Cinema 4D: The Artist's Project Sourcebook / Edition 3

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CINEMA 4D is a fully integrated 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package used extensively in the film, television, science, architecture, and engineering industries. Generally ranked as the 3rd most widely used 3D application, CINEMA 4D is widely praised for its stability, speed, and ease of use. Recent film and broadcast productions that have used CINEMA 4D include Beowulf, The Golden Compass, Spider-Man 3, Open Season, Monster House, Superman Returns, Polar Express, and Monday Night Football. This 3e of CINEMA 4D is updated to address the latest release of the application as well as its critically acclaimed MoGraph module. Packed with full-color illustrations that engage and inspir novice and seasoned users alike, this artist's project sourcebook teaches how to use the application with a tutorial approach that gets the reader creating 3D objects in the very first pages and builds skills progressively as they proceed to learn the complete toolset.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is very well written and the content is well paced, so you are up and running quickly, as intended. Between the book and the DVD, there is tons to learn from, but you never feel overwhelmed. As I stated previously, the help system within CINEMA 4D is excellent itself, but this book makes it easier to get into the heart of C4D quickly, without getting into the technical stuff. That you can do later. If you are new to CINEMA 4D and you really want to get into learning and mastering the concepts of it, then this is the book you should look for first. I highly recommend it."—
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240814506
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/15/2011
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

is an award-winning animation producer, college instructor, 3D design trainer and consultant for broadcast studios. Kent has been a user of CINEMA 4D for over a decade and has used it to produce films, television spots, product labels, product previsualizations as well as theme park and family attraction visualizations. Much of his work and information can be found at

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Read an Excerpt

Cinema 4D

The Artist's Project Sourcebook
By Kent McQuilkin Anne Powers

Focal Press

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-240-81451-3

Chapter One

The Power of Primitives

Like most 3D programs, CINEMA 4D has a set of primitive building blocks that are parametric. Basic parameters of a primitive, or critical dimensions such as, height and radius, are defined mathematically. Because the program only has to remember a few bits of information, parametric primitives are efficient. The parametric values for an object may be manipulated live in the Editor Window using the orange parametric handles, but the object's surface has no points, polygons or edges that may be pushed and pulled into more complex forms. In the parametric state, the surface and axes of an object are not editable. Notice that every time you choose a primitive, it appears at the same place in the center of the 3D world. This is called the origin and sits at (coordinates 0,0,0), and it has a set of red (X), green (Y), and blue (Z) object axes that show how the object is oriented.

Ornament Project

Step 1

Our first project will be a simple use of basic geometric shapes combined with some advanced shaders that will give a high level look to our scene. Begin by adding a Sphere primitive from the Polygonal Primitive drop down. Figure Ornament_01

Step 2

Secondly, add a Cylinder and move it up into position by setting its P.Y = 97.5 in the Attribute Manager. Adjust the Cylinder's shape by setting the Radius to 35, the Height to 10 and raise the Rotation Segments to 72. Lastly, we'll round the edges of the shape by enabling Fillet Caps in the Caps tab of the Attribute Manager. Match my example by lowering the Segments to 3 and the Radius to 1. Figure Ornament_02

Step 3

Add a Torus to our scene by choosing it from the Primitives drop down. Figure Ornament_03

Step 4

Move this object up so that its P.Y=107, set the Ring Radius = 10, Pipe Radius = 2, and change the Orientation to +Z. Figure Ornament_04

Step 5

With modeling completed, we'll move onto the materials for these shapes. We will use some powerful shaders that are built in to CINEMA 4D to bring realism to this scene. In the Material Manager, choose File>Shader>Danel. Figure Ornament_05

Step 6

Double click on the Danel thumbnail in the Material Manager to bring up a floating window. In the Diffuse Channel, double click on the white color thumbnail to open the ColorPicker and set the color to a Red. Figure Ornament_06 Navigate down to the Anistropy Channel and click on its checkbox to enable it. Click on the red x at the top left of this floating panel to close it. Drag the Danel thumbnail and drop it on the Sphere object in the Object Manager or right inside the Viewport. Press Cmd/Cntrl (PC) + R to render a quick preview in the Viewport.

