Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the interface, part of CINEMA 4D R11.5 Essential Training.
The interface of Cinema 4D is very user- friendly in its standard configuration, but I'm sure there is going to be a time where you'll want to actually add a custom layout, designed just to your own specific liking. And it's really nice because Cinema 4D makes that really easy and really versatile. Let's get started by looking in the upper left corner of the Attributes Editor. You have this little icon here. It's called the Grasp icon. If we click on that and start to drag, we can move this window anywhere in the interface. So, for example, if I wanted Attributes to be over on the left-hand side of my Viewer, I could just drag and drop it right there.
Notice since I moved that, the Objects Manager has just taken up the rest of the scene. If we want to move that back, just, again, click on the Grasp icon and drag back down towards the bottom. Notice I know I am at the bottom when that white bar appears at the bottom, and we could let go. So as you can see, this Grasp icon is all over the interface Now if you're coming to Cinema 4D from Maya, you might be familiar with the concept of shelves. You can create the same kind of thing in Cinema 4D using tabs.
So for example, across the top of the page here, I have a toolbar. Now if we go to the Grasp icon just to the left of the toolbar and right-click, we can make a tab. Go down and choose Make Tab. Now since we've turned this into a tab, we can add a bunch of other tabs all the way across here and create our own sets of buttons. So to do that, let's actually create a tab for our primitive objects. If you come up to the Primitive Object icon in the toolbar, click and hold, notice we have a list of all of our primitive icons, and sure enough, we have a Grasp icon going across the top of the menu.
If I go ahead and select that, I've now separated the menu from the pop-up window. So if you notice, the Grasp icon here is on top of these buttons and the Grasp icon here is to the left. Since we're going to be dropping this in like a tab behind the toolbar, let's move the Grasp icon to the left. Go ahead and right-click on the Grasp icon and choose Transpose. Now, with the icon on the left, my buttons will be laid out left to right.
Now, I am sure you've noticed I haven't really changed anything as far as the layout, but if we right-click back on our Grasp icon and go to Rows and Columns and change it to 2, now you notice we have a much longer set of buttons. So to go ahead and turn this into a tab, go ahead and click on the Grasp icon and drag it directly onto the standard tab. Just make sure you are on the right side of the Standard tab. That way, when you let go, the new palette is created behind the Standard tab, on the right side. If I go ahead and select the Standard tab, now you notice we have a new palette.
If you want to rename the palette, go ahead and right-click directly on the text and choose Rename. Let's rename this Primitives. Now, when we click OK, we've updated the name of our tab. Now that we know how to create tabs and move different parts of the interface around the scene, I want to show you how you can actually add individual buttons to the scene. If you go up under Window, go to Layout and choose the Command Manager. Now let's look at the Command Manager. This is actually a collection of all the commands within Cinema 4D.
Now, as you can see, there are a lot of commands here. So, if you're looking for a specific command, for example, I want to find the Loop tool. I'll just click right here in the Search field and type loop, and as I bring that up, here is my Loop Selection. So, if I want to add the Loop Selection into my Primitives tab, let me go ahead and just select the Primitives tab here. All you've to do is just drag the Loop Selection icon right into the toolbar. Now when we let go, the button has been added.
Let me go ahead and close the Command Manager. Now, if you remember, everything got highlighted with the blue line. If I go ahead and right-click within my toolbar, I can choose Edit palettes and I get those blue lines back. This will allow me to select individual buttons and move them around within placement of the other buttons. Always make sure to go back and turn Edit palettes off. Now, if you want to delete an individual button, all you do is just right-click on top of that button and choose Delete Command.
That way that individual button has been deleted. So now that we know how to create different layouts and tabs and things like that, it would probably be pretty good to learn how to save them. Well, we can save our layout by going up under Window>Layout and choose Save Layout as, and you'll notice if I click on the folder here, there is a folder that's already been created in the Cinema 4D Library for this preference. So I can go ahead and change the layout name. Let's call it ClassLayout.
When we click Save, if we go back under Window in Layout, you'll notice the ClassLayout is now an option. And you might be thinking to yourself, " Well, what are all these other options?" Well, as it turns out, Cinema 4D has a bunch of other preset layouts. Let me show you Animation. Go ahead and choose Animation and you will notice, now, the layout of the window has completely changed. I have the Timeline down here on the bottom, and things have been optimized for animation. You can easily get to these different window layouts with this button in the upper left corner.
If you click and hold, notice here, all the different layouts. Now, if you have the BodyPaint module, you can easily switch to BodyPaint just by selecting that different layout. If I go ahead and click here, you can go back to our Standard layout. And for that matter, if you start moving palettes around and create some kind of mess where you can't tell exactly where you are, just come back up under here and choose your Standard layout. And if by some chance you've hidden this button, remember, you can always go up under Window>Layout and choose your Standard Option Now, these other options underneath, actually just change the pull-down menus at the top of the page.
So for those of you who have BodyPaint, you can switch to BodyPaint, and then, if you click again, notice that the menu set has changed as well. So let's go ahead and change back to Standard, and I hope you've enjoyed the tour of how to customize and save the interface in Cinema 4D, and I hope you find it as flexible and helpful as I do.
- Using Deformers to revise and refine an object
- Creating and saving selections with selection tool sets
- Applying textures and materials to a complete model
- Exploring render settings for stills and animation
- Introducing and manipulating particles and pyro clusters
- Working with BodyPaint for a smooth final look