Time for a new “little features” post, this time for release Cinema4D R14.
Everybody loves the underdog, these little novelties that don’t necessarily get much press but that often help us so much day in, day out.
Here are some of these new little features, in no particular order of importance.

Null Icons colors

We can now assign a custom color to Null object icons. It can be hard sometimes to sift through a hierarchy full of Null Objects, as they all look the same. Being able to set them apart visually is a nice improvement, so you arrange your objects more clearly, and find them faster.

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/null_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/null.jpg” alt=”Null Icons Colors”/]

Rotate Orthographic View

Ever wanted to get a better angle in an orthographic view, without having to rotate your objects? You can now rotate orthographic views to suit your needs (want to paint in BP, but need to angle your view better for that nice smooth stroke? Want to see that archviz project properly, so you can compare it to your reference blueprints better?).
Once again, small but oh so helpful when you need it.

You can even hold Shift to constrain it every 15 degrees.

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ortho_rotate_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ortho_rotate.jpg” alt=”Rotate Orthographic View”/]

Save Project Settings as Presets

We can now save project settings as presets, which is invaluable to either share, or switch between often used settings on the fly.
Presets will be stored in the “User” folder of the Content Browser, so they can easily be shared or removed.

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/preferences_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/preferences.jpg” alt=”Render Settings Presets”/]

Tasks, To Do and Notes

We can now add To Do tags to objects and assign tasks to timeline markers. Both are basically the same, as they allow you to make notes and assign tasks to perform later on for your project. This is invaluable both for team work or just to set yourself notes to refer to in the future. Need to place a note somewhere so you can remember modeling steps you used on a specific object? Place a To Do tag, rename it as you wish and make notes directly in there. Since it’s a tag, it can easily be duplicated, shared with other scenes and so on…

You can also set tasks directly on the timeline markers, which is great when either you are laying down your animation sequence, or you need to set notes to accommodate changes your client wants.

Each To Do/Task gets its own entry in the project settings, and you can set/change their status from there to get a good overview of the state of your project.

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/tasks_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/tasks.jpg” alt=”Tasks, To Do and Notes”/]

Expressions Icons

We can now get a visual representation of parameters affected by an expression. The animation dot will be replaced by a special expression icon that will show that this parameter is either driving or being driven by another parameter. This special icon still acts as an animation dot, though (colors and feature-wise).

I cannot stress how useful this is for anyone who has worked even slightly with expressions. If you need to find the source of what is driving a specific parameter, simply hover your mouse over the icon or parameter name and it will display all that info for you. The type of port used, the object holding the Xpresso tag, the name of the Xpresso tag and the name of the node used within that Xpresso tag.

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/xpresso_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/xpresso.jpg” alt=”Expressions Icons”/]

Referencing Tab

One of my favorite additions: we can now set which object or hierarchy of objects will be taken into consideration when imported by an Xref object. It is very useful when using reference material for modeling, for example. You might want them in your scene while you model, but no need to import them and clutter your master scene.
Simply open the Referencing tab in your reference scene, drag and drop the objects you want to exclude (or include), and you’re done.

You can also define if you want to import them but not display them, or import them locked. Quite useful.

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/xrefs1_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/xrefs1.jpg” alt=”Referenced Scene”/]

[image img=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/xrefs2_thumb.jpg” url=”http://fluffy4d.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/xrefs2.jpg” alt=”Master Scene”/]

To be continued….

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