Step 7

Create our second material by again going to Material Manager and navigating to File>Shader>Danel. Double click on the new thumbnail and, in the resulting floating panel, rename the material Metal. The only change we need is to activate the Anistropy Channel by clicking on its checkbox. Figure Ornament_07

Step 8

Drag the Metal material and drop it on both the Torus and the Cylinder objects. Press Cmd/ Cntrl(PC)+R to see the updated preview. Now we will add some light to bring out the detail in our textures. Click on the Light Icon at the top to drop a light into our scene. Figure Ornament_08

Step 9

Rename this light Key and move it into position by setting its coordinates to P.X = - 1500, P.Y = 1000, P.Z = - 2000. Click on the tab to the left of Shadow and change it from None to Shadow Maps (Soft). Figure Ornament_09

Step 10

Add a second light and name it Fill. Adjust its parameters to P.X = 3000, P.Y = 1000, P.Z = 400, set the Intensity to 40% and set the color to R = 155, G = 160, B = 255. Figure Ornament_10

Step 10

We will now create our first animation by spinning the ornament. The first order of business is to group the shapes that make up the ornament. In the Object Manager, select the Torus, Cylinder, and Sphere and now press Option(Alt PC)+G to group. Double click on the new Null Object and rename it, Ornament. With Ornament selected, go down to the Coordinates Manager. Click on the H beside the R.H parameter. Figure Ornament_11

Step 12

This makes it easier to set a keyframe exclusively on this parameter. To set a keyframe, control+click on the black outlined open ellipse. It will turn red to indicate that a keyframe has been set. Figure Ornament_12

Step 13

In the timeline, click on the Goto last frame button. Figure Ornament_13

Step 14

Type 360 in the R.H value and control+click on the red open ellipse to set an ending keyframe. The red open ellipse indicates that there is a keyframe on the parameter but not on the current frame. Figure Ornament_14

Greek Pool

Step 1

We are going to start this project by adding a cylinder object to our scene from the Polygonal Primitive drop down (Figure Greek_01) Double click on its name in the Object Manager and rename it Base.

Step 2

In the Attribute Manager, make sure that the Object tab is selected. Set the Radius to 500 and the Height to 20. Raise the Rotation segments to 108 to get a smooth outer edge. Figure Greek_02

Step 3

Now control drag on the name Base in the Object Manager and release the mouse button to duplicate the Base object. Rename the copy, Step. With the Step object selected, lower the radius to 475. Keep in mind that you can have multiple tabs open in the Attribute Manager by shift clicking on the tabs you would like displayed. I've chosen to display the Coordinate and the Object tabs. Move the Step object up on the Y axis by setting the P.Y. value to 19.9. Figure Greek_03

Step 4

We will now move on to creating a column. Add another Cylinder primitive from the Polygonal Primitives drop down and change its name to Column Middle. In the Object tab, set the Radius to 30, the Height to 500 and the Rotation Segments to 72. Figure Greek_04

Step 5

Control drag on this object to duplicate and rename the copy, Column Top. Set the Height to 5 and the Radius to 35. In order to see this object more clearly, Hide the Base and Step objects by clicking on the checkboxes to their right in the Object Manager. Figure Greek_05

Control 6

Control drag on the Column Top object and change the properties of the new Cylinder Top.1 object to Radius = 45 and move the object up by setting its P.Y value to 4.99. Figure Greek_06

Step 7

In the Object Manager, drag the Column Top.1 object and drop it as a child of the Column Top object. Figure Greek_07

Step 8

With Column top selected, hold the Option/Alt (PC) and add a Symmetry object from the Modeling menu. Figure Greek_08

Step 9

With the Symmetry selected, change the Mirror Plane to XZ in the Attribute Manager. Figure Greek_09

Step 10

Select the Cylinder Top object and move it up on the Y so that its P.Y value = 252. Figure Greek_10

Step 11

Now drag the Symmetry group and drop it as a child of the Column Middle object. Figure Greek_11]BL

Step 12

Unhide the Base and Step objects and move the Cylinder Middle group up to Y = 290. Figure Greek_12

