Today marks 2 weeks straight of learning Cinema 4D from scratch. To celebrate, I decided to try to model a scene with a key character in my "Shamanism: Spirituality's True Roots" documentary; the Amanita muscaria mushroom. The more script research I do, the more obvious it becomes that the Amanita played a KEY role in the development s of spiritual belief across several cultures, including Christianity.
Today was a crash course in several C4D techniques, though:
01. SNOW: I tried everything, from using a simple emitter to building one in Xpresso, to painstakingly modeling several 3D snowflake shapes and applying snowflake images onto them. What finally worked best was a PStorm Emitter in Xpresso, using the Ground Plane as a Deflector with zero bounce. That allowed snow to accumulate on the Ground. I also learned about NEGATIVE time in C4D, which allowed the Emitter to run for 30 seconds or so before the Zero Point in the scene.
One key point when using PStorm: If you've got an already small object (like a snowflake), the default size for Particles inside of PStorm is set to 10% instead of 100%. So, my snowflakes, which were already on a polygon that was 2x2x1, it made that polygon almost invisible. It drove me absolutely batty for a while.
02. GROUND: My scene still doesn't look to realistic, but I discovered the "Displacement Shader" in my material. In this powerful section, with just a few clicks I was able to roughen up my ground surface, making it look FAR more natural and real. But then, he ground material I used was stretched across the entire surface looking very unrealistic. That's when I discovered the "Tile" checkbox as well as "Cubic" Projection below...
03. TILING MATERIALS: After finding a tutorial on how to create a burlap sack on Maxon's Cineversity, I discovered how to make my ground plane look even a little more believable. By clicking on the Material Tag, the Attributes Window appears, and in that, were several key details: I changed the "Projection" to "Cubic", and checked the "Tile" and a "Seamless" checkboxes. Instant believable ground!
04. DEPTH OF FIELD: Even though I enabled the Depth of Field on the Camera, nothing was happening. After scouring the web, I found out that "Depth of Field" still needs to be enabled as an "Effect" in the "Render Settings" section. Whew.
05. WHAT I LEARNED: I've decided that I will post the things that drove me the most crazy, or the key techniques I had to learn in order to make a scene happen along with these posts. I'm also taking detailed notes so that after my 100 days in a row of posts, I will then do a 100 days in a row of tutorials on these posts on BlackBoxTuts.com or here to help others along their motion graphics path.
So, back to the story of the scene...many have tried to discard or ignore this bit of history: Siberia is the place where the word "Shaman" is originally comes from. Siberia is also where there are still cults based on the Amanita muscaria mushroom. In fact, it seems that Reindeer seek out Amanita by digging in the snow. They know exactly when they're most likely to find them, and they have also been known to travel long distances to find them. In addition, when a Shaman searches for Amanitas, he often wore a special red outfit with white edges and a black belt. Furthermore, part of the effects of Amanita muscaria reportedly are that of flight and flying, so there are stories of flying reindeer in Siberia, strapped to the sled of the Shaman and his Amanita-gathering red outfit, as he uses the reindeer to help him hunt for Amanitas buried in the snow.
It sounds like a story I've heard somewhere before...but there's more: Oddly enough, the Amanita muscaria mushroom has a symbiotic relationship with pine trees, and in fact, require them to grow. It's been documented that once the Siberian Shaman dug the Amanitas out from underneath the snow, the mushrooms were hung on the pine tree to dry in the sun. Seems like a very logical place to me.
Anyway, the list goes on and on and on. I've got lots of links to the research on cleversley.com, as well as an article that tells the story in vivid detail in just a few pages.
See you in 24.