Cinema 4D Basics: Animate A Miniature Scene | Aaron Bartlett | Skillshare

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Cinema 4D Basics: Animate A Miniature Scene

teacher avatar Aaron Bartlett, Motion/Graphic Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Scene Setup

    • 3. Tunnels, Track & Lake

    • 4. Log Cabin

    • 5. Hills & Trees

    • 6. Train

    • 7. Animate!

    • 8. Finishing in After Effects

    • 9. All Done!

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About This Class

Even using the basic tools in Cinema 4D can allow you to create some really fun animations! I’ll show you a few tricks that focus on modeling and animating to create a scene with a train rolling along the tracks in the wintry mountains! In addition to the full version of Cinema 4D, you’ll be able to do this class in C4D Lite (included with After Effects CC).

Meet Your Teacher

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Aaron Bartlett

Motion/Graphic Designer


I'm designer who works in LA and I've spent much of my career in entertainment marketing creating promos and ads for TV, movies and video games. I've got a fairly broad background in a variety of media. I love cartoons and comics books.

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1. Introduction: three D can allow you to build just about anything in your imagination. Creating your own world is within your grasp. In this lesson will make a miniature isometric scene of a train rolling down the tracks in the snowy mountains. I'll show you how to build it, animate it and then add some finishing touches and after effects will be working with Cinema four D Light, which is available to anyone that has after effects CC. If you happen to have a full version of Cinema four D, well, point on a few things that you'll be able to take advantage of. No, let's get creating. 2. Scene Setup: okay before we get into it. The first thing that I wanted to say is, if you've never used Cinema four D before, I'd like you to consider trying my intro to cinema four D course. Before you do this one, I'm gonna do my very best to try to cover everything I'm doing so that there's no confusion , but I'm not gonna take is much time on all of the specifics. So to begin, let's take a look at what our final video is going to be. Pretty cool, right? I'm gonna show you how to build this whole thing and then animated. Then we'll move it into after effects so we can do some finishing touches. So the first thing we need to do is start after effects. Then go to file new max on semaphore. Defile. Call this train snow. Now we have a new cinema four D project and it's open and cinema four D light. Now the first thing I'm gonna do is set up the camera. So, at a camera seen by clicking here, I'll click this icon so that we're looking through the camera in this view port. I'm gonna hit control, be or command be on a Mac toe, open the render settings goto output. I'm gonna change this to 10 80 by 10. 80. That way we'll make a square video. That's great for uploading social media. I'm also gonna change the frame rate to 24. Then I'll close this and hit control de or command D on the Mac for project settings, and I'll change the product frame rate to 24 as well. I want our whole animation to be four seconds long, so I'm gonna set the frame range to 96 frames or 95. Since we're starting with zero just to do a real quick refresher here, I'm gonna add a cube to the scene so we have something to look at now. The way that we navigate around the view port is we can use these icons up here to either move, zoom or rotate. We can use this icon to switch between a four port view in a single port fuel, and it works separately on each one. Alternatively, if you have a three button mouse, you can click in any of these windows with your middle button to make it full size and back . You can also hold down Ault or option on a Mac. Then left click to rotate, middle click to move and right click to zoom. So getting back to our camera, I'm gonna change the projection from perspective, which is the default toe isometric. I'm gonna select the Cube now. I'm going to select the Cube and then it s to zoom to it. You can see isometric is kind of like a perfect 45 degree angle view, like in an old video game. If I move around presuming it out, you'll notice the perspective isn't really changing it all. Also, if I try to rotate, nothing happens. There is no rotation, an isometric view. It's just kind of a fun angle. That sort of adds to the surreal nature of the scene that we're gonna make that looks like it's in a little box now, this cubes going to become my ground plane. So I'm going to change it to only be 10 centimeters tall. We can see the difference between this light gray and dark gray area showing us what's going to render just the square in the middle. I'm going to use this icon specifically so that I know I'm zooming perfectly from the middle and just zoom up a bit some just over the corners as a reminder. When you have this icon highlighted anything you do to move in the view port is affecting the position and rotation of the camera. Well hit save. And now we've got our scene set up. 3. Tunnels, Track & Lake: So the next thing we're gonna make is the tunnels. We'll start by making a tube object. I'm gonna change the direction on this two plus X changed the inner radius to 45 and the outer radius to 60. I did want to point out that obviously, I've planned this whole lesson out. So all the numeric values that you're seeing are just ones that I've already figured out. There's no inherent importance to any of them. They're mostly just aesthetic choices. I'm gonna change the rotation segments to 72 so that smoother you might notice along the edge. If you look that it was a bit rougher before I'm gonna set the height to 20 turn on, fill it, put that down to three segments and make the radius three centimeters. Another reminder. While I can grab these arrow tools to move on each axis, I can also grab these heroes in between to move on any two at the same time. So to grab this one, just move it over here to the side to keep things simpler. I'll try to be more mathematically precise, so I'm gonna change the value to minus 90 and 40 No, I have the outside part of my tunnel. I'm gonna make a black cylinder to put in the middle to represent the darkness inside the tunnel. I'm gonna parent this cylinder to the tube, and then I'm gonna zero out the position That way. I know it's right in the middle. I'll change the orientation of plus X on a switch so I can see all four views. I'll hit s to zoom in on this side. I'm gonna grab this yellow dot and just moving inside so that it's a little bit narrower than the tongue I'm also gonna get started are surfacing so I'll make a new texture by double clicking here. I'm gonna rename this black. I'm actually just gonna turn off the color and reflect INTs channel. So it's pure black. I'll drag that onto the cylinder. Now I'm gonna make another one. I'm gonna call this concrete, go to color. I think it just a little bit darker. And then I'm going. Apply that to the tunnel. No, make one more Call it snow. Going to color. Gonna pick a very, very, very light blue. Then apply that to the ground. Now we're gonna make a copy of the tunnel. So the first thing I'm gonna dio is rename these parts this alcohol tunnel in this so called ground, we'll close down the tunnel. Since I don't need it open, select the tunnel. Then I'll click here and go over to instance. An instance is