NAB 2016 Rewind - Steve Teeple: Next Gen Concert Visuals with C4D

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Steve Teeple shows how he creates motion design for concert visuals in Cinema 4D.

Steve Teeple shows how he creates motion design for concert visuals in Cinema 4D. Steve shows how complex effects can be created by layering Spline Wrap and Cloner elements, animating with GSG Signal and animating the UV offsets within the texture tags. He then shows how to create great looking renders in Octane using emissive textures and roughness maps.

03:58Click Track
05:57Project Management / Layer Manager
08:13Spline Wrap & Cloner
14:43Spaceship Animations
17:47Animating UVs
24:09Reactor Hallway
34:20Octane Glow with Emmissive Textures
41:17Reflecting HDRI

Recorded Live from NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.



- [Steve Teeple] Thank you, MAXON, for having me, this is a big honor. Watched NAB almost every year so it's really exciting to actually present here. My name's Steve Teeple. Most people call me Teeps, I think it's a little bit easier. I'm a 3D artist. I do a lot of, lately, it's more conceptual art and virtual reality asset creation, but I'm also mostly known for stuff I do for concert visuals. More recently worked on stuff for the rapper Future, the Weeknd, and more recently as well, Flying Lotus. So before I dive into my work, let me just show you my reel, real quick here, to kick things off so you have an idea what I do. ♪ [music] ♪ - First time ever making a reel, so hopefully, that looked all right. Yeah, so a lot of what you saw in that reel was stuff I did last year for Flying Lotus's Hypercube show that premiered at Coachella. The show was designed before that, but we revamped all the designs for the show, in a lot of ways, with a few new animators. And for people that don't know what that show is, it's essentially... This is what the actual stage setup looks like. You have a cube inside of a cube called a tesseract, on its side, with a transparent screen on the front and then there's a screen shaped like a V in the back that is actually solid. And we create content for the front and back screen separately, and when you combine those two with a transparent layer on the front, it creates this optical illusion that there is some kind of energy or things emanating from the artist that's standing in between those two. This actually went on to win best light show of Coachella last year, so that's pretty exciting. And let me just show... Right away, I'm just going to dive into Cinema. So before we start making any content for this, the stage was recreated inside of Cinema. And it's really simple here, but we do this because there's content creators from all over the world working on this. So people like Scott Pagano, [Carlos Sa], people contributed to this, a lot of amazing animators. I even feel honored to say their names next to mine. But you need consistency for when you're re-projecting onto a stage like this, so we all have a template we go off of that has a locked camera with the same field of view and focal length and everything like that, so we all know we're looking at the right angle. And we basically recreated this with... This is just an atom array with a transparent level on here for the front screen and then you actually have the array in the back for a solid. So you can just... basically, anytime I bring in a file, I throw this on a layer and hide it so I can make sure things are animating inside that area. What I want to show really quick is a lot of people don't really create stuff for visuals with music, so one thing we do is... you'll notice here there's a 140-click cube and I'm going to show you what that is in a new file really quick. All you can do is load in a cube. And this is for anyone that knows music. It's basically a metronome. So I'm going to hide this cube, and when you go to open your timeline here, drag this cube down there. You can right-click on it and add special track and you can add a sound file, which I didn't know about this for the longest time, but it's incredibly helpful for when you're animating for audio. And when you actually go to your attributes here, you can load in a sound file. Let me just load that up really quick. So all this is is basically an awkward bongo hit. And I'm going to change this to 408 frames, which you'll see why in a second here. So you actually zoom out. You can see now that you basically have a perfect eight-bar loop of audio clicks. And when you actually hit play on this, you will hear... This just simple bongo hit, right? What that's doing is it's letting me know that Flying Lotus's live show is going to be synced to this tempo for most of it, right? And it also gives us a template to animate from. So if you actually look, you can see that these hits are coming in at about exactly 50 frames almost each interval, which to me, all I know now is that if I'm confused or need to start something to animate, I know that I can make things in small batches, in 50-frame intervals. And then I know it's going to be in sync with one another, which I think is really quick and easy for animation. And so that's really easily how you load in a click track and you don't even see it, obviously. But you can see that in your timeline at all times and you can just rename this something like 140 click. So you can drag that between files and you have something to animate to. So back to this design here. Let's open the [finder]. So just so you have a visual representation, you saw it a little bit in the actual reel, but when you actually have the two screens together, you get shows like this. You get visuals on the front screen, and then you have solid visuals on the back screen and you can see that the front screen is a little bit different designs. And I'll go over that shortly here. So the general philosophy is that the front screen is more centered on the artist in a very energy, centered