Learn how to work with particles to create type in Cinema 4D.
This tutorial IS CRAMMED full of goodness. Joey throw out as many tips and tricks along the way as he can while you're making a flurry of snowflakes that land and build on some type in Cinema 4D. He goes through every single step, including some steps that he tried which didn’t work out. He wants everyone to see that even artists with a lot of experience have no clue what we’re doing sometimes, and we have to fumble around until we find the right combination to get the desired result.
Tutorial Full Transcript Below 👇:
Music 2 (00:00:15):
Joey Korenman (00:00:24):
Hey there, Joey, here for school of motion in this lesson, we're going to get lost deep in cinema 4d. It's a long one. And I throw out as many tips and tricks along the way as I can. The idea for this lesson actually came from a freelance job that I did, where I needed to have some snowflakes animate on some type, but I needed full control of those snowflakes, how the animated on and off and where exactly they landed. I go through every single step, including some steps that I tried, which didn't work. I want everyone to see that even artists with a lot of experience have no clue what we're doing sometimes. And we have to fumble around until we find the right combination to get the desired result. Don't forget, sign up for a free student account. So you can grab the project files from this lesson, as well as assets from any other lesson on the site.
Joey Korenman (00:01:10):
Now let's hop in and get started. All right, illustrator. Uh, we haven't spent a lot of time in illustrator on school of motion, but that might, that might change. So the first thing I want to do is lay out my type. Um, so I'm just going to grab the type tool and I'm going to type in happy holidays and make it a little bigger. Um, and I found a font and I'm going to, um, I'm going to link to it. So you guys can download the same font if you want. It's a free font off of deaf font, which is an awesome website where you can download hundreds, maybe thousands of free fonts, um, and not all of them are great, but some of them work in this particular font I grabbed because it's very thick. And if you're going to be making type out of, you know, a whole bunch of particles or snowflakes, you need that font to be pretty thick so that when you actually form it, it's readable stope.
Joey Korenman (00:02:06):
So by typing it in, this is a type layer, which cinema 4d can't read. So I need to convert this to outlines first. So you do that by selecting the layer, you go up to type and you say, create outlines. You can see now it's created the outlines for that. So I'm just going to save this in my demo folder. And I'll just save over this. This is, this is me, uh, preparing for this tutorial. So I'm going to save over this holiday type illustrator file now, replace it. And when I save things in illustrator to go into cinema 4d, I always set the version to illustrator eight. Um, and I've been doing that ever since I've had cinema 4d. I don't know if any of these later ones will work with it, but illustrator eight definitely works. So that's what I pick. Okay. And that one's good to go.
Joey Korenman (00:02:54):
So now the next thing I needed was some snowflakes. Um, and I didn't want to have to make my own snowflakes. I wanted to just kind of, you know, get some and you know, so I Googled Google is your friend. And I found some free snowflakes at this website, all silhouettes.com. I'll link to that in the notes for this tutorial. Um, and so I just wanted to grab three or four that I could then use MoGraph to kind of randomly assign and create a cloner with them. So why don't we pick for snowflakes? Um, so let's take this one. I'm just going to copy it and in a new illustrator file, I'm going to paste that one. Okay. Uh, one quick note is, uh, when you, if you do this, if you don't use the same snowflakes as me, or if you use something else, make sure open up the layer and make sure that all of these compound shapes have been grouped together.
Joey Korenman (00:03:50):
Um, it'll make it a lot easier. And cinema 4d can act a little funky if you have too many splines that haven't been grouped. Okay. So a and I'm going to rename this layer SF. Oh one. So snowflake oh one. All right. So we've selected that one. Um, maybe we can take this one too, so copy. And I'm going to make a new layer and paste into that layer. So that'll be SF oh two. All right. Let's grab a couple more. Why don't we take a, this silly one here? We'll copy that paste. And this is SFO three. And then one more, maybe this one we'll copy.
Joey Korenman (00:04:36):
New layer paste and S F O four. Great. Okay. So now I'm going to save as, uh, and let's put this in my demo folder and I'm going to save over the snowflakes AI file, and I'm going to make this an illustrator aid file. All right. So that's all you need to do in illustrator. The illustrator work is done, so let's hide illustrator and let's hop into cinema 4d. And let me resize this window so you guys can see the whole thing. There we go. All right. Cool. So, uh, the first thing I want to do is bring in that type that I just made in illustrator. So I'm going to open up holiday type, make sure that you don't have connects blinds on, make sure you don't have group splines on just hit. Okay. All right. And the reason that I have those turned off is because I will end up grouping these splines and making them into one spline, but I like to do that manually just so I can make sure there's no problems and nothing gets messed up.
Joey Korenman (00:05:42):
Um, all right. So you can see when I brought this in, it kind of brought it in, in a weird place. It's not right in the center of the world, which is where I like it. So I'm just going to click on it and I'm gonna zero out X and Y all right, there we go. Cool. All right. So if you look under the snow, you'll see there's a whole bunch of groups and splines for each group, and there's just a whole bunch of things in here. So I need to select everything and then combine them into one spline. And there's an easy trick to do that. If you just select the root null here and you right. Click and say, select children, it will select absolutely everything underneath it. Then you can go up to objects right here and say, connect objects, and delete.
Joey Korenman (00:06:24):
And it will combine all those things into one spline. So super simple. So this is our type spleen. Okay. Next thing I need to do is set up the snowflakes to use for the cloner. So I'm going to open up the, uh, the snowflakes illustrator file lead these settings the same. And you'll see that we've got all of our snowflakes kind of overlapping here. Um, so first thing I'm going to do, I'm going to zero X and Y put them in the center, by the way, I keep hitting the H key. Uh, what H does, if you're, you know, editor camera's way over here, if you hit H it will frame up your entire scene for you really quickly. Super simple. All right. So, uh, under this main snowflakes, no, I've got these other snowflakes, um, and just to center everything, I'm gonna zero those out as well.
