highway or motorway in cinema 4d c4d tutorial

highWay Tutorial – Fun With splines (Cinema 4D)

In this tutorial we are going to have “Fun with Splines” and make a little highway system in cinema 4d. We are going to us the spline wrap deformer and a bit of dynamics to simulate traffic and make cars go vroom!

Grab the scene files here: gum.co/5highway

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!

lady looking through VR to do art in gravity sketch

VR Oculus Quest guide for creatives

So you want to get a quest for creative pursuits like modelling and 3d sculpting on an oculus quest? You’ve come to the right place. I will eventually make a video, but for now you got a nice written article. Some of the info is incomplete because i haven’t bought/got everything myself yet, but i will fill it up as time goes by, so make sure to follow me on twitter 🙂

 

Main Art contender apps: 

  1. Gravity sketch – for professionals this thing is the shit. Should be #1 on your list. Polygon modelling at it’s best, subd surfaces, spline sweeps etc..
  2. Medium – this is like volumetric sculpting. Like 3d coat. Think vdb type volums which you can add and subtract from. You can also move them with smear brush etc.. Great for blocking forms and scenes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WywkU5ZBt2s
  3. Tilt brush Basically 3d sketching with brush strokes.

  4. Quill – dunno haven’t used it. Without oculus link cable it’s all super jittery for me…

Set up ( stuff you need)

1 piece – Oculus quest. This is the wirless vr headset of choice. It basically has a mobile phone in it, so it’s completely standalone, unlike most VR headsests which need a computer. But some software doesn’t run on it. For example medium and quill. And the software that does have mobile versions (haven’t tried them myself) but they seem almost identical, just slightly less graphically intensive. 

 

If you want to use PC vr software ( the stuff that doesn’t run on the mobile device)

 

Wireless Option

Router: you want to get a separate 5ghz router. I use a XIAOMI MI ROUTER 4A DUAL BAND WI-FI AC1200 GIGABIT, it’s dirt cheap and performs really well.  Your computer should be directly plugged into it. And you should keep everyone else off this network. The router should be in the same room as you want to use the headset. Make sure the wirless setting is set to have 2 different networks. You can even turn off the 2.4ghz one. Some routers have a setting to combine 2 networks into one and let the device choose. This does not work for the quest. It’ll stupidly pick the 2.4ghz one. 

 

Virtual desktop: this is a remote desktop app, so you can access your computer, but it also lets you play VR games. But recently facebook decided to limit it’s abilities to do that. So after purchase, you have to side load an updated apk. It can launch steam VR games/apps and Oculus games directly. 

 

Sidequest: is a side loading app for your pc, that loads stuff onto your quest. Makes it all a lot more convenient. Also its like an app store for developers where they can beta test their programs. So useful all up. ( you will need to register as a developer to enable developer mode on your quest)

 

Steam VR: this is where you will be getting most of your games, and it seems to be the software that other programs leverage to get games to work across multiple headsets. So you need to install steam, and then the steamVR software addon inside steam. 

 

Oculus store:  you need to install this to be able to purchase and play oculus games/software. For example this is the only place to get “medium”

 

Revive (beta): this injects oculus games into steam. The developers don’t officially support Virtual desktop, but it’s the only way to get medium working wirlessly at the moment. Because virtual desktop doesn’t support “vulkan” which is what medium is writen on/in ( way over my head). Keep in mind that wirelessly, there is no pressure sensitivity in medium at this moment. 

 

Viveport:  This is HTC’s equivilant of a game/app store. It’s main advantage is that it has monthly and annual subscription, which gives you access to a large number of apps. Notable Gravity sketch and Tilt Brush. So you can try them out. Also has a pretty large collection of games. Some better than others.. It’s a good way to try a whole bunch of stuff out. 

 

Cross-Buy: It’s a useful feature when buying from the oculus store. Since the apps are different for the mobile quest and PC VR, the oculus store lets developers mark their programs as cross buy. So when you buy a quest version, you also get a PC version. This is important to consider because the viveport subscription doesn’t do this. So for example gravity sketch has cross buy. If you buy it on the oculus store, you can use it through your PC or you can use the standalone version just in your quest, without it being connected to your computer. 

