terrain generation generator c4d cinema 4d plugin terraform4d terra

Terraform 4D – make awesome terrains in C4D! Plugin review

Do you find the terrain object limiting? Terraform4D is a new plugin to simply the process of making terrains in Cinema4D.

You can grab it here: https://www.terraform4d.com

Cheers!

https://ace5studios.com/products – check out the free rigs first !

Check out my other Animation tutorials in my tutorial page! Or click on the image below to see intro to animation.
introduction to character animation in cinema 4d

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

What is Crypto Art?

So you heard about Beeple making 3.5million in a weekend with it?


Crypto art is an umbrella term for a system used to verify ownership of a digital piece of art. Image, video or gif.

The basic concept is: if you have extra money, you can now buy digital art ownership and brag to your friend that you are the owner. You can also re-sell it. with the bonus that the original artist gets a % of the sale if the art work rises in price when you sell.
There are 2 basic people who buy crypto art.

  • collectors/patrons. Who want to support the artist. Hang a plasma on the wall which shows off what art they own. Think digital picture frame. Friends come over, the owner can brag that they just bought this for $5.5k. Same as with physical art. Obviously no one is stopping you from just playing the images and telling your friends you own them. I’m sure they will. But it’s possible to log on to the websites that deal in crypto art and check who the owner is and how much it costs. Or you can directly check the block chain, which has a record of the whole life of the token. Who created it, who bought it, who big on it, who the last owner is.
  • Speculators. People who buy it in the hopes of selling it for more later.

There is a bunch of stuff like drops, basically “releases” some images have one edition, some have a run of 20. it’s up to the artist to decide. But you got to remember that the more you have, the cheaper they will be.

But so what?
The original problem is that all digital art is not distinguishable from the original, as you can have an unlimited number of identical copies.
This method, watermarks each digital file using blockchain, and “tokenizes” them, giving the same value as a signed artwork. In the past, you could own a limited reproduction of an artwork, for example in silkscreen, but only the ones with the original artist’s signature had any real value. Essentially, you are getting a digital signature embedded in your artwork.

The artist can chose to make more copies, but can’t duplicate that particular signature, just like with real art, where you can get a “perfect” fake that looks like the original, but isn’t.

This thing is verified by a public block chain. Which is basically like a public book that records all transactions. And it’s authenticity is verified by a large network of nodes, compromising the users of the network. Think of it like a wikipedia page, where when you make a change everyone else who has used it has to go: “yup all good” and then an offline copy is updated and stored on everyone’s computer.


Popular crypto art marketplaces:

Nifty Gateway

https://superrare.co

https://www.rareart.io/


Now remember that this is isn’t for everyone. Much of the crypto art is sold for a couple of dollars. But the concept has shown to appear viable. The main thing you need to know: This is a method to monetize art you make through collectors and sponsors. Think of this like making your own digital baseball cards. Where you can verify who the owner is and track sales of them.


Good Luck in this cyber world we are entering!
-Aleksey

Should you charge for project files?

In short? 

  1. If you are working with some other form of production company. For example a studio, agency, production house, then most definitely plan to hand them over. If you didn’t discuss this up front, take the hit this time. Next time include it in your rate. 

OR

2. If you are working with an End client. Like a shop, or festival or a band or something. Then no need to hand over stuff.  It can be charged separately, because you are charging them for the final product. 

In Long?

Biggest issue here in my opinion, is from a personal growth perspective. You should always try to move away from stuff that someone else can do in house or hire someone cheaper. Just charge to compensate for potential lost work from the start.

If you keep trying to do everything yourself, eventually you will be still beaten by someone who does it cheaper, and perhaps can re-make the project for less than what you are charging for the project files.

It’s not just for freelancers, every businesses ability to survive depends on it doing something that others can’t do or don’t want to do. So it’s in your best interest to avoid doing work that can be done by others for less. Use that time to learn a new skill, or experiment and gain experience so that only you can be hired for that job. Over time this all adds up.

Obviously everyone has different situations and often you really need that easy money from doing corrections, no problem with that. But i think from a mind set point of view thats detrimental to your personal growth in the long run.

If you are considering not handing over the files, just put yourself into the same position, if you are running a project and suddenly someone refuses to give you the files you need and is holding you ransom . Will you ever work with this person again? Or will you do everything in your power to avoid working with someone who took advantage of you when you had no other choice?

