Siggraph 2015 Rewind - Eric Demeusy: Previz to Final Shot with Cinema 4D and Octane

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Sculpting, Character Object & Animation, Subsurface Scattering in short film VFX.

See how Eric Demeusy used Cinema 4D Sculpting and Character Animation tools in his short film "Video". Eric used the sculpting tools to adapt a preset mesh and create an alien character, then rigged the alien using the Character Object. He then used Subsurface Scattering in the lighting and shading of the alien.

Eric also shows a domino animation he worked on for a Toyota commercial, and demonstrates how simple it is to create a domino simulation in Cinema 4D's Rigid-Body dynamics engine.

03:23Project Scale
05:06Sculpting the Alien
08:44Baking a Low-Res Mesh
12:32Rigging the Alien with C4D's Character Object
20:48Adding Eyes to Character
23:20Lighting and Shading / Subsurface Scattering
29:24Animating the Alien
35:03Lighting the Scene
38:47Toyota Dominoes



- [Eric] So, my name is Eric Demeusy, I'm a film maker based here in Los Angeles. I also work as an animator for film and television. I use Cinema 4D for all of my projects, whether it's just pre-vis or finalizing visual effects shots. A few months back we shot a short film that we Cinema 4D for some of the visual effects. The short film is about six minutes long, so I brought just a trailer along that has the shots that I'm going to talk about today. S, I'm just going to go ahead and show you that and then after I show you this, I'm going to dive in to it a little bit and break down some of the shots for you. - [Male] Hey. It's day 134. I've been meditating for an hour everyday. And one thing I can say is it makes my dreams way more vivid. It's kind of frightening actually. You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you're on a roller coaster, it just gets upset-- and just as I got comfortable... - Hey, did you see the meteor? - [voice on phone] . You should get out of there... [inaudible 01:05] - Hello? Dude, I am out of here! [screaming] - All right, so, we shot that a few months back. It took us about three weeks to make. It's a simpler type of short. If you wanted to watch the whole thing, if you're watching on Cinema 4D or C4D Live, I think there's a link to my bio, a link in my bio to the website, that you can check out the ful thing there. So I have never done, the shot I'm going to talk about a little is the alien shot. So, for this I did a completely CG character that was completely done in Cinema 4D. I've never done a full 3D character before but I know a little bit about the character tools and the sculpting in Cinema 4D which allowed it, which was really easy to create just using Cinema alone. So, I created the whole thing, it was sculpted, rigged, animated, lit and rendered all in Cinema 4D using just things that are native to Cinema 4D, no third party plug-ins or anything like that. I started working on the creature before we shot anything just to see if I could even get close to what I wanted to achieve. And I started messing with the sculpting tools and quickly realized that, "Yeah, I think that I can make this work." So I'm just going to dive right in and start breaking down the shot, showing you how I created it. I'm going to go and open this in R16. So, it's kind-of in the found-footage genre, it's a simpler thing to make but technically it's not found footage because the longer version of this story is that he comes back, returns to earth three days later and he has to use this video to try and prove to everybody that he was actually abducted by aliens. So, here it is. In Cinema right here I started with, I started sculpting with just a base model which was just like a human, a T-pose of a man. And if you go in to the Content browser in Cinema 4D, if you go in to Presets, Sculpting, and then Base Meshes, I just grabbed this male base right here. And this is what I started using. The very first thing that I wanted to do is just to make sure, I want to always make sure that my scene's in scale. So I want to make sure that this guy is about six feet tall. The alien's probably going to be a little bit taller but the way I normally do that is I'll just create a cube, sort-of as a ruler. Over here you can see that the coordinates are in centimeters, but if I want six feet, I just type "six F-T, feet" and it will convert that to however many centimeters six feet is. But I can also go over here and I'm just going to change my preferences and go in to the Units and change this from centimeters to feet, and now I can see the cube over here in feet. So I'm going to just scale this to like a foot, this thing's six feet tall. I literally just match this up to the guy, move it next to him, grab the guy and scale him up just a little bit to match and then, that's, that's pretty good. So that's a start. So now I know that everything that I do when I go in to track the live action plate later on, everything is going to match up to scene. When I use subsurface scattering or any of the lighting, I can use the physical render and it's all going to react the way that the world would actually react that, to the plate that we shot. So the first thing that I did, if you go in to, now I'm going to talk a little bit about the sculpting tools in Cinema. What you do to start with that, I'm going to drag this mesh out of the null object real quick, and just start off with this. First, I'm going to turn off the Wire Frame mode so I can just see it