 

Wired option. ( haven’t tried it myself yet)

GOOD NEWS! you can get oculus link to work with the included cable now! It’s not very long, but you already have it, and if you are doing seated VR its perfect. this just happened, and i just tried quill and google earth, and it seems to work great. You just have to enable the beta channel in your oculus app on your pc.

 

Buy an oculus link cable. But make sure you have a proper usbc port on your computer. 

There are also some alternatives available ( google it) they are special cables. There are lots of reports online that people have lots of trouble with the cables, even official ones. Sometimes it takes 3 tries for the headset to be initialized. So eh.. 

I will fill this section more once i get my hands on a cable, they seem to be out of stock everywhere right now. 

And finally remember: VR is still in early days. It’s like the early days on the internet, if i had to draw an equivilancy. It’s like when youtube started getting popular. There was some good content on their which made you go: “wow.. This is gonna play a big role in our future” but the majority of stuff was still crap and hacky workarounds. 

Being Comfortable in the Quest

The quest can feel uncomfortable if incorrectly fitted, which is very easy to do. This guys video here helped me get it on comfortably.

While you’re here, a quick start guide to non-art quest ownership. 

When you first start up, do the “first steps” app with the robot. It’s fun and shows you what VR is capable off when developed properly. Then try Creed demo ( should already be installed). That is a VR experience which really shows you the strong side of VR. 

Once you get all the PC-VR stuff set up, oculus store has a free game called “bullet time” one of those awesome games which is very short, but lets you feel how awesome VR can be with the right development. Apparently Robo recall is a full version of that demo. But less humans, more robots. Haven’t got around to testing it yet. 

So there you go. I’m trying out this new thing for my free articles. If you enjoyed them and want to buy me a coffee, you can buy me one through gumroad. Trying to figure out this whole making tutorials full time thing without charging people for the content. 


Buy me a coffee

Spline Wrap Deformer Tutorial Part 1

The spline deformer lets you deform objects along a spline, it can also deform cloners and other things. In this tutorial i also tell you about the difference between cloning on a spline and deforming along a spline.

 
 
part 2: rendering in octane:

 
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!

 

Cinema 4D version icons

 

If you use these don’t forget to rate it on gumroad ( in your library, click download and you’ll have the chance to rate it) 

 

Download

 

Looking for how to customize c4d icons in the interface itself?

 

free c4d rig bouncy ball cinema 4d

Bouncing Ball – Cinema 4D tutorial

A free rig AND a tutorial?! No way! Yes way! Get the free bouncing ball Rig, AND learn to make a basic animation utilizing squash and stretch!

 
 

 

If you like this rig don’t forget to rate it on gumroad ( in your library, click download and you’ll have the chance to rate it) 

 

Download

 

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

 

vacuum rig cinema 4d tutorial

Vacuum Rigging- Cinema4D tutorial

Got this question about rigging a vacuum from Joey https://instagram.com/joey_g_motion So here is the solution i came up with. The hand still can detach if you pull the vacuum too far, perhaps if people are interested i can make a part 2 and figure out how to limit the distance of the vacum, but in reality i think thats a waste of calculations that you computer has to do, when you can just make sure the vacum doesn’t go further than needed while animating.

 
 

Looking for the Other Rail spline tutorial? Not actually about train on rails? Check it out here: https://ace5studios.com/rail-spline

Check out this spline animation tutorial for more spline animation goodness: https://ace5studios.com/spline-animation-tutorial-c4d-dont-use-pla/

Train Tracks – Cinema4D tutorial

In this tutorial I will show you how to get a carriage to follow a spline realistically In cinema 4D. I will explain what is wrong with default spline and how to fix it.

 
 

Looking for the Other Rail spline tutorial? Not actually about train on rails? Check it out here: https://ace5studios.com/rail-spline

Check out this spline animation tutorial for more spline animation goodness: https://ace5studios.com/spline-animation-tutorial-c4d-dont-use-pla/

Building your system for VFX ( mostly with Cinema 4D)

With the inevitable abandonment of the professional market by Apple lots of people are switching to windows. And more often than not either building their own workstations or at least picking the components and getting someone to build one for them.

