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.