literally just a copy of something else. So any changes I make to this will be reflected here, and I want this tunnel instance to be in the same spot on the other side. So I'm literally just gonna flip these values 40 in minus 90. Then I'm gonna rotate it 90 degrees on the heading, and I got what I wanted. You'll notice we can see part of it sticking out under the ground later on, we're gonna make the ground much bigger. But for now, I'd like to leave it this size. Just that we can see what we're doing next. We're gonna make our track, and that whole thing is gonna be based on a spine. I want to make a track that just sort of curves from one into the other in this menu. I could use the ark, but actually needed to extend past just the curved point. So I'm going to use a rectangle, but I'm gonna turn on a rounding, and then I'm gonna change the radius toe 100. Make sure the plane is set to xz. Now I'm going to switch to my top view and hit test is, um, to the rectangle, Then imagining that this whole thing is my track, I'm gonna slide it over. So it lines up with the center of each of the tunnels. I can see that roughly negative one sixties, the value for each of these. So that's what I'm gonna set two, to be exact. By the way, if you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, you can also use that for resuming, not from here. I need to be able to manipulate it. So I'm gonna hit C to convert it to an edit herbal object. You'll notice the icon changed. I'm going to rename this rail spine. Then I'm gonna switch over two point mode and I'm gonna uncheck close spine. I wanted to be open because I only need part of it. Unfortunately, the segment just disappeared, just part of what I needed. So I'm gonna choose my selection tool. Grab the whole thing hit par for rotate. Gonna click on this circle. Start dragging that. I'm gonna hold down shift so it snaps to 10 degrees and rotated 90 degrees. Then I mean hits face bar, which will switch back to my last tool in this case selection. And I'm gonna grab the points. I don't need old shift. Grab this one and then hit. Delete. Now, later, I'm gonna be animating the train along this track, so I needed to extend just a little bit outside. So the train has somewhere to be, but I don't need it to be all the way out here. So I'm just gonna grab this point and move it up here. I will, say 35 and then the same for this. Now, the real spine is all set. So the next thing that I want to do is create the railroad ties before I show you how to do this in cinema four D light, I'm gonna show people who have the full version of Cinema four D that includes the McGrath module. So really quickly I'm gonna add a cube. The size I'm gonna be working at is two by two by 26. Let s zoom in. Now I'm gonna go up to mow graph and she's Kloner gonna grab this cube and drag it over the corner. When I see that arrow move down. I know it's about to be parented, so I let go, because that in Dent I can see it's parented to the quota. Now zoom out a little bit and then click on the cloner object. Now, what this is doing in linear mode is just making extra copies. Right now it's making three total and moving them 50 centimeters on the Why, that's pretty high relative Torrey are. So I'm gonna change that down to just 10. Now, if I were to move it on the other axes, you can see how that affects it. I could also switch this to radio check in effect account in the radius, or I could switch it to Grid Array. You can see the same thing, count zoom out radius. But for what we're doing here, we need to attach the rails to a spine. So even though I said this wasn't what I was gonna use before, I'm just gonna throw down a narc change it to exist. So it's laying down like I would want. I'm going to click the cloner Change grid array, toe object and then the object field. I'm going to drag the ark. Now it's cloning the ties along the arc, which, as you can see, is obviously going the wrong direction. So from there I would go to transform and rotate them 90 degrees on the heading, and then I'll go back to object and I can change the count. So I'll try 50. I s rotate. That might be too many for what we want, but I think you can see how it works so you can change the count toe. Whatever you feel comfortable with, you just need to add the rail spine to the object field in your scene instead of this ark. Now let's get back to cinema four D light so we'll do the same thing at a cube. Change it to to buy two but 26 and I'm going to use a different function. I'm going to go up to tools range objects duplicate. Over here. I'm gonna change the mode to a long spine. Then there's a spine field So I'm gonna grab my rail spine and dragged that in and then can hit, Apply Zoom in. You can see it's doing the same general process. I'm gonna turn on rotation, which orients it correctly. That changed the copies to, say 50 about 40 that we're gonna hit t to switch to my move tool. In that way, I won't mess up anything in the duplicate field. I'm gonna grab this cube and then I'm going to drag it under this. No. So that's with all the rest of the railroad ties going to rename this ties. And you can see here are all of the cubes. We'll close this down. That I'm gonna hit s on both of these, that I can see it a little more clearly. In fact, I'm uneven. Zoom further. You can see this black line is my ground. So I'm gonna slide this up so that the railroad ties pop up just above that, I'm gonna make a new texture which I will call would and change it to a brown color. Then apply that to the whole thing. I realized that I wanted to bevel the edges a little bit If you were working with the cloner object on the full version of cinema four D. You'll just have to change the one Cube. But in this case, I'm gonna open up this. No, grab the 1st 1 Scroll down shift select. So I have them all selected and in the properties I'm gonna turn on. Fill it. I'm going to set the fill it radius 2.25 and the subdivisions to three. So now we need to add the rails. We'll close this down. Now I'm going to add a rectangle. I'm going to set this 1 to 22 centimeters wide by two centimeters tall and then I'm going to add sweep nerves. Gonna move the rectangle under the sweep, grab the rail spine and then make an instance dragged that under the rectangle. They'll take note. When the arrows pointing down like this, it'll get parented indented further. That's not what I wanted. Some to drag it back out here. If I drag it up again, jacket just below right there. So I can see that Arrowpoint to the left. Now it will also be parented under the sweep. Now grab the sweep switch to my other view slide this up so that it's sitting on top of the ties. Now I'm gonna make a duplicate of this whole thing. So if I hold down control or command on a Mac and then drag up, I can see now I've got another one. Right now. It's the same thing, But I'm gonna click on this rectangle and change the value to 18 and three. Now you can see I've got one that's little more narrow in a little bit taller. After that, I'm going to add a bull object. Then I'm gonna grab this sweep in this sweep. Dragged them both under the bull of the default setting is a subtract B, which at the moment is backwards from what I want. So I'm gonna drag this sweep up to the top. So now it's subtracting from the other one just like that. I've got rails Now I'm gonna build the lake, we'll switch to my top, you again gonna close this down and rename it track. Now I'm gonna go in here and choose the pen tool so I can draw