Exxxtra Salty

This was one of those projects that was a spur of the moment thing. While I finished it a few months ago, I haven’t had time to write about it let alone make a breakdown video. But during the winter holidays I got around to making breakdown videos for this, as well as Pudge.


A few months ago I decided to take a few days off work to make a personal project with the following criteria:

  • Used an aspect/area of Cinema4D I had little to no experience with
  • Had to be an animation that wasn’t just a few seconds long
  • Would be contained within one project file
  • Had to match the branding and aesthetics of Beauxdeen

I had recently completed and illustration for Beauxdeen, and had leftover salt and pepper shaders – they didn’t make it to the final render since they were distracting in the composition of the scene. They would’ve been in the back behind the plate.


The challenge I decided to go with was rigging and animating a simple character. I gave the salt and pepper shaker limbs, and started my first journey into a simple rig with IK and proper weight maps.


After I completed the rig, I had to come up with something for it to do. As I played around with the rig setup, I found that it looked particularly cute and funny if it did a pelvic thrust. It wasn’t long before I had one of the shakers pelvic thrust-ing the other one, and from there it was all about finding a song that not only worked thematically but also lent itself for repeating loops of animated keyframes.

Finally found the song Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. I timed a thrust per beat, and then synced it up. The use of C4D’s motion clips helps out in automatic the loops and layering them up – it may have taken longer to find and edit the song than to animate the whole thing.


Once they were thrusting for the length of my audio edit, I animated several cameras and alternated between them using the Stage object. It was an exercise in editing and timing in C4D, while doing hardware renders to sort out if the timing was working well with the song.

As I started to make my shaders and lighting setups with vRayforC4D, I noticed that it would add a lot to the overall animation if the shaker that was receiving the thrusts would spill out it’s contents slowly.

This is where X-Particles came into play – I attached emitters to the shaker cap, and played with the settings until it looked right. As soon as the little salt particles were added the absurdity of the animation escalated, and as after adding wax paper and grip marks to the butter surface it was ready to go.

The beauty of having the whole animation be in one single project file made it really easy to send it to a render farm, or just to render in general. I optimized the settings to reduce flicker and keep the render times decent and not cost me an arm and a leg, and rendered it with just the beauty pass, Z-depth and some mattes.

Finally brought the rendered sequence into After Effects, added some heavy grading and cleaned up some backgrounds and Exxxtra Salty was ready to be discharged into the world.


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