Special Notes: This tutorial uses CINEMA 4D XL's new ExplosionFX plugin. If you are using an older version of CINEMA 4D, try using the Explosion deformer.


This tutorial will show you how to create an animated GIF using CINEMA 4D XL and Adobe Image Ready 2.0. The settings used in this tutorial are only suggestions. Feel free to use whatever settings fit your specific purpose.

Step 1: Open CINEMA 4D XL and create a New scene, (File=>New). Next create a new Text Spline (Objects=>Spline Primitive=>Text). Double click on the Text icon in the Object Manager. For this example type, "CAUTION: MAY CAUSE INSPIRATION," in the Text ******** Click the True Type Font button and select Impact as the desired font, then click OK to close this ******** Before you close the main text window, set the Horizontal Spacing to 15m.
Step 2: Next create an Extrude NURBS Object (Objects=>NURBS=>Extrude NURBS). In the Object Manager select and drag the Text onto the Extrude NURBS Object.
Double click the Extrude NURBS icon. Under the General Tab change both Start and End to Cap and Rounding. In the Details tab change the following settings: Start Steps=5, Start Radius=3m, End Steps=5, End Radius=3m, and make sure that Constrain Contour is checked. Double click on the Extrude NURBS text and rename it 'Caution Extrude'. Make this object editable, (Structure=>Make Editable). In the Object Manager make a copy of Caution Extrude and rename it 'Caution Extrude 02'. For now hide Caution Extrude 02 by clicking twice on the two dots next to its icon.


Step 3: Create a new Text Spline, (Objects=>Spline Primitive=>Text). Double click on the Text icon and type, "MAXON Computer" in the Text ******** Click on the True Type Font button and select Impact as the desired font. Enter 25m for the Horizontal Spacing. Create another Extrude NURBS Object with the same settings as the first one you created. Drag and drop the Text Spline onto the Extrude NURBS Object. Double click the Extrude NURBS text and rename the object 'MAXON Extrude'. Make this object editable (Structure=>Make Editable). Hide this object by clicking the two dots to the right of the object's icon twice.

Step 4: Next you will need to change the render output. Go to Render=>Render Settings. In the Output settings make sure the Resolution is set to Manual, 468x60, and the Film Format is set to Manual, 468:60. Change the Frame Rate to 5. If you need to center the image within the frame format, select the Camera Tool from the toolbar on the left. In the Coordinates Manager enter the following: X=0m Y=888m Z=-2670m H=0 P=-17 B=0. Click Apply. Select the Object Tool from the toolbar on the left. Click OK.
Step 5: Create a Light (Objects=>Scene=>Light). Rename it 'Parallel Spot 01'. Double click the Light icon and under the General tab set the Type to Parallel Spot (Square). Under the Details tab enter 1440m for the Inner Radius and 1440m for the Outer Radius. In the Coordinates Manager enter the following values: X=0m Y=14m Z=-4950m. Make a copy of Parallel Spot 01 and change the 01 to 02 in the name. In the Coordinates Manager enter the following values: X=0m Y=1790m Z=2800m H=180 P=-25. This is just a quick lighting setup to make sure everything is visible. If you want a different lighting setup feel free to make any changes.

Step 6: Create another Light and name it Tube Light. Under the General tab change the Type to Tube, set Visible Light to Visible, and set the Brightness to 0%. In the Coordinates Manager set Y Position to 55m.
Step 7: In the Materials Manager create a New Material (File=> New Material). Double click on the text and rename this material 'MAXON Blue'. Double click on the material icon and in the Color Channel the RGB values should be: R=0% G=45% B=73% and Brightness=100%. Activate the Specular Channel. The settings here should be: Width=35% and Height=51%. Close this ******** Holding the Shift key down drag and drop the material onto Caution Extrude 01, 02, and MAXON Extrude.

Step 8: Make a copy of MAXON Blue and rename it 'Glow Blue'. Double click on the material icon and activate the Glow Channel. Enter the following values: Inner Strength=250% Outer Strength=700% Radius=50m. Leave all other values the same. Close this ******** Make a copy of Glow Blue and rename it 'Glow White'. Double click on the material icon and in the Glow Channel change the Radius to 65m and uncheck Use Material Color. Close the ********

Step 9: Open the Timeline if it isn't already (Window=>Timeline). Select Caution Extrude and then create a Visibility track (File=>New Track=>Special Effects=>Visibility). Double click on the Sequence and change its range: From=42
To=43. Click OK. Insert a keyframe at Frame 42. Enter 100% and click OK. Do the same for Frame 43 but enter 0%.

Step 10: Create a new Texture Track for Caution Extrude (File=>New Track=>Special Effects=>Texture). Double click the Sequence and change the
Range: From=15, To=35. Insert a keyframe at Frame 15. A MAXON Blue material window should pop up. Click OK. At Frame 25 enter another keyframe and type Glow Blue in the Search For dialogue. Click OK. At Frame 35 enter another keyframe and type in Glow White. Click OK.


Step 11: Go to Objects=>Deformations=>ExplosionFX. In the Object Manager drag and drop it onto Caution Extrude. Double click on the ExplosionFX icon. Under the Explosion tab enter the following: Strength=500MN, Blast Range=1587m. Under the Cluster tab enter the following: Cluster Type=Automatic, Min Polys=5, Max Polys=15. Under the Gravity tab change Direction to NO.