some busier curves. I want the lake to be in this negative space in front of the track, so I'm gonna zoom out a little bit. Click, click and drag. Click and drag looking drag. Click, click. And then I'm gonna click on my spine and click close. Split this part. You can draw the shape however you like. Whatever you think. Looks nice. Now switch back to my other view. Now I need an extrude If I hold down alter option on the Mac and then click this while that spine is selected, it'll automatically parent it under the extreme. Now the extrude is set up to move on. The Z axis actually needed to move on the why, So I'm gonna set that to zero and I'll set this to 20. Then I'm gonna move it down 10 centimeters. Then I'm gonna switch back to my model mode and move it down 10 centimeters. I'll turn off my camera so I can show you what we're doing. The goal is to have these overlap so that one can cut a whole lot of the other switch back to isometric view. I'm gonna rename this Toe Lake that I'm gonna add a pool which I'll call ground. Normally, I'd avoid naming things the same But in this case, I think it makes more sense. So I'm going to duplicate that call it Lake. Then I'm going to select the lake and make an instance. And I'm gonna select the ground and make an instance. In the 1st 1 I'm gonna put the ground, and under that, I'm going to put the lake Instance, The 2nd 1 I'm going to put the lake and then the ground instance, the 1st 1 is set to a subtract B 2nd 1 needs to be set to a Intersect. Be So now you'll notice it looks like it's right back where it was But you can see this line indicating that we have two pieces I'm gonna make a new texture which I will call Lake I'm gonna turn on transparency I'll go to the color pick up blew a shade I'm gonna go to transparency Set the refraction toe 1.4, which is kind of a standard one for glass. I think it'll look good for what we're doing. Gonna set the brightness down to 75 Then I'm gonna go to reflect INTs, gonna add a beckman and set that down to 50. Then I'm going to add that to the lake object. Now you'll notice it didn't change. Why is that? Well, unfortunately, since it's using the ground instance, it's basing it on this ground, which has this texture. However, if I move this texture tag up higher to this bull, it's no of your part of the ground, and now it's not interfering with this one. I'll hit control or command are, and then I can see that I got my translucency. But I've got this weird stuff that's happening at the edges, and that's because the polygons air overlapping exactly doesn't look very good. So what? I'm gonna dio select the lake and then on the X and Z. I'm just going to set it 2.1 centimeters, so it's just barely offset. Not enough that you could tell the difference. But if I render again now, it's nice and clean, and now we're ready to move on to the next section. 4. Log Cabin: so I'm gonna clean things up a little bit to make moving forward a little easier. Well, Khloe's thes down now. I'm gonna select everything except for the camera. And then I'm gonna hit, alter or Option G, and then I'll group everything under annul, gonna call the null scene and then I'm gonna hide it. Now, I can do this by holding out alter, option and clicking where these two circles are. They'll switch to green, which forces them on and then read, which turns them off. I can also click them individually. The top one affects whether you can see something in the scene. The bottom one affects whether or not it renders, So we'll definitely want to switch that back later. But for now, we just want them out of the way. There are log cabins gonna be about 40 by 40. So to start will make a cube. That's that size as a reference. I'm going to turn my camera off so that I don't mess up the view Since it's getting in the way, I'm going to do the same thing to hide it. Alter option. Click here now to build the longs for a log cabin. This is another time when using the cloner object and McGrath is actually pretty useful. So switch to the full version of Cinema four D to show you our logs. They're gonna be a cylinder. I'll set this two plus X with a radius of two and a height of 40. It s to zoom in. Then I'll go to the caps. Turn on fill it. Set segments to three and radius toe one. Now I'm gonna hold down. Halt! Go! Tomoe Graph and shoes Cloner. So now it's parented. Linear is correct the cylinders of four centimeters across. So that's exactly how far I wanted to move. Now say I kick this upto Lake eight s to view the whole thing, But actually, I could do this even more dynamically if I switch from linear to greater A. So I'm gonna change the X countdown. The one I'm going to change the white count to say eight. Change the size value until they stuck up. Change the Z to just two. It s so I can see the whole thing closed that down. So they're closer then with the cloner selected I can make an instance are for rotate. Grab this shift. Snap to 90. That looks pretty good. My problem is I want them overlapping at the corners. So what I'm gonna do is go back to the cloner, then close this down just enough. And there I go. You confined to news to match what I'm gonna do in cinema four D light. So switching back there, I'm gonna do the same thing. Make a cylinder radius of two height of 40 plus x caps. Fill it three one. Open up my views so I can see everything. And then I'll hit Alter Option H to zoom all my windows toe all objects, some to remember. If the camera icon is highlighted and use a command like that, it is gonna move the camera. So be mindful. I'll call this log, then I'm gonna move it down so it's at the bottom of the box. Should be just two centimeters inside, So that'll be minus 18. Then I'll move it over here. Same thing minus 18. No, go appear to tools. Range objects duplicate was that the mod toe linear will set the copies to six. I'll set the Y two floor and then I'll hit. Apply. Then I'll hit E to switch back to my move tool. I'll select log. Then I'll drag log inside log copies a rename this toe ball that will make an instance. Gonna change the Z value toe positive 18. Well, control or command, drag this up to make another instance, Rotated 90. We'll move it over, which leaves us set 18 minus 18 0 Then one more change. The X two negative 18. I'll turn off my cube so I can see them and once again, kind of have that overlap problem. I just need to change all the X and Z values to 16 instead of 18. Okay, I've got that nice overlap. You can apply the wood texture to the original wall. Now we're gonna build the roof. So at a new cube going to set the values to 30 by one by three, that's a single board. I'm gonna turn on fill it said it. 2.5 and three. This is another moment when if you have McGrath, he could use the Kloner said it toe linear to make a whole bunch of boards lined up. I think by now you'll be able to figure it out on your own. But in cinema four D light, we're gonna grab this board, move it down here. So it's over the edge, then go to tools. Arrange objects, duplicate. I don't want to move on the why? I want to move on the Z. And I want to move the exact with the board, which is three centimeters and I'll try 10 copies. It wasn't quite enough, so we'll click up so we get over the edge, then we'll hit G to switch to move. Select this cube dragon in here. Closed that down. Call this roof. I'm gonna rotate it. So hit our drag. Hold shift. I'm gonna do 40 degrees e to go to move. Been dragged this over, zoom out a little bit. So I wanted to line up in the middle, but just