Posted On:2013 | Page 2 of 5 | Greyscalegorilla
We love seeing learning in action. When the team over at Loosekeys shared a project with us in which they extensively used Cinema 4D, we wanted to find out more about it. We connected with Brad Chmielewski and Jake Williams to get some thoughts about their experience.
Tell us a little about your company.
LooseKeys’ primary focus is creating videos that tell a business’ or company’s story, whether that’s with explainer videos, commercials or interviews. LooseKeys takes the sometimes complicated ideas or services a business offers and simplifies it for the audience. We’ve been around for about 2 and half years.
Does LooseKeys do a lot of 3D work?
We tend to only do full 3D animated videos like this maybe once or twice a year or so. Every so often we get an itch to push what we’re doing and to see how we can tell a simplified story with the flexibility of 3D. We do a lot of 2D character work for our explainers that can be enhanced just by adding in some touches of 3D.
Tell us a little bit about this project.
This video was made for Appliance Repair Guys, they are an appliance repair company located in Canada. Since this was going to be 3D most of the time was spent upfront with the character designs, modeling and set-up. Modeling isn’t a strength of mine, which is why I reached out to Jess Donofrio for help. The animation portion was done over a period of about 4 weeks including revisions.
While Jess was working on modeling, I focused on getting the script and voice over taken care of so we wouldn’t have any delays in the animation. Our first rough cut for the client was in the middle of June which gave Jess about three weeks to model and light. Jake and I took a week and roughed out all the scenes. From there we worked on the overall animation, tweaking and adding what we could. The client feedback was pretty simple but any small change typically took awhile with the rendering.
How were the characters designed and modeled?
Jess Donofrio: I love these characters. This is a style I’ve been wanting to work in for awhile now. The minimal cubist style needs to be as simple as possible. Figuring out which polygons need to be split and tweaked away from the cube and which can be left, was tricky. I needed to find that balance of just enough detail that the models were clear and interesting, but not too much that they lost the clean cubist look. The male character is where I started, and he was pretty easy to keep very square and boxy. The female was more difficult – women are inherently not square, so I had to do a lot of tweaking to carve a feminine form from a cube while staying true to our style. I loved the challenge, modeling characters is like a fun game to me – It is my favorite thing to work on. I also needed to make sure the models and scenes were light and able to render easily. I try to set up the scenes that will make it easy for Brad to take everything and work his animating magic.
Why did you choose Cinema 4D as the tool for this project?
We needed to be up and running in such a short time that we needed a tool that would be familiar. With the amount of knowledge we can tap into from the Cinema 4D community, it went a long way to making Cinema 4D the obvious choice for this project.
What was the most challenging thing about this project?
Simply the undertaking of a 3D project is often a headache for a small team like LooseKeys. You have to plan better because everything takes a little longer. We were worried there would be a learning curve that wouldn’t correlate well with our deadline. However, coming from After Effects, within a day were up and running with Cinema 4D like we had been using it for months.
Did you use any Greyscalegorilla tools in this project?
Jess Donofrio: I looked around a lot to find the best light set up for our piece. Brad wanted the world to be really bright and fresh looking. I wanted to find a solution that Brad and Jake could easily incorporate into every scene with minimal tweaking, that was light to render, and was bright enough to light up our white world we wanted. The Greyscalegorilla DayLight rig was right on for us. The clean user controls made it quick and easy to achieve the look we wanted.
Jake Williams: As Jess mentioned, the Greyscalegorilla DayLight rig went a long way for us on this project. Because I was really digging into the software as I went through this project, having an easily manipulable lighting rig made all the difference. After just messing around with the settings between scenes, I knew quickly which parameters created which results, which made the workflow that much more efficient.
In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t know that I’d change anything about the way we pulled this project together, mainly because it acted as one big learning experiment for us. We kept the style and motion of the piece very basic, light, and fun. It fits nicely in the portfolio of LooseKeys work and really shows that we can put another dimension to our work. We’re really happy with what the three of us were able to put together and I’m happy to have such talented people working with me.
