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How to Make A Hydraulic Arm In Cinema 4D Part 2 107 Comments

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  1. bwoogie

    I liked this tutorial a lot. Please do more stuff like this.

  2. nasser

    hey nick
    can you make a tutorial about
    moving a character i
    really need it to
    my science project

  3. REViLO

    I thought you did a great job explaining everything as you went along. I for one would love to see more tutorials here on rigging and modeling. It would be nice to see you expand on this scene and get a claw on that hydrolic arm and have it pick up/interact with another element.

  4. Nickname ideas?
    Silverback Schmidt? Spider Monkey? Cinema Chimp? Mind Monkey?
    HA HA HA!! I could think of nicknames all day! Thanks for this tut dude! It blew my mind! Your voice is cool too – you should make some extra cash reading audio books.

  5. Really nice to see a new tutorial, nicks are good and so are mikes but when your a tutorial junkie they just dont post enough 😛 Be nice to get your own site running such as nicks, etc. For future tutorials i think rigging is a great start due to not being that many, maybe a character one next. Also full project tutorials are rare and by that i mean the process, sketches and ideas, to making it, to rendering, to post work, to final. maybe something to think about.

    Also fore nicknames uhm id say Chris Silverback sounds the coolest.

  6. hypernurbs

    not that easy to follow…
    looks great though and great tutorial chris!

  7. *Follow up*

    Superb info and very informative. I have one question….How were you able to render the animation in cartoon form in the 13 second example?

    Thanks for any info.

    • Peejay

      In the render setting, choose “sketch and toon”, shading set to “texture”, texture set to “gradient” (2D-V)

  8. Again, great work Chris…. thanks for taking the time to explain this stuff. Always helpful.

    Nick, thanks for keeping this blog running… it’s no easy task I’m sure.


    …there is a breed of monkey called the ‘Mandrill’ monkey.
    could that be appropriate Chris?

  10. nice to see a cinema 4d tutorial that isn’t motion graphics for a change. tahnk you chris!

  11. Chris192

    love this tutorial, tank you so much. you covered a lot of stuff, and I liked the problem solving part. It’s tricky to say what tutorials I would like to see as the “best” ones imo are the ones I know nothing about. and maybe the gibbon?

  12. Chris – like everyone else I really liked this tutotial. You briing great addition to the site. Thanx Nick.

    I feel that with you Nick have cover all aspects of C4D. I would definately would love to see what’s in great demand…character modeling and riging as well.

    As for a nickname…keeping in concept with GSG, The Monkey…how about Chris “The Tamarin” Schmidt. It’s a small monkey that makes up in atitude.

  13. Nickname:
    TRIPLE-CH –> CHris the CHaracter rigging CHimp…
    with the golden voice.
    Really great narrating voice that makes u concentrate even more.
    Cheers from Germany for the great tutorial.

  14. astovlBMB

    I think Sir Cris u need:

    Wisky + Coffee = Wisfee

    Monkey + Gorilla = Monkilla

    Hehehehee ^^,

  15. hey man :)

    finally a tutorial that kept me awake until 5am!

    also, i have played with the robotic arm a bit and i guess i found the way around it intersecting. the trick was to make the tube of the hydrauilcs with the wider radius shorter, and the other one longer.

    it doesn’t eliminate the problem completely but it works when you put it straight down, and waaaaaay up. and since you gave no file i’m posting mine here for the people :)


    also, in the file iput one another solution to it but i don’t think it looks realistic, but nonetheless it looks very technical as well.

    pls tell me if you like it because this site was the reason i started learning 3d last year :)

    ps. I also think that the name should be cinema chimp.

    Cheers form Poland!

    • Hey man, thanks for the download link but it has had too many downloads.
      Could you upload it again please? Thanks.

  16. Thanks, this was a nice surprise, I would like to see more tutorials about rigging.

    name: The missing link


  17. Niklas_75

    Thanks Chris “the bear” Schmidt! I like your style :-) High 5 to you.

  18. Michael

    Thanks for tutorial. It’s great ! I learned a lot from this tutorial. I would like to see more tutorials about characters :)

    Here’s my first test..

    Chears from Poland

  19. tomas

    Great tutorial, thanks!!
    How about something beetween
    thinking particles and sketch and toon.
    i saw on youtube a video where you touched it
    a little this item and it was amazing for me.
    Sorry about my engish,


    tomas colautti

  20. Nickname should be Chris the Chimp, i think the silverback belongs to nick the silverback gorilla…Great tutorial keep it up…

  21. Cheebachops

    Good stuff fella.
    I’ve used basic IK/FK many times, but i’d love to know more about Character rigging organic objects (muscle deformers etc).Maybe the grabber you do could have rubbery pads over the joints or synthetic hydrolic muscles rather than pistons.

