Cinema 4D Tutorial – Springy Camera

Cinema 4D Tutorial – Springy Camera

The delay effector in Cinema4D allows a lot of fun.  You can set it to Spring mode and then bounce things around.

Well you can use it on regular objects too.  This is all achieved by using the Sample Effector node.  You wire it up like the image below, in this example I’ve wired it into a Camera.

So then you can bounce your camera around too.  I’ve made a sample scene that you can download and try for yourself, but as you can see it is pretty simple to setup, even if you don’t like getting your feet wet in that Xpresso window.

You can use any of the Delay Effector modes, not just spring.  So download the scene file and have a play around. I hope you find it useful.

Download the c4d file here

Cinema 4D Tutorial – Springy Camera

Author: Tim


  1. ragecg
    ragecg On February 26, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    Hey man, great blog!
    John Dickenson @ motionworks linked to you, so I now have you on my rss feed:)
    Very helpful to C4D newbees like myself.
    I’m a Maya user for over 10 years, (yeah, i’m old:), but after years of being jealous of the C4D users beating us out for cash because they can turn out motion graphics spots FAR faster, I figured now is better than ever to get my feet wet.

    Anyhoo, I still havn’t touched the Xpresso window, but the main reason for my comment is to ask if you might be adding possible audio to your videos?
    By audio, I mean a voice-over, tutorial-like.

    Or…. might you be working on a C4D tutorial video/dvd we can buy in the future maybe?

    Anyway, keep the posts coming! Thanks again!

  2. ragecg
    ragecg On February 26, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Wait, I just realized you’re on fxphd, so I’ll catch it next term.
    Nevermind my last:)

    ..render on… 🙂

  3. Tim
    Tim On February 26, 2009 at 8:50 PM


    I am on fxphd, you’re correct. However in answer to your question, then I will probably be adding voice over to any new videos that I add to the blog.

    Thanks for taking a look.

  4. poolparty
    poolparty On February 27, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    Tim, your tutorials are the best. Please keep updating your blog!

  5. Will MacNeil (Kokosing)
    Will MacNeil (Kokosing) On February 27, 2009 at 11:17 PM

    Hey, I was wondering where you guys had got to. I hadn’t seen much on CGTalk lately. It’s great to have your wisdom back in my life!

  6. movecraft
    movecraft On March 1, 2009 at 7:44 PM

    ah hah. So that’s what the Sample Effector Node is for. Awesome. I just wired up some Random effectors with turbulence in the same tag. This is a lot more elegant way than using a fracture object.



  7. Sprattmedia
    Sprattmedia On March 16, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    I have been looking everywhere for a simple spring Xpresso flow like this. Thank you so much for sharing!

    You wouldn’t happen to know how to tie the spring behavior to a parented object so you create slightly delayed secondary animation by simply moving the parent? The included C4D toon car model does this with the antennae and hood but there is so much Xpresso I can’t seem to decipher what tags are actually driving the delayed spring effect. Any ideas? I imagine it’s not too different than what you provided here but I am so new to Xpresso it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tags. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  8. Sprattmedia
    Sprattmedia On March 17, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    Thank you for your recommendation. I will play around with the constraint tag and see if I can produce the desired result. I definitely appreciate you taking the time to point me in the right direction.

  9. djlukasz
    djlukasz On March 24, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    This is great! Thank you! I would love to pick your brain about various C4D stuff. I’m kind of a noob but I really enjoy C4D. Keep those awesome tips comin!

  10. empyrium
    empyrium On June 12, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    Thanks for good tips

  11. ducroz
    ducroz On July 13, 2009 at 8:03 AM

    now for the stupid question.
    camera is locked, how can I move it?
    + thx for this

  12. Tibbo
    Tibbo On February 8, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    Hi Tim,

    this looks like a real handy piece of kit! Thanks for sharing. I’m a big fan of the camera set up you used in an fxphd tutorial a while back, and I am just working out how to configure the spring into it so it can turned on or off via keying the percentage value.