Learn more about how Loosekeys handled the project and the challenges they faced by listening to their Appliance Repair Guys Audio Project Recap
When our friends from Cards Against Humanity (our favorite inappropriate card game) asked us to help make some 3D product shots of their new Bigger Blacker Box, we had to say HECK YES! They needed help making ridiculous epic, over-the-top animations for what is essentially an empty box. They also needed a giant rotating box for their main page.
Chris Schmidt started by modelling the box including every little detail so we could really get in close on some shots. Then, I lit, animated and composited the shots for delivery to the CAH team who then edited, added the voice over and music to get the final render ready. We will be posting a full breakdown of this project including some behind the scenes and a tutorial on how we did some of these shots soon.
Yanis from ethikdesign was nice enough to make a behind the scenes video for his winning Five Second Project. All these behind the scenes videos are great to watch and learn from. We would love to make this a permanent part of the Five Second Projects as long as artists want to make more of these helpful breakdown videos.
We wanted to know a little bit more about Yanis, so we asked him a few questions regarding his workflow and the process for creating his winning piece.
Where do you work? What is your title? Tell us about what you do at your company.
My name is Yanis I am 28 years old. After my studies of Art & Graphics Design, I worked for various design studios and music labels. In early 2008, I created ethikdesign, a Multimedia & Graphic Studio based in Grenoble (France), where I’ve worked with many different clients, nationally and internationally.
How did you come up with your concept for the Sandcastle Five Second Project?
I often start by drawing and brainstorming around the subject. The drawing allows me to unlock a lot of ideas. I never keep the first thing that I come up with. My personal guideline is to tell a simple story with a touch of humor and creativity.
What was the most challenging thing about your project?
I really had a lot of different visions of the scene after coming to the main idea, so I had to make a lot of technical and graphical decisions in a small amount of time. The sound design was also challenging, because it was very important that it worked well with my ideas. There was a lot of experimentation matching up the sounds with the unique materials that were used. (plastic ball, sand spits against the ball, children’s voices, etc.). I love this part, because it really makes the animation feel alive.
Tell us a little about how you achieved the deflating beach ball effect and the dusty sand effects.
This is the first time I concretely used the “soft body” tag in C4D. I spent a day learning about dynamic rigid body and soft body tags, and used them to find a good bounce. I positioned a cube to act as a guide, so that the ball bounced in the right direction. The effects of sand are made with Trapcode’s Particular 2 and I used the dust effect from Video Copilot’s Action Essentials 2 library.
What renderer was used? Was there anything you needed to do to keep render times down?
I only use the basic modules rendered in C4D, 8bits/channel TIFF format, ambient occlusion and lensing. The compositing work was carried out in After Effects CC.
Did you use any Greyscalegorilla tools in your project?
For this project (and, the majority of my C4D projects) I used Texture Kit Pro and Light Kit Pro. I believe very sincerely that they become essential for designer who wishes to speed up their workflow and leave more space for creativity.
What do you enjoy most about participating in the five second projects?
What I like most about the concept of 5SP is the huge community that comes together with the desire to discover, meet, share, and learn. This is the great competitive spirit that moves us all forward at different levels. With every new project, it’s amazing to see the number of original ideas and the creativity in this community.
Don’t forget to participate in our current Five Second Project, Homework going on now.
Jon Corriveau posted this great behind the scenes video of his title card animation he made for his latest montage reel. I love seeing breakdowns of effects like this from real artists. Thanks for the video, Jon.
Congratulations to ethikdesign for winning the the latest Five Second Project. Some of you may remember Yanis from his great five second project entry for the Nothing But Cubes theme in May of last year. The creativity, sound design and attention to detail here really makes this piece rock solid. Nice work!
Don’t forget to watch all the honorable mentions below. You can also see all the entries over at the Vimeo Channel. The next project will be announced soon!
Art Director David Brodeur made this wonderful spot called Identity Transmute. I asked him a few questions about his process and how he used Light Kit Pro and Texture Kit Pro to help make this beautiful branding piece.
What Renderer did you use for this? It looks beautiful.
All renders were made using Cinema 4D and the Physical Render engine.
Where Did You Go To School?
I am a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. I majored in Graphic Design and always try to put design first. You mentioned it in a talk you had before and I always repeat it: ” Always start with the fundamentals, the things in design that don’t change, composition, color theory and typography.”