A couple of questions keep coming up in the forums, so i thought i’d write a short article about the main questions.

Desktops

What processor?

Update 2019: Amd ryzen and Thread rippers have completely dethroned intel performance wise. They have great single and multi core speeds. Also Since GPU renderers are becoming more and more capable, signficanlty less rendering is being done on them. So you might not need all those cores. But for simulating particles and dynamics, still very useful.

So there are 2 main factors to consider when picking a CPU. You have processors with lots of cores, but lower core clock speed. For example the i7 5820K wich has 6 cores, but runs at 3.4ghz and then you have the i7 6700k which has only 4 cores but runs at 4ghz. Generally it seems to make sense to go for 6x 3.4ghz, rather than 4x 4ghz. But that is only true if what you need the power for is multi-threaded. And unfortunately lots of stuff still isn’t multi threaded and runs on only one core. For example the viewport in cinema4d, Xpresso, character rigs, and most of the realtime stuff you see runs on one single CPU core, so you will get a  more responsive viewport while working with a 6700K, but your renders will go slower ( assuming you are rendering with a CPU based renderer, more on that next).

Regarding Xeons. They only really make sense if you are going the Dual cpu route. But the previous issue with clock speeds is still in play. check the single core benchmarks and compare. The xeons usually score significantly less on those.

Check //cbscores.com for how CPU’s score in both single and multi core. Also make sure when googling for cpu scored, that you are looking at cinebench R15 results, not R11.5 ones. They don’t match up. There is also a cinebench R20 now, but there aren’t many cpu reviewed on it yet, so the scores aren’t as useful.

And Just a final note to make this all more confusing. Not all Ghz are created the same. If you check cb scores, you might notice that a 6700k scores more than a 4770k even though it has a lower clock speed. Thats because its a newer generation and its more efficient. So a 5 year old CPU at 3.2 ghz won’t necessarily match a 3.2ghz cpu from this year.

What Video card (GPU)

Nvidia. Not because its faster, but because all these awesome GPU renders that are out run on CUDA, and thats an Nvidia technology. I’ll be writing an article on them later.

You want to go for the GTX series. Quadro cards have no real benefit in Cinema4D or the GPU renderers. ( maya apparently benefits from Quadro cards).

I think rendering is moving mostly towards the GPU. So i’d buy a motherboard with at least 3 pci-x slots. and fill them up as your budget allows. When rendering with a GPU renderer you want as much ram as possible, because you cant use your system ram. Or in the cases where you can use it, is slows down significantly. But honestly its rare that scenes are that large.

PCIe lanes. The amount of lanes your CPU has affects the amount of GPU’s you can run. It is reccomended you have 8x for each card, but apparantly some engines allows you to run them at 4x lanes each. Some of those PCIe lanes are reserved for nvme drives and other stuff.. so you have to check that on your CPU spec sheets.

I wrote a more expansive article on what you need to know for GPU rendering here: //ace5studios.com/gpu

Hard Drives

I’ll admit, im still on good old fashion spinning hard drives. My laptop came with some SSD’s and while its great to boot things up really quickly, while working, all your applications are going to be in your ram, so i don’t notice that much of a difference.

If you do lots of work where you are dealing with lots of files. image sequences, Cache files for simulations. Than definitely get an SSD, or three. Check Toms hardware for the latest and greatest ( google it, its a hardware review site).

RAM

Just get 16GB for now, but make sure your motherboard supports at least 32GB. Careful don’t cheap out and get the slowest ram, that noticeably lags your workflow. But also don’t go overboard and buy the fastest, because without overclocking you’re not going to feel the difference. Check what your processor supports without overclocking.

If you are getting an AMD ryzen or threadripper, google ” your processor name + what is the best ram” there are some speed matching issues that crop up with the AMD architecture. Lots of tests done for various cpu’s. check this stuff yourself.

Also i notice some people think more ram will make your system faster. This is true to some extent, but its not like adding more ram will make your existing system faster. Think of ram like waiters at a restaurant. If you don’t have enough of them you REALLY need more, otherwise everything grinds to a halt. But once you have enough, adding more won’t help. They will just sit there with nothing to do. Ram is similar. If you don’t have enough it’s going to slow you down a lot because, you computer will have to swap files in and out of ram from your hard drive. But if you have 16gb, and don’t use the whole capacity adding more wont have any effect.

