Cinema 4D: Creating Materials & Light

Today, unfortunately Jay couldn’t be in for our tutorial, however we had a video Cinema 4D tutorial to get on with on Unilearn. This tutorial was all about “creating materials and light” applying these to an object.

Firstly we needed to create a environment for the object, giving the environmental object a floor- this is an infinite environmental floor, not to be confused with the simple plain floor.  We then added a background using the same tool. The next step used the materials bar found on the bottom. To allow light to travel through the floor and see the background, we added a device to the floor options by selecting: floor, tags, cinema 4d tags, compositing and then turning on the compositing background. This was done simply by right clicking on it. By doing this, it allows the floor to be transparent so that the object is placed onto the environment, you are able to see the shadows, this can be seen when rendering.

Our next step was to create a light for our scene; however this was to be done manually, rather than using the default settings provided. Creating your own light tends to be harder, with the result in it always turning black. In order to do it properly we selected the light bulb icon and altered the coordinates according to where the light appears. For mine I used:  X- 600cm, Y- 1000cm, and  Z- 1000cm.  The lower the light is, the longer in which the shadows appear. To view these shadows in the viewpoint, you need to make sure the general settings have Shadow Maps “soft selected”.  This makes it easier to see how you are editing and creating the light. On the attributes, we selected the view settings and made sure the correct requirements were selected. This ensures the graphics for the environment and its object will looks its best according your graphics card.

With the environment appropriate, then next task was to add the object to the scene. This was placed on the ground. Instantly you see the applied effect of the shadow.  To alter the shadow you need to adjust the light settings which increases the amount of pixels/quality- you may want to do this if wanting to make your shadow sharper. It is also possible to change the colour of the shadow or density according to the daylight and surroundings. This is why it is best to turn the shadows on so you can see what you are doing and be able to make any changes.

The focus of the tutorial then changed to creating the texture effect using materials. Although the texture settings are good to convey a particular material, for example shininess for metal; it is important to remember that using the texture settings it automatically overrides adjustments manually created, for example the brightness. To apply the material you can simply drag it onto the object. Jay also introduced to us how to apply a reflection to an object, however it wasn’t particularly necessary for the tutorial today. The end result included a noise texture, which created a roughness to the materials, looking almost like bumps on the surface.

I found this tutorial rather useful, yet challenging. I feel as though I may need to improve with using materials in order to get an idea of how they can be used to their full. I was very impressed with the outcome and pleased with the progress made in this Cinema 4D tutorial.

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