Live Show Reel

Here’s a sampling of my animation and motion graphics work I’ve done for various live events. It’s different than some of my usual broadcast design stuff on my other reel.

It’s a process of design animation and motion that is mapped across a stage or an arena, so there’s different techniques used to make you graphics fit to something that size. Instead of preparing something to be viewed on a 50 inch TV, you are working on 30 foot screens and disjointed LED panels.

Last updated 5/1/2016

Music: Rataxes – Holding Hands – Creative Commons 3.0

Content © Univision Communications Inc

Sketch and Toon: Hand Drawn Sketch for D3

I was asked again to present at the D3 Expo in Miami on anything related to 3D or Cinema 4D. Since I rarely get to use Sketch and Toon in my day job, I decided to focus on it for this and get some practice in with it.

I centered my presentation around the idea of leveraging computers and software to create more natural looking art. It was sort of an exploration into the contrast between digital vs analog art, how computers are very technical and precise and can easily create lots of copies, and how actual, tangible art like paintings or drawings are unique and have a personal touch that computers can’t replicate without some practice and skill on our part. So for this example I took the D3 Logo as a vector file from Illustrator, and I took it into Cinema 4D and designed it to look more like it was drawn by hand.

In Sketch and Toon your base look is just a plain black tracing of your splines, but by modifying the material you can make it look like you are drawing with any sort of marker, crayon, pencil, pen etc. I decided to make it sort of a very rough and messy sketch, with multiple layers of strokes. One layer was like a rough sketch in pencil, followed by a darker, more precise stroke over it. Then I filled in everything via some shading using the Hatch shader, animating it in After effects a a paint later being written on.

The animation is dynamic from frame to frame. The key is to add lots of variation throughout the settings, so changing things like the scatter of the cross hatching, animating noise settings, vibrate tags, Displacer deformers, things like that. By changing the overall look of the image slightly each frame, you are lending to the idea that each frame is a unique still, with an artist drawing them differently every frame. Also using a lower frame rate is a good idea, it makes the animation a little less smooth, almost like a flipbook.

Low Poly Golf

Here’s a new low poly animation I designed in Cinema 4D just for kicks. I wanted to find another way to use the awesome plugin Unfolder from Code Vonc. I had previously done a low poly alphabet as an exercise, but I wanted to do something a little more substantial and developed.

Low poly modeling and animation seems to work best when you take something really complex and natural looking in shape and try to reduce it to the simplest of geometric forms. Landscapes are a good example of this, they provided a myriad of natural curves and organic detail, that can be visually appealing when you successfully reduce this down to simple polygons while retaining the form it represents. I bounced around different ideas and settled on a golf course. It offered the chance to fold up rolling hills, mountains, lakes, sand traps, different grass variations, etc.

I stared out drawing the course from an overhead view. I used the Polygon Pen tool because I could draw an oddly shaped hole and start filling in the detail. Once I settled on the shape I started carving it up with the Knife tool, then isolating certain polygon sections for the lake, bunkers, etc. so I could apply different materials to them easily. I worked on the camera animation to focus only on the area I modeled, just so I wouldn’t need to add in extraneous detail way off in the distance.

I grabbed some mocap data from the Carnegie Mellon mocap database and fit it to a simple low poly golfer I made form a base mesh. That provided the swing animation, then I had to apply many different instances to the Unfolder plugin animating the polygons folding o the screen, syncing it so they reveal at interesting parts during the camera move. I focused on the materials, lighitng and rendering last, ending up with a sort of early morning sunny scene with bright, vivid color on the course.

All in all it’s kind of cool, I could always add more detail (flowers, birds, golf carts, other golfers) but I think it works OK like this.

Video Training Series for X-Particles

I just wrapped up working with cmiVFX to publish a training series on the powerful particle plugin for Cinema 4D, X-Particles. It’s a 10 part and roughly 4 hour long series of tutorials that can get you familiar with the plugin that is definitely growing as a fan favorite among Cinema 4D users, and opening doors for you to create awesome particle effects in Cinema 4D.

digital network2

I have been using X-Particles for awhile now and I love how much more functionality you gain inside Cinema 4D by using it instead of the regular particle system, and I find it at least thousand times easier to use than the clunky, XPresso-based Thinking Particles. I find X-Particles feels almost like an extension of MoGraph, basically instead of Cloners you have Emitters and instead of Effectors you have Modifiers. You’ll notice how fast and stable it is right away, it previews and renders very quickly, allowing you to visually see you particle simulation change on the spot.

In these lessons I hit as many topics as I can on X-Particles as I can in about 4 hours. If you have never used the plugin I’m pretty confident after watching my training you will have a good grasp of how to use X-Particles and what you could potentially create with it. I start out going over most of the terms and tools at the base level of X-Particles, and the last few chapters get into some more advanced setups and projects. The goal as always is to give you enough information for you to be inspired to create designs on your own with the help of this new tool.


Included with the training is a bundle of projects that you can use to follow along and breakdown how you can build these X-Particles designs. I tried to develop some projects that give a good example of how you can combine many of the different tools available to you inside the plugin, with the final result being something that would be far more difficult to create in Cinema 4D without the help of X-Particles.


A demo of X-Particles can be found here. You should be able to follow along with the lessons just fine if you want to learn it before you commit to buying it. I feel like it’s a worthy investment for the price. The plugin is being developed further (Thinking Particles? Not so much) and it will only get more useful with better integration with Cinema 4D as we go forward.

So please head on over to cmiVFX and check out my training series if you are interested in learning some X-Particles.