Overclocking

I personally don’t overclock, but if you want to tinker with stuff its a viable choice, often making up for the shortcomings of multi-core processors. But keep in mind that it may void your warranty. Do a lot of reading about before just pushing at numbers. 🙂

Case and PSU

If you are building your own system yourself, don’t skimp on the case, make sure it has screwless everything, will make the whole build a much more pleasurable activity. Youtube reviews of cases are a good place to start with when picking a case.

The size of the powersupply you will need depends on the components you are using, once again google is your friend here. spend a bit extra and get a name brand one, like a corsair ( and not the cheapest one). It’ll run quieter and probably last longer. Also less chance of it getting hit by a surge and frying the rest of your system. Never happened to me, i used to use cheapest PSU’s i could get and lots of them died, but no permanent damage. But the volume is a noticeable difference.

My build

Currently I’m on a ryzen 2700x with a 2060 super and a 1060 in there. AMD’s have this nice bonus of have a single socket design for the last 3 generations, and the 4th gen cpu’s about to come out should work in more recent existing motherboards. I bought a 3rd gen motherboard, put a 2nd gen cpu in it, because it was dirt cheap, and only slightly slower than the 3rd gen equivilant. and if it’s not enough power for me, i can easily plug in a higher end 3rd gen, or 4th gen cpu when they come out. I have 32gb of ram, which is plenty for what i do.

Looking for builds? I approve these 🙂

Here is a great list of builds by Sage:  http://www.thesagery.com/builds/

Laptops

As October 2020, Asus have some amazing laptops with 4th gen AMD processors which absolutely crush the intel processors, and they seem to be the only Laptop manufacturer to pair them with Nvidia cards. Only major issue is they are mostly sold out. But keep an eye out for the Asus G14 and Asus G15.

The new Acer Triton 500 i think is my personal favorite right now. It comes with some powerful GPU option and looks real slick. It goes come with the 20 series of nvidia GPU’s. which aren’t full utilized by GPU render engines yet, but i guess it’s future proofing.

For battery life the Razer Blade seems the undeniable winner in all its Forms. Its basically a black Mac book pro, with real hardware inside and a really ugly font on the keyboard.
read more here: //www.engadget.com/2014/05/06/Razer-Blade-14-review-2014/
800x600-01800x600-10

I personally got the MSI GS60 with a GTX970M with 6gb of memory on it.  It seemed to be a good balance of price/performance for me. I personally dont really care about battery life. If im doing work i’ll find an outlet, for everything else i have tablets and phones.

The thing that bummed me out most, was the lack of a windows key on the left side of the keyboard.

read more here: https//www.engadget.com/2014/04/17/msi-gs60-ghost-review/ ( but keep in mind, internals are always updated, so basically just look at the pictures)
update: now with the the 6th gen i7 in the GS60, it support upto 32gb ram. by using 2x 16gb sticks.

Screenshot 2015-10-16 18_30_39-Engadget _ Technology News, Advice and FeaturesScreenshot 2015-10-16 18_31_52-Engadget _ Technology News, Advice and Features

[Update]: For australians, you might want to check out: //metabox.com.au/store/index.asp they seem to have some nice configurations there.

And finally always remember to do your research, google benchmarks, check forums for feedback on products. Do your homework, things change quickly. Even people who work at computer shops often cant keep up. For example, my 4790k when i bought it, turns out in the combination of the motherboard i bought it was automatically overclocking and then throttling due to heat, had to install new firmware on the motherboard, and then use intel extreme tuning utility to force to just go at stock… And all because i bought the newest thing that was out. Could’ve just went for the 4770k which was tried and true, and only a slight bit slower.

Hope this article helped!

Cheers,
Aleksey

Copy and Flip Keyframes – Cinema4D tutorial

Ever need to copy keyframes from one object to another? What about needing to flip the keyframes for the other foot? and offset them? Well this is the tutorial for you!