    Most of the stuff i do is motion graphics based for music vids/idents, would love start adding rigged characters into the mix.

  22. Cheebachops

    How about “The Gamma Gibbon” for your nickname? Or “Null Ape”?
    Tagline could be “C4d problems giving you a dull ache? Just consult the Null Ape”

  23. Magic Mongoose
    Gilla vanilla
    Practical Primate
    chris the Chimp
    Chirs the cobra
    Chris the Sasquatch
    the Sasquatch eater

  24. bunkerboss

    This is actually not working out at all for me:D LOL! I love this tutorial. I learned a lot although at some points with copying around things and pasting under (again) another null was getting hard to follow….

    Thanks very much!

  25. I think we should just call you “the machine”

    Great Tutorial … your passion for what you do really shows.

  26. You really totaly rock!

    But i think in addition to a nickname you need a signature beverage.

  27. Rammo Perno

    Hi Chris,

    thx for this awesome Tut.
    I can’t wait to see more of that stuff.

    Anyway I have a problem when it comes down to create the hydraulics (2nd part of the tut).

    When I create Pivot1 with the constrain Tag everything works fine. BUT when i follow your tutorial and copy the hydraulic1a to make it hydraulic1b suddenly the contrain Tag is messing up. Both Pivots kindalike point to the aim (aim1 and aim2) and begin rotating around the aims. I just can’t see what went wrong?

    I hope u understand what i mean :) If not i’ll post my projectfile for u.

    Plz help :)

  28. Rayne

    Suggestions for a Nickname for Chris:

    Don’t pander to the call to name yourself something monkey-related – it sends entirely the wrong kind of messargé. Your name’s Chris Schmidt. You should call yourself something instantly distinguishable – like Frank Schmidt, for example.

    You should also grow a moustache, but not on your face or anywhere obvious like that. Think further afield. Think out of State. Think Pittsburgh. That way, if it’s a complete disaster, no one will be any the wiser and anyone local will just assume the moustache is Julianna Margulies’s body-double.

    As to future tutorials – think outside the box. C4D has motors. What else can motors do other than drive a car? Surely to God when the R12 development team at Maxon got together and decided what they were going shove in the thing – they couldn’t have all gone: “Allés! Finalé, oui ave somzing tau drive our liddle Citron’s about wiz in 3D. Tres bein! Ow coolé iz zat?!”

    If anyone one can rise to the challenge and noodle it out – Frank Schmidt’s the man who can.

    See – as handles go. It’s terribly catchy…


  29. Thank you both for this ideas.
    I’m stuck into the first one. I would like to use deformer to create a path that particicle follow. But when i’m inserting a second bend this make bend the origin of the particicle.
    Can you help me? thank a lot anyway!

  30. I think I’ve done everything right, but my “Control” object doesn’t work as it should. Chris mentioned similar problem.

    When I move my “control” obj to the center – nothing happens, but there is some ster, some mm, and – my elbow dramatically bends.

  31. Great tutorial Chris I think it’s more instructive to watch you problem solve live in the tutorial.
    I’d like to see you show us under the hood of City Kit and maybe some more tweaks. I’m thinking about picking it up but I’d like to know how far I can customize it. Thanks!

    • thanks for you this great tutorial!

      your talent is a fantastic addition to this fantastic place !!!

      as for the nick name > I love ” the missing link ” !

  32. Thomas

    Hmm..always unsure where to post my comments on two-parters :) ANYWAY:

    Thanks a LOT for this tutorial. Never really touched IKs before, very interesting stuff.

    Please keep it up, I’m sure I’ll learn more from you in the future! And yes; I like that you too show the thought-process when problems arrive in tutorials.

  33. Gedela

    Don’t change anything to ur style! I love it all. Great one indeed im going to try it right now.

  34. Rodney

    I’m gettin stuck with rigging the hydraulics. I put the constraints on pivot1, but it doesn’t stop the cylinder from rotating, even with Aim1 pulled out of the hierarchy. So, I put the constraints on the cylinder itself and this did stop the rotation. But, when I attempt to copy hydraulic 1a, zero it out, and create the other half, the extrude nurb is pointing straight up on the y axis on the cylinder for some reason. From there, nothing works correctly.

    I seemed to work out some tweeks and get the hydraulics to where they atleast functioned for a few drags, but then the system was getting confused. And even if it did work properly, the pivot1 null would literally revolve instead of moving in a straight line when I would attempt to move it. So, I couldn’t even connect it to the arm anyways.

    If anyone can see what I’m doing wrong, or knows a different way of pulling off this feature, please shed some light.