    This was my feeble attempt…

    As you’ve probably guessed, my xpresso skills are rather toilet. Although, everything works ok, except the just the zDepth. Don’t suppose you could enlighten me on where I’ve gone wrong.

    Many thanks

    • Tim
      Tim On February 9, 2010 at 9:44 PM

      Easiest way to fix it, add a null as parent to camera and use that for the Z position.

      You can’t use the camera Z position directly as the delay effector is controlling it.

  13. Chris ONeal
    Chris ONeal On December 1, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Hey guys, I know this is bringing up a really old subject, but this is the only site I’ve seen that has mentioned this type of technique…

    But my question is this: Can you hook the delay up (through the sample node) to affect other parameters, like, say, the strength parameter on a bend deformer? I basically want a bend that is ‘springy’…

    • Tim
      Tim On December 3, 2010 at 12:30 AM

      @Chris Yes, you can use the Sample Effector node to sample data from the Delay Effector and pass it on to object parameters.

  14. Oscar
    Oscar On January 15, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    @Tim, @Chris Im trying to pass the effect to a strength parameter of a bend effect too. but i cant. strength and Global matrix dont connect. Any alternative?

  15. Tim
    Tim On January 16, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    @Oscar Output the Strength parameter from the Sample Effector Node instead of Global Matrix.

  16. Inertial Bounce in Cinema 4D On March 11, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    […] to Tim Clapham from who I’ve been taking classes from on FXPHD for the past couple years. YOU’RE A GENIUS […]

  17. Brad
    Brad On March 11, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    Tim, thanks for this setup. I use it all the time! Question though, why is it so hard to adjust the keyframes after the object is hooked up to the xpresso? Am I doing something wrong? (love your FXPHD classes btw)

    • Tim
      Tim On March 11, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      @Brad Try disabling the Delay Effector when you edit the keys. The delay effector relies on information from the frame previously so you don’t get an accurate playback unless you rewind and play back each time. Scrubbing will just give spurious results.

  18. Josh
    Josh On June 3, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Thanks for posting! Got this working no problem on objects. Looking for a bit more guidance on using this technique with a Bend deformer. I can’t seem to get the right wires going to the right ports to make it work. Here’s what I’ve got.

    A Bend deformer on a Plane. A Delay effector. Xpresso tag applied to the Bend deformer although I tried applying to the Plane as well with no luck.

    Delay (Object) -> Sample (Effector)
    Bend (Global Matrix) -> Sample (Global Matrix)
    Sample(Strength) -> Bend(Strength)

    Thanks again! If I can get this working it will save me a ton of key-framing.

    • Tim
      Tim On March 16, 2009 at 10:38 PM

      Hi Sprattmedia

      You could use a constraint tag and set it to spring. That could achieve the result you are after. As you move the target object, the object with the tag will be constrained to the target, but with a spring effect. You can set the distance that you’d like to constrain.

      Hope that helps

    • Tim
      Tim On June 3, 2011 at 10:48 PM

      Josh, you need to use something animated to give the delay effector something to process. You could simply animate a null and plug the global matrix of this into the sample effector node. Then output the value and convert it an appropriate value.

      See this example file to understand what I’m talking about..

      Hope that helps

  19. […] Here’s a cool way to create inertial bounce using xpresso and the delay effector. Thanks to Tim Clapham at […]

  20. Josh
    Josh On June 4, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Ha! I never would have stumbled on this setup. I see it now though. Thanks Tim!

  21. michael
    michael On October 5, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    you save my life, i spend two hours on trying to “bounce” a camera, but this is mutch better solution, thanks

  22. Will
    Will On February 12, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    Now, how easy would this be to attach to your amazing Orbit Cam rig?
    I’ve played with it a bit, with no success. Thanks Tim, A Grateful learn. Trainee

    • admin
      admin On February 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      @Will You could adapt the rig so that instead of the camera moving on Z via the rig Camera Z Depth slider, you add another null which controls the Z position. You can then control the camera Z position with the bouncy xpresso.

  23. Greg
    Greg On March 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Still a great tip/Expresso introduction after 5 years.

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