Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of the interface, part of CINEMA 4D R11.5 Essential Training.
This video is designed to give you a basic overview of the interface of CINEMA 4D. In the overall sense, I want to show you just how well designed the interface is and how user-friendly the experience can be. Let's get started at the top. Obviously, we have typical pull-down menus you would find in just about any application, where the core features of the application are broken down. Now, if you have the basic CINEMA 4D bundle, you might not necessarily see things like MoGraph or Hair. Don't panic. These are just different sections created because of the expansion with the extra bundles.
The next group of icons, down here, is called the toolbar. The toolbar is divided into sections. This area, down here in the left, allows for selection and manipulation of your objects. The center area here allows you to determine what settings you would like to output for your different files. For example, I could create a web video, or a video for a DVD, or high-definition video. This section, right here, opens up a bunch of sub-menus to allow you to create everything from lights, to basic objects, to particles.
In the middle section here, we have our Render settings. This is where you can set the Resolution and file you would like to output from CINEMA 4D, for example, a still frame for a print piece or video for web. This is an area we will be coming to often, so I am just going to show you some of the different settings. For example, this left button right here. This will render the Active view in your Viewport down here. Let's press that button so I can show you what I mean. This is a pretty high preview as to what the file will look like when we go to output.
So you will see me use this quite often in the course. The next set of buttons, right here, allow me to create objects. If you click-and-hold, notice I get different palettes that pop-up. I know this because of the little black triangle underneath of the specific buttons. So I can create everything from basic primitive objects, all the way to lights, to more advanced features, like deformations and particles. To jump over here to the Object Manager, this is an area where I can select individual objects in my scene.
It's also a place where we can organize and create hierarchy for our animation. We are not going to get to that right now. But notice this area down below the Object Manager, this is called the Attribute Editor, and as I select different objects, the Attribute Editor will update, so I can see the different options available for each attribute. Also, notice when I select an individual attribute, sometimes I have different sections that are called channels, where I can choose the different attributes to select.
Down here at the bottom, we have the Coordinates Manager, where I can type in specific attributes for whatever object or objects I have selected. For example, with the Cube, if I were to move its position, I can go ahead and type, I don't know, any number, like 500, on the x-axis and when I click Apply, it's going to move 500 units on the x-axis. And again, with the Cube selected, the Attribute Editor up here has updated, letting me know it's now 500 units down on the x axis.
Let's go ahead and undo by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on your keyboard. Now, since the Cube is selected in the Viewport, if you look in the lower left area of the interface, notice we have the Materials Manager, and there's a white box around this turquoise Material that's letting me know that that Material is actually a part of that Cube. I also know that because in the Object Manager I have this thing up here called the Material Tag, and it's applied to the Cube. If we deselect the Cube, you will notice I have no more white box around the Material.
If we select the Sphere here, notice again, there's no white box around this Material. So if we want to apply a Material to the Sphere, we can just click-and-drag it right onto the object in the Viewer. And notice the tag is now updated in our Object Manager. Now, to get back down to the lower left portion of the interface, just above the Material Manager, I have this thing that looks sort of like a ruler, and that's called the Timeline. If you look in the Timeline, there is a green box with a 0 next to it. That's letting me know that I have my playhead placed at Frame 0.
If you click-and-drag that green box, notice it moves down the Timeline. Now I have moved 35 Frames down the Timeline, and I know that, again, because the number right next to my playhead. Also, there is this well over here letting me know exactly where my playhead is, where I can just go ahead and highlight the number and type any Frame, for example, 50, and press Enter on my keyboard to move my play head down. To jump to the left side over here, this area is called the toolbox. This is where I can select different tools that will allow me to select different parameters of each object.
For example, right now, we are in the model tool. So if I clicked on the Cube, I could easily select the Cube, and you see I have these things on the Cube called Control axes. And to move the Cube around, all I have to do is click on any of these axes and I can move the Cube. Notice as I am dragging the Cube, I am getting a number in the center, letting me know exactly how far I am dragging it, and that is also updating in my Attribute Editor. Now, what about the rest of these tools? Well, they work for Polygon objects.
This object here is called a parametric primitive, which we will cover later on in this chapter. But Polygons have their own specific set of parameters that you can select, and those are points, edges, and faces. If we click on the Polygon tool, it doesn't look like much has changed, but with my Live Selection tool selected, if I just click-and-drag anywhere on the Polygon, I can select the specific faces. Now, with those selected, if I click on one of the control vertices to move things, it's only moving those faces of the Polygon.
You can do the same thing with edges and points on the Polygon. I am just going to Undo that last move. So to cover one last major feature of the interface, let's look up at the upper right-hand corner of our Viewport. These are the Control tools that allow us to move around and view our objects from different points in the scene. Just so we can see how they work in the default manner, let's choose our model tool and make sure to click anywhere else in the scene to deselect all the objects. Now, to cover the tools, go ahead and click-and-drag on this one tool with the two circular arrows and the dot in the middle.
If you click-and-drag around, notice we are orbiting. This lets us orbit around the origin of the scene, which is actually in the center here. If we go ahead and click-and-drag our next tool here, this moves us closer or further away. If we grab the last tool to the left, this will allow us to pan around the scene. Now, there are many more controls in the Viewport, and we will cover those features in depth in our next video, as we move throughout the chapter, going more in depth into all the different features of the interface.
- 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