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Cinema 4D Join us as we cruise through a different dimension with Cinema 4D

Jayan K.narayan an

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hen Cecile B. De Mille made the Ten Commandments, people were completely floored by the technical mastery with which he portrayed scenes such as the parting of the Red Sea. Years later, George Lucas impressed moviegoers with his vision of an alternative universe in Star Wars. Today, every second movie has at least one special effect, virtual character or rendered landscape—sometimes all three! And yet, some other times, there are movies such as The Matrix, Shrek, The Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Ice Age and Monsters Inc, where the entire movie is based on the technical wizardry of those who sit at workstations, working tirelessly, to create visuals that appear so realistic that many wouldn’t even realize that the actors—and sometimes even the set—are completely made up of polygons. Welcome to a whole new universe of 3D modeling. Welcome to Cinema 4D!

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Cinema 4D is one of the few software that is being used extensively for animation, movie special effects, research and almost any other 3D modeling and animation application you can think of. In the next few pages we’ll be introducing you to this software by taking you through a tutorial. We can’t possibly teach you the fine art of 3D modeling and we definitely don’t promise that you’ll get a job in Weta Digital or Pixar. But we can surely introduce you to the wonderful world of 3D and 3D texturing. So get ready, install the software from our Tools CD and join us as we create and play with textures. One small step at a time is all it takes. | Jayan K. Narayanan and Savio D’Souza

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STEP 1. Lets get started, shall we? Using the ‘Open’ option in your Cinema 4D software, browse to the folder ‘Cinema 4D CE 6\Objects\CHIP’ in the Tools CD and open ‘composition_chip.c4d’. You should see the composition like in the screenshot above.

STEP 2. In the ‘Object Manager’ palette, drag and drop all the individual cherry components, namely ‘cherry_02’, ‘cherry_03’, ‘cherry_04’ and ‘cherry_05’ under ‘cherry_01’. This will create a parentchild hierarchy where the child objects are tied to their parent. Similarly, drag the object ‘apple_leaf’ under ‘apple’ like in the screenshot.

STEP 3. We now need to smoothen our plate object. To do this, in the ‘Object Manager’ palette select ‘plate’. You will notice that the plate object is selected in all the view ports by a red marking. Now keeping the plate object selected, rightclick and from the context menu that appears, go to ‘New Tag | Smoothing Tag’. In the ‘Smoothing’ dialog box, check the ‘Angle Limit’ check box and retain the default value of 89.5 that is activated.

STEP 4. Now click on the lower most icon (denoted by the 4 colored spheres) in the ‘Command’ palette that appears on the lefthand side of your Cinema 4D software. This will open the ‘Material Manager’ palette at the bottom of your screen. Click on ‘File | New Material’ in your ‘Material Manager’ to create a new material (see screenshot).

STEP 5. In the ‘Materials Manager’, you will see a new material denoted by a gray sphere. Double-click on that icon to access the ‘Material’ dialog box. Then in the top left corner of the dialog box type plate to rename that material. You will notice that your icon in the ‘Materials Manager’ now bears the name ‘plate’.

STEP 6. Now in the same ‘Material’ dialog box, check the ‘Color’ checkbox. Then, click on the ‘Image’ button on its right and browse to ‘Cinema 4D CE 6\Tex\ Tutorial_chip’ on the CD to select ‘plate.gif’. Use the ‘Blur Strength’ slider and set its blur value to -70.

STEP 7. Once again, in the same dialog box

STEP 8. Now, right-click on the ‘plate’

select the ‘Bump’ checkbox. Then using the ‘Image’ button on the right, browse to ‘Cinema 4D CE 6\Tex\Tutorial_chip’ to select ‘plate_bump.gif’. Now, using the ‘Strength’ slider give the bump a value of 25%. Also, adjust the Blur Strength via its slider to -20%. Then select the ‘Specular’ checkbox and set its Width and Height value to 20% and 70% respectively.

material (denoted by the golden sphere icon) in the ‘Materials Manager’, and from the resulting context menu select ‘Apply’. In the ‘Texture’ dialog box that appears, set the value of both, the X and Y-axis, under ‘Tiles’, to 4. Under ‘Size’ in the same dialog box feed in the values as given: X = 302, Y = 30 and Z = 302. With this, we complete our plate.

STEP 9. Lets move on to the cherries. Before starting, however, it’s best if you clear your screen of all the other objects so you can view the cherries without anything else coming in the way. To do this, go to the ‘Object Manager’ and right-click on the colon-like dots (:) besides all the objects, leaving just ‘cherry_1’ visible. Here, select ‘Editor Off’ from the context menu. The objects can be made visible by clicking on ‘Editor On’ when required.

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STEP 10. Once again, going back to our ‘Material Manager’, create a new material by clicking on ‘File | New Material’ (revisit Step 4). Now, double-click on the icon and change the name to ‘red’ in the ‘Material’ dialog box (see Step 5).

