3d Garage Cinema 4d R11 Signature Courseware
Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:08 PM
I first came across Dan Ablan's work in 2002 when i bought Lightwave 7 and was looking for some good tutorial material. His "Inside Lightwave 7" is, in my mind, one of the best 3D tutorial books I have ever read. However my love of Cinema 4d, it's ease of use and stability, means though I still have Lightwave, I was never a true convert
This series of tutorials ( Over 10 hours worth) is his first foray into the world of C4D ( hopefully not his last). I got the set today and am working my way through it but i thought i would start making the review now and add to it as I progress. So keep tuned in for updates.
First out the tuts are high resolution. I am an old farty and have an old farty monitor ( 15 years old and still going str....whoops let's not tempt fate) The specs for the product state that the minimum res to watch is 1280 x 1024 but i am getting away with 1152 x 864 as this is the highest res i can go AND still up my refesh rate so i don't get screen flicker. The tutorials are in quicktime format by the way and come with all scene files and textures etc
The idea of these tuts is not to explain each tool and setting but more to get you to use the tools in project based scenarios. As there are many ways to achieve the same end point in C4D some experienced users will say that certain workflows are not the way they would do them, however this set of tuts is aimed at beginners and intermediate users who will develop their own workflows as they progress with the program.
I was quite pleased with the introduction, it was brief. I had made a large pot of tea as was preparing to setlle down to the usual crawl through the UI but was plesantly suprised when I saw that Dan covered the basics quite well but also quite briefly. Most people don't want to be bored by the UI and settings they want to get stuck in modelling animating and rendering. All the UI stuff is best left for the quickstart manual and the help system. Saying that if you don't know the difference between a point a polygon and an edge then you had better do some background reading before you start this series.
After the first introductory vids Dan gets the ball rolling with the desk lamp tutorial
The DeskLamp Tutorial 73 mins
Ok this is a basic beginners tutorial, nothing over taxing here but it serves as a great introduction to the program and it covers quite a few topics. You get to build the lamp using a couple of capsules and cylinders. Dan explains the concept of parametric (initial) objects and editable objects. He explains poly selections, extruding and beveling as well as smooth shift. He uses hypernurbs and object heirachies, snapping and moving pivot points and hints at inverse kinematics.
He covers basic material setup and placement and shows you how to add a visible light for the lamp
Overall I think this is a great beginners tutorial, it is easy to follow, covers many essentail techniques and gives a pleasing result. My additions to this would be that if you are adding a sphere as your lightbulb then i would exclude it from the actual visible light used in the scene else it will block that light. I would also have set the visible light near clip setting to push the start of the visibilty out that way you don't have the visible light coming from a point source.
Also when working with hypernurbs objects there should only be one child with perhaps children of that, HN only works on the first child object and it's children
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Next we step up a few gears with the Product Shot Project
Posted 29 March 2009 - 06:01 PM
This next tutorial is a bit more advanced but not beyond a beginner. Dan models a plastic bottle using a spline and a lathe nurbs using a background template image. He then goes on to show how to "flute" the bottom by manipulating edges and how to add the twisted fluting at the top using a beveling and a twist deformer. If yoiu follow along with this tutorail note that a twist deformer must come below the object to be twisted in the hypernurbs hierachy if the twist comes above the object then it will not be influenced by the HN.
Next he shows how to use selection sets to add various materials to different parts of the bottle, explains the material options such as transparency and bump ( for the cap).
Lighting the shot by means of two area lights, an omni in the distance and a luminescent plane as a bounce card for radiosity.
The main focus of this tutorial is the modeling and beginners will find this very informative. The texturing techniques such as poly selections are also going to be essential concepts to grasp.
Though the lighting setup will be interesting to beginners there is little said about the radiosity setup apart from the fact that it really is just the default C4D GI, which in this case does a good job
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Posted 08 April 2009 - 02:37 PM
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