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Using Deformers in Cinema 4D

Deformers enables you to twist, bend, bulge, taper, and add wind effects By David Basulto

Cinema 4D is such a fun application. You can get lost in creativity while working in it. The world is endless in what you can do. I recently was working on a project and found myself happily sidetracked using a powerful tool in Cinema 4D called Deformers. Just as the name signifies, Deformers enables you to twist, bend, bulge, taper, and add wind effects. I however found myself transfixed with the Melt deformer. I love making things melt.

Setting things up
Letís take a look into this wonderful world of Deforms. Open Cinema 4D and add a cube.
In the Cubeís object properties lets add some segments to the x, y, and z. This will let us deform better. The more segments the more detail.

Time to Deform
In the tool bar on top click on the deform tool. By default you will get a bend deform. Next drag the Bend deformer into the Cube making it a child of the Cube. Now letís see what we can do. In the Bend attributes click on object. Use the up and down arrows to make the strength rise and fall numerically. You are deforming now. Pretty easy yet fun at the same time.

Time to animate
Making things move in Cinema 4D is extremely easy to do. Cinema 4D uses keyframe animation. Keyframe animation is basically having an object move to a specific place at a specific time. Itís not brain surgery so donít let it scare you. Of course the harder the animation is the more difficult to make precise keyframes. However once you have mastered the basics you will be fine.

To animate you will need to make a beginning keyframe. Place the time maker at the start of the timeline. Now in the attributes manager of the Bend object alt click on the Strength property. The circle will turn red, meaning it is now a keyframe. Make sure itís either at 0 or at the strength that you want to start with. Now move the time maker to the end of the timeline or anyplace in between. Change the Strength property once again to any other number than the one you started with. Now alt click the circle once again to close the animation. The circle will once again turn red. Press play. You have deformed the object.

There are other properties that can be animated in the attributes. Take a few moments to try them out.

A quick note on keyframes: the closer they are to each other, the faster the animation happens. The further away the keyframes are to each other the slower the animation. Itís entirely up to your creative genius.

Letís have more fun with Deformers
Cinema 4D comes loaded with 18 deformers. You will have a blast trying them all out. Letís take a look at one of my favorites; ďHelp me Iím meltingĒ said the Wicked Witch of the West to Dorothy. She must have known someone added a deformer on her. Letís go to File > New and add an Oil Tank object. Scale it up a bit and add to its segments. Now letís go to the small triangle on the Deformers icon. Click and hold. This will show you all the deformers. Click to add the Melt deformer. Drag Melt into the Oil tank hierarchy making it a child.

Now letís animate once again. Set keyframes at frames 0 and 65 on your timeline. Start with 0 strength and end with 100 strength. Press play. See the oil tank melt.

Having fun?
Since you now know the basics of deformers, try the others out. Start a new project, add and object and follow the steps above. Soon you can add materials, floors, lighting and other effects to make your deforming look really great. Its virtually endless what you can create in Cinema 4D.

For more info on Cinema 4D, or to download a trial version, visit www.maxon.net.



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David Basulto is an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles. After 17 plus years, David is well versed in all aspects of filmmaking from development to distribution. He produces, directs, edits, and now is addicted to motion graphics and 3d. His last film, Death Clique is in Blockbusters nationwide. David is also the host of the www.filmmakingcentral.com. In his spare time David is an avid gamer and can be found slaying monsters in the world of Vanguard. For more info visit www.davidbasulto.com
Related Keywords:animation, 3d animation, cinema 4d deformers,

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  • Using Deformers in Cinema 4D by DMN Editorial at Jan. 02, 2008 7:57 am gmt (Rec'd 3)

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