Yes, it’s that time of year again. The C word. I can’t believe it, does it seem five minutes since the last…?
It probably feels that way because, while Christmas is a wonderfully static holiday, Chri$tmas starts flinging itself at you earlier every year. I try to remain blind to it until December. Even as a child, the festivity only truly struck once school was done with, the tree had gone up – normally about a week before the big day – and the lights started blinking. As such, it’s that cosy window where it strikes me as an adult.
It was always great to decorate the family tree, for the box of ornaments is more a time machine than anything else. Faded and jaded Santas of decades ago sit alongside shinier, younger but less charming counterparts. Little knitted stockings for my four siblings and I, courtesy of our grandmother and dating back to our first Christmases. Snazzy glitterball baubles emblematic of the millennium excitement. It certainly takes you back, ongoing though it is, the story furthered each year before its return to hibernation.
On these musings and it now being December, I set about putting up a Christmas tree. In Cinema 4D, of course! I’d been wanting to meddle with trees for a little while actually, so this seemed potentially useful in virtue of finally sorting out my troublesome Norfolk landscape scenery, so I can stop whingeing about it!
I can’t claim to have built the (evidently artificial!) tree from scratch. That is largely the handiwork of the MagicXTree plugin – very handy indeed, and far gentler on my machine than C4D’s Hair renderer utilized by their preset trees. There are lots of configurations for this regarding branches and leaves – density, length and so on – so it’s possible to generate quite a variety of Christmas trees.
Baubles were relatively simple, mostly a fun texturing challenge. The lights are locked to a spline, meaning that it can follow any route you want. Fun for decorating trees, or creating seasonably flashy messages:
Great fun, but it’ll still be a while before I’ve erected the real deal. Perhaps, in 2017 and beyond, I’ll return to this with similar reflection to the actual Christmas tree – hopefully I’ll be able to build a snazzier one by then!
Whatever your stance, I hope you enjoy the season!