without the wire frames. If I just go in to Options, Configure All, select Wire Frame, I'll turn that off. All right. So the sculpting tools, you go to Layout and you go to Sculpting here. If I hit Subdivide and I go back here you can see that, let me undo that really quick, when I hit Subdivide you can see that it adds a little tag here to the side. This is the sculpting tag. So this is what allows me to sculpt in Cinema on top of the mesh and it kind-of acts as like a displacer. So when I click on this, these are all my sculpting tools right here and what I really love about this is that it's really simple. There's not a ton of tools. And I've done some sculpting with clay before like creatures and things, and when you're sculpting like that, you're really just using your hands. You're just pulling and pushing clay around, you have a few tools at the end. You've got like textures that you stamp on and stuff. So this is cool because it's really simple. So all I did was take the Pull tool right here, and you can see like when you start pulling stuff it's starts pulling it out. I'm going to subdivide it one more time, that's going to give me like 2,000, 7,000 polygons, subdivide it again, and it gets a little bit smoother. I just want to make sure that all of my tools are linked over here. So, I'm going to link the size, the pressure and the symmetry. And this is what I did when I was like, "Can I even sculpt an alien? I've never even really done this before." So I just like turned this up. I took the Pull tool. If you hit Command, it inverts the option, so it just kind-of like squeezes it inwards. So all I did was went around this character and just started, let me just turn up the size of this brush really quick, and I just started sculpting on this guy to get him skinnier. I wanted it to look, I wanted it to look like what we would think is like a real alien. I didn't want it to be like some highly stylized, sci-fi version of an alien. I wanted it be like what a gray alien, like what you would actually imagine a real alien to be. And then I can take the Smooth tool and start smoothing things out. Let me turn this up a little bit. And then if I take the Grab tool, I can just grab like his arms and kind-of pull it out, and just make like his limbs a little bit longer and things like that. And this is all I did, like literally I sat here for like ten minutes and got a basic model going and what I ended up with is this guy right here. And this is the alien, and you can see it's got the sculpting tag here off to the left but if I delete that tag, that's the base mesh that I started with. And then if you go over here in to the Sculpting Layers, you can see I have four layers, four levels. These are like the different subdivide levels that I have on the base mesh. And if I go down to three, you can see like the iterations kind-of of what I was doing. This is kind-of like, what I just showed you guys, how I was just messing around and stretching him out. Well if you keep going on that, you know, you keep refining it, get a little bit more, get a little bit more and then a little bit more detail, this is what I ended up with. And you can, so that's pretty much it. Now I have the base mesh with the Sculpting tag applied to it and the next thing that I want to do is I want to rig this character up. And I did that in Cinema as well. The first thing you want to make sure that you do when you're rigging something is make sure that your mesh is really low polygon or as low as you can get it because when you get in to weighting, it becomes very difficult to weight a lot of polygons. So I'm going to go back over here to my mesh options and you can see when I click on this, there's almost half a million polygons on this. When I zoom in there are tons of polygons and I want to limit that to be a lot less. So the sculpting tools allow me to do that in Cinema. I'm going to go head and turn this thing back off so I don't see the wire frame. So, what you do is inside of the sculpting tools, you can go down to Bake Sculpt Object and this is going to allow me to output a low mesh model with a high res displacement map that's attached to it. So, here are my settings right here. If I go in to Options I can export a displacement map, a normal map and an ambient inclusion, so it will bake in the ambient inclusion with it. And I usually just put a really high res output so it gets a lot of detail. And so, here we go, this is the main thing right here. I've got Source Object, and I've got Target Object. Now the really cool thing about Cinema 4D is that if there's anything that you want to know, you literally can just open up the program and navigate around. And if you're curious about something, all you have to do is just right-click on that thing. So like, "What's the Source Object? What does that mean?" If I just right-click on it and I go to Show Help, it opens up the help menu specifically to what you clicked on. So here you can see that I'm in Baking Sculpt Objects. Now if I go down here I can see this is an example that tells me about the Target Object and the Source Object. So what it says is that the Target Object is going to give me a low mesh object and then the Source Object is going to tell me what level of detail it's going to apply to it using the normal and displacement map. So I'm going to go in here and I'm going to say, okay, the Target Object, I want it to be a level one, that's going to be kind-of a low polygon mesh. And then I'm going to