Cinema 4D Nonlinear Animation With Motion Clip

Nonlinear animation allows you to take complex animations and group them as a single object providing the ability to move them in the timeline, duplicate, scale, even position in 3D space hiding the complexity of the animation layer as you use it as a base layer.

Let’s use a very simple example. Create a rolling ball. Because we are going to exploit the ability to copy and modify the animation as a unit, have your rotation occur in some fraction of your composition total time. For example, create a composition that runs for 5 seconds, 150 frames. Create a sphere, add a little material color for fun, (I always do!), then create a simple roll animation in the first twenty frames. Enter a key (‘Ctrl click’ the checkbox next to parameter) at the beginning of your clip, for the B (bank) rotation value. For our purposes this is the X value of our ball rolling horizontally. At 40 frames, enter a second value of 360 for one rotation for our ball. At the top of your left hand side model menus, you see the layout menu button which lets you choose standard Cinema 4D work spaces.

Right under the ‘startup’ layout is the animation layout. Choose this to see the expanded animation timeline and other animation resources. Add one more key to your ball for it’s X position at the beginning of the clip. If you play your clip now, your ball will complete one rotation between frame 1 and 40. With your sphere highlight, under the animation menu, choose ‘Add Motion Clip’ with the default options. You will see your sphere listed under the motion clip ‘Hierarchy’ box. Take a look at your animation layout now.

Under the controls for your timeline the empty ‘Motion Mode’ box now had a folder underneath and the frames you designated are highlighted to the right. Click the highlighted area and the ‘Motion Clip’ properties box appears under your attributes. It presents several options. Try setting the ‘loop’ value to 2. Now play your clip.

Without entering any new keyframes, you duplicated, looped your original animation. This might not leave you breathless but what if your animation contained 100 keyframes? And you were able to duplicate it all with a single stroke? That’s worth looking into.

When you created loops for your animation, you will see 3 sections on your animation timeline with a vertical line delineating them. You can drag this line and increase or decrease the length of time for your loop. As you move it to the right and left you see the name of your motion clip percentage increase or decrease. You can do much more by creating nonlinear animation. This ability to reduce your keys and complexity lets you create more sophisticated animations. We’ll look at some more possibilities in the second part of this introduction to nonlinear animation using the Cinema 4D motion clip.

Having Your Own Home Movie Cinema Theater

Perhaps you’ve been in a movie theater trying to get back to your seat in the dark. You politely ask a young woman at the end of row if you stepped on her toes earlier while getting out of your seat. She replies “you sure did!” To which you say, “great, I’m in the right row!” Finding your seat in a movie theater can be that easy. Finding the right home theater seating setup isn’t always as simple. In this article we’ll take a look some typical furniture pieces used in today’s home theaters and how you can incorporate these into your home.

With the introduction of flat screen TVs and ceiling mount projectors our homes can provide real home entertainment with larger screens and higher quality picture than was ever possible 15-20 years ago. Advances in audio and surround have also played a big part in advancing our culture to have entire rooms dedicated to home theater or family media rooms that rival the movie theater experience from years past. Many people have decided though not to settle for the same seating however which included flip up seats and sometimes uncomfortable padding used in many theater seats.

Naturally the furniture industry decided to become involved in helping consumers find the perfect addition to that media room or home theater room in the way of theater seating. Theater seating provides individual seats that allow each person to sit next to or near each other in the same fashion as being in a movie theater. Many modern cinema seating configurations feature drink holders as well as storage options. These designs make this furniture the ideal addition to any budding home theater owner.

There has always been a choice in leather or fabric for cinema seating. You’ll often have to decide if the furniture is going to be in a room where people will be snacking or eating or primarily just viewing TV or movies without. Always a tough call especially since movies, snacks and drinks all go together much like peanut butter and jelly on two slices of bread. You or your family may feel it a good idea to bring food into a showing of your favorite movie. Having furniture that can be easily cleaned and maintained is an important part of furniture maintenance in your home. This is really up to the individual in terms of the choice between leather or fabric for your home theater seating.

Many sets of furniture are offered with integrated arm rest units between each chair or recliner. These provide the possibility of creating chains of chairs or loveseat units that can make up one row of your home theater setup. Of course there are models that have footrests built in or some that offer separate ottomans that can be stored away or moved easily which can provide more space. Deciding how you want your home theater to look can be an important choice and choosing between these options lets you build the cinema you’ve always dreamed of.

