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

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Allison House presents basic techniques for creating design concepts using Cinema 4D.

Allison House presents basic techniques for creating design concepts using Cinema 4D. Learn how to use Cinema 4D’s Displacer, Sweep and Cloth tools to create animated dimensional forms for design. Basic forms from Cinema 4D can be modified with Photoshop adjustment layers and exported as an animated GIF. Allison also discusses how she created animations for Tweedy’s ‘Summer Noon’ music video after just weeks of using Cinema 4D.

06:37Moonlit Water Ripples
26:40Sweep Experiments in Form
34:33Overlapping Dynamic Forms with Cloth-Cubes
42:10Tweedy's 'Summer Noon' Music Video

Recorded Live from NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.

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- [Allison] Hello everybody. Good to see you here, thank you very much for joining us at the Cinema 4D booth and of course hello to everybody at home. I got a lot of friends out there virtually supporting, so I'm very excited about that. So today we're talking about Cinema 4D for illustrators and designers. This is going to be an introductory session. I'm going to walk you through a few projects from scratch. You don't need any plugins, nothing fancy on the renders. I'll just show you how I made a few things and how 3D has sort of been put into what was otherwise a 2D graphic design workflow for me. So before I start getting into projects, I'm actually going to hop over to Instagram. So a lot of these folks have fancy reels. I have Instagram. So I just want to give you an idea of kind of where I'm coming from, a little bit about my background so you know what's what. A couple of years ago I actually had a pretty great career in tech. I was a product designer at Dropbox and that was great, but I started to feel myself getting a little bit complacent. I start to feel less passionate about my work. I started to get kind of bored of always using like light blue and other neutral colors. And so after I left Dropbox, I kind of instead of moving on to the next software/app design gig, I thought I might do something a little bit different and take some time to transition and explore and see what else is out there. And the one thing I found that really struck a chord with me was 3D and specifically Cinema 4D because it has such an excellent community around it. There are so many resources out there and the people who are teaching are really excellent educators. I'm going to just scroll through a little bit here maybe just give you...point out a couple of things and then I'll show you a couple projects. This sort of tryptic here, I mean, this is a combination of 2D and 3D elements. This part on the bottom here is created in 3D, but it's meshed with these simple vector shapes in Photoshop. So it's sort of all brought together to it but the you have the sort of harmony between this geometric shape and geometric shape. Cinema is great for kind of toying around with form and shape. I love to experiment, I love, I tend not to start with a clear idea what I want to do. I kind of like to, like, shape things as I go and Cinema has a lot of flexibility when it comes to that. Scrolling down a little bit further here, we got a little low poly animation. Instead of, like, highly polished sort of shiny stuff I'm actually a really big fan of things that look low-fi, that have jagged edges that have a little bit of character to them. That's more my style and kind of reminds me, it gives you a little nostalgia like growing up when I fell in love with computers, you know. It just makes me kind of feel good. And so I think when I was kind of trying to rediscover what it meant to design for myself for me and maybe not a brand or somebody else, some existing design system, I was kind of trying to tap into what are those little pieces, what are those pieces of the style that feel like they're coming from me right and maybe not somebody else. All right, so let's scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. So lots of experiments here. So this is one of the pieces I'm going to show you how I created. Cinema is incredible for getting these really flat perfect 45 degree angles. If you're a fan of geometric shapes or these sort of like simple paired down forms, they're very easy to create in this context. We're scrolling down a little bit more here. A Let's see. All right, and this is another piece that I'm going to show you how I created. This is the sort of like groovy, wavy, visual. It's actually really really simple. If we get past these photos. I just wanted to call this one out. So this is something I could've created in Illustrator. It has a really simple, flat style to it. It's something I could have just sort of traced this silhouette, but what 3D is so good for is you can add this element of atmosphere. Here we've got like these buildings in the background but then we've got these perfect diamond shaped leaves we can bring in. We can kind of make them float through the air, we can use dynamics to simulate wind. If you look at those wires on the right here, you can see like a little bit of movement and just that little bit, just that small thing really adds so much depth, I think, to an image like this, a piece like this. All right. And so, the last kind of thing that I'm just