say level four for the displacement, and that's what's going to be applied as a texture on to my model. So if I click level one and I click level four and I hit Bake, it'll usually take like one or two minutes to do, but I've already done it here. And it's going to automatically spit out a model and the texture already applied to it using the Normals Map and the Displacement Map, and then the Ambient Inclusion if you want. So I'm just turning that on right now to check it out. And I'm going to go back over here in to my Standard View. So, this is what it put out. Out of the sculpting layout. Now if I click on the alien and I go back in to the mesh view you can see that now I have a lot less polygons which is going to be really good to work with later on when I have to weight it. So it just put out a low res version of it. If I go to render this thing, that's when you'll see the Displacement Texture applied to this model. I'm going to go in and try and see if I can turn down the render settings a little bit. So now you can see it looks a little bit closer to what I had sculpted. If I let it sit there for a second. So that's good. It's not low-res. It's got the Displacement Map applied to it, that's perfect. And so then that's pretty much it. I've sculpted it, and then I've baked out a low-res mesh. Now the next thing I want to do is, I want to rig it. It's extremely, I love Cinema's character tools. It's extremely easy to rig characters in Cinema 4D. I've tried it before and I had to go through the whole set-up of creating all these null objects and these bones, and it felt like I was writing my own program. It was extremely complicated and I would just quit every time. But in Cinema they came out with the character tools and it's really easy. So I'm going to show you how to do that. If you just click on Character, Make a Character Object, in the Settings here when you go Build, if you just hit Root, that gives you like a, well here, actually first, there's different templates. So you can have like a bi-ped creature, a bird, a fish, insect, quadruped, reptile, wings like if you want a butterfly or a bird or something. So for this one I'm just going to select Bi-ped. And if I hit Root, that gives me my base for the character. And then if I go in, I'm on the Root, and I hit Spine, that's going to give me three points for my spine. And now if I control-click on the arm, that's going to give me two arms, the right and the left one. If I hit control-click on the thumb, that's going to give me a right and left thumb. And then on each on of the hands, I have fingers on it so I want to add some fingers as well. So if I click on the left arm and I just add four more fingers, so two, three and four. And then I want to do the same thing on the right side, so add one, two, three and four. All right. So now I have five fingers on each hand. And then if I go back to the spine and I want to do the legs, I control-click the legs, that gives me a set of legs. And then go back to the spine, and the last thing is I just want a head. So click that and it gives me a head controller. So that's it. I have a rig now but it's not lined up to my character. But lining it up to your character and binding it is extremely easy as well. So I just go back to the Character tab. After I've built it I just go over to Adjust and now all these little points right here, all I have to do is just move them in to place. If I go in to Objects, there's Components. There's also controllers. So this just gives me a sense of like where my controllers are going to be, like, all these little circles right here, like the white ones, that's going to be like where I can grab my elbow and bend it or move it around or grab the hand. So you can kind of see what points you're going to be able to animate. So I'm going to go back to Components and then if I just grab the spine, the base of it, and I'm in Object mode, and you just want to drag it up, use the, I can use like a quad-view here and kind of see what I'm doing better. And all you want to do is just drag all these points in to play. So, if I grab this, let's see, I want to grab the elbow, move that where the elbow is and you just want to take a little time to do this because once you bind it these are going to be the actual points where your character is going to bend. So you want to make sure that it's in the exact center of the knee, but you get the idea. You just go through and you line these up to your character. That's pretty much it. Same thing with the hand. It's a little bit more tedious because there's more points but all you have to do is just make sure that everything's lined up and once you do that I have a rig already set up that I did that with. So, this is the rig after I've lined it up to the character. And these are the controllers. If I go back to components, let me see, click on this one. If I go back to Components, you can see these were all the dots that I was doing. And now you can see the hand is all lined up as it's supposed to be, all the points are matched up. So that is pretty much it, the controllers, and then, so that's it. It's lined up. My character should be totally good to go. All I need to do is just bind that mesh to the rig. So now what I'm going to do is if I click on the alien rig, I just click on Binding and then I go to my mesh, the alien that I created and I'm just going to drag that in to the binding. And now it's bound it to the model. If I now click on Animate, I should be able to