In this tutorial I’m going to go over one little bit of Xpresso that does some big things! That bit of Xpresso I’m talking about is Set Driver/Set. LEARN ADVANCED XPRESSO Build & Setup A Pyramid Puzzle in Cinema 4D In this Learn Advanced Xpresso tutorial series, Ilir Beqiri will try to teach you how. Speed up your CINEMA 4D workflow by using the XPresso module of CINEMA 4D and create your own CINEMA 4D Plugins.

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How to Control Keyframed Animation with XPresso

I found a nice model on Turbosquid in. It imported into Cinema 4D nicely, and even had the drivers and wheels pre-animated. But there was a problem: Therefore, I needed a way to control the animation with XPresso.

Unfortunately, Cinema 4D does not have this functionality built in. In addition to steam locomotives, this technique will come in handy for any complex animation that might you want to control with XPresso. So download the example file above.


Our sample file is an elongated sphere flying randomly through some randomly spinning rings. Utterly useless, but kind of artistic in a modern-pointless-expressionism sort of way. Also, download and install Object Trails 1.

The plugin is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll explain it anyway. The sampled area is from frameand the sample rate is how many frames go by before a new position point is sampled. This, of course, will determine how many points the resulting spline will have.


It is very important that you follow the following steps in order for each object, because Object Trails won’t work with expression-based animation. Then, choose an arbitrary positive number and type it into the Z position field, as shown below. I arbitrarily chose It’s probably a good idea to choose a number small enough that the null is still visible in the editor window, but whatever floats your boat is fine with me.

How to Control Keyframed Animation with XPresso : Maxon Cinema 4D Tutorial

Accept the default settings. Then select the tag and drag Torus. Now your Object Manager should look like the figure below. I just copy and paste so that my tags are named Torus. Yes, they’re a mouthful, but it will help keep things organized later on in the XPresso editor.

Select the Target Expression and drag Torus. So help me, I’m superstitious. This makes a really nice separator. You should end up with something like the Figure below. Name it Control Expression.

Add an XPresso Expression Tag to this null. The XPresso editor will open automatically. Now they will all be nice and organized. All this organizing isn’t all that important to our project, but when you have thirty pistons and c4x of them isn’t animating properly, you’ll wish you’d been OCD about this like I am.

Just remember, Aristotle says virtue is learned by habit, and most people agree that he was a pretty smart guy. Sadly, you can’t do this en masse, at least in version 8. Go to the Attributes Manager and find the User Data menu. Your new user data slider will appear in the User Data tab of the Attributes Manager.


04. How to use the powerful Condition node in Xpresso

Click on the red box next to the title bar. Now connect the red out port to all of the blue in ports on the Align to Spline Tag nodes as shown below. The effect should be exactly like dragging the time slider back and forth. You’ve successfully converted a keyframed animation to an XPresso-controlled animation! Download the finished scene to compare, if you like. I animated the XPresso slider so that the animation plays back normally.

You can experiment with funky things like attaching a Time Node to a Sin Math Node to the slider, or making the animation loop and accelerating it over time.

Please visit our forums and view other articles at Creativecow. In this article, John demonstrates the use xpesso XPresso to control playback of keyframed animation in Cinema 4D.

This functionality is not built into the program, and the Time track in the timeline is inadequate for many situations. John looked for a solution and found a surprisingly straightforward method. Download files here before you begin.