Where do you Work Today?
I am currently Art Director at Leviathan here in Chicago.
Why Did You Choose Greyscalegorilla Tools When Making This Piece? How Did They Help?
As a designer I do not enjoy being a super technical guy, I want to get into a program or tool and start creating. I try to use GSG products as much as possible in my workflow because of their ease of use, right out of the box quality, and because they are fully adjustable. A main reason I try to avoid plugins and presets is because you end up getting work that is all the same and recognizable to the tools you are using. GSG products allow me to alter and make changes to so many aspects of the tools and materials that by the end I feel I have something that is completely custom to my design.
Behind The Scenes Video
David made this great behind the scenes video to show some of this animation, texturing, and lighting process.
What Texture Kit Pro Textures did you use?
Texture kit pro was a base for a lot of my textures and once I had my base textures down I was able to adjust and manipulate them. An example using the bow-tie: I went through a lot of the fabric textures in your kit. I ended up selecting “Fabric Orange Red”. Because the way the textures are set up I was easily able to control the color I needed over the whole texture. After that I wanted to add more realism to the fabric. I started out using the “hair fuzz” material as my base. I adjusted the length, color and added frizz, bend and curl. I will attach a picture of my light set up but I used your overhead soft box in addition with a top light, back light and a bounce light. My render setting were the physical render set to adaptive medium with indirect illumination also the addition of AO. In AE all I needed to do was some adjustment curves and it was good to go.
I did steps like this for a lot of the materials I used from texture kit pro. All the control you have over the materials is the reason why I used them. I felt like after I was done with the textures I didn’t have a texture that looked like I used a kit but yet something that was original.
More Screen Grabs Of David’s Project
I was interviewed on the Digital Production Buzz Podcast. During the interview, we talk about my tutorial philosophy, If designers are designers from birth, and how I can’t draw.
Congratulations to AND motion for winning the the latest Five Second Project. The combination of impressive keyframing and careful typography made this one a natural choice.
Don’t forget to watch all the honorable mentions below. You can also see all the entries over at the Vimeo Channel. Another Project will be announced soon.
NEWS: Cineware Proxy is 50% OFF this week only.
Render Once. Not All The Time.
Introducing Cineware proxy
The swell folks over at Mamoworld and aescripts + aeplugins and have released a new script that really improves your Cineware workflow. It’s called Cineware proxy and it speeds up your Cineware workflow by managing your 3D caches and proxies inside of After Effects.
You Take Control
Having a live link to Cinema 4D using Cineware is really amazing. After Effects tries to intelligently cache your renders and does a pretty good job. But sometimes, it will re-render your Cineware layer when you don’t want it to. Cineware proxy changes this. This new script allows YOU to have control over when Cineware updates. Not AE.
Speed Up Your Workflow
First, use Cineware proxy to make a temporary proxy of your 3D render. Then, render that proxy using AE’s Render Queue. Or, even better, use aescripts + aeplugins own Background Renderer to render while you continue to work. When your render is finished, you can then use that proxy as your Cineware layer until YOU tell it to update. This significantly speeds up your compositing and makes for a much more “Real Time” After Effects experience. Then, when you need to make changes or update your Cineware layer, use Cineware proxy to go back to your current C4D file and all the compositing changes you made on the proxy stay on the layer. Pretty cool stuff.
BG Render Pro Bundle
Use the promo code “bgcine” when purchasing Cineware proxy and get 20% off BG Render Pro. It’s featured in the video above. It allows you to render After Effects while still continuing to work in After Effects.
Realistic Studio Lighting in Cinema 4D And Cinema 4D Lite
We just launched the latest version of Light Kit Pro. It’s the fastest way to get Studio Quality Lights directly inside Cinema 4D.
Compatible With All Versions Including Cinema 4D Lite
First the big news. Light Kit Pro is now compatible with ALL versions and flavors of Cinema 4D including Prime, Visualize, Broadcast and Studio. It even works with Cinema 4D Lite. If you have any version of Cinema 4D after R12, then you are ready to light.
We redesgined our custom soft box rigs to be more flexible, easer to use, and faster to render while still being realistic to real world soft boxes. These lights are designed to mimic real studio lights and help make your renders more beautiful with less time.