just click on any, so now, if I drop this down you can see these are all the components that I made. But what I want to do and this is what's so awesome, that it automatically creates all this stuff, is if I go to Display, Managers, and if I select Full Hierarchy you can see this is what I was talking about earlier when I talked about trying to create a character rig before, all of this stuff you had to create manually by hand, but with the Character Tools, Cinema does all that stuff for you right there. So, this might be a lot, so you say, "Well, I just want to see like the Controllers." So you just here and now I can just see the Controllers. And so if I go to the head, you can see the head, I'm able to move it. And this brings me to my next point. The chin is staying in one spot. So when you bind your objects to your character rig, Cinema automatically weights your character. So some of this stuff you need to go in an adjust. Like this for instance, I need to re-weight it. So I need to tell the chin to become part of the head so it's all whole. And what I do is I just go back in to the Character Object, go to my Weight Tools, and then in my Character Object, let's see, if I click on the head, I'm going to go to my Character Object and I'm going to select Full Hierarchy. I'm going to go to my head, this is like the bone. So you can see here that everything that is pink is moving with the head full-on, and anything that's black is getting stuck in place. So, and I'm figuring all this out as I'm going. And I'm animating things and things are like sticking off in place and all I have to do is go, "Aw, man, my elbow, it's not moving right." So I just go in, go the Weight Tools, and I say, "Okay, the chin is not moving properly." So, I just like paint in the rest of this pink and then it should start locking in to place. My mesh is matching up with the rest of my character, just making sure that any of these little black shades are fully painted in pink and taken care of. And then that will lock, it should, it will move the mesh back in to place as it should be. And so, that's pretty good. So, then I click off of that and then I'm going to go back to Full Hierarchy. I'm going to leave it in Full Hierarchy for now just so I can see everything. And then this is it so my head's moving properly now. And then again, if I go to Render Preview This, you can see that the alien has more detail the way that it had when I sculpted it. And this is going to work fine because of the shot that we had in the short is a wide angle shot, so you don't see too much detail. The next thing after weighting it, I'm just going to, let me put the head back in to position. The head controller is, here's the coordinates. Another cool thing is so like, all the finger joints, if I go in here and find one of the fingers, let's go in to the right hand, if I grab on to one of the finger nulls, and I go in to the Controller, it's got all these settings for me, like I've got Bend, Curl, Spades moves it side-to-side. These were all things that were just automatically created when I bound it to the object. So this gives me like a ton of animation control and it didn't take me very long to make at all. So I'm just going to zero that stuff back out. The next thing that I did was created the eyeballs. So if I'm going to create eyeballs but the eyeballs are part of the mesh that I created so how am I going to get the eyeballs to lock up with my mesh? Well, for the eyeballs, we just want like a simple sphere. And this is cool, like I ended up going back in later on and adding simple pieces of geometry for eyelids and stuff and then I could go in to that and the way that I'm going to set this up, you'll see, I'm going to use Symmetry. I just animate one eyelid and it animates for both of them, and it all sticks to the character in the head. So this guy's got big eyeballs because he's an alien. Let me just shrink this down a little bit more though. Once I move this in to place I can use a Symmetry Object. If I go up here, Create Symmetry, and then I drop the sphere in to the Symmetry you can see now that that automatically duplicated the eye, so now I have two of them. So whatever I do to one it does to the other. But now like I was saying, if I want to link this up to my character and that's not part of the mesh, so if I move the head the eyeballs stay in place. Well all I need to do is just grab the Symmetry Object and drag it in to the Head Controller. So now it's a child of the Head Controller and then when I move the Head Controller the eyeballs go with it. And you can do that with anything. If you want to put an object in the guy's hand you just put it in the Hand Controller and it will move with it. And that's pretty much it. So now the character is pretty much rigged up. You go to click on any of these Controllers, if I click on, let me see if I can grab the spine or something, if I grab the elbow, you can see I can move all this stuff and it's IK rigged. You should be able to grab any of this stuff and it moves, the feet will stay in one place. So when I'm animating, if I'm just moving this, and I move it forward, his feet stay in place. So in the shot we have he's walking on the ground and I need his feet to lock in to place, this does all that already. So then the next thing that I did was I started messing with figuring out the lighting. This was the look development ahead of time and I was able to work on this before we started shooting. But I wanted to give him