Joey Korenman (00:07:13):
And I'm going to take the snowflakes out of the snowflakes now and delete that. Um, and so then I need to do that same little trick on each of these. Let me, let me hide these, um, by the way, this is another neat trick. If you don't know it, um, normally, uh, if you just click these lights, these little traffic lights here, you can only select one at a time. If you hold option, you can select them both. And if you hold option and click and drag, you can actually just kind of paint groups of them, um, different colors, so pretty handy. So I'm going to turn off these bottom three, and I'm just going to look at this one. All right. And you can see that this one's composed up of a whole bunch of different splines. So I'm just going to right. Click, select children, objects, connect, objects, and delete.
Joey Korenman (00:08:02):
And this will be snowflake a one, and then I can hide it for a minute and turn on this one, same thing, select children, connect and delete. And this will be SF oh two. Okay. And there seems to be something a little strange going on here, and I'm not sure what, um, so we're going to see that gives us any problems. Hopefully it doesn't. So I know what's going on. I didn't, uh, I must have selected the wrong thing. I didn't delete the original group. So let me delete that. Okay. Now we're good. So turn that off, turn the next one on select children, connect objects, and delete. This is SF three and then the last one, so right. Click, select children, connect objects, and delete. Great. There we go. Okay. So, um, now we've got all of our snowflake patterns set up and now we need to just extrude them to create 3d snowflakes.
Joey Korenman (00:09:01):
So I'm going to grab an extruded herbs, and I'm going to put the first snowflake in there. All right. And that's a little thick for snowflake, some new, uh, click on the extruded nerves, go to object and change the movement. The movement is how you decide where you know, what direction and how far it's extruded. And I'm just going to extrude it just a little bit, maybe like that. Okay. Just enough. So that if we light these, uh, we might get a little bit of a cool edge to, you know, to the snowflake. All right. And that might even be too much. I think I'm gonna do half of that. Let's do 1.5. That's great. Okay. So this is SF. Oh one. And that one's good to go. So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to duplicate this three more times and I'm going to rename, uh, all of these.
Joey Korenman (00:09:48):
Cool. And then I'm going to open up the other three, delete the splines out of them, turn these splines on. And then I'm just gonna one by one, drop the splines into the extruded nerves. And we're good to go. So now let's just check them one by one to make sure they look okay. So here's one looks good to me. Here's two here's three, and here is four. So we have our forest snowflakes. They look great. Wonderful. So I'm going to save this project, uh, as snowflakes. I'm going to save over this old one here. All right. And I just like to have a copy of it just in case I need it. So now I can copy these. I can put them in this project, so I'll just paste them in. Uh, and now I'm actually ready to make a cloner and clone those onto my spline.
Joey Korenman (00:10:40):
All right. So let's grab a MoGraph cloner and let's drop all four of these in there. Just like that. By default, it's going to clone them linear leaf. You click on the cloner. You go to object, you can see the mode is set to linear, and that's the default. And if I just add clones, it just kind of makes them go in a straight line. And that's not what I want. What I want is to clone them onto the spline. So I need to change the mode from linear to object. And it's going to ask me what objects would you like to clone onto? And I need to tell it the type spline that is the object. Okay. Now, soon as I do that, it puts snowflakes on the spline. And it does it. I mean, this is kind of interesting, and I don't know, maybe there's something cool you could do with that.
Joey Korenman (00:11:24):
That is not readable. So that doesn't work. So what I need to do is a couple of things. First of all, you can tell that the snowflakes are way too big. So with the cloner selected, I'm going to add a plane effector. All right. And right now, by default, it's affecting the position of the clones. I'm going to turn that off and have it affect the scale of the clones. I'm going to turn on uniform scale because I want them to scale equally in X, Y, and Z. And then I'm just going to shrink them. Okay. And I don't know exactly how small I want them yet, but that's probably a good start. All right. And one thing I like to do with the effectors is I like to name them a certain way. So I'm going to call this plane dot scale. That way I know if I have multiple planet factors, I know what this is doing.
Joey Korenman (00:12:12):
Um, the next thing is that you can see the, uh, the snowflakes are aligned along that spline, which in this case is not what we want. So I'm going to go into the cloner. And once you drag an object down here, you get a lot of options based on what type of object you're cloning on to. So, because it's a spline, it shows you spline related options. Um, so I'm going to turn off a line clone, first of all. All right. And so now those snowflakes are aligned the way they were modeled. So they're, they're just sort of facing outwards on Z. Um, one other thing I'm gonna do really fast is I'm going to click on this render instances, checkbox. And what that does is it changes the way, um, cinema 4d manages the memory in relation to these clones. And, you know, there's like some fancy math under the hood, but basically what it does is it makes everything work a lot faster.
Joey Korenman (00:13:09):
Um, the only downside of this is that certain features of MoGraph don't work when render instances is turned on. But for this example, it's not going to affect anything. It's just going to make us, you know, it's going to make things work a lot faster, which is going to be very important because very quickly we are going to have hundreds and hundreds and maybe thousands of clones to fill in these letters. All right. So now that I've got the clones facing the right way, um, there's not enough of them and they seem to be kind of bunched in random places. So, uh, I need to look at these cloner options here. All right. So I'm just kind of looking down here and I'm going to try and give you a little bit of insight into what I was thinking when I did this. I didn't know exactly how to do this.
