Working With Quaternion Rotations in Cinema 4D

Matthew O’Neill Discusses Rotations in Cinema 4D and Why Quaternion Rotations Can Be Helpful.

As with most things in 3D, rotations are simple on the surface, but you can dive deeper into the seemingly simple task of turning an object. One of the least understood features of Cinema 4D is the ability to work with Quaternion rotations. There will be times when using Quaternions will save the day, especially when it comes to animation. 3D Artist Matthew O’Neill (3dFluff) shares some insights into working with Quaternions.

There are a few ways to calculate the rotations of objects in three-dimensional space. Within C4D you can rotate objects based on X, Y, Z, or H, P B, but internally you can set the values differently, and Quaternion Rotations is one method. “Don’t let the scary quaternion name put you off; this one could solve a lot of your animation headaches with just a single button,” O’Neill says. Switching rotational styles will undoubtedly help with Gimbal Lock and make interpolations between keyframes easier to read within the graph.