Cinema 4D Animation Made Easy. The Top Five Features In Signal.
by Chad Ashley
Signal is now part of Greyscalegorilla Plus.
New plugins, training, and more have now been added to Greyscalegorilla Plus, including Signal for Cinema 4D. To celebrate, let’s take a look at the top five features in this must-have Cinema 4D animation plugin.
What is Signal?
Signal is the most powerful Cinema 4D animation plugin designed to let artists easily create loops, stop-motion effects, or time animation to music. All without the need to use keyframes!
1. Signal Modifiers
Nothing is absolutely perfect. With the exception of tacos maybe. But even the most delicious tacos have noise? I don’t know where I was going with this only that I constantly use modifiers with signal to add some subtle secondary animation to spice things up a bit.
2. Signal Scripts
I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a lazy artist and I absolutely love when I don’t have to click around a bunch to get stuff done.
So yeah, I use the hell out of these Signal scripts. I use the time I’ve saved working with Signal scripts to work on intensely rewarding personal projects (and by personal projects, I mean sitting on my patio drinking bourbon).
3. Signal BPM
Did you know that old bugs bunny cartoons were animated to either a metronome track or an orchestral rhythm?
Well, the reason was that things just feel better if they fall into some sort of time signature. Who are we to argue with history?! I don’t often work with music, but many folks do and this feature makes timing stuff out to a “BPM” or Beats Per Minute much easier.
Plus it’s fun to pretend your cell phone animation is a part of a Deadmau5 concert visual.
4. Custom Curves
I don’t like being told what to do. Default settings are so presumptuous amiright? How can software presume to know what sort of animation curve is gonna work for ME?
I like that Signal makes gentle recommendations but also allows me to get in there and go nuts adding knots and moving stuff around, only to realize I’ve ruined it and I sadly go back to using a preset. But hey, I tried!
5. Step Animation
Ever try to take fluid animation and make it look like stop-motion?
You could lower the frame rate, but that’s cheating. What if you need to change the rate mid-project or vary the rate in the middle of scene? That’s a big pain in the butt and it’s destructive.
BUT, if you animated with Signal you could just use the Step animation feature and play around with the rate in real-time while your timeline is running.
Crazy huh? Fun joke to pull on co-workers: When they are out to lunch, use the “select all signal tags” script then turn on “step time” with a value of 10 and watch them throw a tantrum frantically downloading GPU driver updates. Ah good times.
Cover Image: Nick DenBoer / Deadmau5