Joey Korenman (00:13:53):
I just had a rough idea. I figured, well, I know a cloner can clone, you know, objects onto a spline. Um, and so there's gotta be some way to, to tell cinema 4d how to distribute those clones. You know, so down here, lo and behold, there's a distribution option. And right now it's set to count and the count is set to 10. So if I change that right, a lot of times when I want to know what, what a button does, I just change it and start playing around with it. Um, and that obviously adds more clones, but it still does it in kind of the strange way. All right. So I thought maybe this count wasn't the right way to do it. So then I did step all right. And step low and behold seems to be a more even way of distributing these things.
Joey Korenman (00:14:39):
And you can see that this option changed, um, from number of clones to now at a distance that I can set. And this distance is how far between each clone do we, you do we want to space things out? So if I shrink this number, you can see that, well, I went way too small. If I shrink this number very quickly, you can see that we're now getting an even distribution of clones along the spine. All right. And I can, I can hold options. So I can really be precise here when I drag this and get these, these, uh, snowflakes very close together. They also still feel a little big to me. So I'm going to go to my plane effector, and I'm just going to shrink them down even more, and then go back to my cloner and lower the step. Okay. And so now we've got something like this, all right.
Joey Korenman (00:15:27):
And if I do a quick render, you can see that you can actually read this. This is fantastic. So very quickly I was able to get something that, you know, if you had to lay this out by hand and illustrator or Photoshop, it would take you forever. But in cinema, you've got these really cool options. And there's like some weird overlapping, you know, snowflakes here and there, but I don't think you're going to see those. So I'm not going to worry about those. All right. So we're starting to get somewhere with this. And so what I want to do now is put a texture on these. So they're not all the same color. So to do that, we're going to use something called the multi shader, which is a cool way of getting some very easy randomness to your textures. So here's how we do that.
Joey Korenman (00:16:08):
We double click down here to make a material, and I'm going to call this outline because these are the clones on the outline of this type. All right. And for the color of these clones, I'm going to go into a, this little texture box. And I'm going to add down in the, um, in the MoGraph and you probably can't see that because I'm only recording part of my screen. All right. So texture, I'm going to add in this MoGraph section a multi shader. All right. So now I'm going to click on the multi shader, and this is what you're going to get. You can basically add as many shaders as you want, and then there's this mode, uh, option, which basically lets you tell cinema how it should choose, which shader goes on, which clone. So first let's set up some shaders and shaders can be anything they can be bitmaps it can be noise gradients for Nels.
Joey Korenman (00:17:01):
Um, for this, I'm just going to use the color shader and I'm just going to pick, you know, kind of like a light blue color, maybe, you know, maybe something like this. Great. Alright. Uh, these arrows up here, if you didn't know it, you can click the back arrow and it takes you back one level. So if you're working on a shade or you, you don't have to keep, you know, going all the way back through the material and doing it that way, just click the back arrow. Uh, so now we have texture one set up now texture two is also going to be a color and maybe that one is a little darker. All right. So you've got a lighter one, a darker one and maybe this one could be even a little bit darker.
Joey Korenman (00:17:43):
Cool. Uh, and now I want another one. So I just click the add button, make another color. This one can be white. Let's just leave it white. And then let's add one more and let's make it like a really kind of dark, rich blue. Cool. All right. So we've got these four colors in the mode right now is set to color brightness. Um, and this isn't going to be very useful for us. What we basically want is just for, you know, one of these colors to be randomly assigned to every clone, um, color brightness is going to use the brightness of the clone to dictate how, um, you know, what color is going to be chosen. So that's not useful. What we want to change is to is index ratio. All right. So that's step one, change that to index ratio. And what that's going to do is it's going to, um, assign a color or whatever shaders in here based on the index of each clone.
Joey Korenman (00:18:42):
So every clone has a number it's sort of like counting up to however many clones there are. Um, and so that number is what's going to be used to, um, to, to dictate which color it gets. So if I put this shader or this material onto the cloner and I render this, it looks really strange. It actually looks kind of neat, but that's not what we want. And you can see what's happening here is those four colors are basically being distributed evenly along the clones per letter, which is very interesting. And so, um, what's happening is basically for each letter, it's figuring out how many clones there are, and it's dividing that into four and giving one fourth this color, then the next fourth, this color. Um, so what we actually need to do is randomize the index of the clones. Um, and I had to look up how to do this because it's not obvious, like a lot of things in cinema 4d are not obvious, but this is one of those things.
Joey Korenman (00:19:38):
So, um, I knew that I needed the random effector. All right. So, um, I clicked cloner at a random effector turn off position and let's rename this random dot color. Right. And I, at first I thought that I would have to turn on color mode, right. But that doesn't really do anything. Um, and after doing some Googling and looking in the manual, I discovered that if you use this, you transform here, this actually affects the index of the clone. So now if I render this, look at this, you get sort of random distribution of these colors. It's very cool. Um, and if you don't like the way it looks, just change the random seed. Right. And you get a different result every time you do that. Cool. Alright. So that looks pretty good to me. Uh, and if you want, at this point, you can just go into your material and you can just add more colors if you want to.
Joey Korenman (00:20:36):
Um, you know, like if I wanted to add a color that was like, I don't know, a little bit, had a little bit more red in it, you know? Um, so maybe pick a blue color like this, but then push it, push it a little bit more towards, towards the purple range. You know, I mean, you can, you can start to add as many colors as you want. Um, and it's all kind of set up now for you. And that's what I love about MoGraph once it's set up, it's like, it's just cake to change it. So now we've got our, uh, we've got our snowflakes, they're on the type everything's working so far. So now why don't we try to animate some of these?
Joey Korenman (00:21:16):
All right. So the way we're going to do this first, I'm going to show you a, what I thought was going to be the way to do this, um, which I thought would be using a plane effector. So I clicked the cloner. I added the plan effector. All right. And I'm just going to leave it on the default setting like this. Okay. So right now it's just raising these clones up a hundred centimeters and we can push them a little bit further. So they're off screen. And what I thought I would do is use this falloff tab, set it to linear, right. And then align the off with the type. And then I thought I could just basically animate the fall off like this. Right. So they would sort of just animate into place. And the problem with this is that this could work for some things, but snowflakes don't just move in a straight line.
