Page 1

ISSUE - AUGUST 2005

Interview with the very talented Rob Garrot on Page 5.

UV Unwrapping without BodyPaint? Pascal shows you “how to do it” yourself in this amazing tutorial Page 29.

The principles of character animation. On page 38 follow Fluffy and learn how to put some “life” in your characters and animations.


Page 4

C4D Quiz - WIN LUMEN!

Page 5-9

Interview with Rob Garrot by Tavy

Page 10-14

Modeling Methods by Rui Batista

Page 15-19

XPresso - Text Nodes by Base 80

PAGE 20-21 Review - The CINEMA 4D 9/9.1 Handbook by Tavy PAGE 22-28 10 Modeling Tips by Jamie Hamel - Smith PAGE 29-33 UV Unfolding Without BodyPaint by Pascal PAGE 34-37 Vue5 Infinite Review by Aaron Biscombe PAGE 38-40

The 12 Principles of Character Animation by Fluffy

PAGE 41

Skin Shader Review by Georg Niedermeier

PAGE 42-45 Basic Modeling - A Coffeemaker Part 2 by todd Groves PAGE 46-48 Artist Spotlight on Christiaan Robinson PAGE 49

Attack Comic by Sir Gong

PAGE 50-52 Best of CINEMA 4D Gallery PAGE 53

Editors Notes


Interview


WIN LUMEN! In this months C4D Quiz 3D Attack is giving away two copies of our new plugin LUMEN. Send an e-mail to 3dattack@3dattack.net with WIN LUMEN as the subject line and I WANT LUMEN and your real name in the e-mail body. That’s it and LUMEN could be yours. We will then pool all of our entrants and randomly pick two winners on September 1, 2005. We will announce our two lucky winners on our forum at www.3dattack.net and notify them via e-mail. Our winners must supply us with the first 11 digits of their registered CINEMA 4D serial. * 3D attack staff and their immediate families are not eligible to win LUMEN!


Interview with Rob Garrot By Tavy

Interview

http://bendingpixels.com/

Tavy: Hi Rob! Thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share with our readers a bit about yourself and your work. As some of our readers may not be familiar with you, would you mind introducing yourself? Rob: I've been a graphics art director animator and editor since about 1991. My degree is in Business, but my heart was never really in it. I never went to art or design school, so all of my lessons have been "trial by fire". The first job I did was an annual report for the L.A. County Coroner's Office (yes I saw dead people) The department head saw me putting their brand new mac "desktop publishing" station together and said "great! It's here! You can do the annual report on that right?" I lied and said yes! 6 weeks later I had an annual report. It wasn't very pretty though! That was when I figured out that I might be able to do that full time and get rid of the tie! When I first started out doing print work I was carrying my "art" around in a paper bag! I didn't even know what a portfolio was!! After a lot of late nights and embarrassment I landed a gig at the clothing company Cross Colors

Open for a promo package created for FX network. I use this project file in my classes to demonstrate using Cinema 4D cameras in After Effects. I've pulled out the all the FX logos to make it "legal" for me to show and use at will.

designing t-shirt graphics, but got laid off. I started retouching in Photoshop doing a lot of high-end fashion stuff (boy are they hairy!) I eventually ended up at an entertainment advertising agency call Friedland, Jacobs (now defunct) doing trade magazine adds and promo kits for television shows. One day the Friedland half of the company walked in and asked if I knew After Effects. I lied and said yes!! After a lot more late nights reading the manual (it was made by cosa not adobe back then!!) I was creating graphics for sales tapes and promo packages. I left there and went to Fox Kids Network. That "mac artist" job grew into "art direc-

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tor" without me even realizing it. After a change in management and lots of "politics" I left the network and went freelance. That was a little over 6 years ago, and I've been freelance ever since. Since then, I've started editing, cutting promo packages and a few TV shows along with the graphics work. I've also produced and directed a live action short film. Also I've just recently started to try to learn character modeling and animation. In addition to my freelance design and editing work, I'm currently teaching 3D motion graphics and compositing courses ( CINEMA 4D and After Effects based 3d anima-


Interview with Rob Garrot By Tavy

Interview

style yet. (even after almost 15 years) I spend so much time creating what the client wants that I never really get to focus on what I like to see. Because I just hit the street looking for work as an artist, and taught myself along the way, I never had that period of personal growth and introspection that most people get by going to art school. That is one of the downsides to being a commercial artist. It is very rare that you get to create something that is truly your own creation and no one can take away from you. That is one of the reasons I want to get into character animation and animated shorts. To try to find that personal style that I haven't been able to create yet. Tavy: Artists are often influenced by the work of others. Who has influenced your work and why?

Part of a 3 minute animation for a Taiwanese bank. This animation is running on monitors throughout the bank lobby in both Chinese and English. It uses Cinema 4D and After Effects.

tion for designers) at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Tavy: What influenced your decision to become an Art Director and Editor? Rob: Paying the rent!! No, seriously, I was not at all happy in my previous life of suits and ties. One day I met a older guy who kinda looked like me who was a prime example of someone just marking time waiting for retirement. He was lazy and had no energy and he was wearing the EXACT same striped dress shirt that I had on except that his was about 20 years old and dingy from smoking. The next day I had put in my 2 weeks

notice and grabbed my paper bag of "artwork samples" and hit the streets. Tavy: Having worked in both print and broadcast, if you could only pursue one, which would it be and why? Rob: Broadcast without a doubt. Not to take anything away from print work, but the challenges of animation and storytelling really fascinate me in a way that print never did. Tavy: All artists are their own worst critics. What aspect of your work do you think needs the most improvement? Rob: I haven't really found my own

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Rob: There haven't really been just a few artistic influences over the years. It has really been more of a "shotgun" approach to my inspiration. Probably one of the reasons why I haven't really found my style yet! The great thing about the internet is that you can see SOOOO much amazing artwork. It is hard to focus on just one! I have had some very key people that have helped me along the way at important moments in my career (both good and bad moments!). When I started retouching I got a job working with these two guys that really elevated it to illustration. Todd Reublin and Mike Elins. They both taught me how to really look at an image and see "into" it. Mike was an airbrush illustrator all thru the 80s and I learned how to blend and shape pixels to create my "vision" for a particular photo. Also when I was at Friedland Jacobs, my production


Interview with Rob Garrot By Tavy

manager Susan Sullivan was really the first person who made me believe I was an "artist". Until then, I was just "a guy who made graphics". She helped me see that I could legitimately call myself an artist even though I hadn't been to art school. Tavy: What software applications are you currently using in your work?

Interview

Rob: All the usual suspects: Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro. But I've started trying to add some visual effects and character tools to my arsenal. Things like matchmoving with a program called Syntheyes.

Logo animation for a production company. It uses the "old skool particle system" in Cinema to create the cloud of letters that collapses back to the center and explodes.

It does the same thing as boujou or matchmover pro, but it's only $350 bux!!! Motionbuilder to try to learn character animation. I recently started playing with BodyPaint and Cactus Dan's IK plugins for CINEMA. So many toys and sooooo little time!!! Tavy: How long have you been using CINEMA 4D and why? Rob: I think since about 1996. I started out in electric image/formZ on the mac at the time when that was really the only truly pro application combo for 3D on the mac. But EI shipped a really heinous version of their app that was not ready for primetime and I lost about 2 weeks of work that was simply corrupted. They were less than supportive and so I started looking for alternatives. I saw CINEMA at Macworld running on a Mac in German! It had all the features I was looking for, true ray tracing; a single workflow with a built in modeler and most importantly it

Still image of my "forehedimus" character using the awesome powers of his forehead to defeat his enemies. Cinema 4D and Photoshop.

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Interview with Rob Garrot By Tavy

ran on a Mac! I was at Fox Kids at the time, so I talked procurement into getting me a copy and I never touched EI again! I've tried other 3D programs (Maya and Lightwave) but I haven't vibed with them. I try desperately not to be a zealot about anything (that wasn't always the case) and to try to find the best tool for the job. Cinema just fits with my workflow the best.

Interview

Tavy: Could you break down your creative process for us? Your workflow? Rob: After doing a lot of magazine and web surfing looking cool stuff, I try to start everything with a sketch. I'm not a very good illustrator, but even a crappy sketch is better than none at all it really helps to focus you down. If it is a logo, I'll start in illustrator creating the parts and then I'll move to CINEMA and do a rough assemble of the parts. I'll then move to After Effects and do a still "style frame". I usually prefer creating style frames in After Effects rather than Photoshop because I can move quickly to the animation phase once the design is finalized. I build the design elements with animation in mind. In the promo television world, you usually don't have the luxury of a long design process with lots of presentations and approvals. The client wants it REALLY fast! Tavy: Are you currently working on any professional projects you can tell us a bit about? Rob: Right now I'm bouncing back and forth between editing the Tom Joyner Sky Show (a live action

Still frame from an animation of a robot named lamont that will hopefully be featured in a story I'm working on in my "spare" time.

music variety show) and creating 3D animations for the fall launch of ABC Kids over at Johnson Murphy Advertising. I'll make a rough cut of the show for a few days, and when it's done, I'll go over there and work on 3D stuff until the approvals come in and I have to online the show. I deliver the show, and then I'll head right back and keep working on the animations. That really keeps anything from becoming boring! Tavy: On our CINEMA 4D discussion forum, often members ask how they can get their foot in the door as a professional in the industry. If you could give them some advice…what would it be? Rob: Really work on your people skills! Nobody wants to work with a jerk. Seriously, don't just focus on your artwork and neglect personal interaction. The way the job world is going, there will be fewer and fewer "jobs" but still lots of work to do. That means you will have to be part

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salesman part production manager part art director part everything it takes to get the job done. You could have really great art skills, but if you can't look someone in the eye shake their hand and land the gig, art skills won't do you any good at all… Tavy: It's always a pleasure to get to know those working professionally in the industry a little better. You are an inspiration to many. You are the men and women who bring to life the films and television programs that entertain us; the magazines, billboards, and advertisements of all types that make us aware of what's new on the market; the logo's that catch our attention…etc. You are the people behind the scenes that often don't get the recognition they deserve. Thanks again Rob for taking time out for 3D Attack and our readers. We wish you continued success and will be looking for more of your work in the future. Any last comments for our readers?


Interview with Rob Garrot

Interview

By Tavy

Part of an animated action sequence I created to use as teaching materials in my compositing class. Everything except for the astronaut head and fire is 3D from cinema. The actor's head was shot on green screen and composited into the space suit.

Rob: Try not to get hung up on arguments or obsessions about which application is better, or Mac vs. PC or great taste less filling.

up a lot of momentum in the industry and the Attack is a HUGE part of that. Thank you Tavy for making it all happen!!!

Try to focus on creating art and the tool that you are using will not matter. 3D Attack is an amazing resource! CINEMA is really building

Rob

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Modeling Methods By Rui Batista Modeling Methods

Boolean, the Mirror, etc. Check out picture 1. Only primitives were

Tutorial

This month I will present you with several methods of modeling. Don't confuse methods with techniques. Modeling techniques can be seen in Jamie’s tutorial "10 Modeling Tips", also in this issue. My tutorial will simply teach what possible methods could be used for different types of objects and topologies. To model any object, many modeling methods can be used. There is no absolutely correct methods for each and every object we may want to model as we can always do the same things in many different ways. But, knowing the different possible approaches, time and effort can be saved, as there are methods that are more efficient than other for some specific situations. I will focus on eight main methods of modeling. Some of them are already combinations of different methods but, even so, you can further combine any of the methods and even create more variations on each one of them. There is NO CORRECT, HERMETIC way to use them. As with everything else, use your imagination to mix whatever you want to achieve the final result. Ok, enough talk, lets go to the juicy part :) Method #1: Primitive Modeling Modeling with primitives is easy. You simple have to use the objects that CINEMA 4D already ships with. Since you are dealing with primitives (mainly geometric shapes), only very basic models can be built, but with creative use of ALL the primitives, very spectacular results can be achieved. The trick is not to consider only the geometric shape primitives. Get wild! Use the Array, the

(Isoparms). I don't include here the BezierNURBS object as its use is very limited and I don't include the HyperNURBS object too because I included it in another modeling method that we will see later. Check out picture 2 and picture 3. Lathe, Loft and Sweep NURBS were used to create the masts, the can-

Picture 01

used, even for the cracked column. When you open the file, be patient. The booleans involved (there are quite a few) take some time to calculate.

Picture 02

Advantages: - Smaller file size. - Usually, faster and higher quality render. - Geometrically more correct. - Usually, faster to model, as the shapes are already created. Disadvantages: - More limited possibilities. - As more complex hierarchies start to form (more booleans, mainly), the editor speed decreases. Method #2: NURBS Yes, NURBS are also primitives, but they are a special kind of primitives, much more flexible than the regular "polygonal" primitives. The Extrude, Lathe, Loft and Sweep NURB objects are extremely efficient in creating all kinds of forms. Since they use splines as their starting point, they are also very easy to edit. Besides, they are very economical in every aspect: RAM, file size, adjustable display resolution

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Picture 03

vas and the stakes/wire respectively. Advantages: -Smaller file size. - Usually, faster and higher quality render. - Easier editing. - Variable resolution. Disadvantages: - Hard to combine different NURB topologies. - Local editing of very specific areas is more complicated as each object is a whole surface. - Although more flexible than simple primitive modeling, the possibilities are still limited to the characteristics of each NURBS typology.


