C4Dforbeginners

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

This includes some non-technical English words to help those whose first language is not English, and translations of some key words into French.

Active Tool Manager. A window which tells you additional information about the Tool that you are using.

Attribute Manager. An Attribute is a quality, detail etc. belonging to something. The Attribute Manager in Cinema 4D (not only in Xpresso Expressions) lists an Object's or Node's Attributes and allows the Attributes to be specified. It can be opened by choosing Cinema Main Menu > Window > Attribute Manager.

Boolean. First Meaning: A data type. Used in logic. Numerically, equal to 0 or 1. Also called False or True respectively, or Low or High depending on the context. A Bool True or False could cause something to happen, like a light being switched on or off, or an emitter to start or stop emitting.

Second Meaning: One of the Modelling Tools available in Cinema 4d, available from Main Menu > Modelling > Boolean. A Boolean Object is capable of causing interactions between two or more Objects so that, for example, where the second object overlaps the first, the overlapped shape is subtracted from the first Object.

Confirm: To make sure that something has been done.

Evaluate. A mathematical expression (for example 90 - X + ArcSine(CosX/2)) is evaluated when it is converted to a number (such as 36.2 degrees in this example).

Extent. The width or limits of the application of something.

Field. A rectangle into which Parameters, or the names of Objects in the Object Manager, can be entered or dragged.

Frustration. When you start tearing your hair out after something that has gone wrong!

Inevitably. Something is inevitable if it will happen.

Integer. A data type. Numerical data in the form of a whole number of any magnitude, negative or positive, such as 7, -3.

Lag. Something lags behind something else when it is behind it in position or time or thought processes. For example, a fish in a shoal lags behind the leader; changes in temperature inside an unheated house lag behind changes outside. Similar to "trail".

Link. Something that joins two or more things. In the Xpresso Editor window, links are the thin "wires" that join the Input and Output Ports of the Nodes.

Marquee. In the computer world, a rectangular frame drawn by the mouse around something being Selected.

Node. A box appearing in an Xpresso Expression when that Expression is displayed in the Xpresso Editor window. A node is a fundamental unit of an Xpresso Expression and does things like calculations, comparisons, switching, detection of the current Frame number. Clicking on one of its red or blue boxes reveals a menu of Port names.

Object. Anything shown on the left column of the Object Manager (and some others such as Particles.)

Orientation. The direction in which an Object is pointing. Is affected by rotating it.

Overlap. In Boolean Modelling, two Objects are said to overlap when a part of one of the Objects occupies the same space as a part of the other Object. (Like when two Objects are brought close together and one is partly inside the other.)

Parameter. A quantity or value normally constant but which can vary in different cases; a measurable or quantifiable characteristic of something. Shown in the Attribute Manager : Parameter button

Port. Input Ports receive data, Output Ports send data somewhere else.

Quadrilateral. A flat object with four straight sides.

Real. A Data Type. Numerical data in the form of a decimal fraction of any magnitude, negative as well as positive, such as 3.72, as distinct from an Integer or a Boolean.

Selection. Sélection/Auswahl

Sequentially One after the other, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ... ,, or 1 2 3 4 5 ...

Specified. Something is specified if details about it are given. ("The engineer specified the type of metal to be used".)

Structure. Structure/Form

Temporarily. For a short time, then go back to what you were doing before.

Tag. An icon to the right of an Object in the Object Manager. A tag adds properties to that Object, such as smoothing, render-or-not. An Xpresso tag looks like this:

Target. A person or thing aimed at. ("The gun was aimed at its target - the spaceship".

Thinking Particles. Cinema 4D's optional Node-Based Particle System that controls the emission and subsequent behaviour of particles. The Nodes are effectively an extension of the set of Xpresso Nodes.

Tool: Outil/Werkzeuge.

Trigger. Something (usually happening quickly) that causes something else to happen (from the thing that you pull to fire a gun - its trigger.)

Viewport. The window looking on to the 3D scene that you have created.

View (Front): Vue Avant/Sicht vorne; View (Top): Vue Dessus/Sicht oben; View (Right): Vue Droite/Sicht rechts; Perspective View: Vue en Perspective/Sicht perspektivisch.

Xpresso. Cinema's Node-based system to create automated interactions between objects extra to those that can be done in the basic Cinema installation. For example, the position and orientation of an object could be controlled automatically by the movement of another object without manually setting keyframes in the Timeline to control the varying positions of the two objects. It is a graphical system using Nodes and Links. It does not involve computer programming. An Xpresso "program" is called an Xpresso Expression. Since it controls interactions, an animation is normally needed to make use of it. It is different from a C.O.F.F.E.E. expression (which can also control interactions) but creating a C.O.F.F.E.E. Expression involves computer coding which many people don't like doing.

Xpresso Editor Window. The window that opens when you double-click on an Xpresso Tag.

INTERNET LINKS

Maxon Computer US

Maxon UK

Postforum: Cinema Forum (Discussion, problems, hints, tips etc.

Björn (Srek)'s site on many different topics.

C.O.F.F.E.E. Node Tutorial

Elementary Introduction to Cinema

Famous Curves Index A list of 63 curves (such as parabola, various types of spirals, hypocycloid) etc. with their formulas.

Steam Engine Animation An animation of a steam engine which includes the Crosshead Guide used as an example in Tutorial 4.

HyperNURBS Tutorials:

All these tutorials provide excellent information on how to model, each using different techniques and Cinema Tools.

Modelling an Audi S3 Car by Mike Batchelor. This uses the Point Cage Creation Method except for minor parts. It is an excellent tutorial but a difficult project for the beginner because of the smooth curves of the body, and because the tutorial gives little detail of how to actually perform the various operations (it is suitable for more experienced modellers). Also, the rawings of the front, side etc. of the car (possibly taken from the car's brochure) have been scanned at a relatively low resolution and the resulting jagged lines make it difficult to see the drawings when modelling.

Modelling a Chev Car by Jeff Carlson. Another excellent tutorial which I used to model parts of the car and which taught me a lot as a beginner. However, the same comments apply made on the Audi Car tutorial about the smoothness of the body, and the fuzzyness of the drawings.

Modelling a Chev Car by Jeff Carlson. This is in the excellent "The Cinema 4d R8 Handbook" by Adam Watkins, published in 2003 by Charles River Media, in the chapter on Modelling a Car with HyperNURBS (at least that is the title of the chapter in my earlier edition). This is a step-by-step tutorial covering all operations, using mainly a method of starting with a Polygon Object and Extruding. It also uses the Primitive Cage and Point Cage Methods. The car is a pre-Second World War car whose boxy shape makes modelling much easier than the curved shapes of more modern cars. Beginners in HyperNURBS modelling should use this tutorial after doing the HyperNURBS tutorials in this Cinema for Beginners site. The book, with over 500 pages, also covers many other Cinema Techniques (eg., Command Palettes, Lighting, Texturing etc.) and is aimed at the same beginner modellers as this set of tutorials.