blasts of...looks like stuff's emanating from the artist itself, right? And then the back screen tends to be environment studies traveling through. So the creative direction I was given was to design these biomechanical spaceships that he's flying through this crazy environment, right? So the first thing I wanted to design was some stuff for the front screen, and a lot of them were these loops of just these spinning UI elements, right? And they're just pulsing on that 50-frame mark. And these are all just slight variations of the same thing. But these look like something almost you'd make in After Effects or something like that. And they're all done in Cinema. They're very easy to make and I'm going to show how you open those files really quick. But this was a starting point for me, and I reused these elements and techniques a lot more in the actual show. So if we actually open this file up here, so if you actually hit play, you can just see that this is what one of them looked like in the raw viewfinder, but I'm going to show you how to do one of these here. Before I do that, one thing I'll say is that if you're going to start diving into making little individual elements like this, the layer management will help you a lot with this. So if you actually have this huge nested thing of files here, so you have all these cubes nested here, if you actually click the topmost item that they're nested in in the hierarchy, and hit select children down here, it will select everything it's nested in, and then you can right-click and say add to new layer. And what that will do is then give you a color assignment here and where you can come down here and rename them. Don't be like in Photoshop. Please rename your layers. it will help you a lot. But you can go in here in the neck and solo this layer, I can hide it from visibility. I can hide it from the hierarchy. And so I always have one set up with my scene files that I actually have turned off right now, so I can see that it's inside that cube area pretty clearly. And I just hide that from the actual scene, as well as the hierarchy it's set on to see it when I'm actually animating. But what I'll do is solo one of these here, and just show you some quick techniques. So this is just a couple of things going on, and I'm going to recreate a new one here. So to do this, all you need is a few items. So let's just go to new. Let's do a cube. And you need a spline of some kind. So let's just do an end side here. And then we need a deformer called a spline wrap. And if you go to deformers here, it's something called spline wrap. And you've got three objects, you just drop the spline wrap onto the cube and then you need to tell that spline wrap what spline to use, so you just drag in the end side, right? And now it looks broken, but that's all being determined by the cube's segments. So if I actually crank up these segments here, you see it starts to trace this cube in a really weird way. I'm going to bring the size down a little bit, and turn the segments up, and that's all just determined. You can make it smoother or more angular depending on what you're actually looking for. So if you want it to trace perfectly, you can match that. I'm going to do this more organic rounded edges. Now in the spline wrap, you have a lot of settings here which you can play with. I'm going to change the two down to more of a lower, so you can see that this is what actually traces over the outline. So if I set this to something like five here, and let's set, like I said earlier, I start with small elements, so let's change it to 50 frames. An 8-bar loop seems intimidating, but if you just break everything down into 50-frame chunks, you can actually just expand those and loop those over and over again. Or make them slightly different which will make this a lot easier to digest when you're trying to make an 8-bar loop. So let's see here, X-axis. So if you notice when you actually move this offset slider, you can actually get this thing to slide around, right? So what's easiest is just setting a keyframe on offset go into this, changing this to 100, making another keyframe. So two keyframes, you got this thing looping around, tracing around this spline, right? If you want that to go perfectly without any of that easing on there, just open your timeline, select those keyframes and right-click and say linear. And now, when I actually hit play, you'll see it just loop seamlessly for 50 frames. You could loop that endlessly. So you have that tracing. That's the basic premise, right? But what you can do, which gets a little bit more exciting is you can go into spline wrap, and if I change the size of this cube to be a little bit bigger, go to spline wrap, you get these things like size, so you can taper one end, so it's a little bit more pointy like this, and then you can actually change the from, which is the direction it's going from. So what's cool is to do something like setting the two here, going down about halfway, maybe turning this up slightly, keyframing it, and then bringing it back down to something like 2%. And so you can start to see this stretching, it's a little bit more life to it. And so when you create something really simple ones like this, the next thing you can do is put these all into a null by hitting option G and then dropping them into, my favorite item in the entire software, a cloner. And what you can do when you actually have it in the cloner is I like to change it to something like radial, and that's what I did in this. And one thing to make sure to check is this render instance boxes when you're making a lot of copies of something is it will make the software not have to calculate each one of those individually, so that will make this a lot faster. And then you can already see, when you crank up these count and the radius here and when you hit play, each one is animating individually, but it's being repeated over and over again, so