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.

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!

Should i work for free?

This is a question that comes up a lot, and recently came up on a FUTUR livestream with Gary Vee.

As always the answer is: “it depends”. Some people think the answer should be a hard no. Others think it’s not such a bad thing.

I think the answer to this is pretty simple. If you want to do free work to get your name out there, pick the client yourself. Offer your services to a charity or any nonprofit organization that you care about. Or even if it’s a for profit organization, do it for them as a gift, but pick the company yourself and make like an homage to them. If someone comes to you and asks for work in exchange for “Exposure” that should definitely be a hard NO! That job is going to be hell, and going to drag on forever, and you are not going to get any exposure for it. So if you do free work, make sure it’s on your terms and you’ve picked something that will give you exposure. Make sure they have a large following on social media, and a large following that’s relevant to your potential clients. If you do character rigging, 13-18 year old fans of knitting won’t really help you.

For example recently I saw a Bee farming non-profit was asking on instagram about getting a character done, so they can educate children on the importance of Bee’s to the environment. I like the cause, i want to make a bee character for my portfolio, win win.

The other option is if you are doing something you have never done before and it’s something you want to figure out. Then perhaps thats a good deal for the both of you. BUT you got to remember the wider picture. If you agree to do free work, that means that company is 100% not going to pay someone to do that work. So you’re potentially either taking money away from your fellow workers, and maybe helping a business that has no business doing what it does ( since it can’t secure funds to pay you for your services).

There is also the option if you are working in an intern capacity, where you are not being paid, but you are actually learning valuable skills that you want to get. In these cases, remember you can always leave, don’t let them exploit you. Make sure you are still benefiting from this experience. If you’re just photo copying stuff and getting people coffee, you aren’t really learning. You might be building relationships for future work, but thats pretty hard to assess, so go with your gut.

So to summarize: Make sure you are benefiting from this free work. If you believe in the cause thats also great. DO NOT work for “exposure”.

Hope this was interesting for you. What do you think? Do you ever do free work?

Cheers,
Aleksey

Starting out as a freelancer in the 3D/VFX industry

More and more people are going freelance. Why? Well the simple reason is that there are more and more people who want to do the work, but the amount of full time jobs isn’t growing as fast. Also with the amount of different skill sets available, most studio’s don’t need a lot of these people full time. For example I mostly do character rigging these days. Most studios don’t need a character rigger full time. They need one just a couple of times a year perhaps, or maybe even just once ever. So freelancing in general a better distribution of labor.

There is a dark side to this trend though which everyone should be aware. A lot of studios hire freelancers because they know that most people are terrible at figuring out what they are worth and can be exploited, pressured and manipulated into doing waay more work for waay less money. Many studios will hire freelancers to avoid paying benefits or giving paid leave.

This is my advice to every budding freelancer. Don’t do it unless you have no choice. Freelancing is hard. Finding clients is hard, standing out from every other freelancer is hard. There are 2 real reasons anyone should be a freelancer. The first category is people who can’t get stable employment and simply have no choice, and the second category is people who simply HAVE to be able to manage their own time, their money, their projects etc. Take me for example, I’m a freelancer because i simply have no choice in the matter. There is no way i can go into an office every day. It’s simply not in my DNA. And i also love all the aspects around being a freelancer. As a kid i really enjoyed playing economic sim games, where you get to run your own business. Being a freelancer is pretty much just like that. Except you can’t always just pour more money into something, sometimes you just have to do the work. You have to build your brand, handle advertising and marketing, promote yourself, negotiate prices, manage expenses, plan for catastrophes and a whole bunch of other stuff.

So if you are thinking about being a freelancer, think about if you enjoy all this. Or does it stress you the fuck out. Because to lots of people it does. And if you just want to make animations or design characters, perhaps you are better off looking for employment where other people who are good at things like marketing and negotiations will take care of those things for you. Because remember there are only so many hours in a day. And you will be competing with people who really love what they do. If you want to go freelance, i always recommend teaming up with someone who complements your skills. So you can pull each other up. Or reach out to someone who is already freelancing and let them know what your special skills are.

This leads me to the next topic  Special Skills you need to have something that sets you apart. Being a generalist is important and as a freelancer it really helps if you are aware of the entire pipeline around you. BUT when you email someone or talk to someone, you need a hook, you need to be remembered for something. Some little piece of info, so when they are thinking “Damn i need someone to do this” They will instantly think of you. This kind of niche specialization also helps with google searches when people are looking for someone who does what you do. How many people are you competing with in your primary category? Know your competition and pivot so at least somewhere you come up at the top of the list.

