Years ago, I felt myself becoming jaded with the work I was doing. This is not an uncommon feeling for many at one time or another in their career, and after working in the design industry for more than a decade, I was feeling it pretty keenly. The usual tools were not as exciting to me, and I needed something to reenergize me. Thankfully, I took a contract position with a talented agency based in Copenhagen, Denmark. What made them unique from the other agencies I’ve experienced was their strong 3D background. They leveraged CINEMA 4D in most everything they worked on.

This was my first encounter with CINEMA 4D, and it was a breath of fresh air. Using CINEMA 4D, a powerful modeling, animation, and rendering application, I was able to play with lighting and composition in ways that aren’t possible with traditional “2D” programs. It ignited my creative aspirations.

Recently, Propane worked with an automobile manufacturer to create a deeply explorative car shopping experience. We employed CINEMA 4D to increase the level of detail, authenticity within the compositions, and bring in motion. CINEMA 4D helped bring the cars come to life.

I have found it is also easier for someone with a traditional design background to pick up, allowing for more collaboration than other 3D tools. Here are some CINEMA 4D tips for a designer interested in 3D and adding value to client engagements:

1. Utilizing Tutorials:

If you can think it, there’s probably a tutorial for it. So, which ones are worth your time? I highly recommend Grayscalegorilla for good quality videos broken out by feature and product to add 3D to your workflow.

2. Patience is a Virtue:

As with many design programs, there is a steep learning curve as you get used to the various features. Go into the experience unafraid of trial and error; not everything will work perfectly the first time. If you give yourself time to explore and experiment, you will have a great product in the end.

3. Explore Non-Traditional Uses:

Challenge yourself to incorporate this tool as you work. Integrating it into projects that would not typically call for 3D is a great way to keep your designs fresh and stay inspired. For instance, using CINEMA 4D for prototyping can build energy and allow for feedback before the product is finalized. This creates value for clients by demonstrating flow from one experience to another with button interactions. It is a rich way to visualize the product.

4. Design for Your Audience

Always take into consideration your target audience and use case for the final product when experimenting with 3D. While it is visually appealing, 3D for 3D’s sake may be ineffective and leave the audience feeling confused.

Have other tips or experiences with CINEMA 4D? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.