In this article we’ve discussed home theater seating. Today’s home movie experience has been greatly affected by our desire to bring the cinema into our homes but in a much more streamlined and comfortable way. TV’s and screens are large enough to provide better viewing today than older box shaped models. Audio systems are also providing enhanced sound throughout the home theater. Seating however is probably the most important part to having a comfortable home theater. Today’s cinema seating can provide loveseat, chair and storage options unlike anything available in a Cineplex. Adding the right seating to your home theater is the final part of having a great movie experience.

Cinema 4D Nonlinear Animation Part Two

Please check the first part of this article to see the introduction to Cinema 4D’s nonlinear animation. This technique lets you easily reduce a set of complex keys and tracks to a unit layer that you can manipulate or copy at the unit level.

This significantly reduces creation time and let’s you try different variations and possibilities without having to do all the keying over again. With the ability to make single adjustments within a layer, you can copy a track then change perhaps one key sequence for variation while keeping the flow and motion you have already created.

In our first part, we created a ball rolling down the track; a very simple animation with a ball rolling once by keying the bank rotation value at 0 at the beginning of the our clip and 360 at 30 frames. Then we created a motion clip, ‘Animation->Create Motion Clip’ to create the control module.

Let’s add one simple animation here by having our ball bounce. At frame 0, key the Y position of our ball to 0, (enter ‘Ctrl click’ to the check box next to the Y position), then at frame 25 set Y too 100 adding a keyframe, then setting Y back to 0 at frame 50.

Now we will add another motion clip. With your sphere highlighted, click ‘Animation->Add Motion Clip’, only this time where the motion clip options present rotation, position, scale, and parameter, choose ‘Position’ only. This will add a new clip for the ball bouncing, the shift in Y values, only. You might name this clip ‘bounce’, something to distinguish it from your first clip, hit ‘OK’, and see this new motion clip layer added to your timeline workspace.

Double click this new motion clip and you see the same options. You can reset the frame range for the start and beginning of your ‘bounce’ animation. You can create a loop. In this case we might create a loop to match our roll so our ball rolls and bounces three times in the execution of this clip.

The last step in this introduction is creating a Z dimension placement, a ‘pivot’. With this object you can move the animation you have created anywhere in your clip by simply changing the position like you would with any other object.

Click on one of your newly created motion clips, under the ‘Attributes’, ‘Motion Clip’ menu, choose ‘Advanced’, and under the ‘Pivot’ option choose ‘Create Pivot’. That’s it! Now you can place your clip, the object with its recorded animation anywhere on the stage or duplicate to use in elsewhere.

Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema

Filmmakers and film fans interested in more than a century of Asian cinema can find what they’re looking for in this new reference book. Lisa Stokes, a humanities and film professor who also wrote “City on Fire: Hong Kong Cinema,” includes enough background information to educate newcomers, while also adding plenty of scholarly insight to enlighten devoted film buffs, industry professionals, and even Hong Kong filmmakers.

This extensive reference begins with a chronology that traces the area’s history back to its 1841 occupation by the British to the 2005 Hong Kong Entertainment Expo, which brought together eight creative events including the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Hong Kong Film Awards. A fascinating introduction follows the chronology, in which the movers and shakers in Asian cinema are highlighted, in addition to economic, social, and political factors that influenced filmmaking there over the years.

The bulk of the book, of course, is the dictionary itself, which describes as well as defines the directors, actors, writers, films, production companies, genres, and other significant people, places, and things that surround this niche market. For example, let’s say a reader wants to learn more about filmmaker Stephen Chiau, whose recent film Kung Fu Hustle broke box-office records in Hong Kong and enjoyed critical and economic success in the United States. Besides brief mentions in the front matter, his listing under “Chiau” provides his name in various languages, birth date, personal and professional background, a listing of his awards, partial listing of numerous television and film credits, descriptions of his acting/directing style, and insider information about his two big international hits Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.

Readers also learn that he is called “The Chinese Jim Carrey” because of his slapstick and pratfalls. Boldfaced items listed under each dictionary entry (in the case of Stephen Chiau: Tony Leung-wai, Danny Lee, television, Golden Horse Awards, Michael Hui, Ng Man-tat, kung fu, martial arts, and Hong Kong Film Awards) represent cross-references with their own listings.

In the center of the book, a brief section is included with photographs of films and filmmakers cited in the text. “Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema” concludes with a bibliography that lists online, magazine, journal, and book sources used in compiling the text.

Stokes writes in the preface that her goal is to provide “a comprehensive and detailed overview of the immense contribution of Hong Kong to film culture.” She surely succeeds in this endeavor, as the book will serve fans, filmmakers, and scholars ready to delve into the intricacies and peculiarities of this unique cinematic style.