    • Rodney

      Now the right cylinder and nurb are not even following at all when I drop in pivot 2 as the vector target. I’ve done what he’s shown numerous times. Ahhhhh so annoying! LOL

  35. dear Chris
    thank you for this great tut
    more null objects
    i feel my brain will explode
    but nice stuff i can make a great machine with this tutorial
    and i think i will have a 1000 null object or more HAHAHAHAH just joke

    thank you again and my respect for my teacher greyscalegorilla

  36. metalreek

    great tutorial! I’m going to give it a try and see what else i can come out with. :)

  37. Very cool tutorial…you often have with hydraulic arms some wires between two pistons…how to make that, a wire attached to 2 Pistons, and when they move the lenght of that wire change dynamically…thanks for help…

  38. Chris your tutorials are great! I love the way that you explain everything as you go a long and you have some excellent techniques and tips.

    Some tutorials skim over things that they think that you should or might know, but it’s not always the case with everyone – especially a beginner like me.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us and I can’t wait for the next one!

  39. Tyler

    Chris the chimp !!!!!
    Chris the Chimp !!!!!
    I think it sounds cool xD

    • Tyler

      oh and i would really like to dig more into Character rigging with skin and what not. just throwing some ideas that im struggling with. Thanks Gorilla , Chris the chimp, and Monkey.

  40. Deric

    Your tutorials are amazingly helpful. As a visual learning, I cannot thank you enough for taking time, making these masterfully coherent and easy-to-follow videos. I’ve learned a great deal from them and hope to see more in the future.

  41. Sergio Trindade

    Really nice tut, keep that “unclean” tutorial style, it is already like a GSG brand u know.

    Nickname: How about “I R Baboon”, i loved that cartoon. But not because ur a dumb ass like him, just because its a gorilla name)


  42. Awesome tutorial, thank you. It’s about time I learned a little about rigging.

  43. Just out of curiosity, I noticed you use a lot of Extrude Nurbs for creating cylinders. Is there a reason for using a Circle Spline with an Extrude, versus using a Cylinder?

  44. Clayton

    Amazing stuff. Someday, I hope to be able to all of this in under 2 hours like you did, instead of following a tutorial and stopping it every few seconds just to make sure that I got the right thing in the right place in the hierarchy.

  45. Roope

    Dont have Mograph in this workplace Cinema 4D R11.5, what to do? 😀

  46. Hi Chris,
    Thanks forthe effort and time. You maybe do relaise it, but I just want to mention that it is thanks to guys like your team, a lot of people with creative ideas but a lack of technique, can move forward! So thank you for that.
    A follow up: is there a tut on how to make a claw, you mentioned that in your tut, s I was curious as to where you left that.

  47. Brian

    Silverback Schmidt…thanks for the tutorial dude. Brand new to 4D any tips on tutorials i could use to progress this figure further to get the bones of a character? Face would be an amazing follow up to this.

  48. Awesome tutorial Chris! You really made IK much less intimidating to me.

    I made a slightly more complex robot arm that has a gripper and it picks up and assembles fragments of text, the arm moves to position and as it is grabbed by the gripper i animate on a parent constraint to temporarily attach it to the gripper arm

    problem i am having is as i scrub the playhead back it puts the pieces in different places every time unless i scrub very slowly, and if i jump to frame 0 nothing happens, it is reflected in test renders as well,
    Am i going the wrong route by using a parent constraint? Can I cache this somehow or better yet how would you go about animating this?

    any help is GREATLY appreciated!

    thanks tons guys
    p.s. got the light kit pro- love it!

  49. Achim

    chris – thank you so much for your tutorials! great job. nick – you too, of course!

    however – i have a little hickup on a setup that is very similar to the hydraulic arms.
    it has to do with lag of a frame when priority of calculation is not the right order.
    i dont have IK in my scene – just constraint tags with aim and up vectors. however i set the priorities – it lags a frame.
    i have dynamic objects, but in these i cant adjust the priority – right?
    anyways – help would be welcomed, i can upload the scene if needed…

    thank you in advance…

  50. daniel

    great tutorial :) this is the stuff I want to see more of..character rigging, facial rigging?

  51. Squillion

    Thank you very much Chris, very generous and thorough teaching, I’m a first timer (3 weeks ago) and I’m loving it. Only because you asked, I would also like to learn rigging, especially eyes, the movement, the blinking, dialating, eyebrows, forhead etc. As for a nickname, I would choose Agent Schmidt. Again thank you and have a great week.

  52. annette rays

    I LOVE that you have the confidence the leave ‘some mistakes’ in and then share problem solving techniques to fix them. Great tutorial. Thank you.

  53. Gleb

    Ahaha, Chris…) Mad technic skillz)))
    Seriosly, thanx! Want to listen to you again and again, because your c4d skills, that is reealy mad.

  54. gaive junior

    thanks chris that really really helpfull,awesome!

  55. Dirar

    Hello Chris

    I’m trying to build this in R15 but its not working, any tips??

  56. Dirar

    and by the way it’s working perfect in R11.5 just built it there, if u send me ur email i can send u the files


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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.