Cinema 4D has become the go-to app for 3D art for motion graphics artists, as well as visual effects, illustration and arch viz work. It has an incredibly versatile and full featured tool set but one of the best things about it is the community of users.
On top of being one of the most friendly, welcoming and sharing communities around with many free tutorials, it is also one of the most useful, as there are many users and experts making tools to increase efficiency in key areas, build presets or whole new modules.
Most of these come as plugins, although some are simple scene files or lib files, to access through the content browser. Here are a few choice favourites to really help speed up your workflow.
01. Perfect split
Charles Rowland has created this little plugin to solve a niggle with a part of Cinema 4D's workflow. Although you can work around it this neat little plugin make s a 30 second job a 3 second one and will do away with one of modeling in C4D's annoying little quirks.
It essentially makes it quick and painless to cut a section of geometry from a mesh and make it it's own item in the hierarchy, removing the original, so you have two clean meshes and no old points to tidy up. It may be small but it's a winner for many modelers.
In contrast to the simplicity of Easy Split, is the behemoth of X-Particle, which is a beast of a plugin. If you have any need for a particle system then this is the tool for you. It caters for every need, from simple to it's full blown fluid simulator.
Even though it is incredibly feature-rich it remains easy to understand and works in harmony with other areas of Cinema 4D, including dynamics and mograph tools. It's based ona very logical Question and Answer/Action workflow and has many actions built in.
There are also numerous modifiers, such as turbulence and flocking. It can handle millions of particles, has a built in skinner plus so much more. Far too much to mention here but check out their site for video examples and free tutorial videos.
For anybody with a need to create motion graphics text this plugin is a must. It ships with a huge number of presets, for various needs and animation styles.
Motionworks, the developer of the plugin have created it with a huge amount of broadcast graphics experience behind them and, as well as being intuitive, the presets really are useful on a daily basis. The icing on the cake is the collection of 22 training videos, showing you how to get the very best out of it. Watch this space for updates soon!
This is another of those presets which is built with the sole purpose of speeding up workflow and reducing repetitive tasks. The trend in motion graphics to link nodes with lines is still going strong and although it's fairly simple to set up in 3D, it is one of those jobs that takes time and can get tiresome fast.
Slouchcorp (Mike Batchelor) has created this little preset to do all the grunt work for you. This is exactly the type of thing that makes the C4D community so good. Artists helping other artists.
Nitroman is not a single plugin but is a plugin making machine. He must live and breath plugins, as he releases a new one at a furious rate. Many are workflow enhancers, that do jobs that C4D already does but reduce the time taken, or neaten the work in other ways
Others are much more their own entity. Among the best are things like Thrausi, a destruction plugin that makes it easy to use dynamics to destroy a mesh, splintering into user defined numbers of pieces and even catering for separate internal materials, once the object is shattered. A truly great collection of tools, many of which are free.
Have we missed a brilliant Cinema 4D plug in? Let us know in the comments...