Join Craig Whitaker for an in-depth discussion in this video Navigating the CINEMA 4D (C4D) interface, part of Cinema 4D R17 Essential Training.
- In this movie, we're going to take a look at the Cinema 4D Interface and how to navigate around the application. When you first launch Cinema 4D, you should see this view right here in the middle, which is the Perspective viewport. But before we get there, let's just walk around and take a look at the entire interface. On the top, you'll see a Menu bar, which you should be familiar with from other applications, File, Edit, functions like that. On the left hand side, this is where you have your Model button, the Texture button, the Work Plane, and some components, Point, Edge and Polygon.
And this is how we will select the components of our 3D objects. Along the bottom, we have our Timeline, which functions just like a timeline in After Effects or another non-linear editor like Premier or Final Cut. At the bottom, in this bottom blank area, this is our Material Manager, and this is where we can create New Materials to put on our 3D objects. The bottom towards the middle, these are our coordinates, so for example, if I click on this cube here, you'll see that it'll tell you the position of the cube and the size of the cube.
I'll go ahead and delete that. Across the top are some of our most commonly used tools. Our Move tool, our Scale tool, our Rotate tool. This is a list of the most recently used tools, and if we click and hold, these would populate if we had been using other tools previously. As you roll over the buttons at the top, you'll notice at the bottom corner of the screen, down here in the bottom left, you'll notice Keyboard Shortcuts. They will also pop up if you let your cursor or your mouse hover over each of them.
These are our Render buttons, and we can either render inside of the viewport or we can render to the Picture Viewer, which I'll show you in a moment. Here we have our Objects. You'll notice that some of them have a little black triangle on the bottom right hand corner, and if I click and hold there, you'll see a bunch more options inside of that. And there's also a Double Line at the top that if I click and let go, that'll tear off and this can kind of hover out here in the interface. So we have our Objects, we have some Spline Objects, we have our Generators, we have other items like Booleans and Instances and Connection Objects.
We have our Deformers, our Floor, Sky, other Environment objects, Cameras and Lights. Now if I just click the cube, you'll notice that it shows up over here in our Object Manager. Now the Object Manager shows all of the objects currently in the scene, and the hierarchy is very important, as Cinema calculates from the top to the bottom. If I have an object selected, all of the attributes will show up down here in the bottom right in the Attribute Manager. Now to navigate the viewport, it's as simple as one, two, three.
I can actually hold down 1 and move around left and right, up and down. If I hold down 2, I can zoom in, zoom out. And if I hold 3, I can tumble around the viewport. So one, two, and three. So that should be nice and easy to get around the viewport. Shouldn't be any problem at all. Okay, let's go ahead and select the cube. In the bottom right, you'll also see there's a Layers button. So if I double click down on the Layers button, I can make a new layer and drag objects directly into that layer.
Once they're in that layer, I can turn the Visibility on and off, I can tell this object to render or not render, and a whole bunch of others that you can read about in the Help Manual. So go ahead and right click on this, and we'll delete that layer. Now I think the most important tool inside of Cinema 4D is the right click Show Help button. By clicking Show Help, that will automatically open up that object or that attribute in the Help Editor, which is very, very, very useful. So definitely make sure you use that.
In the upper right hand corner of the screen where it says Layout, there also is a Preset Menu that you can click, and that will change your viewport depending on what function you're trying to accomplish at that time. This could also be very very useful. So, now that we know how to navigate around the interface, let's jump in and start creating our first object.
CINEMA 4D (aka C4D) is a vital tool for anyone considering a career in motion graphics, visual effects, or animation. Whether you're just starting out or migrating to C4D from another program, CINEMA 4D R17 Essential Training has you covered. Craig Whitaker explores some of the new features in R17—the version released in August 2015—and segues into a quick-start chapter that reviews the entire CINEMA 4D workflow in just eight steps. The rest of the course divides CINEMA 4D's core functionality into individual chapters on spline modeling, polygonal modeling, deformers, materials and shaders, lighting, the MoGraph toolbox, animation, and rendering. Craig also shows how to composite your C4D work with live-action footage and other effects in After Effects, using the AEC or CINEWARE workflow. By the end of the course, you should be comfortable working with all of C4D's powerful tools.
- What's new in R17?
- Using the Take System for versioning and compositing
- Navigating the C4D interface
- Modeling splines
- Building 3D models from polygons
- Using deformers to bend, twist, and warp models
- Adding surface detail with materials and shaders
- Working with 3D lighting
- Using the MoGraph tools
- Animating in CINEMA 4D
- Rendering your models and animations
- Compositing C4D models in After Effects