STEP 11. Now, use the sliders under ‘Color’ in that dialog box to arrive at the values: R = 70, G = 7 and B = 10. Also change the ‘Brightness’ value to 100. Then, select the ‘Specular’ checkbox and give the values as: Width = 7 and Height = 95. Also, select the ‘Specular Color’ checkbox and change the values under ‘Specular Color’ to R = 100, G = 60 and B = 62.

STEP 13. We now need to give our cherry its red color, but we also need to make sure that the stems do not get the same

STEP 15. Before we move ahead, it is necessary that we smoothen the surface of the cherries. To do this, repeat the process of smoothing we described in Step 3 for the object. It’s now time to set our selection for the cherry stems as well. First go to ‘Selection | Invert’. Then, Set Selection like before. You will notice that this step selects the stem area and creates another triangular icon alongside ‘cherry_01’.

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color. To select just the cherry, click on the sixth icon from the top called ‘Polygons Tool’. Then, using the ‘Live Selection’ tool, denoted by the arrow (see inset), select all the polygons of the cherries using all the four object viewports. If required, you can also use the ‘Move’, ‘Rotate’ and ‘Zoom’ tool (labeled as 11 in our interface guide). Select the polygons till you see something like our screenshot.

STEP 16. Now, double-click on the first triangular icon in the ‘Object Manager’ palette and rename it as ‘cherry’. Then, double-click on the second and name it ‘stem’. It’s now time to assign the material we created to our selections.

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STEP 12. Again, create a new material, following the same procedure as described earlier, and name it ‘green’. Then, in the ‘Material’ dialog box, select the ‘Color’ checkbox and give the values: R = 2, G = 14 and B = 2.5. Set the Brightness to 100. Now, select the ‘Specular’ checkbox and enter the values as 50 and 15 for the Width and Height respectively.

STEP 14. To set the selection that we have made, go to ‘Selection | Set Selection’. This step specifies the exact area to which we’d want to apply a material property. Now as soon as the selection is set, you will notice that the object ‘cherry_01’ gets a small triangular icon alongside its name in the ‘Object Manager’ palette.

STEP 17. Going back to the ‘Material Manager’, drag and drop the material we named ‘red’ onto the object in one of the view ports. This will automatically throw up the ‘Texture’ dialog box. There, besides ‘Restricted to Selection’, enter cherry. This will just apply the color red to the selection we named ‘cherry’. Similarly, repeat the process for ‘green’ and ‘stem’.

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STEP 18. This completes our cherry. But we still have to assign materials to the rest of our cherries. To do this, get all the cherries visible as described in Step 9. Then, rightclicking on all the icons that have appeared besides ‘cherry_01’, select ‘Copy Tag to Children’ from the context menu. This will assign the material properties to all the child objects we had specified in Step 2.

STEP 19. With the cherries all done, it’s time to move on to the apple. First, hide all the cherries by clicking on the colon-like icon besides the parent cherry, namely ‘cherry_01’, following the procedure described in Step 9. Similarly, get the apple visible and we’re ready to start.

STEP 21. Create yet another new material

STEP 22. Before we go ahead, we have to

and call it ‘leaf’. Check ‘Color’ and then, clicking on the ‘Image’ button, select ‘leaf.gif’ from the ‘Tex’ folder. Click ‘Specular’ and leave the default settings. Now, check ‘Bump’ and then click on the ‘Image’ button and select ‘leaf_bump.gif’ from ‘Tex’. Following that, change its ‘Strength’ setting to 50.

STEP 24. To select the stem of the apple, follow the steps we discussed in Step 15 by going to ‘Select Inverse’. This will cause the stem to be selected. Then, go to ‘Selection | Set Selection’. Double-click on the new triangular icon that’s created and rename it as ‘apple_stem’.

STEP 20. Now, create a new material like we’ve done before and rename it as ‘apple’. Then, selecting the color checkbox, reduce the ‘Brightness’ to 0. Following that, click on the ‘Image’ button and browse to the ‘Tex’ folder on our CD and select ‘apple.gif’. We then set its ‘Blur Strength’ to -25 and change its ‘Specular’ settings to: Width = 7 and Height = 15.

create yet another material. Check ‘Color’ and then click on the ‘Image’ button and select ‘ashwood.jpg’ from the ‘Tex’ folder. Click ‘Specular’ and leave the default settings. Now once again, check ‘Bump’ and then click on the ‘Image’ button and select ‘ashwood_bump.jpg’ from ‘Tex’. Following that, change its ‘Strength’ setting to 50.

