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Review Cinema 4D Beginner’s Guide [English]

Review Cinema 4D Beginner’s Guide [English]


I already get my second chance to reviewing a book in English edition. This book – Cinema 4D, Beginner Guide – as the title is for everyone who already interest in Cinema 4D, and of course…. they are still beginners. I am doing this for free, but I am in honor for the chance and trust are given by the Darshana Joshi – Marketing Research Executive | Packt Publishing

I get to remind you, before you read a book about Software, you have to check what the software version on that book. In Cinema 4D, there are some popular version in this year (2012). I can mention that version 11.5, 12 and 13 are notable widely used today. So, what about version 14? Well, this version is not popular enough because it is a new release.

I also have to notice that the author used version 13. and I suggest you to use the same version. It will make everything much more easier to be understood, especially for newbies. So, for the user of version R11.5 and R12, you may upgrading your version into R13.

Okay, let’s check inside the book

Chapter 1: Getting to Know Cinema 4D

The part which often impassable to be read is the interface. No matter how fast you want to go to the next chapter, I suggest you to read this chapter. Why??? Because it contains many information about the Cinema 4D and how does it work. In this book, the Interface tells us all of the features of this software, and the way to use it, although not in detail but the description is good enough to be understood.

Chapter II: Modeling Part 1: Edges, Faces, and Points

In this chapter we already go to make Modeling. You may get some problems and difficulties, especially if you never try to use this software before. But don’t worry, you just need some times to learn and everything will be okay (^_^).
Now, I want to give a comment about the Extrude. In my opinion, the Extrude Inner is too complicated for the beginners. Instead of explaining about this feature, I prefer to teach the readers on how optimizing the Primitive Object without “Converting to Editable Poly”. I think, the author consideration to skip teaching that matter is, he want to show the result – making a model – as fast as possible, and decide to use “Convert to Editable Poly” feature and starting modeling.

Chapter III: Modeling Part 1: Splines, NURBS, Deformers, and Boole

This chapter is still exploring about Modeling, and how to make it without “damage” the model. Hmm….what does it mean? It means we can editing a model easily with a simple line as a pattern. For example, you may editing a simple curve line to make a complicated vase – as you can see in this picture below.

Chapter IV: Materials and Shaders

Now, we will give the material and shader for the object that we already made before. You may have a question, what the difference between material and shader. Well, actually they have same function, coloring the object. The difference is the way to use. Material is more complicated, but you can apply it to everything – the cloud, the glass, a panorama, a human model, etc. And Shader is easier to use but you just can apply it for certain media, such as glass, wood and metal. In this chapter, the author not exploring in depth about material and shader, but it is already give the information we need about how to give a material effect in our object.

Chapter V: Lighting and Rendering

Lighting is not just about giving a light on an object, but we have to know some terms of lighting and how to setting the light. For example, this chapter explain about the lighting terms such as Anti-aliasing, Global Illumination, Ambient Occlusion and how to setting it. Why this is so important? Because knowing the lighting terms will make you easy to apply what the effect of lighting do you want, and knowing about setting the lights have a big impact for your rendering. So, I have to inform you, whatever you see in the view-port it may have a different result in the render.

There are always a question from the beginners, “Why we should learning about setting the light? We can just use the “best setting” feature and we’ll get the best result instantly”. Well, this matter related to the render speed. The more optimal setting of the lighting you can create, the more concise the rendering time.

I can give you an illustration: It may take 5 minutes for rendering an object if you use “best setting” feature, but it just take 1 minute for the same object if you can optimize setting the lighting. It’s look like not a big problem, if you wait for 4 minutes more and you don’t have to set the lighting. But, can you imagine how long we have to wait, if we make an animation (there are a lot of objects in one scene of an animation film)? So, don’t miss this chapter, you get to read this.

Chapter VI: Animation

Okay…we already gone this far, and this chapter is talking about Camera Animation and Parameter, and the way to adjust the object using the F-Curve. In this book, the author giving a simple animation as an example, that is the changes from the night condition into the day condition. It is simple, but it’s already give us the knowledge about the animation movement.


Chapter VII: MoGraph

Mograph. Hmm….what is it? Mograph is a special feature in Cinema 4D, and you may not see it in the other software and this is the most popular module. You can create a cool animation in a few steps. For myself, I loved to use the Rigid body – it will make your animation awesome (^_^).

rigid body

Chapter VIII: XPresso

In this chapter we will learn about Xpresso. This is like a simple programming, because there are some notes to furrow the programming work (it’s look like flow charts). Programming in animation is needed to make our animation work as what we want, and Xpresso help us to make it easier to be used.

The interesting example in this book that I can review is the clock animation. It is a simple animation, but can describe precisely the benefit of Xpresso.


Chapter IX: An Overview of Additional Tools

This chapter is talking about additional tool, such as Hair, Sketch and Toon, and Cloth. You can create many incredible things from these tools. As you can see in this picture below, you can use Hair tool in Architecture (something that you never imagine before, I guess):


Or you may use Cloth tool to make tablecloth as the picture below:


Chapter X: Optimizing Your Workflow

As the title of this chapter, the author will give you some tools to reach the best optimize workflow. There are four tools that will be used, Xrefs, Compositing tags, Multipass rendering and Exporting to Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop. Although this topic has gone too far for newbies, but it can give you the description of working animation with Cinema 4D. For myself, as a newbie I prefer to learn about Modelling, material, animation and render, in depth and in details.




  • Easy to Follow
  • Step by step Instrution with simple explanation


  • Need more training
  • Too many subject to cover

Here the link for more detail book : http://www.packtpub.com/cinema-4d-beginners-guide/book

None found.

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