Step 12: In the Timeline create a Parameter Track for the ExplosionFX Deformer (File=>New Track=>Parameter). Change the Sequence Range: From=30, To=40. Click OK. Enter a keyframe at Frame 30. Drag the Preview slider all the way to the left or enter 0 in the field. Click OK. Enter a keyframe at Frame 40. Drag the slider to the right or enter 100 in the field. Click OK.
Step 13: Create a Parameter Track for Tube Light. Change the Sequence Range: From=29, To=41. Enter a keyframe at Frame 29. Under the General tab change the Brightness to 0%. Under the Details tab change the Tube Radius to 2m. Click OK. Insert a keyframe at Frame 30. Under the General tab change the Brightness to 150%. Click OK. Insert another keyframe at Frame 40. Under the Details tab change the Tube Radius to 2500m. Click OK. Insert a keyframe at Frame 41. Under the General tab change the Brightness to 0%. Click OK.

Step 14: In the Object Manager unhide MAXON Extrude by clicking once on each of the red dots next to the object's icon. Create a Visibilty Track for MAXON Extrude. Change the Sequence Range: From=40, To=41. Insert a keyframe at Frame 40. The value in the box should be 0. If it isn't, change it accordingly and click OK. Enter a keyframe at Frame 41 and enter 100%. Click OK. Copy this Sequence and Paste it so that the first keyframe is at Frame 92. Double click the keyframe at Frame 92 and enter 100%. Change the keyframe at Frame 93 to 0%.

Step 15: Create a Texture Track for MAXON Extrude. Change the Sequence Range: From=41, To=61. Insert a keyframe at Frame 41. A MAXON Blue Texture dialog should pop up. In the Search For field type in Glow White. Click OK. At Frame 47 enter another keyframe and type in Glow Blue. At Frame 61 insert one more keyframe and type in MAXON Blue in the Search For field.
Step 16: Create a Scale Track for MAXON Extrude (File=>New Track=>Geometry=>Scale). Change the Sequence Range: From=41, To=47. Insert a keyframe at Frame 41. Enter the following values: X=0.042 Y=0.635 Z=0.042. Click OK. Insert a keyframe at Frame 47 and enter 1 for X,Y, and Z.
Step 17: Make a copy of the Scale Sequence and Paste it so that the first keyframe starts at Frame 86. Select the whole Sequence and then go to Window=>Time Curves and make sure Path Mode is checked then select Ramp Down. Return to the Sequences window (Window=>Sequences).
Step 18: Highlight the Texture Track and create a New Sequence. Change the Sequence Range: From=86, To=92. Insert a keyframe at Frame 86. Type MAXON Blue into the Search For field. Next insert a keyframe at Frame 88 and type Glow Blue in the Search For field. At Frame 92 insert a keyframe and type in Glow White.
Step 19: Select the Parameter Track of Tube Light. Create a New Sequence (File=>New Sequence). The range is: From=85, To=93. Copy the keyframe at Frame 41 and Paste it at Frame 85. Copy the keyframe at Frame 40 and Paste it at Frame 86. Copy the keyframe at Frame 30 and Paste it at Frame 92. Finally copy the keyframe at Frame 29 and Paste it at Frame 93. Copy the entire Sequence from Frame 29 to 41 and Paste it so the first keyframe is on Frame 95.

Step 20: In the Timeline select Caution Extrude 02. Create a Visibility Track. Change the Sequence Range: From=93, To=94. Insert a keyframe at Frame 93. The value should be 0%. If it isn't, change it accordingly. Now insert a keyframe at Frame 94. Enter 100% for the value.
Step 21: Next create a Texture Track for Caution Extrude 02. Delete the entire Sequence. Make a copy of the MAXON Extrude Texture Sequence that runs from Frame 41 to Frame 61. Paste it so that the first keyframe is on Frame 96 of the Caution Extrude Texture Track.
Step 22: Now create a Scale Track for Caution Extrude 02. Delete the entire Sequence. Copy the MAXON Extrude Scale Sequence that runs from Frame 41 to Frame 47. Paste it so that the first keyframe is on Frame 96 of the Caution Extrude 02 Scale Track.
Step 23: Now it's time to render out this scene into a TIFF sequence. Go to Render=>Render Settings. In the General tab change Antialiasing to Best and then highlight the Output options. These options should have been set at Step 4. If not, go back to Step 4 and make the appropriate changes. Next highlight the Save options. Specify a path where your TIFF sequence will be saved. You should probably create a new folder specifically for the TIFFs. It will make things easier later. The Format should be TIFF, Depth=8 Bit/Channel, DPI=72, and make sure 24 Bit Dithering is checked. Click OK. Now render the sequence (Render=>Render to Picture Viewer).
Step 24: Open Adobe Image Ready once the rendering is done (close CINEMA 4D XL if necessary). Import the folder with the rendered TIFFS in it (File=>Import=>Folder as Frames...). Locate the folder, highlight it and then click Choose. You should have 20 frames in the Animation ********
Step 25: The next step will be to get rid of any extra frames. Select Frame 2 and then hold down the Shift key down and click on Frame 5. This should highlight all the Frames between Frames 2 and 5. Drag these Frames onto the garbage can. If holding Shift does not highlight all of the frames, you will have to delete them one at a time. Next delete Frames 6 through 10. Finally, delete Frame 11. You should now have 10 Frames.
Step 26: Click on the bottom of Frame 1 where it says 0 sec. From the drop down menu select 2.0. Do the same for Frame 6.[IMG]http://www.maxoncomputer.com/tutorials/Animated_Gif/images/ir_anim_********gif[/IMG]
Step 27: In the Optimize window, make sure the File Format is GIF, the Color Reduction is set to Perceptual and 64, and the Dithering Algorithm is set to Pattern.
Step 28: Finally Save the file, (File=>Save). Then Save the actual animated GIF (File=>Save Optimized). When the file is saved, locate the file and open it. The animated GIF should look similar to the one at the top of this page.