The Magic of Outside Cinema

There is a certain magic about cinema in its own right. It doesn’t matter how big your LCD TV or Plasma display is, cinema has to be big and projectors provide a picture that reproduces the cinema experience in the outdoors. Schools and caravan parks are amongst the most frequent customers, whilst the home market has yet to catch up. However there are some high profile clients, with large houses who have extensive exteriors in which to house these exciting Al Fresco cinema chill out areas, getting the full benefit of an elaborate install. As outdoor cinema displays are becoming more popular, a number of alternative applications, like dynamic outdoor advertising, are being employed.

Not to be sexist, but the good lady often favours the outdoor garden cinema package as they see it less of a threat than that of LCD or giant plasma which dominates the interior of the home.

The light output of the projector is a serious point in establishing the outside home cinema. An outside cinema projection system is more demanding than that of an indoor one due to the high illumination. This is because of the brightness of the night sky from street lights, car head lights and house lights, amongst others, particularly in cities where the concentration of light pollution is greatest. Using a projector rated at 2200 ANSI lumens is recommended.

3D Movies Drive Box Office Sales

2010 marked the tipping point for 3D movies – in terms of public interest and acceptance. According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, at a time when overall worldwide ticket sales are decreasing, 3D sales are helping to increase the industry’s revenue – in fact, 3D ticket sales are currently accounting for some 50%-70% of industry revenue.

This high percentage of sales is partly accounted for by the premium that can be charged on tickets for 3D features, and partly on the higher percentage of tickets sold for 3D. For example, over opening weekends, movies such as “Step Up” have been earning 84% of their revenue from 3D, when compared to earlier movies such as “Avatar” at 80% and “Final Destination: Death Trip” at 73%.

Increased UK takings

In the UK, box office takings last year increased by 8% to a total of £1.076 billion on the back of the success of 3D releases such as “Toy Story 3” and “Alice in Wonderland”. The UK’s 725 cinemas have some 3,650 screens, of which around 700 have digital projection systems, most of which can show 3D films.

Asia outstrips even the US

If you want to see the most dramatic growth from the 3D movie phenomenon, you need to look east. In Hong Kong, the first half of 2010 saw box office receipts increase by 20%, while ticket sales were actually down by 2%. In South Korea, the story was similar, with a 15% increase in revenue on 4% fewer admissions.

The biggest growth of all, of course, was in China. Box office takings doubled year-on-year, with “Avatar” alone accounting for 60% of the increase. Premium priced tickets for “Alice in Wonderland” and “Clash of the Titans” also made significant contributions. In Japan, box office revenues increased by 7.7% on an admissions rise of just 0.6%.

True 3D’ or 2D to 3D conversion?

The worldwide success of “Avatar” has appeared to whet the appetite of audiences for movies that have been conceived as a 3D experience, rather than made as a 3D version of what was originally conceived as a 2D movie.

There are reports that film-goers have been put off going to 3D movies which have been converted in post-production, but are they taking account of the care of conversion? A rushed conversion will give audiences a poor experience as there are many technical factors to keep in balance when creating the 3D effect. Pushing your footage through an automatic conversion will not make a perfect 3D version of the director’s vision.

Conceiving the film as a 3D project and shooting with stereo equipment gives the best experience for the audience. However, for movies which have been shot in 2D a careful, manual conversion using post-production tools with skill can give audiences a good 3D movie even when starting from 2D footage.

Cinema Series: The Future of 3D Movies

The future of 3D movies is glittering and bright as the popularity of the 3D movies is increasing constantly. These days, many 3D classics are being released which highlight the improvement taking place in the making of these films. For instance, the avatar picture directed by James Cameron has completely changed picture of 3D films. This shows the outstanding creativity of imagination and research taking place in the production of 3D movies.

Movies like this acquire large popularity and are a hit almost every theatre. The future of these movies is good with talented production companies such as DreamWorks, Disney and Pixar. In today’s age of technology and entertainment 3D animation is acquiring a groundbreaking status. The making of 3D movies is becoming spectacular day by day with impressive aliveness, great picture and audio quality.

The designing of movies has greatly contributed to the success of the 3D movies. Those days are gone when animation designers made sketches by using their creativity, as now advanced software programs have simplified the designing procedure. The business of 3D movies is constantly increasing with almost two to three films releasing simultaneously.

Besides all these things we need to remember that not every filmmaker becomes successful in making films. These movies are not that easy to make, they require intricate designing, good creative skills and above all good understanding of all these things. Therefore, 3D movies are all about imagining things and then picturing it onto screen with a storyline.

Although the quality of these movies will vary they have a great potential to make success in the times to come. Therefore, the future of these movies lies in simplistic imaginations and about framing different animation styles which appear outstanding, overwhelming and admirable. However, good news about these films is that almost all 3D movies released in past decade have been a hit at box office.