Posted In:Products Archives | Greyscalegorilla
The 24-hour spring sale is over. Thank you for all your support. Cheers!
We have doubled down on our Gorilla Guide to X-Particles. This professionally guided series now includes over 20 hours of X-Particles training, including new XP4 features.
Join XP master Jon Bosley in the most definitive X-Particles training available. When first launched, the Gorilla Guide to X-Particles included 50 training videos on X-Particles 3.5. Now we’ve added an additional 20+ new videos on using XP4 in Cinema 4D!
The X-Particles 4 appendix covers all of the following:
- New and Updated Modifiers
- New and Updated Generators
- Special Objects
- FLIP Domain
- Fluid PBD
- Questions and Actions
If you are ready to master X-Particles, these training videos will take you for a deep dive into this particle and VFX system for Cinema 4D.
Check out the Gorilla Guide to X-Particles product page for more information, or check out the trailer below.
Already own the Gorilla Guide to X-Particles? The additional XP4 training is available to you for FREE! You can stream the X-Particles 4 Appendix in your Greyscalegorilla account now. Just search for the new series under Your Products and Training.
Early 2018 has brought about tons of new products, major rendering announcements, and much more to discuss. Let’s dive in.
Most developers and companies announce their new products and updates in Q1. This year, it was a big year for 3D designers and video game developers. We saw some big updates on rendering. Let’s take a look at all the big announcements so far this year. Also, be sure to download the free tools from Greyscalegorilla, and well as some beta downloads from third-party renderers down below.
Real-Time Rendering is Changing the Design Landscape + Free Unreal Studio Beta
In this great piece on CG Society, you can take a look at the work of Unreal Studio in terms of these real-time renders.
“73 percent of respondents stated that real-time rendering is important to their workflows, suggesting a major shift towards modern rendering engines is already well underway. Unreal Engine was cited as the most popular real-time engine among respondents who aren’t already using it in their design pipeline.”
NVIDIA, Unreal Engine, and the Future of Ray Tracing
Earlier this month, Epic Games, NVIDIA, and ILMxLAB released a Star Wars short showing off real-time ray tracing in Unreal Engine. Lighting is moved around the scene interactively, and the shadows and reflections render in real time.
You can dive much deeper into ray tracing over on the NVIDIA blog, where they show off their API and pipeline.
Engadget dives a little deeper into ray-tracing with this breakdown video, which is definitely worth a watch. Chris Schodt also touches on tesselation, shaders, occlusion, and mapping to achieve nearly photo-realistic renders.
You can read more about this video on Engadget.
For an even more in-depth dive into ray tracing, you must listen to the GPU Technology Conference panel with founders, lead engineers, and supervisors at Pixar, Blur Studio, Autodesk, Otoy, Redshift, Epic Games, Chaos Group, Isotropix, and NVIDIA.
Free Tools, Models, and Scene Files from Greyscalegorilla
At NAB, we compiled many of our free downloads from over the years, as well as some of the files we presented at the Maxon booth this year.
Autodesk announces Arnold 5.1 and Arnold GPU Updates
The Arnold 5.1 update brings users adaptive sampling, a new toon shader, denoising solutions, and more. The company also updates us on bringing Arnold to the GPU.
First, let’s check out this Arnold 5.1 video from Autodesk.
The Arnold video features Chad Ashley’s work with the new toon shader. You can see some of his final renders on his Instagram account.
Here’s a glance at his proton pack from the Happy Toolbox model pack.
And another with some shading tests from the new toon shader.
You can read more about the 5.1 update on the Autodesk site.
As for the GPU, there was much to be said in the update and demo you can watch here from the GPU Technology Conference.
Otoy Octane 4
In more rendering news, Otoy recently announced OctaneRender 4. Octane 4 introduces AI light, AI scene, AI denoiser, and out of core geometry.
You can read more about Octane 4 here, and if you have a V3 license you can download this build, which Otoy has also released a list of current issues.
The newest tool from Greyscalegorilla, GorrillaCam allows you to add natural handshake and organic movement to your Cinema 4D camera.