going to scroll down into, after we skip my trip to Taiwan, it's a good trip though, are these pieces here. These pieces in here and I'll show you a little bit more of this in a bit. But this was a project that I created actually after just three weeks of working with Cinema 4D. I was brand new to 3D at the time and I ended up... Wilco reached out to me about creating their new music video. I had actually been able to produce so much work within those three weeks that I had a portfolio's worth of stuff to share. And so, that was enough for them to bet on my limited experience. So I'm going to talk a little bit about that we won't get into that the actual files, but I'll just give you a little bit of background on the story. Maybe hopefully leave you with a little inspiration. Let's flip back to our presentation. I'm going to be showing you three pieces. Let me give you a quick overview first and then we'll get into actually creating them. The first one is this one here, very design-y, right? Really flat elements, but then we get this little tiny bit of animation that really brings it to life. I'm going to talk you through how I created this one from scratch then we'll bring it over into Photoshop and export it as a gif. Next up, I'll show you how I created these pieces and how you can kind of use the camera in Cinema 4D to do what I call form hunting, like look around for different shapes and forms that might be interesting that are, you know, it's just harder to do if you only have two planes to work with. Lastly, I'll show you how I created this visual and used gif export to get this nice dithering effect. Just a couple snippets here from that last project I'll show you. So these are clips from that music video. All right, so you guys ready to get into some Cinema? Yeah? Come on, come on. Yes. Okay, there we go. All right, so let's go ahead and open Cinema here. Let me create a new document so we can start from scratch and let me just turn the grid back on. I'm just going to flip back to that moon image just for a sec so you can see what I'm referencing here. All right, it's this fella here. What do we have going on here? There's a few different pieces, we've got this moon shape on top. We've got some kind of sea going on in the bottom and then we've got the moving piece, right. So I'm going to start with the ocean or the sea the water down below. First we're just going to create a plane. These objects are called primitives here, they're sort of basic shapes that you can pull into Cinema. We're going to start with this plain one here. So it's kind of what it sounds like, it just gives you this flat square on the ground. I'm going to turn on lines because this is going to show us where all our polygons are. I'm going to go into this plain layer here and take a look at these with segments. These segments here if I crank these up are going to give me more polygons to work with, okay. So this is kind of how we can dial in exactly what those small square shapes that are moving around look like if they're wide or if they're short or long or whatever. In this case, I kind of want like a long pool shape so I can put my moon at the end of it and have it casting light, so I'm going to make this really long and narrow. So we'll do 1600 for the width and 6000 for the height. I'm going to dolly out a little bit here just so we can see what this looks like so far. So far so good. You can kind of see this Olympic-sized swimming pool situation we got going on and then next up we need to change these segments. Now we've got these long rectangular segments to kind of match what we just did so I actually want those to be square once again. I'm going to put in sort of the corresponding numbers here, so we'll do 30 and 200. Okay, and so now not quite square-ish, but if we look from this angle here we're going to get these nice shapes, that we're looking for in this image here. You can start to see where those shapes are coming from, where they're emerging. Next up, let's talk about making this a little bit groovy right? All right, so let's it would be great if we could actually somehow displace these polygons. And it just so happens that we have something called a displacer. They thought of everything. So let's grab our displacer here. I'm going to put it, tuck it right in under that plane, and then we can change some settings in here and you'll start to see these things moving around. So in our displacer here, I'm going to go to shading and I'm going to create a noise shader. Immediately you're going to see a little bit of a change. Let me actually render that in the viewport for you so you can see what that looks like. We've got something bumpy going on here, not quite the same. We don't have those sort of clear cut edges, but we can actually change that right now by removing this tag here. So by default, Cinema adds a little bit of smoothing to everything that you're doing. A little bit of smoothing to everything you're doing, so we can either dial this down here with a phong angle, or if you're like me and want everything to be perfectly flat and straight and have an edge, you can just hit delete. And if I render this for you now, here's those shapes, right, we've seen these before. Here they're starting to show up in the way that we want. So now we've got that kind of groovy sort of like wave-like shape, but keeping it geometric. Thank you so much. He's like a