New in Cinema 4D R20: Use Fields to Control the Strength of MoGraph Effects

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Instructor Cineversity

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  • Duration: 09:41
  • Views: 4271
  • Made with Release: 20
  • Works with Release: 20 and greater

Fields in Cinema 4D Release 20 are an evolution of C4D's falloff system and a revolution in motion graphics.

Learn how to layer multiple fields to control the strength and color of MoGraph effects. With the new Radial Field, you can create wipe effects based on an angle, and combined with Subfields you can create amazing animations without a single keyframe. Use the Spline field to affect clones along, around or within a spline. With Decay, you can add trailing effect to clones. This is just the beginning - there's lots of sweet things you can do with Fields in Cinema 4D Release 20.

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Fields will revolutionize your motion graphics workflow because they offer tremendous power to control the strength of parametric modeling and animation effects. In fact they're similar to falloffs from prior versions of Cinema 4D but offer much more flexibility and in addition to MoGraph and deformers, you can use them with vertex maps, selection sets and volumes. In this video though we're going to focus on using Fields with MoGraph and these bite-sized candies and the first thing we're going to do is define a basic effect by adding a Plain Effector. Now just as usual you control what happens to these clones here in the parameter tab and right now we're simply moving them up 100 units on the y-axis I'm going to exaggerate the effect a bit and set this to 400 units and just as in the past we can control where this effect occurs in the falloff tab but now instead of a simple drop down with basic shapes we have a Fields interface and all of the basic falloff shapes are implemented here as Field objects so if I want a basic spherical falloff I can simply add a spherical field. Down here I have access to the basic properties of the field and in the case of the sphere it's just the size but then in the remapping tab I get more control over the shape of the falloff. So of course I can adjust the overall strength I can also adjust the inner offset which works a lot like the falloff percentage in prior versions of Cinema 4D - with this at 100% basically I'm going to affect all of the clones within the sphere equally or I can set this down to zero and I'm going to get a smooth falloff from the center of the sphere to the edge. I can gain even more control over the shape of the falloff with these contour modes there's a quadratic mode here for basic adjustment of the curve or we can jump into the curve mode and use Cinema 4D's Spline UI to really dial in the shape of the falloff and you'll notice that in addition to seeing the adjustments reflected live in the viewport we also have this remapping curve that shows us how the falloff for this specific field is being affected. In addition to quadratic and curve we have step and quantized modes which allow you to get multi stepped falloff. Now you may have noticed that in addition to adjusting the position of these clones we're also tweaking the color as well. The effectors now have this Fields Color mode that allows us to set the color for these clones using the Fields themselves and in the case of the spherical field here that's all defined within the color remapping tab in this case we're just using a basic color and setting the opacity based on the value of the field. We can also remap the values of the field to a gradient in order to easily colorize our clones. One of the real powerful aspects of fields is that they can be layered together so we can add a box field here and use typical image blending modes to choose how to combine these together. Do we can subtract this box from the spherical field and now you can see that we can create a complex effect that combines both of these fields and each of the fields has its own object within the object manager so we can really easily manipulate each independently and of course down here in the field list we can control whether each field layer is going to affect just the value of the clones or just the color of the clones or it can affect both of course. Let's take a look at one of the new falloff shapes in Release 20, which is the Radial Field - and this gives us a falloff that is based on an angle around the center of the field. So we have a start and an end angle and a start and end transition and then we can offset that effect around the center. We can also set multiple iterations in order to get spoked or pinwheel type of effects. One of the things that I find this field is really useful for is pie-chart effects so we can set the start and end angle here to 360 and we get a smooth falloff around the center of the field. I'm going to disable the value here so we're just affecting the color and then within the color remapping tab we can use that gradient control to define our pie slices. And this uses the new gradient interface in Release 20 which offers a ton of flexibility it integrates really well too with the color picker that was introduced a few versions ago. So I'm going to set up a few color swatches here and simply drag them up into the gradient to define my knots and now I can multi-edit these knots. I can also right click here and change the interpolation of all the knots to step and we can go into each of the knots and dial in the specific percentage that applies to that pie slice. Now you might notice that there's a section here that is white and that is because this gradient actually allows us to control the Alpha as well. If we check the Edit alpha box here you can see the Alpha Channel that's applied and this is great because it allows you to put other field layers underneath this field and have those colors show through but in this case we want to remove this and simply get the full color of our gradient and of course we can uncheck the Edit alpha option in order to get back to the colors. I already showed you earlier that we can rotate this pie chart using this offset attribute but another really cool option is the use of subfields. Some of the fields actually have specific attributes that can be modified by other fields so you'll notice that there's a tab here for the offset and if we go in here we can actually use fields to control that attribute so here are some field layers and time is a really important one we can simply add the time layer here and we can animate this pie chart without using any keyframes we can also get some interesting effects when we combine other field shapes. For instance we can add a spherical field and we can actually get a swirling effect as the strength of the offset increases from the center to the edge, and we can make that swirl go all the way to the center by reducing this inner offset all the way down to zero. Now of course we can combine multiple fields together so if I enable the time again and multiply the spherical field we can actually increase the swirling effect over time - again all without any keyframes. Now let's take a look at another exciting field type which is the spline. Here I have a basic helix spline and I can add this as a field simply by dragging it into the field list and here you can see that we are defining a falloff along the length of the spline. We can also define a falloff based on a radius from the spline or we could combine both of these effects together with the along and radius mode. And of course there's curves here to adjust the actual shape of those falloffs. Another really exciting use for splines is as a mask. Here I have some text and I'm simply going to drag that down to create a field shape, and we'll set this spline shape to the mask mode and we're going to project this along the y-axis. And here you can see that we're able to use that text as a mask for our effect and we can blur that to the outside of the spline shape or we can have the falloff work to the inside of the spline shape. Let's take a look at one more field type but first we need to add another spherical field and we're going to simply animate this along that helix spline from earlier. So we'll quickly set up an animation simply animating this along the spline and you'll see that we've got a falloff effect - again one that's easier to achieve because each field has its own object in the object manager. But we also have the ability to adjust how these fields are applied using these modifier layers and one of the most exciting modifier layers is Decay. This actually allows us to add something of a tail on our effect, so you can see that we're actually getting a falloff or trailing tail on the spherical effect and we can turn on the color of the tail as well. Now we can adjust the size of that tail using this effect strength and if we set the effect strength all the way up to 100% we can actually turn on these clones - turn on this effect - with the falloff and have it never actually turn off again. So this gives you just a taste of some of the great things that you can accomplish with the field system in Cinema 4D Release 20. I know I feel like a kid in a candy store and I'm sure you will too. Make sure to watch all of our Release 20 Quickstart videos in order to see all that's in store.
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