Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Object Manager, part of CINEMA 4D R11.5 Essential Training.
I just had to create a scene that contained a lot of different elements so I could show you some of the features of the Object Managers, which is in the upper right-hand corner over here. It's going to move the Attribute Editor slightly out of the way, so we can go ahead and make some adjustments here. Now if you watched the last movie, I told you that Attribute Manager was the one thing that I used most in Cinema 4D. Well, that was only partially true. In most cases, when I select an object to work on, I am selecting it in the Object Manager. Object Manager is kind of the Attribute Manager's yin to yang, its peanut butter to its jelly.
When I select something in the Object Manager, it's usually to change its parameters in the Attribute Manager, but the Object Manager is more than a handy way to select things in your project. It's really your project's central nervous system. It's usually the first place you go when you want to look at how a project is build. For any of you who might be previous Maya users, it's very similar to using the Outliner. So let's look at our scene here. As you can see, we have a floor object and then we have our JetCart, and I am just selecting these by clicking right on the text.
And then we have a robot in the little JetCart here, and then we have a three-point light stage. Now anytime you see this Plus button here, what that's letting us do is minimize and maximize the objects contained within that specific object. So, for example, let's click the Plus button next to the three-point light stage. As you can see, it contains all these different lights. Let's open up the robot. As you can see, there is another Plus button next to the body geometry. If we go ahead and click on that, it'll open up everything contained within the body.
So not only is this a handy way to minimize and maximize things, but this is actually a hierarchy where you can control different things in the scene. For example, if I selected a head, and I click on the Control Vertice, I can go ahead and move the head. But then, if I click on the body, I can choose the Y Control Vertices and you notice everything that's below the body also gets moved in the scene. Let's just undo that really quickly. So you might be wondering how to create something underneath something else.
Well, it's pretty straightforward. For example, let's select the JetCart here, and just click and drag on one of the control vertices, and you notice that robot is not working with the JetCart. So let's undo that by just pressing Command or Ctrl+Z, and let's drag and drop the robot into the JetCart. The way you do this is to click on whatever object you'd like to move, click and hold with your mouse button down and move down over the object you'd like it to be contained within. Notice, as I move down over the text JetCart, I get this box with an arrow pointing down.
That will let me know, when I let go, the robot is now contained within the JetCart, and as you can see with the JetCart expanded, I've got a lot of things going on within that specific object. So let's minimize the JetCart, here, just by clicking the Minus button, and now when we select the JetCart and move on its parameters, the robot is moving with the JetCart. Now, we'll get more into hierarchy later on, but I just wanted to give you that, so you could understand how things are getting moved around in the Objects Manager.
Let's undo the move. Let me move our robot right back into the JetCart there. Okay, so with the JetCart selected, if you wanted to expand the parent and all the children, if you hold down Ctrl when you click, it expands absolutely everything so you can see the entire hierarchy of everything that's contained within everything else. So let's show you, for example, if I Ctrl+Click on the body, it'll minimize everything. Now if I just open it up just by clicking, notice the other objects below have not expanded.
Again, if I just Ctrl+Click and Ctrl+Click, everything is expanded. So now that we know a little bit about the hierarchy and how to expand and group different things together by dragging one object onto the other, let's look at some of these other options here. This circle we will get to later, when we get to the Layers video, but these two circles, here, determine some important things. If we click once on the upper circle here next to the JetCart, go ahead and click once. That green is letting me know that this will be viewed in the scene.
If we click again, notice I get a red button. Now I can't see the cart in the scene, but if we go to Render by clicking this button up here in the top-center, the cart and the robot are still visible. That's because the top button controls the visibility of the objects in the Editor, whereas the lower button, here, controls the visibility of the objects, when you render. So, go ahead and click twice on the lower button and re-render the scene and you'll notice now, we have an empty scene. Notice we can turn on and off all these options all the way through each individual object.
Now, what if you want to turn a bunch of these on, or a bunch of these off? Well, if you just click and drag down, notice I get a Paintbrush, and as far as I drag my mouse, it'll keep turning those individual buttons on. If I click and drag down again, now I am turning them all off. Click and drag down again. We're back to our normal default state. Now, what if I want to turn both the Editor and the Renderer on and off together? If you hold down Alt or Option on your keyboard and then click, notice they will both update, as you click in one of them.
If you keep mobbing to the right here, notice these different objects. If we click on them, their name pops up in the Attribute Editor. So, when we select this, this is called a Phong Tag, which we'll get too later when we get into materials. And if we click on the next one, it's a Texture Tag, which helps control how the materials apply. Okay, now, as you can see, this scene gets very, very deep, very, very quickly, as you create multiple objects. So, sometimes you want to be able to just search for something. So, let's minimize the JetCart and go up to the top area here, and you notice we have a Search feature.
It's the same search feature that you found in the Attributes video. So if we go and click on that, let's say, I want to look for eyes, like the eyes of the robot. Notice as I start typing eye, the eyes pop up here. Now, I can select that object very quickly. Let's go ahead and clear the Search field. You can toggle the visibility of the Search field just by clicking on and off. Notice on the right we get the same option that we had in the Attribute window, where we can create another Objects Manager. Let's go ahead and close the additional Objects Manager.
Let's move on to some key commands. Let's say I'd like to duplicate this JetCart with the robot and everything. If you hold down Control as you click and drag, you can automatically make a duplicate of whatever you had selected. Notice now I have two JetCarts. And so, as you see, we have a pretty complicated scene building. If I go ahead and expand all of the different things contained within this new copy, you can select different objects within the Objects Manager, just by clicking your up-and-down arrows. So, as we continue to work our way through this series, you will come to know and love the Object Manager.
We will continue to explore some of the more advanced capabilities but for now you've got the basics to get started. So let's keep going!
- 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