Joey Korenman (00:22:10):
They kind of have these nice curving, you know, soft motion paths and with a plane effect, or you can't get that. There's, I mean, you can, you can do some interesting things messing with this spline option here, but I, you know, playing around with this for a little while, I was really unable to get these things, to feel like snowflakes, especially what I wanted them to do was like speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down, and then slow down at the end and sort of feel really good. Um, and so it wasn't working. So, um, I realized the plan effector, wasn't gonna work for me. I needed a way to key frame, a snowflake hand, animate the thing and then apply that animation to all these clones. It turns out there is an effector in here called the inheritance effector it's right there. And it's very, very cool.
Joey Korenman (00:22:59):
Um, so first what we needed to do, um, first let me save this project. So I don't lose it in case my computer crashes. So we're going to call this a holiday that's C4 D so first thing I needed to do was key frame a snowflake w what do I want these snowflakes to do? Um, and so, you know, I, I opened a new cinema project and I just took a Knoll and I tried just key framing it at first. And what I found was it's actually kind of tricky, um, the type of motion, I'm just going to draw it with my mouse. So you guys can see, but the type of motion I was looking for was kind of like float. And then in little swishes, you know, like it kind of speeds up and slows down, speeds up and slows down. Um, and it was really tricky to get that.
Joey Korenman (00:23:44):
And I was having figuring out how to get my animation curves to do what I wanted. So I came up with this interesting way of helping me. And this is the type of thing that I love showing people, because, you know, like probably the, the biggest, um, asset you can have as a motion graphics artist is ingenuity and, and coming up with creative ways of solving problems. So I opened up after effects. All right. And I made a new comp I added a Knoll and after effects has this really cool feature that I don't think I've ever used even one time on a real job, but for this, it made perfect sense. Okay. Um, and this is just one of those things. You, everything you learn, try to remember, keep in the back of your head. Cause one day it will be useful. Um, there's a feature called motion sketch, and I've already got the window open down here.
Joey Korenman (00:24:38):
So let me close it, just to show you how to get to it. If you go up to window and just find motion sketch, and it'll pop up somewhere. Um, and as long as you have the settings capture speed at 100%, uh, smoothing, I'm just going to leave at one and that's it. Then you hit start capture and watch this. So I just basically mimic the motion that I want. So I'm going to click and I'm going to go swoop, sweep, sweep. Okay. So that's the motion I want. And now I'm going to separate the dimensions and I can just go in and look at what the animation curve looks like for that motion. What does the X curve look like? Okay, well, it's basically a straight line, but there's these little, these little humps in it like this, right. And then the Y position looks like, you know, it actually looks upside down and after effects, which is kind of annoying.
Joey Korenman (00:25:30):
Um, but it, it essentially is mimicking what's going on here. So, you know, what I started to realize was that, you know, the Y curve is pretty intuitive. Um, you know, you've got, you've got these big sweeps at the bottom, right. Do these sort of harder sweeps. And then you've got these broader sweeps at the top because when the snowflake is going down, it's going fast. And then when it's going up, it slows down. Okay. So I sort of use this to, to help myself realize what is the shape of the animation curve I'm going for. All right. And then on the exposition, um, it's really simple. Let me maximize this so you guys can see it by the way, if you guys didn't know this, the, till the key, the, till the key is the key directly to the left of the number one on the top row of your keyboard.
Joey Korenman (00:26:21):
Um, if you hold your mouse over any window and after effects and hit that Tilda, it maximizes it. Okay. So if you want to see your motion graph really quick, you can do that. Um, so it's almost, you know, if you draw a straight line from here down to this key, this key frame here, it's really just a series of gentle little Hills going down there. Okay. So I left this up as reference because this is invaluable to me. Um, and I'm going to use this trick over and over again because I really like it. All right. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to, um, I'm going to put a key frame and cinema, uh, at the end of my timeline, all right. X and Y. And then I'm going to go to the beginning and I'm just going to put my NOLA up here, key frame that, and I'm going to turn automatic key framing on just for a minute, just so I can, um, just so I can make it easy as I sort of adjust this.
Joey Korenman (00:27:19):
So I'm just going to kind of move forward and have key frame down here. Move forward, have a key frame up here, key frame down here, and that's kind of it. Okay. So that's the basic shape, right? And if we go back into after effects and look, I had maybe one extra little hump here, um, but it's okay for cinema. I'm just going to do it like this, and now I'm going to open up my animation layout so we can get our timeline. Okay. Um, and I'm just going to go through my X and Y position. I'm going to delete Z. I don't need it turn off automatic key framing. And now let's look at our X curve. Okay. So we've got, it's easing out and then it's easing in. And if you remember looking at after effects, you've just got these gentle Hills like this.
Joey Korenman (00:28:10):
Okay. And you need to be really observant, figure out where those Hills are, the Hills. Right. They sort of, they happen right before the bottom of the, of the motion path. Right. And then when you get to the top, it's more flat. And then when you get back to the bottom, it's steeper again. Okay. So the steepest parts of that motion curve need to happen when that snowflake hits the bottom. Cause that's when it's moving the fastest. Okay. So what that means is it needs to be steeper there like that. Okay. All right. So then we move to the next one. So at the top here, it needs to be a little flatter, but then at the bottom it needs to be a little steeper. Right. So I'm just sort of gently creating these curves. Um, and then what you can do, which is kind of cool is, um, next to position X and position.