Modeling Methods By Rui Batista

Method #3: NURBS to Polygon Since, like I said before, its very complicated to edit specific areas of the NURBS objects and they are also limited to they typology, why not start with NURBS and then make them editable and start editing away, like a regular polygon object? Nothing stops us from doing that, of course. So, we can start by choosing a NURBS object that suits us for the start and, once the main shape is set, we convert the NURBS object to an editable polygonal object (hit the C key) and we can go on using standard point modeling techniques. Check out picture 4. Image 1 shows the splines that define the

Tutorial

Picture 04

shape. Those splines, inside a LoftNURBS (2) will create a shape. With caps, I reach the shape I want and change it to a polygonal object(3). Now I could extrude the faces to create some thickness (4). Placing this polygonal object inside an HyperNURBS, I smoothed the shape (5). Some advice on this technique: - Always keep a true NURBS object (you can make it invisible or, better yet, turned off by clicking the green checkmark) and only convert a duplicate to a polygonal object. This way, if you need to make changes to the original shape you still have it. - Mess with the spline Intermediate Points and with the NURBS seg-

ments to make sure you don't end up with a polygonal object that has an over-dense mesh. - When converting NURBS to polygons you can end up with separated caps. If you want, you can select them in junction with the main shape and select Connect from the Functions menu. If you REALLY want them to be a whole mesh, run the Optimize command. - The caps have an attached Polygon Selection tag. When you Connect everything, all the Polygon Selection tags get together in the resulting mesh. If you still want to be able to select the caps separately, even after you have a whole mesh, DON'T delete the Polygon Selection tags. If you also defined Fillet Caps, you will end up with more objects and correspondent Polygon Selection tags.

(besides slowness) is that their name is misleading. People usually use them with spheres, but they can be used with any polygonal object and with splines. When used with polygonal objects, a "blob" is placed at each point of the mesh. This is not so good because easily, a very complicated - and slow - Metaball will be created. Also, it is not very controllable. But, with splines, everything changes. Check out picture 5. I created a few leaned splines around a set of cylinders. Then I

Advantages: - Easy editing. - Variable resolution until you convert to polygon. - Has all the advantages of the NURBS modeling (until the change to polygonal object) and, after that, all the advantages of standard polygonal editing. - UV coordinates are automatically created for the object and they are evenly distributed along the whole surface.

projected (Project command) each one to the set of cylinders (picture 6). After editing the splines a bit I placed them all inside a Metaballs

Disadvantages: - All the disadvantages of the NURBS objects. - As soon as the NURBS object changes to a polygonal object, the resolution (mesh density) is settled.

Image 05

Image 06

Image 07

Method #4: Metaballs Yes, Metaballs are a great modeling tool. The problem with them

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object (picture 7). Voilรก!! Instant candle wax. Ok, ok... I had to edit


Modeling Methods By Rui Batista

the Metaballs parameters a bit, but it was fast :-) Now, check out picture 8. Three spheres and a few splines, when placed inside a Metaballs object created the character in picture 9. With Metaball tags assigned to each object/spline inside the Image 08

placement of the generated mesh grid? Enter Axis mode and drag the Metaballs axis). - Excellent for organic forms.

Image 11

Disadvantages: - Can become quite slow, specially when many shapes and low values in the Editor Subdivisions are involved. - Sometimes hard to control. Fine adjustments are very complicated. - For smooth results, a high density - hence slower display - is required. Method #5 - Box Modeling

Tutorial

Image 09

This method is based in standard polygonal modeling. The "trick" is that we usually start with a subdivided cube (picture 10). The Image 10

Image 12

only half we have of the mesh is automatically mirrored to the other side. After some tweaking, I ended up with this face (picture 13). If we need to increase the resolution of Image 13

Metaballs object, we can control the strength of each component separately. We can even set a negative influence, where an object carves instead of adding shape (that's what I did with the "eyes" of the character, for example). The same way as with the NURBS to polygonal modeling method, always keep a genuine Metaballs object and only polygonize a duplicate, if you need. When you convert the Metaballs to a polygonal object, the resulting mesh density is the one set in the Render Subdivisions parameters. Advantages: - Easy editing, especially with splines. - Variable resolution until you convert to polygon (want to change the

Segments X subdivisions must always be an even number. The Segments Y and Segments Z subdivisions are what is needed to get the shape going. Then, the Cube is made editable and half of it is deleted, usually the negative X part. Then it is placed inside a Symmetry object and everything is then placed inside an HyperNURBS object (picture 11). This is the usual hierarchy for the box modeling method (picture 12). Now we just have to start editing the points, edges and faces, using stuff like Extrude, Knife, Weld, Bevel, Slide, etc. Everything done to the

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the mesh, we just execute a Subdivide command but we must turn on the HyperNURBS Subdivide option, otherwise, the final smoothed shape would change. When extruding faces that have an edge on the mirror plane, we must delete the generated faces that are coincident with the mirror plane, otherwise we get errors in the mesh. When modeling, sometimes we must turn off the Symmetry object, temporarily, to access inner points. But that is as easy as clicking the green checkmark.


Modeling Methods By Rui Batista

Advantages: - Easy and fast modeling. Only one half needs to be edited. - Detail is added as needed. - Excellent for Symmetrical objects. Disadvantages: - Only symmetrical shapes can be created. If an asymmetrical shape is required, we must convert the Symmetry object to a polygonal object, loosing all the power and advantages of the mirroring methodology.

adjust the Number to a low value. This way I get a low number of points that is more concentrated where the curves are more pronounced. Convert the two ExtrudeNURBS objects into editable polygonal objects and fuse them into one (Connect, from the Functions menu). Now you can start creating connecting stripes between the two stripes. I usually use the Bridge command but you can also use the Create Polygon command (picture 15). Create additional segments in the middle of the newly created

one used for the Box Modeling method. Whenever possible, try to stick with quadrangular faces, as HyperNURBS (I assume you will be placing the mesh inside an HyperNURBS in the end) prefers quadrangular faces. Advantages: - You work with references so the modeling can be more accurate or easier to achieve. - Symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes can easily be created. - Detail is only added as needed.

Image 15

Tutorial

Method #6 - Front and Side Modeling For this method we must have access to front and side images of the item we want to model. Once we have those (it would be perfect if they were the same relative size and be in the same relative vertical positions) we trace them in FreeHand or Illustrator and export the paths to Cinema 4D. For the front image we only need to trace half of the image if the subject is symmetrical. To export the paths to Cinema4D save them as Illustrator 3.x files and, inside Cinema 4D, choose Merge from the File menu. Once the paths are correctly oriented in relation to each other, place each one inside an ExtrudeNURBS object. Adjust it so that you get two perpendicular stripes (picture 14). I like to set the Intermediate Points of the splines to Natural and then Image 14

stripes (you can use the Knife command) and edit the newly created points/edges/faces (picture 16). Go on adding faces, editing the points and closing the areas. As you can

Disadvantages: - You really need reference material. Without it is like modeling blindly or by memory. - It takes time and you really need to be a decent "sculptor" - You always have to try to simplify your mesh in the end because you may have to create additional auxiliary points during the modeling process. - If you don't take care you can end up with a very messy mesh.

Image 16

Method #7: Texture Modeling

see from the images, I created two auxiliary planes with the image projected in them, for reference. You can see how I did that on the files that relate to this article. Since we are adding faces one by one, some of them may end up with reverted normals. In the end, make sure all normals are points outward. If your model is symmetrical, you can create a hierarchy similar to the

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There is a channel inside every material that can manipulate geometry. Its the Displacement channel. The bitmaps/shaders placed inside this channel will effectively move the points of your objects in and out, along their normals. So, if you know how to control this channel, you can create effects that would be very time consuming or even nearly impossible, if you had to model by hand. The problem with Displacement is that it requires a highly dense mesh to work correctly. The lucky owners of Cinema4D release 9.x don't have to worry with that because they can use Sub-


Modeling Methods By Rui Batista

Polygon Displacement. This method will subdivide the mesh only at render time, allowing for a more detailed displacement, even for lowpolygon meshes. By default, the Type of displacement is set to Intensity (Centered). This means that a grey value in the image will keep the points where they were, a lighter value will raise the points and a darker value will sink them. If you set the displacement Type to Intensity, a black value will keep the points where they were and lighter values will raise them. Of course, all this raising and sinking talk, assumes that the normals are all pointing outward. See picture 17. You can create materials that only have the Displacement channel

you create faces by connecting those points.With time you will start knowing what method better suits you, depending on the subject you have to model. As I told in the beginning, the best way model is to combine the methods. Anyway, now that you know what methods exist (the ones presented here are only a general overview, other methods could be presented), you can start practicing and, hopefully, become a better modeler. Till next time and, keep on ATTACKing. Image 18

Tutorial

Disadvantages:

Image 17

turned on and then place that materials at specific locations, with the Mix Textures option of the material tag turned on, to mix the Displacement with the remaining materials. This allows for greater, local detail. See picture 18. Advantages: - With certain shapes it’s much easier to create "geometry" than modeling by hand. - The "modeling" can be animated. - Allows for local adjustments. - The original mesh is never changed and the texture can be fine tuned until a good result is obtained.

- You only see the results when you render (this can be changed using plug-ins, like Jenna's displaceVIEW but you will need a very dense mesh). - If you don't use Sub-Polygon Displacement you will need a very dense mesh. - It’s not easy to define precise displacements. Depending on the Height value, the grey intensity of the image used in the displacement channel and the Type of displacement, very different values can be obtained. And this closes this tutorial. I didn't talk about another method know as Point-by-point modeling because it can be included in the Box Modeling, Front and Side or even NURBS to Polygon methods. You may have use the Point-by-Point method while performing any of these methods. In it, you create new points - by simply adding new individual points or by subdividing or cutting faces or edges - and then

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Rui Batista


XPresso - Text Nodes By Base80

Tutorial

This tutorial will show some tricks you can do in XPresso using "stringnodes". And to make it a little more attractive I've joined 4 new nodes (almost) unreleased before. The tutorial has easy and maybe even useful stuff to start with and goes on to be quite difficult. The third part is really "experimental" and not useful at first glance. It is intended to prove a method and reflect findings I did in the last months. The last part is an example I made and is quite fun and easy to setup, it's a Chat within Cinema 4d. Let’s start by introducing the new nodes -Time-Date - by Tengaal(fr) This node outputs the date, time and year. -Doc Name - by Tengaal(fr) outputs the name of the current document -Text Read - by Rui-mac will import a text file of any kind also xml, cvs or html as long as it is text. (R9.x) -Text Write - by Rui-mac - adapted by base80 will write text from cinema to an external text file. (R9.x) All the above nodes are Coffeenodes, and are password protected just to unclutter the attribute manage and the password is secret. [Picture0]

PART1 Some simple exercises to start with. 1.Let’s say I want to make renders showing the document name and

the date. Start by adding a textspline in an extrude-nurb to your scene. I will not explain the modeling part as I expect you all know how to do that. You can point the text at the camera or whatever. Drag the text-spline in the Xpresso editor. Open the text-port on the left (in). Then take the Doc Name-node and the Time-Date-node (in the goodies of this magazine). Now we want to connect the Name port and the date port to the text-spline. Therefore we will have to add those "strings" together. The string-nodes in XPresso could help here but I found that the math-add-node does it in a very elegant way. So take a the math-node and set its type to "string". Enter the two strings to add on the left and it will simply put one behind the other as an output. Connect the output to the spline text. Easy does it. [picture1]

Picture 1

Nah, that is not so neat as expected. There is no space between the name and the date; Name.c4d08/01/'05. So we need some space there. Go to the mathadd node and add an input port on the left drag this new input port between the two already used ports and in the Attribute manager you type some spaces. OK cool now we have; Name.c4d 08/01/'05 and that is better. How to get rid of the filetype extension (.c4d) ? I like the above setup, but really don't want the .c4d to show in the renders. This time we need one of the string-nodes, the Left-string is the most appropriate. It will output a string starting from the

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left with a given length. So we have to determine the length. We could type it by hand, but you will have to get back there every time you create a new document, so they invented the Length-String-node. It counts the length of the original string and outputs it as an integer. Take a math node again and subtract the length of the filetype extension from the length (usually 3 and a dot = 4) and feed the result to the count-port of the Left-String node. So now we have; Name 08/01/'05. [picture2]

Picture 2

So we have seen some of the Docnode and the Time-Date-node. The Time-Date node has a total of three ports. We have just seen the date port, but you could use the time port to tag your renders as-well. I use the time-port when I render animation to get an idea at what point a scene gets harder to render. The year port is nice to use for a Company-Name © Year. [picture3]

Picture 3

What we have learned is that the Math-add-node in string mode does most of the work for us and that is a neat trick. Tip Of the Formula-String Use the Math-add trick to feed the Formula-deformer and the Formulaspline. [picture4]

Picture 4


XPresso - Text Nodes By Base80

This way you can easily use time nodes or even collision nodes as part of the equation.