barely over the edge. Now I'm gonna go here and make an instance. I'm gonna rotated 180 degrees on the heading, and then I'm going to set the X value to negative instead of positive. Now you notice that almost worked. But what was our problem? Well, unfortunately, the no wasn't at the perfect center of the roof, so I'm actually gonna try that again. I'll delete this instance. Grab the roof, grab everything inside it, pull it out and delete that. Now I'm gonna grab all these again. All g rename it roof. You'll notice the null is now in the center. Then I'm gonna go back in here. Instance Rotate 1 80 set positive to negative. And now I got what I wanted. Gonna add the wood texture to the roof, and I want to fill in the empty parts of the wall. So I'm gonna make another copy of this by a controller Command dragging the roof. Instance, going to reset the rotations back to zero. From there, I'll hit rotate. I'm gonna rotate this 90 degrees and then rotated 90 degrees again if h to zoom in here. It eats. Switch to move. Now I'm gonna line it up with the logs. Set the X zero and Z tu minus 16. Since I know that's right in the centre, Why values find? Because I can see it's totally overlapping. Now, I'm gonna come up here and create an inside polygon. Well said the plane toe X Y. And I said the radius down to say 20. Then I'll change the sides to three. I've got a triangle I'm gonna hit. See to make it an editor. Bill. Object. Switch the point mode. Grab my selection tool. Grab all of them. Hey, are then I'll rotated 90 degrees. Reset the position to zero. Now I know it's lined up, so hit E for move, and I'm gonna move this up so that it lines up with the top. Then when hit space bar to switch back to selection, grab just these two. Move them up to chest underneath the top of the logs, the metal hit t for scale and scale them out until they fit underneath the roof boards. Switch back to my main view. Gonna hold down alter option and then come up and doing extrude this extruded 20 on the Z axis. We'll switch to my model of you so I can see where the object is. Now that looks good, but I needed toe overlap. Somebody hit he from move and move it so that it's intersecting with my boards. Then I'm going to add a bull and I'm going toe grab the extrude in the last roof. Instance that I'm gonna grab the then I'm gonna that I'm gonna grab the extrude in the last roof instance and put them under the pool. Only I'm going to change the bull property from a subject B a Intersect be. And now I've got those boards covering that up. Now I'm gonna call this top wall and then going to make an instance. Since the pivot point set in the middle, I'm just gonna rotate it 180 degrees. And you know, I've got both sides. I want to make a door that's facing to the right. But I need to remember exactly which direction that waas. So I'm going to turn my camera view back on, and I can see that the opposite direction of the Blue Arrow, which Z will be the face that I want the door to be on. Turn that back off. That means this side is where I want my door. So I'm actually gonna make a copy of the roof. The original. You can see what happened. I just accidentally made a copy of this top wall instances. Well, if you're not paying attention, it's pretty easy to accidentally have other object selected. And then when you're doing commands like Duplicate, you'll accidentally duplicate something he didn't mean to. So I'll just click on this and delete it. Now, this new roof, I'm gonna rotate back to zero, gonna rotate it 90 degrees this way and then 90 degrees this way. Oh, hit he then I'll just move this right in front of the logs and said, The X zero. You notice I wasn't paying attention. This is actually the wrong side. I need to line it up here so I'll just switch the Z value from negative to positive. Then I'll move this down so it lines up the floor. These boards are too tall for the door, so I'm gonna open it up, select them, change 30 to 20. Then I'll move this down so it lines up at the bottom. I only need the middle boards. So what I can do is just click the ones in the middle I want the middle for So move those for up to the top. Then I'll grab the rest and delete them. We'll rename this door. No, I have a cabin door in front of me. Select all these objects hit alter option G and rename it log cabin. I don't delete this cube that I was using for reference. I don't need it anymore. Now I'm gonna turn my scene back on and my camera, I'll grab the log cabin. Can he from move. Then I'm gonna slide it up so that it's just sitting on the top of the ground. Zoom out a little bit here, moving inside the railroad track. I'll move this inside the scene and save, and now we're ready to move on. 5. Hills & Trees: now we're gonna build the hills and the trees, the hills it pretty simple. We're gonna start just by making a sphere, going up it to 48 segments. Gonna add the snow texture, call this hill. It'll hit the from move, gonna move this back in a corner. Then I'm gonna make an instance. No, I need to switch from model mode to object mode. Because if I don't scaling Wilmore properly, gonna hit t for scale Then I'm just gonna smush this one down a bit. We'll zoom out so I can see what I'm doing. Ive removed. We'll just move this guy over here up a little bit. My goal here is blocking out all the negative space because I don't want to see any of it. We'll move this forward just to make sure it's overlapping with tunnel up a little bit more . Now, if I hold down control or command and then dragging this window, that also makes a duplicate. So I'm gonna rotated 90 degrees and then move it over on the other side. You notice I'm not trying to do this mathematically because I don't want these hills to look too perfect. So make sure I'm not breaking through the plane of the tunnel. They don't move over just a little bit. That looks pretty good. Now I'm gonna add a few more. So created an instance gonna set the size evenly on this one. We'll try half size. You're more than welcome to get. Is creative as you like with his entire lesson in this place, especially a somewhere where you can do whatever you think. Looks nice, control drag to add another one, add one more. So that looks good. At this point, I'd like to add some lights so I could get a better sense of what the scene is gonna look like when it's rendered. Right now, if I hit control or command are while my mouses over this window, it'll render I can see what it looks like. So the first thing I'm going to do is click and go toe infinite light. I'll drag this down to the bottom of my list, gonna rename this son because for all intents and purposes, that's what it's gonna behave like gonna make sure that this one is totally white. And I'm gonna change shadow to shadow maps if I hit Render. Right now, I don't see a whole lot because of the direction it's pointing. So even though it doesn't really matter where an infinite, lightest positioned on Lee where it's rotated, I'm gonna move it up just so it's easier to see. So zoom out and move up here. Now this white line shows us what direction it's pointing. Hit, hard to move to rotate. I can click anywhere inside here, and then that lets me move it around. I'm gonna move it so the light is coming over from the right and downward hit Render that looks cool but those shadows airway too intense. And I need something to offset it like the snow is reflecting light back off the ground. So I'm gonna add another light just by clicking here once. Also dragged that to the