In the end i mean everyone knows about the project files discussion. Either factor it in by default or discuss it upfront. If you don’t know about it. Just decide if you want to work with this client in the future. If you do, don’t charge them, and take the loss this time. If you don’t want to work with them ever again, then it doesn’t matter, charge them as much as you think you can get away with.

But remember this industry is small, and everyone knows each other. 

Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments, let others benefit from your experience.

Bonus tip: If you factor it in by default, then you can offer discounts if they don’t have the budget but want to save some money!

Bonus tip No.2: Charge more, i wrote an article on how and why to do it: https://ace5studios.com/how-much/

Cheers,
Aleksey

Secret Symmetry tools that Maxon doesn’t want you to know about!

Maxon has been hiding this from you all along. There is an amazing symmetry tool built right into the core of C4D, but it has been hidden from ordinary folk. Today i finally reveal the dark truth about it.

But if you don’t want to watch the dramatic video, it basically just involves making a pose morph tag, then making adjustments, then copying the pose morph, then right clicking and pressing flip X. Activate both pose morphs and then delete the tag 🙂

Cheers!

https://ace5studios.com/products – check out the free rigs first !

Check out my other Animation tutorials in my tutorial page! Or click on the image below to see intro to animation.
introduction to character animation in cinema 4d

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

IK – FK transition during animation

Do you need to switch between IK and FK during an animation in Cinema 4d?

My suggestion is: Don’t. But if you really want to i made a tutorial for you. 🙂

https://ace5studios.com/products – check out the free rigs first !

Check out my other Animation tutorials in my tutorial page! Or click on the image below to see intro to animation.
introduction to character animation in cinema 4d

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

Keyframes 101 – Introduction

Don’t know how to handle keyframes? Check out this handy video with the basics, and some useful tips!

Videos like this should help you learn the basics of animation and keyframes. So that later you can follow any tutorials, not just C4D ones. But maya and blender, and whatever software the animator is using.

https://ace5studios.com/products – check out the free rigs first !

Check out my other Animation tutorials in my tutorial page! Or click on the image below to see intro to animation.
introduction to character animation in cinema 4d

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

use your own rig with mixamo animation in cinema 4d with rigged characters

Use your own rig with Mixamo

Do you have an existing rig? Do you want to use it with Mixamo animations? and then adjust them to your liking? This is the tutorial for you then!

The Basic concepts is you upload your mesh and joints to mixamo and download an animation, then you merge it back in, and hide the mesh that came from mixamo ( you need to keep it). Then you parent the controllers of your mesh to the joints and now you can use your existing rig to adjust the mixamo animation!

https://ace5studios.com/products – check out the free rigs first !

If you are looking for an alternative method to animate the 5j characters without messing about with all the controller parenting, have a look at this video:

Check out my other spline tutorials in my tutorial page!

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

introduction to character animation in cinema 4d

Intro to Character Animation in Cinema4D

I sell lots of rigged characters and stuff for cinema 4D and realized i don’t have any tutorials which would actually show people how to use them, so this series will be all about that! 🙂

https://ace5studios.com/products – check out the free rigs first !

Check out my other spline tutorials in my tutorial page!

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

 

retopology in 3d coat intro tutorial

Intro to retopology in 3D coat

This is a really quick introduction to retopology in 3D coat, i prefer using to to retopologize meshes over Cinema4D, because it has lots of handy tools for placing polygons on dense sculpts. 

If you would like more tutorials about retopology let me know in the comments

 
 
 
Check out my other spline tutorials in my tutorial page!
 

Looking for free rigs to practice animation? Be sure to check out the Shop page!

 

types of jobs you can do in mograph vfx list

Things you can do in the 3D MoGraph industry

You remember those books you had as a kid which listed all the possible professions, like fireman, police man, doctor etc.. ? I feel like in the 3D Mograph area that’s a bit of a lacking resource. So i decided to try stick together a bit of a guide of possible directions you can explore.

Before i go through them, i’d like to point out a key difference between MoGraph and general VFX and 3D for games and movies. When you work in Mograph, deadlines are a much larger issue, and they are MUCH shorter. So one of the main points here, is making something that looks cool with the least amount of time/computer power.

I’m also going to list the pro’s and con’s I see in each of these areas. But as everything in this industry, they always change, and depend on your geographic location, who you know and your personal level of luck.