Tutorial

2. Honey, Dinner is Served! We are all busy people working all day and sometimes our beloved partners have a hard time getting at us. So here is a simple trick to let her/him intrude in your scene just by typing to a plain text file. This exercise is to illustrate the Text-In node. Start by adding a text-spline in an extrude nurb to your scene. I will not explain the modeling part as I expect you all know how to do that. You can point the text at the camera or whatever. (yes I copied this sentence from above) For the purpose of this exercise I will call the user of C4D "him/he" and the partner "her/she". We need to start by creating an empty text file somewhere on a shared disk where she can find it. Preferably a not formatted text, but just one that comes with a .txt extension. [picture5]

Picture 5

Let her open the file and type "Honey, Dinner is Served!" and save the file without closing it. Now his setup. Open the XPresso editor and drag the Text-spline in it. And take the Text-In node provided in the goodies of this magazine. Connect the list-port to the text-port of the text-spline. Go to the attribute manager and you will see that the text-in node asks for a file name, click on the little button and find the file on your hard-disk or server. Paf there is the "Honey, Dinner is

Served!" test in your spline. You could add the text to your HUD if you wish. Now she can modify the text in "I've put it in the oven" and it will show on your screen. There are some issues with the update of the text, if you are working in your scene the file will immediately update, however if you are picking your nose it will not. [picture6]

Picture 6

OK base80 you are really silly tell us the real advantage of this node. The above example is anecdotic, but comes very close to real life situations as it comes to workflow in larger companies. One person makes a scene the other one provides text in that scene.

a picture you have to use in your scene. Both of you are in work in progress, but you want to load its picture anyway. The picture is saved on a server somewhere. First you create a new texture and you load an image in the color channel (this can be any image) Now you can drag the "bitmap" icon from the attribute manager to the XPresso editor. Open the "file" input port on the bitmap node. Create a constantnode and set it to filename and point it to the image-file on the server and connect the port to the bitmap-node. [Picture7]

Secondly, it is not always plain text you have to get from the file, the node can output position, rotation, spreadsheet-data, xml, rss, html, css, or whatever. I made an XPresso that reads midifiles and that animates objects accordingly. And some of you may have seen that I made some nifty examples in the 3D Attack forum. The data in the text file could be stock-quotes fetched from the net or meteorological information, you name it. I will explain the basis of my text parsing/filtering method in part 3. PART2 Load and reload a picture in a texture. I will deviate a little from the text things to show you a trick to have a texture with a picture in it that is not in the document path. Let’s say that a colleague is making

16

Picture 7

You now have a direct link between your texture and the remote file, and when your colleague saves the file your texture will be updated. Now, to be SURE the texture is updated before you start rendering, you need this little XPresso that triggers the update. The xpresso says; if frame==0 switch file to same file. So we use a compare node to compare a time-frame to (==) 0 and if true a condition to switch between two the same files. [Picture8] This trick will save you from a lot of frustration if you work in a team. Everybody has one day forgotten to hit the reload button in a texture to


XPresso - Text Nodes By Base80

Picture 8

Tutorial

find out hours later the whole rendering is worthless. Texture is previous rendering (R9.x) Well let’s get back to our text strings. And have a little bit of fun with the above trick. The setup goes as follows, you want to make an animation from a scene with a television in it and you want to the television to show what the camera is seeing. You can try this at home. Connect your camcorder to a television and film the room with that television in it. Most of you know what happens, you get this strange tunneling effect with the scene in the scene in the scene,.... OK lets get started, build your own TV-set and stick a texture to its screen. Open the texture and add an image to the color channel. This will allow you to drag the bitmap channel to the XPresso editor as in the example above. We will now setup an XPresso that loads new images in the texture. To get this thing to work you need to render your animation as a image sequence and not as a mov. We will pick-up the freshly made rendering to use it in the next rendering and so on. So there will be a lag of exactly one frame. In the render settings Cinema 4d automatically puts a number behind each rendered image as follows Image0001.jpg... What we need is to make a filename string that gets to the previously rendered image. We will use the mathadd node again to add: the-locationof-the-rendering-folder-on-the-harddisk + the-file-name + the-number + .jpg Start by adding a few constant nodes to the XPresso editor set to

string and paste the following in each of them; 1. you-hard-disk:desktop:projectfolder: 2. Imagename00 3. .jpeg. Behind the filename00 we will add a Time-node set to frame number minus 1. This will cause the xpresso to load the image0001 in the second frame and 0002 in the third and so on. Do you read me. I have the idea this is getting out of hand here. [Picture9]

Picture 9

To get things right I start my animation at frame 11 as to have a two digit frame number and I have to make the first render (img0009.jpg) by hand before launching the rendering of the sequence. Otherwise you get an error message. Maybe you will need to adapt some settings in your particular case, especially if the rendering is more than 99 frames. PART3 Ok time has come to get to the hardcore stuff. We will do some text filtering. In order to use more complex text files like xml, css, rss, cvs(spreadsheet) or html you have to filter out the information you need. We will use the Text-in node to read the text and some string nodes to filter it to relevant information. The following example is just ....an example. It is meant to get a comprehension of a method. Tour de France Let’s say I got a job this summer to produce graphics of the Tour de France. Every hour I have to make

17

an image of the overall standings. I am lazy and found a way to let XPresso do the work for me. First, I found an applet that shows the overall standings of the Tour, the applet updates automatically and stores the downloaded data in a html file (http://www.haym37.com/tourdefrance/tourdefrance.php). the applet shows the data like this; 1. Lance ARMSTRONG 62:09:59 2. Ivan BASSO 2:46 behind 3. Mickael RASMUSSEN 3:09 ... but the html looks more like this; (I've cut out some headers and stuff for the purpose of this tutorial) <tr class='ysprow1'> <td height='17'>&nbsp;</td> <td class='yspscores' height='17'>1.&nbsp;</td> <td class='yspscores' height='17'>Lance ARMSTRONG </td> <td align='right' class='yspscores' height='17'>62:09:59</td> <td height='17'>&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr class='ysprow2'> <td height='17'>&nbsp;</td> <td class='yspscores' height='17'>2.&nbsp;</td> <td class='yspscores' height='17'>Ivan BASSO </td> <td align='right' class='yspscores' height='17'>2:46 behind</td> <td height='17'>&nbsp;</td> </tr> ... Fist we load the text into Cinema 4d using the text in node. Connect a result node to see the whole text. [picture10] To make the XPresso work I have to find out a way to extract the name and the time from this mess. Therefore I have to look for patterns in the html that are unique for every entry. The unique line that comes back is "'ysprow1'>"


XPresso - Text Nodes By Base80

Picture 10

Picture 10

for the first cyclist and "'ysprow2'>." for the second and so on. To find this " 'ysprow1'>" we use a find-string, it will give us the position of this string. [picture11]

Tutorial

Picture 11

The resulting number is the position of this string in the html file. To get the name "Lance ARMSTRONG " we use a Mid-string node. And feed the count port with the result of the above find-string-node plus the number of letters between "ysprow1'" and the cyclists name. This number is 121 in every entry. The problem is that we do not know how long the name of the cyclist is so we have to find this out. I use the find string node and feed it with the result of the previous mid-string so I am sure it will look in the piece of text we just found and I will look for "</td> to get a result of 17. So I know that "Lance ARMSTRONG " starts at 10 and ends 17 characters later. So I use a mid string again and feed it with the result of the previous mid-string and link the 10 and the 17 to the position and count ports. [picture12] I took the same approach for the time the cyclist is at. You have to repeat this thing for every cyclist and adapt it a little and it will output all the relevant names and scores to you. The filtered data can be used to animate objects or to make

Picture 12

graphics in any way you like, and the resulting animation will always be accurate and real time. I have made a setup here on a second hand mac that runs this kind of XPresso, and I found a software that mimics my mouse movements every 10 minutes; the result is that renderings are made automatically and they are uploaded to a ftp server all the time. This is a summer job well done and you can find me at the cafe on the opposite side of the street during working hours. This whole thing is a tedious job, and it is only worth while when tasks are repetitive . I will not provide the file of this exercise, because it is just meant to prove that this text filtering thing is possible in XPresso. I

18

am sure some of you might find the whole thing complete nonsense, but others might just find a way to solve a repetitive boring task this way. As an exercise I have tested several possibilities with this method. I made an XPresso that interprets converted midi-files and the result is an animation of a musical instrument. It works fine as long as the music is not polyphonic. I've done a test on an rss feed from the 3D Attack forum and it produces an image with the title and nickname of the last post on the forum. Another test I made was to use subtitling scripts to add timed text to an animation. I think there could be a commercial


XPresso - Text Nodes By Base80

use of the method in rendering stock quotes or meteorological data in 3d in real-time. If you plan to get as far as trying to do a similar thing I will be happy to help you if needed.

Tutorial

PART4 Text out node This node will write whatever you want to a text-file. This can be the position or rotation of an object. Or like in the above example of "Honey, Dinner is Served!" you could make an XPresso to write back to your wife from within Cinema 4d. I tested a setup to chat between two c4d files 1000 miles apart and it worked. It is also plausible to create midi-files from an animation in c4d, and if this is interesting one of you,just contact me. I needed this node for a client of mine who wants to move a robot arm in real life. I made a copy of the arm in Cinema 4d, and if all goes well the real arm will move as does the arm in Cinema. This is the syntax the robot arm can read; shoulder.VALUE = 40 wrist.VALUE = 36 gripper.VALUE = 23 elbow.VALUE = 25 This is an easy syntax to create using the math add node and some constant node strings. I'll talk about this robot arm around the end of the year and will write a full report for the mag if all goes well. Cinema 4d's Internal Chat For now I'll stick at explaining the Chat XPresso. What you need is two empty text files on a shared hard disk.

Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s start the XPresso; we need two text-splines, one to receive messages and another to write them from. Now take both the text in and text out nodes provided with this tutorial. Connect them to the two text files on your hard disk and connect each text splines to them. Save the document and make a copy of it, open the copied c4d document on another machine and reverse the linked text files as to read and write to the opposite files than the other document reads and writes to. Voila you have a chat within Cinema 4d, enjoy! [picture13]

Picture 13

Writing to a file can be much more useful than a simple chat program. It could work to get a camera position from an other model. You could connect a texture setting from one document to another, so when you update the texture all other documents containing this texture will reflect that change. PART5 Well thanks for reading my findings on these text nodes. I congratulate the ones that came this far as it is hard material to read about. As I said before, I can help you setup a specific XPresso that suits your needs. This tutorial can not explain all the ins and outs of "text-processing" in Cinema 4d, nevertheless I tried to give the general direction.

19


Book: The CINEMA 4D R9/9.1 Handbook By Tavy

the new Motion Blending function), and much more; 13 Chapters and 426 pages of pure CINEMA 4D R9/9.1 educational enhancement and enjoyment.

Book Review

With over 100 new functions and features in CINEMA 4D R9, we can all use some explanation and training in what things are and how they work.

The CINEMA 4D 9/9.1 HANDBOOK By Adam Watkins and Anson Call Copyright 2005 by Charles River Media As MAXON upgrades CINEMA 4D, Adam Watkins and Anson Call upgrade their CINEMA 4D HANDBOOK. Having read The CINEMA 4D R8 Handbook, I knew there would be no disappointment when cracking open the upgraded 9/9.1 version. Once again the talented authors are able to convey, in laymen terms, the ease of use of this wonderful application, CINEMA 4D. The reader will learn how and why things work within CINEMA. This gives the reader a more concise understanding of the theory behind the tool, enabling them to better utilize the ideas within the tool. With exemplary teaching skills, Adam and Anson explain the standard CINEMA 4D workflow, explore the various ways to use CINEMA's modeling tools, give lessons on how to use CINEMA's animation tools (along with camera movement and cinematography, function curves and

Some of the new functions work similarly to the old way of doing things, but can be a tad bit confusing getting started. Adam and Anson, through the written word and educational tutorials, help to make the upgrade to CINEMA 4D R9 that much easier. Let's take a look at the Chapters and their content: Chapter 1: INTERFACE The main Window, Command Palettes, The Viewpoint, C4D's Built-In Layouts, Object Manipulation. Chapter 2: BEGINNING MODELING 3D Construction Theory, Modeling Tools, Make Object Editable, NURBS, Splines. Chapter 3: NURBS NURBS Generators, Splines, How the Generators Works, Tutorial Modeling a Castle, Booleans, Tutorial - Modeling a Desk Lamp. Chapter 4: POLYGON MODELING Polygon Modeling Styles, Tutorial Polygon Modeling a Basic House Modeling Layout, Discover More, Tutorial - HyperNURBS Modeling a Dolphin.

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Chapter 5: MATERIALS & TEXTURES Materials, Tutorial - Applying Effects, Tutorial - Layered Shaders and the Banged-Up Old Robot, Rendering, Environment - Bump - and Displacement Channels, render Setting, Texture Mapping and an Alien Symbol of Doom, The Texture Tool, More Dent. Chapter 6: LIGHTING Lighting in Action, Tutorial Nighttime Lighting for the Dining Room, Tutorial - Daytime Lighting for the Dining Room, Tutorial Romantic Lighting for the Dining Room, Tutorial - Radiosity Rendering. Chapter 7: ANIMATIONS BASICS Animation Toolbar, Timeline, Tutorial - Bouncing Ball, Tutorial - Animating a Camera, Tutorial - Motion Blending. Chapter 8: CHARACTER ANIMATION IN CINEMA 4D AND MOCCA CINEMA 4D, Things That Make or Break a Setup, Core Concepts, The Tools, The MOCCA Toolset, Modeling, Technical Aspects of C4D in Character Animation. Chapter 9: CHARACTER SETUP: A COMPLETE WALKTHROUGH The Character, Modeling, Boning, Weighting, Control, Streamlining, The Final Structure, Some Final Touches, Animation. Chapter 10: CLOTH Modeling Cloth, Cloth Tag, Collider Tags, Dressing for Success, Letting it Fly, Tweaking. Chapter 11: CAMERAS AND RENDERING Camera Anatomy, Rendering R9 and Advanced Render, Rendering


Book: The CINEMA 4D R9 Handbook By Tavy

Tools, General Options, Effects, Options, Multi-Pass, QuickTime VR, Running through the Tabs, Tutorial Radiosity - Using an Image as the Light Source, Tutorial - HDRI, Flash Output via FlashEx. Chapter 12: SKETCH AND TOON Raygun with Style, Tutorial Sketching a Raygun, Sketch Materials.