waiter. It's cause he's British, he's super polite. All right. So from here, let's see if we can actually get a little animation going and this is actually very easy. We can do this directly on the displacer with the noise shader that we just created. So we're going to go into our noise shader. Let me see, I got to actually jot it down a couple of settings to make sure I got it right. All right, so we're going to turn the animation speed on here to one and we're going to turn this loop period on to one. And so, this is going to loop every second. Every 60 frames we're going to get the same thing happening over and over again. If you're interested in super simple animation that you want to loop, this is a great way to do it, right. Let's hit play just so you can see what I mean. So we'll change this length of the timeline to 60 seconds, and I'm going to hit play. You can see there's no stutter there at the end, everything's just looping over and over and over again. Not bad right? Okay, so we've got the animation and we might want to dial in these waves a little bit so maybe we take the contrast up. That's going to give us slightly spikier waves. It's going to make more difference, more variation in those waves. Maybe take the brightness up a little bit so the waves sit higher. Maybe something like that. All right, okay, and so now we have a little bit more depth in those waves so that when we shine a light on it, we'll get a little bit more variance in how that light is playing on this particular surface. So far so good, but we're missing a couple of things. We're missing our lights, missing our colors and of course we're missing our moon. Next, I'm going to bring lights into this, and light is right here. Just going to click this once to get a light going and before I change anything else I just want to show you what it looks like to have a light in the scene. Already you can kind of see where this is going, but our light is spilling out over into the backside of this and that's no good. We want our light to be directed and to seem like it has a specific source from which it's coming. What I'm going to do is take this light here and we're going to change one setting. Right here under type we're going to switch to spot. So that just puts a backing on this light so that all the light filters forward. Then we can change the width of this. Actually first let me rotate it around so we'll get this pointed at us. Okay, much better, right? We're getting there. And you can actually grab these handles here to change the spread of that light so maybe it's a real narrow spotlight, you know, maybe it's a little bit wider or something like that. For this particular image, I'm just going to hop back once again so you can see I actually used a couple of lights. So one is a wider light that's giving me those diffuse colors on the edges and then there's a narrower light in the center that's kind of mimicking that, like, more direct moonlight, okay. Let's kind of get this somewhere in between. We're going to go ahead and copy and paste that and then I'm just going to make the second version a little bit more narrow, okay. So instead of sort of being this really clear falloff we have like a more pointed light and then a more diffuse light. Okay, all right, things are coming along here. So next up, we've got to get the camera in kind of the right spot. I'm just moving it around here to kind of find the right location and you can also actually put a camera in the scene. So there's the viewport where you're kind of moving around, but I can also put a camera here and go into that camera and now change exactly where that sits. So if I want to go to the coordinates here, I can really dial in exactly where that is. So I actually want here the X maybe to be zero so that we're perfectly centered and looking directly down the line so we get everything balanced on our horizon. Let's see any other changes we want to make here? Maybe get a little bit lower on it. We'll go down to 300 and of course coming from a design background I love round numbers. I should not because sometimes in 3D it really makes more sense just to move things and use your eyes, especially if you got three different ways you can look at thing, but inevitably I find myself like, 400 would be better than 408. Well, oh gosh, maybe not there, minus 3400, there we go. So now we can kind of see how this is coming together. At the time when I made this initially, I think I was having some issues with this moon but I got an idea of how we could do it this time around. Let's say we just grab a sphere object. I did that fast but we went into these primitive objects here and just grabbed a sphere. I'll show you what this looks like now not a whole lot because there's everything else is dark except for that spotlight. We can create a fully luminant object, so I'm just creating a material down here. This is what we're going to put on the sphere. We want to get kind of a moon color maybe, so let's... I'm going to uncheck color, uncheck reflectance and just do luminance. This is going to give us a very flat circle because it's a sphere. No matter what direction you look at it from, it always has the same form. Since we're using this fully luminant object, there's not going to be any shadows on it. It means it creates its own light. I'm going to go ahead and drag and drop that quicky material I just created onto the moon. And