CINEMA 4D Essentials 7: MoGraph Modeling and Animation
Illustration by Richard Downs

Video: What is MoGraph?

Probably, the most important thing in making CINEMA 4D the choice for motion graphics is a module called MoGraph. MoGraph is a procedural modeling and animation module within CINEMA 4D. What it really is though, is a collection of objects, and at the heart of those objects is something called the Cloner object. What MoGraph excels at is making copies and then repeating those copies and manipulating those copies. I have here an example from another course that I created, and this is a stadium. So what we've got going on here, this entire stadium, except for the type in the cell phone, was created using MoGraph.

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Watch the Online Video Course CINEMA 4D Essentials 7: MoGraph Modeling and Animation
56m 17s Beginner Sep 28, 2012

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CINEMA 4D Essentials with Rob Garrott is a graduated introduction to this complex 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program, which breaks down into installments that can be completed within 2 hours. This edition introduces MoGraph, a toolset that allows you to model and animate objects without keyframes, and shows how to use MoGraph to quickly get your characters up and running. The first half of the course covers how to clone existing objects, modify them to suit your needs, and bring them to life with effectors, MoGraph's special effects. The second half of the course demonstrates how to create movement and abstract animation with MoGraph.

Topics include:
  • Using the Cloner object
  • Understanding the MoGraph Selection tool
  • Animating a logo with the Fracture object
  • Creating movement with the Time effector
  • Animating with the Matrix object
Subjects:
3D + Animation Video
Software:
CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

What is MoGraph?

Probably, the most important thing in making CINEMA 4D the choice for motion graphics is a module called MoGraph. MoGraph is a procedural modeling and animation module within CINEMA 4D. What it really is though, is a collection of objects, and at the heart of those objects is something called the Cloner object. What MoGraph excels at is making copies and then repeating those copies and manipulating those copies. I have here an example from another course that I created, and this is a stadium. So what we've got going on here, this entire stadium, except for the type in the cell phone, was created using MoGraph.

In fact, it was created using a few Cloners and a bunch of simple primitive objects. I've got the scene file here that generated that rendering that you saw, and I've stripped out all the compositing tags and things so that we just have a raw stadium. I've also hidden a few objects. I've hidden the lights, which are here in the scene, and I'll make the top status dot red. I've also hidden the background tubes, but let's bring those back into the scene. And you can see it as I twirl up in the hierarchy here, there is one object that is repeated over and over again and that's the Cloner object.

The Cloner object is what allows us to repeat this simple primitive object, which is just a cube that's been flattened and elongated, and it's repeated around a central axis. And that's the MoGraph Cloner at work. Same thing goes for these light elements. The light elements are a grid of MoGraph clones that have then been repeated around, so I've cloned the Cloner to do that. And in fact, if you twirl open the Stadium seats null object and the Stadium lights cloner, you'll see that I've cloned a Cloner. So what does that mean? What is the Cloner object? The Cloner object is the heart of MoGraph and it repeats things in a variety of different ways.

It has some settings on there under the Object Properties that allow you to control what type of arrangement of clones you're creating. You can create things like Grid Arrays and Linear Arrays and Radial Arrays. Then once you've created these arrays, you can manipulate them using things called Effectors. In this chapter, we're going to take a look at the most important objects in MoGraph. It is an incredibly deep toolset and we're really just scratching the surface. But hopefully, you'll get to see the power that's contained there.

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