Ring My Bell

May 6, 2014

Not long after being introduced to CINEMA 4D, student artist Matthias Ries created a short film that features a complex animated character on a unique emotional journey.


Initial curiosity quickly turned to full-blown enthusiasm and Matthias decided to develop a complete character and feature it in a short film for his semester project. Matthias put a lot of thought into designing his character. It went through various phases of evolution, ranging from an egg-shaped wombat-like character to the final design – a marionette with a jingle bell head. The final character design in fact was a reflection of Matthias’ self: overwhelmed by constant restlessness, in search of his own inner peace.


After putting his ideas to paper, Matthias started to model his character in CINEMA 4D, making sure it would be fully animatable. This included modeling the bell’s opening so that it could be transformed using the Morph Target function without compromising its shape. The character’s knees and coat had to be modeled correctly, e.g., so the legs looked correct when they were bent at the knee. Due to the coat’s bell-like shape, Matthias was not able to animated using a cloth simulation, which also would not have provided the desired degree of control during animation. So Matthias simply developed his own bines setup for more control.


Matthias also developed his own rig for the rest of the character. The fact that he only had about six months experience using CINEMA 4D is a tribute to Matthias’ skills as well as to CINEMA 4D’s easy learnability. Another important factor was the expertise of his trainer Arndt von Koenigsmarck. After completing Arndt’s course, Matthias was able to get fast and comprehensive support from the MAXON support team. Matthias says that he “… got to know CINEMA 4D as a software that can be easily learned whereas other applications virtually prevent beginners from learning how to use them!


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