Think of GorillaCam as a filter that you attach to your original camera. You feed GorillaCam a pre-animated (or still) camera and that becomes the “reference” camera. That way you are free to add as much overshoot, smooth, and shake as you like without destroying your original camera.
GorillaCam was recently used by designer Ash Thorp in his latest piece for Nike. We had a chance to talk to him about the project, and you can read the full Ash Thorp interview here. You can read more or buy GorillaCam in the GSG store.
Renderman XPU Update
Pixar announced that RenderMan XPU is currently in active development, with a release planned after the delivery of RenderMan 22.
“The RenderMan XPU project is addressing the challenge of rendering Pixar-scale production assets on systems with a mix of CPU and GPU capabilities. From a single set of assets, RenderMan XPU produces film-quality renderings by seamlessly using all available compute cores concurrently. RenderMan XPU is a single renderer that can operate on a variety of systems, from render farm machines with mid-range CPUs only all the way up to workstations or servers having many-core CPUs and multiple extreme GPUs.”
Happy Toolbox on Adobe Stock
The whimsical 3D models created by The Happy Toolbox are now available on Adobe Stock. You can individually license a single model for you project needs, or you can bundle up and get the entire pack right here on Greyscalegorilla. Read more about the 3D models on Adobe Stock here.
More articles worth a read:
In addition to all this news, we have a few more pieces and projects you may enjoy.
- Review of LogicKeyboard’s ASTRA C4D scissor-switch keyboard
- Greyscalegorilla 5-Second Projects are Back
- Nick Campbell named StudioDaily 50 Top Creative + Technologist
You can now license individual fun-loving 3D models from The Happy Toolbox on Adobe Stock, or get the whole bundled pack on Greyscalegorilla.
Are you on the hunt for a specific 3D model for a certain project? Find what you are looking for with these fantastic models from our friends at The Happy Toolbox.
There are over 150 OBJ files, meaning you can use these models in Adobe Dimension CC, Cinema 4D, Maya, 3ds Max, Blender, and more!
The team over at Happy Toolbox also put together a quick Adobe Dimension CC tutorial, showing you how easy it is to render these models with material textures and custom backgrounds.
Head on over to Adobe’s Create blog to see the tutorial by Happy Toolbox.
These models are also compatible with Cinema 4D, which we originally used to put together this Happy Toolbox pack promo.
If you want to see how we used The Happy Toolbox models in Cinema 4D, check out this breakdown.
You can license over 150 Happy Toolbox models individually on the Adobe Stock site, or you can bundle up and get the 180 model pack here on Greyscalegorilla.
I also had the opportunity to chat with Adobe about how much I love using these models from The Happy Toolbox. You can read that interview on the Adobe blog.
Designer and Art Director Ash Thorp creates a sci-fi spaghetti western in this Nike VaporMax spot. See how he used GorillaCam to bring the project to life.
Nike’s fourth collaboration with ACRONYM® sees the release of the Nike Air VaporMax Moc 2. To announce the new sneakers, Nike released the following trailer featuring ACRONYM® founder Errolson Hugh and musician John Mayer.
Blink and you might miss the stellar work of designer and all-around creative mind, Ash Thorp. If you aren’t familiar with Thorp’s work, he created many of the stunning posters, concept art, VFX, and titles used in films like Blade Runner 2049, Ghost in the Shell, and several Marvel blockbusters.
You can take a closer look at his Nike work in this video Thorp shared on Twitter.
— Ash Thorp (@Ashthorp) April 3, 2018
We wanted to learn more about how this collaboration came about, so we reached out to Ash Thorp. Here’s what we found out in our interview:
Chad Ashley: For those not familiar with your work, could you give us a brief history of who you are, and what you do?
Ash Thorp: My name is Ash Thorp, and I am a creative, I’m a director, artist, illustrator. I’ve been working in the feature film industry and AAA games industry for almost 8 years now.
I primarily work on feature films, that’s my client work. I’m slowly migrating all my efforts to direct my own feature film.
I’m basically a generalist. [laughs]
CA: How long have you been using Cinema 4D?
AT: I’ve been working in Cinema 4D maybe about 7 years now. It’s kinda crazy, seeing I still kinda suck at it. [laughs]
CA: I’m curious about that. You’re work is amazing, and you do a lot of original concept work. How much of that is done in 3D versus sketching.
AT: It all varies and depends. I will sketch my thoughts on paper. If it’s a motion piece, I’ll do a still, or series of stills to sell the idea. From there, it’s full on pipeline mode to do the animation and all that fun stuff.
CA: I just watched your new Nike piece, and it is just fantastic. Can you tell me how that started?
AT: Yeah, it was a quick job. Very quick. Just a couple of weeks. I knew Errolson, who is the founder of ACRONYM clothing. He’s just an awesome guy, and I’ve had him on my podcast.
So, he was pitching a concept and idea to the team at Nike for the release of his new shoe collaboration, the VaporMax. He was like, “You know who could do this? Ash Thorp.”
They needed to make a world very quickly. They pitched the idea to me, to merge a spaghetti western and a cyberpunk world. Instantly I was like, “Wow, that’s really weird. That sounds good. Let’s do it!”
I was thinking, well, we’re really in a place in the realm of CGI that you can do anything you want. That’s really powerful for someone like me, who just wants to get these ideas out of my head as fast as possible.
I saw the vision for what it was, so I grabbed a bunch of assets off of turbosquid, modeled a bunch of stuff, and did some style frames. The Nike guys loved it, Errolson loved it, and then I was like – Ok. To the races.
I was basically rendering for an entire week with all my cards on fire. I think it was a total of three weeks, from nothing to the final.
I wasn’t alone. I had my buddy Toros Kose, and he took care a lot of the heavy lifting in After Effects while I was rendering and building out the worlds. We had a lot of fun passing stuff back and forth.
CA: So it was just the two of you?
AT: Yeah baby!
CA: Dude, that’s great.
AT: I think it’s the future. The future is in smaller teams of smart people working together, complementing strengths and weaknesses and making good stuff. In my mind that’s really where things are going.
I’m seeing the death of the bigger studio. I could be completely wrong, I just feel like that’s the way I’m moving.
CA: I don’t think you’re far off at all. I remember a while back, that you were mentioning you were starting a potential job that would be good for GorillaCam, which we were we still pretty early on in developing. I got you an early version of the plugin to play with. I had no idea you were going to actually use it on a job!
AT: You literally gave me the plugin the day I started animating. That’s how good it is!
CA: Wow, my timing is just that good. [laughs]
AT: I took it, and watched the tutorial. I think that’s one thing that I will say is so important for software creators and app developers. Please give us an understanding of how this thing works. For people that are crazy busy like myself, and with an attention span of a nit-wit.
I watched the tutorial, and I went right into it. I was like, “Oh, this is what I’ve been wanting for forever now.”
This is the way I did it, which is probably against the way you intended – but I don’t care. I just kept hitting “I’m feeling lucky.” I made two cameras and said I’m feeling lucky, and I was like, yeah, that’s good. Alright, cool. Then I rendered it out.
I wanted it to feel really weird and handheld. Kind of like a drone that was super spazzy. So, I created the cameras in a point A point B, then patched everything together using the GorrilaCam.
I would change the scale to World Scale proper, and then I’d just keep hitting I’m Feeling Lucky. I had no time to really finesse things.
CA: That is exactly how I use it, just so you know. When we were designing it, I said to Chris Schmidt, I want a button that says I’m feeling lucky. I got used to the Google Play Music “I’m Feeling Lucky” button that would build playlists for me. I wanted that functionality in GorillaCam. Sometimes you could surprise yourself, you’re not really sure what you want. So I usually hit that or Randomize Seeds.
AT: Beautiful. Thank you for that. That’s how I work. I’m a weird hyper-child who pixel-fucks everything to death, but I also like randomness. So I enjoy the ability of having flaws. I like to be surprised when I make things.
When you’re at a computer, it’s such a linear experience. It’s very controlled. Oftentimes, it’s about putting imperfections into your work to let it breathe.
I think it works mighty fine for me, and I’m gonna use it like that till the end of time. [laughs]
I’m starting to do pre-viz for my films, and I started slapping the GorillaCam on there, just so it doesn’t feel so rigid. It just helps me do my job faster.
CA: I’ve always wanted this tool in Cinema, and I feel very fortunate to work with developers who can make this a reality. The most satisfaction I get from my job, is hearing from artists like you and hearing that they’re getting something out of it.
AT: I couldn’t be more thankful, honestly. You guys have an interest, you build something, it’s awesome, it’s very useful. It helps me just be an artsy-fartsy guy.
When it comes to CGI work, the thing I love is that it’s the most powerful of the artforms, I think. The thing that I hate about it, it’s the most powerful. It’s so hard to get good at fast. You can’t just go, but you can make a multi-dimensional experience.
CA: What renderer did you guys use for this?
AT: I’m using Octane right now. Testing out Redshift still, but I’m worried about learning a whole new thing.
CA: That’s why I’m here, friend.
AT: [laughs] I know, I know! I’ve seen your new tutorials on Redshift, and it looks so promising and awesome. Especially to someone like me, who uses a lot of volumetric and lights and doesn’t like noise. But, I’ve been using Octane since I started doing GPU stuff.
CA: What about the comp pipeline, that was all After Effects?
AT: Yeah. I just like to render everything without any passes and send if off. I’m kindy risky like that. Then Toros and I will take all the renders, which I have 6 GPUS – 3 Nvidia Titan X‘s and 3 Nvidia GeForce 1080‘s. Some scenes are really heavy geo-wise, so it would be 8 or 9 GB of VRAM. So they’d take like 7-8 minutes a frame.
I think there were 20 shots, each with maybe 40-80 frames, so it was just a lot of rendering. I just didn’t want to do extra passes on top of that. I just didn’t want to deal with that, and I didn’t have the time.
We originally cut it to a Justice track, added glitch and removing things and going bonkers on it up until it shipped. We were working on it up until the last minute.
You know, you hate it when you do it, but the only way to get that stuff out is to put that pressure. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just how it goes.
The people at Nike are very talented, and have great taste. I’m just lucky that they picked me to go along the ride with them, and they realize that they best way to do this stuff is work with a creative and stay out of their way.
They just let me be a bozo and get crazy. Plus I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cyber-western.
CA: That’s great. Thanks for sharing and talking with me.
AT: Thank you for what you’re doing! And thank the entire team at GSG. You’re making it easier to do what I want to do, which I appreciate. Thanks!
Client – Nike
Creative Director – Danny Demers
Designer/Animator/Art Director – Ash Thorp
Designer/Animator – Toros Kose
Score – Pilotpriest
Producer – Monica Thorp
Producer – Collin Samples
Producer – Bria Hisey
Special Thanks – Zaoeyo, Greyscalegorilla
More about this project:
If you want to know more about the product, you can read more about the shoe collaboration on Nike’s website. For more of Ash Thorp’s work, check out his website. His site also includes many of his reels from the films and other projects he’s produced. His Behance page also includes more incredible renders from this project.
You should also check out Ash Thorp’s AWAKEN AKIRA passion project. The short tribute film also has hours of behind-the-scenes breakdowns in C4D and AE.
If you are curious about the GorillaCam plugin, you can check out the GorillaCam product page here.
Your 3D camera choice is crucial to your composition. Here are four steps in creating a camera that connects with your audience.
Wouldn’t it be great to own every camera and lens ever made? With Cinema 4D, you have exactly that. Your 3D camera choice is just as important as what you are aiming it at. But most of us never change the settings on the default Cinema 4D Camera.
While all the options may be overwhelming, you can learn to master the Cinema 4D camera, and get the exact movements you were envisioning.
1. Choose the right camera setup
A great director knows just what type of camera to use for different types of scenes. Think about your camera move in the same way.
Is this a locked off shot? A crane shot? A handheld scene? Does your camera need to move fast or slow? What is the weight of the camera you need for this shot? Keep this in mind as you start to set up your shot and animate.
2. Choose Your Lens Carefully
Photographers and filmmakers own dozens of different lenses for a reason. Each different focal length brings a different look and emotion to a scene or image. And in 3D, it’s no different. If you are visualizing 3D architecture or setting up a fly through, choose a wider angle lens just like a real estate agent would.
Rendering a product shot? Pick a 50mm or even a 100mm to show off the product and all its angles in their best way.
