Cineware Party, Part 10: Dynamics and Cloner

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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Setting up dynamic simulations in CINEMA 4D Broadcast & Studio

Explore the exciting possibilities with the new live 3D pipeline in the next Adobe After Effects. In this tutorial series, you'll learn how to create a motion graphics piece in CINEMA 4D and composite and render it through Cineware in Adobe After Effects.

In this video, we explore some of the advanced scene elements you can add once you upgrade to CINEMA 4D Broadcast or CINEMA 4D Studio, including rigid-body dynamics and the MoGraph Cloner object.

NOTE that the techniques shown in this video require CINEMA 4D Broadcast or CINEMA 4D Studio.



- Now it's time to spice up the Cineware party a little bit and look at some of the effects you can achieve if you upgrade to Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio. It's important to keep in mind that Cineware in After Effects can render virtually anything you can create in CInema 4D Studio. It's not limited to the features that are available in Cinema 4D Lite. So as your 3D needs increase you can actually upgrade to Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio and gain those features without losing the value of the Cineware workflow. Once you've installed Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio on the system, After Effects will open those automatically at any point where it normally would open Lite. So if you choose edit original or if you choose to create a new Cinema 4D file, Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio will open now instead of Cinema 4D Lite. So, let's just go to our Cinema 4D file here and we'll just hit Ctrl+E again to edit original and you'll see that now Broadcast opens up. The scene looks exactly like it did in Lite because all of the features in Lite, of course, are supported in Cinema 4D Broadcast. In fact, my interactive render region from the last tutorial is still on so we'll hit Alt+R to turn it off. Now what we're going to do in this tutorial is actually get in and look at how to add some dynamics to the scene. One of the big limitations you've noticed, I'm sure, from the first part that we did in Lite is that there's no good way to keep the balloons from intersecting. Intersecting each other or intersecting the text. Of course, that's just not realistic. The great thing is once you move up to Broadcast or Studio you have access to Cinema 4D's dynamics engine. In Cinema 4D Broadcast you can add dynamics to Mograph objects which is the fracture object that we've been using so far, and the cloner object. Once you move into Cinema 4D Studio, you actually can add rigid body dynamics and soft body dynamics to any objects in your scene. I'm going to be doing these tutorials in Cinema 4D Broadcast because that's all we need for the dynamics we're adding here and I want to show you the lowest common denominator process. So, here we have our scene and you'll notice here's our text again, and here's our balloons. Let's start off by adding some rigid body dynamics onto the balloon. You do that by right clicking on the balloon object here and choosing Simulation Tags, Rigid Body. Now, if you're in Cinema 4D Broadcast, it'll automatically default this Individual Elements option to top level. And we're going to want to go ahead and Set All just to make sure that all of our Mograph objects get split and treated as individual objects. In Cinema 4D Studio, the Individual Elements option will default to Off so in that case, make sure to switch it to All. Let's go ahead and hit the play head and see what happens now. You can see that basically all that happens is our balloons fall. They fall right through the floor and through the text because we haven't actually added any collider tags yet. So let's do that now. We'll select the Fracture Object for the text, right click on it, choose Simulation, Collider Body. Now, that text is going to be treated as a collider. The text itself won't be affected by dynamic forces, but it will collide with other objects in the scene. We also need to add a collider body to the room and we'll do that simply using the same process of choosing Simulation Tags, Collider Body. Now, one thing we need to do on the room here, because there's objects within the room group that all need the collision applied to them individually, we need to use this Inherit Tag option here. What that does is it essentially copies the tag to each of the child objects. We use this option so that we can cut down on multiple dynamics tags that we might have to go back and change the settings on later. So just choose Apply Tag to Children from the Inherit Tag group. Now we'll go ahead and hit the play head and you'll see that our balloons are acting much more reasonable. They're colliding with the text and the floor, they're staying in the room. And this is a good start for the dynamics on our scene. Now the next thing we want to do is actually adjust the dynamic properties of the balloons. So we're going to back to this rigid body dynamics tag on the balloons fracture object and we want to go ahead and increase the bounce to 100% because balloons are pretty bouncy. We also want to go into the Force tab and we want to add some aerodynamic drag and lift. These parameters allow the dynamic systems to actually consider the shape of the object and how those would react to the aerodynamics of the scene. So, things that have sort of a flat shape are going to fall more slowly because the aerodynamics prevent them from falling as quickly. So now you can see that our balloons float a little bit more. Now one last thing, we should probably add a collider body tag to the video wall as well. We don't have any balloons getting back that far yet, but they might. So we'll just go ahead and select the video wall, right click, choose Simulation Tags Collider Body, and again, in the Collision tab make sure to apply the tag to all the children so that it's being applied to the rounding and the cap portion of the video wall as well. So now we've taken our balloons that we had previously created and made a nice dynamic motion out of them. But I'm not happy with the number of balloons that are in this scene. I'd really like a lot more. Now, I could continue to copy more balloons into the fracture object like we did before in Cinema 4D Lite, but now that I have access to the cloner object in Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio, I can use that instead to create as many balloons very easily as I want. What the cloner object does, basically, is instance a single object or multiple objects many times throughout the scene in whatever arrangement that you choose. So we'll add a new cloner object to this scene. Just like the fracture object, the cloner is a generator which means that it's going to generate the new geometry based on the objects that you put underneath it in the Cinema 4D hierarchy. So we'll move all of these balloon lathes out of our fracture object and just drop them into our cloner. Now you'll notice that once again, they're all in the same place