Advanced Lighting Techniques in Cinema 4D

Lighting has a very important role to play in all things but especially in 3D as it is a lot harder to effectively use lighting in a realistic way using the standard light settings. Therefore it has become important for me to progress as an animator to incorporate more professional use of lighting by using the inbuilt lights in C4D.

This tutorial has been very useful in pointing out the fact that all 3D light is flat and does not react in the same way naturally occurring light does. Instead of bouncing off surfaces and bending the 3D light carries in one continuous line. Therefore some extra measures have to be taken to create a visually rich and high contrast images.

The introduction to 3 point lighting is also a game changer and although i already had some knowledge of this lighting technique i failed to use it before in  a 3D environment. Another point well made was using more than 3 points as the lights in 3D only pick up shadow, mid tones, and highlights whereas in reality there is five main points of light shadows, quarter tones, mid tones, three quarter tones and highlights. Therfore we must add in more soft lights to create a higher dynamic range of light. This effect can be achieved by adding in different layers of light slightly off point from each other and emitting slightly softer light each time.

I could just use GI (Global Illumination) with a HDRI image however this would defeat the point of the experiments and learning about lighting is the real goal here. It is also mentioned that GI is actually a pretty lazy way of lighting and can make you’re image look flatter, however using it alongside a proper lighting rig can improve the image/animation. Therefore I still need to learn proper lighting techniques to boost the potential of my overall animations.

Adjust the default light C4D – This is a quick way to change the position of the lights within a space. This could come in very handy and i feel it will definitely speed up my process as well.

Free Light Dome – A quicker alternative to GI as these are all separate lights it will be faster and also there is a lot more control over colour schemes and shadow maps.

10 Tips for better lighting in Cinema 4D – Similar stuff to the first video, however it does mention the use of different shadow types and features. It states that “Area shadows are by far the most superior shadow type as they offer high accuracy and the most control.”. However  “area shadows are the slowest to render. To speed things up you can decrease the number of samples and accuracy, this will give you results faster but also will introduce noise.”

So a lot to think about and experiment with…



PROJECT 5 – The Final Brief

For project 5 I will be revisiting C-TEX and making a further 2 videos to complete the C-TEX Colour package. These will be available after the client has made the initial purchase of the machine and therefore will go into a lot more detail about pre installation of the machine and also training there workers to use the machine, and also showing the managers how to get the right information that they need from the spreadsheet that the program creates. Detailing different information about the materials being tested.

The first video is the sales video which was completed for Project 3.

The second video is a pre installation guide –

Pre-Install Video Script

Should be less than 5 minutes

Thanks for buying c-tex colour, this video guides you through 2 things:

1. The information we need from you in order to manufacture c-tex colour ready for you

2. For you to prepare ready for the installation

So…the information we need.

Firstly, we need a photo of where you would like c-tex colour to be installed. Here are some examples…

Then we need some dimensions so we can fit c-tex colour to your machine

Here we show you the dimensions we need

Secondly we need to know the direction the fabric is flowing in: please indicate this with an arrow

Thirdly we need to know at which side of the machine you wish the PC and Operator monitor to be located

Also please take a photo of your length measuring wheel (if you already have this installed) so we can assess how to fit our encoder onto this

Lastly, machine construction: Please indicate the materials your machine is made of and thicknesses. For example, Solid Mild Steel 6mm thick, Mild Steel Box Section 2mm thick with section of 100 or Wooden Section 15mm.

Therefore, the photo you send us will need the additional information as shown here (photo with all details on)

We can then build c-tex colour to fit your machine

Onto the second step:

For the installation we need:

Network Access to machine area for us to connect the c-tex colour PC to your network

Electrical power: single phase

If you have not purchased a control cabinet from us and you will be providing yourselves this needs to be onsite when we arrive. We require minimum internal dimensions of Height: 1000mm, Width 600mm, Depth 600mm. The operator monitor can be mounted above the control cabinet of you can purchase a control unit with monitor surround.

If you have not purchased a PC from us and you will be providing yourselves, please ensure this meets the specification we list in our agreement document and is available when we arrive onsite

If you are running c-tex colour for an inline process, for example a continuous dye range or sanforiser or compactor we will also need a mains compressed air supply provided, to include a regulator and moisture capture mechanism.

When we arrive onsite for the installation we need to meet with your factory engineering manager and IT manager to present what we are going to be doing while onsite and what support we need.

We will also need a meeting room with a projector or large monitor in order to give a training presentation for 1 hour. For the training we will need your colleagues who will be: operating c-tex colour, analysing the results of c-tex colour and managing the implementation of c-tex colour.

Adam has done these rough storyboards which really helped me to visualise what exactly needed to be done in terms of 3D animations. As this is the job role i will be fulfilling for this final project. I will of course have to make some more detailed sketches of what exactly needs to be shown in 3D and camera movements etc, however this quick visual is very handy for mapping out the whole video 2 sequence.


The third video is a training video – Full Script to follow…


3D C-TEX Colour Scanner Development

A few screenshots of different styles and renders of the basic machine focusing on sensors and the flower pattern LED lights.

I really enjoyed the visual impact of the cel render (Top Photo) and was a bit disappointed that i didn’t give myself more time to experiment with this render setting as it looks quite graphical and technical, therefore could have worked really nicely with the whole purpose of the pre installation video. However I am not sure how “friendly” this design idea is. Sort of makes everything look like an Ikea instruction book. Good on them for trying but everyone knows how “Friendly” dealing with the construction of Ikea flat pack can be.untitled-0009untitled-0008untitled-0007untitled-0006untitled-0005screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-15-28-01untitled-0001untitled-0004untitled-0013untitled-0003untitled-0012untitled-0002untitled-0011untitled-0000untitled-0010

Unfortunately i forgot to save this and it crashed so thats me now just spent double the time on this. I am very annoyed at myself however it has given me time to re think my strategy for this piece of work and absolutely nail the dimensions and the consistency of each individual sensor. So you know …. silver lining?

I am also rushed for time at this point so rendering everything with full render settings just is not looking likely as this would render way on past the hand in, so instead of waiting for 1 more video to render in full high spec i have decided just to render the essentials and some key lighting as well to speed up this process. I can always fully render it at a later stage if it is needed for project 5, where this video will actually be used.

I have however added some fully rendered screen grabs of some key elements of the animation to give a feel of what the fully fledged animation will look like once rendered and here they are:

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I really like the really dark almost luminous effect.

There was an issue with the first render as the lighting looked very strange when the light sensors were pointed directly at camera:


they just sit at a really awkward height. Therefore this was really the only issue i had with this render and here is the altered final version for the final submission.

The main purpose of this video was to show of the light pattern and LEDs there is no call outs yet but i envision this animation with a few call outs explaining the details of the machine and the reason behind the light patterns. It is a model of the actual machine but very basic as it was really just to highlight the sensors.


First Draft T-shirt Testing and Colour problems/Alterations

This is one of the first drafts of the problem, it shows the magnified texture underneath however i had a lot of trouble trying to do tracking (in after effects) with the texture i used in my prototype. After I tested this with some peers in the tutorial, i realised that the colours i had used might not match up with the rest of the graphics team as up to this point we had not had any communication about coulour schemes etc. Therefore I group messaged the graphics team (me, Raed,Chantelle and Will M) to figure out a specific colour scheme and background I also messaged the project manager Adam to double check with him.


Graphics Group:

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And Finally a chat with Raed as we are working together on the Computer (3rd Video) training video


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Concepts and Prototypes

The first two were presented to the client and seem to go down well with them. They are only shot snippets of work to show more of the elements than a whole video.

The last one is where i started to piece together an actual story flow the elements were relatively simply to create and creating motion within these elements is something i feel quite comfortable doing. The tricky part for me was and still is lighting and rendering. IE knowing which settings work best and will give the best effects and lighting for the final render. I chose these colours as they relate directly to the c-tex logo colours and also are light and friendly which also relates to the friendly concept creating a light and fun yet simplistic way of showing the problem/solution.

I hope to mask some of the first video as a layer on to the last video where the circles appear as this should emulate a sort of magnifying effect on the material to show the same colour t shirt but when zoomed in there is a slightly more obvious colour difference between the two.