Posted On:2012 | Page 2 of 4 | Greyscalegorilla


Winners of the “Command-Z” Five Second Project

September 13, 2012 - By 


Congratulations to nik faulkner for winning the latest Five Second Project with his destructive reversed masterpiece with built in behind the scenes footage. Of course, thanks to everyone who entered. Each and every 144 of you. You can watch all the entries at the vimeo channel and check out the honorable mentions below. Look for another Five Second Project announced very soon.

Honorable Mentions


Version Number Cinema 4D Icons for OSX

September 6, 2012 - By 

The release of C4D R17 brings us another identical looking Cinema 4D icon. I find myself never knowing what version of Cinema I was working in. Maybe it’s just me and my need to test products on all versions and do tutorials in different versions, but I needed a way to quickly differentiate between different versions. So, I made some icons. I also added some for the Net Renderer and clients since those can get confusing too. Feel free to use them on your different versions or just change your old version of C4D to the R14 icon just to look cool. Either way, here ya go.

How To Change Icons In OSX

  1. Select the Version of the C4D application you want to change.
  2. Right Click and select “Get Info” from the list.
  3. Drag and Drop the NEW icon you downloaded onto the existing one in the Get Info dialog box. (you may need too enter your password)
  4. Enjoy

Download the Numbered Cinema 4D Icons Here


Cinema 4D R14: Our Favorite Features So Far

August 17, 2012 - By 

We have been playing with R14 at the GSG Studios for the last week and I wanted to share some of our favorite new features we are most excited about so far. This is far from a real review, but just a collection of quick opinions and thoughts so far about the new version, some new features and what we have had the most fun with.


The new aerodynamic settings are pretty simple to set up. There are only two settings to play with: Drag and Lift. Combine those settings with wind and you have instant, realistic aerodynamics. Chris has been playing with making planes fly around on their own and he said it was super easy to set up. Excited to learn more about this one.


I can’t model. I won’t model. I’m not the guy to get excited about the new sculpting stuff. But, the modeler types at SIGGRAPH had great things to say about the new sculpting tools. “It’s not as powerful as Z-Brush, but it’s way easier to use” seems to be the consensus. I played around with it and the symmetry settings seem like the most fun for making fun shapes. I definitely see the need for this for “Real” modeling, but I can also see this being super fun to use for making abstract shapes and adding a bit of organicness (is that a word?) to your renders. I really want to see what the Mographers do with these new tools.

Camera Calibration

Super Fast. Super Fun. Very accurate and forgiving, too. I took this photo of books laying on the table with my iPhone and within 10 minutes we had the camera solved, the books projected onto cubes and marbles falling down them like stairs. Being able to pan around a photo this quickly is magic to my eyes. Sure, this was always doable with Projection Man, but it was NEVER this easy and fast. This is the unexpected hit for me. I thought the new aerodynamics my be my favorite feature, but it’s the new Camera Calibration system i’m most excited about.

Shift C

I didn’t know anything about this feature until Chris told me about it. It’s basically LaunchBar for Cinema 4D. Hit Shift-C and type in what you want. No more remembering what menu less used tools are in. No more searching around. Just hit Shift-C and type that rare tool you only use one a month or so and there it is. You can even drag it directly from the search into your interface. Cool, Right?

We have a ton More planned for Cinema 4D R14 in the next month or so and some tutorials for launch day, too. But until then, Toolfarm is having a special if you were thinking about upgrading from earlier versions to R14. If you buy R13 in August, you will get the upgrade to R14 for free when it comes out September 6th. As always, I recommend getting the Studio Version so you can have ALL the new toys to play with. Stay tuned for more R14 stuff soon. Have fun!


Half Rez: A Motion Design and Cinema 4D Mini Conference

August 17, 2012 - By 

UPDATE: Half Rez is sold out.

Friends, Beer, Cinema 4D, Food, Presentations, Learning, Chicago, Beer, Conversation, High Fives.

We are pretty excited to announce, Half Rez. It’s A free four hour mini-conference in a great venue packed with presentations on C4D and motion design, including the newest features in R14. It’s created by ChicagoC4D, Greyscalegorilla, and sponsored by Maxon USA.

We may be a bit biased, but we think it will be pretty sweet. Chicago and the midwest is becoming a sort-of mecca of great Cinema 4D artists and motion designers and we wanted to create a night just for us; for the people that make stuff and have fun doing it.


