Use Animation Mode in C4D’s Cloner to Control Keyframed Animation

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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Learn how the Cloner’s Animation Mode in Cinema 4D’s MoGraph toolset offers total control over keyframed animation

Cloner’s Animation Mode offers several modes that change how you can manipulate keyframed animation on cloned objects using C4D’s MoGraph toolset. Use Play mode to simply play the animation, or Loop mode to endlessly loop the animation. Fixed mode allows direct control over which frame of the animation is used, while Fixed Loop combines direct control with repeating animation.

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Transcript

- Tucked away on the Transform tab of MoGraph's Cloner object is the Animation Mode attribute. I bet a lot of you didn't even know it was there, because we tend to jump straight from the Object tab to Effectors, and skip over this tab entirely. But this is a very powerful attribute that allows you to control how keyframed animation on your objects is going to be transferred onto the clones. So here I have a simple jack-in-the-box animation that I've created, and I've cloned that five times. So now we have that jack-in-the-box animation happening on all five clones. By default, the animation mode is Play, which means it's simply going to play back the animation and it's going to play it back once. You can offset this animation if you want. We can set the time to something like 30 frames, and it's going to wait until Frame 30 to begin the playback of that animation. Now, the one trick with this is it doesn't actually complete the playback of that animation, because it hits the end of the perceived animation before it actually finishes. One solution to that and also to get looping is to switch the animation mode from Play to Loop. Now, if we play this back, what we're going to see is that it's going to start at Frame 30, it's going to complete the animation entirely, and start it over again. Of course, we can adjust this time offset back down to zero so that it starts at the very beginning of the animation. Now, of course, in addition to the Time Offset attribute here in the Cloner object, you have a time offset in most of the effectors as well. You might have used this before in the Step Effector to simply offset the animation incrementally among the clones so that each clone starts a few frames after the clone before it. One of the most powerful ways that you can use effectors to control the animation is by switching the animation mode into Fixed. When Fixed mode is used, the playback time for each clone directly relates to the Time attribute. So if I turn off the Step Effector here and adjust the Time attribute, you'll see that as I get here to Frame 30, it's the exact same thing as Frame 30 in my original animation. As I get to Frame 50, I'm at the end of my animation. Well, this is more powerful when you apply it through Effectors, once again. So here in this Plain Effector, I've set a frame offset of 50 frames. As we adjust the effector's strength, we're actually adjusting the animation or animating the object. So here, with the strength at zero, my animation is at Frame zero. As I advance the strength to 50%, my animation is at 25 frames, or 50% of the total animation. As I continue to 100%, I'm at the end of my animation. When we combine this with the effector's falloff, you can actually animate the object by animating the effector's falloff. I'm going to switch here to Linear mode, and as we animate the effector through the scene, you'll see that the objects animate in conjunction with the effector's falloff. The final animation mode is Fixed Loop, which basically works the same as the Fixed mode, but it loops continuously as the strength or time offset value extends beyond the limits of the existing animation. So here in the Plain Effector, if we set the time offset not to 50 frames, but set it to 100 frames, we're actually going to see the animation loop twice with each jack-in-the-box. So that's a quick overview of the Animation Mode options within the Cloner object. In the coming weeks, we're going to actually dig deeper into this and explore specific techniques for using various effectors to control the keyframed animation of your MoGraph clones.
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