Cinema 4D Ascent

3D Animation in Cinema 4D

In Cinema 4D Ascent, you'll learn to master marketable 3D concepts in Cinema 4D from Maxon Certified Trainer, EJ Hassenfratz. Over the course of 12 weeks, this class will teach you the fundamental 3D concepts you need to know to create beautiful renders and tackle any task a studio or client might throw at you.

Course Duration
12 Weeks
Software
Cinema 4D
Verified Credential
Intermediate 3D Animation
Next Session Starts:
July 11, 2022
Next Session Starts:
As soon as you register
Enroll NowNotify MeLearn More

Cohort-based learning

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Course Overview

You know Cinema 4D. You understand the foundations, and have a good grasp on the tools and basic 3D concepts. But when you look at work from top studios and artists, it still feels out of your reach. How do you go from 3D beginner to 3D boss? You need a class that will teach you the important, fundamental 3D concepts needed to create beautiful renders and tackle complex animation. You need to join Maxon Master Trainer EJ Hassenfratz in Cinema 4D Ascent. 

This course is the next step in a student's Cinema 4D learning journey. It's meant for people that are familiar with the software, but need guidance to reach the next level. Students looking to expand their existing general 3D knowledge should take this course before moving on to more specialized courses, such as Lights, Camera, Render!

Course Outcomes
Master 3D concepts that are key to having your work stand out
Practice dynamic animation concepts and learn how to rig and model characters
Create a brand new 3D animation using advanced techniques

What You'll Learn

Each week is jam-packed with intense learning. While you have some flexibility in how you tackle your workload, the course is curated in a specific order. We build up foundations that support more and more advanced techniques with lessons to practice your new skills along the way.

Week 1
Day 1
You'll Learn:
Basic sculpting tools in Cinema 4D.
How to use Collision and Displace deformers.
How to utilize Generator Objects like Lathe, Atom Array, and Cloth Objects to generate geometry.

Check your gear, because this course is BEEFY. We’ll start by covering the updates to Cinema 4D and the tools you need to proceed. Then you’ll dive into an evaluation assignment where you can demonstrate your skills, plus try your hand at using any new tips that EJ presented in the orientation lesson.

Week 2
Day 2
You'll Learn:
Universal render concepts like global illumination, ambient occlusion, samples, & more.
The importance of 3rd party renderers, and the difference between biased & unbiased rendering.
Redshift and Octane Render and how Physical Render concepts translate.

Get a crash course in universal render concepts utilizing Physical Render, Redshift Render, plus Octane Render from the Octane Master himself, David Ariew. Gain a full understanding of why 3rd-party rendering is the industry standard. Then, with that knowledge in hand, apply those concepts to Redshift. We'll also have some bonus content that explores the same universal render concepts in Octane Renderer.

Week 3
Day 3
You'll Learn:
How Node Materials work and essential Redshift nodes.
How to use image textures to add imperfections.
How to create stylized 2D looking materials using Sketch and Toon and Redshift.

Jump into node materials and methods of creating 2D-style renders using Redshift, enabling more realistic looks in your renders. You’ll learn how to layer images and textures and customize different aspects of your shaders to create unique looks. Then move on to learn how to create cartoon-style renders using Sketch N' Toon. You will be able to incorporate 2D cel animated elements into a scene directly in C4D to create fun looks that combine both 2D and 3D.

Week 4
Day 4
You'll Learn:
An overview of Octane materials such as subsurface scattering, blurs, bumps, & more.
How the material systems work.
Nodes and how they work in Octane.

It's time for your first Focus Week, a reprieve from new lessons to catch up on coursework. You'll get another visit from David Ariew, who will walk you through Octane materials. There’s a bonus lesson to learn about rendering multiple passes out of C4D using Redshift, which expands your compositing capabilities in software like After Effects. It also gives you a huge amount of control over your final image without rendering multiple times.

Week 5
Day 5
You'll Learn:
How to utilize various Fields to enhance your animation workflow.
Vertex Maps and Freeze Layers, and how they can be used to create a variety of effects.
A deeper understanding of Mograph features like Cloners, Fields, Vertex Maps, and Effectors.

Ready to dive into more advanced topics? This week, you will learn how to use a host of different tools that unlock some powerful procedural options. These enable artists to have faster control over complex effects, modeling tasks, and animations. Imagine making a swarm of bees all move in random directions. Almost inconceivable to animate by hand, but with procedural controls such as Cloners, Fields, and the MoGraph tools, you can tackle challenges that would have seemed impossible.

Week 6
Day 6
You'll Learn:
Rigid and Soft Body Dynamics, what they are, and how to use them.
Spline and Hair Dynamics.
Using Dynamics with Vertex Maps and other tools.

This week is all about Dynamics. They enable you to create crazy effects using physics engines! Think water sloshing around, flags flapping in the breeze, things smashing and breaking, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man jiggling when he walks! All of these can be done without keyframes, and are instead driven by the magic of math and physics inside of C4D. You will work with both Rigid Body and Soft Body dynamics, giving you plenty of experience playing with the various options available when using dynamics to drive your animations.