Step 13

With the Column Middle group selected, hold the Option/Alt (PC) key and add an Array Object to our scene. In the Object tab of the Attributes Manager, set the Array's Radius to 425 and the Copies to 12. Figure Greek_13

Step 14

With the bottom sections complete, add a Tube object from the Polygonal Primitive drop-down. Rename the Tube Top. Set the Outer Radius to 475, the Inner Radius to 275, the Rotation Segments to 72 and lower the Height to 20. In the Coordinates tab change the P.Y to 555. Figure Greek_14

Step 15

Now duplicate the Top object by Control+dragging on its name in the Object Manager. Change the P.Y value of Top.1 to 574 and its Outer Radius to 425. Figure Greek_05

Step 16

The outer structure is complete and now we will create the pool itself. Control+Drag on the Base object to Duplicate it in the Object Manager. Double click on its name and change it to Pool Step. Adjust its values to P.Y = 35, Radius = 300. Figure Greek_16

Step 17

Copy the Pool Step object in the Object Manager and rename it Pool Water. Set the P.Y = 75, set the Radius to 250 and the Height to 100. Figure Greek_17

Step 18

Finally, choose a Tube object from the Polygonal Primitive drop down and rename it Pool Wall. Set the Outer Radius to 270 and the Inner Radius to 250. Now set Rotation Segments to 72 and set the Height to be 110. Add a curved lip by checking the Fillet checkbox, and move the Pool Wall object up so the P.Y value = 95. Figure Greek_18

Step 19

Lastly, add a Floor object from the Light drop down menu. Figure Greek_19 Set it below our structure by setting its P.Y = -9.9.

Step 20

Select all of the objects in the Object Manager with the exception of the Floor. Press Opt/Alt (PC) + G to group these objects and rename the new Null Object, Greek Pool. Click on the plus icon to the left of the Greek Pool object to expand it in the Object Manager. Figure Greek_20

Step 21

The modeling of our project is complete so it is time to create our materials. In the Material Manager, go to File>Load Material Preset>Prime>Materials>Basic>Marble002. Drag the Marble002 material and drop it on the Greek Pool group in the Object Manager. Figure Greek_21

Step 22

Now, double click in an empty area of the Material Manager to create a new material. This will be the material we use for our water, so rename it Water Mat. In the Color Channel, set the color with these values: R =170, G = 225, B = 255. Figure Greek_22

Step 23

Click on the checkbox to the left of the Reflection Channel to enable it. Check the additive box to lower the influence of the reflection. We will further weaken the reflection by lowering its brightness to 45%. We'll also use the reflection to alter our color by setting its color to R = 20, G = 135, B = 110. Figure Greek_23

Step 24

Now check the box beside the Bump Channel to enable it. We will load a water surface for this bump by clicking on the texture drop-down arrow and navigating to Surfaces>Water. Figure Greek_24

Step 24

Click on the grey Water Tab. Double click on the black knot to the right of the gradient to open its color setting. Set the R, G and B sliders all to 155 to make a medium grey. Figure Greek_25 Notice that this has minimized the bump. Figure Greek_26

Step 26

Back out to the main Bump Channel and lower the Strength to 10%. Drag the Water Mat and drop it on the Pool Water object in the Object Manager. Figure Greek_27 Press Cmd/Cntrl (PC) + R to see the results.


Excerpted from Cinema 4D by Kent McQuilkin Anne Powers Copyright © 2011 by Elsevier Inc. . Excerpted by permission of Focal Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Power of Primitives
Chapter 2: Under the Hood
Chapter 3: NURBS Modeling Tools
Chapter 4: Deformers and Other Modeling Helpers
Chapter 5: Materials in Depth
Chapter 6: Better Under Lights
Chapter 7: Animation Basics
Chapter 8: Head Shots
Chapter 9: Rigging a Character
Chapter 10: Cameras in Control
Chapter 11: The Art of Rendering
Chapter 12: A Jolt of Xpresso
Chapter 13: BodyPaint: the Artist's Connection
Chapter 14: Tips on Type
Chapter 15: More Out of MoGraph
Chapter 16: After Effects Integration
Chapter17: Dynamics and Special Effects
Chapter 18: StereoScopic Content Creation in C4D
Chapter19: CINEMA 4D and Friends

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