Chicago C4D and Greyscalegorilla are organizing, I will even be waving my arms around on stage as the MC for the night. Thanks to Maxon USA for sponsoring the event.

Our speakers include:

  • Nick Campbell
  • Chris Schmidt
  • Jack Bransfield
  • Chris Morris
  • Brian McCauley


The Brewers’ Lounge at Revolution Brewing
2323 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647


Wednesday September 19, 2012
6pm – 10pm: Food from 6-8pm


  • Because you want to see the latest amazing work people are doing with Cinema.
  • Because you want to learn more about R14’s newest features from great artists.
  • Because you want to meet and network with the talented, friendly, and interesting folks in the C4D/motion graphics community.
  • Did I mention beer?


Tickets are free, but space is limited so you need to pick up a ticket at You must be 21 to attend. Space is limited, so please only grab a ticket if you intend to be in the Chicago area that night.


Greyscalegorilla At Siggraph 2012

August 6, 2012 - By 

In LA? Going to Siggraph? Stop by the Maxon booth where tons of Cinema 4D artists, including Chris and yours truly, will be hanging out, playing with C4D R14 and doing some fun new tutorials. There might even be a tutorial dance party with how loud the Tone L?c is across from the booth this year.

OK. So, you are a lazy bum. You would rather stay home, watch the Olympics and eat Cool Ranch Doritos. I get it. Good thing Maxon is streaming Siggraph on C4DLive. Check there for the full schedule and details and head into the chatroom. This year’s line up is full of great presenters, so you better be there.


Maxon Announces Cinema 4D R14

August 1, 2012 - By 

Maxon just announced Cinema 4D R14 today. Of course, it features a bunch of cool new features. Check out their announcement page for all the new stuff. I’m still learning more about all the new features, but so far, i’m really excited about aerodynamics, sculpting, built in color correction, and camera matching. Hope to learn more at Siggraph next week and report back to you guys with tutorials soon.

Learn More About R14


How To Build an Audience For Your Work By Helping Those Around You

July 30, 2012 - By 

I had an opportunity to speak at the Vimeo Festival earlier this year with Philip Bloom and Blake Whitman about how to build an audience for your work. We are all making stuff (you are making stuff, right?), but showing off your work and getting it in front of the right audience can be tough. In this talk, Philip and I discuss how to grow and maintain an audience of people that are interested in what you do. Not by spamming. Not by doing market research. But, by being authentic to your passions and by helping those around you.

Much of what I had to say I have learned directly from the last few years playing and sharing here at Greyscalegorilla. I hope it’s helpful to your career and to your work.


Happy Red White And Blue Day

July 4, 2012 - By 


Our Customers Make Sexy Renders

June 21, 2012 - By 

I always love to see all the great renders artists make with GSG Products. We have collected our favorites as we found them, but now we finally have a good way to show them off. Head over to our new Product Galleries and see some of the great renders, commercials, posters, and movies made with GSG Kits, Packs, and Plugins. Have something sexy that you made with one of our products? We would love to see it. Send us a link and your work may be featured in future versions of the gallery.

City Kit Gallery

Light Kit Gallery

HDRI Studio Pack

Send Us Your Work On Twitter To Be Featured


More C4D Car Battle Tests

June 13, 2012 - By 

Here is the last week of Car Battle test renders. The one above is our first official Car Battle with a real winner. The winner wasn’t chosen at the beginning. Only after the scene was baked out did we know who would be the last car still on his feet. All the cars are driven purely by dynamic motors and a ton of Xpresso that adds logic to the cars so that they don’t get stuck. The next step is to make different style cars that have different drive properties and have them battle out. I really want to give each car a number and name on their materials as well. We hope to have some tutorials on this coming soon as well. In the mean time, hope they are at least fun to watch.

Camera Rig and Roller Coaster Test

Loop De’ Loop with Free-Fall Cars

Loop De’ Loop Crash


Car Rig Test Renders

June 6, 2012 - By 

Read More


The Avengers Find Their Way Using Cinema 4D and The City Kit

June 1, 2012 - By 

Great artist and friend Jayse Hansen gave us a sneak peek at NAB about how the City Kit was used in The Avengers. Needless to say, Chris and I were totally geeked out about the idea and excited to see the City Kit on the big screen. Now that the movie is out, Jayse was nice enough to put together a breakdown of the shot and some of the thinking and process that went behind the process of making Iron Man’s Heads Up Display. Take it away, Jayse…

I originally thought of using City Kit for the hud when I learned we needed to illustrate several moves through a 3d city. The original request was a dimensional city map that could: a. locate targets, b. plot trajectories, c. move along roadways, d. turn/zoom into and out of very specific areas in New York City.

