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babis tsourlis

I need a boost (non-technical question)

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hi guys, i am learninig cinema almost 8 months now, but i feel like i dont know anything. Can you give me any advice on how is the best way to learn, because until now i watched tutorials on grayscalegorilla or youtube and thats all. I feel like i dont learn too much this way. I need someone to show me the proper way to learn and  stay motivated alongside.

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Don't feel bad. Cinema is a massively extensive and powerful bit of software that takes many years to become expert in. That's not because of the software specifically but because the whole encompassing project of making 3D graphics is vast and complicated ! You are not making a little word document here ! :)

 

For example I have been a modelling specialist for nearly 20 years, 8 or 9 of those in Cinema, and I still don't know everything about modelling there is to know, and may still not if I stay in it another 20 years ! And that's just one small aspect of the program, (albeit arguably the most fundamental one)...

 

You have to pick your battles. Find the thing you are most interested in, and get really good at that, whilst doing the best you can with the other areas to produce the best final results you can manage with the knowledge and skills you have at that moment in time. Sure, watch the tutorials, but be aware that the info in them doesn't usually go in effectively unless you actually do the project yourself in the software, and then continue to use those skills going forward.

 

Chris Schmidt is another good proponent of this approach. His main thing is Dynamics and Animation and Xpresso, so he got those skills first, and got epically good at them by using the software every day, doing a lot of personal projects, then by helping other people via tutorials, and then by making it his day job when he could. All the time he was also learning the other parts of the software (no disrespect to him at all but he was weakest at modelling and texturing as I recall) but at a slower pace and more as and when he needed it to produce his final renders. By sheer volume of practice he was able to get very good at most aspects of Cinema more quickly than most. And of course his epic problem-solving brain helped a lot too :)

 

During the moments I am not rammed with modelling work I try and help on the cafe as much as I can, which is not entirely altruistic :) By doing so I get to model, or start to model (and therefore have all the important thoughts about) up to 8 or 10 different things a day whilst I am showing someone else how to do something, which is almost as good for my skills as it is for theirs, and gives me ample practice and makes me faster at the things I am already good at ! Sometimes I will try and help people in areas where I am considerably less expert, but am vaguely confident I can find an answer, which again helps both of us equally when or if I do ! And sometimes I don't / can't and that is fine too.

 

You might also want to find an ongoing mentor type person who can direct your learnings a bit more structurally, and guide you through any difficult situations that come up in your learnings / client jobs - I am that person to a few people, and I have my own set of inspirational people who I regularly follow who kind of act as that for me... do pm me if you think I could help you :)

The important thing is that nothing you do kills the joy of it for you. That's why you start with the thing you like most - you are usually then enjoying most of your time in the software, which gives you impetus to go on. Initially leave the bits you hate / don't care about to the people that do. I still consider Character Animation to be largely none of my business for example, and that's fine. I will never be great at Xpresso, but I'll keep chipping away at it slowly over the years until one day I find myself with a general level of competence there too. You may also find your interests shift in the long term, which also helps you branch out into new areas.

 

If you ever find it's getting you down (this happens to me about once every 4 years I find), just have a break, do something else for 3 or 6 months, and fairly soon you might feel the call back to it and can start again reinvigorated and back for the next round of learning... initially you  think you've forgotten it all, but it's in there, and it all comes back if you persevere.

 

Hope some / any of that helps...

 

CBR

 

 

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What Cerbera said.

 

I started with C4D when I was 13. Now I'm 27, so I have 14 years of experience with it. Of course, of those 14 years the intensity with which I used and learned the program fluctuated a lot, especially during my time at university.

 

I still feel like I don't know sh**. There's so many areas where I have NO idea what and how it actually works. I have very basic modeling skills but I feel like I'm pretty good with materials and general rendering techniques and settings. Ironically a big part of the texturing / material process happens outside of C4D in softwares like Substance Designer and Substance Painter so I also spend a lot of time there.

 

Find a part of the software that makes you happy and especially interests you, and stick with that until you feel confident enough in the topic. For me it's materials and rendering. Nothing like spending a couple of hours in Substance Designer, rendering the Material in Cinema, showing it to people and they ask you where you got that photo from. You can chose whatever floats your boat! Modeling, character animation, motion graphics, simulations, materials, lighting, rendering. The beauty of 3D is that you are never done learning which makes it an increadibly thrilling hobby or job.

