NAB Rundown

I’m presenting for Maxon at NAB today in Las Vegas. I’ll be demonstrating how to use XPresso to enhance you Cinema 4D Projects. This post contains everything you need to follow along with my presentation on C4D Live:

I’m on Twitter @bigmikedesign

Here are the sample projects to follow along during my presentation.

Here is my reel.

Here is a link to the C4D Games Projects if you wish to check them out and download them all.

Here is link to my donationwareCinema 4D Twitter project with a sample video showing you all the controls in action.

Thanks, if you wish to contact me after the presentation with comments/questions you can email me at mike@bigmikedesign.com

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.

C4D Games: Marble Maze

In this quick game we have a maze toy, where you have have to tilt the game around and get the marble to roll through the maze and into the center to win. With a little XPresso we are able to configure an accurate stopwatch that tracks our time and shuts off instantly when we reach the center with our marble. You can tilt the game a lot or a just little bit to get the marble rolling, then set your keyframes to record the movement. The marble moves with Dynamics, the keyframes only trigger the movement of the maze, thus causing the ball to move acordingly. The objective here is to get the marble into the center as fast as possible. Watch the demonstration video, download the file, and give it a try.

Download C4D Games: Marble Maze

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

3D USA Election Map with XPresso

It’s been forever since I made something new for sale on 3DOcean or Videohive. If I wasn’t working on that pesky book all year I would have come out with a few items for some good old residual income. Once I finished writing I got creative again and made this file that should prove useful during the upcoming election year.

I tried to avoid watching political shows because I can’t stand watching people complain about public officials and act like they have all the right answers. But I’ve often seen graphics where they are highlighting what’s happening around the country, sometimes in a particular state, with a 3D map of the USA. This file I created in Cinema 4D can help create a similar look used on network TV. Check out the video to see what it can do and how it works.

I made an XPresso control panel with User Data that can offset individual states from the map, in case you want to highlight what’s going on in a certain state. You have control over all the properties you’d want, like the extrusion depth, how far the state is offset, the speed in which it slides out, etc. Each state has a super-easy slider programmed to do all the work for you with just a couple keyframes.

I also created a section in the control panel that creates as sort of random pattern in which the states offset back and forth. You have control over the speed too so it can go faster or slower. I’ve seen political themed backgrounds with this kind of design, so with a simple check box activation you can create it too.

The file is for sale here if you care to donate to my campaign. $12 for about a week’s worth of XPresso design and coding? Now that is a smart allocation of funding right there.

3D Presentation Slideshow and Weigh In

I had to update my banner to reflect my actual, accurate weight. When I updated the site over the summer and added the tagline with my height and weight to the banner I listed myself at 160 pounds, which was generous, I was a bit less than that. Yeah, I lied to you. But all of last year I focused myself in the gym for the first time in my life while eating a lot of helpful food to get stronger.

I gained 30-35 pounds in less than a year. Good pounds too, they came with equipped with muscles and everything. So I changed my banner to reflect my new weight, I wish there was a PHP plugin to sync up with my body and do it automatically, but that would be hard to program.

I’m not sure at what weight it stops being ironic that my nickname is “BIG MIKE” but people were calling me that when I was 4 foot nothing so it will stick no matter what happens.

Besides eating and lifting heavy things, I also designed a new file for purchase on videohive.

It’s an Xpresso powered slideshow created in Cinema 4D and After Effects. It allows you to display photos, videos, 3D objects, etc. in actual 3D space within Cinema 4D. I coded the controls to be powered via Xpresso and a User Data control panel. There is minimal keyframing needed to create a great looking 3D presentation slideshow that will blow the pants off anything that can be exported from Microsoft Powerpoint.

I made a video that shows a little how it works in case people want to see behind the scenes before they buy it. I also provided an instruction guide and encourage any emails from users if they get stuck.

I have a bunch of different file ideas I want to execute, I just need more time in the day to be able to work on them.

New Tutorial: Automated Bar Graphs with Xpresso

I produced a new tutorial for CGTuts that can be seen here. This tutorial demonstrates how to use Mograph and Xpresso in Cinema 4D to create a sort of mini-application that can be used to design and animate your own bar graphs. The Xpresso is the key, because it gives us the ability to enter and keyframe data from a control panel, and it updates automatically in our scene.

I felt deflated when I found that Andrew Kramer produced something very similar about 2 weeks ago on his site using After Effects. It’s a totally different way to make bar graphs, but it looks like I jacked the idea from him. I had developed this over a month ago, it just took awhile to produce and get it posted. I didn’t even check his site for it until someone mentioned the relation to mine. They are very different tutorials for different programs that happen to produce something similar. The timing just makes me look sketchy, oh well.

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