Intro to CGI: Cinema 4D + Octane

Intro to CGI: Cinema 4D + Octane

Intro to Cinema 4D and Octane render engine is a 94 part series to take photographers from zero to functional in both the program and the idea of what CGI can do for a photographer or creative director's workflow. You can dip your toes in the water with this course, or buy part's 2 and 3 that come with complete creative builds and bundle packages to get discounts on the software as well.

Intro to CGI: Cinema 4D + Octane
  • Intro To Spline Basics Preview

  • Welcome To Cinema 4D

    Dustin opens Cinema 4D for the first time to show what the main interface looks like and to explain the basic layout of the Cinema 4D workspace.

  • Cinema 4D Preferences

    Dustin does a brief overview of system preference menus and quick settings for users new to Cinema 4D.

  • The Basics Of Project Settings

    Dustin dives into the basics of Cinema 4D project settings and how users might want to set measurements and metadata in the program.

  • Navigating 3D Space

    Dustin walks participants through the navigation of objects within the Cinema 4D workspace. Introducing the concepts of axis and how they operate.

  • Orthographic And Perspective viewports

    Dustin walks us through the different perspective views of the Cinema 4D work environment. How we can view the workspace in 3D and in flat environments from multiple angles.

  • Creating Primitive Objects

    Dustin walks through creating, manipulating, and using primitive objects within Cinema 4D

  • Viewport Shading Mode

    Dustin talks about the various shading methods within Cinema 4D as they relate to inspecting 3D models for blemishes and artifacts that might need to be fixed prior to moving on with working with that 3D model. Gouraud, Quick Shading, Constant Shading, Hidden Line, and Line Shading.

  • Attributes Manager

    Dustin introduces aspects of the attributes manager and its usage.

  • Moving Objects In 3D Space

    Dustin does a walk through Cinema 4Ds ability to navigate 3D spaces using hotkeys, move, rotate, scale. Objects are also adjusted within the workspace.

  • Selecting Objects

    Now that we know how to move objects in Cinema 4D let's look at a few methods for selecting objects in the viewport for manipulation.

  • Object Manager

    Dustin gives a brief overview of the objects manager and compares it to Photoshop's layer palette. Discusses how the object manager functions and how to keep workflow organized.

  • Object Manager & Parent Child Relationships

    In this section, we cover how to make objects apart from each other, who interact in similar manners and create groupings.

  • Object Manager visibility and Tag basics

    All objects have the option to be visible in the viewport and render separately. Dustin discusses what the visibility dots do in the object manager as well as the activation and deactivation of primitive objects. Both dots are grey by default. The upper dot controls viewport visibility, the lower...

  • Customizing And Saving Your Workspace Layout

    Everyone likes the tools they use regularly at their disposal, Cinema 4D is no different. Dustin talks about how he customizes his layout in the software and how you can set up yours to be optimized for 3D workflows.

  • Cinema 4D Render Settings Basics

    Taking a look into the basic render settings in Cinema 4D. This will be separate than the Octane Render Settings, but necessary for aspects of the final output. We’ll talk about where to find file resolution settings, Frame Range and how to save/load render settings. We’ll also discuss where to f...

  • Intro To Spline Basics

    Dustin introduces Splines, defines what the heck a spline is. Dustin introduces Splines, defines what the heck a spline is. Using the Spline Pen in Perspective view vs Orthographic Viewports. To create points simply click for hard anchors, click and drag for bezier points. A very quick and rough ...

  • Intro to Spline Generators

    Dustin walks through extracting 3D objects from 2D splines. Using the PRO EDU logo, Dustin teaches the extrude, lathe, and sweep tools ability to create various forms of 3D assets.

  • Welcome to Generators

    Dustin shows how to use the subdivision surface object generator, instance object generator, Boole object generator, symmetry object generator, cloner object generator, MoText object generator, and random effector generator by showing how to manipulate the PRO EDU logo in 3d space.

  • Welcome to Deformer Basics

    Deformers are exactly what they sound like, they are objects placed as the “child” of a greater object that will be used to mold, adjust, and deform a 3D object in the viewfinder. As Dustin works through the bend, twist, bevel, and taper objects he will discuss why hierarchies are super important...

  • Welcome to Modeling Concepts and Tools

    Dustin takes a deeper dive into the elements of more complex 3D models, discussing the types of polygons that make up fully built models, their fill modes, and how they relate to a models full build.