or roughly the same place. By default, the cloner clones in a linear fashion, so you can see here that they're being linearly arranged and there's a 50 centimeter offset on y between each one. You'll also notice that it's actually going in order. That we get the blue balloon, then the purple, the yellow, the green, the orange, the blue, the red, and then we start back over with the dark blue, and then the purple again. So this is the way the Mograph cloner works by default. It iterates through the objects that are placed underneath it in the hierarchy. But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let's start by changing these balloons from a linear organization to a grid array. So you can see here that we can arrange them based on an object, a radial fashion, or a grid and when we arrange them in a grid we can set how many clones we want in each dimension and how big we want our grid to be. So, let's go ahead and say four balloons along the x dimension, we'll maybe just do two balloons vertically, and in depth we'll go ahead and use four balloons there as well. Now they're all overlapping right now so what we want to do is actually go in here and increase our size parameter so that our balloons are sort of evenly spaced. So we'll go to something like 900 on x and 800 on y, or z actually. Y we'll leave at 200, that will be fine. Actually let's make y just a little bit bigger just so they're not overlapping. So now you can see our balloons are fairly evenly spaced in the scene. Now just like before, we're going to want to add our random effector to these balloons so that they don't look like they're all in an even grid. So we can use that same random effector that we've already created. It's right here. We'll go ahead and activate the Effectors tab and drag the random effector from the object manager down into the Effectors tab of the cloner object. Now you can see that our balloons are randomly disbursed throughout the scene. They're still using that random noise right now and I haven't applied the dynamics to them yet so we're basically back to where we were with the Lite scene but with a lot more balloons. So, what we're going to do now is just copy this Dynamics tag that we created on the fracture object and we'll just drag it up to our cloner. So now we're going to apply the same dynamics that we set up already on our fracture to the cloner instead. You can see all of those balloons drop down and do something like that. Now one other cool trick with dynamics, especially when you're using it with a cloner, is if you go into the Dynamics tag you can set the initial state and that just makes sure the dynamics knows where it's starting from. That way if anything happens to be overlapping when it starts, the very first thing you're going to see is a pop to make those things not overlap anymore. And after that pop happens you can set initial state to make sure that it doesn't continue to happen on your first frame of your animation. Now if we go back here to the first frame you'll see that really our balloons between the grid array and the random effector are pretty well distributed color-wise. But one thing you can do to ensure that rather than iterating through these clones we're actually randomly distributing the colors as well, is change this clones option in the cloner object from Iterate to Random. That's just going to randomly decide which color to apply, which clone to apply. Now one thing to keep in mind is when you use random you may not get an equal number of balloons of each color. You can adjust the random output here by simply adjusting the seed value. So if I click this up you'll see that I can randomize which colors are showing up where until I get a result that I like. That looks pretty good. Now, I think we can add even more balloons to this scene. Let's have some drop down from the sky as the scene begins rather than just be floating around the room at the beginning. So, we'll take this cloner and simply Ctrl drag in the object manager to create a new one. You'll notice we get a little plus sign there to show that we're creating a copy of the cloner object. This one we'll go ahead and adjust the grid size a little bit. Maybe we'll use five balloons wide, we'll do five balloons tall there, and we'll leave it four balloons deep. We'll go ahead and increase our size here as well. Right now they're just overlapping the ones that we've already created because we haven't moved our balloons actually up yet. So, we'll make this quite a bit bigger just so that we've got a nice, big grid of balloons. So now we'll go ahead and take this cloner we just created and simply move it up above the scene so that these balloons can fall down. We'll go into the move tool and just drag this y-axis here straight up until it's outside the frame. Now let's take a look at what our animation looks like. So, these balloons that are falling from the sky are pretty much ending up vertical, straight up and down, and that's actually an effect of the aerodynamics. Because of the shape of the balloon, the aerodynamics is calculating that that's the way it wants to fall. So, maybe we don't want to use aerodynamics on this or we want to pull it down. Let's actually select both of our rigid body tags at the same time and let's just go ahead and drop the aerodynamics. And instead of using aerodynamics, we'll get a little bit of that lift and whatnot by reducing the density on our object. We'll choose a custom density and we'll use something like maybe 0.2. That way it'll realize that this balloon is not as heavy, or not as dense as another object that might be the same size. And let's take a look at that. Yeah, that's more like what we're looking for. That bounce may actually be a little high so we'll go into the Collision tab, again both body tags selected, and we'll drop the Bounce down to maybe 80%. Okay. Now one last thing we need to do is actually cache this before we send it to After Effects so that all of the frames will render consistently and the objects won't jump from frame to frame. Now, if you have Cinema 4D Studio, there's a cache tab right here in the Dynamics Body tag and you can simply click on that and click bake cache and that will bake all of your dynamics caches. In Cinema 4D Broadcast we cache the dynamics using the Mograph cache tag. So, we'll go ahead and select both of these cloner objects, right click and choose Mograph Tags, Mograph Cache. Now the cache tag is red by default, that means that no cache has been recorded yet. You come down here to the attribute manager and you click the Bake button and what that's going to do is bake all of the animation cache for all of those objects. You can see that it also automatically switched our rigid body dynamics tags to makes them simply colliders instead of actual dynamic objects. Let's go ahead and look and see that our dynamic simulation is still all working just like we expect. And we'll go back to frame zero, I'm going to save the scene, and let's jump back to After Effects. And everything updates. So now, we have our full scene with dynamics ready to go.
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