Cinema 4D tutorials: 34 projects to up your 3D skills

Since its release, Cinema 4D has become one of the most popular 3D modelling, animation and rendering applications. Developed by Maxon, Cinema 4D is capable of procedural and polygonal/subd modelling, animating, lighting, texturing, rendering, and common features found in 3D modelling applications.

These Cinema 4D tutorials will help you to master the basics of 3D art, and put you well on your way to becoming an expert.

Nail the basics

Introduction to Cinema 4D

The brilliant team at Greyscalegorilla have made over 200 hundred tutorials in the last four years, some of which are intro videos that go over the basics of Cinema 4D. But they've never made a comprehensive series of Cinema 4D tutorials that really gave a broad introduction to the software. Until now.

Introduction to modelling in Cinema 4D

In this video tutorial from Pluralsight, you will learn the tools and techniques that will allow you to begin modelling in Cinema 4D. A subscription is required to watch the full training, but register for a free demo account to access the first five Cinema 4D tutorials for free.

Capture and set up camera calibration

One of the best Cinema 4D tutorials we've seen for a while .In part one, you'll discover how to capture, prep and calibrate an image using the new Camera Calibration Tool in C4D R14. Then you'll learn how to model a simple scene that will use the camera calibration as a texture.

Texturing objects and lights in Cinema 4D

In this tutorial, discover the process of texturing objects in Cinema 4D and experiment with textures to light the scene.

Materials 101: Working with materials in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: Get to know the materials of Cinema 4D

This is a Cinema 4D tutorial which introduces you to how materials work in the software. You'll discover what layers are, and what the different parameters are; how to use them and what they do. It will also explain the difference between transparency and alpha, and other little details of the material system.

Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite quickstart

This 40-minute Cinema 4D tutorial dives into how to use new 3D animation tools and workflow – Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware – included in the newest Creative Cloud version of After Effects.

Going further

Intro to the Cinema 4D Time Effector

Cinema 4D's Time Effector is a powerful tool for automating animation. In this tutorial from Eyedesyn you'll learn some Time Effector basics, how to combine it with other Effectors to vary your animations, how to use the Random Effector for more interesting and organic animations, and much more besides.

X-Particles Tornado in Cinema 4D

Use X-Particles to create a lively tornado

In this tutorial from mirrormaze you'll learn how to model, rig and animate a tornado in Cinema 4D. You'll use X-Particles with XP Trail, Follow Spline and Hair to give it life, and rig the helix spline using basic Xpresso so you have full control over the path and movement of the tornado.

How to rig a biped in Cinema 4D

This tutorial will get you started with rigging

Rigging might strike fear into the hearts of rookie 3D artists, but by the end of this tutorial you will have the ability to rig a  character, complete with bones, joints and controllers.

Export your scene from Cinema 4D to After Effects

3D artist Nick Campbell explains how to export your scene data out of Cinema 4D and into After Effects for further work.

How to use the BodyPaint tool in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: Explore the BodyPaint tool

The BodyPaint tool offers a fast way to get a good-quality render. In this Cinema 4D tutorial, illustrator Matt Roussel explains how.

How to make your 3D objects dance

This Cinema 4D tutorial explains how to bring a shape (or object) to life and make it 'dance' to music. Learn how to create an animation involving complex expressions and dynamics.

Animate a logo reveal in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: Create brilliant motion graphics with Tim Clapham

The world of motion graphics is continually evolving, with techniques  constantly progressing as work becomes more advanced and complex. Here,  3D animation meets graphic design as Tim Clapham shows you how to  animate and composite a pro-quality logo sequence.

How to create realistic depth of field effects

This is one of those Cinema 4D tutorials that does exactly what it says on the tin. See how easy it is to play around with depth of field effects in Cinema 4D. Use particle emitters and physics tags to get the results you want and then selectively sharpen your work in Photoshop.

How to give your logo work a 3D edge

2D just doesn't cut it any more. It's time to bolster your Photoshop skills by bringing Cinema 4D into play. Nervous? Don't be. Barton Damer will show you the way.

Use stills to create a dynamic 3D landscape

With a 3D package and some decent 2D landscape photographs, you can create a full-motion fly-through sequence. Michael John Day reveals how.