Check out this spline animation tutorial for more spline animation goodness: https://ace5studios.com/spline-animation-tutorial-c4d-dont-use-pla/

How to get jobs as a Freelancer ( 3D artist)

For those who don’t know, this is how the process of hiring a freelancer goes. What follows is just my meandering experience and observation, your mileage may vary.

Pretend you have a project.

Lets say you need someone to design a Dinosaur character. First you will think if you know anyone. If you do, you will reach out to them. Then you will ask your friends, or freelancers that work for you if they know anyone. Then you’ll go to art station or some other portfolio site, or maybe straight to google and type in “Dinosaur character designer”, you will reach out to some of the people that you like, ask them their rates, and then if they are all too expensive you will go to fiver or upwork or freelancer.com or whatever other freelancing website exists. Nobody goes straight to a freelancing website, it’s usually a last resort. And it’s a last resort for people with small budgets. Because with the internet the way it is you can always find someone who does whatever it is you need to be done. Try it, try to hire someone who does what you do.

I remember when i was just starting out there was this guy at a studio i worked at who kept giving me After effects jobs. I could do them, i had the skills, but it wasn’t really my specialty, i was always a 3D guy. That’s what i did well, thats why i charged more. In after effects i worked slower than most people and really wasn’t that good. But yet this guy just kept giving me after effects jobs. So one day i asked him: “why do you keep giving me these jobs? I’ m sure there is someone who does this better than me, and cheaper” and his answer really changed the way i think about everything, he said “Because i like drinking with you, and if you have more jobs, we can go drink together more”. At first i was like: “awesome”, but then it dawned on me, how many jobs do i miss out on, because someone likes to drink with someone else, or plays golf with them, or has kids go to the same school. It has so much less to do with how good i am at what i do than i thought. To me it was a revelation.

Building a strong team, wooden blocks with people icon on blue and pink background, human resources and management concept. Premium Photo

So what do I do if I don’t know anyone who would hire me?

You get to know them or you get known. My career was largely built on alcoholism. Especially when i was in New York. People all over the place drinking making friends socializing, exchanging business cards inviting each other to other events. And there is no faster way to get to know a person than drinking with them ( if you want a guide on how to properly drink leave a comment, it’s also a skill that takes time to develop). Alternatively go to events that either related to your industry, or if they don’t have them in your area, go to networking events for other industries, you might find clients there. I knew people who bought shares in mining companies ( just whatever the minimal was) and then turned up to share holding meetings and made friends and then got jobs out of that.

Don’t like drinking? Get ready to do A LOT of work. Because building relationships with people is a very slow process if there is no alcohol involved, there are exceptional people which can make friends with anyone anywhere with everyone sober, but if you were one of those people you probably wouldn’t need help getting a job. So you have to start making a TONNE of work, and i mean a metric tonne. Start off with just volume, do a daily challenge. Post it on instagram, twitter, facebook, any platform that will let you. You have to get as many eyeballs on your work as possible. And it better be thematic, because people got to remember you for something specific. “oh i know a guy who makes dinosaurs” or “oh that guy who animates cars”. And you got to start posting it like CRAZY. For every 100 things you post, you might get one job out of it. This is not for the faint of heart. Which makes it even more important to pick a topic that you LOVE, because no matter what you pick, there will be people who LOVE doing that specific thing, and you will be competing with those people who will do it better and probably cheaper than you.

Then go onto forums/facebook groups and start helping people, start answering questions, start figuring out problems other people are having, giving advice where people ask for it. Join the community. But don’t just post random comments actually participate, this is yet another way for people to get to know you.

Also don’t forget to put together a proper website, you want a little piece of the Internet that is completely under you control. Go check out my article about small bussiness. It goes over how to set up a website rather quickly and what parts you need. Your website should convey to the visitor what you are good at and what kind of work you want to do as quickly as possible. Reels shouldn’t be longer than 1 minute, the shorter the better. Put your best work up top.

Freelancing websites are really the last resort in most cases, they have the lowest paying clients and the jobs that no one else wants to take on. I know programmers seem to do okay on them. But creative tasks are just terrible.

The most important thing to remember, that because this is hard to do, is the reason you will stand out. My favorite quote is “if it was easy everyone would do it”.

I hope this was interesting, what should i write next? How to figure out how much to charge? Let me know in the comments and have a good one!