New in Cinema 4D R20: Gradient Enhancements

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Instructor Cineversity

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  • Made with Release: 20
  • Works with Release: 20 and greater

Redesigned Gradient Interface in Cinema 4D R20 support multi-select, zoom and more

In C4D Release 20, MAXON has redesigned the Gradient User Interface and has added more functionality to it, making it more powerful and more accurate. We can use the Viewport Navigation shortcuts to Zoom in and pan around a gradient, multi select and edit knots, copy - paste swatches, add Alpha channels, and much more.

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In Cinema 4D Release 20 MAXON has redesigned the gradient user interface and has added more functionality to it, making it more powerful and more accurate. Let's take a look at the new gradient at a glance. Let's add a gradient shader to our color channel and click on the icon to go into the gradient. Now as you can see the gradient looks a bit different. First of all if we right click you will see that we have these three predefined sizes, with medium being the default. We have a small, and then we have a large version so we can see our gradient better. The next thing is that we can use our normal navigation tools - the ones we use in the viewport - to zoom in and to pan around. This way we can hone in to a very specific part of our gradient and add a knot where we want it. Now you can see that we have this little highlight here - if I click on this or if I press H on my keyboard, then the whole thing will become its default view where we can see the whole gradient from end to end. We can now multi select using our normal selection tools - shift to add, ctrl or command to remove from the selection - and if I have more knots I can actually click and drag here and select a number of knots. If I move either the left or the right part I can actually stretch these knots to occupy any part of the gradient I want. Also I can grab any of the knots and move the whole thing around. Now if I have my knots close to each other and I want to see only this area I can press the S hotkey and it will zoom in and provide me a full view of the range from this knot to the other knot. And if I press H again then I'm going to zoom back to my default state. Let me press backspace and delete all the selected knots. Another thing I can do is - if I select on any of the knots and twirl this open you will see that we get our color chooser. Now I'm going to go to my swatches panel, and I'm going to select all these swatches and then drag them in my gradient. And this creates a gradient with all these swatches. Let me delete them again - backspace and delete them - and now what I can do is go and select one color so I'm going to create one knot, go and change the color here - and let's make it a red color - and I can drag this red color over here and create a new knot. So there's a very good collaboration between the color chooser, the swatches and the new gradient. Now let me go and load one of our presets and what you will see is if I select a number of knots I can multi edit their interpolation or any of the parameters they have. So I'm going to set this to smooth and now I have the bias knots, and just like with the normal knots I can just select them all and move them around. And you will see that they move in unison. A few more things have been added in the right-click and besides the invert gradients, we have the double knots - and it will just double up the amount of knots and create a copy. And I can do this again and again. And then I can distribute knots as usual and I can see (or not) the bias handles to make my gradient more visible. And then I can change the interpolation of all the knots for example to smooth and I can set them to cubic, linear or anything else I want. And you can see we have an addition of an icon to show what each and every one of these interpolation parameters is. If I select a knot and drag it using the shift key then it quantizes the position every 5%. Also when a knot is selected I can press the up and down arrows to change the brightness. If I use the shift it goes up and down by 10%. If I use the alt or option goes up and down by 0.1 percent. And the same thing applies when I press the right and left keys where the position is going to move by 1%, with a shift 10%, and with alt 0.1%. Gradients are not only used in our standard material as a shader but there is a dedicated gradient node in the new nodal editor. This particular gradient has one more interesting function - for each and every one of the knots I can have an alpha channel. All I have to do to activate it is go to the color of that knot, twirl it open, and you can see in the color chooser for this particular gradient we have an alpha channel as well, and I can change the opacity of the knot. I'm going to click and add another one and I'm going to set this to 100% and you can see the result of our gradient, which is a mix of colors and alpha channels as well. Finally since the gradients can be used in the new Fields technology, there's one more functionality that has been added. And that is the Edit Alpha and Display Result, because in this case we can have a separate alpha gradient added to our color gradient. So if I say edit alpha I can create a nice gradient here for the Alpha Channel and then delete this and there is an alpha there if I display the result I will be able to see the result of the mix of color and alpha channel. Click on the Edit alpha and you can edit the alpha channel for this gradient. In a nutshell these are the enhancements of the new gradient in Cinema 4D Release 20. Please visit to see the full playlist of all the exciting new features in Cinema 4D Release 20.
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