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Cinema 4D Tutorial – Animation Smears in 3D

everybody it’s EJ from I design calm and today I’m going to show you how you can create animation smears in smear your 3d objects entirely inside of cinema 4d let’s check it out [Applause] [Music] alright so here’s my little animated character if you’re a fan of Chrono Trigger you know who this is love that game but I rigged this guy up and animated am using my brand-new bendy limbs rigged for cinema 4d I’m gonna leave a link in the description if you want to check that out it’s so much easier to rig up rubber-hose style characters with separated limbs like we have here it’s just so easy I’ve rigged this guy up in like a minute and a half or something like that but anyways basically what I want to do is add an animation smear frame and basically what animation smear frames are just animation smears in general is a 2d animation technique to depict motion blur okay and here’s a few examples of that and the funny part is is that with character animation early animation in general sometimes it only takes a single frame say like a smear frame to make the biggest difference of like a good animation and great animation so that’s exactly what we’re gonna be doing here is we’re gonna add a smear frame right as this sword kind of slams down so just a single frame like right here frame 13 I’m gonna smear this sword and we’re gonna have that really nice sense of motion blur really cartoony kind of look and I especially love this because of spider-verse and I just think that that mesh of 2d and 3d animation techniques coming together I just love that stuff so it’s very very easy to be able to add animation smearing to an object so want to add the smear to this sword and what I’m gonna use to create the animation spear is something called a camera two former and you can find it near – for more menu here and I’m sure you’ve probably never paid any attention to the camera – former at all I sure as heck didn’t know what the hell this was or even give it any mind but we’re gonna give some love to this long-neglected deformer today and just like any other kind of de forma we need to make sure it’s a child of whatever object we want to to form so it’s going to be this sword object here just the sword blade that we’re gonna smear up and if I select my camera to former here we have this grid and if I go into point mode you can see we have all these points and with that camera to former a child of that sword I scan select a point and check that out I’m actually deforming this sword by moving these grid points around it’s exactly like the bezzie a warp in After Effects where you can click Bezier handles and really warp your image but here we’re doing it completely instant of authority as this like overlay layer now we are looking at this in a 2d overlay kind of system here you can see if I deform this but then I move my camera angle it kind of changes everything so you want to make sure that you’re in a locked camera angle so what you can do is you could just have a camera in your scene that you’re not even looking into but it’s just a fixed camera view and you can just set that as that view that you always want to smear from okay so what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna reset that that whole setup that I had there so I’m just gonna hit reset to bring that point back and it looks like I need to actually look through my camera to see those busy eight points and what we can do is just start deforming this okay so we could just go in there and like point by point move this but that’s very laborious I’m gonna go ahead and undo that so what I’m gonna do is again just deselect so I’m not selecting one single point then I can affect all these points I’m gonna use the brush tool you can get the brush tool by hitting M and you’ll see the little shortcut key for the brush tool is C and basically what you can do now is go ahead and go to the smear mode and we’re gonna have some fun here you can adjust your radius to whatever you want I’m gonna get this a little bit lower maybe about eight and then just start going to town get your Bob Ross smear paint brush stuff down and just give this a really nice smear just pushing and smearing all these points and the one important thing about this whole effect is you need to make sure that it’s just like with any other kind of deform or say like a displaced for me you need to make sure your object you are deforming has enough subdivisions okay so I have a lot I have a pretty dense mesh going on in my sword blade here so very very important another thing is you can see that even though I have a highly subdivided sword blade you can Steve this is still looking pretty chunky this whole sword bit here and that chunkiness is actually coming directly from our grid we don’t have enough subdivisions in that grid so we can do one of two things to smooth this out he actually can do both things one is to just up the grid segments here so we’re just subdividing that a little bit more another thing we can do is just smooth everything out using the brush tool so I’m gonna go back to M and C to get the brush tool back and go to smooth okay and this is gonna just smooth everything out all nice and neat maybe this is a little bit too many subdivisions here we can lose a little bit of that and just smooth this out because it’s kind of slowing down my slowing down my system here and just kind of smooth all that out you can go back to our brush tool by hitting MC and just go and smear again and get this really nice arc okay so we want this arc to kind of follow the arc of the animation there if you just saw something like this so I think that’s looking good if you if you imagine that arcing line it’s gonna be like this you want to follow that arc so this is pretty believable here and all movements in nature are arc so you definitely want to get that sense of an arc happening here so you can see how I smeared this edge to be a nice arc that really adds a lot and you know we can just go and smooth this out a little bit here as well okay so right now we have this smear frame but if I go ahead and just move this around you can see that this is always being smeared here so what I’m gonna do is go to my camera this is an important if you if you want more than just one smear frame okay if you want multiple smear frames what you can do is go ahead go into point level animation mode here you can see in the bottom left this little dots that’s turning on or off the point level animation to record these point positions and what I’m gonna do is just set and record a keyframe on this frame that I want that animation smear and then on frame twelve I’m just gonna go ahead and reset that and set a new keyframe so that’s not going to have any deformation at all and frame thirteen I’m gonna have that point deformation I can start painting and making another smear frame or I can just hit reset and set another keyframe now another way I could do this is to just go ahead and just keyframe off the enabled okay so I can go ahead and you know click that dot there to set a keyframe for enable and then just disable it but I’m just gonna do it this way and let’s just click off our camera deform er and you can see we have this really nice smear you can see how much that adds to it so check out this animation we just have one frame of smear and that’s just so much better it just adds that nice cartoony motion blur let’s turn this off and kind of compare and contrast so here it is without and here it is with just so so cool and I can really go in there and fine-tune that smear if I wanted to okay but the important thing is that you do this smear with a camera angle that you know you’re gonna stay at because if I move this around if I move the camera view around its gonna totally distort everything because again I’m just gonna shift command Z to undo that camera move it’s a flat overlay of this deformation on this camera to former here okay so very important thing to keep in mind to always make sure that you know exactly what the camera view is gonna be when you add this smear okay so I can really get pretty nuts with this smear if I want to I could even go and say you know what let’s bring this in the same level of hierarchy as all these sword pieces and maybe even get some smear on this hilt I don’t even know if I like that really so let’s let’s just isolate to the sword okay and not distort all that other stuff there and there you go I mean it’s seriously it’s literally this easy to add some really nice animation smear and again hopefully this opens your eyes to just how a single frame of animation smear can make all the difference in injecting that much more interest in character to your animation so have fun with this give some love to the camera deformer and hopefully I see a lot more animation smears in 3d again like spider-verse I feel like inspired me to look into this a lot more just watching all those breakdowns and stuff like that but have fun with this can’t wait to see some 3d animation smears all over the interwebs alright so hopefully that opens your eyes to the idea of how a single smear frame can make a total change in your overall animation just how a single frame in general can make the difference between a good and great animation so if you have any questions about using the camera to former or anything else I cover in this tutorial leave the questions in the comment section below and be sure to check out the eye design store and check out the bendy limbs rig got a couple tutorials up there gonna be adding more and more about how you can use the Bene limbs rig to easily rig up a character like the little frog guy that I showed in this one so if you make any animations with this animation smear technique in 3d I want to check it out be sure to tag me on instagram in the stories i’ll share them on my instagram stories share with me on twitter and facebook love seeing all of the animation smears out there that i hope i hope that i will all start seeing but if you liked this tutorial please hit the like button you feel like what i’m doing here please subscribe I’d really appreciate that as always thank you guys so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one