if we render this now, we start to get this illusion that the light is coming from the moon. Simple but effective. So let me frame this up a little bit better. Uh-oh, come back. There we go. Thank God for undo. And then let me make this maybe a little bit smaller and maybe we come in a little here or something like that. Now we're getting pretty close to the image that we had originally. From here we can actually export this out. We can save all of these frames out and create a small movie file that we can then toy around with later. I'm hopping into the render settings here just hit this button with the gear. Let's go ahead and just kind of keep these defaults here. We'll make it 800 by 600 just fine. But down here under frame range, we'll do all frames. So this is going to render all of these frames for us. It's a little controversial, but I personally like to turn anti-aliasing off so anti-aliasing is what's going to make your edges very smooth or if you have none whatsoever it's going to make them jagged. I am a big fan of the jagged look, I like things that look kind of like rough and have a little bit of character so you can kind of get a preview of what that looks like here. You can see things just a little bit more computer made. I like things that look computer made. I spent a long time making software look human made, so this, for me, is a nice way to rebel, cool. From here, we can actually just start rendering this out. We got this great super fast machine here, so it's going to speed right on through. Wonderful! So let's hit play just to preview what we created. Not too shabby, huh? We did good today. From here I can save this out and under type, I'm going to select animation. Under format here, I'm going to do a QuickTime Movie. I'll go ahead and hit OK. Well, just use the...what have we got, the desktop for now. We'll say, "moon." Now we've got that saved to the desktop. And let's see, here it is. This is probably going to convert first but then we'll get our preview. Now we have our animation. So what I like to do is actually bring this into Photoshop. Now you could use Premiere or After Effects, but I came from a place where I didn't really know anything about video editing, I'd never used that kind of software before, and Photoshop is where I'm most comfortable changing colors. I have maybe some degree of mastery over color in Photoshop, so I wanted to kind of combine this new thing with something I was a little bit more familiar with. Let me show you how to do that. Going to jump over to Photoshop here. And we're going to go to Import, Video Frames to Layers, and this is going to take all of those frames that were rendered out into a movie format and it's going to give it to us on a timeline. It will of course take its sweet time doing it. Once we eventually...when this thing loads up, we'll go ahead and insert the file and then we'll have our timeline. But the cool thing about Photoshop is we have adjustment layers, so instead of trying to change each individual frame, we can actually stick adjustment layers on top of each of these frames in the timeline and they will all change for us. So we can change things like curves or add a gradient map which I'll show you how to do right now. Let's go ahead and pull up that file we just created. Here you can see we have all of these frames here, so we're going to hit OK. Then we got to go to Window and Timeline, there we go. And you can see at the bottom here that each of these frames are now represented here in the timeline. I like to stick to frame one. If you start messing around with the other frames, things won't change universally. So I'm going to stay on frame one here. I'm going to go all the way to the top, and from here let's say I wanted to change all the colors in this piece. I could go to this gradient map tool here. The gradient map maps from black to white all the different shades that are in the image, right. So right now we don't see a whole lot of difference because this is already a black to white gradient. But let's say that we didn't want our darkest color to be black maybe like a deep blue or something like that. Let's see, so like a deep blue. We can target just that one color and then everything in between all the grays are going to be some variation somewhere between purple and white, right. And so, this is actually a wonderful way to get these really harmonious color palettes because every in-between color will always be some combination of your color on one end or the other. You can actually get, I mean, I get pretty funky with these, I sometimes get five or six different colors in my gradient maps. I think maybe like obviously this needs like a little bit of pink. There we go, something like that, you start getting a little 80s with your moonlight scene. Maybe get a little bit of light yellow in here or something like that. You can pull these down to kind of adjust or remove them entirely. Pull these down to kind of adjust, you know, what exactly you're affecting in the image. At this point I'm actually going to switch over to my original Photoshop file just so we kind of have all the perfect symmetry lined up and so you can see for authenticity's sake exactly what I changed. Here is our original file. Let me turn that off. And so, that's without, sorry that's with, all the edits so this was the initial one that I exported so the only difference here is I had a