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CINEMA 4D R12 Essential Training with Rob Garrott introduces artists to the CINEMA 4D workflow, using CINEMA 4D as an important part of a toolset that includes Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator. The course explains the key foundational concepts, such as polygons, textures, and rays, that are crucial to understanding exactly how this 3D application functions. It also includes practical techniques for creating, selecting, and transforming objects, working with splines, polygonal modeling, and adding materials, lighting, and camera views for a fully realized 3D image. Exercise files are included with the course.
The Attribute Manager is where you change the modifiable properties of anything and everything in C4D. The contents of this window will change continuously throughout your project as you select different objects and tools. Each time you click on something in the interface, the Attribute Manager will display the attributes of that element, no matter what it is. This makes the Attribute Manager the go-to spot for all kinds of crucial information. So I am going to add a primitive object to the scene, and let's skip the cube and go right to the pyramid. That's a little more interesting. When I add the pyramid to the scene, I immediately see the Attribute Manager change, and the Attribute Manager changes every time I select something.
So I am going to click on the Move tool up here in the toolbar. When I click on the Move tool, the Attribute Manager now shows me the modifiable properties of the Move tool. To get back again, I can use this back arrow to get me back to the properties for the pyramid, and I can use the forward arrow to get me back to the Move tool. The icons across the top here, I will come to those in just a second. What I want to talk to you right now is about the sections of the Attribute Manager. Now, each one of these guys I can click on and get to a different set of attributes for my Move tool. When I click on the pyramid, I can now select the basic properties, which allow me to change things like the name and that whether or not it's assigned to a layer and some other properties that we will cover as we go throughout the series.
The next up is the Coordinate property, and the Coordinate property shows me where the object is in space, what size it is, and the rotation values. Remember, the values that you see in these fields are relative to the object's parent or to the center of the world, one of the two. New to version 12 is the Freeze Transformations option, which is really crucial when you're getting into character animation. What Freeze Transformations allows you to do is to lock the coordinate properties into a specific value that you can then animate from more easily. For example, if I rotate this pyramid-- I am going to rotate it just randomly-- and you'll notice when I go back to the pyramid that the values for the rotation are now randomized.
It just grabbed it and just rotated it all over the place. If I click on the Freeze All button, I can now freeze a rotation. You'll notice that even though my pyramid is now rotated randomly here around the world axis, it shows up still at 0, 0, 0. That makes animating pyramid much easier. So let's add a second object to the scene. Let's add a cone this time, which is very similar to the pyramid except it has some slightly different properties. I am going to move this cone on the negative X axis, and get it out of the way so they are both in different locations.
The Attribute Manager shows you the attributes for each of these objects as I click on them, but what if you wanted to be able to modify the attributes for both objects at the same time? I can select both objects, and then the attributes that they have in common will now be available to me. In this case, I have got some object properties, which I can change just the orientation, or I can change the coordinates. If I, for example, put in Y value and make them both 500 units on the Y axis, they both will jump 500 units on the Y axis. Now, you'll notice that they are local, and because in my pyramid when I froze the transformations, it moved in a different direction, so that's why with freeze transformations, you have to be really careful with.
The next situation that you might find yourself in is wanting to have both properties for both objects up on-screen at the same time, and that's where either the Lock button or the New Attribute Manager button come into play. If I click on the pyramid, for example, and I click the New Attribute Manager button, I can add a new Attribute Manager to the scene that can be floating around in the interface. That allows me to see the properties for both the cone and the pyramid at the same. So I can select the cone property. And you can see that my pyramid Attribute Manager did not change, and I can modify the pyramid and change its value.
Let's move it back to 0. So it's back at the center of the world. I can also move the cone back to the center of the world here as well. 0, 0, 0. You can see I can easily make changes to both of these objects without having to click back and forth on the objects to get their attributes to show up in the Attribute Manager. One last element is the Lock icon. The Lock icon allows me to lock down an Attribute Manager. So, for example, if click on my cone and click the Lock button, now when I click the pyramid I don't see the attributes, and that allows me to modify elements and click other objects in the scene, and it allows me to modify the properties of the object that I still have selected, even though I am clicking on other objects.
So the Attribute Manager can be a little problematic sometimes when you're clicking on things in scene, and this allows you to lock it off so that it doesn't jump around on you. The other icons in the top of the Attribute Manager that I didn't cover are essential in other types of the animation and modeling, but they're not really crucial to really understanding C4D at this time. The most important thing to remember about the Attribute Manager is that even though it will change constantly, a simple click on the element you would like to see will get it right back to where you need.
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