Join Angie Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Linking body parts using object hierarchy, part of CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects: Getting Started.
So here we are in Chapter 306 C4D and what I want to do now is create some arms for my character. So I'm going to select the chest, and duplicate the chest by holding down the control key, and clicking and dragging it out here. And what we're going to do is just adjust the height of that. So shoulder needs to be above 30 and then we are just going to move across here. And again using little mouse button to jump to my different views just line up with the other layers, so that it sets in the right place.
Then we are going to create an elbow. And the elbow is created just by holding down the control key and clicking and dragging this shape down. Okay? And if we right mouse click to come out of that view and then go into right view, all we need to do now is just bring down the radius to make the elbow. So the elbow is going to be about almost half the size of the shoulder. So we're going to. Bring it down to a radius of 25 and I'm just going to move it up a little bit, so it's aligned with the hips.
Okay, so we've got a shoulder, we've got an elbow, and we also need to create a hand. So I'm going to duplicate it again, so I'm going to hold down the control key, click and drag it down. To round about there, and we're going to make that about 15 centimeters radius to make a hand. And again, I'm just going to move it up a little bit, so it's aligned with the bottom of the hips. Okay, so we've got the hand, the elbow, and the shoulder, we now need to create pieces to join these together.
So we need an upper arm, and to do that I'm going to create a cube. So, I'm going to create a cube. I'm going to make it a lot smaller. So, let's do it, let's say about 15 would be the width, and then we'll have about 60 for the length. OK. And maybe about 40 for the zed value. And then, we'll move it up Into position. And place it between those two layers. Or two objects, rather.
So there we have our upper arm. Now you made need to, readjust this, you may need to move, some of the layers into position. Again, it's all good practice. All of this repositioning elements is good practice for you. And then we're going to take that cube And we're going to fillet it, so let's give it a very small fillet, maybe about three. And then let's duplicate it, so hold down Ctrl, click and drag it down. Okay. And we're going to adjust the size of it, so let's bring the y value down, to about 50.
There's that value down to about 30 and then we need to look at it from the front to see the rest. So let's look at the front view and as soon as we look at the front view. You can spot a deliberate mistake. You'll see how important it is to look at your object from different views. When we were looking from right view, we thought our arm was over here, and it's actually over here. So if we select these two cubes, we can just move them across and put them into position.
So what we want to do now is adjust the size of these. I want these to get progressively narrower, these disks, here. So the elbow will be narrower, and then the hand will be even narrower. So let's just rename these. Let's call this one Shoulder. So we want the shoulder to be. Quite wide. We want the elbow to be slightly narrower, so what I'm going to do is select that, and just bring the height down to 20, and then this one Which will be the hand we will bring down to maybe 10 or 15.
Let's do 15 I think. In fact, we'll maybe go to about 16. And there we have it. And we'll also rename these so I'll call this upper arm. >> And Load Arm. So, what we want to do now is we want to link these body parts together. I'm going to create another arm and another leg. So, really instead of having to drag all those individual parts over to the other side, it makes sense to link them together if you want them to move as a unit.
One way of doing that is to use what's called parenting. And in order to make the foot the child of the leg, so that wherever the leg moves the foot follows. All I need to do is just drag it up onto the leg layer. And when I see the downward facing arrow that will link it so that wherever the left leg now goes the foot follows. So if I hold down the Control key and drag the left leg now. You'll notice that the left foot follow, so I got the leg and the foot being duplicated up here. Now I need to rename that.
So I'm going to call it right leg, and I should also rename this right foot. Okay. So we've now got right Woops I called that right left. I'll change that to right leg. OK, so we've got right leg and left leg now. The right leg we'll drag down here just so it's underneath the left leg. And when the arrow's pointing from right to left, it means you get to place the accent under, rather than paint into it.
Now, if I was to rotate the hips. let's just go back to our Standard view here. If I was to rotate the hips and let's just middle-click on that. So when I rotate the hips I would maybe want the legs to follow. So let's see how that would work. If I drag the left leg and the right leg Onto the hips, so that the arrow is pointing down. The hips will now control the legs. Now if I rotate the hip (UNKNOWN), you'll see the legs following.
Now the only thing about that is I also want the body to follow, so I then need to Set up a painting structure for the body. So let's link the body to the hips also. So drag that on and we now have when the hips rotate, the body and the legs are following. Now the chest would also move with the body, so I'm going to move the chest so it links to the body. So now when the hips rotate. The chest and the legs follow.
However, I can still move those pieces independently. Now, you'll see if I choose the left leg, rotate that. Notice it rotates separately from the body. So it's like a one-way linking system, if you like. Now we'll continue with that. Now we've got the chest attached to the body. We also need to attach the neck to the chest, so that the neck follows the chest. And we'll have the head attached to the neck so that when the neck rotates.
The head follows, okay. And when the chest rotates, the neck and the head follow. So we're starting to see how we're setting up this parenting structure so we can animate this character. Now I'm also going to attach the shoulders. To the axle. And I want the axle to be kind of separate from the chest, to be able to move separately but also be grouped with the chest. So I'm going to drag the axle onto the chest, so that wherever the chest, the axle follows.
And then, I'm going to attach the shoulder To the axle but before I do that, what I'm goign to do is attach all these different body parts to the shoulder. Now I'm going to drag the upper arm onto the shoulder so that wherever the shoulder rotates, the upper arm follows and we can just check that. OK, that's working fine. And then the elbow goes to the upper arm The lower arm to the elbow and the hand to the lower arm. And now when I rotate the shoulder, you'll see that all those body parts follow when I rotate the elbow.
You can see I'm starting to get a nice little sense of my animation. Now if I now attach the shoulder to the axel. The great thing about the axle is I can move the chest. So let's rotate the chest a little bit, as if he's looking down. But then the axle allows me to move the arm separately. And the good thing about the axle is if I now duplicate that arm, so let's go back to front view, which is this one. So if I take that arm from the shoulder And I duplicate it.
So let's select the Move tool again. Let's hold down Control to duplicate. Move it across to the other side. I'm just going to roughly position it at the moment. Okay, so we've now got another shoulder here. If we go back to our standard view. Middle mouse-click. Middle mouse-click again. When I move the axle and rotate it, you'll see that both arms follow. So I've got a way of animating both arms, but I can still go in there and animate the shoulders individually.
So there we go. That's how to set up a hierarchy so you can start to animate body parts in a way that makes since in Cinema 4D.
- What is CINEMA 4D Lite?
- Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects CC workflow
- Editing primitive objects
- Spline modeling with NURBS
- Animating with keyframes
- Using Xpresso to link properties
- Importing music and soundtracks
- Creating and animating cameras
- Working with text
- Creating and applying materials and textures
- 3D camera tracking
- Compositing layers
- Lighting with visible lights and ambient occlusion
- Adding visual effects in After Effects
- Rendering in After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder