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Pumpkin Bat

Simple spline animation in CINEMA 4D By Ko Maruyama
Someone recently asked me why I had stopped writing holiday-based tutorials.  'Dunno.  Here's another simple tutorial to illustrate spline based animation in MAXON's CINEMA 4D - I've made it a 'holiday' tutorial.  Splines in this 3D application can be used for many different purposes, including shader creation.  The ability to control the splines is key to many different animations.  Here's how:

Point Level Animation, or PLA in MAXON's CINEMA 4D is, fundamentally, the ability to control the structure of an object.  While this can be used to change polygonal geometry, spline shapes have no polygons or UVs to grapple with, just points.

While modifying the structure of your objects may sound daunting, and animating structure coordinates might sound even more difficult, if you can click and drag, you can do it.

To animate the spline we'll need a shape.

 From the spline objects, select a tool that best works for you.  Select the FRONT view and draw your pumpkin shape. (Of course, if you want to import a spline from an application like Adobe's Illustrator, you can: see previous DMN articles about importing splines into Cinema 4D)

Set a keyframe for Point Level Animation.  PLA keyframe recording is turned OFF by default.  You'll have to enable it.  There are several ways to do this.

  • Locate the icon for PLA (a cluster of 4x4 orange dots).  Usually it's in the lower part of the standard layout, located on the timeline bar, just after the Parameter recording button.
  • Use the default hotkey to turn it on/off ('l') lower case 'L'.
  • Under the file pulldown for Animation, select.... Record -> Point Level Animation
Once enabled, set the keyframe by clicking the red dot (or using the F9 default for "record active objects")

  Move to a different point in time.  NOTE: In R9+ you can double click the timeline number to automatically jump to a specific point in the timeline.  Like any other value, C4D will accept a mathematical formula (+, -, *, /) to calculate frames.

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Related Keywords:Maxon, Tutorial, C4D, Cinema 4D, Ko, Halloween, Holiday, PLA, spline animation


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