Joey Korenman (00:29:01):
Y you've got these little film strips. I can turn off Y just temporarily and play my animation with eight so I can see. Right. And you can see the Knoll up there and let's just see, does it feel okay? It feels a little jerky there, like it's jerking, right. So it might be too steep there, someone that just even that out a little bit, I'm going to flatten that. Okay. And now it's moving a little smoother. It feels like it's moving a little bit slow. So I may want to actually pull this one down. So it starts off a little faster. Okay. And I'm just going to keep tweaking this until that feels good to me. Um, and there's really, there's no formula to this. This is something that just takes a lot of practice in is very hard. All right. So now I turned X off for a minute, uh, and we're just going to deal with Y all right.
Joey Korenman (00:29:52):
So with Y selected, I'm going to hit H by the way, H is great hockey. If you have your mouse over the graph and you hit H it will frame up the graph, um, it'll sort of maximize it for you. So when we are, um, let me actually turn on the X and the Y for a minute, just so we can see this. So when we're at the bottom here, okay. Let's go back to after effects and just double check this when we're at the bottom or at the bottom of the motion path, um, the X is steep and the Y has these really kind of sharp peaks. Okay. And then when we get to the top, it doesn't have a sharp peak. It has kind of a broader peak. All right. Um, so let's come back here. So at the, um, at the bottom, it looks like I may have a key frame off some of that back.
Joey Korenman (00:30:44):
So at the bottom, this needs to be a little sharper, right. So I might grab this, Bezier handle with shift and break it a little bit like that, but then here, because now we're at the top, I might actually pull the handles out a little bit. And then at the bottom here, I might break them a little bit like this. Okay. I'm going to turn X off for a minute. I'm just going to play just the Y and you can see what it does. Right. And so, to me, what it feels like is it's not falling fast enough at the beginning. So what I'm gonna do is in what's great about cinemas. You can usually do this while it's playing. I'm going to pull this this way, and I'm going to pull this out a little bit more. Okay. And so I feel like it's still falling too slowly.
Joey Korenman (00:31:33):
So I'm actually going to grab all these key frames and I'm just going to scoot them for a little bit. There we go. All right. So it's a fall and then another fall. All right. And now I'm going to add in the exposition and we're going to see what that looks like. Okay. So you can see that it kind of swoops through there and swoops down there. Now, this first swoop feels a little quick to me. All right. And it feels quick on a, on X, on Y it feels okay. Um, so what I'm going to do is just kind of flatten that out a little bit, flatten that out a little bit, and it doesn't take a lot. A lot of times just tiny little tweaks is all it needs. Okay. Um, and then another thing to, to, to watch out for too is whenever you have, um, Bezier handles, and they're almost flat like this, sometimes it can make an, it can make your object feel kind of like it stops.
Joey Korenman (00:32:28):
So sometimes it's good to never have it be flat to always have it be kind of leaning one way or the other. Right. So you can see how this, these, you know, these are not, um, parallel to each other, but they are sort of leaning this way and we can do the same thing here and kind of lean back the other way. And then these can maybe lean a little bit this way. Right. And we can see if that gives us a little yeah. That gives it a little bit more of a natural kind of flow to it. So, okay. Now let's look at X again. So this is feeling a little weird in here. It almost feels like it's slows down. Um, and I don't want it to slow down. I want it to actually be going fast there. So I'm going to move this key frame down a little bit, and I'm going to try and make a little bit of an S curve here.
Joey Korenman (00:33:19):
If I can, an S curve is, uh, easing out and then speeding up and then easing in. All right. And this is very subtle, but if you kind of squint your eyes, you can almost see it backwards S here. All right. And let's see if that feels better. And, uh, you know, honestly, this is something that you would probably take 30, 40 minutes and really just massage the heck out of it and make it feel good. Um, so it feels pretty good to me. I'm going to, um, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna mess with it a little bit more. I'm kind of, kind of scale it and see if I can get like a better, better idea what's going on. Cause it still feels a little bit off to me. Um, and it, I'm not sure if it's X or Y at this point.
Joey Korenman (00:34:04):
Um, so I just want to take another minute because th this is what the clones are going to be doing. So it's very important that I'm happy with that. Um, so let's see here. Oh, here's another cool thing that I discovered while doing this. If you go into the F curve menu here, there's an option to show a velocity curve. All right. And so this little faded curve down here, this is actually showing you the velocity. All right. So here at the velocity zero, and then it speeds up and then goes back to zero and you can see here that there's kind of a break in the velocity. And so that's going to give me a little bit of a hitch in the motion, so I can just sort of interactively adjust these curves and try to fix these little weird hitches. So any, anytime you see a little hitch like that, you can just sort of adjust this curve to try and connect it back together. Right. It's pretty handy. Um, and actually, I never knew about it until I started working on this. All right. So that's starting to feel pretty good. It feels a little bit slow in here. So I think there might be too many frames between these two key frames. So I can just grab these and move them a little closer together. Let's play that.
Joey Korenman (00:35:20):
All right. Now I am feeling pretty good about that. Not a hundred percent, but I think for the purposes of this tutorial, that feels pretty good. And hopefully you guys at least saw the, the workflow, right? You, I use the motion sketch to just point myself in the right direction. And I just really, really just watched it a whole bunch of times. Okay. But you can see that you've got some nice kind of organic animation. It's not linear. Things are speeding up and slowing down and it's, and it's really cool. So I'm going to call this my motion. No, and I'm going to copy it. And now I'm going to go back into my holiday project and I'm gonna paste it in there. All right. So let's go back to, uh, our standard layout here.
