We are going to talk about different animation plugins for Cinema 4D that can be used for different purposes in animation projects, like animating characters, vehicles, and elements of the environment. Also, some of these plugins can be used for motion graphics which is one of the main things that Cinema 4D is good at. And we are going to start the count down with:
13_Motion Stretch Deformer
Motion Stretch is a Cinema 4D plugin that pulls any object’s points forwards and backward in time along with their animation.
This plugin can be used to create stretching effects for both animated objects and characters.
You can stretch the whole thing or just select parts of the animated object or character to get more control over how the overall result looks like.
It’s a great tool for creating motion trails, cartoon-style motion blur, or just adding a little extra weight to just about any polygon animation.
Gelatine gives an elastic effect to animated objects.
This is a jiggle plugin that is similar to the Jiggle deformer in Cinema 4D, but it is faster, efficient and it comes with more features like having a more flabby effect and the ability to work with an asset that is composed of multiple objects.
Gelatine Deformer gives animation artists the ability to create more unrealistic or cartoonish animations easily in a short period of time.
You can control how the jiggle effect takes place if you have a complex asset that has multiple objects and you want some parts to stay Rigid which is necessary in a lot of cases.
Xfrog is a procedural organic plugin that allows you to create and animate 3D trees, flowers, and so on based on special effects or architectural forms. Xfrog enables even beginner users of Cinema 4D to have the power to create and animate organic models.
Since its release in 2005, Xfrog quickly became one of the most popular plugins for Cinema 4D.
Paid/$94.05 : https://www.toolfarm.com/buy/xfrog/
10_Scroll Roll Deformer
This plugin can be used to roll up objects or surfaces like a paper scroll or carpet.
Scroll Roll Deformer lets you define the interior radius and a sheet thickness of the roll, and both values can optionally be modified over the width of the deformer to create custom bulges.
Actually, the practical applications of this plugin are not limited to rolling up scrolls or carpets because there are a lot of parameters you can control to achieve different results if there is a need to create an effect similar to rolling papers or carpets.
9_People in Motion
People in Motion is a plugin for Cinema 4D that was designed specifically as a tool for building character animations for 3D visualizations. You can simply choose between preset motions and attach them to characters. Sitting, standing, and walking motions are included and are an easy way to populate 3D Vis scenes with some life.
The plugin includes a Walk Designer, that lets you create or modify your own walk cycles so that the characters that populate your scenes look varied. The system even allows for simple crowd control. Have characters use staircases, elevators, escalators and create wall-objects and splines to control the walking paths of the characters.
The Unfolder plugin generates unfolding effects on any type of polygon-based geometry.
You can create amazing motion effects using this tool which is simple in its concept but it has a lot of parameters and settings that you can use to control how the generated motion of the unfolding looks.
This plugin can be used to create motion graphics and animations as well, especially if you can think out of the box to create complex effects.
Paid/€ 24 , 99 : https://code.vonc.fr/?a=59
GorillaCam can be used to take an existing camera in Cinema 4D and make it feel like it is held by a human being as opposed to what Cinema 4D has which is an unnatural robotic camera movement.
Animated cameras often look “CG” and robotic. because they lack that subtle human imperfection and correcting this with built-in tools can be tedious and time-consuming.
GorillaCam can smooth out a boring linear camera move, add subtle (or not-so-subtle) shake, automatically overshoot targets, and even rack focus with subtle imperfection.
Generally speaking, this plugin is good for anyone that wants to create more engaging shots in Cinema 4D but doesn’t want to hassle with complicated camera rigs.
Paid/$99.00 : https://greyscalegorilla.com/downloads/gorillacam/
Signal allows Cinema 4D artists to instantly create complex animations with intricate loops, realistic noise, and additive effects, without using keyframes.
This plugin primarily suits motion graphics artists that want to create animations or motion graphics based on the beats of the music which is something that will create a more immersive experience for the person watching a commercial or something like that because the audio and the visuals will be in synchronized.
Signal has a drag and drop procedural workflow which makes complex animations easy and fun to test and play around with. Just drag any parameter onto the Signal tag and start animating.
Paid/$129.00 : https://greyscalegorilla.com/downloads/signal/
Drive is a plugin that can be used to create physically correct vehicle animations with ease. It offers also the ability to setup ready-to-drive vehicles quickly, and the drivability can be edited by a variety of settings.
Creating rigs for cars and animating them is not a big problem but it is not going to look realistic without dynamics. for example, with an oversteering racing car or an off-road vehicle on rough terrain –it becomes much more arduous or almost impossible to achieve convincing results with classic keyframe animation.
The objects and a framework of conditions are created by you and then the simulation creates the physically correct course of movements. The DRIVE! plug-in will set up a complete basic car quickly. Adjust the measurements of your 3D model and move the auto body and wheels into the appropriate container objects of the simulation.
Paid/ $ 227.75 : https://c4dplugin.com/product-dr
Transform is an animation plugin for Cinema 4D that simplifies complex motions by using under-the-hood procedural techniques instead of using keyframes.
Generally speaking, this plugin can be used for creating different animation and transformation effects.
You can make one object seamlessly transform into another. You can also mix and match techniques for original-looking motion designs.
With those tools, it can be way easier and less time-consuming to create some of the complex effects that motion graphics artists create in a long period of time compared to what this tool can do.
Paid/$199.00 : https://greyscalegorilla.com/downloads/transform/
NitroPose is a Cinema 4D plugin that provides a simple interface for creating a library of character poses and allows you to create poses easily. You can create, name, store, and recall poses instantly in Cinema 4D.
One of the best features of NitroPose is that you can selectively add, or recall or parts of the pose to a character in the viewport working almost like character sets in Maya would in a way.
Having the ability to restore character poses to use them multiple times can be a huge time saver also it makes the animation process much more fun and less tedious.
Paid/ 23.00€ : https://nitro4d.com/product/nitropose/
IkMax is a Cinema 4D plugin that can be used to rig a character in a very short period of time without having to deal with the complex technicality of rigging.
Pick the character model and then start adding joints or points on the body. This plugin makes it very easy to rig characters even for beginners because we don’t have to deal with the tedious manual placements of joints and of course after that, you can adjust the rig if needed. Also, you can generate the skin weights only to the joints you need real quick instead of selecting manually the joints that will affect the object.
This plugin comes with an Interface with all the stuff you need for a fast and fun experience like Auto-rig from guides, auto-skin, display options for rig and mesh, test rig, change to figure mode, and so on.
Mixamo is a 3D company based out of San Francisco. In 2015 Mixamo was acquired by Adobe and has since been integrated (in part) with the Creative Cloud.
Mixamo has over 3,000+ motion-tracked animations that can be used in 3D animation projects. This data can be easily applied to humanoid biped characters for quick animations.
To start using Mixamo you need first to Use Mixamo’s existing character library or build your character or model your own character in Cinema 4D.
After you model the character in Cinema 4D and upload it or use Mixamo preset characters, Mixamo applies an individual weight map to each body part. Your only requirement is to design your character as a humanoid biped and to allow for enough segments so that the limbs can bend and pose your character in a T-pose. Arms & fingers straight apart and spread out. Legs straight and unbent too.
Even though the Mixamo tools are great you still have to keyframe some of your animation work manually because this platform does not have all the possible animations you need But, Mixamo does have the power to save you a ton of time and give you quick data that can be manipulated in post. It is especially helpful for background characters or any character movement where custom-movement isn’t essential for storytelling. Depending on the project this workflow could save you dozens of hours.