you can get this really mesmerizing shape endlessly looping with about four objects and about three keyframes. And this is just one of these items once, and then it's all about repeating those. So what I did is I made a bunch of these individual elements like this, and then when you just bring them back into the one scene, you just combine them layered on top of each other and you can create these crazy loops. So that's a really simple overview of that technique, but I reuse this technique a lot through the show, and we're going to see how I evolved it a little bit later. So yeah, and then another thing I did there to make it start from zero is if you actually change this end angle and keyframe this, and then go to something like 25 and set this to something like 360 and then keyframe it and bring it back down to zero, this is what I was doing with that is it actually starts to draw them out from the original angle. So that's just determining, if you actually see how you're changing this, you're just drawing how much it's actually circling around that spline. So really basic stuff, but that's the general idea I did for those UI elements. And now when we switch back, you'll see all I'm doing here is that one's just circling with an angle and it's just looping around with the same offset animation. But when you actually bring in the rest of the scene, all these are doing the same thing. Now I drive my animations primarily with Greyscalegorilla Signal, which you'll see these little graph charts next to here. I will say that Signal has been incredibly helpful for concert visuals because you can basically set an interval. So I know that it's every 50 frames, right, for the 140 BPM click track, in Signal, you can basically set a frame range of where you want things to animate to. So you'll notice that I'm doing a start and end time of 50 frames so I know that each one of these attributes that I'm animating is going to come in on those frames, which if you switched it to 130 BPM, and all of a sudden, the intervals change, you could just go in there and tweak the end time. And then you know you're in sync with everything you're animating, which is super, super fast. You can do the same thing by hand, obviously, and I'm going to show how you used to do this with no plugins whatsoever. But I will say it's a huge time saver when you're on a two-week deadline, like I was for this show. So next thing I want to show really quick was those spaceship designs. So before I get into that, you can use that same technique to do things like this where this is just using that same technique for the front screen, so the artist would be centered here on a transparent screen and I just threw these hands in there that were animated with Signal as well, but all the UI lighting element was done with that same technique. As well as in clips like this. The blue lights were all done with that same technique. And this is just a model I brought in that I sculpted in ZBrush, but you can see the same techniques being used over and over again in different parts. And I'll show how I used them for this tunnel sequence later. But yeah, reusing the same technique over and over again, but starting with really small, little pieces is the way to do it for me. So the ship designs I had to do was I went through a lot of iterations of this, but I came down to about two or three main ones we ended up using. So I don't know a whole lot about animating complex models in Cinema. I'm not a power user as a lot of the people who presented here are. But what I can do is I can create some really complex models. Since I was on a two-week deadline, I didn't really optimize this stuff very much. And I'm going to show you, with hidden line, you'll notice that the wireframe on this is awful. There's probably a modeler in the audience that's very angry right now at how awful this topology is. But I didn't really need to worry about that because all I was doing is under here, if we go back to display and punch hitting, all I'm really doing is when I hit play, I'm just moving individual elements, either changing the scale, the rotation, or the position, and then just having it pulse on these 50-frame intervals. Now this is moving really slow, but it made it look like this thing is pulsing it alive and we know we added some steam and particle stuff in post that made it look like it's pulsing outward. And this is something where you actually see him standing over this, like a pedestal. And one thing to keep in mind, when you're designing stuff for visuals too is if you notice the back here, it's really ugly and things are just floating and things like that, be aware of what you're actually projecting it on the end result is because no one's going to see this backside. So don't spend time making it look pretty or working on mattering it, if these are floating or not. It doesn't really matter because all you're seeing is from this angle. So most of the time, I was working with a locked camera and stuff was like really far back, but that's how it looked the way I wanted it to, so you don't really have to worry about that if you're only using a fixed camera the whole time. So really quickly, that was just a way to use Signal, but you can just keyframe these by hand very easily. it's just rotation on Y or this red part here is just doing scale by 1 to 1.5 on the X. it's just all that's doing. And when you actually see this, I have a really low-res video of this because I don't have a very good clip of this clip being used, but you can see, when he's actually performing, he's standing right in the center of it and his computer is right at the top of that and so you can actually see, how in conjunction with the back screen, he can create it to look like this crazy podium that he's standing on. And that ship actually, this is just like one of the raw renders of it. It's not complex at all. Another thing to keep in mind is when you're projection