Joey Korenman (00:36:06):
I told you guys, this would be a long tutorial. So now we are ready to add the inheritance effector. So click on the cloner, go up to MoGraph effector inheritance factor. Now the inheritance effector, it allows clones to inherit the motion, uh, either, you know, the absolute motion or the relative motion of any other object. All right. Um, and maybe that's not super clear, but it will be in two seconds. Um, so when you, when you add the inheritance effector and you go to the effect or tab, you have to tell it which object to inherit from. So I want it to inherit from the motion now. All right now, by default, this inheritance is set to direct. All right. And you'll see what this does. I'm a zoom, as you can see, right. It literally takes the novel and it puts every Clune kind of, it almost looks like I've parented the clones to that.
Joey Korenman (00:37:08):
No. Alright. Um, and it's using the, like, the scale of that motion is just enormous, right? So if you go into the inheritance effector and you change this inheritance mode from direct to animation, so one, it, it, it just sort of, um, it sort of scales the animation a little bit more appropriately to your clones, but the best thing about it is that now it opens up this option fall off based when you're in direct mode. That's not an option when you're in animation mode, this falloff based, uh, option appears. And this is the key to the whole thing. If you turn this on, then now you can use the fall-off tab of your inheritance effector. And I'm just going to rename this for a minute. This is going to be inheritance. I'm just going to call this outline, because these are the clones on the outline of the type I'm going to change my fall off to linear set the orientation to X, and now look what we can do.
Joey Korenman (00:38:10):
These things can float in and form the type. Okay. Extremely cool. NFI, widen this. You can kind of have more of them come on at a time. Okay. So now you've got this cool stream of particles that are kind of coming in and blowing up and forming the type and it's gorgeous. Okay. So let's come over here. Let's put a key frame on the exposition. Move that key frame to zero on. There we go. Um, and I'm gonna add some more frames to this. Let's just, let's just say 200 frames. Okay. So let's go forward to like one 50 and let's move this inheritance factor all the way over like this. All right. And add another key frame. One very important thing. I'm going to bring up the timeline, uh, shift F three brings up the timeline. Um, it's very important. Uh, if you want the motion of the snowflakes to be, you know, to have the speed changes and all those things remain the same, make sure that you don't have any easing on the motion of the inheritance effector by default, it's going to be easing out and easing in.
Joey Korenman (00:39:19):
Um, and I don't want that. So I'm just going to select the position, key frames, set them all to linear with that button, or you can hit option. L does the same thing. All right. And so now if I hit FAA and I play this, all right, I've got snowflakes flying in. Fantastic. Now that's actually pretty cool. And you know, maybe that's all you want, but what I didn't like about it was that it is so orderly, you know, like it's just one right after the other, after the other. And I wanted some variation to this. I, I wanted some to come in before and some to come in a little later. So this is where I pulled out my trustee, a trick that I learned on grayscale gorilla. And I cannot think Nick Campbell enough for, um, making a tutorial about this because it's, I dunno, it's like changed my life.
Joey Korenman (00:40:12):
Not really, but a little. All right. So what you need to do is randomize the weight of the clones so that they are affected at different times. Um, and I have another tutorial I've done where I go into a lot more detail and I actually link to Nick's tutorial, which does an amazing job of explaining it. Um, so if you haven't seen that one, check that one out. I'm just going to kind of fly through that, that part. So I'm going to click on the cloner. I'm going to add another random effector, and I'm going to call this random dot wait, and I'm going to turn off position. And here's the key. This is the key to this whole trick is you have to make sure that this random weight happens before the inheritance. Okay. If it doesn't, this won't work. So you randomize the weights and then the inheritance factor happens.
Joey Korenman (00:41:05):
So you have to go into the effectors tab and change the order a little bit. So now my random weight effector, I'm going to change the weight, transform and watch what happens as I do this. You can see it's starting to get a lot more random. So if I go all the way up to random 100, and I'm going to, um, I'm going to turn off the visibility of my inheritance factor. So we can actually see this. I'm gonna hit F eight and play, and you can see there now all coming in. Totally randomly. So that's a little too random for me. Right. I only want a little bit of randomness, so I'm going to change the weight transform to like 30. Okay. So now it's still coming in more or less left to, right. But they're kind of coming in, like in bunches. Right.
Joey Korenman (00:41:51):
Which is really cool. All right. And so, because I changed the weight of some of these clowns, you can see that now this inheritance effector, isn't far enough to the, to the left when it starts out. So I'm gonna have to adjust the position of that and then go to the end and adjust the position to make sure that all of the clones have landed. And then I got to go back into the timeline and make sure that those position key frames are linear. Okay. And so now this is the animation we have. Okay. And so now when you see this in motion, right? The, it it's, it's almost like they start too high and they dip too low. So once you kind of see what it's doing, you may want to tweak your motion now. So really quickly, we'll go back to the animation layout and I'll show you like, just the, kind of the quick way to do this.
Joey Korenman (00:42:43):
Um, I'm going to go to my motional and my Y curve. All right. And it starts off too high. So I'm just going to grab this dotted green line here. And it will scale all of the why motion down. Right. And then it also right here, it dips too low. So I'm just going to grab that key frame. And I'm just going to move it up a little bit, just a little bit, maybe like that. Okay. And now let's see how that feels much better, much better. Okay. And you know, it may be, it's getting a little bit steep here. I may want to, um, I may want to tweak, I may want to tweak a couple of things. Maybe pull this one back, you know, this is, this is where I tend to get pretty tweaky and try to make everything perfect. Um, but for now, let's say that we like this.
Joey Korenman (00:43:34):
Let's go back to standard layout and come back up here. Excellent. Okay. And, uh, basically that is one set of snowflakes. All right. And that is how we build on the outline of the type. So now how do we fill in the rest? Okay. Well, so the first thing I want to do is I want to kind of group everything together. So I'm going to grab everything except this motion now, and I'm going to hit option G and group them, and this is going to be my outline particles. Okay. So now what I can do is just copy that. And now I've got that whole Mo graph set up duplicated and ready to tweak. I can turn this one off and I can, you know, I can go in and I can start messing with, um, you know, the scale of this new set of particles and do things.