Book Review

Chapter 13: CUSTOMIZE THE C4D INTERFACE Customizing the Manager Size and Location, Individualized Workflow, Command Palettes, command Manager, Menu Manager, Saving a Custom Layout, Preferences, HUD. COMPANION CD Accompanying the book is a CDROM. The CD includes the installation files for the CINEMA 4D Demo, both Mac and PC. You will also find the files necessary to complete all of the tutorials in the book, all images within the book in full color, textures, bonus tutorials, MAXON's documentation for CINEMA 4D R9, printable files that can be used as references, etcâ&#x20AC;Ś. IN CONCLUSION After reading The CINEMA 4D 9/9.1 Handbook and working through a few of the tutorials, I have concluded it's a must have for beginner and intermediate users of CINEMA 4D R9. Advanced users may find some of the tutorials and documentation a bit repetitive, but then again, no one knows it all. If you have been contemplating purchasing this book, now is the time. It would make a wonderful addition to any CINEMA 4D users library of reference and learning material. The CINEMA 4D

9/9.1 HANDBOOK is a definite HIT with 3D Attack! Price: $49.95 USD Where to purchase: http://www.charlesriver.com/Books/B ookDetail.aspx?productID=113397

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10 Modeling Tips By Jamie Hamel - Smith 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

select the edges to be hardened and bevel them very slightly. Just select the edges and using the Bevel Tool, drag in the viewport and the selected edges will split and start to move apart. The HyperNURBS Mesh will harden at the edges, but not so much that it creases. (Image-04) If you increase the subdivision of the bevel, you can achieve an even sharper edge,

HyperNURBS Basics Using the Bevel Tool Know Thy Knife Tool Inside Out! Using N-Gons Cleaning up a Boolean Create Polygon Tool Modeling Axis Normal Tools Using Generators Together Deriving Objects

HyperNURBS Basics The HyperNURBS Object is undoubtedly one of the most powerful Generators in Cinema 4D. (Image-01) One of the most important things to remember when mod-

Tutorial

Image 02

Image 04

Image 03

Image 01

eling using HyperNURBS; Quadrangles give a better result than Triangles. Try to keep Quadrangles in your mesh whenever possible. It's ok to get some triangles in there sometimes, but try to keep them out of sight. One of the most common things that new users do that ultimately compromises the quality of their mesh, is cut the mesh part of the way through. The best way to cut a HyperNURBS mesh is using a loop. (Image-02) (Image-03) What about hardening the Edges of a HyperNURBS Object? HyperNURBS Objects nor-

mally give a very smooth result. I know of 2 methods to harden the edges of a HyperNURBS Object, One is for very sharp edges, and one will give you hard edges that still have a smooth quality to them. The first method is to use the HyperNURBS Weight function. Using the Edge Tool you can select the edges that need to be hardened and hold the period key while dragging the mouse to vary the hardness of the edges. A HyperNURBS Weight Tag will appear to the right of the selected Polygon Object and you should see the edges interactively sharpening in the viewport. The other method I mentioned is to

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while still maintaining a slight curve. Remember to disable the N-Gons option when using the subdivision option for the bevel Tool. This technique will surely give your models those nice hard edges where you want them and it gives you very nice specular highlights! When you cut a hole in your HyperNURBS mesh, don't hesitate to use a Spline primitive such as a Circle to help you tune up the shape of your opening. It can be very helpful for creating openings that are perfectly circular. Give it a try; you can thank me later ;-) Instead of creating a separate HyperNURBS Object for each 'part' of your object, create a Null object and place it in your HyperNURBS Object, then place all of the individual parts in the Null Object. Furthermore, if you


10 Modeling Tips By Jamie Hamel - Smith

want to have different levels of subdivision for each 'part', you can create a HyperNURBS Weight Tag for the part that you want to change the subdivision of, and by clicking the HyperNURBS Weight Tag; you can adjust the Editor and Renderer Subdivision for that part alone. There is a tutorial in the August 2004 Issue of 3D Attack that also examines HyperNURBS by Lenno. It is well worth reading!

Tutorial

Using the Bevel Tool

the Bevel Tool being used with Polygons. When used in the Polygon Tool, the Bevel Tool is simply an Extrude combined with an Extrude Inner When used on a cluster of polygons; it can create a sort of plateau effect, and when the Preserve Groups option is deselected, it creates individual plateaus. (Image-06) With the release of Cinema 4D R9, the bevel tool, like many of the other tools has had a makeover. (Image-07) The big difference to the Bevel Tool is that a

The Bevel Tool is a most powerful tool. It can be used with the Polygon Tool, Point Tool and Edge Tool. The Bevel Tool has its obvious uses, beveling edges, faces and points. But Why? Why do we need to bevel edges? Well, certain objects benefit from a slightly beveled edge, while for other objects; it is almost a necessary step in modeling the object. A tabletop is a good example of an object that doesn't really need a bevel, but it would benefit from one greatly. The following image shows how a single loop of edges beveled can give a very nice specular highlight. (Image-05) The Edges on the left are not beveled and the ones on the right are. Next we will examine

graph right there in the Bevel Tool Options in the Attributes Manager to define the shape of your bevel. Keep in mind that when using any mode other than 'Linear', you must set the Subdivision of the bevel to something higher than 0. When using the User mode, you must also set the extrusion depth of the bevel. So, now you should be on your way to giving your objects nice finished edges! A well sized bevel on the edge of an object will almost always make it look so much nicer. And if you want nice Specular Highlights on the edges of an angular object, you need to bevel the edges! Know Thy Knife Tool Inside Out!

Image 06

The knife tool has been totally upgraded with the arrival of Cinema 4D R9. There are now 5 different modes of cutting. I will just run through the features of the knife tool that remain standard or grayed out through all of the modes, and then I will give a description of each mode. (Image-08) First lets all notice the

Image 08

Image 07

Image 05

'Type' option has been added. There are now 5 different types of bevel profiles: Linear, Convex, Concave, Bezier and User. When using the 'User' mode, you can use a spline

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most exciting part of the new Knife Tool Options; the Mode Menu! Here is where you change the mode of the knife tool from the standard 'Line from point A to point B' style to a more powerful mode! The Restrict To Selection option does exactly what it says; it allows you to only have the knife tool cut the currently


10 Modeling Tips

Tutorial

By Jamie Hamel - Smith

selected polygons or edges. The Select Cuts option selects the newly cut edges. This is very convenient; let's say you just cut a whole bunch of polygons and you wanted to bevel the resulting edges, just select this option before you cut and it will save you the time of selecting all of the newly created edges! It is especially helpful on complex meshes. The Only Edges option only cuts the edges of the mesh; this adds points to the edges that are cut, instead of adding edges to the polygons that were cut. I have only used this option once or twice, but I can't explain how convenient this is if the need should arise. Although the Visible Only option is only available in the Line mode, I will still talk about it as if it were a standard feature of the knife tool. It only allows visible edges or polygons to be cut. It's quite useful and pretty straightforward. The final standard option is the Create N-Gons option. This option is in many of the structure tools and it tells Cinema 4D weather or not you would like N-Gons to be created. Again, it's pretty straightforward.

turns the line into a polyline. This allows you to make multiple continuous cuts. (Use the 'esc' key to exit the polyline mode.) The line mode also snaps to edges or points! Keep in mind that this snapping will override the constrain option. This mode is best for rough cuts and I'm sure all of you are quite familiar with it already. Hole Mode

Image 10

This mode is used to cut holes in polygons. It will only allow you to cut a hole in one polygon, in other words, it won't let 2 polygons share the same hole. It's really simple and there aren't any special options for it. Plane Mode

defines the spacing in between the cuts (when the slice option is disabled) The Keep Lock option is a brilliant one! While you are placing your cut, if you press and release the shift key, the yellow line representing the cutting plane will stay put. This will allow you to go back to the options and insert more cuts; change the cut position numerically, etc. It's a very powerful option and to be honest with you, it took me a while before I started using it. The Loop and Path modes also share that option. Loop Mode

Image 12

The loop option will subdivide a loop of polygons. It's my favorite and it's great for characters and adding detail to all sorts of objects! It gives you a lot of freedom and it's very versatile. Path Mode

Line Mode

Image 11

Image 09

The main options for the line tool are the Visible Only, Constrain and Single options. We talked about Visible Only already, so let's just skip him. The Constrain option will make the cutting line 'snap' to a specified angle. The Single option is quite useful! When unchecked, it

One of my favorite modes! This mode is super powerful and I use it a lot. In short, it cuts straight through the object (respecting the restrict to selection option of course) on a chosen plane. You can choose weather it is working with the World Axis or the Object Axis, or even the Camera's Axis! The Slice option will evenly divide the cut(s) along the object (or your selection). If there is only one cut being made, it will appear in the center, if there are more, they will be evenly spaced. Think of slicing bread. Cuts defines the number of cuts and Spacing

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Image 13

The Path mode is best described by checking out Image-13. It simply cuts along a path of polygons or edges. Although very simple, the Knife tool is quite powerful, get to know it inside out and it will save you lots of time and energy. Using N-Gons N-Gons are a very powerful addition to Cinema 4D's arsenal of already


10 Modeling Tips By Jamie Hamel - Smith

powerful tools, although they wont do you much good if you don't use them. There are 2 ways that I know of to create an N-Gon out of some polygons. You can use the Melt command in the Edge Tool or Untriangulate in the Polygon Tool. (Image-14) (Image-15) You can also draw one by hand using the Create Polygon Tool. One

Object Manager Right Click the polygon object and choose Cinema 4D Tags > Phong. Set the Angle Limit to 25. Select the Top Face (NGon) and Shift-Click the Edges Tool. This will convert the polygon selection to an Edge Selection (cool trick right?) now that we have the edges selected, we will bevel them. I chose to do a Concave Bevel with 4 subdivisions. As you can see, I got a pretty nice result right? (Image-16) Now let's do it without the N-Gon and see what happens. Undo until you get

Tutorial

Image 14

Image 16

Image 15

thing that I really like to use N-Gons for is beveling complex extrusions. When the surface being beveled is triangulated, Cinema 4D can have a bit of trouble figuring out how best to bevel the edges. I'll demonstrate; create an empty Polygon Object from the Objects menu. Now with the Polygon, Points or Edges tool selected, select the Create Polygon tool and draw a rough shape in the top viewport (F2) it will create an NGon by default. Once you have your N-Gon, Switch back to the Perspective viewport (F1), select the Polygons Tool and choose the Extrude command. Extrude it a bit so that you have a little extruded shape. Notice that everything is nice and neat because of the N-Gon. Now lets add a Phong tag to the Polygon object; in the

back to where we had the extruded N-Gon (polygon mode). Select the N-Gon, right click and choose Triangulate or Remove N-Gon they will both triangulate the face, but they do it differently. Now select the loop of edges. Since we have a bunch of triangles in our way, the easiest way to accomplish this would be to use the Loop Selection Tool. The quickest way to access it is to use the default keyboard shortcut of 'U~L' (by pressing U then L) or you could just choose it from the Selection menu. Now once you have those edges selected, bevel them again, see what happens as the bevel tool tries to find its way around those triangles. I'm sure you have come up with a veryâ&#x20AC;Ś for a lack of a better word, crappy result. It's quite obvious that Cinema 4D had no idea what to do in this case and ended up mangling your mesh.