wide blue spotlight on it and then I had a narrow pink one instead. I tend to gravitate toward these colors these days, really anything fully exaggerated tends to spark my interest. Let me just turn off these edits and let me just show you one at a time. So not a whole lot going on here. These were just the frames themselves and I've actually massed out the moon that I had at the time because as I mentioned I wasn't happy with whatever that was, probably the easiest way to do that is a fully luminant sphere in this case. Here I ended up just putting it back in in Photoshop, I actually just drew it in. If this is like your preferred way to work in Photoshop or Illustrator or whatever the case is, maybe you do the things that are easy and you like to do in that space and then you do sort of like the hard different 3D stuff in the 3D space, right. Here's our gradient map and let me just show you what it looks like so you can get a sense of where I was going color-wise. Kind of similar, we've got this really deep purple. We go into a really bright, fun, highly saturated purple. Then we go into a pink, a light yellow and then the very purest of colors is that white. The last thing here is just some curves just to kind of balance out the colors a little bit and make sure everything ties together. That is start to finish how moonlight this particular piece was created. Last thing I want to show you is how you can export something like this, how you can export it as a gif. Photoshop seems to be the best way I found to, like, create really fine tune and then export gifs. I wish there were something else out there. I'm sure somebody is working on it, but for now we use the save for web feature in Photoshop. So if we go to...what am I looking for here? Export. Is it right there and I'm not seeing it? Save for Web (Legacy). As I was saying, a slightly different version that's why. Okay, so here we are in save for web. It is sort of a legacy feature, but like I said gif is...well gif is kind of like a legacy format in some ways. Your best settings here Adaptive, Diffusion. You're often trying to balance between looking at this number down here on the bottom left, trying to make sure that the size does not get too big, then at the same time maybe compromising your quality and colors a little bit. It tends to be a little bit of a balancing act. The actual resolution is also a great way to quickly reduce file size. For this particular aesthetic, oftentimes a lower resolution actually doesn't make that huge a difference in how people perceive and enjoy it. I'm going to maybe, like, dial down the colors here a little bit just so you can kind of see what I mean. And actually, if we get lower, we'll see some of that dithering start to emerge. Actually that's not too bad, so maybe we go even lower. Actually, that still looks great. This might have not been the right image to show you. I got another one later, so maybe we can take a look at that. I'll show you the dithering on the one I actually delivered in just a minute. Let's say yeah, we've got these colors here. I'm going to reduce the file size because this may take...the resolution because this may take too long to, like, save and render and show you. Let's just do, you know, 400, it'll take a moment to resize that. Okay, we'll hit Save here. Stick that on the desktop. There it is, the desktop, and we'll just pop that open real quick just so you can see what that looks like. There we go. Now it's ready for us to post on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter wherever you want to put it. We get this bright, flat look, right, something we could've made in Illustrator, but we get this like extra piece of depth because we added this 3D part. Next up, I want to show you how to kind of toy around with frames and shapes in Cinema. This is kind of one of my favorite things to do. If I'm not sure where to start, I don't have any inspiration, I kind of like that I can just start putting something on the canvas, whirling around it and seeing what comes out. We're going to go ahead and start a New File here once again. I'm going to show you these up here. So these are called splines. Splines are very much like paths in Illustrator or Photoshop, very very similar. For example if I pull this in here, I could maybe make a couple adjustments maybe change the tension a little bit, just kind of get an interesting shape going. But much like a path in either of those programs, you can a stroke it or you can change the individual points. They also have a Bezier tool in here, so you can create paths from scratch. You can create a circle and turn it into an inner tube. I mean, there's a lot that you can do with this sort of path parallel called splines in Cinema 4D. In this case I kind of have...assume that this is a path. I'm going to stroke it. The way that I would do that is to use these sweep nurbs. I think we're calling it the sweep object now. I'm going to tuck this path inside of that, and then I'm going to grab another path. This is going to be the shape of the object that strokes all along the length of this existing path. In this case, I'm going to grab, what should we do, let's grab a rectangle. Now this is really too big, it's going to be really chunky when it strokes along it, so I'm going to make this way smaller, just holding down T her, making it itty bitty. Then you know what, I'm actually going to change