| part 1
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Cinema 4D is a popular and very
powerful 3D application by Maxon
for design&modeling, rendering and animation. There are several
versions in existence, such as the top of the line XL edition. Another
one you may have seen is called 'SE', a special edition sometimes found
in demo or trial form on some popular CG magazines. And then there was
the 'GO' version, an entry-level version with a very low price tag,
promoted also with an 'Instant Space' CD at some point. In this
tutorial we'll use Cinema 4D GO 5.2. Not the latest, still a great tool
for hobbyists and beginners in 3D, and certainly loaded if a number of
tools that can proove useful also for webmasters who need to quickly
whip something together like an illustration for a space related site.
The main focus of this tutorial is of course on how to add billboard
rectangles and make them carry a texture of foliage and shrubbery
painted in PD Particles.
||After launching Cinema 4D
GO, insert a 2D object such as a Plane, which will help get a bit of
spatial reference for other obejcts placed in the scene, such as by
showing the shadows which they cast, or to change the color between sky
and ground. At this time we're not concerned with a complex scene yet,
just the basics to focus on how to map a painted texture on a rectangle
like a billboard.
||If Wireframe display modes
are not your thing, switch it to one of the shaded modes such as
Gouraud or flat shading.
Depending on your graphic card's capabilities (or lack thereof) you may
also benefit from spending a minute or two in the Options area to fine
tune some more how to display things.
<< click image for full screenshot
||Next, insert a rectangle.
This one will stand upright and it's the one we'll use to map the
painted texture on.
||The viewing manipulators
can act on the camera or on the currently selected object. In this
case, we'll want to move the rectangle up to be completely above the
ground plane. Click the icon below the camera, so that you're able to
transform and manipulate the object.
Click the Translate (or pan) tool below the magnifying glass icon if
it's not already the current tool.
||It may be useful to have
other objects in the scene just for additional points of reference. For
example, a sphere placed partly behind the billboard rectangle
will make it easier to see where the opacity or transparency mask
of the texture is doing its job when mapped on the rectangle.
||Use the Camera and
rotation tools to view the rectangle in such a way that the sphere is
partly behind it.
||Time to load a material.
In the Material editor, select File
> New Material
||A first look at the
material properties or shader. There's a color component, shown
in the default tab. It is made actually of a mix of a plain color (RGB
sliders) and a Texture. Either of these can be present at the same
time, by way of a slider 'S' which modulates the intensity of their
If you only want the texture to be used, and no base color tinting, use
the 'S' slider in the Colour group and slide it to the left at zero.
Notice also that below the rendered sphere preview, there's a list of
checkboxes. Only the selected components will be active. Obviously,
we'll want the Colour checked and the Transparency as well.
|However, before we can
move on, we need to create the texture in the first lace. So let's start PD Particles, and get busy painting.
1 - part