STEP 23. To apply the materials we’ve created, we now have to set our selections: use the arrow tool to select the leaf, like we did in Step 13. Once we’ve made our selection of the leaf, set it by going to ‘Selection | Set Selection’ (See Step 14). Like before, a triangular icon will appear alongside the object. Rename that selection as ‘leaf’. Now, follow the procedure we described in Step 3 to smoothen it.

STEP 25. Now we need to apply the materials. Go back to the ‘Material Manager’, drag and drop the material we named ‘leaf’ onto the leaf object in one of the view ports. This will automatically throw up the ‘Texture’ dialog box. There, besides ‘Restricted to Selection’, enter leaf. This will just give the selection we named ‘leaf’ the leafy texture. Similarly, repeat the process for ‘stem’ and ‘apple_stem’.

STEP 26. Now comes the fun part, that is, giving the apple its texture. To do this, first click on the ‘Texture’ tool (see screenshot). Then drag and drop the material we named ‘apple’ (see Step 20) onto the apple object. You will notice that the whole object takes on the texture just like that. You can then choose to rotate the skin as you deem fit using the grid that appears. To make the grid disappear, click on the first tool (‘Object’ tool) that’s on the left-hand side ‘Command’ palette. INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP | MAY 2004

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STEP 27. Now that we’ve got the apple complete, its time to move on to the pear. But first things first! Hide the apple object and unhide the pear.

STEP 28. First, create a new material like we’ve done before and rename it as ‘pear’. Then, selecting the ‘Color’ checkbox, increase the ‘Brightness’ to 100. Following that, click on the ‘Image’ button and browse to the ‘Tex’ folder on our CD and select ‘picpera.gif’. We then set its ‘Blur Strength’ to -35 and change its ‘Specular’ settings to: Width = 80 and Height = 10. Also, check ‘Specular Color’ and set the color values to R = 100, G = 98 and B = 75.

STEP 29. To apply the material we’ve created, we now have to set our selections like we did in the steps earlier (Step 13) by using the arrow tool. Once we’ve made our selection of the pear, we set it by going to ‘Selection | Set Selection’ (See Step 14). Like before, a triangular icon will appear alongside the object. Rename that selection as ‘pear’. Now, follow the procedure we described in Step 3 to smoothen it.

STEP 30. To select the stem of the pear, once again follow the steps we discussed in Step 15 by going to ‘Select Inverse’. This will cause the stem to be selected. Then, go to ‘Selection | Set Selection’. Double-click on the new triangular icon that’s created, and rename the selection as ‘pear_stem’

STEP 31. To apply the materials to the pair, go back to the ‘Material Manager’, drag and drop the material we named ‘pear’ onto the pear object in one of the view ports. This will automatically throw up the ‘Texture’ dialog box. There, besides ‘Restricted to Selection’, enter pear. Then, under ‘Position’ enter the values: X = -120, Y = -52 and Z = 62. Now click on the button ‘Generate UVW Coordinates’ (see screenshot).

STEP 32. Similarly, repeat the process for ‘pear_stem’ selection and the ‘wood’ material (that we had also used for the apple). Your finished image should look like the screenshot.

STEP 34 Yet again, create a new material,

STEP 33 Now, onto the banana! But first, repeat the drill: hide all other objects and unhide the banana. You should see some thing like our screenshot.

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like we’ve done so many times before, and call it ‘banana’. Then, selecting the ‘Color’ checkbox, enter the following values: R = 87, G = 60, B = 0 and increase the ‘Brightness’ to 100. Following that, click on the ‘Image’ button, browse to the ‘Tex’ folder and select ‘banana.gif’. We then set the ‘Blur Strength’ to -35.

STEP 35. Since the banana requires yet another material, its time we created that as well. Create a new material and call it ‘black’. Select ‘Color’ and enter the following values R = 5, G = 5, B = 3. Then, select ‘Bump’. In the dialog box that appears, alongside the ‘Image’ button, click on the little arrow. Select ‘Shader | Noise’. Now check ‘Specular’ and enter the values as: Width = 90 and Height = 10.

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STEP 36. Like before, we now have to set our selections before we apply our materials. Using the procedure we described in Step 13, use the arrow tool to make a selection at both ends of the banana (like in the screenshot). Once you’ve selected, set it by going to ‘Selection | Set Selection’ (see Step 14). Like always, a triangular icon will appear alongside the object. Rename that selection as ‘tip’. Now, follow the procedure we described in Step 3 to smoothen it.

STEP 37. To select the rest of the banana, follow the steps we discussed earlier by going to ‘Select Inverse’. This will cause the banana body to be selected. Then, go to ‘Selection | Set Selection’. Double-click on the new triangular icon that’s created and rename it ‘yellow’.