  • Selection Types

    Dustin talks about the selecting polygons within models. Larger scale models are often built from connected, smaller models. We talk points view, face view, and edges view in selecting models loops, polygons, and overall selections. Soft selections are most comparable to the liquify filter in Ph...

  • Understanding Polygon Normals

    Polygon Normals help 3D Software determine which side of a polygon is the front vs. back face. This is extremely important to understand as objects with “flipped” normals will oftentimes not render properly. At times you’ll have an entire model with flipped normals or at times just a few polygons...

  • Making Primitive Objects Editable

    Here we’ll take a look at working with primitive objects and converting them into editable geometry using the “C” key or “Make Editable”. This isn’t the first mention of this key but a searchable video to serve as a reminder as we head into the other videos here on specific tools.

  • Extrude Tool

    This tool extrudes selected points, edges or polygons. If no elements are selected, all of the object’s elements will be extruded.
    To extrude interactively in the viewport, drag left or right within the viewport. The extrusion takes place along the Normals of the selected surfaces; the average va...

  • Loop Path Cut

    The Loop/Path Cut tool is primarily used to more finely subdivide edge loops interactively. An automatic loop recognition (Mode = Loop) or a manually created loop selection (Mode = Path) can be used. The Loop/Path Cut tool cuts polygon objects in all three component modes (Use Point, Use Edge, Us...

  • Bevel Tool

    The most common use for the bevel tool is creating rounded or “holding” edges in hard edge geometry when needed prior to smoothing or subdividing your object. It’s important to understand that in the real world there is no such thing as a perfectly hard edge without a bevel. Whether large or smal...

  • Bridge Tool

    Bridge enables you to create connections between unconnected surfaces. In point mode, you can create polygons by defining new polygon edges. To define a new polygon edge between two points, Drag & drop from one point to the other. A highlighted preview will appear to indicate where the new po...

  • Topology and Edgeflow Basics

    Dustin teaches about topology in modeling and maintaining edge flow to assist in smoothing models.

  • Holding Edges

    In this video we’ll take a quick peek at a simple cylinder and what the differences are between holding edges and not. This will give a good idea as to why it’s important to place loops around edges that need to be smoothed.

  • Center Axis Tool and Axis Modification Basics

    The main purpose of this tool is to quickly and easily set the object axis of a polygonal (not parametric!) object. Furthermore, the complete object (even parametric) can be moved to a defined position, including its axis.

  • Welcome to Texture UV Basics

    Introduction to the concept of UV mapping a model. UV mapping is assigning new axis points to the object in order to tell the program how texture will adhere and react to the 3D model once they are placed and rendered.

  • UV Selections

    Dustin talks to about how to select various elements within the UV editor and how to find them in your viewport model. This will help you understand how the UV editor interacts with the overall model and what type of preparations you need to make in order for textures to be overlaid later.

  • UV Checker and Projection Types

    The way you overlay your materials onto any model/object is critical to realism. The UV checker will allow you to look at the skin of an object more closely and allow you to align things properly.

  • Relaxing UV's and Stretching

    In this section Dustin explains how UVs might need to be resized, relaxed, and/or stretched in order to make the texture that will be applied to flow properly and minimize artifacting.

  • Packing UV Islands and What It Means

    Understanding UV islands, how they are packed in the UV editor and how packing will impact materials once applied to the model.

  • Why UV Scale Is So Important

    Dustin talks about understanding UV scale in the UV editor. Understanding scale in the UV manager will help make sure that the materials applied to the model later will match the texture of similar adjacent sections of the model. This provides consistency across the materials used in the final st...

  • UV Transformation Tool

    This tool replaces most functions of the old, separate UV tool such as Move, Scale, Rotate and horizontal/vertical distortion (however, it only works in the texture view). Before the UV Transformation tool can be called up, a UV component selection has to be made. A rectangular interactive frame ...

  • Basic UV Tools

    Dustin takes you through a review of the basic tools in the UV editor.

  • Welcome to Octane Render

    Dustin introduces Octane Render as a tool as an add-on to C4D. This is where your experience as a photographer leaves you well ahead of the curve in the creative side of 3D. You’ve already got the skills it takes to create beautiful renders, possibly without even knowing it. Just as with real wor...

  • Octane Live Viewer Intro

    Dustin opens Octane within Cinema 4D for the first time to begin showing the overall interface of the plugin.