bottom. But I'm gonna rename this ambient. I'm going to choose a very light blue color for this. I'm going to set the intensity to 50 and then I'm gonna check ambient illumination, which means it's lighting everything from all directions. Now, if I render again, I've got a better look. But I still think these areas are a little too dark here. So I'm gonna tell the sun just a little bit further and rotated chest a little bit. That looks more pleasant Now I can add in some trees gonna grab the hills Alter option g the name that hills Drag that into scene turn seen off. Also gonna turn off the camera and hide it and the lights. Now I'm gonna make a new cylinder with a radius of three and a height 40. Gonna add the wood texture to it that I'm gonna add. A cone said the radius of 13 and the height to 30. Gonna make a new material. Call it fine. Good. A color. Pick a green and add that to the cone. Click on the cone again. I'm gonna change the height segments to four. I'm gonna hit. See, to make this an edit herbal object and then I'll go into edge mode. I'm gonna hit you. You'll notice if you don't move your mouse, this little menu pops up. These are a bunch of selection options. Since you've hit you, you have to hit another one of these letters. I'm hitting l for loop selection. That does just what it sounds like it's Lex. Things in loops. I want one of these loops. So I'm gonna grab that Well, hit h over here t for scale, then I'm just gonna scale it in a little bit. Fue el again grab the next one up. I'm actually gonna leave that alone. So grab the one about that T for scale. Turn off the cylinder so I can see what I'm doing. Better just scale that into the shapes. Little bit. Irregular. Now switch back to object mode. Hit. Kiefer, Move. Turn the cylinder back on. Move this up a bit. Make an instance. Okay, T start dragging here. I can also hold shift and it'll move in. Units of 10. We'll go to 70. He for Move! Move that up. That I'm gonna do it again. Controller Command drag T for scale threat scaling shift. Go to 70. I want to make an edit the shape so I'll just go back to the original. Go back to edge mode. You l again grab the outside T for scale. I'm just flared out a little bit more. Switch back to object, actually. Gonna tighten these up a little bit. No, grab this whole thing. It's called G. Call a tree, Turn my scene back on in my lights in my camera. Um, who might treat back up? That'll move it over here. I would like to be able to see just a little bit more of the bark. So I'm gonna move the tree up just a bit that I'm going to grab the cylinder and move that back down, no select tree, and then make an instance. And now I'm just gonna populate the scene with trees. Use H to zoom These. I can also change the size of these instances as I go. So scale this one up a bit. Make another copy, make another copy by controller Command dragging. Jeez, coordinates on this one. So it's smaller. Drag it back down. So it's in the ground. One more that will move some over to put in the hills. Now, I'm actually ready to build out my ground, so I'm gonna grab all these hit alter option G changing two trees. Put that inside the scene. A grab ground. Open that up, grab the ground cube and change that to 500 by 500. I'll actually zoom the camera and just a little bit extra, so I can't see those corners and I'll move this pine tree down just a little bit. I'll close that. Open my lake, go to this spine. Been in my top view. I can extend it past the edges of my ground. So switch the points, zoom to this view, then just move these guys out because of the size. I think I'll modify these busy handles just a little bit. Kind of smooth things out. Now the scene is full and it's time to build the train. 6. Train: sometimes when I'm building extra objects, I like to just start a new scene to keep things simple. Someone, a say file knew that I'm gonna create a cube and I'm gonna set the values to 25 by 25 by 30 . This will be the placeholder for a train since his 25 tall. I'm gonna move it to 12.5 centimeters. So it's sitting on the floor, hit hold Ph again to zoom to everything. But first we'll make the base of the train. Call this base gonna set this toe 18 by five by 25. Turn on fill it said it. 2.5 and three. Move this up a bit. Move it towards the front a little. Don't make the buffers at a cylinder. Set it to 1.5 28. Said the orientation to plus Z go to caps. Turn on fill it. Put that down to three and 30.5. I'm gonna parent this to the base and set all the values zero. We'll move it over to the side. I want to turn this cube off so I can see it that I'm gonna make an instance also put that under the base. Negate the X value. I'm gonna make a new texture. We'll call this iron. Just send it to a really dark gray and that to the cylinder and onto the base as well. Mike, you back on well, at a new cube, this is gonna be the cab. Will set the values to 15 by 14 by 13. Gonna turn on, fill it, set the radius toe one, the subdivisions to three. I'm gonna move this up so it's against the edge of the box and sitting on top of the base. Turn this cute. Back off. Now I'm going to duplicate this cube I control or command dragging it. Gonna turn Philip off, Set this 1 to 13 by 14 by 13. Then I'm gonna move it down so you can see these corners align with those black edges. This is gonna be the cut out. No, at a bull drag. Both of these in said to a subtract b just backwards. So I'll just move this guy up and I got that. I'm going to do another bull to cut out some windows. So add one more cube. I'm gonna set this one too. 17 by six by 2.5. I'll move this up. Where? I would like a window. But you can see it's going all the way through. Well, at another bull, I will grab this cube and this bull, Put them both in here A subtract B backwards skin. Move this up. I've got a window. The only thing is, I'd like there to be three windows, so I'm gonna grab the Cube. That's cutting the whole and I'm gonna hit Alter Option G. So now it's under that in all, and then I'm going to duplicate it by control dragging or command dragging. No. Move this over. I will say, minus four. And then I'm gonna do it again and move it to minus eight. Now, grab the whole thing and just slide them back. So there's centered. No, I can see I've got windows. Gonna make a new texture, which I will call Red and apply that to this bull, which I'll call Cap for the front portion. I'm going to make another cylinder. I'm going to set it to plus Z radius of six height 13. Go to caps. Turn on, fill it down to three and one hit you from Move and I'll position it so that it's sitting on top of the base and just up against the cab. Gonna make a new texture. Call it blue. Obviously, you can make your train any color you'd like on the front. Gonna add some detail. I'm gonna atmosphere parented to the cylinder and zeroed out. So it's centered. There. Gonna set the radius, too. Four. Move it up to it. Sticking out. Now I'm gonna make an instance, and then I'm going to drag that forward. So it's intersecting that I'm gonna make a new pool, put this sphere and then the instance under it, and then that cuts out in nice shape. Well, I am red to that. I'm gonna add some brass rings around the engine for a little detail. I'm gonna click this cylinder than control or command. Drag it to make a copy, going to set this to 6.5 with a height of one. Then I'll go to caps and set this 2.25 so it's a little more subtle. Now I'm gonna make a new texture which I'll call brass. I'm gonna turn off color and just have