The last part of this post i want to bring up something very important and that is: “Love what you do” . Because if you are doing something you are not passionate about you will lose. Why? Because you are competing with people who LOVE what they do. Especially in the creative industry. So always think long and hard about how you are presenting yourself and what kind of jobs you are attracting.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to follow me. I got a whole series lined up. Next i’m thinking of writing an article on how to set prices and charge for your work. What do you think?

Cheers,
Aleksey

5 things i wish i knew when i was starting out as a 3D artist

People often ask where to start and what to do to become a 3D artist like me.

Im not sure i’m the right person to ask, since i just kinda stumbled into this by accident. But there are some very important things i learnt, which i wish somebody told me earlier, so i will share them here.

1. This is not a stable, predictable or lucrative career. If you need money, if you have to support your family, this is really not the career for you. It’s super unpredictable, skills you need shift yearly. You might spend a year learning something, just to have a piece of software come out that renders all those things you learnt obsolete.

You really got to love what you do, because it’s gonna be hard. It’s like the story of people who go to Hollywood to become actors. It’s kinda like that, but you add global outsourcing to that.

Now if you’re still here i have some useful info for you.

2: EVERYTHING is a remix. Everything you see made is rehashes and reworks of the work made before by other artists, thinkers etc. Current copyright laws kinda throw a spanner in the works, but it just means you have to be more creative in your efforts. This is something that no one ever told me, and i always tried to come up with everything myself. That is a mistake. Copy, transform, combine is the secret to success.

The reason for this is simple: There is nothing truly original you can come up with. All the things you imagine and create are influenced by things you have seen/read/used before. Invention is an iterative process, hitting things with your fist, turned into rocks, turns into hammers, jackhammers etc.. So you might as well take a good analytical look at the things that are inspiring you and figure out what it is that you like about them and implement that into your work.

Watch this video it goes into more details with a stunning amount of examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJPERZDfyWc

Also this is fun to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjmaOj3_sKk

And you can see this pattern not only in Disney movies, you can see it throughout Hollywood. And throughout human history in architecture, art, stories, books, myths etc.. It’s all an iterative “small steps” process.

3: Getting good takes time. Developing your own style takes lots of work. Just keep doing it. If you can tell your work sucks that is the most important thing. Because if you can see it sucks, it means you will be able to see when it stops sucking. The biggest problem is people who think their work is awesome. Because they can’t improve. They can’t take criticism. So if you think your work sucks, congratulations! You might become a worthy artist.

Ira glass the gap, is a great speech to listen to, nice and short too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfA9OH6dAQ8

The missing chapter is a great video which talks about all the work that great artists made that no one has ever heard about: https://vimeo.com/87448006

4: Find people who inspire you and copy them, and try to get your work to be like their work. It’s the fastest way to grow. Don’t pass it off as your work, be clear that you are just recreating work that you find inspirational. This is very important, the internet has made everything very small and searchable. You will be exposed and no one will work with you. But while you copy you will learn and start to understand what it is exactly that makes the work you admire great.

This is something more specific to mograph and tv commercials, but nevertheless this guy makes amazing videos explaining concept development and the thinking that goes into creating cool stuff: http://www.division05.com/#episodes

5: Color theory is a topic which can hugely affect your work. Once again, grab color combinations from other places, photos, works of art, nature etc, and use them. Then slightly adjust them as you need. This is the best way to start out while picking colors. But also try to figure out why certain color combinations work and others don’t pay attention to what you associate certain colors with and then try and figure out why. It’s all about observation. 

Great color theory video right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj1FK8n7WgY

Bonus tips:

I’ve found a great way to judge your own work, or try to figure out what’s missing. Is put it up side by side with the gallery of an artist you admire and see if your work looks like it belongs there.

Use pinterest to collect work that inspired you, you can sort it into boards and turn to it when you need references. Also its a great place to put your own work and see how to feels on a board full of works that inspire you.
Some good pinners to follow:
https://www.pinterest.com/bixorama/
https://pinterest.com/em404p/boards/
https://www.pinterest.com/characterdesigh/boards/
https://www.pinterest.es/raoul1983/

So there you have it, a quick list of stuff i wish i knew when i was starting out. If you have any stuff you think would be helpful to beginners and professionals alike post it in the comments. Im sure there are lots of things i wish i knew that i do not know yet 🙂

Spline IK – What is Spline ik? – Cinema4D tutorial

Use spline IK to rig your character spines, and much more! SPINE SPLINES!
Lets learn about making character spines using the Splike IK tag in Cinema4D. help your character dance and wiggle its hips better than ever!

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