Party Bot, Part 04: Posing your Character

Photo of Donovan Keith

Instructor Donovan Keith

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  • Duration: 07:32
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Pose your character using the Position, Scale, and Rotation tools.

Learn how to use Freeze Transformations to set a neutral starting pose for your character than you can come back to whenever you like. Then add a render camera and adjust its angle and your character’s pose in order to create a more dynamic scene. Use the Protection tag to prevent you from accidentally moving the camera.



In this video, we're going to set the default positions for our character and then we're going to start moving the arms, and legs, and head to better pose it for a little bit more appeal. Before we make any serious changes, let's do a Save Incremental. So File, Save Incremental. And that saves your project as a copy with a slightly different name, so that you don't overwrite your previous work, so we can always go back if we need to. Next up, what I want to do is position my party bot here on the floor. So I'm going to go into my four-way view, grab the body, grab my Move tool, and my Model Mode, and I'm going to drag it up on the Y axis, so that it is resting neatly on the floor. Now, as I did this, you might've noticed that this position value was changing in the Coordinates Manager and the position that I have right now is 125.524, which is a pretty hard number to remember if you just want to set your object on the floor again. So a trick that you can use is to select your Object, go into the Coordinates tab and then open this Freeze Transformation pull-down, and what this allows you to do is take your home base or default value and save that. So I've got these values right here, and I'm going to choose Freeze All. It's going to suck it out of here, kind of like a vacuum and then shoot it out down here into Freeze Transformation. Now if I move my character, I can then just go into my Coordinates Manager and set it's position to zero, zero, zero, and hit Apply and he goes right back to the center of the world, and the same can be done with the arms, for example. They are over here at X 68, and we've got some really random values in there. So if you just want to safely store the initial starting pose for your entire character, just select all of these parts of your character and then choose Freeze All. And now that I've done that, no matter what I do to a given part, I can always just go back to zero, zero, zero, and it'll go right back to this neutral starting pose. This might not even be a bad idea to save again right here because that's a pretty significant change, so File, Save Incremental. Next up, let's start thinking about posing our character. What do we want him to look like? Where do we want him to be looking? So before you pose, you need to know where your camera is going to be, and I think I want the camera to be over here to the left, and so I'm going to manipulate it by holding down my Option key and I'm just clicking on sort of the eye, where I want to rotate from. And maybe I'll dolly in a little bit by right-clicking and dragging to the right, and what I want to do now is have the character look at me. And I'm going to see if I can make that more dynamic by first grabbing the body and I'm going to rotate the body by clicking and dragging it off to the side like this, and if I'm just clicking around like so, we are just sort of tumbling. So that can get really messy, really quickly. So I'm going to hit Undo and I'm going to grab this handle right here to rotate in this direction, maybe rotate over, and then the head, I'm going to counter rotate. So I'm going to rotate it back this way so it's looking back at me, and now this mouth, I can kind of tweak if I want. I can even come in here and move this large eye. And if I just want to move it in this flat plane, I can grab this blue triangle right here, and it's going grab these two axes at the same time. So I can sort of reposition and I can even go into my eye right here, and adjust the Radius. Do the same thing for the pupil, and I'm just getting kind of a silly expression. And, again, I'm grabbing these pieces right here, and by moving the pupil within, we can kind of create the effect of it looking at us. And if I grab the head, I can kind of cant it over like so, just add a little bit of English on it. The hat, I might tweak just ever so slightly just to give it a little bit more character, and the arms, maybe I'll rotate up. And maybe I'll get my other arm over here. But if I click and drag to rotate, we see that the pose doesn't look as good from this angle. So I want to undo my camera movement, and I can do that by going to View, Undo View, which is a different undo buffer from this Undo up here. You can also do Ctrl+Shift+Z or Cmd+Shift+Z to get the same effect or Ctrl+Shift+Y or Cmd+Shift+Y to get that back. So what I'm going to do is add in a camera to my scene. So I'm going to click on this Add Camera Object, and then I'm going to look through that camera, and the camera has been added in the exact same position as my editor camera. And what I want to do is lock this camera in place, so that I don't accidentally move it, and for that, I'm going to right-click on my Camera, and I'm going to add what's called a tag. And the Cinema 4D tags, inside of here, is something called a Protection tag. And so a tag like this basically gives you new settings that you can adjust on your object or new capabilities, and the Protection tag will lock the position, scale, and rotation of our object. So if I try and rotate or move my camera, I can no longer do that. If I want to do that in the Editor though, I can just click outside of this little icon next to my camera, so I can rotate around and really see what's going on. For example, I want to grab this arm, and then look through my camera, and then pose that arm. So maybe I'll rotate it up, and then over like this, and maybe the legs, I'm going to counter-rotate a bit as well. And this one I might rotate back. So he's definitely partying a little bit, this little party bot, and the feet, I might then go into the side here and just try and flatten those out in appearance. Now, this doesn't have to be totally perfect. We're just kind of playing around right here, and I can grab my body and maybe set him back down on the floor. And we see that he's about to fall over, so the balance is a little funky, but we now at least have a fun-looking character in an interesting pose. And now that we've got this, we can start composing a more interesting shot and that's what we're going to do in the next video. So to quickly review, we selected our Objects and in their default pose, we chose Freeze Transformation so that we could setup these default poses, and in fact, if we wanted to, we could select all of our Objects, and set the position, and the rotation here back to zero and it would go back to this default pose. Now, I'm going to undo that, of course, because I like this pose that we created, but that is a key thing to remember. And next, we just added in Camera Object, added a Protection tag, and rotated our figure to pose it in an interesting way.
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