  • Area Lights and Target Area Lights

    Dustin uses Octane to show lighting details on a model in Cinema 4D, explaining how lighting works, how to adjust lighting, adjust color temperatures of lights and make different modifiers for the lighting.

  • HDRI Enviornment Image Based Lighting

    Dustin shows how HDRI inside of Octane can be used to light a model in a way that takes the environment the model is into account. With HDRI colors and reflections (material dependent) can be seen inside of the model.

  • Octane Daylight

    Dustin shows the daylight system feature inside of Octane in Cinema 4D to show how the lighting of the model can be impacted by its environment in lighting and shading.

  • IES Lights

    Dustin shows how each light bulb actually has a different pattern to their light fallout and shape. Octane has accounted for this by taking IES profiles from manufacturers and adding them to the program.

  • Octane Camera

    Dustin walks through how to adjust camera settings in Octane to account for camera focal length, number of aperture blades, bokeh, sensor size, and lens.

  • Octane Object Tag

    Using Octane’s Object tagging to tell the computer how the model should react to the scene in terms of shadows, lights, and other objects.

  • Light linking Basics

    Dustin discusses how to link various lights within the set together and have them intelligently interact with each other.

  • Useful C4D tags for Cameras and Lights

    Tagging is a system that allows the computer to know how objects should and should not interact within the 3D viewport space. This is useful for everything from locking objects in place to assigning a spotlight to an individual item to follow as it moves through the scene.

  • Lighting and Camera Practice

    Dustin does a demonstration of lighting and camera settings found within Octane to show various capabilities found within the program.

  • Welcome To Octane Render Settings Overview

    Rendering is the final step in the CGI process before importing the image into Photoshop for post-processing. This final process comes with a variety of settings to get you the best results. Dustin walks you through his best tips for getting the perfect render.

  • Info Channels Kernel

    Dustin introduces the info kernel modes within Octane. Info Kernels are used within Octane to make adjustments in focus, shadows, and environment or check how the model will react to certain items in the scene. Generally providing the user more information about how the scene will eventually rend...

  • PathTracing Kernel

  • Direct Lighting Kernel

    The Direct Lighting Kernel is generally used for faster preview rendering. It's not unbiased and will not yield photorealistic results, however because of its speed it can be the ideal choice for rendering animations or stills depending on your purpose. Some of these settings are shared with the ...

  • PMC Kernel

    The PMC Kernel is a custom mutating unbiased kernel designed specifically for GPU rendering. Rendering with PMC creates physically accurate lighting and caustic effects and is generally produces the highest quality result but can also take the most time to render depending on the scene. Below we ...

  • Camera Imager Tab

    Dustin shows how to adjust the camera imager tab, how it works, and how it can be similar to the one inside your camera.

  • Post Tab

    Dustin discusses the post tab and how to use blooms within the post tab to create effects of lighting of surfaces.

  • Settings Tab

    Dustin walks you through some of the settings within Octane Render in order to help you make sure you get maxim impact from the hardware you use.

  • My Go-To Settings For Most Renders

    Dustin shares his go-to settings, those he uses most often in everyday work, and the why.

  • Saving Your Octane Settings As A Preset

    Dustin highlights how to create a preset to user settings within Octane. This will assist you in accessing formerly used settings, specific to a scene or job, for future projects.

  • We've Made It To Materials

    Now that we’ve covered the foundations of lighting and camera setup it’s time to bring our models to life with materials! We’ll discuss the differences between textures, material types, and ways they can be manipulated in Cinema 4D and Octane Render.

  • Texture Type Basics

    PBR, Seamless, Non-Seamless, and Procedural Textures. Dustin talks about the basic components of textures and their creation.

  • The Key To Making Realistic 3D Materials

    Bringing realism to models by introducing the natural imperfections found in many areas of life, including bumps, dust, and scratches.

  • Material Editor Vs Octane Node Editor

    Customizing your textures in the materials and node editors.

  • Octane Node Editor Introduction

    Dustin introduces the Octane node editor and discusses navigating it’s interface. We learn to navigate the viewport and how to create materials within the program.

  • Common Material Properties

    Diffuse, Specular, Roughness, notation, Sheen, Sheen Roughness, Film Width, Bump, Normal, Displacement, Opacity - that is a lot of wrap the head around! Dustin walks through the common material properties found in the Octane Node Editor and how one goes about using them.

  • Octane Diffuse Material

    Dustin discuss various uses of the diffuse materials tab found within the Octane Node Editor plugin within Cinema 4D.

