Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials MoGraph Tutorial
Function available in CINEMA 4D Broadcast, Studio

Abstract Motion Effects

MoGraph can also be used to create animated, abstract motion effects. Simple base elements can be cloned step-by-step to create impressive animated effects.

Click on the following link to open the scene we will use in this tutorial:

Extrude object as clone

The object on which our motion effect will be based is an Extrude object, which will be cloned and twirled around using a MoGraph Cloner object. The shape of the Extrude object will be defined by a Spline object, whose shape can be modified or extended as desired.

We will use the Extrude tool to create a three-dimensional shape from our Spline curve. The Y and Z Movement values have been increased so the extruded surface can be better illuminated from the top and bottom.

This narrow, slightly angled and extruded band is now well-suited for the following cloning procedure …

Create a Cloner from the MoGraph menu and make the Extrude object a Child object of this new Cloner object. Switch to the Cloner object’s Object tab in the Attribute Manager.

Set the top Mode parameter to Linear to make the clones line up linearly. The clones will be created stepwise so set the bottom Mode parameter to Per Step and set the Amount value to 20%. This parameter lets us regulate the overall creation of clones without having to modify several parameters. As you can see, the Rotation values that define rotational progression of the clones stay within a range of +/- 20%. This, in combination with the moderate "growth", ensure that the clones are generated closely enough together without any large jumps in rotation.

This pretty much completes the main steps required for this abstract motion effect. Click on the following link to open a file as it should be to this point in the tutorial:

So, what will we actually be animating? Exactly two of the Cloner object’s parameters - the Count of the Clones and the Offset value, which defines the amount of offset from clone to clone. To see what effect these parameters have on the clones, use the sliders in the Cloner object’s HUD to adjust their respective values.

Animating the clones

We will animate the clones using the HUD. Set both sliders to 0 so no clone can be seen.

Make sure the Timeslider is set to Frame 0 and Ctrl/Cmd+click on each animation circle in the HUD. This will create a keyframe for both parameters at Frame 0.

Now go to Frame 300 by either entering 300 in the value field at the right of the Animation Toolbar or by sliding the green Timeslider to Frame 300. This is where the effect will end and the offset of the clones will increase to a value of 1200. What this means for the HUD values is that the number of clones will remain at 0 and the Offset will be 1200. Double-click on the respective value in the HUD to change it.

Set a keyframe at Frame 300 for both of these new values by Ctrl/Cmd+clicking on each animation circle in the HUD. Next we will animate the number of clones within the limits of the defined offset animation.

The number of clones that move during the animation should reach its peak a Frame 25. First, position the Timeslider to Frame 25.

Increase the Count value to 80 (you can define more or less, depending on the look you prefer) and create a keyframe by Ctrl/Cmd+clicking on the animation circle in the HUD.

This value should be maintained through Frame 275 (1 second before the end of the animation). To do so, move the Timeslider to Frame 275, set the Count value to 80 and set another keyframe in the HUD.

Setting these keyframes via the HUD has created a Spline interpolation.

This can be modified in the Value Key settings or the Spline curve can be controlled via the Timeline (Dope Sheet)....

A rendering of the finished tutorial scene:


Click on the following link to open the finished tutorial scene: