Posted In:Video | Greyscalegorilla
It’s a great way to see some of the new stuff in action and to get ideas for your next particle render. Give it a watch.
Perfect lighting and reflections in seconds. That’s what HDRI Studio Pack is all about. We just launched the latest version of HDRI Studio Pack today. It includes new still and animation presets specifically designed for Version R15 of Cinema 4D.
HDRI Studio Pack presets give you ready-to-render scenes that are perfectly optimized for speed and performance with Global Illumination. Watch the “What’s New” video below or visit the HDRI Studio Pack Page to learn more about HDRI Studio Pack and what’s new in this latest version.
What’s New In Version 1.9
Some Example Renders and Animations from HDRI Studio Pack
This is a free update. Current HDRI Studio Pack owners will get an email with a link to the new version.
Computers are jerks and love to fill in the gaps linearly because they are lazy sacks of wires. A great animator/motion designer spends most of their days fighting computers to make sure they don’t mess this up.
In this presentation about designing with animation, Pasquale D’Silva goes through some great examples of how animation can be used to help design software interfaces. It’s a great talk about how animation can help make software easier to use. He also wrote this article that includes some great visual examples of these animation concepts in action. The best part… These concepts are great for ALL motion design. Not just software.
Also See… Guide To Keyframes In After Effects
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Greyscalegorilla. Thank you so much for joining us this year to learn and play and create. To celebrate, I wanted to re-render an old scene file from 2009 using some higher quality render techniques like GI for animation, blurry reflections, and also finally render it HD.
From all of us here at Greyscalegorilla, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Original Low Rez Render
3D Artist, Mike Winkelmann (AKA Beeple) has been having an incredibly prolific and artistic year. He continues to post to his Everyday Project for 2387 consecutive days and counting. He shares a ton of detailed Creative Commons C4D scene files and renders he has been making in his VJ Clips series. But today, we sit down with him to talk about his latest film, Transparent Machines.
How did you get the idea for Transparent Machines™?
This started off as a totally different piece that was not going to be glass at all but was going to be more about how technology is advancing faster and faster. So I started building this giant cylinder machine thing that was building itself. After working on it off and on for many months, one day I tried applying a glass texture to the whole thing and I thought it looked pretty sweet. So then around that time all of the stuff with Snowden and the NSA was going down and everybody was constantly talking about transparency. So one day the idea to use that concept of ‘transparency’ in the piece just sort of popped into my head. I would honestly attribute the concept more to almost blind luck than to too much premeditation on my part.
Do you think animation can change the mind of people and help inform them about social issues?
Yeah I definitely think that animation can be a very powerful platform to explain issues, especially complicated ones. I think with animation you inherently have the advantage of being able to explain something through not only speaking but also images that can change over time. This can really help to illustrate some complex concepts. I think making something that is entertaining as well can only help to spread your message too.
Did you do any story boarding for this piece?
No, when I work on a short film it really sort of evolves over time. I usually don’t have a super clear idea what it’s going to end up like when I start and certainly that was the case here. From my early renders you can see that the piece initially had a very different look and obviously would have necessarily had a very different message…
Where do you find time to do your daily renders AND work on a large piece like this?
I was actually just talking about this to my friend Kyle (Standingwave) who did the sound design for the piece. He has just started doing his own audio everydays (https://soundcloud.com/standingwave) and was wondering about the same thing. I think if there is a “trick”, it’s to do your everydays last. Everydays for me will take up just about as much time as I have for them. If I have 4 hours to devote to them one day, then I’ll spend four hours and spend more time experimenting and screwing around. But if I only have an hour, then they’ll get done in an hour. So I would say try to work on any bigger projects first and leave the everydays to the end of the day so they don’t take up too much of your time and you can get other stuff done too.
If I have 4 hours to devote to them one day, then I’ll spend four hours and spend more time experimenting and screwing around. But if I only have an hour, then they’ll get done in an hour.
How long did this take to make start to finish?
I really wish I kept better track of stuff like that. I started this project in May of last year but then there were months at a time where I didn’t work on it at all. Looking back through all of my Cinema4D files (I save a new one each day so I roll things back easily if I change direction). I would say that I worked on this roughly 150 days (1-2 hours most days) .
What were the render times like on this? Do you have any tips for keeping rendering times down on such a long spot?
The render times on this were not as bad as you’d think because the setup was pretty much as simple as it could possibly be. There are no lights at all in the scene, no GI, no AO, no DOF. It is literally just the geometry with a glass material applied. The only thing that made the render times a bit higher is that some of the shots were rendered at around 4K so that I could pan around the shot in post to sync really tight with the music. But the render times were at worst like 10 minutes per frame even on those super high res shots.
Why did you choose to post the entire Cinema 4D Project file for download?
This is my attempt to give back to the awesome community who made this possible in the first place. Throughout this project I watched tons of tutorials and read tons of articles on VRay, modeling, etc. I honestly don’t feel qualified to do tutorials but if people can learn from these or remix them into something cool, that would be awesome. I love seeing stuff I did live on in other people’s work…
How does music effect your animation workflow and ideas?
The music for me is the main driver of the pacing and feel of a film. The music here was pretty fast and aggressive so the animation was actually sped up almost four times faster than I actually did it to match the feel. The music also lead me to make a ton of very tiny cuts that were less than one second long. Above everything I almost always try to make the visuals match the music as close as possible.
Do you do all your C4D work in Vray?
No, I don’t do everything in Vray but for this, all of the shots were done in VRay mostly because I really loved that glass material. This was a free material that I downloaded from their site but it’s got a really great feel to it and renders pretty quick. I also feel like I’ve been drawn to Vray lately just because it has a bit of a different feel. Things don’t always look necessarily better per se, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a different look.
Can you tell us about the final comping for this piece? Did you use After Effects?
This was the first time I attempted a 32-bit linear workflow. I’m sure I made some mistakes along the way, but I will say it definitely afforded me a lot more control over the look in post. Besides the sort of video and text overlays though, there wasn’t a ton of comping in post. What I exported was only the one main pass and that really just had some color correction on it.
Can you tell us about the animation process? Looks like a TON of keyframes.
Yeah this was the main bulk of the work for the project. Unfortunately to give things a bit of an ‘organic’ feel while it was building itself, everything needed to be done by hand. This allowed me to look at each individual shape to see how it would look best “appearing” in relation to the machine . So if it was a sweep nurbs tube shape, then I would animate the start and end parameter to have it grow along the spline. If it was a nut or bolt, then it would usually sort of pop out of the structure animating the scale. If it was a clamp or more complex shape, a lot of times I used Booleans to make these appear. So all of this had to be done by hand to make sure these things were happening at the right time as well.
A lot of people have commented on how the scene file runs ridiculously slow on their computer and that was the case for me as well. When working on something I had to solo just that piece using a plugin called Magic Solo. If I wanted to see a preview of the animation I rendered out a hardware preview as it was completely unviewable in the viewport.
Half Rez was a great success! Thanks to everyone who helped make the night so wonderful. We managed to record most of the presentations (links below) and to have a great night of hanging out and chatting with other artists. Huge thanks to our sponsors that helped make this possible and to everyone who came out to enjoy the night with us. We hope to see you again next year.
Huge Thanks to our Sponsors
Presenters And Links To Their Talks
Nick Campbell (Greyscalegorilla) – What’s new in C4D R15
Watch The Presentation
Amador Valenzuela (Digital Black Book) – Designing For Motion Graphics
Watch The Presentation
Mathias Omotola (Maxon) – Live 3D pipeline between CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects CC Not Recorded
Chris Schmidt (Greyscalegorilla) – 30 minutes of C4D Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks
Watch The Presentation
In this video recorded at Half Rez, Amador Valenzuela shows you his design process for some of his recent 3D and animated work at Digital Black Book. Amador’s work has always focused on great design. We were glad he showed us some behind the scenes of his incredible work.
This video was filmed during Half Rez 2013, a motion design and 3D animation festival in Chicago, Illinois.
Charlie Co made this great behind the scenes video to show their projection mapping, rigging technique for these NFL IDs. It’s a very powerful effect.
I’ve talked a lot about the importance of local user meet-ups, so I decided to invite the founders from two of the largest Chicago animation user groups to talk about how they got started, how they run the event, and if they have any advice to someone that is trying to start a user group in their town.
It’s easy to argue that Local user groups and meet-ups are the best way to meet other people who are into what you are doing. It’s a great place to find work and friends in the industry. So many artists are stuck at the “I am pretty good at what I do” stage, but fail to get out and meet the people that will start and eventually make their career.
Some Take-aways from the interview
- If your home town doesn’t have a user group, start one! It’s easier than you think.
- Get like minded people in a room. It can be that simple.
- Use existing social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to organize an event.
- If your town DOES have a meet-up, go!
- Hanging around other people that do what you do is a great way to start to get a job doing what you like doing.
Today, Chris Lavelle sent us this music video he made and he mentioned that he used Transform for a few of the scenes. We gave it a look and he certainly did, with great effect in two great shots. He used Transform to make a room build on at three minutes in. Then, again to make an entire house fall down at minute four. We love seeing great work made with the help of our plugins. Thanks to Chris for sending this in and using Transform to great effect.
Watch The Music Video
Robert Hranitzky made a great breakdown of how he made this torn paper effect for the GenArts Reel Intro using some scanned paper, the bend deformer, Cinema 4D and After Effects. I met Robert and saw him present at NAB this year. I loved his direct teaching style and his great eye for design and sexy compositing. The tutorial world needs more like him.
Robert was nice enough to share a low rez version of his scene file for you to see exactly how the textures and scene is set up.
Scene file is for training purposes only. Please do not resell.
This Cinema 4D Title breakdown shows a ton of great particle work and compositing tricks. Good stuff. I wish every spot had this much behind the scenes video to go with it.