Monday, 20 April 2015

Diving into Cinema 4D

Hey everyone! Recently I spent some time improving my knowledge of Cinema4D by following a superb tutorial done by the gents at Greyscalegorilla. The tutorial I did was their “Intro to Cinema 4D Series” where I built a mineshaft that is blown up by a dynamite explosion. In this tutorial I brushed up on my modeling, texturing, and lighting skills. I also learned some dynamics to get a cool explosion effect.  

I wanted to take what I learned from this tutorial series, expand on it, and put my own spin on it. Every quarter at Swagger, we are encouraged to work on a personal project that will build on our skill sets and teach us new tools to apply to our client’s projects. I chose this sci-fi scene for my quarterly project. 

Everyone has their own specific workflow for projects, so I will explain how I work on mine. I started off by browsing the web for concept art and photos for inspiration. I wanted to see what level of detail others had accomplished, setting the bar for myself.  I gathered some images that I liked and took inspiration from them - putting my own spin on them, including elements from a variety of designs.

I started at the bottom, building the floor grating first, then the areas below it. I really liked the idea of having pipes under the floor so that when I do my lighting they could be seen below to add to the industrial hallway atmosphere.

I’m only building one side of the hallway. Even though many 3D programs have the ability to mirror geometry, this will save me the hassle of building the other side. Another cool feature in C4D is the MoGraph Cloner, which allows you to clone elements of your design and duplicate them on various axes. I was able to make the long grated floor panel out of a single panel as you can see here. 

Once the floor was finished, I started working on the walls. I wanted to have something in between an octagonal and hexagonal shaped hallway. In this image I started off with the octagonal shape, but also put in doorway/supports to give a hexagonal shape to the interior. I again utilized a MoGraph Cloner to create the 3 exact copies.

At this point I decided I wanted to draw attention to the doorways, so I added these elements to draw the eye to those areas.

I built these section elements and added a refrigerator-esq device near the top. I modeled this device in a separate file to avoid accidentally messing with my tunnel scene. 

To finish the walls, I built large blocky panels with supports.  I plan to come back to these later and add more elements to break up the symmetry of the hallway – things like cables, vents, lights, etc. 

With the walls done, all I had left to block out was the ceiling. For this, I replicated part of the geometry I used for the floor, mainly the pipes, and had these intersect the doorways. 

The reason everything is rainbow colored is to allow me to get a good idea of the different elements and their placement at a glance. This will help me later when I need to differentiate the elements when I go to add texture to my scene, which will be my next step for this project. Here you can see the hallway with the symmetry turned on. 

After all these rainbow parts are textured, I will come back and add other elements to the walls and floor to break up the symmetry of the scene and make it more aesthetically interesting. Following this step, I’ll be adding in the lighting and then putting in dynamics or character animation. But you won’t get to see that until my next blog post! So, stay tuned. 

What are some personal projects that you are working on? Where does your inspiration come from? 

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