Cinema 4D Tutorial – Relative linking with Xpresso in Cinema 4D
In this tutorial I show you a simple technique which will allow you to attach an object to the top of an animated Extrude with Xpresso in Cinema 4D. Although this is probably quite a simple process for a lot of users I wanted to explore the flexibility that is offered when you use relative links in your Xpresso nodes rather than absolute links. In this setup we create one Xpresso tag and then as I drag this onto the other objects in the scene, the links within the Object Nodes all update automatically. This offers a much quicker workflow than manually updating each object node, especially if you have to apply the Xpresso to many objects. It will also allow you to build Xpresso setups that can be moved from one object or scene to another without breaking the connections in the Xpresso.
To take this one step further, I take the animation and 3D data into After Effects using the AEC export. In After Effects, I add some basic type and link it to the null objects we created in Cinema 4D. You could use parenting to link the text to the null position which is probably the quickest solution. The problem with using parenting in this type of scene is that if you need to update the original 3D file, then you would need to export the AEC file and re-import this into your current composition. If you have lots of type then you’d need to parent them all again. Not the greatest workflow! If you link the position via expressions in After Effects, it may take a little longer to setup but it is much easier to update. You can simply copy the new null objects in to your comp, then delete the old ones. As the expressions link to the layer name none of them will break, just be sure to copy the new nulls before deleting the old nulls.
Anyway, enough of my waffle! Here’s the tutorial, have fun!