3D Workflows for Lazy People

May 30, 2017

NAB 2017 Rewind – Chad Ashley: 3D Workflow Techniques for Lazy People from Cineversity.

What’s Covered:

  • Importance of Project Managment (Default Project folder, Project Naming)
  • Process Hacks
  • Previz Workflows
  • “Mission Layouts”
  • “Starter Scenes”
  • Content Browser Hacks
  • C4D Layers for organization
  • Never name an Output again, using the Token System

In this NAB presentation, Chad shares some of his workflow secrets and talks about the Gorilla Grade LUT promo spot that was finished in only four days. Chad talks about everything from project folders to the Take System and how to use Tokens to never have to name an output ever again.

Download Chad’s Default Project Folder Here

Download Chad’s Naming Convention File Here

Gorilla Grade LUTs Promo Spot


Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,

  • is there a short version for really lazy people ?

    kidding, thanks for the tips !

  • If Vimeo had 2x playback, I’d say yes. ?

  • Hey Chad

    Great presentation. This might be a daft question, but why does the viewport need to run at a higher frame rate than the native frame rate of your project (ie 24 fps, 30 fps etc).


    PS I’m a freelance video editor who has been self-learning animation for the last year or so, and it’s no exaggeration to say that GreyscaleGorilla has been the backbone of my learning process. This year I have booked my first animation work making titles for a show over here in the UK. A heartfelt thanks to you, Nick, Chris and all who work with you.

    • Hi Ben! Not daft at all! Frame rate is not limited to playback frame rate only. The speed of which you interact with the viewport is also measured in FPS. Higher FPS when orbiting a large scene means less lag and zippy feedback. Hope that makes sense. Have a good one!

  • Thanks!

  • No offence to anyone, but it feels like this site is becoming a lot less of a place to come to really learn the core features of cinema 4d. Videos are almost repeats.

    • thanks for the comment! What are you not seeing that you’d like to see?

      • Tutorials. In depth 30-90 minutes of rapidly building a scene of the sort you can pause and rewind to learn from. The sort Chris Schmit often used to put out. Utterly fantastic.

        • We also have the AskGSG Archives and Animation training for sale if longer form videos are what you’re after.

    • To be honest, I think this is exactly very core features. Learn how to organize files and be more efficient should be learnt at the very beginning.

      • I couldn’t agree more! I teach animation at a university and I hound my students about folder structure and organization from day one. Definitely part of the learning process. Whether or not they follow my instructions is a different story though…

  • Hi Chad; awesome presentation, congrats.
    Just wanted to point that the date/time related tokens are not available until you install the Cineversity Toolbox resources.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    Cheers to all the GSG team.

  • Thanks Chad. I like how you and Chris did similar discussions but didn’t overlap. I knew a lot of these things but the refresher in Layers and Tokens were the big takeaway for me.

  • It’s very stimulating to see someone shares his experience.

  • Great as usual! Thank you for trying to get all the community to a better place!
    And I love the rhythm, getting better at it 🙂

  • Chad, thanks heaps for sharing all of this awesome tips from your workflow, learned a lot. Best invested hour of my Sunday! =)

  • Hi Chad, very good presentation!

    How to you approach render presets together with takes and tokens where the cameras have different frame ranges? We currently use takes and tokens but create one render preset per camera since they often have different frame range output ranges. Is there a better way?

    • I usually create a master render preset and any changes to the output ranges are a child of the master render preset. This way, you can still control the render settings as a whole and the only difference is the in/out frames. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the comment! Feel free to hit me up on GSG Connect if you want more info on my workflow techniques.

  • Can you do a tutorial on how your texturized and lit the Nikon camera scene?

    It looks really nice.

    • I may at some point use this scene for an upcoming training series. I just haven’t hand enough time lately. We’ve been slammed on product releases as of late. Thanks for the comment!

      • Thanks! That would be great. In the mean time, do you know of any tutorials you could direct me to that teaches how to do realistic daylight scene renders? I currently use a third party render engine, but am not able to get that realism, like in your Nikon scene.. It can be frustrating.

        Keep up the great work. Thanks again.

        • With daylight scenes you could either use a daylight system in your third-party renderer or use one of our HDRIs in HDRI Link. There is no real secret to realistic out-door renders other than to make sure you are properly exposed for the sun. That and some tweaking/sweetening in the comp. Which renderer are you using?

          • I’m using Octane. But I’m struggling to hone in realistic lighting with the daylight system. It could be a combination of not properly exposing and the textures on my objects. I’m close, but it’s not quite there in terms of looking “real” like your Nikon spot, which looks extremely photo-real.

  • Thanks for all these organization tips. Didnt know xrefs.

    The promo spot would be a great project for advanced c4d user. I would love to see a tutorial about it.

  • Thanks for this great video Chad! As a freelancer I can attest that helpful tips like these are immediately beneficial to creativity, sanity and profitability. Unfortunately, it takes effort to break out of some bad habits (organizing, naming conventions, etc.). Ironically, it takes work to be this lazy.

  • Nice to see your production workflow. I found the tip about using the library manager to store models and textures textures useful. But the idea of a junk folder is ingenious. Thanks

  • So glad you liked it!

  • The library manager example is great. However, it doesn’t work for me since I work on different machines during the week. So far I could not get C4D to accept Dropbox folders. Did you find a way to have a cloud library integrated into C4D?

  • You’re a great presenter Chad. “Multi-talented” in the words of my old guidance counselor lol.

  • Thanks a bunch Chad! I took a lot away from this, but especially the tokens. Holy cow I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally overwritten the object buffer of a different scene file because I forgot to change the multipass output settings. I am a bit bummed that relative paths does not work with the render queue though :/ but at least tokens do. Anyway thanks again!

  • TL;DR – Wish I watched this a month ago. This should be the first thing anyone watches while downloading C4D.

    I was bored with working in only 2D and AE. I had a ridiculously tight deadline, so staying true to myself, I decided to embark on learning a 3D/C4D >__<

    I've been making +-30 scenes of animated LEGO. In hindsight this was and still is an ambitious project to pull off. At first my bottleneck was render times, then I got Redshift and my render times went down a lot, before going up again when I started producing work of higher standard (the deadline was pushed, so I could learn to produce better work).

    Now, while waiting for a render to finish that I started on waking this morning, I decided it was time to find out if there was a solution to this file management crisis I had going on, which has became my new bottleneck…

    Wish I watched this video before all else 😛

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.