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Cinema 4D Basics

Learning to work in 3D can feel like a daunting proposition, especially if you don’t know where to begin. This guide will ensure that you get a grounding in essential Cinema 4D skills so that you can move on to creating work in a field of your choosing like Motion Graphics.


If you’re brand-new to Cinema 4D, start here.

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    CINEMA 4D Installation

    If you haven’t yet, make sure that you’ve got your copy of Cinema 4D installed.

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    Getting Started with Cinema 4D Release 20

    Get up and running in Cinema 4D through this project based series introducing you to the basic concepts of 3D modeling, animation, and rendering.

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    Cinema 4D Lite Reference

    A wide-ranging introduction to the fundamentals of 3D in Cinema 4D Lite. While you won’t see some of the more advanced Cinema 4D features, you’ll learn how to complete many essential tasks like importing models, animating cameras, and rendering animations.

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    Cinema 4D Quick Tips

    Want to learn some of the more advanced techniques, but don’t know where to start? This ongoing series will help you speed up your workflow and teach you interesting and fun techniques.

Beginner-Friendly Projects

Want to get your feet wet without going through an entire reference series? If you know how to navigate your views and manipulate objects you should be able to create these projects.

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    Basic Flying Logo

    Model and animate a flying logo for fictitious television station WMXN.

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    Party Bot: Making a Basic Character with Primitives

    This playlist will show you how to make a still image from start to finish, touching on many of the major stages of the pipeline along the way.

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    Party Bot: Birthday Party Environment

    Dive into more advanced modeling, texturing, and lighting techniques as you build an environment for the Party Bot’s birthday party.

Live Presentations

While you won’t be able to follow these videos step-by-step, watching top-artists break-down their work can prove truly inspiring.

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    NAB 2016 Rewind - Allison House: 3D for Illustrators and Designers

    Allison house shares how she went from only knowing Photoshop to creating a music video for one of her favorite bands with Cinema 4D in less than a month.

Third Party Resources

If you’d like a different perspective on getting quickly up to speed with the most essential parts of Cinema 4D there are a number of great options.

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    Greyscale Gorilla’s Introduction to Cinema 4D

    A comprehensive introduction to Cinema 4D, learn the basics of the interface, key tools. Tie all your new skills together as you create a mineshaft explosion.

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    Lynda.com’s Cinema 4D Essentials

    “A graduated introduction to this complex 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program, which breaks down into installments that can be completed within 2 hours”

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    Lynda.com’s Up and Running with CINEMA 4D Lite for After Effects

    “Motion graphics designer Angie Taylor shows you how to build a complete sequence in C4D Lite, progressing from initial object modeling, to animation, lighting, camera rigging, texturing, and final render.”

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    Digital-tutors’ Beginner’s Guide to Cinema 4D

    “In this course, you will get an introductory look into CINEMA 4D so you can learn essential terms and definitions and build a solid foundation as you move forward.”