Week 7
Day 7
You'll Learn:
What X-Particles is and how/when/why to use it.
Using X-Particles for Dynamics.
Some cool, current work from motion designers using X-Particles.

This week is another Focus Week, giving you time to catch up if you need it. And remember that swarm of bees? Well we have a bonus lesson about Particle Effects! You can generate a whole swarm of bees and animate them with the touch of a few buttons, all with the help of some additional software called X-Particles. We're talking THOUSANDS of BEES, maybe even MILLIONS.

Week 8
Day 8
You'll Learn:
IK/FK under the lens of mechanical rigging & practical mograph applications.
Rigging up a scene and animating it using mechanical IK.
How to rig a simple character that has an object attached.

This week you’ll climb even higher into advanced animation and rigging techniques. You'll get an introduction to IK/FK, constraints, rigging simple characters, and much more. You’ll work on some mechanical rigging, and earn a solid understanding of how to add joints, parent constraints, and paint weights to ensure that things move correctly. We'll also show you how to rig up basic characters so they're movement ready, including adding dynamics to create fun, automated secondary animations.It's. Gonna. Be. FUN!

Week 9
Day 9
You'll Learn:
Learn core 3D modeling skills that will allow you to model basic objects and characters.
How to approach posing and animating objects and characters.
Good workflow tips and things to consider for your project.

You’re almost to the top of this climb. During this last week, you will get a ton of modeling tips from EJ to prepare you for your final project. Learn how to model a cute pug character, along with some other useful objects that will set you up for success in the future. By the end of this week, you should have a solid understanding of some more intermediate modeling concepts than what we covered in Basecamp. This one will push you to the limits. Good luck!

Week 10
Day 10
You'll Learn:
Extended Critique Period

The final 3 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

Week 11
You'll Learn:
Extended Critique Period

The final 3 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

Week 12
You'll Learn:
Extended Critique Period

The final 3 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

What You'll Get

School of Motion courses are custom-built to provide you with an unmatched learning experience. We want you to actually enjoy logging into your classes, and we’ve designed our programs to be the most effective form of online education out there. In every course, you’ll get:

Cohort-Based Learning

Join artists from around the world on our custom learning platform. Never learn alone, as you’ll have immediate access to a forum of fellow students to share work, ask questions, and improve together. 

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Each course comes packed with free project files, assets, and additional material to keep you learning and growing long after the course ends. Our exercises are designed from real world briefs, so you’re learning the skills you need to excel on your next project or venture.

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

You’ll be assigned a Teaching Assistant with years of experience in your chosen course. They’ll provide technical and creative feedback to guide you through new skills, improve your techniques, and provide encouragement along your journey. 

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Completing a course isn’t just about bragging rights. Once you’ve completed at least 70% of your work in a given course, you’ll earn a verified credential that can show current and future employers exactly what you’ve accomplished.

Permanent Access to Course Material

We all need a refresher now and again, which is why you’ll keep access to your course—and all the assets and project files—for the rest of your life. Come back to listen to exclusive interviews, review old lessons, and try out new techniques using your old assets.

An Expansive Alumni Community

You’ll gain instant access to our alumni platform, The Square. Here you can network with professional artists at every stage of their career. You’ll get access to new job opportunities and exclusive alumni events, such as meetups, virtual hangouts and reel reviews. 

Upcoming Course Dates

Enroll Now

Our cohort-based leaning program runs on a designated schedule, so you’ll always have a group of like-minded artists working alongside you for support and encouragement. We offer multiple sessions each year, so choose the best start date for you and get ready to go!

July 11, 2022
Summer 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
July 1, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once
$1097

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of
$382

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1146.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
October 10, 2022
Fall 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
October 9, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.
Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
January 9, 2023
Winter 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
January 8, 2023
Enrollment Options
Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.
Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
October 10, 2022
Fall 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
October 9, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.
Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
October 10, 2022
Fall 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
October 9, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Full Price
$1197
Pay all at once
$1197

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.
Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$415
3 payments of
$415

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1245.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!

Course Instructor

EJ Hassenfratz
Creative Director & Cinema 4D Trainer

EJ Hassenfratz is a multi-Emmy award winning Motion Design artist & tutorial artist based out of the Mile High city of Denver, CO. EJ comes from a family of designers. Both his father and uncle were Art Directors for broadcast news stations, where EJ cut his teeth in the industry. Inspired by his wife who teaches special-needs children, he started Eyedesyn, a motion design blog to give back to the community that helped him be successful in the field of Motion Design. He’s been fortunate to work with clients like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, ESPN, and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.

Our alumni are hired by companies like

Megumi Ikeda
Video Editor
“School of Motion courses provided me with the skills and feedback that my school couldn't provide. I wouldn't have gone viral or landed my internship without their in-depth courses.”
Justin Peterson
Motion Designer
“The decision to take Animation Bootcamp from School of Motion was a life changer. I have turned my passion of motion graphics into my career.”
Deanna Reilly
Animator & Illustrator
“School of Motion courses quickly reignited my passion for animation and helped me launch my career in an exciting new direction.agency”
Leigh Williamson
Illustrator & Animator
“I'm more confident, more relevant, more equipped, better connected and close to my goals since School of Motion entered my life.”
Join our growing community of over
15,000+ Alumni

FAQs

How do I know if this course is right for me?