  1. Logan Pinney Author

    The man who does not stop giving!!! Frigging loving bendy limbs! Trying to get my beaver to tail flap. Im having 1 issue…sometimes when i make the deformers my tubes go all out of whack. Am i missing a step or building my toon wrong? Thank you so much for all your passion and work and of course for sharing 🙌😊

  2. natevplas Author

    Thanks, great use of the Camera Deformer! If you're worried about messing up your work by accidentally changing your camera angle, just create a camera only for the deformer which is at the correct angle and pipe that into the Camera selection in the deformer. Then put a protection tag on that camera and use a separate camera for rendering.

  3. Colors Kids Games Author

    Excelente video, una consulta como lo hiciste los movimientos por favor puedes haces las maneras de hacer una animación.

  4. Arthur Reis Author

    another solution would be to clone the object, then add a step effector with time offset. more accurate but less controllable 😉

  5. Fremox Matthieu Fremeaux Author

    Really nice tut as usual, thanks for sharing !
    The benefits of your approach is that you can entirely art-direct the smearing effect so that's pretty cool !
    For people who would prefer a fully procedural way to create that "cartoony smearing effect", I strongly advise you to take a look at this neat plugin :

  6. Erwin Sommers Author

    Awesome models you make! Really love it. Do you make the model in Zbrush and then in c4d or do you make a model like that frog in c4d?


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