mapping stuff, especially on a transparent screen, don't worry about little graininess or detail loss or an outline. You're going to lose all of that fidelity by just having it projected onto something like a transparent screen. So the audience is not going to see these little inconsistencies, which is great. So you'll notice that some of my stuff is a little bit sloppy on the render because you can fix a lot of that by losing the fidelity on something like a projection screen. So the next one I'm going to show you is using a technique I use a lot which is the next model was a really dense mesh, and this is the other ship design. And this was just the render here. And this one was so dense that it was hard to animate too and I didn't really know what to do with it. But if you notice that it just sways back and forth and it pulses up and down and forward and side to side. And that's just using two bend deformers, but if you notice all the actual textures are animating and moving with it which gives it more life for something that's moving not much at all. And you can see here, when you actually see it animated, it has a lot of movement to it which is these textures going, almost like energies pulsing through it. And this was the actual final design with those UI elements comped together and everything. But you can see how it's barely moving, but there's life to it by this texture animation. And that's just using a really simple technique I use a lot and I'm going to show you how to do that. It's just moving the UVs on a texture and animating it. So let's just make something really quick. I like using the [i codehsion] for this because it's a great example. So let's just make a new material. This is the technique I use way too much. So all we're going to do is just make a quick striped color. So if you go texture and change this to filter, you can go into filter and you can add a gradient. And that just adds a gradient color on top and making this vertical, let's just drag these in, and then if you need to make another color, you just hold control and you can just drag another color over here, and how you have a stripe right? The closer you move these diamonds to the edges, the sharper the edge is going to be, so if you want it more faded in subtly, you can do that. Otherwise, you just drag these in to make a sharp texture. Let's change this to something a little prettier like a blue. Okay, very, very basic texture. But you notice, when you drag it on here already, you get something a little bit interesting. We're going to change this to flat so you can see what I'm demoing first. And similar to how we did the spline wrap and we just made it loop seamlessly. That's what I'm always trying to do is make little seamless loops that I can then repeat because then you know everything's going to be in sync with one another. And we change this back to something like 50 frames, keeping it in line with the pulses of the music. So if you see this UV offset V down here, if you notice when I slide through this, it actually moves that blue texture since I made it black on both sides, it's just moving that stripe. So if we actually set this to zero and keyframe it and then go to 50 frames and set this to 100% and keyframe that, you're going to get this looping, right? Now it's got that easing, so I'm going to turn that off with that same linear that we did earlier, so now seamless loop of just the texture pulsing over something, right? Now when you change it though, by clicking on here once, and we change it back to that UV mapping, you actually get something a little bit more interesting, where it's going on each face. And this model's not moving at all, but obviously, you now have something a little bit more interesting, where it's seamlessly looping on each face. And then we can add in those deformers. I had a bend deformer on there before, right? So let's just reuse that. So if you drop it in here and actually hit fit to parent here, that's going to just shrink the deformer down to fit that object. And if we actually just set something on here from strength 0, go to 50 frames, set this to something like 360, you're going to get this weird deformed shape. And obviously that looks kind of exciting, I guess, but it's this weird shape, right? But it's got the texture moving, it's looping. So what you can do is then do that same technique we talked about before, where you can add another deformer if you wanted to. So we could add in something like a twist deformer too, where that is maybe doing something like this, so now when I actually play this out, it's got even more distortion going on, right? But if we actually group these together and then put them into a cloner again, like we were doing before, you can start to, from very simple keyframes using that same cloner repeating technique we used before, but you know now you can get, let's just hide these, you can actually see how you can get a lot of life out of something that's relatively simple. You're getting that one animation looping but you're now getting this really complex shape with the texture looping as well as that animation deformer. So I actually made a few examples of how you can do this really quick. So a couple of variations, and the great thing is you can take that one file, duplicate it, change one of the deformers to five different settings and you have a completely different look entirely which is really awesome. And so this is just an example using that same technique with a Taurus, a twist deformer, and a spherify deformer on the whole thing. And you can see when you can zoom in on this stuff, you can get this really complex animation for about three keyframes and four objects. I dropped a cloner, if you take it out of the cloner, you can see that it's just this weird abstract shape going on. And what I did is I dropped that into an array, and you can basically take a cloner inside of a ray which is taking something