3D render of an arc

Learn to Love the Process

Understanding that there are steps to success.

Adam Ingle

Getting Serious About Cinema4D

Last week, I tried to dip my toes in the Cinema4D ocean. I felt starting a quick and straightforward project would help me better understand the program and its tools. Or, so I thought. Up to this point, I had only used C4D for rendering and lighting some quick sculpts I had made and imported from ZBrush. So, minimal experience!

Whenever I start to learn something new, I always try to find various ways to link my interests to the process. I feel this keeps me engaged and motivated to get to a result of some quality. And that is the best advice I can offer anyone reading this who's starting to learn something new.

Link your passions to your craft!

Challenges and Set Backs

For this project, I wanted to use a basketball model I found online and add some cloth or jersey material to the composition; I thought this would be an exciting way to explore what this program can do. The result? A project that drove me crazy. Over six days, I had:

  • Countless software crashes
  • 5 project restarts &
  • 8 tutorials watched. 

I know it may not sound as bad when reading it, but when you're in the flow and making small but gradual steps to improvement, it's infuriating when things crash, and you haven't saved your work. The second bit of advice: Save your work! or Google how to turn on autosave in cinema4D as I did after my fourth project crash. 

The two biggest challenges I struggled with in this project were:

  1. Understanding and mapping UVs. I had heard about them from my experience with ZBrush, but I had yet to learn what they were and how they were utilized. Turns out they're pretty significant in the world of 3D, lol. 
  2. And Material stacking. You would think adding some logos to a basketball would be a simple and intuitive task, but boy, was I wrong. Finding a video that explained how to make this a simple process took forever. Thank god for Elly Wade

A Positive Outlook

Even though working through this lengthy, "short" project was painful, I genuinely learned so much in a condensed amount of time. I can never complain about that! The ebbs and flows of this simple basketball render provided me a taste of how to:

  • Run cloth simulations
  • Use field generators and how they work
  • Add alphas to materials
  • Assign UV's to objects and what they are
  • Edit UV's 
  • Use the node editor
  • Add custom gradients to materials
  • Add AOVs to render outputs.
  • Making a simulation an Alembic file. 

All in all. It's not bad for 6 days of baptism in Cinema4D, and this is what I have to show for it. You can see more on my Instagram.

Building Momentum.

Next/This week, I want to learn about 3D animation and render settings to keep the momentum going. There are aspects of last week I want to explore and learn more about, as I know they're super important. UVs, in particular. With this in mind, I'm setting myself the goal of creating a piece that involves working with 3D animation and UVs.

I also want to start documenting the process of all of this visually. Each project may become a short film to help build my storytelling, filming, and editing skills.

With that, here are the goods that I stumbled across this week. Below are the best resources that helped me progress in this week's project.

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