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Preface

Preface

Why This Book?

With any software package, a number of benefits arise from taking a fresh perspective on the tool and its uses. MAXON’s CINEMA 4D R10 is no exception. Despite its overall ease of use, C4D is also an incredibly powerful and diverse package. As such, its uses—and the methods of using it—are diverse. Not that any one method is the “right” way. In fact, the flexibility of being able to achieve powerful projects in a variety of ways is part of the strength of C4D.

Exploring these paths is the primary function of this book. Included with your copy of C4D software is documentation that provides a useful reference filled with definitions of all the tools. This documentation is great to have, and this book is not intended to replace the documentation. Instead, the book provides hands-on methods for analyzing the functions of C4D’s many tools. The book takes a project-based approach that allows you to create impressive projects as you learn C4D’s array of tools and functions.

What’s New?

CINEMA 4D R10 is a major upgrade. This release focuses on character animation tools, but there are updates or improvements to most facets of the program. This multitude of new functions can be dizzying to get through. Some new functions are close to the old way of doing things but just different enough to be confusing. This volume works with, but is not limited to, most of the new tools within C4D R10 including the following:

  • Interface changes and enhancements

  • Enhanced Object Manager and new Layer Manager

  • New animation tools

  • 3D painting through BodyPaint 3D

  • Enhanced OpenGL

  • Interactive renderer

  • Advanced rendering enhancements

  • MOCCA 3, new and improved character animation tools

  • Hair

  • Dynamics

  • Many other updates

Although there are far too many function and tools in C4D to cover all of them in this book, the core concepts are all here. All of the major tools for creating 3D are covered to allow you to produce great work.

What Is Covered?

In this book, all of the major areas of C4D and its uses are covered. Some light is also shed on many of the little-understood and underexplored corners of the program. Beginning with the general tools and tool layout, you learn how to maneuver through the 3D space and C4D’s interface. However, this book doesn’t attempt to cover every nook and cranny of this truly diverse package. There just isn’t enough space to truly get to every part of the program; however, great care has been taken to explore nearly all of the most powerful and frequently used aspects.

Next, standard C4D workflow is covered, including where and how to start, and how to manage your projects. Then the real fun begins—the modeling tools within C4D. Modeling is covered, from primitive methods and NURBS, NURBS editing, polygon creation, and HyperNURBS. Thus, not only do we cover the modeling tools, but we also analyze a variety of ways to use them, giving you a wide scope of potential methods to try and perfect.

After creating the shapes of our dreams, we put C4D’s powerful texture capabilities to work. You’ll learn how they work, when they should be used, and what sorts of effects can be created with simple textures. New to this book are instructions on how to use the 3D painting and UV layout tools provided through BodyPaint 3D, which is now included in the core application, regardless of the bundle. You’ll quickly learn the strengths and benefits of this powerful new addition.

After creating and texturing objects, we’ll dive into lighting techniques, including three-point lighting, Area lighting, Global Illumination, and HDRI. We’ll cover some basic lighting theory along with tool coverage to help you learn what you need to know about C4D’s lighting. We’ll even show you some tricks and techniques to help you speed things up, while keeping the quality of your renderings as high as possible.

Moving along, we’ll get into the complex and powerful animation tools contained in C4D. These sections cover the new Timeline, Power Slider, and F-Curves. C4D R10 has new, improved tools to utilize within the Timeline, so we’ll explore how to use these tools and also look at when, where, and why to use them. How to organize animation is also explained, as this can make the difference between a project nightmare and an enjoyable experience.

Also included is a brand new section on character animation. C4D is not often recognized as a character animation powerhouse, but with the new tools present in C4D R10, the possibilities have skyrocketed. In this section, we’ll teach you how to use the new MOCCA 3 tools, including building a basic rig from scratch, creating facial animation, and using basic controller organization.

We’ll cover the basics of dynamics so that you can add realism to your scenes. We’ll explore C4D’s Soft and Hard Dynamics and how to avoid the pitfalls that can often occur.

Toward the end of the book, we’ll look at areas that truly lift C4D above the level of a mere 3D animation package. You’ll put cloth on animated characters, hair on a character, and learn how Sketch and Toon can transform your models into stylized drawings. Finally, you’ll learn the power of customization and how C4D can be bent to your will.

The Companion CD-ROM

Included with this book is a CD-ROM that contains all the project files you will need to complete the tutorials. Also present is the C4D demo application for Macintosh and PC, full color figures, and bonus tutorials from past iterations of the C4D Handbook.

What Is In It For You?

This book is best for beginners. It reviews many of the tools within C4D and explains how best to use them. Through intensive tutorials, you will learn ideas and techniques not covered in the manuals. You’ll also learn about the theory and why things work the way they do, so that by understanding the theory behind the tools, you can better utilize the ideas within them.

This book is also great for intermediate users. If you’ve been using C4D for a while now, you’ve probably already gone through the tutorials contained within the manuals and have a fairly good grasp on how the tools work. This book will put a new spin on the same tools and give you a chance to see how the tools are used in ways you may not have tried. The tutorials in the latter half of the book are intense enough that they provide an excellent learning challenge if you have not mastered complex 3D ideas such as animating the human form. Especially if you have been using earlier versions of C4D, this volume will get you quickly up to speed with the new tools and functions.

Additionally, this book is great for advanced users. Those of you who are C4D experts and have delved deeply into the depths of digital domains will still find useful information here. Have you ever thought it would be great if C4D just had a tool that would allow you to do x? Well, included here are tutorials by the programming wonder Donovan Keith and chapters on writing your own expressions with XPresso (on the companion CD-ROM) as well as some in-depth analysis of making your own plug-ins. Even if you are not interested in programming as an advanced user, you can find out about some of the tricks various artists throughout the world have tweaked and mastered (bonus chapters on the companion CD-ROM). And if you are comfortable and effective in C4D, this volume will provide some further enhancing techniques. If you are upgrading from older versions of C4D and just want to get up to speed with the new tools, this is your book.

So young or old, novice or experienced, amateur or professional, this book provides you with tools, techniques, and tricks that will increase your C4D productivity and workflow.

This book assumes you have the Studio bundle for some of the later chapters. It assumes you have the XL bundle for Chapter 5Materials and Textures.”


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