Defining the Problem:
I started learning Cinema 4D in design school, but haven’t had much chance to explore it on my own outside of work and wanted to spend more time learning different techniques. About that same time, I began studying Japanese. Learning to distinguish the individual characters in Katakana visually and Hiragana help build an essential foundation in the Japanese language. I wanted to maximize my time, but I knew I only had a certain amount of free time in between going to school, local design Meetups, and working full time.
All design processes include understanding the problem you are solving, then going through a discovery process of many ideas and a phase of narrowing down possible solutions.
The UK Design Council’s Double Diamond model of design process is a great framework that helped me find a solution. Their process includes the following: discover, define, develop, and deliver.
I quickly realized that I wanted to solve the problem of learning Cinema 4D and Japanese in a relatively similar time period. And that by combing these two items, I could do them both in parallel with each other.
I came up with a few possible solutions for myself. I could build a poster or post card set with very specific dimensions, do a motion study with the characters, learn to use the sculpting tools and build the characters from scratch, etc., etc. I finally narrowed down that I wanted to learn more of Cinema 4D effectors and motion system so I would build each character and do a motion piece if it made sense in that context.
My solution statement: To learn Japanese effectively one must have a good foundation of Hiragana and Katakana. Visually crafting a 3D render of the Japanese characters in Cinema 4D accompanied by motion will help me learn the individual characters while discovering new motion graphic techniques and learning the nuances of some of Cinema 4D’s workflows.
I began with some simple characters and working out the best template for the set. As I got a good workflow going I began exploring how motion could work into some of the designs.
I started prototyping, rendering, and exporting some of the pieces as time permitted. I am continuing to select with characters to work on and a realistic timeline to work at.