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Joystick n’ Slider Style Workflow in Cinema 4D

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One of the most popular After Effects tools ever created is the amazing Joystick n’ Sliders. This clever script has spawned a huge number of Instagram-worthy character rig breakdowns, all thanks to its simplistic approach to rig controls. And now, EJ is here to show you how to replicate this workflow in Cinema 4D!

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Auto-Generated Transcript Below 👇

EJ Hassenfratz (00:00): In this video, I’m going to introduce you to the ever popular joystick and slider workflow. That’s actually native inside of cinema 4d. Let’s go ahead and check it out.

Music (00:12): [intro music]

EJ Hassenfratz (00:21): Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the after effects plugin by the very talented Mike Overbeck called joysticks and sliders, that allows you to interpolate between different poses to create complex animations very easily. Now you see this being used a ton to easily rig up character face and mouth animations inside of two Dean it’s actually based on an originated from the concept of using joysticks and slider controls for facial animation inside of 3d. And that’s what we’re going to be covering today, showing you how to build that joystick and slider workflow inside of cinema 4d. Go ahead and be sure to download the free project file. So you can follow along. You can find that download link in the video description character, we’re going to be animating, and we’re going to animate the eyebrows here and the mouth, which is actually part of a mesh here you can see.

EJ Hassenfratz (01:12): And basically what we’re going to do is use something called a pose morph tag, or a blend shapes, which is what it’s also called in other 3d apps to kind of control and store poses of our geometry. So like positions or, uh, you can see my eyebrows are made up of splines. So even like spline distortion, mesh distortion, if you, you know, move polygons or points on a mesh like the face here, what a pose more, it does, it stores all that stuff and allows you to blend between different poses or deformation states, which is really, really cool. So when I’ve taught around, let me just go ahead and show you really quick, what the pose morph tag does. So what I’m going to do as I got my eyebrow group here, and what I’ll do is I know I want to morph both of these eyebrows.

EJ Hassenfratz (01:57): Okay. I want to move them up and maybe adjust the splines here to kind of maybe have them arch a little bit more. Uh, so two things I want to record the position and then also the points on the spline. So what I’m going to do is on this eyebrow, no I’m going to right click good rigging tags and go to pose morph. Now, what pose morph allows you to do is store a bunch of these different options here. So business and scale rotation points, UVS parameters. So think of parameters like a bend, a former strength like that. Strength parameter is a parameter. It would store that a user data, which is like custom user data and hierarchy, which is very important for us specifically because we have two splines that are going to drive our eyebrow geometry, which is basically just capsules that are being deformed by a spline wrap and being deformed by the splines.

EJ Hassenfratz (02:49): So basically all we need to do is really just move these spline points around and move the position and stuff, and we should get a really nice eyebrow animation. We get to check on all the things we want to store. Now, you know, we, we know we want to adjust points. We know we want to move position. We could move scale. One of the rules of thumb is I always put, I always check on way more than I really need here. Uh, and the thing is, is that it’s way easier to uncheck some of these options than to go back and check them back on because it can totally screw everything up. So I always like to, you know, go a little overkill. So I know I’m going to store position. So I’m going to check that on. And one of the annoying little things is that the moment you check on one of those little mixing options, it’s going to dump you into the tag tab.

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By: School of Motion
Title: Joystick n” Slider Style Workflow in Cinema 4D
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