Bumpers and 3D bumpers for tv channels.
I think this is where mograph in general originated, tv channels wanted cool stuff to show people. I’d have to guess MTV was the main driving force for this. These are kind of like title cards you see on TV ( if anyone reading this still watched this). The stuff that comes on before the weather, or a news update. The range here is huge, from super technical russian stuff, to quite basic stuff that is more favored in the west. This also has overlap with youtuber content now, since they need similar graphics for their channels etc.
main con: youtubers generally pay little, getting gigs with dwindling tv channel budgets is harder than ever. Also places like videohive provide just a mass of pre-built ones, which can be real pretty and you have to compete with that. Large brands pay very little, because everyone wants to work for them.

Some great work from top tier talents over here, Phillip Pavlovs is more skewed towards Russia and Eastern Europe, and then you can see the start difference towards more western work of Capacity

Vizualization
I’m going to group architectural and product into one here. This is basically creating very realistic or hyper realistic representations of real products for video ads, or maybe print ads.
Things to look up and google: Unreal architectural vizualization. RTX graphics cards and real time reflections in game engines. if you are doing product viz, you will most likely want some kinda of fluid simulation tool under your belt too. It will let you making swirly liquid stuff around juice boxes etc..

Animator
Basically here your job would be to make stuff move in an realistic and appealing manner. This could be characters, cars, particles, crowds ( although crowds is a bit more of a simulation thing). Would recommend to read up on the 12 principles of animation, and then start applying that to everything you can. Start with small basic stuff, like cubes, post boxes, fridges etc.. then move onto stuff with more moving parts.
This can also be applied to just text and camera moves. And just abstract shapes.

Character work
This is also a very vast field, which has many sections in it. Modelling/sculpting/retopology, texturing, Grooming ( hair fur), clothes creating/simulation, rigging ( putting bones and stuff in), animating ( blocking, cleaning up, adding detail) Danny Mac Has a great video about the process and what it involves

Abstract stuff for animation
Think all those crazy nike adds with knitting and other fancy stuff happening. This is basically a matter of learning the tools and what they can do and then figuring out how to combine them in new and interesting ways. Parts of it are very technical, but also lots of lucky accidents while messing with the various tools provided.

Previz
Short for pre-vizualization. Basically it’s blocking in all the movements, for characters, products, cameras etc and figuring out the timing, the mood, sticking some music onto it. This is something that really should be done for all projects, and often done by artists doing other stuff or art directors, but there are people who just do this as a profession.

Simulation Expert
Simulating fluids and explosions is something that is getting easier with every year, but it’s still not something that is easy to pick up, and the simulations takes LOTS of time, so lots of waiting for you computer to calculate stuff. In this field technical proficiency with managing networks can come in handy, so you can figure out how to get your software to calculate stuff across multiple computers, potentially in the cloud and get revisions faster.
Software to look into: Xparticles for cinema 4D, houdini

Medical Vizualization
Animating various medical stuff with molecules and viruses, you will be looking to provide visual materials for various medical research companies who need to demonstrate how their products work. Also documentaries which explain how the human body works. If you have an interest in biology, this is a good field to look at, since to do this well you have to be able to understand what is being explained to you and then visualize it. The more you already know about biology, the less the client has to teach you, and the faster you create what is needed.

Software: Cinema 4D mograph tools set, hair tools, xparticles, houdini, sculpting skills might also help.

Mad Microbe do some amazing work in this field!

Environment artist
This is basically all about making backgrounds, which spans from making rooms, like in archviz, all the way to making epic landscapes for lord of the rings style stuff.

For this kind of work you probably need houdinin, but lot’s can be done in Cinema4D. This is a small video that i really like about this sphere of work.

3D modelling Hard Surface and Organic
Hard surface – this is i guess part of the vizualization industry, but again, this is also a separate skill and specialization. Here you would specialize in modelling man made objects. Think Blenders, vacuum cleaners, cars, planes and electric toothbrushes. In this kind of job you would be provided with sketches and drawing which then you would have to turn into 3D models. Vitaly Bulgarov does some amazing work in this field!


Organic – Basically the same thing, but here the speciality is more organic stuff, Plants, food, animals, human characters etc.. The main difference from Hard surface modelling is you have to know more about rigging and animation, because your models will most likely be handed off to riggers and animators and they have to be able to deform naturally, unlike hard surface, where each individual part moves on it’s own.