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(Image-17) So there you have it, one plain and simple example showing why N-Gons are so powerful! They allow Cinema 4D to be more

Image 17

flexible in its modeling methods. I especially like when I can import a building from my colleague that may have been modeled in Archicad or Form-Z (usually imported as .DXF or .3DS) and it come in triangulated, I can simply select all of the Polygon objects in the scene and run the Untriangulate commandâ&#x20AC;Ś then voila! The building is so much easier on the eyes and it is much easier to select entire walls or floor areas to texture them separately. Thank you N-Gons! We will use N-Gons some more a little later in this tutorial, but I think that we have got it covered for now. Cleaning up a Boolean This could be an entire tutorial by itself, so I am just going to examine one aspect of the Cinema 4D Boole object that tends to cause problems for me. When most people hear Boolean, they freak out. A Boolean can be exactly what you need if you know how to clean up the mess it usually leaves behind. With the new High Quality mode and the introduction of N-Gons, Cinema 4D R9 is a great version for getting to know the Boolean tool a bit better. My usual scenario is that I want to do an A subtract B Boolean or an A union B. Usually you want to bevel the edge of the Boolean to create a nice


10 Modeling Tips By Jamie Hamel - Smith

Tutorial

blend. Well these little things called co-linear points are created sometimes and they get in my way when trying to bevel, similarly to the triangles in the previous section. Let's illustrate the problem, and then I'll give you a very quick workaround! (Image-18) Pane 1 shows the 2 objects that I want to union. Pane 2 shows them in the Boolean object

Image 18

and all the new edges that the Boolean operation has produced. It also shows our co-linear point. In this particular case, only 2 or 3 were created around the area of intersection, but I have been in situations where literally dozens were created. These points are not bad or anything, it's just that they unnecessarily complicate the mesh and they can cause problems later on when trying to do a fancy bevel or something of that sort. After the second pane of the image I checked the Single Object and Hide New Edges options. By pane 3 everything looks fine, the edges are gone, and the mesh looks clean, but the unnecessary points are still there. In pane 4, I switch to the Points Tool and see that the points are still there. Now we are going to get rid of them very quickly. Pane 5 shows me using a Loop

Selection to select the loop of edges at the base, including the stray points that we want to get rid of. And finally, in Pane 6, we will use a Ring Selection to deselect the points connected to the ring of edges. By CtrlClicking the ring of edges, it deselects any points connected to the ends of the edges, or in other words, all the points we want to keep. We are now left with only the co-linear points selected and because they are on an N-Gon, we can safely hit the delete key and be gone with them! I know that this process may seem like overkill for something that is not really that important, but I have had instances where the co-linear point was just . 1 units away from the edge and you can't see it in the editor right away because they are so close to the other points. This method is sure to save you time and frustration in a case like that. Try to do this as a routine when doing Booleans. Now, it won't work in all cases, but it will help in most cases. I hope I was clear about this, and if I was not, then don't hesitate to ask about it on the forums at www.3dattack.net Create Polygon Tool The create Polygon tool does not actually create a polygon object; it must be used with a polygon object already selected. You can create an empty Polygon Object from the Objects Menu, or you can just use the tool on an existing Polygon Object. It is basically a tool that allows you to draw a polygon using a polyline. The cool features are the options to create a Quadrangle or Triangle Strip and the triangulation methods. The tool is quite self explanatory, but I just thought that it was worth mentioning. (Image-19)

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Image 19

The Modeling Axis A new level of control has been introduced to the Modeling Axis with Cinema 4D R9, when you select Polygons, Points or Edges, it gives you additional control when Moving Scaling or Rotating the selection. It allows you to choose the Position and Rotation of the Modeling Axis. In my example, I have created a cube, made it editable and beveled one edge. Now I want to move the face, but I want to move it along in the direction it is pointing in. In the default mode, the Position of the Axis is set to Selected and the Rotation is set to Axis. This positions the modeling axis at the center of the selected elements and rotates it according to the normal of the selected polygon or edge. This is perfect for me since I want to move the selected polygon along its normal. (Image-20) You can see that the modeling Axis is oriented and centered on the selected polygon. If

Image 20

you cycle through the different modes you will see that there are lots of combinations. You will also notice 3 X Y Z sliders in the screenshot. These sliders move the axis along the selected area. There is another cool feature of the Modeling Axis; there are 2 keyboard shortcuts, F-10 and dragging in the view-


10 Modeling Tips By Jamie Hamel - Smith

Tutorial

port will move the modeling axis, and F-11 and dragging in the viewport will rotate the modeling axis (by clicking on the handles) This allows you to freely move the axis. So, I could orient the axis to a certain polygon and move it while maintaining the rotation. It is a very useful addition to the R9 arsenal of tools! Use it and use it regularly, it will make your modeling tasks easier. Notice that when you use the F-10 and F-11 hot keys to move or rotate the modeling axis, the mode changes to Free. You must return the mode to the one you want after using the hotkeys. Normal Tools The normal tools operate in Polygon mode only and then can move, rotate or scale the normals of a polygon relative to its own axis (normal) Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s do a quick example, Create a Sphere Primitive, then make it editable, now select a few polygons that don't touch each other. Choose the Scale Tool and drag in the viewport to scale the polygons. Notice how they Scale as a group. Now undo the scale and choose the Normal Scale Tool Now drag in the viewport, notice how each polygon scales on its own. Try this with the Normal Move and Normal Rotate Tools as well; this technique is very good for car rims. (Image-21) Using Generators Together This tip is one that I use all the time! Ok, let's say you want to create a circular sweep, that's a pretty common requirement, like a pipe or a cable. Often, I would like to incorporate a sweep into a HyperNURBS Object. If you create a Sweep with a Rectangle Primitive instead of a Circle Primitive and make it a child of a HyperNURBS Object, it subdi-

Image 23

Image 21

vides quite nicely, and if you deactivate your HyperNURBS object, the sweep is also influenced. You can also get some really strange looking bends because of the way the rectangular sweep miters. (Image-22) Allowing NURBS objects to share

tor or NURBS Object to create an object and you don't think you will have to modify the object anytime soon, it is a very good idea to convert the object to polygons and disable the Generators. It is easier for Cinema 4D to display polygons than it is to generate the geometry constantly. A good tip that our very own Rui Batista gave me once is to create a Null Object called 'The Vault' or something to that extent and place all of your disabled generators in that null for later use. That way you can hide the Null object and it is very easy to find your original objects at a later time. (Image-24) Here you can see that I have some exhaust pipes for my

Image 22

the same spline is also a very convenient and cool way to work. Let's say you have modeled a swimming pool using a LoftNURBS object, you can create an instance of the topmost Spline and use the instance as the path to sweep the coping for the pool. (Image-23) NURBS objects and generators such as the Array object, and instances can actually slow down your file. If you have used a genera-

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Image 24

concept bike model. The pipes are created using a SweepNURBS object. I have made a copy of the original hierarchy and disabled all of the generators, I have then placed them in 'The Vault' so that they are hidden and out of the way. I have also made the original SweepNURBS editable. Cinema 4D will have a much easier time show-


10 Modeling Tips By Jamie Hamel - Smith ing a file that has a few polygon objects in it rather than a file with lots of Generators in it, and I can retrieve the original Sweep at any time to make changes. Thanks Rui ;-)

polygons of the newly created object. 4; we now select the loop of polygons at the top of the extrusion. 5; now we extrude that loop of polygons. 6; finally, you can bevel the edges of this newly derived object or simply place it into a HyperNURBS

helpful and I ask you to please log on to the 3D Attack Forums and let us know what you thought of the tutorial. I'll see you on the forums, Jamie Hamel-Smith (jamiehs)

Tutorial

Deriving Objects This is a little tip that I developed while learning to model in Form-Z. Form-Z has a whole tool devoted to this process, but it is still possible in Cinema 4D. A prime example is the windscreen of a car. Image 22

Let's say you have modeled the windscreen of your car perfectly, you have even modeled the thickness of the glass so your refraction looks perfect!

Object. (Image-25) There are lots of other ways to use derivative modeling, but the list is way too long to mention.

Now you want to model the rubber seal that surrounds the piece of glass. The easiest way to do this is to derive the rubber seal from the shape of the windscreen.

Here is one more; When working in edge mode, you can select edges and then use the Edge to Spline command from: Structure > Edit Spline > Edge to Spline.

Image-25 shows a corner of the windscreen as the process happens. 1; we select the loop of polygons at the edge of the windscreen object. 2; we use the split function to split a copy of the selected polygons into a new polygon object. 3; extrude the

From that point, you can use the newly created Spline to sweep, loft, extrude or even just as a guide for modeling other objects. Well, I think that concludes my 10 modeling tips, I hope they were

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UV Unfolding Without BodyPaint

Tutorial

By Pascal

When I first heard about UVs, I told myself "Wow ! Just as if 3D wasn't complex enough..." So I was aware there was a system to make something with textures with these strange 2nd axes. Ok. Good... And how does it work ? When you ask this of a French 3D user, he generally runs away before you finish your question. So my next question was "Is it a French trouble ?" I asked this of Fluffy, and he told me "no, this is a worldwide problem, people don't understand UVsâ&#x20AC;?. So, I'm not a specialist, but I will try to share what I learned with UVs, exploring it myself. The purpose was : "As I don't own BodyPaint, what can I do with C4D core module and some free UV plugins found on the net ?" Let's see... and please forgive my French accent. What are UVs ? When we map a material on an object, the software has to know how we want it to be displayed, and for that, gives us several ways, such as cubic, cylindrical, flat... and UVW. If it is easy to understand that cubic mode uses a cube to map the material, it's a more subtle for UVW. The letters UVW are for a "parallel world" to the XYZ world. The idea is for a polygon object to have a sort of twin or ghost of this object, used for the map How to see UVs ? We'll have to add a little free plugin called UV to object, from Michael Welter. This plugin is able to transform UV maps into polygons.We can find it here : http://www.welter4d.de/fplugs/freeplugins_en.html

In an empty scene, add a cube and make it editable. Run the UV to object plugin, and see what happens. The plugin adds a new null object, containing a polygon object and a spline object. This one is destined to show the boundaries of the new polygon object and is useless for what we want to learn.

but why are they disposed like this, as it is almost unusable ?

In fact, if you select one polygon and use the "select connected" command, you can select and move the main cylinder and the caps independently. Looks interesting... Let's have a look at the polygon object: it looks like a simple square (you may have to move it, as it is created at the center of the world). Switch to polygon mode and move one polygone, to see if there is something behind. There are six polygons. Unfortunately, they are strangely attached, and it seems to be very difficult to work with this thing.

Third attempt: Let's take a cube again. This time, we will add a texture. Add a simple material, such as brick, and map it upon the object. In the attributes, switch the mode to flat, and rotate the texture so it is not orthogonally aligned to the

Let's try a second experience : erase the objects and add a cylinder. Make it editable and run the plugin again. Observe the result. This time, it is a little more speaking: the new object contains the same number of polygons, with the same shape. Ok,

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geometry. In the object manager, remove the


UV Unfolding Without BodyPaint By Pascal

Tutorial

UVW tag, and go to Texture menu (in object manager), and select the first command, "Generate UVW coordinates". A new UVW tag has been added. Run the plugin again. This time, the new object has still six polygons, but their shape is slightly different.

"clone" of the polygons, but also the angle used to map the texture. How do UVs work? Ok, now we can "see" the UVs, let's try to understand the principle. Take a cylinder, and make it more simple, with only a few subdivisions. Make it editable, use UV to object, and move the polygon group as follows:

Ok. So as UVW is the most adapted method for this shape, we can use it for the cloned object based on UVs. Copy the texture tag to the cloned object. There's something wrong. We have the same polygons, but we can see no mapping. Something is missing: the UV tag. Copy it from the original cylinder. That's it ! The UV tag is the key !

Select the center polygon and move it. You can notice you have generated a flat cube. You can almost make it a real cube, moving each point.

So, what have we learned with these little experiences ? As it is said in the name, the plugin UV to object has created an object based on the UV map. The UV map is the space within the material is applied. In the first example, there were six squares piled up, because the default mapping mode of a cube, even with UVW mode, is cubic. In the second example, we found one side the tube of the cylinder, and the other side, we found the caps. The third example shows another interesting thing: UVs are not only a

Now, add a brick texture to the original cylinder. You can see the material use the default mapping of the cylinder, which wrap nicely around the main cylinder and put a flat map on each cap. If you look in the attribute manager, you can verify that this is the UVW mapping. Switch to other mapping modes: cylinder, cubic, flat, to see the difference. Then switch back to UVW mapping.

Delete it, then add a cube, make it editable, and copy the UV tag to the cloned cylinder. This time, we have only six textured polygons: the polygons from the cube.

Now we know how UVs work: Each polygon object have a "twin polygon" stored in the UV tag. Each "twin" loans its coordinates to a specific part of the mapping. So the important object for the mapping is not the object itself, it's the UV tag.

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UV Unfolding Without BodyPaint By Pascal

Moreover, a UV tag can be copied from one object to another with no restriction but the number of polygons. Ok, that's pretty cool, but now that we know how it works, we would be very happy to control the data of this UV tag...

Now make it editable and switch to polygon mode. Delete all useless polygon, as we've got enough work with the those we really need.

Tutorial

Controlling UVs In all we just learned, Controlling UVs will be quite simple. We have created objects, then clones, then we have copied UV tags from original objects to flatten objects. So, to create a personalized mapping on a volume object, we can start from a flattened object, then copy UVs from it to the volume object. Why ? Because painting a texture is easier within two dimensions. Let's return to our flattened cylinder : Delete the UV tag, change the texture type to flat, then make it as follows:

Now we can control UV mapping. The last thing we have to learn is how to create a flattened object. Creating flattened objects and UV maps We now know that the most important thing is to store the information in the UV tag, that can be copied from one objects to others. We will generate UVs for a complex object : a stair. Well. A little stair. But if you can make five steps, you can make one hundred.To create our stair, we'll start from a simple cube and will extrude it like this :

Banking it is useful to control that the method is ok. Now use the "Generate UVW coordinates" command to create a new UV tag from the texture information (you must select the texture tag). Then erase both the texture and UV tags from the original cylinder. Copy the texture tag from the flattened cylinder to the original. Again, nothing happens. Copy the UV tag. Bingo.

Now make a copy of the object and hide the original. Start to unwrap the sides of the stair: Use the modeling axis function to move the axis center, and turn on the rotate quantize to 90째. Before unwrapping the polygons, you have to disconnect them. Preserve groups and click Ok.

