3D Training Time Part Deux
For this next post I am getting started with the online tutorials on Digital Tutors an online training website which specializes in 3D and other visual effects software. As I posted before my program of choice to learn is Cinema 4D R14. In my professional work I have used 3D software for years but nothing as advanced as what I hope to achieve with Cinema. Digital tutors offers training in many programs and they claim to have over 22,000 tutorials available, way more then I will need.
Before purchasing the training I suggest that you sign up for a free account which will allow you access to many of the tutorials early sections, this way you can decide if its worth the money. For me tutorials are very hit or miss in fact most online training acts as the worlds greatest sleep aid, way better then Ambian.
I choose this tutorial because not only does it start from super basics and follows through modeling to an animation and rendering but it is also for the newest version. I know myself pretty well, there will be issues and anything to help the process along is worth it. At least this way I know for a fact whatever they are showing can actually be achieved with my version…
Inside Digital Tutors you will find your sessions, the site keeps track of what you have watched and offers to quiz you after each one, not sure how much I like that but its there. They even offer some kind of certificate program, again not really sure what the point of that is but hey why not…
As this course is a thorough introduction it starts of with very basic explanations of what the 3D design process is and a lot of instruction covering the softwares interface and tool sets. The individual sessions last around 10 minutes each and focus on specific tools and functions. The interface is well laid out and the video quality is quite good. I am impressed immediately. I am not only able to follow along with the instructor but I am actually enjoying it I have High hopes…
Ahhhh the mighty cube, I can remember having to draw these with charcoal on newsprint at ACCD. What would David Solon say to this? probably not much…
Primitives… There ya go man give me my A+
There are a number of view options for your workspace I find the one called Gouraud Shading with lines to be the most useful so far although the wireframe would be good too. A new function in the latest version is this highlighting of objects as you move past them in the field. This was not part of the program when I first saw it and I have to say I like this new feature better.
I am following the advice given early on in the course to watch several sections at a time, just like a movie which seems to really help when you go back and start working through them in the program. My only complaint is that I cant seem to find a way to get the tutorials to play continuously.
The first 12 sessions are simply an overview and introduction to the tools and interface but well worth the time to watch since without this really not going to achieve much.
The basic functions are similar to what I have seen in other programs. You have the usual movement / translation tools and a host of primitive shapes which get used to start out your building process. there are also a set of spline tools for drawing various shapes and using them to create geometry like extrusions or on a lathe. The really big deal from what I can see so far is the sets of tools cinema uses to affect or transform the geometry once you have made it. I believe they are called generators.With them you can make some pretty amazing things happen.
Another crucial thing to get under control is the use of the hierarchal system as shown here in the object manager. Understanding this logic is going be imperative as all the tools depend on correct placement to do their work.
I am going to stop here as I have been told I have a tendency to write too much. Overall impression of Digital Tutors very impressed, didn’t fall asleep once and thats just on the boring interface stuff so… Cinema 4D also very impressed I can see already where this will be a better fit for me than some of the others I have looked at and even bought. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the tool, not to say its simple or less capable it just feels more approachable.. I can see where things will get really complex really quickly but the overall feel is kind of light and fun. Even the names are cute I mean what the hell is a HyperNurb anyway?
This is without a HyperNurbs on a modified primitive cube thing…
This is with HyperNurbs… Basically it smoothes out the geometry of whatever you have made and it does this non destructively which means you can go back in and adjust or even remove it if need be.
This ends the free portion of the tutorials I am going to try it out for a month see how it goes, so far so good…My next post will cover the modeling section.