Siggraph 2015 Rewind - Lucas-James Schumacher: High-end Projection Mapping with Cinema 4D

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C4D MoGraph Techniques for Live Projection.

Lucas-James Schumacher demonstrates how Moment Factory uses Cinema 4D in the creation of live projections. You'll see how Moment Factory achieved three specific looks in a project for Beijing's Emporium shopping district.

04:42Triangle Shatter (MoExtrude)
12:44Kinetic Sequence
26:55Fractal Sequence
39:43Triangle Shatter Breakdown



- Hello everyone. My name is Lucas Schumacher and I'm a lead animator... at Moment Factory. We are a new media and entertainment studio. We specialize in live public events and I brought along a reel so you can get a better idea of what we do. - Nice. - Thank you. As you see we do... Lots of the projects we do involve building projections and today I'd like to focus on something we worked on recently, a project in Bangkok for the Emporium District which is this big high-end mall. There were two sides of this set-up where we had projection screens on one side of the street and then the other side of the street. And I have a little video to show that project. So on this project I'm going to speak specifically about this part right here. We have a segment of three parts. This one we call triangles, this kinetic over here fractal. So I'm going to start with the triangles. So first thing we get a CAD file the actual measurements of the building. There are people in the office that build up our template files that we will project through. So this is for one of the screens that we projected on or one of the buildings we projected on. We had four different slices of the building and for this one we had a simple setup. We took the plane, the actual geometry of the template and we'd go in there and cut it up with a knife tool and then we added the MoExtrude object to extrude the individual pieces of that geometry. We did that through using a couple of effectors here and you see once as I pull through the animation here you can see what is going on and we have like the shattered different shards pulling through this scene. So if I go into random effector, all that's happening right now is that the random effector is pushing the more MoExtrude -200 in the z-axis and we give it a little bit of a variation with the rotation here. The fall off is this sphere fall, so we are only effecting this area within the sphere. As you can see we kind of pulls through the scene and we animated it. This is just one segment. We kind of did a bunch of versions of this and like for instance if I turn off these guys and turn on the random S-curve this one just kind of swoops through from the top and then comes down and up and down again. We kind of output a bunch of those renders then after effects, we sequence them to the sound. Another element we built in the scene using the same type of geometry we would cut up the pieces in individual polygons. It's the same kind of setup but slightly different cutting up of the different triangle shapes and stuff, put that into a fracture object and then that fracture object is using another set of effectors. The plane color one is...this is what we used to do kind of these dynamic masks that we would use in After Effects. If I open up the... Let me show you a little closer view of the scene. This is the actual output we do, if I fast forward to that part. So we see the little flashing segments there. We did this with these little dynamic masks that we would bring into After Effects and then create like glows and color, change the color on them. And all it is is the plane effector in color mode and if I pull the effector through the scene, it's in linear mode, so the fall off pulls through and we see this kind of changing from black to white. And it's pretty much a dynamic mask. There's a second effector going on here, which is called the random flicker, which is a good example of layer order here. If I were to select all my different rows and I take this random effector and I put it below the plane effector we wouldn't get that same effect anymore with the flashing at the end. So layer order is very important. Put that back up and you can see we get that little kind of lightening effect at the end of the reveal. Like that. And all the random effector is doing is pretty much influencing the plane effector to give that little ripple effect at the end. What else can I show in here? Oh yeah. So when you bring a camera by default into Cinema you kind of... If I pull off the camera and then show the two cameras, this guy here is just a regular camera. He's shooting straight at the scene and it gives you the perspective from that camera but the actual render camera we used was this guy here. It's pretty much has the same setting except for this film offset and what that does is it allows us to use the... This is our output so we need to make sure our output fits the template but we wanted to kind of simulate what it would look like for the viewer on site when they are looking up at the building. So when I switch to the second camera I will have to... Lets get back our geometry here. I'm going to turn on lines so we can see a little bit better. So when I switch to this second camera as you can see it still fitting the template but we skew the perspective. It kind of simulates what it would look like if you'd see it on site. It kind of seals the illusion a little bit better. It's a very simple offset in the film offset in the Y-axis. Let me look at the timeline here and see if there's anything I could speak about. There's one thing I'd like to do. It's important we have a really big team at the Moment and oftentimes songs get shifted around. Sometimes someone else will work on a project. So when we know certain factors are locked, let's say the timing of this random effector sweeping through the scene, if I want to lock it down kind of like what you'd do in After Effects if you were to lock a layer you know you don't want anybody to touch it by accident or move it around you can just click this little button here to lock the time and then you couldn't drag this around anymore like I could say the right one above. Grab this layer. Here I can still change the timing of when that last frame exits but with this one I locked it down. So you can't move this around anymore. It's