CSTools FAQ

Q: What Are CSTools?
A: A set of animation, camera, and lighting tools. Check the Table of Contents under "Full Documentation" to get an idea what is in the package

Q: What program are they for?
A: Maxon Cinema 4D

Q: How do I use them?
A: Just load them like any other C4D file. Click on the tool in the Object Manager and you'll see the CSTool atributes below in the atribute manager (under User Data).

Q: Do I need any special Modules?
A: For most of them, no. But it will be noted where a module is needed.

Q: How are they made?
A: Using C4D's built in Xpresso tags with occasional coffee code inside Xpresso nodes.

Q: What is the best way to use them?
A: Put them in your object library (C4D->Library->Objects). Then inside C4D you can access them through the Object Library menu.

Q: How do I find the latest docs and newest changes?
A: Always click on the relevant link on the sidebar. Despite being an old post, the info will always be updated there.

Q: Why are these free?
A: Because I kick ass. Really because I make them for my own purposes anyways. Knowing that others will use them, it drives me to spend time refining them to be better. Also, it's just fun to solve problems with procedural functions.

Q: Why do you make these tools at all?
A: Because I believe creativity takes two brains. One that's logical, and one that brainstorms without self judgement. When I'm feeling logical, I program tools. So that the times I'm feeling a creative flow, I can use these tools to get where I want quickly and creatively without over-thinking things. I also really hate doing anything twice. So I figure I program a tool once, then never have to do some manual things again (like exhaustive keyframing).

Q: Do you support older versions of C4D?
A: Not really. When Maxon releases a new version of C4D, I buy it. All new tools from that point on are the new versions. I'll still keep around the previous versions in a folder. But at that point they are then frozen in time. Never to be updated for any C4D that is not the latest.

Q: Can I bitch about the tools if I don't like something?
A: I appreciate constructive criticism and pointing out bugs. I also like hearing how people use them in real world projects. I always welcome ideas for future tools. That being said, I'm not a developer and you didn't pay for CSTools so don't whine.

33 comments:

RustyAce said...

Hey chris, Is is possible to use more than 2 cameras with your easy cam tool? I'm still in 10.1 yet, if not do you have any suggestions to sequence a couple easy cams together, as far as lining up all the data, I'm rather new to C4d, so take it easy on me lol...thanks

Chris Smith said...

SOmeone on mograph used a bunch with the stage object.

However I would use CS_MoCam instead since it is pretty much like 8 easycams linked together. Just make sure you use the "Target Distance" on the camera correctly or the cam probably won't fly the way you want it to. As a rule-of-thumb with MoCam, set each Waypoint camera's Target Distance till it reaches out and touches the object of interest.

dacian groza said...

hi, i'm trying cstools and they look great. i have one question though: on windows, where should i put the tools so they would appear in the Objects menu? the folder structure of c4d is not the same as on mac. thanks for the tools!

Chris Smith said...

The object menu was removed in r11. They would prefer you use the Content Browser from now on. However, I would recommend using the free plug-on "OLX" by Chris Montesano here:

http://biomekk.com/index.php?page=2&cat=107&itm=13#att8

Ken said...

Hi Chris...first allow me to join the list of people to thank you for these great tools. On to my question...running in to an issue with MoveNulls in my document. I have a few that I need to start "moving" after the 500 frame mark but the slider only allows me to go up to 500. Is there a way to get around this?

Chris Smith said...

Thanks, Ken. Putting a 500 frame Max on it was a dumb move on my part but it's a simple fix. In the attribute manager go to Manage User Data. You'll see that when you select the frame start it has a Max set to 500. Just change that number to what you want or turn off the max limit altogether.

Masita Post & Media said...

hello i get cinema 4d 11 and i made all the thing that you write to inlcude CStools in the folder Object from the Libray of Cinema But in my cinema i don't have this folder on the library. What can i do?. Thanks.

Chris Smith said...

http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/2009/06/19/how-to-install-cs-tools-in-cinema-4d-version-11/

kevin Gabriel said...

For the life of me I can't figure out MoCam.
Easy cam and Docu cam are easy to figure out. Just on or two camera moves. I want to follow a static object using several linked camera but in one smooth movement. Aka the MoCam.
With MoCam I can't even figure out how to get the cameras to move. I see what they did in the examples parenting move null, but I don't see how the camera moves. Can someone point me in the right direction.

Chris Smith said...

MoCam is the same as EasyCam2 but with 8 waypints instead of 2. Move the (up to) 8 waypoint cams where you want them in the scene. Hit play. MoCam will start morphing between them. Then it's a matter of turning off the waypoints you dont need (in the MoCam attributes disable 'active'). Then set the ease-in/ease-outs, hold frames etc to your liking.

kevin Gabriel said...

Thanks a bunch this really helps.

kevin Gabriel said...