subsurface scattering to make his skin look a little bit translucent. This is a little bit too much but it is a good starting point. I wouldn't really know how much subsurface scattering to put until I put him in to the shot but the way that I did that is by adding a little bit of subsurface scattering and some textures here. Let me see, turn the alien back on. And the subsurface scattering is pretty easy to do in Cinema and the texture is literally in the luminance channel, and it's an effect that you apply and then you just start messing with it. So while that's loading up a little bit, these are a couple of images of animating it. When I went in to animating the character, I didn't really know, I'd never really animated a character this full-on because there are a lot of different controllers. When you're animating a full 3D character there's like 25 controllers, there's like three different parameters, and then you have six different coordinates, you've got your X, Y, Z, and all your different rotations. So there's tons and tons of key frames, and tons of things to animate and it was really difficult to get that looking good. But I'll talk about the animation in a second. So for the alien just to get him textured, just turn on a light here and I'm going to show you how to add the subsurface scattering to him. Now if we go in to the Texture Settings, you can also see, I'm going to show you the textures that the Sculpting tool put out that's allowing this character to be low-res with a high-res render and that's just normal map and the displacement map. All right, here we go. Now if we go in to the normal map, this is what the Sculpting tool had put out. So it automatically UV'd it, it gave me a normal map and it plugged it right in to the channel for me. Also the same thing with displacement. It gave me a displacement map for it. It also gave me ambient occlusion if I wanted to do that so I can save time on rendering later. So now for this, I'm going to go in and just turn, make sure my render settings are turned down a little bit because i'm going to do like a live kind-of preview as I'm texturing it because that always helps. It looks like my settings are turned down quite a bit. I can use this interactive render region in Cinema and you can choose how much, what you want to render just by dragging this window around. So let's say I just want to check out just this part right here and I can turn down the settings so I can make it really low resolution or I can crank it way up and make it high resolution. So for right now I'm just going to turn it about halfway in between and this will help me see as I'm lighting it. So as you can see right now this is just a flat texture with just like a single light and this is like how all 3D was done in the 90s, with no subsurface scattering until Gollum came around in Lord of the Rings and they invented this. If I go in to my texture here, I double click on that, I go in to the Luminance and I turn it on, now you can see my character just turned completely white, take a second for the render. And then I go in to, this is the easy part, you just go in to Texture, Effects, Subsurface Scattering, and right off the bat it's just going to give me kind-of a generic look. So you can see where the light is hitting it's a little bit brighter and on the right side it's a little bit darker. What I want to try and do though, it's giving me way too much, I just want to turn it down a little bit. So I'm going to go like .005 and see if I can do that. It will take a little bit to update. This it the live preview and I can turn it down a little bit if I want to get quicker results. So say I turn it down to about here. So I turned the path down a little bit because I want the light to go a shorter amount of distance through the character. So now you can see it's like really low-res so I'm just going to turn it back up just a little bit. And now you should start to see some of the results, specifically around the eye you'll see that there's a little bit more light coming through. And compared to before if I turn the Luminance off, that's just the flat shaded one and then this is turning the subsurface scattering on. So that's pretty good. That's what I did when I went through and did the Look Dev for this. This thing right here, that's literally all that it was and then once I got it in to the actual shot I was able to crank it up or down depending on what the lighting was like. So that's it. And then, for the skin texture I have just kind-of like a green, sort of gray shaded texture here. And what I did for the skin was just like a really simple, I didn't really want that much detail. All I did was take like a skin texture and tinted it kind-of green and that's all I did. I plugged that in to it. And then the next thing, I'm going to talk a little bit about animation now. So I'm going to open up the final shot that I had here which is shot 100 ED3, say No, it changes to that. So when I did the animation in this, like I said, I had never done any character animation this involved and I didn't even really know if I could do it or not. But the rigging tool made it really easy for me to do that. All right, cool, so this is the final shot. This is the shot right here in Cinema. So now you can see I have the character, I have the 3D character placed here in the scene and then I brought in the live action footage just by loading the footage in to the Luminance channel, which the Luminance channel is kind-of