The Hitchhikers Guide to C4Ds
Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:39 AM
This is my second tut. What I aim to do in this tutorial/guide is give beginners a better view of what C4Ds are. I will cover things such as what exactly C4D’s are, the different types, what C4Ds do to a sig and more. If you are already familiar with C4D’s and using them, don’t expect to learn a great deal from this. This guide is for beginners. So, without any further ado, let’s begin!
1. What are C4Ds?
Most people will know this, but for those who don’t, C4Ds are abstract images that are usually added to signatures and tags. They are usually created in Cinema 4D (hence the name C-4D), a type of 3D software, but sometimes they can be created in other programs.
2. What can C4Ds do to a signature/tag?
C4Ds can do many things, such as add flow, depth, interesting visual effects or all three. C4Ds can also be used as backgrounds for signatures, or they can be the main focal. But for C4D’s to give the full effect, the right type of C4D’s must be used and it must be placed in the right spot. Basically, don’t slap a C4D onto a tag and expect it to look better. For example, let’s study some different uses:
Look at these two versions of this sig. As you have probably guessed, the first one has C4Ds and the second one doesn’t. Compare both of them to each other. The first one looks more interesting, right? The second sig seems boring and empty. In this sig, the C4Ds are used to add visual effects, flow, but mainly texture. But even without the C4D’s, you can see the main body of this signature is obviously still there. But it the next example, you will see that C4D are used much more significantly.
In this case, the C4Ds play a far bigger role. They add up to about 70-80% of the effects in this sig, the rest is just smudging, brushing and clipping masking. Can you see how C4Ds can make a massive difference to a signature?
3. What different types of C4D are there?
There are three main different types of C4D – effect, wireframe and render.
Effect C4Ds are used mainly to give flow. They almost always have a black background, which may seem like they are useless but the black can be removed by setting the C4D layer to Lighten Only, Screen, Dodge, Addition or other modes - experiment and see what works. Also, you can go through Layer-->Transparency-->Color to Alpha and change the colour to black.
Wireframe C4Ds are usually not coloured, and made up of lines. If you glance back up to my first Mario signature, can you see some white lines on the right? Yep, that’s right, that’s a wireframe. Wireframes don’t really work on grungy or tough signatures; try them on a slightly softer and/or calmer sig.
Render C4Ds have a transparent background. They can be used as a focal for, say, an abstract sig. Looking back at the Mario signature above, all the C4Ds except for that one wireframe are render C4Ds. Render C4Ds are usually there to add interesting visual effects or to add depth. But in that sig, each of the render C4D’s are rotated to fit the flow of the signature.
4. Where can I find C4Ds?
There are PLENTY of C4Ds on Planetrenders.net (especially render C4Ds), but there are also plenty of C4D packs on Deviantart.com. Also, a simple search for ‘C4D’ on Google can bring results.
And last but not least…
5. How can I use C4Ds well in my signatures/tags?
This is a common question, but there is no solid answer to it. Study some more signatures that have C4Ds in them, and see how they are used. When you add a C4D to your next sig, ask yourself:
Does this C4D fit this type of signature?
Does this C4D match the colours of my signature?
Does it help or contradict the flow of my signature?
Is this C4D the right size?
Is it placed in the best possible spot?
Now, every point I’ve just said except for the first one can be solved in GIMP. To change the colours of a sig, open the Colors menu and use Colorize, Color Balance or Hue/Saturation. To rotate the C4D to work in your signature, just use the Rotate tool in the toolbox. To resize it, use Layers-->Scale Layer. To move it, obviously use the move tool. To sum this all up, just remember that C4Ds do not have to stay how they are. Alter the C4D as much as you want so that it works in your signature. And ERASE WHAT LOOKS BAD. Keep this advice in your head next time you use C4Ds.
Well, that wraps up today’s guide. As said before, this is my second tut, so please C/C. Hope you’ve learned something here, so now go out there and use those C4D’s!
Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:36 AM
@Mario: Which ones specifically? As in, 2nd render C4D etc. All thise wireframes are from planetrenders.net, not sure where I got the others. I would be happy to upload them, but it would be easier if you told me which ones specifically.
@Acks: Thanks! *beams*
@Saviour: Glad to hear I've given the great SK an idea! :o
Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:46 PM
Nice tutorial, giving some theory on a question many beginners seem to ask! I would however have liked to have see a simple practical usage example of a C4D at the end though, a mini-tutorial for users to put theory to practice so to speak? With that addition I could certainly consider this to go into official.
Posted 23 February 2009 - 06:23 AM
@orangegreendaysuite: No problem! :)
@Griatch: Yeah, I was looking for one of my sigs that used C4Ds subtley (sp?), in comparison to the second example. But I guess I chose one with too subtle C4D effects. I see what you mean about the mini-tutorial, I'll see what I can do, because I have another tutorial request tutorial on my hands. But thanks, I would love this to be made official so once again I'll see. :)