STEP 38. Go back to the ‘Material Manager’, drag and drop the material we named ‘banana’ onto the banana object in one of the view ports. This will automatically throw up the ‘Texture’ dialog box. There, besides ‘Restricted to Selection’, enter yellow. Then, under ‘Position’ enter the values: X = -3, Y = 0 and Z = 0. Also specify the ‘Size’ as: X = 165, Y = 3 and Z = 77.5. Click ‘OK’. Now, click on the button ‘Generate UVW Coordinates’ (see Step 31).

STEP 39. Now, in the way described so many times before, simply apply to the selection we named ‘tip’, the material we called ‘black’. The finished banana should look like our screenshot.

STEP 40. And now for the final object: the glass. We first need to smoothen our glass object. To do this, in the ‘Object Manager’ palette select ‘glass’. You will notice that the glass object is selected in all the view ports by a red marking. Now keeping the object selected, right-click and from the context menu that appears, go to ‘New Tag | Smoothing Tag’. In the ‘Smoothing’ dialog box, check the ‘Angle Limit’ checkbox and retain the default value of 89.5 .

STEP 41. Create a new material and call it ‘glass’. Check ‘Color’ and enter the values: R = 50, G = 50, B = 50, with the ‘Brightness’ value set at 100. Then, check the ‘Transparency’ box and, under ‘Transparency Color’, enter the value for all, R, G, B, and Brightness, as 100 with the ‘Refraction’ value specified as 1.5. Also, make sure that you check the box titled ‘Fresnel’.

STEP 42. Now, check the ‘Reflection’ checkbox. Enter the values: R = 100, G = 100, B = 100 and Brightness = 100. Now click on the drop down arrow that you see besides the ‘Image’ button and select ‘bhodiNUT Fresnel’ (see screenshot).

STEP 43. Check ‘Specular’ and give the values: Width = 0 and Height = 100. Then, selecting ‘Specular Color’, give the values: R = 100, G = 100, B = 75 and ‘Brightness’ = 100.

STEP 44. Now apply the material we called ‘glass’ by dragging and dropping it onto the object in one of the view ports. Then, unhide all the objects one by one to see something like our screenshot. With this, we finish our main composition.

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STEP 45. Lets start with the background now. To do this, we first need to create three box-objects. To create the first one, go to the ‘Command’ palette (labeled as 3 in our interface guide), click on the ‘Add Cube Object’ (see screenshot) and enter the following values in the ‘Coordinates Manager’ (labeled as 8 in our interface guide): Position (X = 1000, Y = 0 and Z = 250), Size (X = 25, Y = 2500 and Z = 2500).

STEP 46. Similarly, create two other cubes and enter in the values in the ‘Coordinates Manager’ as: Position (X = 265, Y = 0 and Z = 100), Size (X = 25, Y = 2500 and Z = 2500), Rotation (H = 90, P = 0, and B = 0) for the first one—and Position (X = 87, Y = -15 and Z = -105), Size (X = 25, Y = 1100 and Z = 1100), Rotation (H = 0, P = 0, and B = 90) for the second (see screenshot).

STEP 47. Create a new material, like we’ve done so many times before, and call it ‘background’. Now, select the ‘Color’ checkbox and click on the ‘Image’ button to browse to the ‘Tex’ folder. Select ‘back_ground.jpg’. We then check the ‘Environment’ checkbox and browse to the same image, ‘back_ground.jpg’ from the ‘Tex’ folder (see screenshot).

STEP 48. Before we go ahead, we’ve got to create one last material. Create a new material and name it ‘table’. Then select the ‘Color’ checkbox, click on the ‘Image’ button and browse to ‘Tex\Misc’. Select ‘Clothgrey.jpg’ from there and set its ‘Blur Strength’ to -50. Now, check ‘Bump’, click on the ‘Image’ button and browse to ‘Tex\ Bump’ and select ‘Waves.jpg’. Set its ‘Bump Strength’ to 100 and ‘Blur Offset’ to 10.

STEP 49. Now to apply the materials. Drag and drop the ‘background’ material onto the two vertical faces called ‘cube’ and ‘cube. 1’. Similarly, drag and drop the ‘table’ material to ‘cube. 2’. You should now see something like our screenshot.

STEP 50. It’s now time to render your handiwork. Click on any one of the three ‘Render’ buttons to see your work in all its glory. Congratulations!

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A special offer for you The Tools CD carries a full version of Cinema 4D. The serial number to activate the software is 62081701072-B031D6 after which you will have to register the software on http://maxon.net/jumps/prog/ce6_in_chip.html to gain full access. Special prices are available for IC CHIP readers. Alternatively, touch base with Samitha CAAD & Graphic Design, 513, Topaz Building, Amrutha Hills, Hyderabad. Phone Number 0405666 02246 or on the web at www.samhithaindia.com

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Using the same template, Jayan also created an alternative by just playing around with different materials. Notice the change in ambience with just a few minor modifications. So go ahead, experiment, have fun!

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Cinema 4D - Tutorial on Simple Lighting & Texturing