just like a light source so I can see it unshaded. And then I put it on a background object here which just shows everything in the background. I can put a color or whatever. And then if I click on the tag here and I go in to Editor and I click on Animate Preview, that allows me to scrub through and see it. So I track the shot in PF Track, Exported it as a Lightwave file, brought it in to Cinema and as you can see I only tracked just the part where I needed, where the alien is coming out of the bush. And then when I went in to animating it, let me open up the animation project. So here's the animation project right here and I had to redo the animation on this tons of times, probably five different times. I literally animated it, it sucked and I just crumpled it up and threw it away and started over from scratch. This is one of the first animations that I did and you can see that it just like, once I started doing this I could tell, like, this was going to be really hard because there's a lot of nuances that you don't realize when you're going in to character animation that's really difficult, especially with a bi-ped character like this. I mean, we see people walking around all day, so it's hard to replicate that. So that was like my first attempt and I was like, "All right, I'm just going to try it again." So I think this is like the second one. Oh, so what I ended up doing was I kept trying to do it with like linear key frames and stuff and then I was like, "Well, I've seen a lot of animators, they'll do like pose frames, where you just do like still frames, kind-of, stop frames." So I was like, "Well, I do that. We had reference footage of an actor walking out from behind the bush and so I was able to see like what the timing was supposed to be. And so this is what I ended up doing, just doing like stop key frames. And then I think this was the next one here. And then I went from that and then I started trying to smooth the key frames out and I'm not animating any of the feet, you can see now, like if you look at it, like, there's all these controls that are in the feet that have to be animated and all I'm doing literally is trying to get the legs moving and the thing moving around. I couldn't get it right, and I kept failing, and I was like, "All right." So I just started looking up tutorials, trying to figure out like what's the golden rule behind animation, what's the secret, like how do people do this kind of stuff? And I was looking at tutorials and people were talking about interpreting key frames, making sure you have the right bezier curves and linear curves. And I was like, "Yeah, I know that kind of stuff but like how do you make it look real? There must be some sort of algorithm to the feet cycle, like the way that it walks." So then I started thinking, "Who's the best animator?" So I started looking at interviews of John Lasseter, the Head of Pixar. And I was watching this BBC documentary where he was talking and he said the one thing you have to know about animation in general and specifically computer animation is that you get nothing for free. And he went on to say that you look at a Pixar film and the incredible detail that's in there, Finding Nemo, all the floating dust that's int he water, and the light that's coming in, all of that stuff had to be thought of, had to be designed, had to be modeled. And that's why their films take four years to make. That was when they were making Finding Nemo. And that was like a revelation to me, I was like, "Oh, wow, it just takes a lot of work, a lot of time, like a ton of detail." And then I started realizing well wait, the animation in the beginning was all cell animation, it was every single frame. You draw every single frame and here I was thinking I needed just a few key frames and it would work out properly. But once I figured that out, like, if I just put a bunch of detail and I just started refining and sort-of refining it, I took the animation that I had and I would just go in to every single detail, even if I had to set a key frame for every since frame for all the parameters, that's what I would do. So I just started refining and refining and I started getting a little bit closer and adding a little bit of arm movement, and I can get the weight shifting right, adding a little bit of detail, like his hand moves a little bit like his fingers or something, yeah, like right there. Just little bits of animation detail but the big thing was getting him to move on and off screen right. And then the final shot that I ended up, this is the final animation. Let me go in to the actual project file I had open. So this is the final one right here. And then I have him animated, this is what I had. This is what I ended up with. And so that was it. Just after a lot of work and a lot of detail I ended up getting it to a place that I was happy with and then the next thing that I needed to do what light it. And so, let's see, I think these are the actual lights that I used. I actually, first, I lit it one time and I rendered it out and it looked kind-of weird and I just showed one of my friends, like, "Hey, what do you think about this?" And he's like, "Oh, the lighting looks fake." And I like to do that. I like to get a lot of feedback because I like people to be honest and give me criticism and say, "No, this doesn't look good. You need to do this, " so I can try and make it look as good as I possibly can. So the light rig that I set up, it was just two area lights, let's see