a useful tool especially towards the end of production you want to make sure nobody makes any mistakes, nothing slips around right before render time. There's a couple of other lock tools. This one will just affect the actual value so you can't drag this key frame and change the value I'll do with this guy. I can change the value still but with this lock to...what's it called? Lock the value. Yeah. You can't lock it anymore. You can't move it up and down so the value sticks but you can still move the time of that value back and forth. And the last one I'd like to use is the lock-tangent value. So here I can move the tangent but I can't change the length of it. So it keeps the curve kind of like I wanted. So if I were to release that you can see here I can drag the tangent around. All right. Next I'm going to talk about kinetic. Kinetic is the sequence here with this gears. We start with this very clean surface. This is supposed to simulate the building itself. Right. So there's nothing going on with the building. So we slowly do this reveal across this building with... To kind of slowly reveal the gears as they start to spin and the sequence starts. I'll show you a little bit more into this one. Hide the timeline. Again we have the four... I'll show you the underlying shape again. This is our template but this time we took the template and we just extruded each of these rows to give it a little bit of a nesting box for our gears. And if I would now... I'm going to reveal just one of these rows and in here I'm going to first start of by shutting everything down. And our base object for this scene if I release the camera and hide, let's hide the second set. So we have this really unique shape here. You never get to see the shape from this angle. You always look at it from here and this shape is going to be rotating in 360 degrees on its X-axis. This little shape here is using two materials one of which is giving this gold reflection and the second of which has this alpha that kind of has a couple of strips in it. And what that does is it allows the gold to shine through parts of the object and other parts of the object are see through. And when looked at from this angle as this object rotates it creates a very interesting effect. - If I were to turn on cloner object... So this is gear A and if I turn this guy on you see this is our full set of gears. We clone the one gear 105 times with the spacing of 37. And we have a second set of gears that when I turn this guy on, this second set fits perfectly, snuggly in between the cracks of the second one. So it creates this kind of teeth motion where they can kind of pull in into each other and they don't intersect. We took this, and if I turn back on my frames or the box that will hold these gears. It's going to be a little bit hard to see. It's in there let me turn off... You can kind of see this line going on across here. This is the actual template. Everything above and below that we don't see in the render. We will mask out in After Effects. Right now our corner objects really just being cloned straight along this line. We wanted to give it a little bit more like it was actually fitting in this raw. So we used two step-effectors to reshape it. There's no animation on these two- step effectors. They just have a little bit of... You see they've distort our object to kind of neatly fit or closer fit inside this frame. Like that. And we dig into the step-effector we are just reducing the scale by -0.75 and we are using...where is it? Yeah we are using the spline here to make minute adjustments to the shape of this object. One thing I like that they've added I think it was two versions ago is that it was really hard to do little detail things in the small box here. Like if you wanted to make micro-adjustments it was very difficult to really get what you wanted. But if you just right-click on this box and you can show this whole thing in a separate window and then enlarge. Here it's much easier to just kind of make your little modifications to the shape. So you kind of like molding the shape of this object. All right. I'll put this on the side. So we use this as a custom form of our cloner object into the shape. And undo this. Secondly the actual animation we are using two plane effectors; one for each of the gear sets. And naming here again this is something I'd like to touch upon. Another thing we are in a big team so naming conventions are very important so that if someone else gets into your project it doesn't take them that long to understand what is actually going on. One thing I like to do is using the saying 'Lights, camera, action. ' So I'll put my lights in the top, then have my camera and then have everything else below it. Inside the actual rows, let's go back to raw three, again I'm using a bit of a naming convention here. Plane 3A corresponds to my gear A and plane 3B is corresponding to my gear B. The two plane effectors pretty much are in linear mode and they have a rotating parameter. The first one for the first set of gears is got a -360 degree and the second set for the second set of gears has a positive rotation and the rotation. So I'm going to back out a little bit and then pull the play head through. Let me turn on render instances that will... Helps speed this up. Oh I got to turn these guys on. There we go. So you see here we have the saw tooth motion of the two sets of gears kind of sawing into each other. Another element we had in the scene for the beginning since we kind of start with this flat surface is the simple bend deformer on a plame or on a rectangular shape. I need to show that it is hidden in my layers. So I'm going to pull off my camera so we get a better view of what's going on. I'm already off. Here is the first set of bend deformers. There's one on this plane and it slowly peels away this shape to reveal the structure underneath. It's very simple. It kind of makes the illusion work. The textures are the same right here so they blend in to each other and slowly reveals it as the other plane effectors come through and rotate our device. And as we go forward towards the end of the song we have a second set of bend deformers that pulls this second plane into the scene and conceals it again. There's a little bit of Espressoing here just to make things easier. Espresso doesn't have to be complicated. I often use