Posted On:April 2013 | Greyscalegorilla


ROBOBIRD! Spy vs Guy Behind The Scenes And We Helped

April 25, 2013 - By 

We have been yelling ROBOBIRD! around the Greyscalegorilla offices a lot lately. It’s partly because we are a bit nuts, but it’s mostly because the fine folks at Red Giant asked us for some help with their spectacular new film, Spy vs Guy. We LOVED all the Seth Worely films over the last few years and couldn’t help but say “Heck Yeah!” to helping with their latest film. Chris Schmidt offered to help animate the films robotic bird and help crush a soda machine. He has a great knowledge of character animation and got the scenes animated, rigged, lit, and ready for composite in less than two weeks. Chris adds…

The deadline was already looming when we were asked to help tackle the pigeon in Spy Vs Guy but I’ve been a big fan of the Red Giant short films since the beginning, especially after seeing Seth give the keynote speech at the Media Motion Ball at NAB last year. It was really great to be able to just focus on the character and know I was passing it off to capable hands to be composited. It was especially fun to be able to do a little bit of character animation after being away from it for a couple of years. It has definitely inspired me to try and get a little bit of rigging and character animation onto Greyscalegorilla in the coming months.

Thanks again to Red Giant for the opportunity to help with Spy vs Guy. We hope to be able to break down more of these shots soon here on the blog. Be sure to look for Chris and Me point at the screen and laugh in the behind the scenes video above.


Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite FAQ

April 22, 2013 - By 

I was honored to be able to play with and show off the new and upcoming Cineware layer and C4D Lite this year at NAB. There were a LOT of questions from the audience about these new tools, and I have been getting tons of twitter questions and email about it too. So, I figured I would compile all of the questions and answers into one place. If you haven’t seen these tools in action yet, be sure to watch my videos featuring the basics on both of these new tools or check out our Intro To Cineware and Cinema 4D Page. Stay tuned for many more videos and tutorials coming soon here on Greyscalegorilla.  

A Quick Disclaimer

I don’t work for Adobe or Maxon and don’t represent either company. But, all of these answers were either confirmed by people working on the new tools, or by trying it directly on the beta version at NAB. These answers may change at final release since these tools aren’t officially out yet or in the final form. So with that said, here is (hopefully) some useful info to get you ready for this incredible new workflow. 

How Do I get Cineware or Cinema 4D lite?

These new tools are only available in the newest version of Adobe Creative Cloud. You must be a Creative Cloud subscriber and download the latest version of After Effects to get Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite. It will not be available for CS6 or below.

What’s the difference between Cineware and C4D Lite?

With the new version of After Effects comes two new things that are included. Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite. Let’s clear up the difference between them first. Cineware is the new layer between C4D and AE that allows you to bring in your Cinema 4D files directly into After Effects without rendering. C4D Lite is a version of Cinema 4D that will be INCLUDED directly inside the next version of After Effects. First, I will answer questions relating directly to the Cineware layer since some of you may already own Cinema 4D. Then, I will try to answer questions about Cinema 4D Lite for you current After Effects users looking to get into 3D. 

When Is Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite available to the public?

Cineware and C4D Lite will be available when the new version of After Effects is released. As for a date, I have no idea. 


Can I use my Commercial version of Cinema 4D instead of C4D Lite?

Yes. If you own a current professional version of Cinema 4D, you can use that with Cineware instead of the Lite version that comes with AE. This allows you to use things like GI, Dynamics, Hair, and other professional features in the Cineware Layer. 

How Fast does Cineware Render inside of After Effects compared to Cinema 4D?

When using Cineware, Cinema 4D is opening in the background to render your scene. So, the speed difference between rendering in C4D and with Cineware is negligible. Basically, it’s just about the same time as rendering directly in C4D. There are a few tricks you can try to speed up the render and to keep the render times as short as possible, but this will be discussed in future tutorials when the official version is out. 

Are Object Buffers supported?

Yes. Set up your object buffers in C4D and you will be able to access them directly in Cineware with no rendering. Layers are also supported. 

How much will all this cost?

Both Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite will be included at no additional cost in the next version of After Effects. If you are a part of an Adobe Cloud subscription, these new tools will come included with next AE release. If you don’t own After Effects or need to upgrade, it will cost you the new license price or the upgrade price. 

Does Cineware work with Global Illumination?

Yes. If your version of Cinema 4D Supports GI, so will Cineware. Physical Renderer is not currently supported. 

Does Cineware work with Vray or other 3rd party renderers?

No/Not Yet. Cineware does not currently work with Vray, Physical Renderer, or any third party renderers. However, remember that this is the first version and more features will probably be supported as new versions of this are released. 

Do the AE files with Cineware link properly in to Adobe Premiere?

Yes. I haven’t tried this directly, but from what I have heard, this will work. 

Can I use After Effects Cameras to view Cinema 4D Objects?

Yes. You can use any camera from Cinema 4D or After Effects to control the viewing angle of your Cinema 4D scene. You can extract cameras from your C4D scene, or use the built in AE cameras to spin around your scene. It’s pretty seamless. 