 

If someone asked me to rig a character I'd have to pass. If someone asked me to model something moderately complex I'd have to pass. If someone asked me to animate a character I'd have to pass. I've done and tried those things, but I suck at it and I find no joy in it. But that's fine, because nobody knows everything. Even if you spend every hour of your life in C4D for the next ten years you wouldn't be an expert in everything.

 

Again, find something your particularly enjoy and try to learn that. Stick with it. Learn everything around it that you need for that particular project. That's how I learned C4D. I never bought a book or video course, all I did was wade through the (very, very good) documentation, watched tons of YouTube tutorials and tried to implement that in my own projects. This is by no means a perfect way to learn it, but it worked for me.

 

Good luck!

 

Edit: Also, if you ever feel stuck, Cinema and the entire CG area has an increadibly welcoming and open community and almost everybody will try to help you and give a way techniques and tips that took them years to come up with. Just ask, people will help you.

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  • thank you guys for your answers. I really thank you. DasFrodo i am really jealous of you, because of your age. think that i am 30 years old and sometimes i say to myself that i am too old to learn something new. But i love it and i want to be , why not, a professional at it. 

     

    So guys, how will i understand which thinks i like the most. for example, i like very much  open title sewuences. You know something abstract videos, with particles that blow your mind. I would like to do something like this. 

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    DasFrodo i am really jealous of you, because of your age. think that i am 30 years old and sometimes i say to myself that i am too old to learn something new.

    I don't think you're ever too old to learn something new. Yeah, it might be a slower process (and I notice this already as well, lol) but with enough dedication and hard work everything is possible. But what the hell, 30 is still young. Go for it.

     

    Quote

    So guys, how will i understand which thinks i like the most. for example, i like very much  open title sewuences. You know something abstract videos, with particles that blow your mind. I would like to do something like this. 

    That's mainly MoGraph and Particle Simulation. You'd either have to use the integrated C4D particle system and thinking particles (which suck and are outdated as hell) or get X-Particles which is increadibly powerful. It's another ~600€ though, unless you get it second hand, which is what I did. They have a 30 day trial though, so you could try that out.

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    Yep, your brain is old as it thinks it is :) If you go in with the mindset 'I am going to learn this' then you probably can and will.

    I've taught piano to people who started when they were 75, and got really quite good at it by the time they were 85 !!  I see no reason that software like this should be any different...

     

    CBR

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    I've taught piano to people who started when they were 75, and got really quite good at it by the time they were 85 !!

    Honestly Cerbera, sometimes I question if there's anything on this planet you can't and haven't already mastered :lol:

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    3 hours ago, DasFrodo said:

    Honestly Cerbera, sometimes I question if there's anything on this planet you can't and haven't already mastered :lol:

    Lols. No, it's all a brilliant facade. I can do 3 things moderately well and suck at everything else :)

    CBR

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    Just create. suggest 3 ways how to learn when you feel stuck in your progress :

    1. make small projects for yourself with clear briefs.
    -  you can make your own if you want to be creative (for example: make a character head of pig pirate OR make infinite loop animation on the topic of overfishing sees )
    - there are sites that can generate briefs like form real clients 
    https://manuodelrio.com/projects/brief/  
    https://fakeclients.com/illustration
    http://briefz.biz/
    https://sharpen.design/
    https://briefbox.me/

    2.  recreate works from other people. just go to Instagram, Behance, art station, dribble find work you like and have feeling you know how to do some parts of it and try to recreate it. first, try it yourself and when you get to roadblock just google specific problem you facing +c4d. (don't post ties to your portfolio and if you share them for feedback add credit to the author)
     

    3. Experiment/ play /go with the flow. I learn a lot when I'm just randomly playing with software and just combine stuff to see what happens.

    good luck with creating

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    Μπαμπη θελει δουλιτσα αλλα θα τα πας μια χαρα!!

     

    All of the guys made great points! Not killing the joy as @Cerbera mentioned and picking your fights are paramount.