Create a 3D logo from a 2D illustration

This Pluralsight tutorial will walk you through how to create a 3D logo from a 2D drawing in Cinema 4D. A subscription is required for the full training but lessons 1-3 can be accessed for free with a demo account.

Add depth of field to a composite

In this tutorial, Nick from Greyscalegorilla explains how to set up a depth pass for rendering depth of field for 3D objects using Cinema 4D, Frischluft Lens Care and After Effects.

An introduction to Xpresso

Cinema 4D’s Xpresso scripting system can be an incredibly tool if utilised correctly. Here, rigging artist Aleksey Voznesenski takes you through the basics of the system.

Create explosive 3D typographic effects

Cinema 4D tutorials

Cinema 4D tutorials: Discover tools to create awesome 3D typographic effects

In this easy-to-follow tutorial, learn how to extrude text, use displacement maps and Cinema 4D's explosion deformer to create exposive typographic effects.

Tracking a 3D object

In this video, Chris Martin shows yu how to track a 3D object onto a live action shot, using Syntheyes and Cinema 4D.

Movie madness

Build your own TRON light cycle in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials

Cinema 4D tutorials: Who wouldn't want to build their own TRON light cycle?!

Here, Cinema 4D teaches you how to combine 3D and VFX elements to make a complete sequence. In this tutorial you will create a scene that looks like TRON Legacy. You will learn how to make a realistic TRON light cycle, and create an awesome scene.

Create a cartoon worm character

Take a look at this tutorial, for an insight into creating a cartoon character complete with a colourful background. You'll be using techniques in Cinema 4D, so you may want to have a little experience before approaching this one.

Get sporty

Make a baseball intro with Cinema 4D

In this tutorial, you will recreate a baseball animation. You'll start by texturing the baseball and setting the animation with CS Tools’ Move Null. Then, you'll model and animate the dirt using the landscape object and a particle emitter.

Your serve: Ping Pong Paddle render in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials

Cinema 4D tutorials: You'll learn how to setup, light and render a ping pong scene

In this hour long tutorial, you will learn how to set up, light and render a ping pong scene. First, you'll alter the models to try to make them more realistic by adding geometry and altering the textures. Then, you'll light and compose the scene using an HDR Image from my HDRI Studio Pack, Global Illumination, a specular light, and the physical renderer.

Create a checkerboard shader

In this quick tutorial, you'll discover everything you need to know about how to create a checkerboard shader in Cinema 4D. From shading and colouring to using a cylindrical projection map, there's plenty of tips and tricks here to keep you going!


How to make an animated freezing ice effect

Cinema 4D tutorials

Cinema 4D tutorials: Stay frosty with the guys at Greyscalegorilla

In this tutorial, the Greyscalegorilla team show you how to make an animated frosty/frozen ice text effect in Cinema 4D using Hair, Sweep Nurbs, Motext, and Texture Kit Pro.

How to animate your fonts in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials

Cinema 4D tutorials: Computer Arts show you how to animate your fonts

Illustrator Jaume Osman explains how to breathe life into your 3D text. Learn how to animate 3D text with ease, use the MoGraph Cloner effector, add Dynamics to objects and render your animations.

Grow an object over time in Cinema 4D

In this video, Rob Redman shows you how to animate the growth of a plant or other object along a defined path.

Animating titles using effectors

In this tutorial, discover how to easily and efficiently animate titles in Cinema 4D.

Make an animated mograph portrait

In this tutorial from the Greyscalegorilla team, you'll create several layers of motion using displacement and mograph. After creating a bunch of concentric splines with Mograph, you'll then can project an image or video through the displacement channel to recreate it to look like a line drawing. A really fun simple technique with endless possibilites.

How to manage scenes with XRefs in Cinema 4D

In this video, learn how to efficiently manage your asset library plus a great way of integrating objects into other scenes.

Improve your workflow with shortcuts

How to target a camera to an animated curve

In this video, Anders Kjellberg shows how to use Cinema 4D's XPresso scripting system to enable a camera to follow a moving point.

Master the Cinema 4D physics engine

Shattering an object in Cinema 4D

Discover how to explode an object in Cinema 4D by first cutting it up your into pieces with a Plugin called Destruction. Then, using Mograph 2 MoDynamics, make the pieces fall on the ground.

Contributions: Creative Bloq staff

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