if I can get out of the camera. I'm going to turn the background off. The lighting that day was pretty diffused lighting. It was overcast so what I did was I just went for two Area lights. So, I added these lights, you got, the type is Area on the shadows, Area, so that's going to... Area shadow reacts more realistically to the way light is. So the closer it is to the object, the harder the light source. The further away that it is, the softer the shadow is. Let's see if I can preview. So I've got the preview on here, and I turned the background on and I'm just going to turn this down to half-way. Let's see if I can do it. What I was doing before with the subsurface scattering, here's where I really fine-tuned it and tried to get it to look real. I didn't really have anything as far as skin to reference in this scene, but like I said we had the actor coming out. I'm not in the camera. But so to me that looked pretty good. And you know, it's like, the footage was shot with an HVX-200, it's not a red, it's not high definition but it was supposed to be this guy documenting himself so this worked and I was able to comp it in and degrade it a little bit to not look so perfect. And that was pretty much it, rendered it out and comped it. I'm just going to show you that last little piece again so you can see how it turned out. - Dude, I am out of here! Hey. It's day 134. I've been meditating for an hour everyday. And one thing I can say is it makes my dreams way more vivid. It's kind of frightening actually. You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you're on a roller coaster, it just gets upset-- and just as I got comfortable... - Hey, did you see the meteor? - You should get out of there... - Hello? Dude, I am out of here! [screaming] - So, that was the shot that I was just showing you guys and in the short that shot is like ten seconds long. So I put it online today. It's on Vimeo if you guys want to check it out. If you're on C4D Live, there should be a link to my website in the bio that you can check it out. So that's pretty much it for the way that I created this alien in the project. The next thing I want to show is a project that we did last year that I worked as an animator on. We did this Toyota commercial with a bunch of dominoes. So the whole thing was done using dynamics inside of Cinema 4D. So let me just show you that thing real quick. Okay so, like I said that commercial was created in Cinema 4D, all the dominoes were animated with real dynamics using Cinema 4D. Now that was probably the biggest, the most integrated pipeline job that I've ever worked on that had a really solid pipeline for Cinema 4D. We had several different artists that were working on it. We had people that were, we'd create the domino, it would be, we used the xREF system inside of Cinema and if you don't know what that is, it's basically you can open up scene files in different projects. So you can save a project file and then you can open that project in another project. So what we would do is we would model the domino and we'd have a proxy for that domino and everybody on the team would use that. Then it would go to the animators. We would animate it with the dynamics. We would bake that, save it out, and then a lighting TD would open that animation project file, light it and render it out. And if we ever needed at any point to change the color on a domino, the detail on a domino, the texture on it, whatever it was, we could change it on the one project file, save it and it would update through the entire production line and it worked really, really well. And so I'm going to talk just a little bit about Cinema's Dynamics. It's a really cool feature so I'm going to show you just a little bit about how we did that. First, I'm just going to change my preferences so that my units are set to inches, because we're really small on this one. I think the dominoes, it was kind-of cool, it was kind of fun to work on that because we had, I'm going to set this to like 1.5 inches tall. We had, let me just set this to like one, one, okay, so that's an actual inch and we want to make sure that we're always working to scale because we had motion tracked, motion control cameras that went out that we had to create and then they used those. So we just need to make sure that everything's at scale. So we had dominoes in the office for reference that we would set up and knock down and see how they actually fell and all that kind of stuff. So here we go, this is a domino here that we created and then if I create a Cloner object and I just throw this domino in there, just change, right now it's set to linear, so it's like all these clones are just shooting straight up. I'm going to change it to the Z and go one, actually go to the X and try one. Now my dominoes are going in a line and I can just turn the count way up. And so, let's see, now what I want to do is I want the dominoes, like right now the dominoes are kind-of through the floor for everything that I need to set up after this I want to make sure that my access point is right at the base of the domino. So I set it there at the base, that's good. And now when I go back in to the Cloner object, all the clones are now set at the base like this. And then it's pretty easy. I'll just show you a quick little step. If I just create a floor, I go in to Simulation tags, I go Collider Body for the floor. For the dominoes I'm going to do Rigid Body. Then inside of the Rigid Body tag, I'm going to make sure that