Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Create sphere clones, part of Mograph Techniques: Creating a Flat Vector Look using Cinema 4D and After Effects.
In this chapter, we'll create a simple MoGraph animation that will correspond to the first part of the movie, where we speak about monkeys who are known to develop a social life, organizing small groups of several dozen members. So in Motion Graphics terms, we need to create a small sphere in the middle of the screen and then clone it, a longer shape, and afterwards set a simulation system will will draw those clones to the middle sphere.
Since I want to illustrate it using several individuals I'll simplify the idea and divide it into two groups, the cyan and red group. Sounds easy enough, and it is once you know which buttons to press and I'll try to show you my recipe, using of course Cinema 4D and After Effects. So in the first movie, we'll set up our scene. Then we'll create the simulation and only then we will dress it using materials and of course at the end we will compose everything back inside After Effect.
Now lets begin with the simulation itself. So just so you will see it on screen before we are going to start. I open the Sphere Brain_Cyan.c4d document and I am going to go to the beginning and press Play. We can see that here in the middle there is one sphere, one blue sphere. And all the others are attracted to him and since this is a simulation, we can see that we are getting a nice result, that one of the spheres keep orbiting around these brain, this is the reason why I call it Sphere Brain.
Now you may get different results after following my steps. And since this is a live simulation I will show you how to treat those results and maybe choose a different variation. But for now, let's go to the beginning over here and create a new empty document. Before I start, I just want to set up couple of initial things in the project settings dialog. If you don't see it press command d or control d on the mac. I'm going to change my frame per seconds here to 25 which correspond to the after fix project that I'm working on.
Then I'm going to press on this button over here. You can also press command b, control b on the PC. And then I'm going to choose a different pre-set. I know that I'm going to use the HD 720P for PAL, so this is what I'm going to do. And by saying PAL, I mean that 25 frames per second. Once again. This should correspond to your after-effects project. Then let's close this dialogue and let's give ourselves some more room to work in terms of time.
I know exactly what I need, so I'm just going to type down 110 frames, which should suffice to the length of the animation that I'm after. Next, let's create a basic sphere. So, let's choose it from here, and under it's settings let's define the radius for the sphere to 20. I'm also going to make sure that render perfect is enabled, and I'm going to go with less segments. This will speed up the rendering.
Now my plan is to take this Sphere and I'm just going to name it Main Sphere because it will be our Main Sphere in the middle and then we need to duplicate using the cloner object. A lot of spheres that will be attracted to it. Now, before doing so, I want to define an object where all these duplicates will be in. So, basically, I'm going to go and define a new object from here. So I'm going to choose the tube, and change it's properties.
I want it to be very large. So let's just dragging. You know what? Let's just. Place some numbers here. So, 1500 for the outer radius and for the inner radius let's go with 1300. I'm also going to raise the height weight to maybe 500 and I'm going to change the orientation from positive Y to negative Z. Now I see it over here. So maybe let's go to the coordinates over here and change the heading rotation to 45 degrees.
Now it's in the same, but we can't say. At this point, it may be a wise idea to click on the camera icon and just to frame our shot. So this is exactly what I did. Now in order to make it active I'm going to press on it's icon and then this will lock it down in place. I'll just to show you what we have. I'm going to dismiss it and then using one, two, three on my keyboard, I can zoom out, rotate and track the camera and this is a virtual camera.
So I'm going to go over here and press two in order to move away from the scene, maybe also three in order to orbit around. So this is what we have so far and if we are going to jump back into our camera view this is what the camera will render eventually. So this is what we are going to see in the final outcome. This will be a great Timing tool to save our project. So I'm going to press Cmd+s, Ctl+s on the PC and then I'm going to navigate to the Desktop where I've saved my exercise file and then under Sphere Brain I am just going to name this document Sphere Brain and press Save.
You can see that I've already made a duplicate versions for the red and cyan. These are the final versions, so you can take a look at them later if you need to. But for now let's press Save and move on. And now we can create the cloner. So I'm going to select our Main Sphere and I'm going to hold down Control on the PC, Cmd on the Mac and duplicate another instance. Also going to rename this one just Sphere, then select it once again, hold on Alt on the PC, Option on the MAC and from the MoGraph menu choose to Add a Cloner Object.
And this will take the sphere and make it a child of the cloner and hence we gave us the, the full setting of three cloners. Now first let's go to the object setup over here. And under mode instead of linear we're going to choose an object. This is why we've set up the tube object so we can take the tube object and drag it to the object place over here and this will tell the cloner to use this object in order to clone all the spheres.
Though we do want to take the render instances button over here and I also want to turn off the visibility of the tube but still keep it in place, so hold down alt or option and double click on this traffic light in order to make it go away. Now, let's zoom out of our camera and we can see that indeed we have many spheres that are in a shape that are cloning in the shape of this tube.
And this is the first part, this is how you take one object and then clone it using another object. And of course also set up a simple camera inside Cinema 4D.
- Creating clones
- Adding materials and versioning
- Cloning, repeating, and stepping
- Animating the camera
- Matching elements to the animation
- Compositing elements