Relative linking with Xpresso in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D Tutorial – Relative linking with Xpresso in Cinema 4D

Relative Xpresso

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!

Author: Tim


  1. Goran
    Goran On January 26, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    Just love how your tutorials seems to be in perfect synch with what I need to learn 😉

  2. illd
    illd On January 27, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Great tutorial! Very detailed as always. I wasn´t aware that one can use text in the math operators. I was shocked to see that the rendertimes where first over 30 min for this…does the teamrenderer always pre-calculate that bad?

    • admin
      admin On January 27, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      @illd Team Render is not too bad a guessing the time but it needs to have a few frames rendered from several clients before it will give you an accurate (ish) rendertime.

  3. cypher
    cypher On January 27, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    thanks brother
    it was so useful
    keep going!

  4. cypher
    cypher On January 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    before every thing i have to say here is some personal question and it ups to you to make them public or not my friend!
    i studied your biography and collegue course. it was so exiting.
    my main question is :
    does the collegue teach about the principles,theories,aesthetic of motiongraphic and something like these? or all of these gain by experience and doing projects?
    you know,i studied architecture and then shifted to graphic and now do motion graphic .in our country,Iran we do not have any direct academic field for motiongraphic or something like that…and all i have was from my experiences and studying interviews of people like you, Kyle Cooper and …
    where and how i can get to theories about motiongraphic?
    is there any visual standard for it?
    i would be happy and thankful if you help me
    here is one of my work done for a shopping center :
    i like to have your comment.
    thanks for every thing and apologize because of my bad English !

  5. Karl Thies
    Karl Thies On February 2, 2014 at 5:29 AM

    Cool tip as always tim!

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