Animtools for C4D Manual
Animtools for C4D is a plugin for Cinema4d. It was created to make an animator’s daily work easier and faster.
The plugins includes tools for breakdowns, retiming, retargeting and copying animations as well as many small bits and bobs like linking with the KEYFRAME MP – Player that make working with C4D easier and faster.
Most notably, the tool has been used in the production of the LEGO News Show International. It is used by many animators working in advertising as well as TV.
Animtools provides a way to link the object selection with the F-Curve Editor. It extends Cinema4d’s builtin linking by enabling you to zoom into your curves without changing the preview range as well as isolating curves.
Link you F-Curves with the object by selecting “Curve Editor”
You can also use this in Dopesheet Mode by selecting “Dopesheet”
Disable the feature by selecting “Off”
By default, the tool will frame your F-Curves perfectly. If you want to only see your Preview Range, select “Link with Preview Range”
When you are zooming, in your F-Curves, the Preview Range can be adjusted to subframe values. Disable this behaivour by enabling “Snap to Full Frames”
The Keyframing section is all about setting keys. It includes ways to create inbetweens and holds as well as quick tools to change the timing of keyframes.
The breakdown slider creates breakdowns between two keyframes of the selected objects. There are two ways to use the slider: Drag the slider to choose the amount of favouring one of the keys. You can see a visual preview of the key that will be created.
Alt-Click the slider to create the new key in Cinema4D’s “Breakdown Mode”.
Also, you can use the AnimToolsBDDrag Plugin which gets installed with animTools to use the slider. This tool will let you create the breakdown by clicking and dragging in the viewport. If you map a shortcut to this command, it might easily be the fastest way to set breakdown keys ever.
By default, the breakdowner will set a key on all channels. You can mask which curves get a breakdown bei either unchecking them or by selecting “Selected Curve Only”. This will only set a breakdown on curves that have at least one keyframe selected in the F-Curve Editor.
The interactive preview will always show a breakdown on all transformation channels, no matter which channels are masked.
Below the slider, you can find shortcut buttons for specific values. These can also be Alt-Clicked to create a key in C4D’s “Breakdown mode”.
The Hold Buttons are a quick way to create holds. You can either hold the previous keyframe, the next keyframe or adjust the previous and next keyframe to create a hold.
Creating a hold by using “Hold Prev” or “Hold Next” will create a key at the current time.
“Hold Time” will adjust the previous and the next keyframe to the current time’s transformations.
“Hold Average” will adjust the previous and the next keyframe to the value exactly in the middle between both of them.
The “Timing” buttons will move the key at the current time either 1 or 4 frames forward or backward.
“Jump Time” will move the playhead in specific intervals. This is great if you don’t want to count frames but need a timing.
AnimTools can create a few small helper object.
Click “Show Motion Path” to create a worldspace motionpath of the selected object. Motionpaths will calculate over the whole timeline. If your scene is slo, their creation might take some time. If you want to update the path, click the button again to create an updated version.
All motionpaths created by animTools will be stored in your scene as children of a null called “AT_MotionPaths”. They are created as simple spline objects and can be used as such. You can for example attach a align to spline tag to them. The paths will be saved with your scene without adding custom nodes or code an can also be opened if the user does not have the plugin installed.
Click “Make World Loc” to create a new null for all selected objects. The null will have the world space positoin of the objects at the current time. All worldspace locators created this way will live under a null called “AT_WorldLocs”. They are null objects named the same as the object that they were created from with the frame number that they were created at appended.
“Breakdown Drag” is a shortcut to AnimToolsBDrag
Transformation and Muteing
Settings collects all of Animtools settings. Most of them are self explanatory.
Keyframe Player Linking
Animtools provide a way to link the c4d timeline to Chris Zurbriggs Reference Player Keyframe MP and Keyframe Pro. You can find them at http:zurbrigg.com/keyframe-pro. There is a free test version.
To link the player, make sure you set KFP to Port 17171. You can do this in Keyframe by going to Edit -> Preferences -> Network and typing in 17171.
After doing this you link the programs by checking “Enable KFP Link”. You can choose to play audio from KFP by checking “Play Audio on KFP”. If you want to adjust the frame offset between the timelines, type in any positive or negative number in “KFP Frame Offset”.