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Making things look good

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David BittermanMaking things look good
by on Apr 26, 2014 at 2:42:33 am

I have a few questions regarding the basics of making good looking renders in C4D. I've been on the hunt for some tutorials that focus specifically on making things look good in terms of lighting, materials, rendering etc. I've seen the basics on sites like Lynda, Digital Tutors, etc. but have yet to find something that focus specifically on making basic objects, environments, and renders look good. My personal struggle has been as follows:

I've been learning cinema 4d (along with several other programs) in my spare time over the past year (when I have any). Despite having learned a fair amount about modeling, the basics of lighting and environment, and actually a fair amount of mograph, I still find myself struggling to get my renders to look good. I've followed dozens of tutorials about lighting and material setup, but I find that whenever I go to make even a simple scene from scratch it still comes out looking like doodoo! I'll take apart exercise files and try to replicate them and occasionally get close. Even when I tweak the exercise files themselves I can seem to make them look crap very easily just by subtly tweaking a few material parameters or a single light angle by a few degrees. Do scenes in C4D just really require a delicate balance of perfect lights, materials, and environments to get things just right? I work in print and web design and have done so for years, and have worked on some high visibility national campaigns. I just find myself struggling incredibly with C4D in terms of actually generating anything fairly good looking on my own and am developing a complex about it!! I guess I'm just looking for some good direction!

Any and all help or advice is much appreciated!

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Brian JonesRe: Making things look good
by on Apr 26, 2014 at 6:37:48 pm

3D in general (not just C4D) is a lot like photography, you actually have to put the lights in the right positions at the right levels the right color etc to get what you want. Add in to that that you control all the surfaces as well and the lights and surfaces interact - it requires practice. 2D by comparison is incredibly easy, simple example - you want a specular on something in a particular place for effect? You just put it there, it doesn't matter if the apparent light source has anything to do with the placement of the specular. You can do the same thing in 3D it just takes a different knowledge set - and practice.

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David BittermanRe: Making things look good
by on Apr 26, 2014 at 7:57:30 pm

Thanks Brian! I guess I just need to continue slugging through it! I understand some lighting basics, 2 point, 3 point etc, and have heard Nick Campbell (GSG) talk about his revelations in treating 3D in the same fashion as he would his photography shoots. I've played around with some of his soft box setups, and have also gotten less then stellar results inserting my own objects into them (assuming this is my lack of a more thorough knowledge about materials, though I get the basics of specular, reflectivity, transparency, etc.). I guess I'm just bummed there aren't more series just covering specifically all the basics surround making good looking scenes. I suppose maybe I'm just a frustrated noob lol. Anyhow, I've finally gotten my head around some polygon modeling approaches and techniques, and really took to mograph (though I need some brushing up), so I guess this is my next terrain to cross.

I watched some modeling tuts that a friend had from vertex pusher. I've heard he has a whole materials and lighting series, wondering if I should look into those. Cheers for the response!

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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Making things look good
by on Apr 27, 2014 at 4:30:20 pm

Here's a new one that might interest you:

The author is very experienced and extremely knowledgeable about C4D.

This is another excellent tutorial site:

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