Joey Korenman (00:44:32):
So let me first, very quickly show you the first thing I tried, which failed horribly. Um, so I thought, well for, for my next set of snowflakes, instead of cloning them around the spline, because I already have snowflakes doing that, I'll create a, uh, I'll create some geometry for the letters I'll extrude them, and then I'll see I'll put clones all over them. Okay. And so here's what happened when I did that. So, um, what I'm gonna do is just grab an extruded nerves and I'm going to put the type spline in the extruded arms, and I'm going to extrude it by zero. So all I'm doing is creating polygons for it, so that now I can tell my cloner instead of cloning onto the spline clone onto the extruded nerves. Okay. Um, and then I have to set some options for that. Right now it's distributing it on distributing clones on the vertexes are the points of that geometry.
Joey Korenman (00:45:29):
And I want it to be on the surface. Okay. So I tell it surface, and then I can really crank up the number of particles here, and you got to go really high. So here's, what's going on. All right. If I, if I make it so that my extruded nerves is invisible. Okay. And we do a quick render. Here's the problem I was having. You can, you really have to crank up the number of clones to be able to see this. And it also it's gets kind of tough to read, um, for certain things, this technique might be really, really cool. Um, you get a lot of overlapping things. It looks really nice. I kinda dig that. Um, however, I, it, it feels sloppy, especially if I turn on the outline particles and I render that I render this again, it just starts to get muddy and it's hard to read and it's hard to control and you get these little patchy places like here in the D there's not enough there.
Joey Korenman (00:46:25):
Um, and then there's way too many in this little power to the, so what I didn't like about it was that it just wasn't as controllable. And you have to have so many, I have like 2000 clones here and you can see it starting to chug a little bit, um, because I have so many, so I figured out that that wasn't what I wanted to do. All right. So what, um, what I did, um, and let me just delete this whole setup for a minute. All right. So we've got our outline particles. What I'm going to do is duplicate my time's flying. I'm going to turn this whole thing off. And I was going to do this in illustrator, but I figured out that there must be some way to do this in cinema. Um, what I wanted to do in, in illustrator, there's a cool thing called offset path.
Joey Korenman (00:47:10):
And what it does is it lets you basically shrink or grow a spine. Um, and cinema 4d has the same thing. If you select a spline and you go to mesh spline and it's created outline, all right, um, and this distance here, this is how, how far you want to grow or shrink your spline. And I want to shrink my spline. So I'm going to say minus one, and I'm going to hit apply, and you can see what it did. It created this copy of the spline. Okay. Now that's not accurate. I didn't shrink it enough. So I'm gonna change this to minus two. Alright, so that's pretty good. Okay. So this is type spline. Oh two. So now what I can do, let's see here. Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention. Um, you can see how this actually, uh, it didn't create, um, it didn't really shrink the spline. It created a copy. And now that spline is connected to the original spline. That's not going to work. So we need to undo this and set one more option.
Joey Korenman (00:48:17):
I need to create a new object. So now when I apply, I can delete the original one. And now I just have this smaller one. So this will be type spline. Oh two. Alright. So now what I can do is I can copy my outline particles and call this outline particles. Oh, two, I can turn this one on and then come in here, delete this type spline and tell the cloner to use the new types plan. Now, when I turn on my outline and I have this other outline, you can see now I'm starting to get, um, you know, I'm starting to fill it in, but it's in a controllable way. And what I can do now is I can come into my cloner. Um, and I can, um, I can change the step of this, uh, of this inner spline. So it's a little bit different things are a little bit offset.
Joey Korenman (00:49:12):
Um, and you can actually adjust the offset here so you can try to get, get things to be a little bit less lined up. Um, I can use this, this plane effector, and I can make these maybe a little bit smaller, right? So that it feels a little bit more random. And speaking of random, the other thing I could do, um, is I could add another random effector here. So I'm gonna click that cloner random and I'll call this random scale, turn off position, turned scale on turn, on uniform scale. And now I can actually have some of those inner, um, those inner snowflakes be different sizes. All right. So let's render this and you can see that I'm starting to fill that in. And what's cool is because I already have the inheritance effector and everything all set up and ready to go. All of those particles are going to fly in. All right. And so now we can basically just keep doing this. So let's make another copy.
Joey Korenman (00:50:17):
This will be outlined particles of three. Um, and we can come in select this type spline, make sure that we're on our create outline and do another minus two. Okay. So we'll delete that one and we'll tell the culinary to use this. Okay. And then we'll come in and we can, we can make those even a little bit smaller and we can adjust the step. So there's, there's more of them and they fill in all right. And then we S we step back and we see what we have. Right. We've got a lot of particles going on here, but it's still fairly responsive. Um, and I'm on a newer iMac. If you are on a Mac pro surprise work even better. Um, and you can see that this is still pretty readable and it's totally controllable. Um, we're starting to get a little bit of a weird render in up close here.
Joey Korenman (00:51:12):
Right. It's starting to look a little too perfect here. I'm in the middle. So what I might want to do is, um, have a little bit larger of a step, um, and maybe scale those up a little bit and then maybe have the random, the randomness be even a little bit bigger. Okay. So now let's do a quick render of this. Cool. All right. And so now, um, you know, it's basically up to you. I mean, if you, if you think that you need another set of splines in the middle to really fill in, um, you know, then, then you can do that as well. Um, but I'm pretty happy with that. Um, the only thing I might do is shrink down my, my initial outline particles just a little bit more, because what happens is, if you look at the edge of your spline, this is where the original letter ended, but these snowflakes, they actually go outside the boundaries of that a little bit, which is okay.