We added the brand new Global Light to make it easier to get that GI look without all the slow render times and flickering that go along with it. Combine Global Light with Ambient Occlusion for trouble free and fast global lighting effects.
What’s New In Light Kit Pro 2.0
New Studio Presets
Over 40 new lighting presets including all new Type animation presets. Ready to animate 3D type. All light studios are ready to be used with animation or still renders and are optimized for beautiful renders with less render time.
Free Update For Current Users
If you currently own Light Kit Pro or own a bundle that includes it, then you should get an email with a free upgrade. If you don’t get the email in the next day, hit us up in support with the email you used to purchase your version of Light Kit Pro and we will get you a new version right away.
Hundreds of Custom Materials for Cinema 4D And Cinema 4D Lite
Compatible With All Flavors Of Cinema 4D
We just relasead a new version of Texture Kit Pro that is compatible with ALL versions and flavors of Cinema 4D R12, R13, R14 and up including Prime, Visualize, Broadcast and Studio. The really big news? Texture Kit Pro is now compatible with Cinema 4D Lite
*Hair materials need Studio To Render
Texture Kit Pro is a constantly growing set of materials. Over 50 New Textures were added in this version including Plasticine, Marshmallow, Clumpy Sand, Cloudy Ice Cube , and Infrared.
Fully Tile-able Textures
We have gone back and adjusted all of Texture Kit Pro’s relevant textures to be Fully Tile-able. Just apply and scale to fit your scene. We also have many procedural materials that require no tiling and will fit any size object.
HUGE Texture Gallery
We designed a giant texture gallery that shows off Texture Kit Pro’s materials in a searchable interface. Browse the gallery here and see what Texture Kit Pro includes.
Buy Texture Kit for Only $99
Purchase Texture Kit Pro today and download over five hundred textures ready to use in any of your Cinema 4D Projects and animations. We have worked hard to make this the most complete, compatible, and most updated collection of Cinema 4D Materials. I really appreciate you taking a look to see if it’s right for you.
Free Update For Current Users
If you currently own Texture Kit Pro or own a bundle that includes it, then you should get an email with a free download for the new version. If you don’t get the email in the next day or two, hit us up in support with the email you used to purchase your version of Texture Kit Pro and we will get you a new version right away.
Adobe Creative Cloud Launch
Adobe brought 2.5D to After Effects way back in 2001 with Version 5.0. Now they finally bring us full 3D with their latest version of their Creative Cloud available for download now for current subscribers.
It comes with a ton of fun new stuff. But, we are most excited about Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite. These new tools integrate Cinema 4D and After Effects tighter than ever before offering real 3D scenes inside of After Effects. If you are a current Cinema 4D user, Cineware will allow you to bring in your 3D scenes directly into AE without rendering.
Cinema 4D Lite Tutorials For Current After Effects Users
If you are a current After Effects Creative Cloud user and have always wanted to try Cinema 4D, now is your chance. Even if you have never used 3D before, we created a series of video tutorials specifically for the current AE user that wants to integrate the new Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware into their workflow.
What Does All This Mean For Current Cinema 4D Users?
Sure, Cinema 4D Lite is exciting. There will be thousands more people that have access to a version of Cinema 4D that is included directly inside After Effects. But, what about people that already own a professional version of Cinema 4D? Well, you can still use Cineware in the same way to bring in your current C4D projects into AE. And, because you have a Profesional version of C4D, you will be able to bring in renders that use Dynamics and the full Mograph suite directly into AE.
This first series of tutorials is more for current AE users, but we have a TON of new tutorials coming out soon that will be more geared toward C4D users wanting to learn the AE/CINEWARE side of the workflow. Actually, head over to this post and watch the “Demo For Cinema 4D Users” video to get an idea of what Cineware can do.
In the mean time, be sure to tell your AE friends looking to learn C4D about the Cinema 4D Lite Training Series that we made specifically for them to get up to speed and learn Cinema 4D.
I Just Want More C4D Tuts?!?!
Tired of all the Creative Cloud talk? Relax! Go watch one of our hundreds of other tutorials over on our Tutorials page. We will have new Cinema 4D tutorials up soon.