My NAB 2013 Presentation

So Maxon posted videos of all the presentations from NAB 2013. Mine was about how XPresso can help optimize your workflow in Cinema 4D. I demonstrate how you can create control panels with User Data to streamline all your relevant project settings into one spot. Here’s the project files that went along with it.

I had a blast at NAB and a great time with the Maxon crew. It was inspiring and an honor to be in the company of so many creative C4D users from around the world.

Check out the video and if you have any questions please contact me.

Cinema 4D Twitter Feed Made with XPresso

I keep seeing all sorts of TV shows post tweets during broadcasts, you can’t escape it. I keep seeing people post the same generic Twitter layout for displaying tweets, it’s probably just a basically template in Photoshop that is updated daily by interns. There is usually no movement or anything animated, just a boring, static graphic.

I started to build a 3D Tweet as a way to display a tweet inside Cinema 4D, and before long I built an entire Twitter feed and web browser.I looked at a Twitter feed and translated it into a MoGraph object, it’s basically just a linear cloner that iterates tweets. So I rigged a ton of XPresso to give the user compete control over everything you’d want to customize in the feed. You can customize the browser window, trending topics, your summarized Twitter profile, and obviously the individual tweets. You can enter in the text you want and all the secondary information to make the tweet appear exactly how you’d see it on Twitter (well, like 99% accurate, this is 3D animation not web design).

Here’s a video I posted showing how you control it, the file is available here for free. I decided against making it a pay file and just as donationware, so enjoy.

C4D Twitter Donation

Other Amount:

C4D Games: Duck Shoot

So this has been done for awhile, but I completely forgot to post it. Like 5 months. Oops. I obviously run a tight ship here on my site.

This installment of C4D Games is recreating a carnival style game of Duck Shoot. You take aim at moving duck targets, some are big and some are small. You can specify point values for the different sized ducks, and the game automatically tallies the score for you. You can shoot one bullet before having to reload (musket style weapons) just so it’s more challenging. Check out the sample video to see how this is coded with XPresso, and how all the MoGraph an Dyanmics settings are configured to get this game working.

Click here to download the game and check it out.

C4D Games: Mini Golf Windmill

Mini golf is a nice alternative to real golf, which I happen to be pretty bad at yet still keep playing after all these years. In this edition of C4D Games we tackle perhaps the most treacherous test of concentration in all of sports: the windmill hole in mini golf. The objective here is to putt your golf ball through those dangerous windmill blades and get you ball to come out the other side and into the hole.

We’ve got a variety of elements in the works here. MoGraph is used to create and power the windmill as well as for the unique setup of getting our putter to swing back and through our golf ball. Lots of dynamics are in play here too, as the hole course needs to be one big obstacle for our ball. The ball’s dynamic properties are activated on collision with the putter, and it rolls along the hills and dips of the terrain.

XPresso links up our properties so that we have control over our aim and power of our putt and the configuration of the windmill. This was a fun little project to make and it lends itself to being rework and configured to other holes.

Download the file here and try and sink this putt.

Welcome to C4D Games: Ring Toss

Welcome to the inaugural voyage of C4D Games. The idea behind C4D Games is to design projects in Cinema 4D using the components of the program to create small little interactive games animators can play, while demonstrating some fun uses of Dynamics, XPresso, and MoGraph. My goal is to build a little library of projects that you can download and examine how they work inside Cinema 4D. Learning is way more fun if there are games involved, so I’m going to do my best to come up with new games as often as I can.

Up first, we have a classic game of ring toss. These games can be very hard or even totally rigged in carnivals, (you could also do this in Cinema 4D with one setting on you Dynamics tag) but I won at it last year at a beer festival. I won an ugly T-Shirt that is too small for me from a company that makes a rather bad tasting beer in Asia. There’s no prize in this game I made, but the key to good competition is keeping score. This ring toss game is configured in XPresso so it can count your score based on you being able to toss the rings on to specific bottles. You can alter and arrange different colored bottles to result in different scoring in the game. The XPresso looks complicated but it’s just the same steps repeated several times for multiple rings and bottles.

Check out the video and download the file to play some ring toss.

Download C4D Games Ring Toss

2012 Reel Intro Design

I figured out awhile back that making something cool that introduces your reel is a free and easy way to create something completely unique on your own, without any clients being involved. You have the first and the final say in however it looks. It’s important to have something cool at the start of the reel to set the tone for the rest of your work; you want anybody checking out your stuff to have a positive first impression of what you are capable of designing.

So clearly the only correct answer in this situation is to create some sort of cylindrical, rejected, mechanical prop from Tron 2 and place a flat screen TV inside it with some glitchy video.

I started out just trying to create some sort of video revealer, and I watched and loved a lot of graphics on NFL Network this year so I think this sort of procedural-building-mechanical animation style was on my mind. If only all my work could look like Big Machine’s instead…

I made the basic a shape and cranked up the details, making some sort of sliding space tube. I imagined the TV inside presenting my reel, so I attached it to the inside with these robot claws and pieced the whole thing together. I experimented with different materials, and toyed with a sort of all white, clean room kind of look, but I love the super reflective black look, it probably makes people think I’m super-dangerous and slick. Maybe.

It was a heavy render out of Cinema 4D, I applied Ambient Occlusion to get some shadow detail inside the crevices. I used an External Compositing tag to replace the edit I did to introduce my reel with the footage inside the screen. It’s a more interesting way to introduce myself and tease the contents of my reel.

Finally, I updated my reel with some new stuff and final;ly scrubbed it of all those nasty car commercials. BIg day for me. I also added some new music from the Vimeo Music store, it’s a track by Human Factor called “Step on Back.” Well worth a $1.99, I love this track.