reflect INTs. I'm gonna add a beckman layer set that to add so it blends with the speculator and then go down to this color swatch. Pick something kind of brassy. Apply this to the ring. Call that brass ring. Make an instance. Drag that forward. Controller Command Jack to make another one. Now, we'll make a little smoke stack on the front, so make a cone said it to minus Y bottom radius to three. Height to six. Go to caps. Bottom radius of one that will move this up and slide it over. I'm gonna grab this brass ring, taking it up in the front a little bit. Don't make the smokestack bread one more small detail. I'll select this guy Control drag to make a copy. Goto object. Said it two plus why 1.5 six said the caps 23 and one, which they already are. Then I'll just move this up and change it to read. I noticed my set up here is a little bit off center from the base, so I'm gonna grab everything but the base, then just move forward a little bit. So the only thing I need now, or wheels. I'm gonna add a new cylinder. I'm going to set it to plus X a radius of five. Height of one. We'll move it up five centimeters and then move it back and move it over. We'll make a new texture called steel said the color to a medium grey in the reflect INTs the speculator or will get more narrow, been stronger. Apply that to the wheel, which I will rename Wheel. We'll also go into the caps, turn on fill it said it to 3.25 So now I want to create spokes in the wheels Will do that by using an array to create a circular pattern that I can pull out. So I'm gonna create an array. Then I'm gonna create a cube. Put the Cube into the array, gonna change the Cube to five by five by five. So it's easier to see the array. I'm gonna set the radius down toe like 10. So now I can see what it's doing. I changed the radius or the count, but I'm gonna leave that at seven. Sanoma, hit our and rotate this thing. Hold shift. Go to 90. That I'm gonna parent this under the wheel. Zero it out Now it's centered. The radius I can tighten down and I'll change the cube, so it's a little bit smaller. I'm gonna grab the cube hit, See to make it creditable. Don't come in here. Switch the point mode. Grab my selection tool and I can manipulate it to change the shape in the array. Hit T for scaling. Grab these points. Make this and narrower. Have these points the sun wider. Now go to my array. Close the radius down just a little bit. That looks pretty good. Someone at a bull going to separate theory from the wheel? Well, in first array. Next a subtract B, you've got a wheel. I'm going to rename the whole wheel so I don't get confused. Closed that down. I'm gonna make an instance. Switch back to model mode. No, unfortunately, because of the order of events, we've ended up with a null that's over in the middle and because I'm gonna want to animate the wheel rotating later, I really needed to be in the center. So what I'm gonna do just to make things easier, is I'm gonna delete this wheel. Instance. Open the wheel. Back up. Grab these two items. Pull them out from there. I'm gonna grab this pool and then a parent it to the wheel. I'm gonna center it, but zeroing it out, then I'll pull that back out. Grab the wheel in the array, Stick them inside again. Now I've got my know right where I want it. So again, we'll come over here, make an instance that I'm going to set the X value to Negative. Now I've got a wheel on both sides. I'm going to control drag that wheel and move it forward. Gonna go to coordinates and change it to 0.6. Then we'll move it down. So it's touching the ground and back a little bit, but I'm gonna control dragged that and add one more. Now I'll grab both of those. Last two control dragged them here, set each x value back to positive. And that's our train engine. So I'm gonna delete this reference cube. Grab everything old or option g. Call this engine. I'd like the know to be closer to the center of the train, so I'm going to click this enable access, which means that I'll be moving just the pivot, not actual object, and just slide this back so it lines up or even better, I'll just type in zero. Don't make sure to turn that back off so I can move things again. Dio, Now we're gonna control Drag a copy of the engine. Hi. The engine by alter option clicking those Call this car. Open this up. Select all this stuff. I want to keep the four small wheels, the base in the buffers, the cab and I can delete everything else. Hold on a second. My wheels just disappeared. Even though the objects are still there, you'll notice this little red X icon. What happened was those were referencing the wheel that I just copied over within this structure since I deleted it. These guys don't have anything to reference. You'll notice the reference object is empty. However, it will be a lot easier if everything goes back to the engine. So I'm gonna open that up, find the original wheel and drag it in to the reference object Will comes back. So just go and grab all of these. Check it in. I got my wheels again. So close that down. I'm gonna grab the back. Two wheels, slide them to the edge. For the moment, I'm an apparent everything to the base that I'm gonna make sure the basis is the value of zero. We'll grab the wheels in the cab and then move them back out. Open the cab up. I'm gonna change the values of these so that the car is bigger. This will be 19 by 14 by 24. Also said the Z 20 grab This guy said the value to 17.5 by 12. 22 a half just for a sec, Apparent him there and zero hemo, then drag him just back under. Then you'll notice that even though I have everything set up the same way I did before now I'm seeing a solid block. So I'm gonna do is actually reverse the order of operations says you remember, we have one box cutting a hole in here for this bull. And then that shape. We have thes three things, cutting out window shapes, so I'm actually gonna move this into this pool. We'll turn the top one off so I can see what I'm doing. This cube is getting affected by thes windows, which l zero on the Z that will actually grab these. Do the same. I can tell that they're not wide enough. So I'm gonna change their X value toe 25. No. Getting my windows cut. And when I turned this bull back on, I'm getting the inside hollowed out. I'm actually going to duplicate this, Move them over four more, then do the same on the other end eight. Then we'll change the body of the car to blue. Now close this down and I'll make an instance of the car. So I've got a 2nd 1 now I'm gonna control or command dragged the car, have that too many things selected accident again. So I'll delete this car instance and I'm gonna hide these other guys. Gonna rename this caboose the caboose. I'm gonna change back to read. I'm gonna grab this cube Control dragon just above the cab. Had a blue texture to it. Gonna change the fill it radius down 2.5 and then I'm just going to size this down a bit and move it up here. Now that I've got everything built gonna close it down turn it all back on control A or command A for select all copy it. Come back to my main scene and paste. Then I'll save. Now I have everything built and it's time to start animating. 