Cinema 4D Ascent is for students who have a foundational knowledge of Cinema 4D and are looking for more. It's designed as the next step for students continuing their Cinema 4D journey and is perfect for students who have completed Cinema 4D Basecamp. You'll learn to master fundamental 3D concepts for creating beautiful renders and tackling any task a studio or client might throw at you.

What are the prerequisites?

Students taking this course must have a solid understanding of 3D fundamentals like interface navigation, animation, materials, basic lighting, and C4D’s Mograph Module. Knowledge of rendering concepts is a plus and may be useful to students taking this course. It is strongly recommended that students take Cinema 4D Basecamp before this class and have a computer that can run Redshift or Octane. Students do not need to know anything about rigging, modeling, dynamics, or 3rd party rendering to take this course.

What is the required software?

Cinema 4D

Windows: Windows 10 64-bit on Intel or AMD 64-bit CPU with SSE3 support

MacOS: 10.13.6 or higher with 64-bit CPU running on Intel-based Apple Macintosh

To run future releases of Cinema 4D on Mac, you’ll need macOS 10.14.6 or higher on an Intel-based Apple Macintosh or Apple M1-powered Mac. macOS 10.15.7 is recommended due to a number of Metal enhancements which will improve the performance, stability and interaction with the viewport.

We recommend updating to macOS 10.15. There are a number of enhancements to Metal in the latest macOS which will improve the performance, stability and interaction with the viewport.

Linux: CentOS 7, 64bit. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, 64bit

Do I need a computer that can run Redshift or Octane Render?

Yes! Software and hardware considerations is a big key for this course as it utilizes software that cannot be run without certain hardware. As of right now, if you are on a Mac you must either have a Thunderbolt eGPU solution or have a newer Mac with a Navi or Vega AMD GPU or later to use Redshift or Octane Render (which only runs on NVidia GPUs) which are taught and used fairly heavily in the course. While students can go through all of the teaching material (only half of week 1 and week 2 are focused heavily on the renderers), the project files will be textured using Redshift and Octane render.

What if I prefer a different render engine?

You can use another render engine other than Redshift or Octane, but you will need to be fairly self sufficient in those engines because we do not have content specifically tailored for them.

The lessons that address render engines at a feature set level are in Redshift and Octane.

There are only a few feature specific lessons that pertain to Redshift and Octane, and most of the course will focus on concepts that can be applied universally to other render engines.

Students using other render engines will need to do their own research on how to translate those concepts on a technical level. You will also need to retexture any project files included in the course to be used in the render engine of their choice.

Do I get a complimentary Cinema 4D license?

Nope, it turns out most of the students have their own licenses to use, so we are no longer offering complimentary licenses for this course. If you don’t have your own license yet, you can check out the Maxon requirements page to see which version is right for your computer, and choose the monthly subscription that best fits your needs. This course is three months long, so you’ll want it for at least that long to participate.

What is the course format?

Cinema 4D Ascent is a 12-week course. Lessons become available at a specific time each week but you can watch them and do your work whenever it is convenient for you. The lessons include pre-recorded videos, podcasts, PDFs and assignments with working files.All student work is critiqued by our highly trained Teaching Assistants. School of Motion TA's are professional 3D Artists with real life experience in the industry.During the course you will be invited to a private classroom that contains all of the  students and Teaching Assistants in your session. This is a great tool for connecting, asking or answering questions, sharing thoughts or insights, and winning cool contests!

How much time do I need to commit?

Cinema 4D Ascent is a 12 week course. You'll have the flexibility to watch the course content and complete your course work on your schedule. However, you can expect to commit at least 15 - 20 hours per week on course material. The video lessons are 1-2 hours in length. There are 14 assignments total. Assignments are typically assigned on Mondays and Thursdays with soft deadlines the next day. We have designated catch-up weeks built into the schedule so students have extra time to complete their assignments if needed. There is also an extended critique add-on for those that want more time with a Teaching Assistant after the 12-week course or need more time to complete assignments towards earning a credential.

Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes, if you complete, submit, and have 70% of your course assignments approved by your Teaching Assistant you will be eligible for a Course Credential through Credly. With your Credly Course Credential, you can share your accomplishments across your social networks, the blockchain, or to print out yourself.

Can I access my course content after the course ends?

Yes! Once you complete Cinema 4D Ascent, you’ll have lifetime access to all the course lessons and materials, so you can revisit them whenever you like. Also, if we make any changes to Cinema 4D Ascent following your session, you’ll automatically receive access to the latest version.

Please note: Video critiques change each session, so you’ll only have access to the video critiques during the session you're enrolled in. The written critiques you receive in your homework locker as well as the classroom content will also remain available to you forever!

Are you interested in learning more?
We can help! But first we need to learn a little more about you. Submit the form below to get the full course syllabus and more information on the course.