Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO
By Steve Shanks Introduction
This is the first in a series of 3D guides aimed at the small business or home user wanting to get started in 3d, maybe wanting to animate a company logo or add a bit more panache to a still image of the logo. We'll start by looking at some budget programs and delve into the techniques of texturing, lighting etc. The first program we'll look at is Cinema 4D GO, at the time of writing this guide it is selling at $199 but don't be fooled into thinking at this price it won't do much, because this is basically the XL version with some of the more complex features removed. The benefits of this program for the beginner are its low learning curve, lightning speed and rock solid stability. Furthermore, if you don't own it you can get the demo from here Maxon . Rather than just show some features we'll build a scene "Bowling". You can download the complete scene in a zip file via a link at the end.

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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

This is a very simple image using the Lathe, Extrude and Boolean tool. If you're using Cinema for the first time arrange your windows so they fill the screen, something like below.

If you hover the mouse over the tool pallets to the left a little yellow prompt pops up telling you what the tool is, I recommend you just quickly go through these to orientate yourself. If I refer to a tool without added instructions it'll be on one of these 3 panels. Modeling First we'll make the Pins, so click on the front view (XY) then select the "Points tool" and the "Move active element" tool, then on the menu bar go "Objects/empty spline". A little window pops open - we need to change the spline type to Linear like in the image below.
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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

Linear means it will have sharp corners we will just lay down the basic shape with this then change it later. What we need to do is lay points out in the basic outline of half a pin so using Ctrl/left click put the first point exactly on the green Y axis (look in the coordinates manager X and Z should read 0) and keep Ctrl/left clicking until you have a basic shape. If you do put points down in the wrong place don't worry you can left click them and move them. You should end up with something like this.

Now we'll change the Spline to Hermite. Go into the "object manager) and you'll see a small icon to the left of "spline", double click that and change to Hermite. Now our spline has curves, (you could have laid out the spline in Hermite from the beginning but doing it this way can help on big complex splines). Now zoom right in and click on a point, you can fine adjust it with the
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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

handles. One last thing before we Lathe this, double click on the top and bottom points and set the Tangents to zero. Now go back to "Perspective 3D" view and click on the "Object tool". At this point we need to lathe the pin. Go "Objects/Spline objects/Lathe object and this window pops up.

Seeing as Cinema uses so little of the computers resources let us change the subdivisions to 48 to get a nice smooth pin. Click OK. You should now have a pin in wireframe, just to check either go Ctrl 6 for a smooth view or go Ctrl R for a test render. If it's not right just do an "Edit/undo" and adjust your spline. Once you have it right look at it from "Top view" and copy and paste then move each one till you have 5 or so pins. Go back to "Perspective 3D" and hit the S key to frame all objects.

The pins are done. We can move on to the ball next, so save this and then create "File new". Cinema will let you run multiple windows with no loss in performance. Now in this new window use "Objects/3D objects/Surface sphere, when the next window appears change segments to 72 and click OK. This is our bowling ball but we need to cut out some finger holes, so use Objects/3D object/Cylinder and then go to top view and copy and paste this 2 more times moving each paste until you have this.
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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

The bottom one needs to be scaled up for the thumb so select the "Scale active element tool" and click on the "Y-axis lock/unlock" tool to prevent it scaling in height, now scale the cylinder up slightly until it looks right. Go to the object manager and find "function/group objects" and drag the cross over the 3 cylinders to group them. Once that is done you'll find in the main window "tools/structure/connect". This will turn them into one object. Now go to side view and scale them down so you can select the "Rotate active element" tool and lock out the Y and Z axis as well rotate it 90 degrees (look in the coordinates manager you'll see the figures changes as its rotated) now move it into the ball so it intersects with it. We will now remove the cylinders from the sphere to make the finger holes.

To do the Boolean find "Tools/Boolean" and you'll see a window pops up in mode. It says A minus B so that translates to Sphere minus Object group (cylinders) so start typing in the words till Cinema works out the ones you want then you can click OK. You now have finger holes cut in your Bowling ball. Should it not look quite right don't be concerned as Cinema has

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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

kept the originals. If you look in the Object manager you will see this.

The top object in red is our Bowling ball and the two below are the items before booleaning so to start again delete the top object and then select the 3 box icons next to Sphere, Object and Group (these mean the item is invisible) and delete them, you'll be back to the way it was before the boolean. Once you have the ball correct copy it. Now go to "window/the pin file.c4d" and paste the ball in there so you can scale it up to match. Now the final item, the text, go to "Objects/Splines/Text" Type in your text and choose a font then click OK, now to make it solid we need to extrude it so go "Objects/Spline object/Extrude it has 20m in the Z axis window which is about right but we want it closed so click on the caps tab and put a check in close and round for both the start and finish.

Putting the check in Round will give it a beveled effect. Now rotate, scale and position the text. Next go "Object/Scene object/Floor" and click OK. The floor should show up as a square but when rendered goes to infinity. That is the modeling finished so let's tidy up before texturing. Head into the Object manager and delete any splines then double click on any items and rename them to make things easier for texturing. Texturing We need to make one texture map so open your paint program and create a picture similar to this at about 300x300 pixels
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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

Now in the material manager go to "File/New material" then right click on it and rename it pins. Once that is done double click it and click image, add the texture map and move the "S" slider fully to the left and put a check in highlight. Now click OK then drag the material onto a pin in the object manager. A window will pop up like below.

In the projection window change it to Cylindrical and click OK. You should do a test render and if it looks OK Ctrl/drag the Texture from this pin to the others this will copy it. Next, texture the rest. We'll use the basic cinema textures, so in the material manager use "File/Load" then navigate to this directory Cinema 4d Go/Mat/Basics and choose the file "Basics. c4d". Once they are loaded drag the Mahogany onto the ball and the Shiny Copper onto the Text then the Mirror onto the floor. If you shift drag the window won't open and the object will be textured spherically automatically which is fine for this scene. Lighting Now we'll light up the scene by going to "Object/Scene object/Light". When the window pops up change the shadow to soft and the map to 128x128.

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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

Click OK then position the light forward and above the scene then copy it and place the copy further back and slightly left and lower. Rendering Now finally to render select the "Camera tool" and using the rotate and move tools position the scene how you want it then run a test render, if everything looks OK go to "File/Preferences/Render" then change the settings to match the image below.

Now you can click on the output tab and change the size of the render to 768x576 (pal is the
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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

biggest) the GO version will do, so select that then click the save tab and set up the file type and location. Then click OK and hit the "Render to external window" button and that's it! The final image will be made in about 6 minutes. You can download the complete scene with the pin texture here. In building this scene we have only used a fraction of Cinema's tools and we could animate the scene, add more lights or an environment. We will be back in Cinema again.
Copyright (c) 2000, Steve Shanks, All Rights Reserved

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Beginners guide to 3D-Cinema 4D GO

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