that's already repeated a bunch of times, but then repeating it again. And you can render instances on both, so it's going to move really fast with being all driven by one object. But the power of that is if I go to the Taurus, and I resize it, you're seeing everything changing because everything's just being driven by one instance of something. So if I scale this up, you're going to see it all of a sudden changes to a different look and it's a little bit more complex. But it's all driven by one object, so it's a really quick technique for iterating on something and then you can see how, when you enable other ones around it, let's hide this one it's a little crazy, but you can see how when you layer it with other pieces, you can start to get some really crazy complex stuff. You can zoom in on this, and I know a bunch of DJs and producers who would probably want this for their live show, just by rendering this out in about five minutes. So it's very easy to iterate on this stuff for really complex, trippy animations. And so that was the general technique I used on a lot of these animations. And that's just using the same stuff you saw on that spaceship design which you can see here. And let me just show you that one more time, just so you have an idea. Yeah, so the texture's just moving it. All I did was made the UV offset at different speeds and different intervals. So some were moving faster than others, and those are combined with those UI elements that we saw earlier. So now we're getting into the more interesting stuff here. The basics are a little bit covered. What I want to show is this giant tunnel sequence. So this is the bigger breakdown I wanted to get to, which is good that we have some time now. So this was the main background environment that I designed. And this was all done in Octane and Cinema, so it looks really complex. There's a lot going on, a lot of moving parts, but you'll notice it's pretty much the same techniques I was using earlier. So if you notice those pipes pulsing on the sides, I was using that UV offset to give those static items some life. But I'm going to show you how you can take a really complex scene and make it a lot more digestible and a lot easier to work with by using instances and some other stuff. So I'm going to open that file. You can see it's just really long hallway, but using what we talked about earlier with layers, this is exactly why this is amazing. So I'm going to [inaudible] the hallway section. So this is the first thing I made. I made one of these sections here. All I did was duplicate it over once more. So let me expand this down so you can see what I'm talking about. So there's this section, there's this section, and then I took the next two and I just moved them up slightly to give it some variation. And then all I did was take those four sections, and when you actually highlight something and then you go up to here and you choose instance, it will actually make an instance of that. And what's powerful about that is if I go to the section one, and let's say I want to tweak something, like I want to change the size, you'll notice all the other ones that are instance from it change with it. So great way to make one piece of a hallway and then be able to change the actual what it looks like and have it not be all this geometry filling up your scene and taking up all that time for rendering and things like that. So if you notice the viewport's really fast, they're all being instances. So there's only about this many pieces actually being used in the whole thing. And so if you have all these instances here, so I made one section of the hallway, that's all I did once, and then what we did was we added in, let me turn on... By the way hidden line is a blessing for really complex scenes like this with dark textures because you can't really see the detail of what you're doing. If you turn on display hidden line, that will actually show you just the outline, so you don't have to worry about what it looks like until the end. But if you notice, the next thing I turned on was these pipes. And all I did was I actually soloed these pipes here. These guys are just some elements that I had from... I think these were from some kit I bought. This project, I really dug into my asset libary because I had a two-week turnaround and I didn't really want to model all this stuff by hand. So these are just some pipes that are all individualized elements. You can move these around and I arranged a few of them. But what's great is these are all individual pieces and all they are is instances of one piece, right? This original section in the front. And if you notice when you hit play on this, the pink lines, that's using that exact same technique that I just showed you with the UV offset. So these were static and I was like, "Well these pipes look cool, I guess, but they're not really adding any motion or movement to the actual scene." So just by adding a UV offset with Signal just pumping the actual really fast, it almost looks like energy or something is passing through these pipes while it's going down this hallway. So that's a really easy way to add movement to something that's not actually moving at all. So we can add those back in. And then the next thing under display here, the next thing were these reactors. And now the reactors themselves also look complex but are very, very simple. And let me just show you one of them. So I should actually turn of all these instances. You notice that it's just one repeated with a bunch of instances so I my play on this, all this is, once again driven by Signal, but you could just hand keyframe this. All it is is rotation, position, moving on different individual pieces, right? And you can zoom in here and these are all little, this is a piece here, this is a piece here, these are all just little things. I do a lot of work in Zebra, and I do a lot of kit bashing and a lot of concept art, so I have a