Rotate the first side of the stair, then the second. To unwrap the stairs, use the same method. It will be a little fastidious, as now you must do it step by step. Turn on the radio or your favorite CD to make the time shorter. Well, you should have something like this :

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UV Unfolding Without BodyPaint By Pascal

Tutorial

Back in C4D, create a material, then load the PSD file in the color channel. Drag it to the object.

Finish by rotating every step. Now we will generate a texture map. In the front view, or the side view, depending how you worked, take a snapshot of your screen, then open it in Photoshop, or another painting software.

Here we have worked the snapshot to have a black and white blueprint. Not very important, as it's just a learning test. We also have lines to remember where the corresponding edges are. So now you can paint the steps. Here we have a different color for each step. Save the result as a PSD file.

The result is bad, as we still have the old, useless UV tag. Delete it. Switch the mapping method to flat, then fit to object the mapping. If needed, adapt the texture to view in front or side view. Now remove the old UV tag from the original object. Select the texture tag from the flat object, then generate UVW coordinates.

Cool, now UVs have no secrets for you. UVs are that simple.

UVs are our friends This is a very simple example, but even with very complex objects, the principle is always the same. Here, we have used a method that uses only core C4D software and a free plugin. In fact, you will learn that very often a manual unwrapping is easier and faster than a plugin or maybe even BodyPaint. All we have done here could be made with flat mapping and polygon selections. To be honest, that was my method before I decided to seriously work my maps and then learn UVs. The advantages to work UVs are a lot :

Now copy both UV and texture tag to the original object.

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- Total control on the placement - Respect of the aspect ratio of the mapping - File economy : You can create one


UV Unfolding Without BodyPaint By Pascal

very complex mapping to map an entire object. - Non linear work : You can easily modify a mapping just by editing the texture map file. - And so on... Here are some examples of complex texture maps :

Tutorial

First is a denim texture. The unwrap method was almost the same, except this time, I also used scale tool to flatten the polygons. Beware, in this case, you modify the scale, so the result can be a strange stretching of the mapping.

The second example has inspired this tutorial : It's a complex stair of a scene that uses one only mapping. UVs are then useful to divide work in a few pieces of modeling and texturing. Thank you for your attention, and have now fun with UVs. Pascal.

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Vue5 Infinite Review By Aaron Biscombe Intro and Interface I know I am not alone when I say that as a new user to Cinema 4D, I more than once excitedly began work on natural landscape and scenery scenes only to rediscover time and again that the landscape object left a little to be desired.

several new technologies or improvements- most impressive among these probably being the new Ecosystem technology. In this review, we'll take a look at the main features that comprise the application, as well as what that means for the Cinema 4D user. Vue, while a niche software, is a behemoth in

Cinema users will appreciate, and you can also pan and zoom within it as well. In addition, it features a World Browser that displays lists of all objects, materials and textures used in the scene. Layer functionality is also present, for quick manipulation and organization of these assets.(you can use pics of general interface and world browser here)

Software Review

Terrains

While Cinema 4D is no doubt an excellent software capable of beautiful results, there is also little doubt that sometimes we all need a little help. E-on software easily provides this assistance and much, much more with the latest release of their professional level natural 3D scenery generation program, Vue 5 Infinite. As you probably know from press releases or visiting the website, Vue Infinite offers complete solution for the creation, animation, rendering, and integration of 3D environments. This new version of the software (which is the successor to Vue 4 Professional) also offers

terms of features, gathering together a wealth of options and technologies together in order to fulfill its function of creating natural scenery. As such, we could never go over all that it has to offer in this review, so I will try to focus on the most important aspects. First, lets talk about the interface. There isn't really anything new in Vue's interface that will throw users at least moderately experienced with working in 3D software. It features a 3D viewport that is by default set to the familiar 4 view scheme found in most 3D software- the views are also resizeable. The timeline is dockable, something

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Now, lets talk about the Terrain creation and editing functions. Within Vue, terrains are the basic building blocks of landscape creation. There are two types of terrains, standard and procedural, and they both can be edited within Vue's impressive terrain editor, which is a graphical interface that allows you to interactively apply different erosion and geological effects, as well as paint these same effects in real time. Using the paint brush, you can easily sculpt a terrain to your liking, and the terrain editor is quite simply a joy to use. Standard terrains are of a fixed resolution and render more quickly than procedural terrain. Because they are of a fixed resolution, the detail in the geometry is also fixed. This is where procedural

terrains come in. When you need a terrain that stands up no matter from what angle, or how close, procedural terrains are what you will use. They are able to adapt their level of


Vue5 Infinite Review By Aaron Biscombe

detail dynamically, no matter how close you zoom in. They are a bit more complex to edit due to mathematics involved with its altitude function, however E-on has made it possible to "touch-up" procedural terrains using the terrain editor. In my use of the software, I didn't notice any huge drawback to this aspect of working with terrains, and was pleased with the results I was able to obtain.

Software Review

Atmosphere My favorite feature in Vue 5 Infinite has to be its atmosphere system. Combined with the advanced lighting options available, rendering photorealistic scenes becomes a reality even for novices. Not only does Vue come bundled with over 160 predefined atmospheres, but it enables you edit practically every aspect of your atmosphere, from sunlight, to cloud cover, to the amount of breeze generated globally within your scene. When working with atmospheres, you can choose from 4 lighting models: Standard, Global Ambience, Global Illumination, and Global Radiosity. All models can yield pleasing results, and its nice to have the flexibility of mixing and matching lighting models to suit the complexity of your

scene, while maintaining decent rendertimes. While at first, the speed of rendering when using these solutions might seem a bit slow, it is actually quite efficient for the types of scene you'll be rendering, which can easily include millions of polygons. Illumination baking is also an option (either globally or per-object) enabling you to speed up render times significantly. Once you've become acclimated to Vue's interface and you start to notice how your tweaks influence the redraw of the small main camera preview, working with the atmosphere editor is a breeze. Within the editor, you have tabs for manipulation of your scene's sun, light, sky, clouds, fog and haze, wind, and special affectsevery aspect of your scene's ambiance is at your fingertips. Its clear while working with the program that E-on is committed to becoming the standard for creating and rendering natural 3D scenery. Plants Lets talk about plants. The vegetation system in Vue is based on Eon's SolidGrowth technology. Basically, this system allows plants to grow randomly within your Vue scene, so that no took plants are alike. These plants automatically

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move in the breeze and you also have the option of having them react to the stronger effects of wind. Vue Infinite ships with some 50 or so plants ranging from simple grasses and shrubs to full-blown trees, and these can also be edited in order to create your own species of plants. Editing plants is a little less easy than working with atmospheres or terrains, and at first or second glance its not too transparent how to create something similar to the more exotic plants included, but its definitely not any harder than say, xfrog, and its definitely faster than creating them from scratch in your favorite general 3D software. Materials The material system in Vue Infinite, much like other areas of the program, is rich and full featured, and allows for both the novice and the experienced user to craft the perfect

material for his or her scene. There are three levels of editing: Basic, Advanced, and the SmartGraph function editor. There are too many preset materials to count, and by examining these, learning how to create the types of materials you want becomes much easier. The material editor is also where you create ecosystems, a special type of material that allows you to instantly populate your scene with hundreds


Vue5 Infinite Review

Software Review

By Aaron Biscombe

of thousands of plants, trees and stones to achieve scenes that would take hours to create otherwise. For example, there are quite a few ecosystem presets, among them snowy mountain materials that automatically populate different trees and vegetation across your landscape, while the underlying material (the snow) changes its appearance based on the altitude of your landscape. You can use any type of object you can load into Vue with ecosystems, so the possibilities are endless. Ecosystems do have the potential to take a toll on your system, so much like everything else within the package, you have the capability to edit almost every aspect of the instancing, from how prevalent a certain object is in the scene, to whether or not plants deform around objects already present. Its quite an accomplishment. Animation Animation within Vue 5 is straightforward. The program allows you to animate many parameters from object properties, materials, atmospheres, clouds, to plants. In addition, the Animation Wizard walks the user through setting up different types of motions, including convincing fly-throughs. Vue can render low resolution previews of your animation within the interface, enabling you to quickly see what your animation will look like before committing to a time intensive full-resolution render. I used this feature quite a bit, and found it quite handy as I was testing some cloud animations. Import/Export and Synchronization So lets talk about importing and exporting. You can export practical-

ly everything from Vue into standard 3D formats. Atmospheres can even be exported as HDR images. However, while Vue can export entire scenes as 3DS Max or Lightwave scene files, it can not do so for any other format. Cinema 4D user will have to export each object in their scene separately at C4D V5 file format. In addition, Vue can not import c4d files, but it can import 3DS and LWO files among many others. The problem isn't necessarily that Vue doesn't export a wide variety of file types (in fact it does import quite a few), it should just be noted that the proper planning will have to be taken ahead time if one wishes to transfer files and textures into Vue. Vue does however have the ability to synchro-

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nize camera and lighting data between itself and the more popular


Vue5 Infinite Review By Aaron Biscombe

Software Review

general purpose 3D software (3DS Max, Cinema 4D, Maya, Lightwave, and Softimage). This enable you to match your renders between Vue and one of the aforementioned programs exactly, for easy compositing later. This makes rendering a character animation with natural scenery in the background easy to achieve. The plugin for Cinema 4D was nothing fancy, but it got the job done, once I told it which cameras and lights to synchronize, Vue instantly recognized the data, and asked whether I wanted to import it. Once you do, its only a matter of telling your camera or light within Vue to synchronize, and that's it. Vue also features high -end compositing options in abundance, allowing you to render g-buffer information with the RPF and RLA formats (which allow you to work with this compositing data in programs like Combustion and After Effects later), as well as allowing you to create separate renders for every possible element in your scene and then save to a multi-layer PSD file. Conclusion Vue 5 Infinite is definitely the most complete software package for the modeling and rendering of photorealistic natural 3D landscapes and scenery. It doesn't take long to get up to speed with how the program works, but there are drawbacks. I experienced some stability issues on my Dual 2 gig G5, and even though Vue attempts to save your scene when crashing, it was still quite frustrating. Also, while the software does import and export a wide variety of file formats, while simultaneously offering excellent

compositing options to choose from, integrating Vue renders or animations with other 3D renders is not really that easy of a process. It needs to be as streamlined and as pleasant to work with as other aspects of Vue. This is definitely an area where new users will find some difficulties. But to be fair, E-on does say that Vue 5 Infinite will integrate into a professional pipeline, and presumably any professional outfit will have someone who understands how to work with pretty pictures on hand. Also, as of the writing of this review, E-on software announced that a new plugin for 3DS Max and Maya, called Vue Fusion would allow for the seamless integration of Vue environments within the two programs. Its due to ship this fall, and the lightwave and C4D plugins are not that far behind. I rate Vue a 4 out of 5 because, honestly, its ecosystems alone are an amazing addition to your 3D toolkit; besides this however, Vue gathers together a number of indispensable tools that do their job as good as or better than many other solutions out there, from the

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atmospheres, to terrain editor, to plant instancing and animation, it's a great tool. I think the one thing keeping Vue from being a perfect solution, at least on my system, were a few stability issues, but by now, most 3D artists know how to get around a few crashes now and then. I recommend Vue Infinite to any 3D artist or studio looking to integrate more realistic scenery into their projects. Price: $599 URL: http://www.e-onsoftware.com/ Platform: PC/MAC Compatible Rating: 4/5


The 12 Principles of Character Animation By Fluffy

Note: All movie files are located in the goodies folder at: http://www.3dattack.net/goodies/

Tutorial

Animation is an old Art practiced for many years by masters who helped create general guidelines and rules to follow when one wants to animate a character. Be it on paper, a clay model, an articulated model or a CG character, these principles stay the same and help bring life into that lifeless being. If you want a character to be believable by your audience, and convey properly the message you want to pass across, it has to move properly, react to its physical environment and behave like it should based on our unconscious knowledge of how life works around us. These principles were all created to help in that respect. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Timing and Motion Ease In and Ease Out Arcs Anticipation Exaggeration Squash and Stretch Secondary Action Follow Through and Overlapping Action 9 Straight-Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose Action 10 Staging 11 Appeal 12 Personality Understanding these principles and knowing when and where to them is the essence for a good character animation, so try to assimilate and understand what they are and what they allow you to achieve, and half of the job is done!

1.Timing and Motion Timing is very important because it will help define the type of action one performs. Take the same action, animate it at different speeds and it will be perceived completely differently by your audience. Let's take a look at a concrete example : I have a character doing a back stretching motion, then bending forward. Animate it slowly, and it will just look as if he is stretching. Animate it faster, and it will look as if he is exercising. Animate it faster with a pause during the backward motion, and it will look as if he is sneezing hard. [See Animation 1- 3] Timing brings dynamism, helps the style of animation you choose (snappy cartoon animation or more fluid/slow for realistic motion) and convey the idea across.

3. Arcs A human character is built with bones that rotate with joints. These joints cause the limbs of a person to move in an arcing motion, naturally. Apply this to a CG character, and it will look natural, or at least "physically" sound. A good example here would be the movement of the arms while walking. They rotate around the shoulder joints, and the tip of the hand move along a wide arc. Animate this linearly, and it will feel weird, as if the character is forcing his hands to move straight. The sensation of weight and balance would be compromised too without arcs, as they help maintain the character's body mass aligned properly to keep his balance and give him momentum. [Animation 6-7]

2. Ease In and Ease Out Objects in the physical world are affected by forces such as gravity and inertia. These will make a motion start by "easing in" (meaning it will start slowly, then accelerate), and stop it by "easing out" (meaning that it will stop by decelerating). A linear motion will feel unrealistic instinctively, as we are not used to it. All motion is driven by these forces and one should bear in mind that they also should influence a CG character if it is to move convincingly. A good example of this would be a character moving from side to side, from one foot to the other. Animate it linearly, and it will look robotic. Ease the movements, and we will feel the weight, inertia of that movement.