Cinema 4D’s default camera is a 35mm lens. That’s a bit too wide for most of my renders. I tend to change it to a 50mm to start and in some cases move to a 100mm for product shots and
We’ve put together this tutorial for you to learn more about choosing the right lens for your scene.
3. Match Your Movements To The Camera Type
Remember when you picked what type of camera rig you would use for this scene? This will really help you inform the movement and animation of your camera. Match your movements to the type of camera you are emulating.
Big cameras move slow and give a sense of weight to the scene. Smaller cameras can move faster and get closer to the action. Keep the weight of your rig in mind. A hand held iPhone shot moves way different than a a RED Epic on a Dolly.
4. Add Human Imperfections
Camera moves in real life are rarely perfect. Wind blows, hands shake, and rigs wiggle. Adding natural shake and imperfections to your Cinema 4D camera will help “sell” your animation.
Even a big of shake and drift can give your scene that realistic human touch that will help give your animation that natural feel and help pull more attention from your eventual audience.
You can certainly add these imperfections yourself, but this is a very tedious and time consuming process. If you have the time to add some shakes or overshoots, go for it. If you are on a tight deadline, you should check out our GorillaCam plugin. You can instantly add realistic camera movement in seconds. What would normally take days to program, you can now achieve in minutes with GorillaCam.
If you have had X-Particles on your “Someday Maybe List”, you may want to grab it today.
X-Particles 4.0 is out and it’s the best, most advanced X-Particles YET!
Learn More about X-Particles 4.0 and see some of the amazing new 4.0 features.
Want to Learn X-Particles 3.5 AND 4.0 Quickly?
Get our best selling X-Particles training and get up to speed with XP 3.5 and 4.0 when it comes out later this year.
It’s the best way to dig in DEEP with X-Particles and learn what this robust plugin can do for your next client.
We are very excited to announce the latest update to our animation plugin Signal!
Version 1.5 brings some really awesome new features and bug-fixes. Most notable is the new BPM (Beats Per Minute) functionality. We hope you check out all the feature videos and see for yourself how Signal can improve your animation workflow.
Already own Signal?
Good news, you have access to Signal 1.5 right now! Just log into the customer area here and begin your download.
Don’t Own Signal? Let’s Change That!
Go grab it! But hey, don’t take our word for it. Look at what some Signal users have said about this update.
Signal’s BPM features deliver something that has been missing from Cinema since the birth of MoGraph
Greyscalegorilla’s recent BPM addition to Signal is a complete Game Changer. What would take an animator endless hours of keystrokes and key frames now takes a click, drag and your choice of tempo.
It’s the must have plugin for every animator using Cinema 4D.
Charlottesville VA native and talented C4D freelancer David Ariew recently traveled to outer space. David was not truly in the stratosphere, but he did create an amazing music video for “A Bad Think” created entirely in C4D with Otoy’s Octane Renderer.
David also used one of our tools, which made us very proud. David used Signal to help him with all those beautiful flickering lights. Here is what David had to say about his experience with Signal:
“I really wanted to create a run-down looking space station to complement the melancholy vibe of the song, and having the lights flicker both brought life into the static scenes and created a moody feel. GSG Signal allowed me to create that animation procedurally, with no keyframes, and there’s even a flicker preset under the Signal scripts folder! Then it was just a matter of linking the power of the light to the blank Signal tag, and increasing the strength and variation until the power hit the zero mark on occasion.”
David was also nice enough to record a quick video demonstrating his blinking light technique with Signal and Octane.
You can learn more about our Signal Plugin here.
Attention HDRI Studio Rig Customers:
Update to HDRI Studio & Browser to version 2.142
- HDRI Studio’s Icon can be double clicked in the Object Manager to open HDRI Browser quickly.
- New “Show all” feature in HDRI Browser to view every single HDRI in your collection at one time.
- HDRI Browser remembers all settings when layout is saved
- HDRI Studio and Browser are now compatible with Cinema 4D’s Take system so you can quickly iterate through different looks.
- In R18 HDRI Browser loads the low-res version of the selected HDRI into the viewports “Environmental override” channel. This allows a realtime preview of the HDRI in the viewport when OpenGL with Reflections is turned on.
