Naming and Numbering Conventions

This is an issue i run into a lot. People have terrible naming conventions, so i thought i’d go over some basics. This is mostly based on my experience and is more geared towards freelancers. There are many other possibilities, but these i think are the essentials, the rest will probably be pipeline dependant.

So rule number one, for everyone: NEVER EVER EVER name a file “FINAL”. Just don’t, its not real, it never happens, and you end up with silly stuff like “project_Final_v03_changes05_done_friday”. In many places its a fireable offense. So don’t do it. Also i recommend not working with people who do it, it’s a bad omen.

When i’m working on my own files they will be named either based on scene or object, with 3 numerals after the underscore, maybe 4 just in case, but i don’t think i ever got there. So object_004, object_005, etc…

Now you should have incremental save turned on, so you can hit “Save” and the program will automatically adjust the number. So 004 will become 005 etc. I have it set to ctrl+alt+s in cinema4D. Hit it regularily. It’ll save you from losing data to corrupt files, and will let you easily revert to past versions.

Now lets say you have something you are working on and you want to test out a variation, or something that might break everything, well a good way to name it is “object_005_testNewArm_001.c4d”

This way you can increments and try out things, and if it doesn’t work out, you know exactly where to go back to. If it works out well, just save it as “object_006.c4d” and keep working.

Recieving files from clients.

If I receive a file from a client, lets say “character_056.c4d” While i work on it I’ll ussually append “_A002” to the end. “A” being for Aleksey. So when he gets my file, or finds it in a folder, he will know what was the initial file. So it will be “character_056_A007” when he gets it. If it works the way he wants, he can rename it and bring it back into his numbering structure, so into “character_057”.

I hope you found this helpful. Do you have any workflows you like or don’t like? Share them in the comments help others avoid pitfalls, and be more efficient 🙂

Cheers,
Aleksey

Timer – productivity quicktip

There are many time tracking apps and what not, but for me personally i find it very helpful to just set a timer and a small goal.

Its kinda like the pomodoro technique. I’ll ussually use 25min timers, and go: “i will do these 3 points of revisions in the next 25 minutes”.

I also do the same thing for breaks. I’ll set myself 12 minutes to check out forums or what not. And setting a timer helps there. Or do some cleaning around the house for 25 minutes.

So why am i writing this? Well there is this website called e.ggtimer.com, the handy thing about it, is you can set the timer with a url, so i have these handy timers in my bookmark bar on my brower.

Hope you find this useful!

Cheers,
Aleksey


 

Modify Clone Parameter Part1

Modify clone parameter, how to blend between various clones.

 

UV unwrapping in 3D coat and cinema4D

In this quick tutorial i show you how to unwrap a model in 3D coat!

 

Surface Deformer

How to make one geometry surface deform another, useful for stitches, bulges, ties, shirts etc..

 

cheers,
Aleksey

camera ticks – render camera Cinema 4d Quicktip

Ever have trouble with those little white boxes next to the camera and render the wrong view? This video tries to clear things up a bit 🙂

C4D install variations

Do you ever need to run various configurations of c4d on a regular basis? For example an install without plugins? Or perhaps you are beta testing a render engine, and you regularily need to switch between stable and beta version? Well here i’ll show you how to do that without duplicating your whole c4d install folder.

Cinema4D looks in 2 places for plugins/scripts/layouts etc. The first place is in the root folder of c4d. c:/program files/maxon/cinema4d or wherever you have it installed. The second is called a prefs folder. This by default lives somewhere in your “my documents” folder. and is unique to each user account on your computer. Here i will show you how to manually tell c4d which prefs folder it should look at when launching.

Make a shortcut to cinema4D in your R17 folder.

shortcut

right click on it and click properties.

now in the Target field add:[  g_prefspath=”E:dropboxc4d prefs”]

 

without the square brackets. So mine looks like this:

  • “E:\soft\CINEMA 4D R17\CINEMA 4D.exe” g_prefspath=”E:\dropbox\Dropboxc\4d stuff\c4d prefs\prefs”

Don’t forget the space before the “g_prefspath”.

properties

Now when you open Cinema4D from that shortcut, thats where its going to get all your layouts and shortcuts and plugins from.

You can make as many of these shortcuts if you want. What is important is that you install your plugins into the “plugins” folder inside the prefs folder and not in your root directory. Because the root directory plugins will load all the time regardless of what c4d shortcut you click.

If you want to get your old prefs and put them there you can do that easily. By opening cinema4D from the cinema 4d.exe file. pressing ctrl+e, and clicking the “open preference folder” button in the bottom left of the window. From there you can also check where your current open instance of C4D is getting its preferences.

prefs

Now you can rename these shortcuts to Cinema4d clean, Octane Beta, Octane stable etc..

Keep in mind that each version will have its own shortcuts and layouts. So be wary of that. maybe find a software that will sync just some of the files inside those folders, I haven’t looked into that yet.

 

Note: in R15 it was different, so my target path looked like this: “E:\soft\CINEMA 4D R15a\CINEMA 4D 64 Bit.exe” -homedir “E:\soft\CINEMA 4D R15a\myprefs”

cheers,
Aleksey

 

Xparticles Manual CSS skin

Got tired of staring at the Bright white screen while reading the xparticles manual, so i made this simple CSS tweak. Just extract it to [your_c4dPath\plugins\X-Particles\manual\css]

xparticles CSS

 

 

Axis Nulls and animation – You won’t believe what happens next!

Animations Jumping around when you parent them? Let me explain why that happens and how to address the issue.

Cheers,

Aleksey

Priorities in a nutshell

Are your objects lagging or bouncing when they are not meant to? I made a video for you on how to fix it 🙂