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View Full Version : Zaxwerks vs. Cinema 4D


spirozero
12-13-2007, 02:57 PM
I realize Zaxwerks gets a bad rap amongst mographers (glowing finger!).

I own C4D. I do not own any Zaxwerks products. Thus, I might as well create & animate my text in C4D and import it into AE. But ...

I saw this DVD training video by John Dickinson (http://www.motionworks.com.au/training/training_video.htm). I guess he's supposed to be a Zaxwerk guru. My animated C4D text never looks like this ...

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x140/spirozero/MakingItLookGreat.jpg

I'm talking about the reflections, glitz, glow, shine, etc. I'm never able to achieve this look using C4D. Even when I bring it into AE and add effects, my text still looks dull.

So, is Zaxwerks better at creating this reflective, glitzy, shiny look?

rareseu
12-13-2007, 03:15 PM
as far as the material goes i don't see why it can't be done in c4d..

akport
12-13-2007, 03:24 PM
My biggest peeve with Zaxwerks is how slow it is in AE compared to working in a true 3D program. Every adjustment and move is a like a rerender. Once you get over the awkwardness of the 3D interface inside AE (it doesn't use AE's 3D space) and the secondary interface for materials, lights, etc. you can do some really nice work. Personally, with the integration of C4D to AE, I much prefer that workflow.

Zaxwerks came free with AE for a while. I'm pretty sure there is a free demo. Give it a whirl.

- Adam

LucentDreams
12-13-2007, 03:46 PM
well the shiny orange thing could be done in seconds using cinema's lensflare options in the light object.

The test, throw in a layer shader into the environment channel, make a gradient with some turbulence and have it go from darkt to light to dark to light, maybe some mid tones if you nwant, and then throw an HSL or a colorizer effect layer to alter it easily, and some contrast if the gradient doens't have enough.

or if you have some good HDR's load one in and blur the hell out of it.

spirozero
12-13-2007, 04:05 PM
well the shiny orange thing could be done in seconds using cinema's lensflare options in the light object.

The test, throw in a layer shader into the environment channel, make a gradient with some turbulence and have it go from darkt to light to dark to light, maybe some mid tones if you nwant, and then throw an HSL or a colorizer effect layer to alter it easily, and some contrast if the gradient doens't have enough.

or if you have some good HDR's load one in and blur the hell out of it.

Or explain all of this via a video tutorial on Cineversity! :D:D:D

Seriously - I honestly appreciate the tips, but I don't follow half of what you're saying. HSL? Colorizer effect? The 100+ settings within C4D's Material Editor ... well, lets just say that when I play around in there I end up making a big, confusing mess (I assume that's where I'd find HSL and Colorizer?).

Maybe a tutorial explaining these techniques is already up on Cineversity?

I was complaining about the lack of good motion graphics training over on mograph.net. Yeah, I can create animated text effects in C4D. I can use PathDeformer to make 3D stars fly off the screen. But at the end of the day it all looks pretty dull. I'm lacking greatly in my understanding of the glitz, reflective, glow & shine effects.

Where can I learn these skills??? :sad: Definitely not on lynda.com or creativecow.

ThirdEye
12-13-2007, 04:15 PM
I guess by HSL he means the Filter Shader. Colorizer is a shader too.

LucentDreams
12-13-2007, 04:31 PM
well I expect people to read CAREFULLY too. I said throw in a "LAYER SHADER" di you see me add any other shaders besides the gradient? no then why the layer shader, because as I wrote, "HSL or a colorizer effect layer" in the layer shader there is an effect button it has HSL and colorizer and contrast (well okay a mistake there it is brightness/contrast)


Instead of giving someone heck for helping you with SPECIFIC TERMINOLOGY maybe you should take a second to read carefully, maybe refer to the manual a bit using the terms someone wrote if its still unclear.

As for cineveristy yes it'd be nice to have a tutorial for everything under the sun there but its all a matter of time. Remember the instructors there still work elswhere too. I've so much delayed CA stuff because I've been busy working on features and commericals the last few months. I'll see if I can pop a quick tutorial out for this today even if you wish. That said this very discussion happened on the forums there ages ago and even includes a great exzmple file from Dr. Sassi:

http://www.cineversity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=364

spirozero
12-13-2007, 05:21 PM
Sorry Kai Ė didnít mean to come across as giving you heck. That wasnít my intention - just playful banter.

Thanks for the link to Sassiís text file. Nice to see Iím not the only one who struggles with the ďhow toĒ process when it comes to creating this sort of effect in C4D.

helluvapixel
12-13-2007, 05:29 PM
As for cineveristy yes it'd be nice to have a tutorial for everything under the sun there but its all a matter of time. Remember the instructors there still work elswhere too.

Hold horses there! Cineveristy is a paid service and they also accept customers to request tutorials. Therefore, it's of no value for Cineversity tutorial contributors to complain that they have day jobs, perhaps Maxon needs to find more dedicated providers. Also, it's not fair of you to come done on spirozero for requesting a tutorial.

spirozero, you really do need to submit your request properly in Cineversity as requests here don't really count.

imashination
12-13-2007, 05:45 PM
What is it you're specifically looking to do? Its hard to tell from the 200 pixel thumbnails. All I can see on them is some yellow reflective text and a *shiver* lensflare in the middle. Do you have any bigger images, the website video doesnt play for me.

