There are some key settings to be aware of when starting a Cinema 4D scene for the first time. In this video, learn about the project, viewport ,and render settings and some important preferences.
- [Instructor] When you open C4D, by default, you'll be presented with a layout that looks very similar to this. If your layout doesn't look like mine you just come over to the top right here and you can just change the layout to Standard, or Startup, and we should be all on the same page. Cinema 4D can be tailored to pretty much any workflow. And as you continue to work in C4D you will customize the layout with frequently used tools, commands, plugins, and scripts. If you're brand new to C4D and want to find out more about the interface I suggest you watch the course on learning the basics to bring you up to speed, then come back here.
But if you're comfortable with the C4D interface already then you'll be as keen as I am to get started. I'm going to show you a few of the settings and preferences I like to change, but you do not have to make these changes, and they are not vitally important for completing the course, that's why I will revert back to the default settings when we've completed this movie. I just want to make you aware of the areas in the program where you can really customize it, and I hope some of these tips are useful. So, let's get started. We've got our project settings already open here in the Attributes manager, so let's just start there.
It's important to know that you can come in and change your Project Scale, and you can change the units right here. These can be particularly important when you're working with Dynamics. Frames per Second is really important to us, so, when we're creating our animations we want to make sure that our output frame rate matches what we're working on in our project. And currently, this is set to 30 Frames per Second, and we have 90 frames for this project, so, a three second project. And if we were to say, if I'm working in the UK, for example, and I change this to 25 you can see that the frames change so that it matches and we still have that three seconds, 25 frames a second.
But when we come to our Render Settings these are set up at 30, so our output would be incorrect. We need to make sure that these two match, very important. It's also useful to know that you can Load and Save Presets just down here. So, if I wanted to go back to that 30 Frames per Second, or if I wanted to use this one, if I've got a much longer project, then I can just click on that and it'll load it in, but I'll need to be sure to come back and make sure my Frame Rate here matches because you can see that they don't work together.
So, let's come back and just put that to our default, 30 and 90. And now, we're here in the Render Settings, you can see that we have this currently set up at 1280 by 720, so, not quite full HD, but what we can do is lock the ratio here and just change this top number to 1920 and the height will be calculated already. Or, we can drop this down to something like 640 and we can get a really fast preview out. Useful to know that you can lock the ratio and just let C4D do the width and the height calculations for you.
We'll get into more of these settings when we're on our chapter on getting work out of Cinema 4D, so we'll just close these down for now. There's a lot you can do with the Viewport. So, we'll press Shift+V and we'll bring up the options for the particular Viewport that we're in. In terms of the Display, I just want to point out that if you have an object in the scene, you can see here that we have this outline around it. Now, you might not like that. If you want to get rid of that then just press here, you can just uncheck this button and the outlines will go. Moving over to the Filter tab.
This can be useful for our Hardware OpenGL previews. If you're rendering the Viewport, then you are going to render everything in the Viewport, that means the Grid, the World Axis, if this object is selected, the axis on here. So, you can turn off certain things in here to clean up the Viewport such as the Grid and the World Axis. And you can see they've gone away for and, unselect the cube. This Viewport looks a lot cleaner now. Just know that you can come over here and you have the same option, so, we can just filter on that Grid.
But if you're doing multiple things it's probably more effective to come into the Viewport View settings and then just change, just by unchecking these boxes here. So, let's look at the next tab along. We currently have our Render Safe Settings turned on, and you can see that we have a tinted border indicating what areas will be rendered and what areas won't be rendered. Anything inside the tinted border won't be rendered. If that's too hard to see just turn up the Opacity, and now you get a clearer view of the frame that you're looking at.
Now, you might see curtains like we see here, or, if we resize the Viewport we'll get letterbox. So, anything in the letterboxing will not be rendered. I'm going to reset the layout. And I'll press Shift+V and we'll just look at the HUD settings now. The HUD is really useful, providing information about cameras, Frames per Second, and the objects that you have in your scene. Frames per Second can be turned on and can be useful for debugging scenes where we have lots of things going on.
Currently, there's nothing going on in this scene so we're getting a very high frame rate. That just means that we can navigate around the view very easily, and it's very fluid. If you had a lot of objects in your scene then this might creep down to something like single figures and you'd then start to think, how am I going to optimize this scene? So, in terms of debugging it's useful to have this on. Do no rely on this for your playback when you're doing animation, okay, you will always want to render the scene using a preview render to check animation so that you can render at the correct frame rate.
So, just pressing Shift+V again to bring up the HUD settings, this tab that we have here. You can turn on things like the Active Tool, which is is very useful. Here we have the list of recent tools, which, it mirrors what we have going on here. If you press Command and click on something in the HUD you can move it around, so, if you want to position it up here, for example, if that's better for you, then you can certainly do so. So, I'll just Command click and move it back. So, what I can also turn on is the Render Settings that I have, maybe the Current Take, the Camera that I'm using.
I'm just using the default Camera, if I add another Camera to my scene and click on here again, then I can switch to that Camera and start manipulating the view. And then, I can come back to the default Camera, and there you have it. Now, you can switch cameras like so, just clicking on here. And you can see that we're getting that Smooth View Transition. Now, if you don't like that, well, let's take a look at some preferences and we can see where we can turn things like that off. So, Edit, Preferences, or Command+E.
Here's the Smooth View Transition that I was talking about. If we uncheck that and we now look at our Camera, it'll just jump between the cameras. If you leave this on, another way of navigating between cameras is just by double-clicking the icon. So, you can just double-click, and you don't get the Smooth View, either. So, let's look at the Files section. You never want to lose your work, do you? I certainly don't, so I always come in and turn on Auto-Save.
And, I usually keep it at the default, but you can change the interval of how often projects are saved and the number of copies, and where they're saved. In the status area, at the bottom here, you can just see that an Auto-Save has just completed and it's been successful. If a client sends you an image and the colors have just been taken from the web, then you may want to enable this Show Hexadecimal Field in the RGB Mode so that you can just copy and paste values and be sure that you get the correct color.
So, let's just create a new material, and I'll double-click it and open it up in the Material Editor, and you can see, if we're in RGB Mode here, that we have our hex field. I can just toggle it on and off, and you can just come in and get the particular value that the client gives you and can be sure that it's correct. So, we have looked at various settings in C4D to customize our experience when working in the software. We've altered Project, Render, and Viewport Settings and we've just changed some Preferences.
For now, I will turn most of these changes I've made off because I know people like to use these courses for reference and it can be confusing if the interface looks too customized. If you don't want to make these changes to your setup you don't have to, they're merely suggestions. And feel free to get in and have a play, and find out what settings work for you.
Here, learn key foundational concepts, such as spline modeling, lighting, and materials, which are crucial to understanding exactly how this 3D application functions. Instructor Andy Needham covers practical techniques for extruding shapes; working with MoGraph tools such as Cloners and Effectors; and adding lighting and camera views for fully realized 3D motion graphics. Plus, find out how to integrate assets from Adobe Illustrator, composite multipass renders with the After Effects and C4D workflow, and use the Takes System to try different materials and settings and export your projects in the exact sizes and resolutions you need.
- Setting up scenes
- Modeling with splines
- Using Illustrator files in C4D
- Extruding depth and detail
- Animating in the Timeline
- Creating clones
- Using Effectors
- Lighting motion graphics
- Applying materials
- Creating animated materials
- Compositing multipass renders in After Effects
- Rendering motion graphics in C4D