Hi Chris,
I am trying to figure out the CS MoCam. I know its an amazing tool I just have to figure out how to get it to do what I want.
I am setting up the MoCam and the waypoints for my move. When I shift the MoCam from its default position the way point drift. Then when I line up the way point they don't match the MoCam. I know I am stupid but how can I correct this problem.
I did a test of the MoCam with a cube and got it work. Not sure why it's not doing well when I shift to a project. Thanks again for any help you can give me.
Kevin

kevin Gabriel said...

I tried using a protection tag on the Subparts section of the MoCam setup but when I release it to just jumps back into place. Also I am not sure if I saw this correctly. Is MoCam to be used as part of the Mograph setup and if so how is this accomplished.

kevin Gabriel said...

Looking at your CS example. its seems you copied the object and way point you want to link to it. then you made the waypoint a child of the new object and you made the move from there.
Let me see if I can replicate that in a test.
I just want to smoothly fly around an object with several cameras.

kevin Gabriel said...

Hi Chris,
I went back and figured out some of the workings of the MoCam tool. Got it to align right (moving the waypoint null only and not the MoCam null). Your advice about setting in the target distance was invaluable of course (read in another posting).
I wish there were some bias controls in the setup to help adjust the arc of the move as there is in Easy Cam.
I wanted to post the problems I was having so that others can read and get a better sense on how to figure out the MoCam tool. This is still an amazing invention on your part. Thanks for making it.

Chris Smith said...

kevin,

Just getting to this. Yeah, never move the MoCam null or the MoCam render camera. They should always be at (0,0,0). Only the waypoint cams should ever move. If you move the others it will all get out of whack. The Target Depth settings for each cam do change the bias of the arc quite a bit. As a rule of thumb , set the target depths out long enough to touch the point of interest and it will orbit around it. However, from there you can offset the target depths of each waypoint cam to bias the movement differently.

kevin Gabriel said...

Hi Chris,
I created a post thread on Mograph to learn about using MoCam.

http://mograph.net/board/index.php?showtopic=21871&st=0&gopid=176727&#entry176727

Check it out. I basically collected all the posting about MoCam and placed them in one forum thread so others can follow.

Shalom said...

Wow. Thanks for the gift of these tools. You rock!

Rajarshi Basu said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your awesome toolset ! I was wondering if there is a way to increase the duration more than 20 seconds in Easy Cam ?

Thanks

Raj

Chris Smith said...

Just go into the UserData settings and set the max to what you want or turn the max off off together. Don't even remember why I put a max in there.

GTAK said...

Line Grow is a fantastic timesaver. I would wish for one additional function. The shape curve is great but it only changes the shape statically, i.e. as a line travels along the spline it is deformed at each point in the spline.

This is perfect for some uses. But let's say you wanted a taper at the end of a short arrow that travels along the spline. It would be nice to have a function the controls twist and taper of the line that would travel with the line.

Hope that is a clear explanation. Of course... it looks like there hasn't really been an update in a few years ... so

Thanks for a great set of tools.

Chris Smith said...

Thanks for the input. I hear you, but I've stopped development on the original CSTools. I've been reprogramming bigger and better ones in Python. Honestly at this point I would have to reverse engineer what I did to make changes. I haven't made those in 5 years ;)

You CAN however twirl down the extrude nurbs and mess with it's functions or obviously modify the xpresso yourself.

Jason Widler said...

Hi Chris, I'm trying to use 3D Stroke but can not get it to work right. I've watched Nick's tutorial and tried to replicate what he did but only "Thickness" worked. All the other sliders do... nothing!

What am I missing?
I'm on R13. Could that be the problem?

Vep said...

I can't define a sahpe to emitt in CS Spriticles!!!

I'm on R12

How you define a shape (pshape)?
I can't figure out... anyone?

Chris Smith said...

When you say a 'shape' do you mean an object or a material? Spriticles is based on Sprites so you are only dropping materials into the drop boxes in the attribute manager. If you want to do objects other than sprites, it wasn't made for that.

Vep said...

Hoops I see...

just changing materials would be enough?

cause when doing that so...hit render..and any particle is rendered..even in the example scenes...

is it fully functional on R12?

thanks in advance

dzucco said...

Hey Chris,
I have used the CS Line Grow for a bunch of arrows, but I need to group them and move their position but when I do, the arrow heads and spline offset from eachother.. Any ideas?

Chris Smith said...

Man, I would be taking a guess as I made that years ago and can't even remember what I did :)

Did you try using "object" mode to move and scale instead of the default "model" mode?

Димитриус Пинтесон said...

Hi I'm a newbie in Cinema 4d workflow, so i have a question.=)
Is there CS TOOL have full support in R14 or not?
For exemple in 3D Stroke not all controllers are working...
Do someone have a problem like mine, or I just something don't understand? )))
Thanks for the answers, and sorry for my english)
Dmity

Димитриус Пинтесон said...
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Димитриус Пинтесон said...
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Chris Smith said...

The Tools only work up through r12 for sure. There were a lot of changes to r13 that broke a lot of them.

Fusioner said...

It seems through changes in Xpresso R14 spline manipulation does not work anymore in 3DStroke. Unfortunaly I do not know how to fix it, can anyone help?