In issue 77, we took version 8 of Cinema 4D for a test-run, resulting in a verdict of four and a half out of five. One thing that came out of our review was the realisation that Xpresso, a superb tool for generating relationships between objects, is probably the new iteration's biggest single feature. Unfortunately, it's also likely to be the one users neglect the most. After all, unlike the new interface features, modelling tools and enhanced animation, it's not immediately apparent what Xpresso can do. An awful lot, as it turns out.
This tutorial will take you through the Xpresso workflow and show you just how simple it is to use. Creating your own Xpresso expressions is no more difficult than mastering drag-and-drop. Don't believe us? Then try it for yourself.
COFFEE, Cinema's previous incarnation of expressions (still available in R8) is very good if you didn't mind a bit of maths and scripting, but for most of us it remains an unfathomable curiosity, suitable for high-end animators and programmers. Xpresso, however, offers a graphical approach that us mere mortals will find much easier to get to grips with. The tricky part is understanding which nodes to use and why.
With this in mind, we'll take you through a series of Xpresso scenes, starting from the simplest possible expression to some fairly complex linkages. In this way, you'll learn how the most common features and nodes work, what's possible with Xpresso and how it can save you so much time and effort. With a little ingenuity, you'll be able to create your own expressions in no time.