Join Donovan Keith for an in-depth discussion in this video Laying out our shot, part of Cinema 4D: Digital Product Photography.
Lighting, especially when you're dealing with reflective objects, is heavily dependent upon the position and orientation of your camera. Before we can set up our lighting or finalize our materials, we need to lock down our camera and compose our shot. I think that this is probably a pretty good target for our layout, and in order to recreate this, start by opening up the layout project file. Inside of here we see that we have a floor, a back drop and our H + sports bottle.
Let's go ahead and add a camera to our scene and I'm going to roughly position my editor camera into the correct place before I add it. Once my editor camera is in the right place I'm going to add a camera and I'm going to start looking through it. In order to accurately position your camera, you need to know its aspect ratio and that's going to be dependent upon the output size of your shot. So I'm going to do into my render settings and set us up for a 16 by nine aspect ratio. So I'm going to click on this little triangle next to where it says preset, choose Film Video.
And I'm going to choose HDV, HDTV, 720, 7297. Now it's a little hard to make out, but on the edge of my frame are slightly darker grey areas and these indicate the area that will not render. So, I'm going to turn on, Options, Configure in my viewport. And set the opacity of that to something a little bit higher, like say, 75%. And now, it's much clearer to see what will get cropped out of my final render.
Now, looking through this camera again, I want to adjust its focal length. Right now it's set to 36, which is good, but a little bit wide. I'm going to choose a more natural, more equivalent to the human eye, lens of 50 mm. So choose Normal Lens 50 mm. I'm going to set the exposition here to zero, so it's perfectly centered on my H+ sports drink. I'm going to select that object and then just tap the O key on my keyboard, which is going to frame my active object. This looks pretty good, but I think I want a little bit more space at the top and the bottoms.
So I'm going to dolly out a little bit and I also want to be looking down a little bit as well, so I'm going to pivot by clicking on the top of my bottle, and I'm doing this so that I can get more of my bottle in my reflection later on. And go back to my camera, I'm gonne set the x position back to zero, as well as the h rotation. And now, I want to adjust the width of my floor, my backdrop, because right now when I render, there's a large gap on the side next to my backdrop, so I'm going to select both Floor and Backdrop, and increase their width until they intersect.
In fact, until they cross over that prop zone. And if you want to make a finer adjustment, you can hold down the Alt or Option key on your keyboard, and click and drag there. Next up, I want to add some more elements to my shot. And I think the easiest way to do that is to just instance my H+ Sports Strength Bottle. So I'm going to select this and an instance object to my scene. The instance makes an exact copy of the object. And if I turn on render instance, it won't even add significantly to the render footprint of my scene.
Going into my top view, I now just want to place that instance back into the left, sort of in a bowling pin configuration. I'm going to drag out another copy by holding down Cmd or Ctrl and moving it out like this. I now have three bottles that are overlapping. And when I render, they show up nicely in my reflections. In this video, we set up the basic composition of our shot. While this may change slightly before we complete our rendering, this gives us a good starting point for creating our materials, as well as a good place to start out from for our lighting.