Espresso to make simple systems to control my scene. Each of these are pretty much a copy of each other and they represent each of the rows. So the one we are looking at now is row three which would be this set. So I have this custom controller here which is using a bit of user data and it is feeding into my bend deformers. It's pretty much driving where that bend deformer sits in my animation. Right now we have key frame set, so they are set. Let me close this. But if later I wanted to make a change I could just kind of go back to my controller null and change that. And since we had all our different rows showing at the same time or revealing at the same time we would have this one controller controlling all the different sets. Another thing I did here in Espresso is I connected these two visual markers. They are just solely for reference points. The first one is this square null and the second one this triangle and they are linked to the same positioning of the controller. Let's say I was in my project and I had both my... I'm going to hide the other rows here. It just gives me a visual queue of where my bend deformer is if you've watched that green triangle. It gives me a reference queue of where I am in my animation in terms of where that bender former is pulling through the scene and when I go towards the end I have my red square that follows along. It's kind of indicating where conceal is happening. Just a very simple setup. All you need to do is link up the different positions together. This guy is just linking the X and same with the conceal, is linking to the set of the X position. And let's look at the timeline here. So you can see this is the controller that is controlling all the reveal and this one is controlling the concealing again of that plane. Often in the beginning of the project you need to kind of think that through. You might want to have individual control per object if you wanted to offset the animational bit and that is what we are seeing here. These are the plane effectors that are sweeping through the scene for each of the rows. Now with these, I can easily... If I want the first row to start later and the second row to end sooner, you know I have that individual power to effect the individual rows in the sequence. But with the bend deformer, they are all controlled by this one set of key frames. So this is something you need to kind of plan ahead, think about it. If you know that something can be controlled by one object, you can make a controller and then make things a lot easier. And then something I like to do sometimes is just add this information to my hud, if I can go to... - Where is that? User interface. At the hud. And you have to hold option to move this guy around. And here I can easily access that controller. It will go away when I'm not selecting the actual object but if you want it to be persistent just give it a right click. All right. Show and always. So now no matter where I am in the scene if I'm on other objects I can still go in here and change that parameter. So I'm going to do a quick little render of the close up to just show the material. Oh we are hidden. Another useful tool that I like to use is just the filter menu here. Often we output this renders and we'll go into After Effects and we'll tweak the colors, we'll increase the saturation, play with the curves to get what the final look we are looking for. But you can get a little bit of control straight in Cinema 4D where you can kind of tweak, get an idea of if you are on the right track in terms of like the materials and add a couple of points here. Okay that is not working. Filter. There. So you can turn that on and off. It's just for visualization purposes. At least that's how I use it. Just to get an idea if I'm on the right track I will go into After Effects and the tweak the final colors. All right. And then the third part... We have this thing which we call the fractal. It also starts on a clean, clean surface. And then we have a couple of effectors going through the scene distorting our object. So let's open that project. The background is simple plane. Let me turn off my slices here. We have a plane with a gold reflection material and I put a displacer on it. This displacer has a noise which has a little bit of animation in it and that creates slower ripple effect. Let me turn of the sub-divisions and some lines so we can see a little better. So we have this simple ripple effect. Put that into a sub-divide just to get a little bit more detail because the quality of the mesh wasn't high enough but that allowed us to visualize a little bit quicker of what we were doing. That's the background and now the meat of the project we have these slices. I'm going to turn off my elements here and break it down. I'll pull off the camera. Let's hide our effectors... and our lights. And here we got our lonely single null. This guy is doing pretty much giving us the underlying structure of the shape. We are using this null in a cloner object. I'll turn this guy on. And oh yeah we got our null hidden. Turn these guys off. So all this cloner is doing is duplicating our null along the X-axis, spacing of 25, 200 times. And we going to feed this null or this set of clones into a tracer object and with the connector objects turned on, we going to get a connection between all the different nulls. Here we go. So you see the tracer object is going to just connect them all together. And then we want to give it a bit of shape so I put in a little bit of rectangle spline and then sweep that all together and we get this shape. Why is this so short? Wait. Hold on. Okay. So it's sweeping along the shape. We got our basic geometry here and it's shorter right now, why? Oh yeah the spacing. There we go. So this is with the effectors on. So if we are going to turn off the effectors... We have our shape. I'm going to take that shape and put it into a null and then that with a null the cloner object throw that into another null and throw that into our clone slices. What this is doing is just duplicating this strip multiple times to give us the full object. Turn off the... So that cloner object is pretty much moving each of these duplicates by 48 and then so they would all fit together perfectly. And when we put in a couple of random effectors, get this effect here where they would kind of distort all the different