This is a page for fellow animation and cinema4DXL-enthousiasts. I've been wanting a long time to get a decent library of tips and tricks online, mainly because I get asked the same questions over and over again, but untill now I've never really found the time to do so. Below is a collection of small example files, tutorials and experiments mainly concerning Cinema4DXL which I've produced and gathered the last years. Some are quite old mind you!

TUTORIALS

These tutorials rely heavily on experimentalism. I do in no way pretend to offer a fail-safe way of producing a certain result, I just try to show how a creative treatment of little-used settings can produce some rather nice effects. I hope these get you experimental muscles working :)

 

IK basics
A very simple excersize for settig up flexible IK for a leg. In fact, this is really a description of how i set up legs for my characters, but there are some usefull nuggets for all of IK and rigging in there.

 

Having a go at translucency
An attempt to simulate translucency in Cinema4D. This technique stems from the days before the incredible "Smells Like Almonds" shader set by BhodiNUT. It can do some things that SLA can't do, but for almost all uses, SLA's "Banj" channel shader is definitely the way to go!
An alternative cartoon rendering technique
How do you achieve a cartoon rendering style without using the somewhat limited built-in cartoon renderer of Cinema4D, or special shaders or plugs? Have a look at this online tutorial.

 

 

EXPRESSIONS

Some expressions from my hand. The links lead to simple .txt files, which you can either copy and paste into another document, or 'save link to disk' and open them from the expression editor in Cinema4D. I could of course post scenefiles containing the expressions, but I hope this will be more flexible and urge me to update this list frequently.

 

TXT
BonesToSpline
A simple expression placing a bonechain on a spline. You fill in the number of bones in the chain and the name of the target spline, and the expression will place the bonechain on said spline. This is a somewhat different approach from the 'splones' in BoneTools (can't remember when/where I got that little plugin) in that the bones are placed on the actual spline, and not just inbetween points. The bones will adjust their length to account for the spline's length. Mind you it's better to fic the bones after you've applied this expression

 

 

PLUGINS

Plugins I wrote for Cinema4D. I'm not a developper (yet ;) so don't expect too much tech-support. I just write the occasional plug when I need it. To use these plugins, simply unzip them into a folder, place this folder inside Cinema4D's 'plugins'-folder, and start up Cinema4D. Depending on the type of plugin, it will appear in the main plugins menu, the plugin-tags menu in the object manager, or the plugin-tracks menu in the timeline.

 


.ZIP archive, 5K
IKtool
A Handy little workflow improvement, IKtool is in fact little more than a non-modal IK tag dialog with a few bells and whistles, but it allows you to interactively change an object's limits and damping, and observe the results of that on the IK calculations in real time in the editor. I myself can't live witout it anymore. Documentation included by means of a readme.txt'

.ZIP archive, 80K
PoseMorph
Instead of morphing between shapes (or geometry), this plugin morphs between poses (or hierarchy). I built it originally to animate hands more easily, since a moderate three-fingered hand has at least 15 bones, it can be a hassle to do it all by hand. With PoseMorph, you can call upon a library of this hand's poses and morph between them. The full explanation and an example file are included within the archive.

.ZIP archive, 10K
Splinimator
A very crude, simple and flexible plugin to animate a spline with objects instead of with PLA. These objects can be placed anywhere in the hierarchy, allowing you, as a simple example, to have a spline run from one leg to another and animate along nicely. Readme included in the archive.

 

 

from Cinema4DXL version 5

The following files stem from the good old v5 days of cinema4D. They may not work completely as described in v6, but still they may be of use to some, so I decided to keep them here.

 

Tutorial, zipped PDF, 183K

c4d file of the described rig, zipped, 12K

Rigging up for character animation
An in-depth description on how I used to put my characters together. This tutorial focuses on the workings of the rig itself, not on the acts of boning/weighting or modelling. This is a quite old tutorial, written for the previous version of Cinema4DXL (version 5 that is). It might still be of use to some people, but some techniques described in it might be completely outdated. Also, it makes heavy use of the plugin Puppeteer, by yours truly, which I didn't yet recode for version 6, mainly because everything the plug could do can now be done with expressions quite easily. Also, the example file is made for v5, and will not work as described in v6.

A way of boning
Well, I don't want to claim the copyright, as I'm probably not the first one who made this up. Anyway, I was asked by a fellow-C4D-user to explain how I made use of them bones. So I made him this file. It illustrates a nice technique to use IK on multi-mesh-characters. The main issue is that the feet aren't really part of the body, but loose bones. The IK-target of the end of the leg is placed inside the foot so the leg will bend to meet the foot, while the foot remains completely locked untill you decide to go animate it. This in contradiction to having the foot as a child of the leg, and the heel IK-ed to a target outside the body, which will always result in having the feet flapping around as well.

The scenefile illustrates this probably better than I can explain.

Cartoon hand
I had this lying around, and thought I might as well post it. It's a fully boned cartoony hand. Please use this file for study purposes only. Not because this is the most fantastic hand (although I AM kind of proud on the way the model turned out) but because there really went a lot of work into modelling it. Please consider this. If you really HAVE to use it for something else (I guess there's just no way I can stop you can I?) please notify me, and be so kind as to mention my name with it.