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Introduction to Cinema 4D: A Beginner's Animation Guide

via Skillshare


Class Notes: Recommended Version of Cinema 4D: Cinema 4D R21 to Cinema 4D R24. These versions of Cinema 4D are the most similar to the class so it will be easier to follow if you are a beginner. The JSplacement tool used in the class was discontinued but is still available via this archived link and in the class files.

The Ultimate Cinema 4D Guide for Beginners.

The class is for everyone and anyone that wants to learn how to use Cinema 4D. If you have never opened Cinema 4D before, or any other type of 3D application - you will be able to watch and follow along with everything in this class.

I will be sharing several tip & tricks to help you use Cinema 4D the right way, develop a fast and efficient workflow and several techniques that I have discovered during my own experience with Cinema 4D over the last 10 years. So even if you have some experience in Cinema 4D, there will be a lot of new things that you can pick up from watching this class.

This roughly 8-hour long class split is organised into 2 general sections. Section 1 covers various topics and tools in Cinema 4D. Section 2 is about developing workflows and working on real projects as examples. Watch the whole thing and by the end of it you will be able to open Cinema 4D and start creating your own animation today! 

Section 1: Aspects of Cinema 4D

  • Getting Started - An overview of menus, interface & objects in Cinema 4D. Shortcuts & project settings
  • Modelling - A look at various modelling tools & techniques, and where to find assets to use in your projects
  • Lighting - The light types in Cinema 4D & their settings, and how to light with purpose
  • Materials - How material channels work, and making stylised or realistic materials
  • Splines - How to draw paths, other path-based objects, and generating Geometry
  • MoGraph - An overview of Cinema 4D's powerful 'MoGraph' section
  • Animation - How to make keyframes, working with timelines, keyframe interpolation
  • Cameras - Camera settings & the best way to do smooth & dynamic camera animations

Section 2: Example Project & Workflows

This section focuses on using everything learnt up to this point, and applying it to real projects. You will see a full worklow from working on the projects in Cinema 4D, and outputting them and finishing in After Effects. During this section we will continue to introduce new ideas and concepts as part of the process. The projects are:

Example Project 01 - Futuristic City Animation with several skyscrapers & flying cars

Example Project 02 - Sci-Fi Wormhole animation, looped animation.

By the end of the class you will be able to open Cinema 4D and create your own animations, let get started!


  • Introduction
  • Which Version Of Cinema 4D To Use?
  • Navigation Shortcuts
  • Viewport Options
  • Installing Plugins, Customizing UI
  • Application & Project Settings
  • Menu Iitems
  • Moving, Scaling, Rotating Objects
  • Object Attributes & Tags
  • Coordinates & Size Options
  • Object Hierachies
  • Modelling - Intro, Selection Modes
  • Modelling - Extrude, Extrude Inner, Bevel Tools
  • Modelling - Subdividing Edges
  • Modelling - Adding Loop Cuts
  • Lighting - General Light Settings
  • Lighting - Light Fallof
  • Lighting - Volumetrics & Light Rays
  • Lighting - The Area Light
  • Lighting - Custom Light Shapes
  • Lighting - Shadows
  • Materials - Lighting Setup
  • Materials - Reflectance Channel
  • Materials - Using Images in Materials
  • Materials - Bump & Normal Channels
  • Materials - Concrete Material Breakdown
  • Splines - Pen Tool
  • Splines - Types & Intermediate Points
  • Splines - Text & Splines
  • Splines - Open Illustator Files
  • Splines - Spline Masks
  • Splines - Sweep Object
  • Splines - Extrude Object
  • Splines - Loft & Lathe Nurbs
  • Mograph - Cloner Object
  • Mograph - Random Effector
  • Mograph - Plain Effector & Fields
  • Mograph - Voronoi Fracture, Delay Effector
  • Mograph - Fracture & Mo Text
  • Animation - Keyframes & Timeline
  • Animation - Animating Along Splines
  • Cameras - Animating Along Splines
  • Cameras - Morph Camera
  • Building The City
  • Making The Highways
  • Making The Cars
  • Lighting The City
  • Building Materials & Shaders
  • Camera Animation
  • Optimizing Render Quality & Speed
  • Output Using Multi Passes
  • Composting In After Effects
  • Final Export For Instagram & Youtube
  • Bulding The Wormhole
  • Making The Wormhole Loop
  • Animating The Astronaut
  • Lighting & Render Settings
  • Composting In After Effects, Final Export
  • Outro

Taught by

Don Mupasi X Visualdon


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