These pages have been prepared by a beginner for beginners although they assume that you know the basics of Cinema 4d. They go slowly through each step, bearing in mind that beginners, whatever the subject, are in a foreign land, and what appears blindingly obvious to an expert is a frustrating puzzle to a beginner ("why can't I get to x@*&! parameter? What does it do anyway?") Many people using Cinema are illustrators, artists, or just hobbyists, who are not programmers and don't have any intention of becoming so - they just want to get on with producing results, often to a tight deadline. Pick what you want, and criticise or praise as appropriate. The software used is the basic Cinema 4d Release 8 (up to 8.5) which contains Xpresso, and for some of the items, the optional modules Thinking Particles and Pyrocluster. However, note that some of the results described here (eg., Walkthroughs E2 and E3) could be obtained using Cinema's Physics Engine (Dynamics) available as an optional Plugin. You need to practice Xpresso before moving on to Thinking Particles.
A Tutorial is a step-by-step guide on how to create a Cinema project. A Walkthrough is a step-by-step explanation of how an existing project works. Each is complete without relying on any of the others. Capital initials are used for terms special to Cinema to distinguish them from ordinary English terms. Any words not familiar to someone whose first language is not English are avoided where possible. Clarity takes priority over elegance. Shakespeare it ain't. A Glossary of technical and other terms is provided along with some Hints and Tips, both with hyperlinks in the texts of the tutorials and Walkthroughs.
This site was made on a Mac. Therefore some differences may be seen by Windows users. For example for "CNTRL-CLICK" use "RIGHT CLICK", and I think that the Xpresso Nodes may look slightly different. I don't know about Windows machines, but on a Mac you can print any page of any of these tutorials and walkthroughs by choosing Preview in the Print dialogue box and then Printing, or Saving as a PDF file.
BROWSER NOTE: Due to the inflexibility (some say crude nature) of HTML (the browser language) the layout of this site has been designed for a point size of 12 in Internet Explorer and 14 in Netscape. Except in Opera, the layout may become untidy if you set your browser Preferences to another size of font.
TUTORIALS AND WALKTHROUGHS
Tutorial No. 1 Xpresso.
CUBE & LIGHT Detecting the distance between a cube and a light, and when they are less than 300 m apart, switching on the light. A simple start for raw beginners.
Tutorial No. 2 Xpresso
Additions to a tutorial on Maxon's site covering User Data:
Tutorial No. 3 Pyroclaster
Making a Start Creating a flame using only Global and Age-Effects.
Tutorial No. 4 HyperNURBS
A simple introduction to this exeptionally powerful modelling tool.
Walkthrough No. 1 Xpresso
MONOFLOP Using Björn (Srec)'s Monoflop. (A useful Xpresso Expression which detects a Boolean event and retains that information. The Walkthrough inserts it into a demo which illustrates its use. It also covers the Monoflop Node introduced with Release 8.1 of C4D.
Walkthrough No. 2 Xpresso and Thinking Particles.
GUN & SPACESHIP A gun tracking a spaceship, fires shells and hits it.
Walkthrough No. 3 Xpresso
FLIPFLOP Using Björn (Srec)'s Flipflop. (Another useful Xpresso Expression which detects an event in a similar way as Monoflop. It also covers the Fliplop Node introduced with Release 8.1 of C4D.
A very very simple introduction to using the C.O.F.F.E.E. Node.
How to understand the object hierarchy when using the Subtract Boolean Object to make complex objects.
These are some interesting (at least to me) experiments I have been doing which cover a range of techniques with explanations which might help to add to your understanding of Xpresso and Thinking Particles.
Walkthrough No. E1 Xpresso
Piston A method to create a piston moving backwards and forwards, driven by a crank.
Walkthrough No. E1A Xpresso
Piston Another method, using Trigonometry and the Formula Node.
Walkthrough No. E2 Xpresso
Bouncing Ball A method to create a bouncing ball which, under the force of gravity, falls with increasing speed in exactly the way it would do in the real world, as first revealed by the mathematics of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).
Walkthrough No. E3 Xpresso
Pendulum Two ways to make a pendulum oscillate right and left in a realistic manner.
Walkthrough No. E4 Xpresso and Thinking Particles
Parabolic Reflector Demonstration of a parabolic reflector that produces an accurate parallel column of light (simulated by Thinking Particles). Used as the basis of powerful searchlights.
Walkthrough No. E5 Xpresso and Thinking Particles
Parabolic Reflector Demonstration of how a parallel stream of particles aimed at a parabolic reflector are all accurately reflected to the focal point. This is the basis of the "telemicrophone" used by birdwatchers, spies, slightly modified digital TV dishes and James Bond (probably).
14/03/04 (First published 7/1/03)
© 2003/04 lachlan