huge asset library of hard surface materials, organic pieces, anything I can pull from and I actually encourage you to start collecting your own asset library that you can pull from for projects like this, because concert visuals especially are very tight deadlines and a lot of short notice gigs that you get hired for. So I actually turned down doing some Coachella stuff before I was prepping for this, because I had about four days notice. So stuff like this comes really fast and it's nice to be able to be like, "Hey, I need this weird scifi reactor thing, " and here's a bunch of pieces I have, and I put it together in about 10 minutes. So these are all just pieces spinning, individual speeds, moving up and down. And I have this rod moving up and down. So all I did then was instance that one a bunch of times and if you notice once again why the powerful of this instancing is if you're not happy with this tube shape, you can resize it and it's going to do it for all of them instead of having to do it for one at a time. So if you rotate these, you can animate this and it's going to do it across all of them without having to do it manually, each one, which is really exciting. So you can see that that's just one really complex object being repeated with instances. Something I actually just learned maybe other people don't know about this, I just learned it before this talk actually, but when you actually instance something, you can actually render instances of the instance, which sounds weird, but if you just highlight your instances and go down here and hit render instance, your scene is quite a bit quicker. I wish I would've known that when I was actually working on this because it's now a lot faster when I'm demoing it. But yeah, thank you, MAXON for telling me about that right before the talk. And so when we actually combine all these pieces, you can see all I did then was I took that one tunnel section with the pipes and the reactors, which is this huge, complex hierarchy here, and all we did then was instance that whole section three more times. So I know we're getting a little Inception here but it's instances inside of instances inside of instances. And so it's all about making a really complex scene from very small elements individually, but then being able to make it repeat it very much in a very complex way without taking up very much resources at all, which is kind of my workflow. I did this all on a single video card, two gigs of VRAM in Octane, so it's very difficult to work on one card with this software. Cinema 4D is a champ but it's the rendering engine part that I have an actual issue with, so it was all about optimization on this scene. Yeah, and the only other thing I did here was in the actual camera view, you notice that there's these squares spinning. If you didn't know, you can actually take any objects you want, and if you actually make them a child of a camera, it's just going to lock them to wherever the camera moves to, so you can actually have them almost like a null in After Effects. And I just have three different rotations going. Let's just solo the camera so I can show you what I'm talking about. The inner square's just rotating one way, the outer square's rotating another way and then the camera's rotating 360 slower over the course of the whole scene. So it adds a fixation point almost like a crosshair you can look at. And sorry, and then it just gives something to guide the light and I also like the two squares as a symbolization of the tesseract cube. It's a little easter egg of that, right? But if you actually turn this off, you can see that these little cubes or these little squares just follow the camera anywhere because they're nested as children of that. So that's really helpful if you want something to stay with the camera at all times, no matter where you're looking which is just super simple, but it's really a nice little effect for stuff. So yeah, that's all I'm doing and then the reason I repeated it three more times is that was just to make a seamless loop where when it gets toward the end of this first section, it looks like it ended right where it started. So there's a lot of ways to do that, but that was just an easiest way. So I have a little bit of time left, and now, I want to show you how I actually get some of the rendered looks for some of this stuff. To make this easier, we'll just open one section of the tunnel. And so this is the first thing I made, right? Before I made that whole tunnel, I made this one piece. Now I am pretty terrible at low polybox modeling type techniques. I really do more crazy organic stuff in ZBrush, so I'm trying to get better at this, but honestly, this is using one tool and I'll show you, it's all extrusions, so if you made a cube, literally, this entire hallway was just by...I just took a spline and I actually made the default shape first, and then if you actually just hit C and make something editable, you can click on any face here. If you right-click, you get all these tools, right? I know about three of them. And if you go to something called extrude inner, it's my favorite tool ever, and you can just click on something and you can have it draw these vertices out and you can just keep drawing, and then you can start to move these in. And you can click on any face here and start drawing in faces, right? And literally, if you look at it in detail, it's all just square extrusions everywhere. So click on this section, you'll see that all it is these actual extrusions. I can go in here and move something out, right? The other thing to do is the symmetry tool I used a lot on this, so don't do more work than you have to, right? So if you're doing something and you want it to look the same on the other side, throw the whole object in a symmetry object here, which is right here, and now, whenever I go in here and actually... so go on this, sorry. so if I click on this, you can see, if I drag this