Cinema 4D / Keyframes & Animation

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Select an object (with the timeline set to 0) > The grey circle next to each attribute is the equivalent to the stopwatch tool in After Effects > cmnd/ctrl + click = a new keyframe > dragging along the timeline and doing this will create motion > the dashed line shows the motion paths of the animated object.


In right menu > Mode > Project > FPS (default =30) to 25 > change the timeline frames to 100f


It’s good to get into the habit of doing this: Render settings (with the cog icon) > changing the frame size to the output size that we want: 960 x 540, Frame rate to 25.

If you don’t see the black line > mode > view settings > tick ‘action safe’


Making some scenery:

Create a selection of object, making colours in the material editor > select ‘floor’ to create a floor object, moving the objects up if the floor is in the way.

Edit the frame (using the perspective settings in the top right) if the objects don’t fit on properly. Drag the colours onto the objects to colour them.

Animate the objects using the cmnd/ctrl + select animate button in the coordinates menu> to copy the first frame and use it at as the last frame: cmnd/ctrl + select and drag the first frame and drag it to the end, creating a loop.

The default setting for Cinema 4D is to ease the animations (starts slow, speeds up, finishes slow), like you can do in After Effects, to change this: ‘window’ > ‘timeline’, this brings up the curve editor, which displays the objects I’ve created along with the keyframes. If you expand these out you can view the line it follow, which is a Bezier curve which I can alter in any way I wish, using the buttons at the top you can use default settings, ‘linear’ makes the movement constant.


Creating a camera
When a camera is created, it automatically assumes the view in the viewport as you have it, however, if, after you’ve created the camera, you move the viewport and want to go back to it, you select the cross hair next to it in the object menu.

Next we select the top viewport > zoom out > create ‘null’ object which is an empty object used as a helper > drag the camera into the null object (in object menu) > we want the camera to rotate around the point of this object (at 0,0,0,0 on the axis). Drag timeline back to the start > cmnd/ctrl + click animate button on the rotation setting in ‘coordinates’ > go to last frame > change rotate to 360 + animate, now the camera rotates, but technically it’s the null object with the camera attached, this is a very safe way of animating things.  The camera has the same default settings as the objects, so to change this simply go back to windows > timeline > change the rotation heading setting to linear to create a constant motion, making it loop.


Edit Render Settings > in output we need to set the ‘Frame Range’ to ‘All Frames’. Go to ‘Save’ > click save > format: ‘QuickTime Movie’, then changing the compression settings (‘options…_’to ‘H.264’ > FPS to 25 > un-tick ‘Key-frame every’. This box can then be closed after saving location.

Rendering straight into a USB drive may not always work, so it’s worth first saving it to the main computer drive, then copying it over.


Press the middle render button to bring up the dialogue which goes through all the frames, rendering the finished movie, then close the dialogue.




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