During Niklas Rosenstein's talk about about Advanced Python, Michael Auerswald, another presenter, stands up and mentions to the audience that what you are watching may be over your head right now, but it's invaluable information that is not found anywhere else and is the basis for developing every python plugin. This statement sums up Cinema 4D Advanced Production Techniques 2, presented by Pingo Van der Brinkloev.
"Learning Python, in my opinion, is the best long term investment if you want to break through as a TD, optimize your workflows, and expand C4D beyond off the shelf tricks," Pingo told me when I asked him why he decided to focus on Python for the follow up to Cinema 4D Advanced Production Techniques 1.
I followed up with Michael Auerswald, one of the speakers, as to why someone should spend the time to learn Python for Cinema 4D.
"The reason why Cinema 4D users - or, anyone working in CG or VFX - should learn at least the basics of Python is, that Python opens up a whole new level of control and customization to the user. It lets you automate simple commands over hundreds of objects, create objects or entire scenes from scratch, integrate Cinema 4D into a pipeline, connect it to the outside world or let the outside world connect into Cinema 4D too... And there's no need for extensive programming either. Literally less than a handful lines of code can be enough to build your own custom tools. As to why Python specifically over e.g. COFFEE, Python is not only easy to learn (in programming language terms...), it is the de facto standard language in pretty much any major VFX related application these days," Michael said.
Cinema 4D Advanced Production Techniques 2 is a recording of a two day intensive seminar in Berlin that covered Python, Physically based rendering, Xpresso, Turbulence FD, and Krakatoa. Even advanced Cinema 4D users will find this to be an advanced course. There is nothing beginner or intermediate about it. Some of the topics can be pretty intimidating even for the seasoned Cinema 4D artist.
The easiest presentation to process is Yader's Tips and Tricks including viewport optimization, cloning techniques, and alternate uses for existing tools, such as the Jiggle deformer. Yader recommends a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach to working in order to keep things speedy in your scene.
The seminar kicks into high gear in Manuel Casasola Merkle's Cinema 4D Programming presentation. Manuel is from the 3D studio Aixsponza. You probably have seen him on Cineversity, as he has done many presentations at industry events. He does not do watered down presentations, and this presentation is no different.
Manuel's goal was to make Programming more accessible to artists. Python is technical. There is no way around it. While it's impossible to learn everything in a hour presentation, Manuel shows what can be done once you introduce the Cinema 4D Python SDK into your workflow. If you have any kind of background in computer science, you will have a leg up with this course.
Further Python training is provided by Simon Holmedal, Niklas Rosenstein, and Michael Auerswald. Michael's presentation about how to get into scripting is the easiest to follow, but once Simon and Niklas takeover you are really just sitting back and jotting down a few notes trying to absorb whatever you can.
TIP // Michael Auerswald suggests using the Script Log in Cinema 4D to start learning Python by recording your commands, and then take other people's scripts and deconstruct them.
The rest of Cinema 4D Advanced Production Techniques 2 covers speciality plugins such as Turbulence FD, Krakatoa, and the Arnold Renderer, but at it's core C4D APT 2 is a Python course. C4D APT 2 is a course you will have to watch over and over. Consider it beyond graduate level training. It's Next Level Cinema 4D training. You can buy it HERE on Vimeo On Demand.