out it's going to do it on both sides. So super time saving so you don't have to try to match the exact distance you pulled things out and stuff like that. I'm all about symmetry. It's very helpful. And so this is all just basic square extrusions. Now if you notice when I hit play on here, these things tracing the entrance way here, that's using that same exact spline wrap technique I showed earlier. So I reused that for all over in the show because it's a really helpful little technique for getting stuff kind of tracing around the object. Those are just those cubes tracing a spline and then they're thrown into a symmetry object as well, that's right above here. So let me show you how I actually some basic Octane stuff for renders to make stuff look a little bit nicer. If I actually open up Octane here, drag this over, if I hit render... This is just really basic stuff, but what I want to show is I got a lot of people asking me about getting into Octane and the biggest thing is these glows, right? So the mission textures inside of Octane are just amazing. You have a lot of ways of getting these really beautiful glows from stuff without having to do any post work whatsoever. If you notice, there's only three textures being used in this whole thing, but if you actually double click this, you have a few ways to do glows. So if you just make a new texture, it just needs to be a material type diffuse for Octane. Word of caution also, if you're new to Octane, it has it's own texturing system built into the application, so if you have a ton of texture packs from other stuff in Cinema, you might have to do some changing around to get it to work with Octane. There are ways to convert those textures, but just a heads up, it's a little bit different so if you notice these texture options are a little bit different than the default. But if you go down to emission, you can do a couple of options. I prefer to use the option texture emission which gives you more of a subtle glow like this, so if I go into this and you set this to color, you can come in and you can change these on the fly. And what's powerful about Octane is you're just looking at it in the live viewer at any time. So you can really dial in like, "Hey, I really like this with this lighter blue," and really quickly, you're going to see and try to render that in real time. So getting different look devs and stuff like that inside of Octane is incredibly powerful. But the other way you can do an emission texture is if you go to here and change this under Octane, you go to black body emission, and this is where you get more of a realistic light. So if you wanted to get something like a fluorescent bulb or a halogen or something, you can come in here and you can actually change the temperature down to something more realistic. Now if you notice though, it's very, very intensely bright and sometimes you can lower the power and you can get more subtlety, but if you want to change it to a very specific color, I use the texture emission compared to the black body emission. Now there's probably ways, there's 1000 ways you can probably do this but these are just the two easiest for me. And so let me just undo that and change it back to the color emission. So if you notice, you can get a lot more of a subtle look, it's not as blinding. And then to get that actual outside glow, if you go into your settings here, there's a post field, and if I turn that off, you notice that it just looks like this by default. But if you turn on the bloom is incredibly awesome inside of Octane so you can really crank that up, obviously. But if you just give it a little bit of subtlety there, you're getting this just beautiful glow on all the stuff around it, and you don't have to do any after effects work. You can just tweak that with a curves adjustment or something, and it's the least amount of work I've used on an after effect since getting Octane, which is really exciting. It's a lot less of that integration. I just can get really nice renders straight out of Cinema. And you can change the glare power, so if you want those beams really shining, obviously, this is going to an extreme, but if you really want to tweak that stuff out, you can get these really nice glows. So the other thing that's going on here is if you notice the purple metal here... So let me open this up and I'm going to zoom into the hallway so you can see a little bit better here what I'm talking about. Let's just move this over so you can see a visual example. And this is moving pretty fast, but just fair warning, if you're on a single graphics card or something, don't try to resize the live viewer window too much. You might slow things down a little bit. So just try to keep things pretty stationary while you're doing these look devs. So you notice there's alot of texturing going on on this metal here. If turn bump and roughness off, this is what the actual model would look like without any kind of texturing work on there. It's just really shiny really clean, really reflective. Now that might be the look you're going for, I was looking for more of a grungy scifi look so all you need to do is... speaking of this asset library, I have a lot of alpha maps. Just black and white images, you can create them in Photoshop. You can take any image and pretty much convert it to an alpha map. So under the roughness channel, I just have this plastic texture, and it's 2000-some resolution. Not super big, but all you can see here is it's just black and white and it's got this grungy texture, right? I have a whole folder of stuff like this. It's very, very convenient. And if you just load that into the actual roughness channel, you'll notice right away it dulls down a lot of those reflections. It adds a grittiness to the scene itself, and it gives it some kind of actual texture going on there, so it doesn't look so 3D and fake, I think, a little bit. It can go a long way with just one alpha in the