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…


Story boarding and Decision Making


So after creating a simple and very rough draft of a storyboard:Met Storyboard.jpg

And speaking to several people about the two different concepts and how they would work as a group or package of work I have decided to stick with the 3 different types of rain. However I still need to figure out the exact 3 act structure for this by looking at adverts and short films to see how they are made and the journey they take. This will hopefully help to inform my own route to creating a solid structure that they all follow.

In this the three act structure is really apparent even in a very quick 30 second clip.

  1. Introduce the main characters Tom and Jerry
  2. A classic tom and Jerry chase scene (The Problem)
  3. Jerry finds safety in a ford mondeo (The solution)

Showing us the viewer how safe and secure a Ford Mondeo is.

  1. A Cat with a dull life
  2. Starts acting like a dog
  3. Because of O2?

I think the point of this is really to urge people to take more risk and spice up your life by changing your phone plan. An odd concept but there is a clear structure and message behind it.

Again a simple structure of introduction, problem and solution

  1. Meerkat Introduces himself and who he is
  2. Shows people that compare the meerkat and the market are two different sites.
  3. Solves this by explaining the difference and therefore promoting the brand.

This is a great advert from the guardian which takes an old nursery tale and twists it on its head. Although a bit longer than thirty seconds and not structured as linearly as others it still shares a story through twisting a nursery tale with more adult themes.

  1. Re introduce a classic tale but through modern day life and with a twist
  2. Frame the goat saying he deserved it and they were just defending there homes.
  3. Introduce new information which says otherwise and ends up condemning the main characters.

A really interesting concept.

And finally one more with a classic 3 Act structure.

  1. Character introduction
  2. go flying and snowman asks for a sip but boy says no
  3. snowman drops boy and steals the irn bru

Its apparently too good too share!! very simple yet very effective in showing the brands desirability.


Training Video – Concepts and Storyboards

The training video as with all the videos will begin and end with the C-TEX sting and this will help introduce the product and should act as a friendly face and a welcoming wave to start the training.

Then the training will begin initial it will start with setting up the hardware properly and show how to use it effectively as well as a few troubleshooting pointers sort of like a FAQ bit, too save time if something goes wrong with the actual machinery. This will be filmed as it could be filmed in the actual factory and could help to put the friendly approachable message across as you could film other workers in the factory and generally get a good atmosphere from having real faces as well as then going on to mix in 3D training with the software.

This will be easy to do as a screen capture could run through it quite quickly then all that needs to be done is adding the magnified parts and a few bullet points to show exactly whats going on. The screen grab will be masked on to a 3D computer and this should help this part of the training to be as less boring as possible and hopefully some animated text and other things happening will be more interesting than someone just talking through each step. Also this would be more difficult and ineffective with international clients.

Pre-Installation Video – Concepts and Storyboards

The pre-installation video will be a mixture of all the different practices – Graphics, 3D and video. This will involve shots of the physical machine (Hardware) and also shots of the software and how to install, system requirements (NO MAC OR LINUX).

Parts of the hardware will be made in 3D as it will be easier to film harder to reach areas in virtual reality space. It also means that parts can be pulled apart and deconstructed without damaging any real equipment. It also eliminates the majority of the language barrier issues and problems.

Image result for 3d machine factory


Image result for 3d usb in port

It would also be really quick and easy to animate a usb being inserted into a port showing the key stage of the pre installation. Then we could show the install process on a 3d computer with key points marked out and brief text talking about what to do to install.

Then cut to the machine working real footage and a brief message to say once its installed watch the training video.

ctex uk.