4. Anticipation Anticipating a movement helps warn your audience that something is about to happen. A movement is generally composed of three phases : anticipation, action and followthrough. Imagine a character on the verge of shooting out of screen. Since the audience will lose eye contact with it pretty fast, you need a way to prepare for that action, to "warn" people that it will happen. Anticipation might also be needed for the action itself, if your character is preparing a jump for example, you will need to make him crouch slightly before springing forward. Forget to add that anticipation move, and the character will look like a flea, jumping all of a sudden, as pulled by an invisible cable.

[See Animation 4-5]

[See Animation 8-9]

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The 12 Principles of Character Animation

Tutorial

By Fluffy

5. Exaggeration No matter what is the style you choose to animate your character (realistic or stylized), you will need to exaggerate some actions. Try to think of it as a comedian in a theatre doing a Shakespeare play. Motions, voice intonations, expressions are all exaggerated. No need to be so obvious, though, Exaggeration needs to be sometimes subtile and balanced with realistic motion. Overdo it, and it will look ridiculous. Don't exaggerate enough, and the animation will feel bland. A good example of this would be a character arguing with another one, slapping one hand repeatedly into the other. Stretch the arms forward, exaggerate that slapping movement and the force of the blow, and the point will get perceived more forcefully by your audience than if he slaps lightly one hand into the other.

areas of its volume. The same principle applies to characters. Another good example would be a cartoony character slamming his fingers with a hammer. The fingers will flatten under the impact of the hammer, and the finger tips will expand like balloons so that the fingers originally retain their volume. [See Animation 12] 7. Secondary Action Secondary action is an action that is not the main action, but that helps bring interest and life into the character. The best example coming in mind would be the blinks of the eyes when a character is talking. A breathing motion is also considered as secondary action. They are not the main action, but are present to fill the gaps and help convey the mood of a character, his state of mind or physical state.

[See Animation 10-11] [See Animation 13] 6. Squash and Stretch Squash and Stretch is the process of deforming an object to show how rigid it is. A steel ball will keep its shape if you let it drop on the ground from your hands, a ball made of jello will splat on that same floor, and a rubber ball will squash and stretch afterward, following the bouncing motion and spreading out the weight of the rubber material. One important thing to keep in mind when deforming objects in such a way is that the object should retain its volume. No matter how hard you stretch or squash it, the matter is still there, and shouldn't disappear out in thin air, but more precisely be moved onto another part of the object. A good example for this is to squeeze a balloon filled with water. The balloon won't shrink down, it will just displace the water to other

8. Follow Through and Overlapping Action Follow Through is like anticipation, except that it follows the main action and is played after that main action is done. For example, your character jumps from one foot to the other. If you stop the animation on the foot he landed on, it won't look like much, giving it a really "fake" feeling. Give him inertia, looking as if he has trouble balancing himself and it will look a lot better. Follow through is a bit like overshooting the wanted position and coming back to it, it helps convey a feeling of weight and lack of control of our limbs (not everybody is a Shaolin Kung-Fu master). Follow Through also affects the way limbs and body parts come to a rest. A

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hierarchy of bones shouldn't all stop at the same time. If we take the motion of an arm stopping for example, the hand should stop after the arm, lagging a bit behind it. Same thing for the head, when a character stops, the head should stop after the whole body, since the head needs to balance itself first, and different objects have different weights and don't accelerate/decelerate at the same speed. [See Animation 14] The Overlapping Action is an action created by another action. The antennas of an insect or the tail of a dog movements depend respectively on the movements of the head of the insect and the butt of the dog. [See Animation 15] 9. Straight Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose Action Animating an action straight ahead is usually using the process of animating one frame at a time, not really knowing where it will go in the end. This method has the advantage of leaving a part of unknown and spontaneous motion. This method can be difficult to time and tweak afterward. Pose-to-Pose action is the action of animating from pose to pose. First, you plan your scene and pose your character at key passages (hence the term "keyframe") and afterward fill the gaps with tweaking. The Pose-to-Pose method is really useful when one needs to do a specific motion at a certain time, to fit a soundtrack for example. Some people use a mix of these two technics, by using poses and animating the in-between straight


The 12 Principles of Character Animation By Fluffy

ahead (adding secondary motion and main motion to it). A good example would be to pose a character crouching, then another pose standing. With Pose-to-Pose, the actions will simply be interpolated, then tweaked. With the hybrid straight ahead approach, one could make the character summersault backward before standing, it usually helps creativity.

Tutorial

10. Staging Staging is really important because it will affect what the audience can see, and how it can see it. Once again, think of a play. Every important action is played out for the spectator, and clearly enough so they can identify that action. Think of your character as a silhouette, and try to present that silhouette so it is clear for the viewer, even if there are only the outlines shown. If your character scratches its head, but if the hand scratching the head is not visible, not much of that action will be understood. All important parts for the action must be clearly visible.Staging is also the way and order with which you present your action.Here is a concrete example : Let's say you have a fly on a table beside your character,

and you want the character to flatten it with his palm. If the fly is unmoving and the character is looking in the other direction, then all of a sudden slaps it, your audience will be lost. Instead, you need to make that fly move, fly maybe, that action will draw the attention of the character, who will consequently turn his head and target the fly with his eyes, then prepare the slapping action with an anticipation movement, then slap it. Here, everybody has understood what he wanted to do, and your job has been to get the point across and show how he does it. This helps understand the result : a flattened nasty fly. [See Animation 16] 11. Appeal Your character and presentation of your character must be appealing to your audience. A good design, easily understandable, but not too poor, will help you gain the heart of your spectator. A charismatic character is much more interesting to watch. Colors and shape, as well as lighting and camera angle all participate into making your character appealing. The motion itself, based on the

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other principles, will help to bring charisma to that character, and should be kept in mind at all time. 12. Personality All previous principles should bring you toward bringing personality into your character if they are used properly and efficiently. That is the goal that every animator should strive for. The goal of a character animator is to bring life to a lifeless creature, giving him a personality and charisma through his actions, making him a sensitive being or a dispiseable one. Manage to do this, you'll have won your audience's emotions and feelings for that character and it will help you tell your story. Personality is what should be kept in mind at all times when animating, this is the main goal. Ok, that was it for the theory, everything is up to you now, and to practice. Animating a character is a long adventure that needs persistence, finesse, good acting on your part and a good eye for observation. It is often very rewarding to see one's creation move and react to its environment convincingly, and well worth the trouble of it all. So Keep on Attacking and always have fun! Fluffy


Vreel Skin Shader

Plugin Review

Georg Niedermeier

Vreel Skin is a multilayer shader especially designed for the calculation of skin materials. It requires CINEMA 4D release 8.5 or 9.1 and higher and is designed for Windows and MacOS X. Because it uses different algorithms than the standard subsurface scattering shader, you don't have to worry whether an object´s geometry is open or closed. This is very useful especially for character modelers! Many of you will know the issues where the inner of a character´s mouth is shining through the outer surface when using the subsurface scattering shader of CINEMA 4D. Vreel Skin puts this to an end because its main purpose is the so-called thin-layer subsurface scattering. With Vreel Skin you will get control of specularity, the shading and subsurface scattering effects. Vreel Skin is no replacement for Translucent Pro or the subsurface scattering shader of CINEMA 4D. Yes, you can do certain things that the aforementioned solutions are able to do, but Vreel Skin cannot replace Translucent Pro or the native subsurface scattering shader of CINEMA 4D. It is a useful addition for anyone who seeks a powerful skin shading solution for the every day organic and character modeling needs. This plugin renders extremely fast and even if you want to use complicated setups, Vreel Skin won't take ages to render. Vreel Skin is a channel shader that can be used in any channel of the material editor. By using the Layer Shader or Fusion you can even combine it with other shaders. For example; it is possible to use a texture in order to add veins that appear slightly underneath the upmost layer of skin. You want to

create a character with peach skin? That's no problem with Vreel Skin because it contains an improved color shader which can be controlled by a gradient and spline based falloff. You want to animate the strength of light shining through? You can do that without a fuss because any value can be animated. Vreel Skin offers some very useful options such as restriction of certain effects by a vertex map, using textures as depth - maps or for example a selector for the color of flesh. Vreel are hosting a lot of interesting shader files to download for free. Check it out at http://www.Vreel.de.

model. Don't you be scared! Get the plug-in, make some tests, play around with the settings and soon you are in control of what's going on. By the way: it is big fun to experiment with the shader and there come hundreds of possibilities to mind what it could be used for. Two tiny tips for a quick start: put the shader into the illumination channel and don't forget to insert a light source with shadows into your scene. This plug-in deserves a score of five points out of five! http://www.Vreel.de

One thing about the manual: it gives precise insight into the plug-in and offers detailed description of all functions offered by Vreel Skin. Because of the complexity of Vreel Skin it might be a bit confusing for beginners. This is caused by the nature of the topic because it is necessary to understand the methods and thoughts behind this shader

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Basic Modeling: A Coffemaker (Part 2) By Todd Groves aka 3DTodd

Tutorial

Step 11: To simulate the separation between the top covering the coffee filter area and the sides of the top section, you will need to create a new edge running around the top outer edge. Select the Knife tool, and change the Mode to Path. With the outer edge polygons selected, move the Knife tool until it is about halfway between the inside and outside edges as shown in (pic60). Select the inside circle of the new polygons created by the cut with the Loop Selection tool. Select the

Le carafe de glassâ&#x20AC;Ś

Details, details Step 13: We're going to do a wee bit of back tracking here. Reveal the heating/bottom section of the coffeemaker by clicking its red dot again. To improve the rendering possibilities of the coffeemaker, we will add more resolution to this section. Within the Selection menu, choose the Ring Selection tool and select the edges as shown (pic63). Right-click and select the Bevel tool from the contextual menu. Apply the

Step 14: Now we need to create the glass carafe to pour the coffee with. First, replace the picture in the Right viewport with the reference picture of the carafe. To best utilize the viewport for creating the carafe, I suggest lining up the center of the carafe picture and the bottom (heating) section with the Y Axis of the viewport. To be sure you keep the pieces of the coffeemaker together, shift select each piece. Then use the blue/green axis for the bottom piece to line up with the Y Axis (pic65). Note how each piece of the coffeemaker has its own Y/Z Axis indicator. This is great for situations such as this. After you're satisfied with the alignment of the coffeemak-

Extrude tool, and extrude the polygons downward using the settings indicated (pic61).

settings shown here in (pic64). Step 12: In case you need an angle of the coffeemaker that reveals the underside of the filter cover, you can create an edge around the bottom of this section. Select the bottom polygons, then select the Extrude Inner tool and extrude inward the same distance as indicated for Step 10. Then choose the Extrude tool, and extrude upward as shown in (pic62).

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er, grab the Bezier Spline tool again (pic66). Now to make it easier to draw the spline, remove the Y/Z Axis manipulator from the display so that you won't accidentally grab it


Basic Modeling: A Coffemaker (Part 2) By Todd Groves aka 3DTodd

Tutorial

while you're drawing. Select the Display menu, and choose Axis to uncheck it (pic67). Refer to (pic68)

for an idea of how I drew the spline to create a profile representing the thickness of the carafe glass. Zoom into the beginning and end points of the spline and line them up with the Y Axis. In this case, you can re-activate the Axis manipulator to help line up the points (pic69). Step 15: After you're satisfied with the shape of the carafe profile and aligned the points, it's time to use the Lathe NURBS tool to create the carafe shape. Go to the NURBS dropdown menu at the top and select the Lathe NURBS tool (pic70). In the Object Manager, make the Spline a child of the Lathe NURBS object (pic71). You should now have something similar to (pic72) for your

between it and the back section of the coffeemaker. You may need to adjust the depth of the bottom piece if the carafe is poking inside the back section.

carafe. Now place the carafe in the heating element section of the bottom section as shown in (pic73). Now unhide the other sections and orbit around the coffeemaker to make sure the carafe has room

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Step 16: Let's add a little detail to the carafe to represent the indentation needed for the chrome strip that holds the handle onto the carafe. Use the Knife tool to cut two lines through the carafe as shown in (pic75). Remember that "Visible Only"


Basic Modeling: A Coffemaker (Part 2) By Todd Groves aka 3DTodd

Object Manager, select the red triangle that was created by the Set Selection tool. Go to the Name field of the Basic Properties of the Set Selection and type in "chrome" (pic81). As an aside, it occurred to me that it would be easier to move the entire coffeemaker around if we

Tutorial

should be deselected in the Knife tool settings to make sure the "cuts" go all the way through the carafe. Step 17: From the Selection menu, choose the Loop Selection tool and select the new ring of polygons that were created by the two new cuts. Now right-click and select the Extrude tool. You can use the settings in (pic76). Go into Edge mode, and

placed the pieces as children within a Null Object. Refer to (pic82).

more round, simply Undo this last action and adjust the settings to your liking. Step 18: To make it easier to texture this section of the carafe, create a Set Selection to use with the chrome texture of your choice. Start out by using the Loop Selection tool to select the ring of polygons meant for the strap. From the Selection menu, choose Set Selection (pic80). In the

select the Loop Selection tool again. Shift-select the two edges shown in (pic77). Right-click and choose the Bevel tool and in the Bevel tool Options tab set the Inner Offset to 1.2 and the Subdivision to 2. Click Apply. You should end up with edges shown in (pic79). If you would like edges that are

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And last, but not least, the ever under-appreciated carafe handle. Step 19: OK, I was pushing it with that silly little pun. But, it's all I could come up with at the moment. Sorry, I apologize. Now we're in the final stretch. We're coming around the corner, approaching the finish. Now it's time to model the handle for the carafe. As a suggestion, go to the viewport > Edit > Configureâ&#x20AC;Ś and adjust the Offset X setting to line up the handle in the reference picture with the mesh of the carafe (pic74).