    My two cents are these:

    1. Quite often I would aim too high only to find myself getting stuck. The problem was never C4D, it was my luck of fundamental understanding of 3D protocols and pipelines in general. 3D is almost like nothing out there, it has its own termninology, written and unwritten laws. Your 3D knowledge of C4D or any package for that matter should better go hand in hand with your deeper understanding of 3D.

    2. My most valuable progress is when I do what I call my 3D experiments. I would form a problem in my head (ex how would I go  about rigging a 4 jointed limb in IK), lay it down in the simplest of forms and then start playing until I spot what's stopping me of getting the desired result. When you spot the obstacle you're already making progress.

    3. You know you're doing better when you're in position to anticipate these obtsacles and plan ahead.

     

    Best of luck, we'll be around if you get stuck or feel demotivated.

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    Excellent topic.  CGI is such a massively deep topic that it can be discouraging.  Fortunately, you have picked C4D because at least you won't be fighting the software as much as you would with other packages as you try to grow your skills.   C4D is the easiest to learn, has an internal logical consistency in its UI, and (most important) is more stable than most where everything just works as expected.  Believe it or not, all of that makes a huge difference to me because it means that I am limited by my own skill/knowledge more so than by the software.  

     

    But, just because C4D is the easiest software to use does not mean that mastering CGI is easy.  It takes work, time and commitment.  I have been with C4D for 10 years now and there are times when I oscillate from absolute discouragement to unbridled joy.  And those swings happen with each render!  

     

    It was encouraging to hear that even the greats, like Cerbera, get discouraged.  I originally felt Cerbera's statement that he still does not know "everything" about modeling was nothing more than humility --- I mean the guy is a master after all (his meshes alone are beautiful to see un-rendered!) --- but then I remembered that there are over 20 modeling styles (according to a YouTube video), so maybe he has a valid point.  Yes, the field is that vast.

     

    So it sounds like you are a hobbyist and are struggling with how to "swallow the elephant" that is 3D without any formal training.  

     

    Well, as mentioned by others, focus on what interests you!   If you are motivated by motion graphics than start with MoGraph!  If you love abstract art, then definitely experiment with form, composition, color and lighting until you find a style that "feeds your soul" after you hit the render button.  Don't think you need to start with a great model, then move to texturing, lighting, etc.  Play around with primitives!  Move lights around! Play with shadows and shapes.  Experiment with simple stuff.  For example this abstraction started with a cube and a few MoGraph modifiers.  But what I like most about it was what I did with the lighting and shadows (I can't recall even if I used any textures).

     

    Deformers_v2.thumb.jpg.173537bc9fc00106294096ce49e22bcc.jpg

     

    A 20 minute experiment that gave me motivation to keep going.   Beeple would be proud!

     

    Personally, what "feeds my soul" is creating environments.  Now an environment is more than the model because as important as the model when creating realistic environments is the lighting and texturing.   In fact, I find that I enjoy the lighting more so than the modeling.  Therefore to get to what "feeds my soul" the fastest, I will sometimes skip modeling all together and purchase a  model.  I really love the environment work done by Stefan Morrel (Stonemason) and his models are pretty cheap from the DAZ site.  So I purchase them and convert them to C4D.  They come in partially un-textured and completely un-lit so that is where I start and I just love the process at that point.  As a hobbyist, it feeds my soul.    

     

    In short:  It is okay to take short cuts to get to what you love if that is what you need to keep you interested, motivated and committed to this hobby.  In time, as you have these little "wins" in a key area of interest, you will then feel the desire to expand into other areas.   Over time, you won't feel so intimidated by 3D and therefore be more adventurous in what you select next to master.   I know this is a bit unstructured, but as a hobbyist you need to stay encouraged if you wish to progress your skills without the benefit of formal training (which will provide structure).

     

    For me, CGI is a great hobby that will take a lifetime to master.  Fortunately, I have a lifetime ahead of me.  It will be a great journey!

     

    Dave 

     

     

     

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  • So guys, thank you all for all your inspirational words. I 'll keep everything you said and i will be more active here . So as a beginner prepare to face many of my problems... 

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