the size itself so we'll get it down to four. Now I can tuck that rectangle in under this sweep object. Now we have an object that we can render that we can do whatever we want with. Right now it's a solid object. So same with paths, until you actually make it into, like, actually do something with the path it's not going to render, it's not going to be real, right. Here we are, we've got a real object to play with. I'm going to make this, let's see... Make this a little shorter and make this a little bit wider so we get this sort of fountain-like effect here. We've already got this kind of cool shape going. I want to show you a couple other things we can do here. So one, we can pull out what's called a cloner. Cloner is kind of what it sounds like, it lets you repeat objects over and over again. So I'm jumping into MoGraph here, grabbing a cloner and just putting that entire sweep object inside. Now we got a few things, big part of graphic design, it's repetition, it's patterns, right. This makes it easy. I'm going to... Linear is good, but I think I want it going in a different direction. So I'm going to crank this down. Right now we've got the X, Y and Z as options for how we space these out. I want it to go on this blue line that-a-way, so that's the Z-axis, okay. So let's say...10's a little too low, but we can kind of play with that and find the right amount of space between those, okay. So yeah, let's do a few more, maybe like 20, you know, whatever you want to do. From here I actually like to start finding shapes. This is kind of interesting, maybe I might go down here and see what's here. I like to kind of take shots as I do this. Let's actually make sure that we're set up for that. Aliasing, who needs that? This thing's fine. We'll do current frame. Okay, so I'm just going to kind of move the camera around here and take shots as I go. I'm just trying to find interesting shapes or forms or shadows that are hitting, you know, just different possibilities that might be hidden here. Sometimes you just zoom in a lot and you're like, "Oh, that looks way better." If you're working in the abstract, it can be a good way to just kind of like find something as a foundation for a broader design that you're trying to build. So you know, this might be an interesting piece, maybe zoom in here. What about going between this little sort of tunnel, maybe there's something going on here. This is a quick way to get a bird's eye view of all the possibilities in a simple shape simple or simple geometric form that you've created. So just to kind of show you what I mean, these three pieces were extracted from a lot of different experiments so I'm moving around these shapes, taking quick snapshot, trying to find things that look interesting that, you know, have an interesting composition, something I might not have thought of before, right. So the possibility for exploration is tremendous. One other thing I want to show you here that's handy if you like that sort of really flat look is the isometric camera. And there are a few flat cameras or cameras that will give you a flat look. Isometric changes the type of grid. Instead of it being perspective, suddenly all of these grids are exactly the same width and length across from each other. If we zoom in here, maybe we hit render just so you can see. This just really changes the way that this looks, right. You get this really simple pattern that's going along here. That is where, you know, these shapes started to emerge is playing with, you know, moving these repeated forms into different positions, trying them from different angles and seeing what they look like in this totally flat view. We're going to just do one more thing here and that is add... Actually let me make these lines a little narrower only to satisfy my own aesthetic requirements. We'll these in a little bit tighter, maybe make 15. Great. Okay, one other thing I want to show you is the Random Effector. So I'm going to click on this clone so we're going to go to MoGraph here. We're going to go to Effector and Random. This is going to enable us for every object that is inside the cloner we can add some element of randomness to several different verticals. Let's s actually take a look at what those are. So positioned right now is what's being changed. Let me reset this all to zero so we can look at this one piece at a time. You can change, you can make the scale random among these objects. Now we've got different lengths going. We could change the rotation here so that all of these are tilted in slightly different directions or in the case of this image right here or these two images, we kind of made that dip point off center. Let's say we maybe did something like this. Now you can see how we can get some really interesting shapes that would just take a lot longer for us to do if we were trying to duplicate this in Illustrator. It gives us a lot of freedom and flexibility to try things out. I am a really curious person, so I absolutely love having that flexibility. That is the gist behind how I created those sort of flat geometric pieces. All right, so last one here. The last one here and this one's actually easier than it looks. Let me play this for you just so you can get an idea of what it is. Okay, so to create this we're going to do it from scratch again. Here we go. I'm going to start with the most simple object you can, which is a cube. Most things start with a cube. I'm going to go ahead and turn on those lines again just so you can see how many grid lines we've got and I'm going to crank this up to 20, 20, 20. Now we've got some polygons to work with. I'm going to make this editable, so I'm just going to hit C here and making it editable means that I can't change those parameters anymore, but I can edit individual points. I could mold this into whatever shape I want. It takes away the sort of parametric, like, changing numbers part of it, but you can customize it from here on. We're going to go into simulation tags and grab cloth. This is going to create a cloth simulation. Now first, when I hit play not a whole lot is going on because we haven't added any settings just yet. But you can see that there is now gravity involved and that's what I wanted to show you there. So what I'm going to do is, I want to grab two points on this cube and I want to make everything else float. So everything's going to be cloth and I'm just going to fix these two points and it's going to kind of like wave in the wind. Let me show you. So I'm going to stay on this cloth tag here. I'm going to this point tool and I am grabbing this point. Let's make sure we grab the right one and that point. Going to go to Dresser here. And we're going to hit Set under Fixed Points. Now if we hit play, now something a little bit different is happening. So instead of everything just falling at once into nothingness, we now have two points that it's being held by, right, and now we got like something floppy happening. So far, so good. What I want to do next is actually put a material on this. I'm going to add a luminance channel like we did before and this is a great way to get a perfectly flat look, assuming you don't have anything else going on with your rendering settings. Let's do...what are we going to do today? Let's do maybe like a green-y color, like an aqua green-y...oh yeah, that's it. That's the one. I'm also going to go into alpha. So alpha is your transparency, and I'm going to use a gradient here. This is now going from totally transparent to totally opaque. Let's put this on the cube and see what it looks like. It already looks cool. All right, let's hit render, something interesting going on here. Now if we were to bend and mold and push this around, you can see how we might start getting some very interesting gradients and shapes flowing into each other. Could make a nice visual. Let me just play one more time so you can kind of see what the more organic edition of this looks like. So now we have this really interesting almost ghost-like shape, right. Another cool thing that we can do with that cloth tag is we have forces. From here we can actually add a little bit of wind, we can get this to kind of float at the rate that we want and we can get those, you know, all these different polygons to start crashing, gently right, a little bit more slowly so that we get a more mellow visual when we eventually zoom in. I've messed around with these settings previously I'm going to be copying them from some notes that I have. Let's see, so go to drag, we're going to turn up the wind direction here. Wind strength we're going to turn up to one. Turbulence strength to four. Got to make sure, I get this right or we have to debug. Wind drag we're doing this at zero. I got to tell you, I don't know what all of these mean individually. Oftentimes it's just a matter of, like, cranking some numbers seeing what happens right and I kind of feel like that's the case for everybody. Wind lifts we're doing zero and then air resistance. It's a big one it's 20. Let's see where that where that...aww, look at that. We got a nice floaty cloth. Okay, I'm going to make this timeline way longer just so that it doesn't keep looping on us. Here we go. Now from here...there we go, longer, got it! Now from here, we can start form hunting again, right. So now we've got this really interesting shape going. It's doing a lot of intersecting. So I can actually get in here, there we go it's calmed down a little bit. I can kind of get in here and zoom in. There it is. We render something here and start to see what I can find out. So far we've just got this one color so when a partly transparent shade of that color hits another one, it just makes a solid. So to switch things up a little bit, we can actually double up on this cube. Here we go. We're doubling up. And I'm going to make another material here. Let's do like, you know, maybe a pinkish color or something like that. Yeah, that looks like it might blend well, cool. Now we've got our pink version of this and our green-y version of this. If I just render here, you can see it's just kind of clipping into each other. But once we hit play, let it shake itself out, there we go. We start to get something interesting happening. From this point, we can start getting really in there, you know, trying to find where the interesting shapes are happening, you know, what colors are working well here. At this point I'm going to switch over to my original file one more time just so you can kind of see what this looks like. Here we go. This is, again, eventually I kind of went to the bottom here. This is we're just hitting play, we're blowing in the wind, we're zooming way in, then we're kind of finding these overlapping shapes. From here we can do what we did in that very first piece where we render all of these