Can I extract Cameras, Nulls, and Lights from my C4D Files using Cineware?

Yes. You can extract all of this and more directly from your scene file using Cineware. This means you can use your C4D Camera and lights to effect AE layers directly. 

Can I Use multiple Cinema 4D Scene files in one After Effects File?

Yes. For example, you can use one C4D scene file for the background and another for the foreground in the same After Effects file.

What versions of Cinema 4D are supported in Cineware?

Cinema 4D scene files made with R12 and up are supported in Cineware. 

What Plugins Are supported in Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware?

All Plugins work and are supported if you use Cineware and you have a version of Cinema that also uses those plugins. However, if you only are using C4D Lite, then only certain plugins work. We updated Light Kit Pro and Texture Kit to work with C4D Lite.

Does Cineware work with NET Renderering?

No. Your net rendering workflow will have to remain the same as it is now. However, using Cineware before using NET renderer will still be a great way to see your scene file directly in the composite. 

Does Cineware work with Watch Folder rendering?

Early reports say yes. It looks like you may need to be very diligent in collecting your files, though.


Is Cinema 4D Lite a real version of Cinema 4d?

Absolutely. They may call it a “Lite” version, but it’s a very robust set of tools to use and integrate into your workflow (see below for a full list). This is especially for the current After Effects user that always wanted to try using 3D tools in their workflow but never decided what 3D package to try. Now, there is one of the best 3D packages INCLUDED in After Effects and they talk to each other seamlessly.

What Features Does Cinema 4D Lite Include or Exclude??

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but this covers most of the big features people specifically asked me about. 

GI and Physical Renderer is NOT included. 
Dynamics are NOT included. 
Polygon Modeling tools are NOT included. 
Hair is NOT included. 
C++ and Python is NOT included. This removes the ability for many plugins to work with C4D Lite.
Ambient Occlusion IS included.
All the Mograph Tools are NOT included. 
However, you can get a small set of Mograph tools if you register your version of Cinema 4D Lite. These Mograph tools include the Fracture Object, Plain Effector, and Random Effector. 

Cinema 4D Lite is a pretty robust version of C4D that will allow After Effects users to try C4D that would not normally try 3D. In many ways it’s more powerful then even the basic Prime version of Cinema 4D. But, if you are planning on using Cinema 4D as a major part of your 3D workflow, you may want to upgrade to  one of the Commercial versions.

Where is my Mograph Menu?

You will need to register your version of Cinema 4D Lite with Maxon to gain access to the Mograph Menu.

So, What is the upgrade path from C4D Lite to the Commercial Versions?

If you want all the other Cinema 4D features including Mograph, Dynamics, and Physical Renderer, you will need to upgrade to a Commercial version. I would suggest moving to the Broadcast or Studio version. Upgrading to the Prime version gives you practically no new features from the Lite version. If you plan on following along with many of my tutorials, I would suggest getting the Studio version. 

More Questions?

Did I miss your question? Drop it in the comments below and I will try to add it to the list. Also, if you are interested in more Cineware news in the future, be sure to sign up for the Greyscalegorilla Newsletter. There you will get tutorials, news and info about Cinema 4D, Cineware, and upcoming tutorials specifically made for this new workflow.


Five Second Project “Bounce” Winners

April 16, 2013 - By 


Congratulations to Phil Borst for winning the “Bounce” Five Second Project for March. There is some lovely key-framing and subtle particle work in this piece. You can also download this scene file over at his Vimeo page. Great work.

Honorable Mentions

See all of the winners →


GSG At NAB 2013

April 7, 2013 - By 

Visit The Maxon Booth

Heading to Vegas for NAB? Come visit us at the Maxon booth this week and say hi. I will be there during the week and so will fellow tutorial buddy, Chris Schmidt. Come say hi and give us a high five, will ya? Also, if you hear a very loud craps table, come check to see if its us.

Streaming Live

You can watch all the presenters live on the Maxon Live stream all week during NAB. Head over to C4D Live to get the full schedule of events and watch the demo artists live. There are some really great presentations this year. I will be talking about the new Cineware workflow. And, if you’re feeling interactive, you can also hang out in the chatroom and make fun of my hair cut.

Pinball Party

It’s a night of drinks, pinball, and ice cream on Tuesday night. For those of you that got a ticket to the NAB Pinball Party, I will see you there with bells on. We will be having a pinball tournament, so bring your flippin’ skills. Compete against the 912th world ranked player in the world (that’s me). You can even win prizes. Hope to see you there.


CG Training From Neil Blevins

April 3, 2013 - By 

San Francisco Artist Neil Blevins has a great CG Education page. There you will find dozens of posts full of technical, design, and artistic knowledge. His Lighting, Materials, and Art Theory categories are a must read. And, even though many of his tutorials are based on 3ds Max, most concepts can be applied to any 3D package including Cinema 4D.

Visit His Page

Hat Tip to Colin Evoy Sebestyen