7. Animate!: Okay. First, I'm gonna do a little bit of cleanup. We'll close this stuff down. What I'm gonna do is place each section of the train under an additional null. So just make it a little bit easier to deal with, as were animating it. So select the engine Alter option G select Halt. Option G adoption G halt. Option G. I'm gonna call them train 0.1. Trained out to trained up three trained out for the way we're going to be animating. This is by adding a tag that will let the car move along the original rail spine. So right, click on train one. Go to cinema four D tags and add a line to splint. I'm gonna open up the scene and then dragon the rail Splain. You might notice the train has already snapped over the spine. ISS if I change this position value, it moves along the track. But there's a few problems which will fix right now. First thing I'm gonna do it's 12 this down. Grab the engine all and then I'm gonna zoom in. Since these air my ties, I know this line is my rail and move it up. So the wheels air just at the rail. That way, this no can follow the spine. Exactly. Well, this no lets it sit at the height I need it to without making any complications. Now there's a few issues. If I click on this tag, the train is pointing the wrong direction. So I want to click tangential. Now it's pointing the right way. If I change this value now it's moving around. I'm going to turn off the other cars so that I don't get confused by them. So since we're at the beginning of our animation, I'm gonna set the position to zero. Click this to set a key frame you can see popped up right here. I'm gonna go all the way to the end, and I'm going to set the position to 100 said another key frame. It's no. If I hit play and select this window, I can see it's running along the track, but there's a problem. It started off slow, speeding up around the curve and then slowing down at the end. I wanted to look like it's going on a constant speed Now. The reason that's happening is because the number of segments in the spine are uneven because they're spread out differently. The train is moving from one to the next inconsistently. So what I need to do is click on my rail spine. And instead of adaptive intermediate points, I need uniform so they'll be evenly spaced Now the train just rolls around nicely. So what I'm gonna dio is back up to the front and then I'm gonna click this tag again, and I'm gonna keep clicking up on the position until I see a peek through. So back that up to seven reset the key frame. I'm gonna go to the end, do the same back up until I can see it forward. One reset the key frame. Now there's another issue with these key frames. By default, their interpretation is set to spine for familiar with after effects. That's a lot like Eazy e's, its easing in and out of the frame. So it's not moving at a consistent speed. I want the train to look like it's totally consistent, so I'm gonna change it the linear I'll grab the other one and do the same. Now I know it's doing totally consistent, smooth move and just to double check. I want to make sure that the front end in the back end I can't see it, which is correct. So now that that's worked out gonna unhygienic all these by alter option, clicking them and then I'm going to select this, Then I'm gonna control or command drag it onto each section. So now if I scrub, you can see they're all moving together. But I obviously don't want the moving exactly together. I need the other parts trailing behind. So I'm gonna hit shift F three, which will open up my timeline that you can see there's a track here for each of the things that have been animated. You can use commands like H and s here to view everything. So I'm gonna hit age so I can see all the key frames. And what I need to do is stagger and offset these key frames so that the rest of the train will follow suit behind the engine. Dealing with the whole thing could be a little bit finicky, cause I was just sort of feeling it out. So I figured out that if I change the whole range to 68 then offset each one by nine. That'll get my whole animation toe loop in the time frame. I want to see so close this I hit play. Everything looks great, except for the fact that everybody's underwater. So I'll back this up where I can see it clearly, which is this engine All switch back to model mode. It's my Y values here. I'm gonna copy that. Open each of these, grab each one paste the Y value in now everybody's even hit play again and I've got an animating train. Now the other thing I want to do is animate the wheels rotating forward. It's actually gonna be kind of hard to see based on what we've done so far. So I'm gonna go back to my other scene where I created the train in the first place. Just so you know, I'm only doing this to show you, and I'm gonna repeat everything that we do here in the main seen. So for this part, you can just watch gonna hide everything. Set the engine, which I'll use is an example. Open the engine up and what I need to deal with here the wheels, even though these air instances of the wheels physically they exist is other objects. So if I want to animate all six wheels, I have to animate each one separately. If I really wanted to, I could create another. Something is an axle to go between each set. But I don't really see that as being time saving for what we're doing right now. So I'm just gonna do them individually to start. Just do the one. So this is a fairly simple procedure. I want the thing to rotate, but I wanted to be moving constantly the whole time. Thankfully, there's some tools that will help us do that. So we don't have to rotate it the entire time and then guess so what I'm gonna dio is going to the coordinates on the pitch. I'm gonna set a key frame for zero. Then I'm gonna go to 20 frames and I'm gonna set one for minus 3 60 Enter said a key frame now that back up when I hit play, you can see it rotates forward one full rotation and then it stops now, much like we were saying earlier. We want this to be totally consistent. Someone a click here been dragged to make a selection. Just so you know, when you do this, if you then click in here, you can move the key frames around. Or if you grab the end, you can scale, which is something you might do by accident. So be careful about that. You can also click in the empty space to de Select, but I'm gonna click and select both. Change them from spying toe linear. Then I'll de select. So now if I do it, it moves consistently the whole time and then it just stops. Now if I go shift F three toe, open the timeline again. I click this track down here, you can see my track properties so the before and after action are set to constant. If I change after to repeat and say 10 repetitions, open this up so you can actually see what the curves air doing. It's just going from here to here, but then it's doing it again and again and again. Since this is a perfectly symmetrical object, we're not gonna know the difference If I hit play, it just rotates forever, since I want to do this to all at once. I'm actually going to delete these key frames and start over. Now if I grabbed all these wheels and then I hit our for rotate, I started rotating. It would be rotating them around the pivot point. I was at just definitely not what I want to happen. I just want them to rotate individually the way I can do that as numerically at the very beginning. I'll set that zero well said that. Zero pitch rotation key frame. Move forward to 20. Set it to minus 3 60 Said the key frame. Select them all change plan toe linear shift F three with everything selected. Change this to repeat and repetitions to 10. Close it down. Hit play and everything is rotating. So that's literally what we're gonna dio Same thing in the other scene. So I'm gonna close down, seen open each of these three. Obviously, one of the cars is an instance, so I don't have to worry