Joey Korenman (00:52:17):
But if they go too far out, it kind of makes it hard to read. So I'm just going to, I'm just going to adjust the step on that cloner, get them a little bit closer together, zoom back out and do a quick render. All right. And this is fairly easy to read. It's totally random. It's totally controllable and the animation is already happening. Okay. And so what we could do now, um, is we could go back to our animation view like this, and you'll see, now we have three inheritance, effectors, all doing the same thing. Um, and the, the name that you see here in the timeline that comes from however it's named here. So if I want to be able to tell which one's, which I need to rename them up here in my object manager. So I'm going to rename this inheritance outline too, and this is going to be inheritance outline three. So now down here in the timeline, I can see which one's, which, and let's say that I want those inner snowflakes to fly in first and have these, the outer ones flying last, you know, maybe delayed by a second or something. So I can just sort of grab all these key frames and I can adjust them. And so now you get kind of, you know, the, the letters start to build on like this, right. And then the outline is the last piece of the letter to come in.
Joey Korenman (00:53:53):
Cool. Cool. All right. So you, you could stop there. Um, that, I mean, that's a pretty cool fact and, um, you know, I, I tend to have troubles, you know, being done with stuff. So, uh, the last thing I wanted to do was be able to have these, um, these snowflakes rotate a little bit as they fly in, but then stop rotating once they land. Um, and so I had to figure out how in the world, uh, to do that. So I'll show you the solution I came up with and it works. Okay. Um, you know, you, you like, I guess the easy way to do it would be, um, to actually have your motion know rotate. Um, but if you want them all to rotate like a little bit randomly, then here's what you can do. I'm going to select all three cloners at the same time, and I'm going to add a random effector and this random effector is going to affect every single clone in the scene.
Joey Korenman (00:54:54):
Right? So let me turn off position and instead turn on rotation and I'm gonna use the bank rotation. If you zoom in, you can see what that's doing. As I move this bank, you can see that they all rotate and they're all rotating different directions. And I'm going to give them about a rotation in half, which would be, um, would that be 480 degrees? Nope, that's not right. Uh, five 40. You could tell I don't skateboard because I would know that, um, all right, so 540 degrees of random rotation. And what I'm going to do is turn, let me first rename this random rotate. I'm going to turn fall off on for this effector and I'm going to set it to box. And so basically what I can, what I can set up is a box in which there is no rotation, but outside of that box, there is rotation.
Joey Korenman (00:55:49):
Okay. So what I need to do is first figure out how far away these, uh, these particles start. So they start pretty far away. All right. So that box needs to at least be big enough to contain them, right? So I'm just grabbing these little, um, orange points and stretching the box up, making sure that my particles are contained within this box. Okay. So the outer yellow box is where this effect sort of begins. And then this inner box, this red box is where it ends. All right. And I want it to end when they land. Okay. So they will rotate from here. And then once they get inside that box, they should stop. All right. And this is, this is a cool way to use the fall off is to have things kind of rotate. Now, it's almost impossible to tell because they're moving so fast. Are they actually rotating? Let's just see if we can see any of them.
Joey Korenman (00:56:44):
Yeah. This is one of those things there. There's a, there's a saying, uh, it's a sound only a dog could hear. And, um, I think that's what this is. It's, you know, they're rotating, but they're moving so fast. You can't even tell, but I know they're rotating. I know. And I will know. Um, cool. So, uh, I think that's about it. I think we've covered everything. So, um, you can use this technique. Um, it doesn't just have to be type. Um, I actually used this on vector images to create these kinds of iconic scenes. Um, and it looked really cool. One thing about doing this is that sometimes, um, you know, as an animator, you tend to speed things up a little bit. Um, and you may want to do, um, like a software preview. Like if I wanted to see how this felt, what I would do is maybe set my, set my, um, my comp size to half HD, um, and then go to save, make sure I'm not actually saving a file anywhere, set my output to all frames.
Joey Korenman (00:57:47):
And then just to do a very quick preview, you can set your render from standard to software, and then you can hit shift R send it to your picture of you, and you can see how quickly it'll kind of blast through that. And this will just give you a good idea of like how fast they're going to feel. And that actually feels pretty good to me. I'm not, I'm not unhappy with that. Cool. So there you go, guys. Um, that was a, that was a whole lot of information and I hope some of it, uh, any of it was useful to you. Um, and I guess the things that I really hope you got out of this are, you know, some workflow ideas about how to go about animating things. If you're not sure how to use the curves, maybe, maybe try using motion sketch and give yourself a reference.
Joey Korenman (00:58:36):
Um, and then using the inheritance effector in animation mode with fall-off based animation turned on to be able to literally have complete control over what all your clones are doing and building on anything you want using these splines. Um, and again, it's just, it's all about having complete control because when you're in a client situation and they say, I love it, but I wish that particle didn't dip down so far. If this was like a dynamics based thing, or you were using like a wind effect or something like that, it would be really hard to control in this case. These are all controlled by this one. No, all I have to do is change with that and all does, and it changes the whole thing. So there you go. Thank you guys so much. And I will talk to you soon. Thanks so much for watching.
Joey Korenman (00:59:23):
I hope you learned a ton of new tricks to add to your cinema 4d toolkit. I also hope that you learned that it's okay if things don't work out exactly as planned and that if you keep messing around and experimenting with a little persistence, you'll find a solution that works. If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know. And we'd love, love to hear from you if you use this technique on a project. So give us a shout on Twitter at school motion and show us your work. And if you learn something valuable from this, please share it around. It really helps us spread the word and we totally appreciate it. Don't forget. You can sign up for a free student account to access the project files for the lesson you just watched, plus a whole bunch of other really good stuff. Thanks again. And I'll see you on the next one.
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