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Riehl Easy; A Student's Interview By Ko Maruyama
Art Center College of Design has a 3D design class taught by DMN Forum moderator Rob Garrott.  Recently, Rob brought Chris Riehl to my attention.  I was looking for someone to interview who has had minimal exposure to MAXON CINEMA 4D, but has been able to produce some good looking images with the new module called HAIR.

Chris stopped by my studio and showed me some of the work that he has created during his semester with Rob - and I had the chance to ask him a few questions about learning the software, its ease of use, and what a student's learning curve might be - from a cold start.  Chris is really into the HAIR module, and proves that it's not just for putting on heads.  This is a tool for designers as well as hard core 3D users.

Ko: Hey Chris.

Chris: Hey.

K: Do you mind answering some questions for an article about "A Beginner's Q&A on MAXON HAIR?"

C: No, I'd love to do that.

K: Let's get on with this.  Name. Yeah.  So - define what you do.


CR: I am a student, studying motion graphics at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.  I've been attending ACCD for 5 semesters - terms.  I'm a junior.  I have been, however, studying graphic design and visual art in one form or another since I was a child.   I studied sculpture and fine art in high school as well.  I'm also working in broadcast design, creating graphics for television and internet programming.

K: How does MAXON CINEMA 4D fit into your graphic design and work - both in and out of school?

C: I use CINEMA 4D in my motion graphics classes in school obviously.  I am also using it for all f my personal 3D image creation and animations.   I started using CINEMA 4D for the first time this semester.  I decided to take Rob Garrott's class; it focused on the application.  So, in total - I've been using the software for 12 weeks.

What got me really interested in the application and ultimately made me decide to start using it was CINEMA 4D's easy integration with After Effects.

The way CINEMA 4D handles 3D camera export to After Effects is very user friendly; even for new users of both applications.  The workflow is really easy to grasp quickly, and allows you to begin to create your 3D art right away.

K: What do you think is the easiest part of the application / or something you use all the time?

C: I think the easiest thing would have to be the Adobe After Effects integration.  It  is so simple because it's an output/render option that is clearly marked and all you have to do is check a box!  There are no long, drawn out, complicated processes that can turn into technical nightmares just for compositing.  I think that this enables users of ALL skill levels an opportunity to really take advantage of 3D in a wide variety of uses.  Where there were once steep learning curves in 3D for designers and compositors, C4D is intuitive and clear.

The Dynamics and basic particles are easy to use.  It's not hard to get them to behave the way you want them to.  Of course, there are a bunch of "HIGH END" professional tools once you become familiar with the software, and are ready to take it to the next level.

K: How long did it take you to feel comfortable in the application - when you finally felt like you understood what was going on - and you could navigate the application, able to seek out new features for yourself.

C: It didn't take me long to feel comfortable in the application at all!  I was only using it casually for 6 weeks before I was starting to solve new problems by myself (rather than looking for someone else's help).  The many system and basic operations are also easy to learn.  It took only a couple of uses to get used to the way CINEMA 4D implements tools.  Of course Rob is a great teacher, and there is no replacement for guidance as a quick start to get you into any software.

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Related Keywords:MAXON, C4D, CINEMA 4D, hair, 3D hair, interview, chris reiehl, ko maruyama


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