the page, so that I'm only seeing 3D models of sharks.

I can also filter it even more. Now CINEMA 4D can use a lot of different model types. If I only want to see models created in CINEMA 4D, I can click on the CINEMA 4D filter and that will filter the page even more and I can see things that are either done in CINEMA 4D, or are compatible with CINEMA 4D. All of these object types that are listed here CINEMA 4D can open. So it's a really great selection of sharks. Everything from a crazy cartoon shark to some very realistic looking shark models. Any of these guys would be a pretty viable candidate. Although some of the geometry is a little bit what I would call suspect in cases and I don't want to get into it right here.

But the most important thing to remember when you're buying models off of a web site like this is to take a look at the geometry and make sure that it's very smoothly flowing. We're going to be creating a model in CINEMA 4D that is made up of all quadrangles, four-sided polygons. Those four-sided polygons are really crucial to making these sharks swim in a very smooth fashion. So if you buy a model off a TurboSquid that has all triangles in it for example, or triangles that are in a really funky layout, then it's going to make this shark look funny when it swims along the spline. So you have to be very careful about how you buy those models.

So let's switch back to CINEMA 4D and get our project files going here. The first thing I want to do is turn back on the grid lines that we turned off when we were making our preview movie. So I'll go to the Filter menu and turn on All. That gets me back to my normal view that I'd see here. So I can see the grid line and the coordinate system in there. I have a starting file that I'm going to open up. This is the starting point for this movie, but really all it is, is just the original dummy shark that we made. That's what we want to start with is just the shark itself. So if I navigate out to the Finder, I'm going to open up the C4Dstart file.

Then you can see I have my dummy shark. I also have it already animated with the Spline Wrap. Now I don't need any of this animation or the rigging. All I care about is the dummy shark. So I'm going to delete the Spline Wrap object out of the scene. Unparent the shark wrap object, delete that now, and then delete the shark spline. So now all I have is my basic shark element and my HyperNURBS. I can actually remove the hyperNURBS from the hierarchy as well and delete that shark Null object. Now I want to get my shark back to the center of the world.

So I'll zero out the coordinates for the HyperNURBS. You always want to model around the center of the world. It keeps the things lined up and makes the modeling process much easier. So I zero out the Position and Rotation for the HyperNURBS. I can turn my image plane back on. You can see that everything lines up nicely. So the whole goal for this project file setup is to make sure that you have the image planes in position and that when you put those image planes around that dummy shark that the dummy sharp lines up. We're going to be building our finished shark in exactly the same position as the dummy shark and we want everything to line up correctly so that when we substitute the dummy shark for the real shark, that all of over animation is still viable and everything lines up correctly.

The last step for this project file prep is I want to just move the image planes around a little bit, so that they are easily viewable. Also, so our shark is easily viewable. When I switch to the four-way view, you'll notice that there is no perspective in any of the Orthographic views and that actually works very well for the modeling process. I want to have this image plane that I see here-- Right now it's exactly in the middle of the shark. I want it to just be back on the Z-axis. So it's out of the way and I can see my shark separate from the image plane.

In the Perspective view, if I grab the side image plane and move it on its Z-axis just out of the way, it's now clear the shark model. But you notice in the Front view here, it really didn't changed position. So I can still use that outline for modeling in this view without having to look at it in the Perspective view. That's very important. I'll do the same thing for the Front and move it back on its Z-axis this time, just so it's out of the way of the model and there we can see it.

That also change the display on the Front mode to Gouraud Shading. Now I can see my shark model in position. So that's all the basic steps for setting up the project file for your modeling process. It's really crucial to follow these, because it sets you up for a success later on.

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This video is part of

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

70 video lessons · 13571 viewers

Rob Garrott
Author

 
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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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