Basic Modeling: A Coffemaker (Part 2) By Todd Groves aka 3DTodd

cator, use the techniques from this tutorial to create the geometry. For the power switch, I used the Knife tool to create the polygons I needed to model the panel and button in (pic90). A very small Extrude Inner was used to create the appearance of the snap-on panel surrounding the power switch. The small ring of

Tutorial

Step 20: Create a Cube primitive and start with the settings in (pic83). Line up the object with the side of the carafe as shown (pic84). Refer to (pic85)

(pic87). Model the top of the handle to create a "clip" that grabs onto the top of the carafe as shown (pic88).

polygons surrounding this area were extruded inward to suggest the panel shape. If there is anything about this tutorial that you find confusing, please post your questions in the 3D Attack forum and I will gladly help you out.

to extrude and model the handle to a shape matching the handle in the reference picture (pic85). Delete the polygons on the handle as shown in (pic86). Right-click and select the Bridge tool and create polygons to connect the two sides of the handle

Now, add a Hyper NURBS and make the handle mesh a child of the Hyper NURBS object. You should have a handle similar to (pic89). For more intricate details, like the power switch and coffee level indi-

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I'm a big fan of 3D Attack magazine and their excellent web site. I hope to return to these pages again with more tutorials. I will always be indebted to the 3D Attack team for their excellent efforts in providing a valuable resource for Cinema 4D users. I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, and thanks for letting me share.


Artist Spotlight... Christiaan “Flingster” Robinson

Name: Christiaan “Flingster” Robinson Age: 34 Occupation: IT Analyst Country: England, UK

Spotlight

Software: Cinema 4D, BodyPaint, Zbrush, Photoshop, Maxwell

CLAW

Favorite resources on the web: 3D Attack Magazine, DiTools forum, CGTalk, C4D plugs Well I'm Christiaan Robinson, some of you may have seen me around various online Cinema 4D forums as "Flingster". I started taking 3D work seriously a couple of years back when I got a copy of Cinema 4D and since then never looked back. I have no formal training or educational background in Art and I'm entirely self taught (some might say it shows :-). I went to University, but at school/college, etc. I concentrated on the more, so called, academic subjects. However, since an early age I've been drawing and have generally been interested in creative type art endeavors. At college I had an Art teacher who insisted on re-drawing or overdrawing some of my pencil sketches, which finally made me give up the subject out of annoyance. One of the biggest mistakes I made, but just shows you what impact teachers can have on your lives. Anyway, I'm now playing catch up with the rest of the talented artists out there. Seems like a late stage in life, but when its in your blood you can’t help but be drawn to it. My Aunt and Uncle are

Dr.I.N.Nards both talented artists in screen printing and watercolours, so some of this probably rubbed off on me over time. I frequent various internet forums in my efforts to learn all I can, and would just like to thank some of those contributors to the various sites for their kind help over the last few

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years. Its people like those at 3d Attack that have allowed me to learn so much in the past couple of years in my spare time, and it doesn't go unappreciated. The type of work I like doing people tend to call abstract or trendwhore. I prefer to look at my work as sculptural really. I'm fascinated by


Artist Spotlight... Christiaan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flingsterâ&#x20AC;? Robinson

Spotlight

form, shape and movement whether simple or complex, and try to get some of my pieces to reflect this love of an objects shape. I'm less interested in the typographic elements in trendwhore type images or the over done look of some abstract work. Kind of difficult to describe on a blank sheet of paper, they are essentially 3d sculptures on 2d paper, but sculptures that would be impossible to realise/build in a physical world usually. I hope you enjoy them and I appreciate the fact they are not everyone's cup of tea. Dr I.N.Nards : This is a little dated now, but started out as an experiment to try and reproduce a wire style of a Maya artist called Meats Meier. I used the ditools plugin suite to create a lot of the wires based around noise and the heads contours. I did quiet a few wip's for this and finally settled for this version which is a representation of the innards of a droids head. Originally I intended to animate the wires, but scene and geometry constraints really limited this as a possibility in the end. Solid Splines Pro plugin was also used so I could limit the memory requirements of geometry. This image though takes an absolute age to render and I've learned a lot since I created it, which will no doubt be used in future work. The Green Woman: This and Dr.I.N.Nards image are both also my first forays into character work from my usual sculptural work. The green woman image was supposed to be in opposition to the mechanical and more approaching the organic. For this I used a similar technique, but also used Xfrog which allowed animation with real geometry but never did have time to explore more. The idea was to have the so called camera man surprised by this strange woodland creature with vines growing from her mouth...some have said her expression is to static...but the intent was to convey a sense of regal arrogance to her...but I'm learning like the rest of us :-). The Green Man can be seen depicted in various churches around the world. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s origins are unknown, but thought to date back to pagan times and I felt i'd do a spin on a

FAN

Flower female version. Fan: This is a piece of work that is very simple in nature really, but I like the shape and how the colours turned out. It does employ a translucent shader created by Arndt von Koenigsmarck, which helps create the colour range and the warm blended feel to it. Claw: Very often when creating work I do not have any plan on what I'm creating. I just tend to experiment and then experiment some more until I have something to work with. Then maybe leave it for a bit and come back to it later, then experiment some more

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The Green Woman and so on, gradually building things up and some times using different experiments in a blended piece. With this piece it came very quickly and is very simple in nature, which is probably part of its appeal to me. For the past two years I have constantly battled in reproducing black and white or stark contrasting type images, and this is one of the few successes in my mind where I managed to capture some grey tone to it giving it a photographic appeal I hope. Flower: With this I used a shader from Remotion called furry and was trying to get an organic type sculptural feel to the object.


Artist Spotlight... Christiaan “Flingster” Robinson

Spotlight

Hopefully it has a tactile quality to it that makes people want to reach out and touch it. Other plugins used where Jenna and Xfrog. I like volumetric type lighting or haziness a lot of the time in some of my pictures, but unfortunately they can take an age to render (they often on sculptural type images convince the viewer of depth). I'm notorious for using simple light rigs, but costly shadow setups in terms of speed/memory..but fortunately doing stills I can afford the time to render. Unfortunately in 3D those things that can help convince realism also tend to be expensive in overhead. Some of the shader combinations I use also eat processor time, but usually they help in the end with the overall look of an image, and I'd prefer to spend the time on the rendering if I'm happy with the end result.

Salmon Formed Hot of the Press

Hot off the Press: These are a couple of my works just returned from the framers. They are giclee prints at an AO size print. Not cheap to print or frame because of the oversizes involved, but the end result I'm pretty pleased with and they will go towards an exhibition in the future. Most of the sculptural type work I do is intended for this scale really, so it can be hard to get an insight into what it will look like large as opposed to something displayed at screen size. Hopefully you can use your imagination a little with this. C4D really helps in this area because it’s able to handle 16k x 16k image sizes at speed with excellent memory usage and more importantly without crashing! Very sorry about quality of the photo, you just can't get good help these days ;-) Salmon Formed: Again this is the result of experimentation, I love the simple two colours to it and the unusual form created. The piece shows off the sculptural feelings I'm trying to achieve or at least convey. The shape I guess is typical of the sort of thing you see posted on the net ala trendwhore/abstract, but I've tried to keep it so called, lean and mean, not introducing distracting typography and light/shader effects. I do like these sorts of images, but its easy to get labeled and

people tend to think you can knock them out quick for some trendy graphic design mag. This is not always the case, some of this sort of work takes a great deal of time and effort by the artists and yet this is often dismissed by 3d purists I guess. This is also a classic type of the image I like to create because on

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a large print, covering a single apartment wall, they look fantastic. Thanks again to all the great people on the net that have helped me out over the last couple of years and Keep on Attacking.


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Best of CINEMA 4D

Some of the best artists around the world using CINEMA 4D

Artist Comments: This is my first "building". Done with the help of a tutorial by AURETY of 3D Attack Magazine. My intention was to play with daylight and detailed structures.

Image: Building With Stairs Artist: Ges Smith Country: Germany Date created: July 2005 Software: CINEMA 4D R9.1 and Maxwell Renderer

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Image: Mp3 Player Concept Artist: Jens Kappelmann “jeso” Country: Germany Website: www.jeso-art.de Date created: 03-08-05 Software: CINEMA 4D R9

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Image: Indigestion Artist: Steven Bateman Country: United Kingdom Date created: April - May 2005 Software: CINEMA 4D Ce+, Silo, Photoshop

Artist Comments: I created this image for the Master & Servant challenge at CGTalk, it was the first challenge that I have ever entered and really enjoyed the whole experience. I love to create caricatures and cartoon images, and as soon as I found out the theme of the challenge I had a good idea of what I wanted to do.

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Editor’s Notes Hello Readers and Attackers! 3D Attack is pleased to announce that we have teamed up with several known and respected plug-in developers and will be releasing a line of plug-ins for CINEMA 4D. The first in the ATTACK line of plugins comes from Developer Christopher Montesano Author of LightGen http://www.biomekk.com/ Chris has joined up with 3D Attack to bring to the CINEMA 4D Community “LUMEN”. LUMEN and LUMEN Lite are now available in the 3D Attack Shop www.3dattack.net/shop Visit the 3D Attack forum for more information: http://www.3dattack.net/forum/showt hread.php?t=3038 KEEP ON ATTACKING! The 3D Attack Team GOODIES FOLDER http://www.3dattack.net/goodies/ As most of our readers know, your goodies folder usually comes zipped with you magazine. We have decided to do the Goodies a bit different. You will now find your Goodies folder at http://www.3dattack.net/goodies/ for download. This will allow us to make changes to the Goodies folder easily, (if needed) and provide you with the access to the Goodies whenever you may need to redownload them. Remember, the Goodies are copyrighted as is the magazine. These Goodies are for paying readers only. DO NOT redistribute your download link or your Goodies folder.

ITALIAN C4D EVENT If you are Italian or are going to be in Italy on August 18, 2005, be sure to stop in and check out C4D For Dinner. For more details please visit: http://www.cinema4dfordinner.com/ GROUND TEXTURES VOL. 1 New in the 3D Attack shop is our Ground Texture Volume 1 CD. 50 seamless Ground Textures (2000x1500 pixel in TIFF format) and 15 Street Signs (2300- 2700 pixel) alpha and bump maps included. More texture CD’s coming soon. http://www.3d attack.net/shop/ Tutorial and Article Submissions If you would like to submit a tutorial or article, or have your software or plug-in reviewed by 3D Attack, please click on the following link for instructions: http://3d attack.net/3d Attack/viewtopic.php?t=1405 All submissions must be e-mailed to Attention: Tank at 3dattack@3dattack.net Advertising with 3D Attack If you would like to advertise with 3D Attack send us an e-mail requesting our media kit and rate card. 3dattack@3dattack.net Tutorials If you have questions concerning a specific tutorial or want to show us a tutorial you have completed, feel free to post your questions and work on our C4D discussion forums at www.3dattack.net.

Friends of 3D Attack™ www.maxon.net www.doschdesign.com www.tools4d.com www.3duser.com.tw www.3dcommune.com www.c4dcafe.com www.biomekk.com www.dylancolestudio.com www.3dexplorer.net www.c4ditalia.com www.adimex.com.au www.cgtalk.com www.jeso-art.de www.cinema4duser.com www.cactus3d.com www.base80.com www.3dfluff.com www.3darena.de www.frenchcinema4d.com www.sadbatu.de www.C4dHotline.it www.peXel.de www.c4dmodelshop.com www.black-graphics.de www.tarabella.it/C4d/ www.planit3d.com www.cartesiuscreations.com www.cgtalk.ru www.renderosity.com www.designerinaction.de www.scifi-meshes.com www.bubbles4d.com www.mediaworks.fr www.3dlinks.com www.c4dzone.com www.c4d-pl.org *3D Attack the CINEMA4D Magazine and all material contained therein are copyright protected. You may not disassemble or distribute any part of this publication without prior written consent from 3D Attack directly. Any attempts to do

CHARACTER MODELING Our series of character modeling tutorials by Mark Gmehling have been delayed till next month.

so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as it applies in Michigan, USA. This applies for both 3D Attack material as well as any named artist contained in its publications. Although we read through all the tutorials and proof-read them for errors we cannot guarantee that they are 100% error-free and therefore cannot issue refunds based on those errors.

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© 2004-2005 3D ATTACK TM

August2005  

The principles ofcharacter animation. On page 38 follow Fluffy and learn how to put some “life”in your charac- ters and animations. UV Unwra...

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