roughness. And you can go in here and you can actually turn up the power if you want to be more apparent, if you want it to be a lot grungier. And then the other thing is a bump channel. And if you notice here, you can see here, it's just this little shape, and I use that in ZBrush. Those are just for like little alpha maps. If you want to get some little mechanical details on stuff and pull that out of a mesh, but I just loaded it into the bump map and without changing how it's mapped, anything, I didn't really want to go in and set this stuff. But you notice it adds in all these little indents everywhere and it's just randomizing it through the scene but no one's paying attention to all these little sides. It's just adding some extra detail, so when you're flying through it, it actually gives it some kind of detail going on, right? But you can quickly see how just adding those two things to the filter channel on a purple texture give you a much more believable, interesting looking texture on the sides here, compared to just having that really clean, reflective look. And then paired with those glows we did earlier, you can see how this tunnel sequence can then end up looking like this, which I showed earlier. Let me actually pause this. That's all that's going on here and then I just have some glows on the rods themselves. And one thing is, is I made these rings on the actual reactors glass. so they reflected all that light back in, so that can really chug your scene a little bit, but it adds a beautiful effect because it's taking all those lights around it in the environment and it's reflecting those all back into itself, so you see these really beautiful glass reflections going on in those reactors. And obviously, I made variations of this. There's a lot of symmetry in the show, so obviously there's a mirrored version of this, which gets really crazy. And then this is just a slight variation when I was first making this. It's more of just a rocking through. So this when he has that spaceship. It looks like he's flying through this tunnel, just a slight variation of the same render. But you can see how you can get some pretty different looks by just tweaking some things. So yeah, I have a little bit of time left. What I want to show really quick before we end here is I didn't really show these pods too much, but some people have been asking me online, so I figured I would show these files a little bit. These are just some slight variations of these pods that I made, and this pod I made in Cinema, I mean in ZBrush and then brought into Cinema 4D. And this is using the lights are all done with that same technique, but what I want to show, if you notice in the background here, how the lines are moving that's actually a really cool, little trick I discovered by accident, but I wanted to show people, so they can maybe do something similar. It's actually, so the background screen here, that's just the solid screen that's representing the back screen that it's being projected on. But what I did is on the screen itself, I made the texture, like a glass mirror reflected texture, and what that did is when I actually hit render on this, it took the HDRI map, if you have an environment enabled and it's actually reflecting the HDRI map back into the screen itself. And then if you rotate the HDRI, you get this beautiful reflected version, and if you have an HDRI that has interesting lights going on in the background, you can actually get some really cool looks by doing this. So if you notice when I scrub through this here... Let's see, so if we go to the Octane sky here, and you actually move this rotation, you can see how really quickly... sorry, this is where having five video cards or something is awesome because this would go a lot faster. Let's give it a second here. But what it does is... you can't really see in the little thumbnail, but this HDRI map is just a black hallway with white line, glowing lines on the ceiling. But you can see, if you start to rotate and move the actual HDRI map with that reflective wall in the background, you get these beautiful neon lines going in the background and you can mirror those in post or something. But that was a total by accident. I actually put that mirrored texture on there and I was like, "Oh, well, this really adds somes levels to the background here." And then I just masked that out and projection mapped it back onto the back screen and it comes out looking really exciting. Yeah, and that was just a cool, little trick to get some life there. And the actual model itself looks pretty complex, but if any ZBrush users are interested in using Cinema more, there's something called GoZ, which is a plugin script inside of Zbrush that lets you send something to any 3D app you're using. I use Cinema 4D, so when I actually make something really complex like this sculpt here, all I did was hit one button and it takes that entire thing, it recognizes all my individual subtools and it will just send it all to Cinema, and it'll open it up like this, and then I can look at those pieces and how they render inside of Octane, and I can see really quickly, "Oh, this part needs to be smoothed out because it's getting this really weird light clipping" or something. And I find that really, really helpful and anything that gives me more synergy between Cinema and any other app I use is very, very helpful and I'm really glad that MAXON is very open to letting people link their apps to other apps. And you can see here all this is. I'm just going to turn the render off because it's really slow. All this is is just taking those individual pieces and spinning them. If you actually turn these lights off, you can see the actual object. And that's just looks pretty complex but just the ZBrush model using radial symmetry and then I just brought it in with that script into Cinema and did some animation tests like
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