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Understanding the MoGraph Selection tool

From: CINEMA 4D Essentials 7: MoGraph Modeling and Animation

Video: Understanding the MoGraph Selection tool

The power of MoGraph comes from the Cloner object and combining it with Effectors. But what happens when you want to limit how an Effector is applied to a Cloner? That's where the MoGraph Selection tool comes in. I'm going to make a very simple arrangement of clones here. Let's add a cube to the scene. The cube is a little bit big, so I'll hit T on the keyboard to get the Scale tool, and let's just scale it down. That's pretty good right about there. There's no right or wrong answer in this one and we just want to create a smaller cube. And let's go into the MoGraph menu and add a Cloner object.

Understanding the MoGraph Selection tool

The power of MoGraph comes from the Cloner object and combining it with Effectors. But what happens when you want to limit how an Effector is applied to a Cloner? That's where the MoGraph Selection tool comes in. I'm going to make a very simple arrangement of clones here. Let's add a cube to the scene. The cube is a little bit big, so I'll hit T on the keyboard to get the Scale tool, and let's just scale it down. That's pretty good right about there. There's no right or wrong answer in this one and we just want to create a smaller cube. And let's go into the MoGraph menu and add a Cloner object.

So let's create a clone by dragging the cube onto the Cloner object, and let's go to the Object Properties on the Cloner, and change the count from 3 to, say, 10. And then let's change the amount to about 108 or so. I want to be able to see all the clones that I've created. If you hit H on the keyboard, that will frame up the scene. Now that I can see everything, let's modify those clones. Let's go to the MoGraph menu, and under the Effectors, let's add in a Step Effector.

The Step Effector allows you to modify clones based on a curve, and when I add that in, you can now see that I get a stepped application of that scale value. The default parameter is Scale here. You can see that they scale up over the length of the clone count. Now I can go back to the Cloner object. I want to have this very top clone not to be affected by the Step Effector. That's where the MoGraph Selection tool comes in. With the Cloner selected, let's go to MoGraph and go to the MoGraph Selection tool. When I do that, I'm going to get these red dots.

And also, my cursor is changed to an arrow with a circle in it. And now, if I paint over one of these clones you'll see that it's going to turn yellow. When I let go of the mouse, you'll notice that I now get this little radiation-symbol looking tag on my Cloner object. That's the MoGraph Selection tag and that tells me that this one clone has been identified. If you select the tag itself, you'll notice there's an Invert option. Let's click on the Invert, and that's going to select all the other clones except for that one.

So now, if we go to the Step Effector, under the Effector Field is this little field right here, Selection. When I drag my tag into that field, watch what happens. The very last clone is no longer being affected by the Step Effector. So whatever I do to these guys, I can take that clone and drag it down, it will not be affected by that Effector. Now I can do something else. I can have a new Effector applied to just that clone. So if I go to the Cloner object and go to MoGraph Effector, and let's do a -- let's do a Formula Effector on this one.

When I add the Formula Effector to the scene, the Formula Effector animates a sine wave function through parameters, and the default parameters are Position and Scale. And let's undo Scale and have it just do Position. You can see when I hit Play, it's going to animate or oscillate those cubes along the Y-axis. And within the Effector Properties, you've got a formula here and you can put in a wide variety of formulas. You're not limited to this formula here, and this is a listing of all the variables that you can change within those formulas. But what I really want to have is this guy oscillate and these guys not oscillating.

Let's create a copy of that tag by holding down the Control key and dragging over to the right. Now let's select the Formula Effector, and you can see that the Formula Effector is already showing a MoGraph selection. That's because I had this Selection Tag selected, it was highlighted yellow when I added the Formula Effector, and that told CINEMA 4D that I wanted to include it in there. Now this is going to be confusing because both of our tags are named the same thing. So let's name this first tag under the Basic properties and call it All others, and you notice that it broke the relationship.

That's because under the Step Effector, it's looking for MoGraph selections. Let's drag this All others into that field and now we're back to where we were. And then on this last Step Effector, let's call this one top only. And you can see that's going to break the relationship as well. Let's go back to the Formula Effector, and under the Selection field, let's drag in top only. Now if I hit Play, you'll see that the only one that is moving is now the top clone. And I can always get back the other way by disabling the tag or inverting the selection.

I can invert the selection. You will see that all these guys down below will move and the top one won't. Let's rewind. Let's go back to the tag and invert it again. Now let's say I wanted to add some more clones and have a different Selection tag. You want to make sure that you don't have a tag selected. Let's deselect that tag and then select the Cloner object and go back to the MoGraph Selection tool. And you can see these dots again. So let's grab some dots right in the middle. I'll grab those guys. And if I want to deselect the Clone, I can always hold down the Control key and deselect.

So let's have these three right in the middle, and you can see we get a new tag, and we'll call these Middle 3. And now we can have another Effector affecting these clones. So with the tag selected, let's go to the MoGraph menu and go to Effectors and add in a Random Effector. And the Random Effector will now randomize just those three clones. And under the parameters, you can see that it randomizes in all directions. Let's leave Y alone, zero that out, and have it just randomly position these guys on X and Z. And you can see I'm just scrubbing those values.

And so when I hit Play, you can see that it's now oscillating the top one, it's randomly distributed the Middle 3, and it's doing a step across the rest. So now let's see what would happen if I wanted to add in these three clones to that oscillation. What I can do is, when I want to modify a Selection tag, I can go to the tag that's called top only, and when I click on the Cloner tool, you can see that it shows me the selection. If I click through each of these tags, it shows me what the tags are. The yellow is selected, orange is not selected.

And so, on this top only selection, I can now hold down the Shift key and grab those three middle ones. I'll grab that one, that one, and that one. You see as I add each one, it starts to move. And now when I hit Play, you'll see that those guys will oscillate as well as the top one. As you can see, the MoGraph Selection Tool is a really powerful part of the MoGraph toolbox and it gives you total control over your clones.

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