LucentDreams
12-13-2007, 06:18 PM
Hold horses there! Cineveristy is a paid service and they also accept customers to request tutorials. Therefore, it's of no value for Cineversity tutorial contributors to complain that they have day jobs, perhaps Maxon needs to find more dedicated providers. Also, it's not fair of you to come done on spirozero for requesting a tutorial.

spirozero, you really do need to submit your request properly in Cineversity as requests here don't really count.

First of all cinversity members can request tutorials on cineversity. Second of all totally dedicated trainers kind of goes against the idea of being trained by professionals. If they are not working they are not professional, you must know the old saying "those who can't, teach", but thats exactly what cineveristy has never been about. Cineversity is always looking for more instructors as well. Trust me though if I Rob wasn't working in motion graphics he wouldn't be able to make good mograph tutorials. If I never rigged for production you'd never ever get a decent rigging tutorial on there etc. third they are doing requests that are already made. If he'd made a request on cinversity he'd be more likely to get it then to post here as you say.

Second my reaction was to the criticism offered back after giving totally free, prompt specific help simply because he didn't read my post carefully enough. If someone comes here asking for help and someone offers that help the last thing you should do is criticize them.

mnu
12-13-2007, 07:06 PM
Hi,
it's all about the environment.
10 minutes C4D only, no post.
Normally I would do this kind of thing mostly in post.

http://www.aixsponza.com/downloads/leecher/greattext.jpg

cheers mnu

mnu
12-13-2007, 07:36 PM
Oh, forgot the file, sorry. Here it is:

http://www.aixsponza.com/downloads/leecher/greattext.zip

cheers mnu

spirozero
12-13-2007, 08:32 PM
Hi,
it's all about the environment.
10 minutes C4D only, no post.
Normally I would do this kind of thing mostly in post.

cheers mnu

DANG!!! That's freakin' amazing!!! I'm in awe of your 10 minute handy work, mnu! :buttrock:

Even with the C4D file I'm not exactly sure what you're doing (at first glance), but I'll definitely pick this scene apart and hopefully learn a few things.

For starters, I don't understand why you have the Mat (alpha) material on the lights? I've never even seen a material on a light before. What purpose is this serving?

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x140/spirozero/mnu_lights.jpg

mnu
12-13-2007, 08:40 PM
In other apps this might be called a gel. It's there to do the light streaks. The lights are voloumetric, so a material with alpha channel will control the visibility of the light in 3D. I put a 3D gradient in the alpha to affect the voloume. You can do this thing even faster with the c4d-lights lens flare feature, as suggested in a prior post or simply use something like Trapcode shine in AE. But this way you can even fly through the glow in your animation.

cheers mnu

spirozero
12-13-2007, 09:02 PM
I put a 3D gradient in the alpha to affect the voloume. You can do this thing even faster with the c4d-lights lens flare feature, as suggested in a prior post or simply use something like Trapcode shine in AE. But this way you can even fly through the glow in your animation.

cheers mnu

Can you fly through a C4D-lights lens flare???

What you said about the alpha acting as a gel makes perfect sense.

I noticed you're in Germany, so it must be around 11pm! But can you hang on one more second - I want to ask you a question about the reflection material on the text. First I need to grab a screen shot ...

spirozero
12-13-2007, 09:13 PM
I'm wondering about the fresnel you placed on the reflection ...

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x140/spirozero/mnu_reflection_fresnel.jpg

I tried taking out the fresnel. In the photo below, the image on the left has the fresnel, while the image on the right does not ...

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x140/spirozero/mnu_fresnel_on_off.jpg

So is it overly simplistic to say that the fresnel is softening the reflection? Is that what's happening?

I had to wiki "fresnel" (my C4D manual!). Interesting stuff.

mnu
12-13-2007, 09:51 PM
Hi again,

first no, you can't fly through a c4d lens-flare, as lens flares are 2D post effects. But you can fly through a voloumetric light, as in my example.

Second, fresnel is a shader that shades a pixel by viewing angle. It uses the angle to shade the polys. If you look straight on a polygon it will use the left color from the gradient. If you look from a low angle it uses the right color. (or vice vera, not sure)

Used in reflection and transparency channels this mimics the behaviour of reflective objects in nature. You can see it while observing a water surface for example.

cheers mnu

mnu
12-13-2007, 10:29 PM
This explains reflective surfaces in more detail:

http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/metal_and_refs/metal_and_refs.htm

cheers mnu

spirozero
12-13-2007, 10:36 PM
I think I'm tracking with you. This explanation from (http://macanimationpro.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=28191)Ko Maruyama was also helpful. (http://macanimationpro.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=28191)

I'm going to continue to dissect your file. Thanks again for posting it. It's been extremely enlightening.

georgedrakakis
12-13-2007, 11:16 PM
well I expect people to read CAREFULLY too. "HSL effect layer" in the layer shader there is an effect button it has HSL and colorizer and contrast (well okay a mistake there it is brightness/contrast)
it's also a great tool for creating black&white bump / diffusion / displacement maps.

C.Smith
12-14-2007, 03:39 AM
I had to wiki "fresnel" (my C4D manual!). Interesting stuff.

Or you can try this page:

http://www.maxon.net/pages/download/documentation_e.html

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