nulls and then create our shape. If I turn on that light it will give us a little better view here. Til we start with a clean shape and then as the two effectors, I'm going to make those visible, as they are pulled through the scene they are distorting each of those nulls and then creating this kind of ripple effect. So I'm going to create this guy from scratch just to make it a little bit more clear. We start with the null. And just to make this a little bit more easier to see I'm going to make it a triangle. Lets make it blue. I'm going to throw that into a cloner object. I'm going to hold ALT. It will make it an automatic child of a cloner object. We want to clone that guy let's say ten times on the X-axis or Z. So we have the underlying structure here with the nulls. With the cloner object selected, I'm going to go in and pull in my tracer object and I will automatically populate the trace link. If you don't have the selector you could just drag this guy in there. What's important here is that we want to connect all the objects and it will create that connection between all our nulls. And then we want to give this a bit of shape. So we are going to pull in our profile. It's going to be this square spline. I'm going to shrink it down and switch. And we want to sweep it. So rectangle and the tracer object into the sweep object then we got our slice here. You may want to thin that a little bit so I'm just going to change my parameters of my rectangle. And now let's say we want a little bit of action now. I'm going to pull in a couple of effects. There's something I love to do in Cinema is just have my play head constantly playing and just kind just experimenting with different parameters. So I'm going to pull in a couple of effectors with my cloner object selected. Just pull in the random. You going to want to reduce this a little bit. Let's give the random effector some turbulence. That's a bit too quick. We are starting to get what we had before. As you can see there are all hard angles at the moment and the reason for that is our tracer object is in linear mode so we going to want that to be a v-spline and our intermediate points I'm going to set that to natural and there we get our clean curve. I'm going to reduce the size of this guy a little bit. And then we add this object multiple times. So I'm going to throw this into a null and then select another cloner object. This is another good example of not what I wanted but the reason for this is the layer order to the effectors. No. I should say the sweep and the cloner object. You see the effector is having effect on the actual nulls but the sweep object itself is not following suit. All I need to do is switch the order here and there we go. Right now my fall off is infinite so if I wanted to sweep through my object I can turn this to sphere mode and then I just pull through for the animation. We kind of like had a combination of the movement of these and the strength parameter to bring down the amount of influence that the random effector had. So we would start off with this at the beginning of the sequence and slowly bring up our strength parameter as we sweep our fall off effector through the scene and we get this effect. If we can go back to the comp. I have a little bit of-- We did add a little bit of displacer on top of the random effector just to give a little bit more of variety to our displacement and if I turn that guy on you could see that this placement is also using a noise map with a little bit of animation. And it gives a little bit more variance in how... I'm going to hide the nulls because... There we go. It creates a little bit of more variance here in each of our slices. I have also a little of expresso in this project. Very simple. I'm going to turn off our displacer and... So all this is doing is also using some user data on my slices null to control the width and height of each of our slices. So that's pretty much feeding the rectangle profile that we are using to sweep along our object and it's also affecting the spacing of each individual slice in our cloner array. So let's say the client is very happy with the animation and they are looking at it and they are like, 'It looks a little bit too much like fettuccine, I was picturing more spaghetti. ' So I'd go in there, the animation stays and I could just change this value let's say down to 10 or some little less extreme, 20, and it will thin out each of these slices and since it is connected to my cloner slices over here, it will also affect the count involved in the spacing. So it will all adapt to each other just with this simple bit of Espresso. What else can I show? I didn't show... The triangles here. If I wanted to show a quick breakdown I'm going to start a new project. Start with the plane. It's important to bring this down to no segments because I want to get in there with a knife tool and cut my own types of segments. So I'm going to make my plane editable with C. Bring out my knife tool with K and just go in there with polygon mode and and just cut some slices into it, like that. And let's say that's what I was looking for now. I'm going to pull in the MoExtrude object. Make that a child and by default the MoExtrude is already doing some stuff but I kind of want it to start really flat. I want to simulate the flat side of the building kind of to create the illusion. So I'm going to bring all my parameters for my MoExtrude down to zero and this is one. So when I pull in my effector this should work. I think now it's working. I'll turn on my fall off because I don't want to affect the whole object the same time. There we go. And then we kind of just animated this object, the effector going through the scene and it would allow us to kind of pop out each of these individual shots as we animated through the actual building surface. And I think we added a little bit of rotation to give it a bit of variance. It'd go into the parameter, just a slight bit of rotation and a little bit of animation in the turbulence. There you go. You get the idea. Okay. Great. We are down to six minutes. I think I'm going to finish off with one more... I have one more reel of what we've worked on in 2013, some very interesting projects. So I brought that guy along too and I got to show that. - Well thanks for having me.
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