frames in a row, right, we create an animation out of this. So you can make it, like, 10 minutes long. You could create a video out of that and you could play it in a background or you could just use a single frame for this as part of a graphic design piece. These abstract shapes have a lot of versatility. That is our third piece. Before we get going, I just wanted to share with you a little bit about the music video that I created. Actually let me show you these. These are like little audio visual pieces I made out of these pieces. ♪ [music] ♪ To get these color changes, it's just a different gradient map, switching using the exact same values but switching to red plus yellow or, you know, green plus red or whatever the case may be. Last thing that I wanted to talk to you about was this music video that I did with Tweedy and kind of some of the constraints around that. We're going to make this kind of quick because we're just about done here, so I'm actually going to flip over to a blog post I wrote. I feel like the visuals here might give me some better support. I want to give you a little bit of background here because when I created this video, I had never directed anything, I'd never edited anything, I didn't own any video editing software. The longest animation I created up to this point was two seconds it was a looping gif. It might have been that moon one. I was really lucky to get this opportunity, but it took quite a bit of, like, grit and trying to learn things quickly and hustle, I suppose, to get this done. Up to this point, this was probably the most complicated thing I had made. I'd been using Cinema 4D for just three weeks at this stage, so there was there was definitely an intimidation factor. But I started out with what I do with apps or with software, I tried just creating a lot of ideas at once and trying to figure out among those ideas what might have the most impact. At the same time we were collecting imagery and sort of trying to develop a mood board since we only had a three week timeline to get this thing done. In tech, like, you prototype things if you want to see if they work so I tried prototyping a couple things, I shared that with the clients, and this was sort of the winning concept here. It's sort of a balloon kind of traveling across these hazy landscapes. My clients said that they were lonely. He liked this idea of lonely landscapes so we came up with a few more. I bought some books. I bought a lot of books. I tried to read as much as I could and practice as much as I could at the same time as sort of creating things. But this is just to give you an idea and let me just zoom in a little bit here for you. These are really hack-y, jank-y, ridiculous looking from the outside. But if you get the right camera angle, you know, you really only need to cover the things that are being viewed, right, being shown. This is the... On the left here, this is the sort of like, you know, the zoomed out version right in Cinema. And then on the right here is what it actually looked like when it was rendered out. Same thing over here, we've got mountains kind of like existing way in the distance, you know, it's not very realistic. But then when we actually render things out, we get the sort of nice frame displaying what we want to show. I was like really hustling to just kind of get things done here. I always think done is better than perfect especially in this context, like, where I don't even know if I can actually finish things up. It ended up that I worked quickly enough that I had a little bit extra time at the end so I just want to show you sort of like at the beginning this is kind of where I was skill-wise and because I had that extra time at the end I had actually learned enough that I could go back and edit things and kind of get something a little bit more detailed and graphic just in those few weeks of kind of creating this music video. It's always tricky when you start a project and you learn a lot and then you're like, "Oh, maybe I should do that part over again." This is a little bit of color correcting. I did all of this on a trial of Adobe Premiere it was one of the 30 day trials. I guess that I didn't have any video editing experience, but you kind of grab what you can get, right. Okay, so I am going to play this video, I think we've kind of run out of time here so let me get you my information, let me switch back to here real quick, and then I'll play it at the very end so anyone who wants to hangout and watch it can, okay. Because I'm a designer and because I love 3D, I recently started this mailing list called If we can switch back. Here we go If you are interested in anything you've heard here today, this is totally free. It's just kind of my way of sharing the joy of 3D and some of the things that I've learned with other illustrators and designers who might be able to use it. If you're interested, please sign up. I'll be sending out resources. We'll also... I'm here talking to people we'll get you some discount code for plugins and stuff that will help you learn Cinema. So please check that out. I am just @house on Twitter. Yeah, follow along and I'm going to be at the station back there for the next hour so if you have any questions or you just want to talk 2D, 3D, whatever the case may be, I'd love to chat with you. Thank you so much. - [Woman] Thanks Allison.
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