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…

 

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Project 5 Animation Sequences

For project 5 there is around 4 main 3D sequences that occur in video 2 and 3. These are highlighted in the storyboards.

These consist of showing the ctex machine and its flower pattern lights (the animation used for the concept/prototype)

Showing the fabric rolling left and right so that the customer knows to notify ctex about which direction the fabric rolls on their own machine.

Showing a PC on the left and right of the machine so the customer knows to notify ctex about which side the controller will be standing on.

And lastly the control box being closed to show dimensions needed to install. Or if they don’t have one to offer purchase of correctly sized control box.

Therefore I have created a timeline and lists to hopefully create all the assets in the allotted time.

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As you can see so far I have created most of the initial assets needed for the animations however I still have to create the control box and also figure out a way to actual get the fabric to roll.

I have also created a basic setup where most of the animations will occur. Although this is very early stages and really just a jumping off point in terms of layout and structure.

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I tried to use this tutorial to add movement to the fabric but unfortunately on my first attempt i couldn’t get the motion graphic elements moving. This was very irritating however I will attempt it again with a more thorough understanding of the concepts behind it and hopefully it will be second time lucky… Watch this space….

 

I have also made a start on the computer side to side animation as i have created all the necessary assets for this section. Again it is really basic with no real texturing or lighting etc. However it is a starting point for further development….

 

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…

 

Met Office Weather Videos – Development

Initially I am thinking of creating a jelly-like see-through cube to symbolise the air as this is a key part of the process. However testing will be a huge part of this process also. The idea is to have the cold and hot air collide and wobble.

First Attempt:

This was an attempt to show the two different bodies of air and how they interact with each other. However on showing this in a tutorial i realised that a lot more effort needs to be made into camera movement and also justifying the correct ways that the air interacts as this is a lot more comical and abstract than what it would naturally be. The feedback helped explain that too me as there was much confusion when i showed this to the group. It was also apparent that as well as the camera movement the framing was also way to close up and things just ended up looking squashed into frame. This is a prototype however and at this stage I am just initially coming into the testing phase to see what works and what doesn’t so this feedback is really priceless.

Second attempt:

This was round 2 of prototyping and i paid a lot more attention to particles within the body of air and also how they interact with each other. However the physics system inside C4D made it difficult to really pack them in and creating a seamless border. I also have become aware of how linear it isn’t. By this I mean the 3 act structure remains unclear as there are different shots and angles and the condensation phase is conceptually completely different to scene 1 with the separate hot and cold air. I also had time to experiment with textures and quickly realised that I still wanted to go for a low poly style and therefore the textures kind of didn’t match up with the overall style. Also this type of weather would not be happening at ground level so the whole idea of generating grass became redundant.

Phase 3 –

Initially i found this flock modifier video on youtube and thought it would be a great way to show wind and air without having to encapsulate it in a capsule. A way of controlling a more free flowing environment and have two opposing forces. However upon further inspection (much to my dismay) it only runs on C4D R18 ( a couple of versions newer than what i have installed on my computer) therefore this was irritating but nonetheless i could not use it. However this would not stop me in really understanding and creating more “windy” animations using several different effectors. Downloading a simple plugin would have been a lot easier but i guess this was just another challenge for me to face head on.

The cluster effect i thought would be very useful to show particles however i found that they in fact did not have enough room to show the two elements of hot and cold coming together and mixing. Therefore i sort of combined these two tutorials to give a much nicer open element look and structure to the piece.Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 17.58.41.png

I have also managed to integrate a much smoother camera operations that really helps build on the 3 step process. By having one single shot through a constant rising camera it also helps to show proportion and where these chemical interactions are actually happening in comparisons to city level.

I have also managed to seamlessly integrate the clouds further up the timeline so that I can speed up rendering and also keep the same shot throughout the whole film. Problem solving has definitely gone a long way within this project as i have done nothing but repeat processes from different angles and approaches until i find the one that fits. However I have a feeling that this 3rd render will definitely be a lot more structured and factually accurate than the last two and i could be onto a winner.

Third Attempt:

Design Source Material – Research

To start with I looked at magazine covers and found a graphic designer by the name of Chip Kidd. He has created covers for magazines, album artwork and also books but my favourite piece is for rolling stone: 

I really enjoy this almost barbershop approach. The use of the noughties iconography – by taking the two o’s in the title and using this to show a decade – means that as well as an interesting design the tagline is short and sweet but we can instantly understand the message on the cover. The juxtaposition of the barbershop revival of around 1930’s style with mixed in with the message of the decade of 2000 -10 is also a very interesting decision.

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Greyscale Gorilla is a huge source of inspiration for me. I am constantly checking out there tutorials and not only are they informative and very technical they also manage to stay on trend and are always creating quality content. The best sorts of things for this project will be looking at typography altough i will not be creating it in 3D the design concepts are still solid and these tutorials help with understanding the principles as well as executing the design.

Another quality example of graphic design is the info-graphic

captured

This is an example by Neomam explaining the postie results on the brain when using an info-graphic to display information. I am especially keen on this kind of design as it is engaging and when i am designing my leaflets instead of simply filling it with words full of info maybe break it down into illustrated images and simple facts so the information is easier to digest. Infographs are a great way of bringing quite dull data to life and making it more approachable and appealing to the reader.

I also looked at adverts as the leaflet is in a way an advert for the top tip products. Therefore I have chosen this piece of work from instagram to act as inspiration for my leaflets. This is more of a flyer but the design is very efficient.

Capturedd.PNG

Also it makes the phone number and the address very obvious and this is what i need to show in the leaflets. It is very clear what is on offer and i need to reflect this same simplicity in my designs.

 

The last source of glorious knowledge nuggets comes from digital arts online. This fascinating article about how brands are reverting to old logos to insight feelings of nostalgia within customers is fascinating. I find this very interesting as we were at the museum of brands recently and this was not mentioned however the whole nostalgia thing was definitely a big part of the trip. But does this really effect popularity within a brand?

” “It’s simply logical to keep one of the world’s most famous marks at the forefront of the company’s image and identity,” he says.

But is it just “simply logical”? Or is it strategic, even essential, in today’s market where longstanding brands desperately need to stand out against a wave of new start-ups? ”

This is a deep quote and really makes you think about brand loyalty and logo continuity. This would definitely make sense as well as if a logo was new and not recognisable to previous logos it could well get lost in the sea of new start – ups.

References

http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/graphic-design/why-logos-are-going-retro-update/

https://www.instagram.com/noboundariesdm/

http://neomam.com/interactive/13reasons/

https://greyscalegorilla.com/tutorials/create-a-graffiti-logo-in-cinema-4d/

http://uk.complex.com/style/2012/03/20-graphic-designers-you-should-know/

http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design-tips/information-graphics-1232836