  • Octane Glossy Material

    A deeper dive into the Octane Glossy material in the Octane Node Editor. This is a great material for making reflective surfaces.

  • Octane Specular Material

    Creating transparent objects isn’t all that can be done with the Specular Material in the Octane Node Editor. You can also create great gradients, various glass, ice, and metallic spheres.

  • Octane Mix Material

    Dustin discusses mixing textures together in order to create whole new models and features.

  • Applying Materials To Objects

    Dustin discusses various methods for applying materials to the objects you have created.

  • Octane Live DB

    After exploring materials Dustin walks you through accessing the materials included within Cinema 4D.

  • Useful Node Editor Hotkeys To Remember

    A review of many of the useful hotkeys used throughout this section of the tutorial.

  • Welcome To Nodes

    While we have been using nodes for a while in the course, we haven’t spent much time diving into their power. Here Dustin starts going into some of his everyday nodes used in his workflow and prepares the scene we will use for the remainder of this chapter.

  • Texture Nodes

    Dustin takes a longer look at the texture node within Octant Node Editor to really explain its functionality and usage.

  • Transform And Projection Nodes

    Adjusting textures and UVs inside of Octane Node Editor to make changes to the surfaces of the 3D objects found in the scene. Dustin talks about how to eliminate repeating patterns and make sure your materials are working for you.

  • Generator Nodes

    Not everything you want to do as an artist can be found produced by someone else. The same is true here. Often you are going to want to make some materials from scratch or alter significantly the materials you have, Dustin walks you through the generator nodes in Octane in order to help fuel your...

  • Map Nodes

    We continue to learn about customization of materials in Octane Node Editor by using map nodes. Map nodes are very similar to the blending modes in Photoshop. Here you learn how to use these “blending modes” to your advantage in 3D.

  • Displacement Nodes

    Displacement is moving surface textures outward or inward to create mild or massive moves in the surface textures. This is a great feature for creating terrain features in planes.

  • Emission Nodes

    Dustin has discussed using emission nodes to creating light in Octane, this whole section is dedicated to the emission node and its ability to create those lighting effects.

  • End Chapter Outro

    Dustin gives some parting thoughts from this chapter.

  • Creating Our First Set Of Materials Together

    Let’s take a moment and practice making our first materials together! Be sure to download the course content if you haven’t done so already. We’ll be using what we’ve learned so far as a base in this practice.

  • Metal Materials

    Dustin walks you through step one of a multiple phase project developing and using materials for a 3D model of a chair. In this first step you will work on perfecting the metal base of the chair.

  • Plastic Material

    Jumping into step two of this multiple phase project developing and using materials for a 3D model of a chair. In this second step, you will work on perfecting the plastic seat base of the chair.

  • Wood Material

    Dustin continues working with the chair model but now introducing wood grains into the equation. Working with grains can be tricky because of repeating patterns. Dustin talks about his tricks to make wood function.

  • Fabric Material

    Continuing work on the chair, we work with fabric on the surface of the seat. Trying various materials and sizes of materials on the chair.

  • Glass Material

    We continue to practice with the model chair by introducing glass to the chair. Dustin uses the final material on the chair to help you understand the principles of glass.

  • Beauty Passes Overview

    Dustin talks about using the Beauty pass in the Octane. Breaking apart your render into several different elements gives you the ability to isolate specifics of the file. Beauty passes are elements or layers that make up your “final” rendered image. These passes are greatly useful in compositing ...

  • Info Passes Overview

    Dustin talks about using the info passes in the Octane section of render settings. Info passes play a huge role in post-production. They are what makes selections, relighting and grading easy! Whether using ID (masking) passes or normals this section of render settings is used to output various l...

  • Lighting Passes Overview

    Dustin explains tools for rendering your lighting setups onto the model. These passes allow you to split each light in your scene into its own rendered layer. This is great for enhancing specific lights in post, easily without having to guess what that light would be affecting in your scene.

  • Tip Creating A Clown Pass Using Octane Tag

    The “clown pass” is an amazing pass using the Object ID render pass in Octane. It gives you control over selections of each individual object in post by assigning a random color to each object in your “null” or group which is applied an Octane Object Tag and setting the Layer ID to 2. You can see...

  • Setting Up Render Settings and Savings Presets

    In this section, Dustin tackles the render settings that give you the best render for the current job you are doing. What the options are in your rendering and how you can create presets for your go-to needs.

  • CGI Final Thoughts


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