- HDRI Browser can be linked to remote “Packs” folder via the “Change Directory” option. This allows for a large collection of HDRIs to live on a different drive and for multiple versions of C4D to share the same folder saving you from having to duplicate potentially tens of gigabits worth of HDRIs
- R18 Reflective floor bug fixed
HDRI Expansion Pack Customers note:
In this update you may notice that your HDRI Expansion pack names have changed and now match what is found in our online store. We apologize in advance if this change causes any missing texture errors, however they are easily remedied by re-selecting the appropriate HDRI in the Browser. This new naming system will allow for us to create a better on-going experience for our customers.
SHARING YOUR PROCESS
I believe sharing your process is one of the most important things you can do as an artist. Giving away your secrets and techniques will propel your own work forward at a rapid pace. Doing this will make you want to push yourself to come up with new techniques and not become repetitive or do what everyone else is able to do. Sharing your process for how you create your work will help our industry grow. In addition to this other artists will look to you for your expertise and you will stand out in the industry. What more could you ask for!
I am very proud to post Motionographers Step by Step: Locked And Loading article. Motionographers new “Step by Step” series take us through the artist’s process in real time while they create their work. It is a fantastic educational tool that really shows us inside the mind and process of the artist while they are creating.
I was extremely excited when they approached me to be this month’s artist on Motionographer and leaped at the opportunity. The most recent series I have been creating has easily been the most tutorial requested series of mine and I thought this would be a great way of sharing with everyone my entire process. I show you step by step how I created “The Buoy” animation.
Want to check out the tools I used? Take a look at the links below!
Maxon Cinema 4D
GSG HDRI Studio
GSG HDRI Link (Coming Soon)
Adobe After Effects
During my process I also show how I use Greyscalegorilla tools including HDRI Studio, Signal as well as the upcoming HDRI Link in creating my animation. These 3 tools have become must have tools for me as I have used them in almost every project over the past year. I hope you all enjoy and learn from my process!
We want to make a special thanks to Motionographer for creating another tool for artists to learn from and reaching out to Greyscalegorilla!
Topcoat 1.5 is out and it’s the best version of Topcoat yet!
New in Topcoat Version 1.5
- New Modifiers Tab displays Accurate Feedback.
- New Blurs section adds realistic blur effects to your textures.
- New Anisotropy effects give you that brushed metal look in seconds.
- New Vertical Layout option. Perfect for docking the interface in your Cinema 4D Layout.
- Texture Colors Can now be picked in the main interface.
- Instantly rename your layers by double clicking.
- Layers can be easily dragged to rearrange.
- Easily Solo Layers.
- Bump, blur, and mask presets can be right-clicked to add to other channels.
- Transparency Reflectance Channel can now be accessed and modified in Topcoat
- New “Invert Bump” button in Modifiers.
- New “Color to Bump” button in Modifiers.
- Easily add realistic and eye-catching reflectance and color to your scene with our new easy to use interface.
- Speed up the process of adjusting your render settings. Choose from over 14 Render Fast™ Presets included with Topcoat and get to your final render quicker.
- Add realistic worn textures to your objects with our new Blurs presets.
Topcoat 1.5 is a free update for current owners of Topcoat. Just go to the Updates Page to download the latest version.
Don’t own Topcoat yet? What are you waiting for? Learn more about Topcoat and Version 1.5 here and get your reflection and reflectance game rocking for your next C4D render.
All images are made with Topcoat and rendered using Physical Renderer and our GSG Render Fast™ Presets.
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It
Here is what some of our customers have to say about using Topcoat in their C4D workflow.
Topcoat is great for adding realistic wear and grunge layers that give objects that extra punch to look real. Mike Hjorleifsson – C4D Instructor and Freelancer
Reflectance got to be too complicated. Topcoat simplifies my life just like HDRI Studio did to help get the look I wanted. – Travis Turner – C4D Freelancer
I love HDRI Rig and Topcoat. The tools you provide are real time savers. – Jim Rodney – 3D Design Engineer
I have it docked in my layout, I use it so much. If my models don’t have the right reflectance, i’m always throwing on and layering a few things. It’s optimized well, too. – Ryan Daniels – Freelancer