3D sculpting artist
This a type of procedure that can be used for generating both hard surfaces and and organic surfaces, and if you are a talented sculptor you don’t really need to worry about good topology. You would be hired mostly just for your knowledge of what things look like or your ability to design characters out of virtual clay. It is up to you if you want to delve into retopology and baking.
Software: Zbrush, 3dcoat, blender

Clothing Artist
With tools such as marvelous designer you can focus on clothing design. If you can retopologize it and then sell it even better. This is a good field to go into if you ever wanted to be a clothing designer in the real world. Lots of the skills are transferable and quite essential.

Retopology and Baking
This is the process of converting the very dense geometry generated by 3d sculpting into much more efficient and light geo in order for it to be usable in animation down the line. It’s not the most fun work, but some people really enjoy it. Also every day there are new tools coming out which can significantly increase the speed with which you can work. Most people in the Mograph industry shy away from modelling.
Software: 3dcoat, topogun, xnormal, substance painter, blender, modo.

Vehicle Artist
Design and model, rig, animate vehicles, ariplanes, skate boards. Lots of overlap here with industrial design and concept art. Being good at drawing plays a pretty large role here. when targeting the mograph field, you will probably be more likely to make a profit modelling stuff for yourself and then selling them as ready assets so other artists can use them in their animations. Currently in 2020, i feel drone like vehicles, med evac or delivery type stuff i think should be quite popular.

This Is a great youtube channel about concept art in general, he talks more about the design process, not so much 3D. I think it’s a must watch if you want to move in this direction.

Lighting Artist
As the name implies, you would be setting up lighting for various scenes. This is all about conveying mood and emotion through lighting. Think of this as the type of person who sets up lights in a photo studio, but you could be working on an interior, or vast landscapes. Good way to demonstrate skills in this field, is getting a scene and then lighting it in different ways, demonstrating your range. Dark and scary, mysterious and exciting, happy and inviting etc. A good field to combine with materials/texture artist.
Look into: hdri light studio pro

Texture/material/surface artist
Here you are responsible for creating materials for others to use. Sometimes this is painting textures on an ogre, or realistic faces, other times its texturing an old rusty fridge, or a cargo ship full of fridges. The 2 main tools you should look into are Substance designer. This is a procedural node based material generator. So basically it is used to create materials which look at the geometry its being applied to and then vary based on that. So a smooth part of a model can be automatically painted different to an area full of corners and sharp point. And dirt can be automatically generated in creases. The second tool is substance painter, this is used to paint on stuff in a more direct way, like with paint brushes, but substances made in the other applications can be used as bases, and then customized for your specific model.

And some character texturing

UI/FUI
stuff like iron man, but can also be used by software developers who wants some cool looking stuff in their applications. But mostly probably would be targeted towards films, and futuristic video ads. You would be creating fancy stuff with mograph and cloning etc…

Projection Mapping
This can encompass pretty much all the stuff listed above, but you specialize in figuring out and creating ways to project the animations you make onto real life objects, like buildings, cars, tunnels, etc.. To practice this stuff ideally you would need a projector at home, so you can practice small scale. But you should also figure out how to project stuff virtually and then see if the virtual projection lines up with the physical one. The style of animation here is often very different to the stuff you do for advertising, since it needs to be slower and more long form.

Rigging
Setting up virtual object to be easier to animate. Here is a great video about what is rigging, i might have to make something of my own though at some point.

Overlap
As you can see lots of these fields overlap, and thats how it is everywhere. You can generalize or specialize as you see fit. What you pick is a combination of a) you should pick something that you enjoy doing, b) you should specialize enough for people to be able to remember that about you. for example :” oh yeah, i know someone who animates fridges!”

Story Telling
I know this is technically not 3D, but don’t discount the importance of this. I myself struggle with remember that i need to practice this, but this ads soo much to whatever you do. Humans love stories. Add stories to everything, even if they are bad and boring stories, a bad story is better than no story.

Getting jobs
Go read my article on them here: http://ace5studios.com/jobs, but apart from that you have 2 main choices to consider. You can either go directly after end clients and offer them a full service. So for example if you do projection mapping, you can go after city councils or hotels or event companies which need this kind of stuff and provide the whole package ( keep in mind that you will need to also provide sound in many case). Or you can target studios and other artists who need help with projects. This depends on your personality more than anything. Do you just want to do the thing you specialize in? Or do you want to also manage people, and have more over all direction in your hands. You can obviously do both, but this decision affects how you market your skills. Do you focus on other people in your industry, or do you throw your net out to just the general public?

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but i’ll add to it as i go. Got any suggestions? list em below in the comments 🙂