Production had originally wanted a full screen city layout – but it ended up covering up too much of RDJ’s face, and too many of the other HUD elements had to be moved out or turned off completely to accommodate it. So we were asked to treat it like a widget. After several discussions with Lawes, Hristova, and Sean Cushing (Cantina VFX Producer), we decided that the widget could come from either the large diagnostic widget on screen left, or from the radar widget lower right (behind the spherical gyro-compass). The radar widget made the most sense – and I began drawing up ideas of how it could transform into a 3d widget.

Early ideas for the city widget.

The city widget is both a 2d and a 3d map, all in one. Here are the designs for the map in its 2d state which uses the City Kit + ILM geometry in a flattened state.

This first of the three is when the map is in its overall view, locked behind the ‘globe’, or ‘gimble’ map indicator. The red triangle icons indicate alien targets (numbers indicate threat level – 76 is the evil Leviathan that was nicknamed “Jumbo”), the yellow A’s are the locations of the other Avengers. There was the suggestion of using a hammer, shield and facemask icons, but, I think I safely ignored it.

It then transforms to ‘street level’ view when it comes to the front and is directly in front of Tony.

Iron Man is always represented in the center. This early draft screenshot indicates when he locks on to the Leviathan (red target) and is about to fly into him and blow him up from within. The yellow hex targets track approaching chariots behind him.

Then the 2d map spins, collapses and becomes a 3 dimensional map using cylindrical coordinates. Attached is a qt of one of the early tests with cubes I did to get the City to be able to move, turn, and zoom in to certain areas. I wanted the buildings to both fade at the edges, but also flatten out with a nice fall-off. It also had to transform quickly from the 2d map to the 3d widget and back again as different needs arose.

There were some C4D R12.5 rendering bugs that we discovered using random effectors and plain effectors with the color shader in the alpha channel. So I had a ton of help from the awesome Navarro Parker (who also did a lot of work on the Mark VI huds) and even ping’d Tim Clapham for some ideas to get the rig working the way I wanted in C4d. Everyone was a great help, but Navarro ended up solving the scaling issue by using the underrated and often overlooked inheritance effector. We used a simple null scaled down wafer thin in Y; as the city neared the edges of the effectors’ cylindrical falloff, individual buildings would both shrink (inheriting the y-scaled object’s scale properties) and fade (using the mograph color shader in the alpha channel).

After we got it to where it could fulfill Joss’s requests, we substituted our custom City Kit rig in for the extra detail and it worked great. For the custom rig we ended up mixing in ILM’s high density model of Stark Tower and accurate Park Avenue buildings when the story-points called for the focus to be located on a certain building. City Kit’s flexible ‘Custom Area’ function was essential to inserting ILM’s meshes into specific locations of the rig.

City Kit’s ‘Preview function’ allowed us to work with a full city in C4D and not get slowed down by extraneous geometry.

This was important – especially as there’s a scene where Tony needs to locate Thor. The 3d map backs out of a tunnel he’d just flown through, travels across town to 6th Street and zoom-spins into the buildings where the other Avengers are, surrounded by red targets.

We also loved how easy it was to carve paths through the city, customize the distribution of building sizes and make individual buildings as tall or short as we needed. For instance in the scene where Hawkeye tells Tony to look for sharp corners, we have Jarvis indicate he’s found a 90° bank. We made all the buildings in front of it dramatically shorter so that the audience could clearly see the arrow-indicator.

It’s little things like that which make our job easier. Coming up with things that work tends to be relatively easy – but coming up with things that work and can be changed and modified – usually within half a day’s time – is a bit more challenging, and City Kit helped us a lot with that.

Extra thanks to Cantina Creative. It’s the awesome company I did this work for and with. I led the design of the Mark VII and designed a few new elements for the Mark VI, but all of the HUDs were a team effort involving a shrink and grow team of up to 6 awesome designer/animators led by Cantina’s VFX Supervisor Venti Hristova and Creative Director Stephen Lawes. Also, Shout outs to the Cantina ‘Club Suave’ HUD team:
Jonathan Ficcadenti, Leon Nowlin, Navarro Parker, Alan Torres, Lukas Weyandt

The Avengers ™&© 2012 Marvel and Subs.

You can learn more about City Kit here.