about it. Select the wheels. Hold shift, Select the wheels. Hold shift, Select the wheels. Now we'll go back to zero. Set a pitch key frame, go up to 20 set pitched on my s 3 60 Enter a key frame click to select Splain toe Linear de Select Shift at three. Now here, we want to make sure we're not grabbing the aligned to spine, so I'm going to control or command. Click them to De Select have only got wheel selected thereafter. Value is set to repeat repetition set 10. Close this down. Open this up. It's even easier to see what these highlighted but all backup hit play and all of my wheels are rotating. I had mentioned that instances don't copy animation key frames, but that's only at the top level because these wheels are included within the instance, they are actually rotating. So now we're all done animating. We just have to get this ready to get back in after effects. Gonna change a couple render settings to make it look a little bit nicer. So I had Controller command be gonna go to the anti alias ing changed from geometry, the best that's going to slow down a red in your time. But it's going to smooth over some of the edges. I'm also gonna goto effect and turn on ambient occlusion. Now, just to show you if you hit shift our they were under the scene out to a preview. You can check if you're using the full version of Cinema four D. You can save these if you're using Cinema four D light. This is just a preview. Not for comparison. I'm gonna close this turn off the ambient occlusion and then hit Shift our again. Now you notice that rendered a lot faster than the other 13 seconds versus 28. In my case, if I switch back, you can see that there's a distinct difference in the lighting. It's definitely darker, but because ambient occlusion darkens, edges were light wouldn't be able to get in as tightly. We'll use color correction later to smooth that out a little bit. So I'm gonna close this. I'll turn Ambien Inclusion back on and then I'll save it. If you're using Cinema four D Light. This is a Sfar as we're gonna go. But if you're using the full version of Cinema four D, you want to go to save? Click this button? Choose a file, location and a name for your file. Change the format. Quick time movie. Make sure it says dot movie at the end of your file name. Then you'll go to output. Change the frame range from current frame toe, all frames savior project. And then, if you hit, shift are and let it render out the entire sequence. It'll save a quick time movie for you, which you can then import into after effects. And now we're ready to move on to the next section. 8. Finishing in After Effects: for the cinema four D light approach. We've still got this cinema four D object imported it into after effects. Now, you could just work with this like it was a movie file, but I tend to find that that's a little slower. So what I'm going to do is drag this into a comp change the renderers two standard final. When you do this, you're gonna have to wait as long as it would take to render a frame to be able to see one . So it might take a little bit before it changes when she can see it switched over that this looks like what we want to see. We can go ahead and render this out. So I'm gonna add this to my render queue, choose a location, and then I'll render out my movie. This might take a while, so it might be time to get a cup of coffee, perhaps a meal. But it's definitely going to speed up the process once we bring it back into after effects . Okay. Obviously, I wasn't gonna make you wait the entire hour. It took this thing to render on my computer. Now that we're done, we can import that video. I'm gonna drop that into my cup. Delete the cinema four D file that can preview this and there's a nice little looping animation. Now, we're gonna try to dress this thing up a little bit. So first, I'm going to select this layer and then goto effect color correction curves. I'm gonna break it dark in the shadows slightly. Then I'm gonna go effect color, correction, hue, saturation and a boost He saturation a bit for some more color. That looks pretty nice. No, I'm gonna hit control or command. Why? To make a new solid I'm gonna choose kind of a dark, bluish color. And I'm gonna set the blending mode on this one to multiply. Gonna add a circular mask so I'll just double click this while that selected Open the mask properties Change the feather to 200 and switch it to subtract. So now I've got kind of vignette going well hit t two switched opacity. Just turn it down a little. Maybe a little bit more to push that a little bit further. I'm gonna hit control all why? Or command option. Why? On a Mac to make an adjustment layer. I'll move this beneath the blue. Gonna hit him? Grab this mask. Copy it. Pasted on here. Make sure it's still set to subtract. Know my adjustment layer? I'm going to go toe effect, blur and sharpen Fast box blur. We'll set that toe five and repeat the edge Pixels. Now you can see I've got kind of this like soft focus going along the edge for the final touch Gonna add some snow So create a black solid control or command Why, this is gonna be my snow layer So I'll goto Effect simulation Sisi Snowfall. Now, if I play this back, we can see the particles are pretty tiny. It's already spent some time messing around with this and I'm going to just update the settings to match what I liked. You're free to do whatever you like going for 1000 flakes size of 12. Depth of the scene 2500. Kick the opacity up to 100. Change the transfer moan two composite, unchecked composite with original. And obviously my snow looks black. So I'm gonna hit control shift. Why? Or command shift. Why? To change this black solid and to a white one and my snow looks more like snow. I play that I've got some nice snowfall. But there is one problem. It's bumping at the end because it's not a smooth loop. So what I'm gonna dio is hit control shift see or command shift. See on a Mac to pre compose this snow lair? No, Call it snow. And I'm going to move all the attributes into the new composition and open it. The first thing I'm gonna do is hit control K or command K, that I'm gonna change this from four seconds to six seconds, we'll extend this layer out. Now, My snow was a six second loop. So back up here, I'm going to duplicate my snow layer, slide it all the way over. So the endpoint sits at the back and I want this toe overlap. At two seconds, we're gonna open the opacity channel on both of these by hitting t going to set the end. Opacity here. 20 said a key frame back up to the beginning. Said a key frame at 100 said a key frame for 100% on this one and slide it over to one second set another for zero at the beginning. So this one will take two seconds to fade out. This one will take one second to fade in, and the ending will be exactly the same as the beginning. So now if I preview my snow loop smooth. So the only thing left to do is saved the project and then render out my main Come a rename it so it doesn't get confused with my cinema four D render. And then from here, you can render it out and or use adobe media encoder to turn it into an MP four so you can upload it to social media or your skill share Project page. That's it. Do you mean it? 9. All Done!: I hope you enjoyed that exercise and learn some new things. Hopefully, you'll see how these tricks can let you expand on other ideas. I'd love to see what you accomplished, so be sure blood your project when it's finished. Let me know if there's any way I can help you out, and I'll see you next time.