Tags in Maxon Cinema 4D are a very useful and much needed aspect to creating awesome 3d renders, but can be confusing, especially to the new C4D user. In this series of Quick Tips, we’ll go through each of the tags from top to bottom and explain what they do and what they can be used for.
Align To Path
Align to Path will, simply enough, align your object so that the Z axis faces the path of travel on the animation path you have created for that object. This comes in handy for objects that require to have their front pointing in the direction they are traveling such as cars and insects. When used correctly, it will give your animation a smoother, more realistic motion with no (or very little) keyframing from you.
In order to add the Align to Path tag (or any other tag for that matter) to your object, right click on the object you want it to be applied to and select it from the popup menu under Cinema 4D Tags. You can also select it from the Tags menu in the Object window. Once it’s attached, you should immediately notice your object snap into position.
From there all you have to do is animate some position keyframes for your object. Let’s take a look at an example of this tag in action below.
In this example, we see the object is not alignment with the animation path because nothing changes except the objects position as it follows the path. It’s not very realistic motion for most objects; the square just moves from point A (the beginning) to point B (the top) to point C (the end).
Here we see the object is in alignment with the animation path because its “front” (the Z axis) is following the path. It’s a much more realistic and interesting motion, and this was created by only keyframing a beginning, middle and end position animation point; everything else was handled by the Align to Path tag.
Next time you are thinking about creating an object in Cinema 4D that follows a motion path, you might want to consider giving Align to Path a shot.
I’ve uploaded a short tutorial for you to watch explaining the Align to Path tag. I apologize about the quick setup and lower audio quality. I put it together quickly today. Any future videos will be at a higher quality. Enjoy.
View the Entire Series:
- Quick Tip: Cinema 4D Tags – Align to Path
- Quick Tip: Cinema 4D Tags – Align to Spline