Cinema 4D XPresso Volume 1 | English | .MP4 | 556 MB
Cinema 4d is an incredibly powerful tool on the front end, but its potential is limitless once you embrace the ability to access its backend with Xpresso. Creating time-based procedural animation is a great way to learn these techniques and covers everything you'll need to know to get started with this infinitely expandable tool. This video will be the first in a series devoted to Xpresso and C.O.F.F.E.E. and will help to fill the gap in high-end Cinema 4D training related to these incredibly powerful master keys.
The Math Node
Possibly the most invaluable node in the system is the math node; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are the most basic mathematic operations and are used constantly inside of Xpresso networks. Without these basic operators, virtually nothing else would be possible in the numbers-based world of Xpresso.
Learn to combine the output from a time node with mathematical functions, driving continuous animation. We'll then look at using trigonometric functions to create continuous oscillating animation which will be the basis of our project. We'll harness time's constantly increasing value and put it to work by moving and rotating objects.
Learn to modify and tie parameters together using just Xpresso nodes at first, and then graduate to using the C.O.F.F.E.E. node. We'll learn to input a simple line of code instead of using networks of nodes to accomplish the same task. This can be a huge time saver and a way to optimize a network by eliminating excess. Even simple arithmetic can be cumbersome when it requires 5 or 6 nodes. Code can really streamline the process by minimizing the amount of setup necessary to perform a given operation.
We will create a basic clock escapement mechanism using a dynamic motor and a collision object animated with our time based sinus function. Combining dynamics with animation allows us to create the realistic look of a mechanical second hand without having to simulate the entire pendulum and gear system (a potentially massive undertaking). By reverse animating the clockwork (the escapement wheel driving the gears) we can create a true to life animation without all the extra time spent calibrating dynamics.
Take Your Time
We will now put together what we've learned by connecting the two systems of gears together to gear up or down, and then connect them to the clock escapement animation we created earlier. Though we are creating a specific animation, the concepts and techniques used can be applied to a multitude of uses, and as the ideas scale, digital assets and even plugins can be created using Xpresso and C.O.F.F.E.E. With these basics under your belt, you'll be well prepared to tackle the more difficult tasks in the tutorials to come.
About the Instructor
Paul Agostinelli is a Brooklyn, NY based artist. A recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology's Metalsmithing and Jewelry program in the School for American Crafts, he specializes in large-scale, interactive installation work. His undergraduate thesis spanned many different media, from fabricated steel, to hand-built interactive electronic and digital devices. He is currently working as a freelance artist specializing in Cinema 4D for the motion-graphics and VFX industries.
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