I have individual elements turned to All, so that's going to apply this dynamics tag to everything that's inside of the Cloner object. And then I'm going to create a cube and basically the cube is what I use just to get the dominoes started. It's kind-of like your finger knocking it over and I just put this right at the beginning. Let me grab this tool here. And then, all I'm going to do is, see, I'm going to animate it along the X so I'm just going to hit a key frame on zero, I'm going to go to ten and scoot it through the domino, hit a key frame on zero and then I'm going to apply also a Simulation tag, a Collider Body to that, and if I hit Play, you can see I start to get something here. Now, your first result is just like standard out of Cinema, so you can see there's a lot of weird stuff going on and I actually have some of the renders I did. There are the first dynamics tests that I did and you can see that some of them right off the bat, you start and they start going weird and doing their own thing. Some of them were really interesting. But we were looking at a lot of reference online. There's this guy on YouTube that builds like these really crazy, elaborate dominoes set ups. So it goes off the table to the floor and across the wall, and up the ceiling and knocks down a giant pyramid. So we were looking at that for a reference for the way that the dominoes can be knocked over. So this is one of them where you can see these ones in the foreground here, the ones in the foreground, this was like a certain type of domino set-up and I was like, "All right, let's see if we can just do it for real with dynamics in Cinema, " and it worked pretty well. Same thing here. Now the front one is like every time the domino hits the one that's on the floor, that shakes a little bit and knocks the other one over. Here's another version of that one. And so we tried to do it as realistic as possible and then sometimes you get client feedback and it's like, Oh, we don't want them to bounce as much, you know, even though that's what it would really do, you can adjust it. So if something looked weird, so like this right now. I've created this and this is kind of weird. The first thing that I'm going to do is if I go to the floor and I click on the dynamics tag that's there, I can turn the friction up to 50. So that's going to like, I'll turn it up there, and I'll also turn it up on the Cloner object, I'll turn it up to 50, that's going to make the dominoes stick to the floor a little bit better. But now one thing that we have after they're knocked down, they're kind-of like, shaking around a little bit. It's like, "Well, how do we get rid of that?" If we go in to the Project Settings down here, we can go to Dynamics, and we can go to the Steps Per Frame. If we turn that up to like 12, that gets rid of that. So now, there's a little bit less of that. It looks like there's a little bit of weird stuff going on over there. I wonder what happens if we turned it up even more. What if we turn the Collision Margin down to like anyways. That's cool just for showing you guys really quick. But you can go in and mess with these settings a little bit. So then another thing was we had these dominoes going along all these intricate paths. And so it's like, "Well, what if I wanted to make this go in like a crazy loop or something?" If I just create a spline, so I have this formula spline which allows you to create a wavy thing, I'm just going to rotate it 90 degrees, and if I go in to the Cloner object and I change the Linear Mode to Object, then it gives me an option to drag an object in there. Now if I drag the spline into the object it aligns the Cloners to the object. They're going through the floor, so they're backwards. If I just go in here to the Transform, and I rotate this 180 degrees, they are now above the floor. Another thing I just want to make sure they're not touching the floor, that's actually probably one of the reasons we're getting a little bit of jitteriness, pop that up just a little bit so it's not, okay, it's good. So now they're like really, really spaced out, and we want to turn that up. So if we go in to Object, we turn our count way up, and then I'm going to turn this Object a little bit to the side, so I'm going to do 90 degrees. All right. So now they're all facing in a path but the problem here is like, so first of all they're way too close around the curve and they're kind-of pointy, the path is pointy. So if I go in to Formula I can turn up the Samples, if I turn that up it smooths it out but then I want to space them out evenly. So if I go in to my Cloner Object, into Object, instead of Count, I'm going to say Even, so that spaces them out evenly now. And then really quickly I'm going to take this thing, I'm going to delete the track and I'm going to move this back over here in to place. So I'm going to start this thing going. I'm going to hit a key frame on the X and the Z. I'm going to go to ten, move it through the domino and hit key frame there. Now, if I play this, I'm going to make this a little bit longer. Let's turn this up to like 200 so you can see the whole thing. And like you go through and adjust this. So like the domino stops, so you want to go through and adjust the spacing and all that kind-of stuff. But anyways, the Dynamics tool is really powerful, it's really cool in Cinema. That's about it. I hope that that was helpful and that you learned some stuff.
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