Cinema 4D Tutorials / Video Editing

How to Animate In Cinema 4D

Animate in cinema 4d
Published 23 April 2021

Last updated on 5 July 2022

To animate in Cinema 4D, you have to learn how to set keyframes. After this, you will be able to animate pretty much anything. A keyframe stores information about an object’s parameter at a certain point on the timeline. When adding one or more keyframes, you tell the program to record the change over time and to create motion.

Maxon Cinema 4D is a professional 3D modelling, animation, simulation, and rendering software. It is a fast, flexible, and stable toolset that makes 3D workflows more accessible and efficient for design, motion graphics, VFX, AR/MR/VR, game development, and all types of visualization professionals. You can work on your own or in a team, Cinema 4D will create stunning results either way.

You will create keyframes on the most commonly used parameters such as position, scale, and rotation. To do it, you can either manually select each parameter and animate it or use the Autokeying feature.

Quick Guide: How to Animate In Cinema 4D

The quickest and easiest way to animate in Cinema 4D is to use the Autokeying feature and this is how:

Step 1 – Select the object

Select the object you want to animate and create a keyframe anywhere you want on the timeline by pressing the Record Active Objects button.

Record active objects and autokeying objects in cinema 4d

Step 2 – Activate Autokeying

Activate Autokeing, it is right next to the Record Active Objects button.

Step 3 – Change the parameters

Go further or backward in time on the timeline and change the object’s parameters how you see fit.

Pro TIp: By default, the keyframes inside Cinema 4D will have easy ease applied to them. To change it, press Alt+Shift+F3 to bring up the F-curve Timeline window or select it from the Window menu, select the keyframes you want to make linear, and press on the Linear button.

Curves timline mode in cinema 4d

The downfall of this method is that it records keyframes for every parameter, even though nothing has changed. As there always are more methods to do one thing in Cinema 4D, animation doesn’t fall short — you can manually create a keyframe for every parameter at a time.

Manually Create Keyframes to Animate In Cinema 4D

Choose the starting point of your animation and with help from the Attributes editor, create the first keyframe by clicking on the yellow dot next to the parameter you want to animate. Move the play head further in time, change the parameter, and press again on the yellow dot next to the parameter.

Cinema 4d atributes editor

You will notice the dot turns red when you press on it; it does so to let you know that a keyframe exists for that parameter at the current time. You can use this method for almost any parameter inside Cinema 4D, not only for position, scale, and rotation.

Congratulations! Now you know how to animate in Cinema 4D and you have two methods to do so. Keep up the good work and make nice animations!

Video tutorial

About Author

After spending 6 years in the post-production studio, Mihai decided to share his insights on video editing and computers.