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Cinema 4D tutorials: 13 of the best

Cinema 4D tutorials: Quick links

These Cinema 4D tutorials will help you to create some brilliant 3D artwork. Tailored for beginners and seasoned users, the tutorials will advance your skills and have you using the software like a pro. 

As one of the CG industry's most popular 3D modelling, animation and rendering applications, Cinema 4D boasts a designer-friendly interface and super-powerful toolset. Though it's known as the 'easy' 3D software, it packs a powerful punch with its ouput. For those reasons, Cinema 4D has become a favourite among digital artists wanting to create show-stopping 3D art.

If you are in need of some more inspiration, you can head over to our selection of the best 3D art around. 

You'll find the beginner tutorials at the top of the page, and the more advanced content further down. Let's get started...

Nail the basics

01. Get to grips with the basics of Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: Basics

Four top tips to get you started (Image credit: Mike Griggs)

This quick but super-useful tutorial explains the first four things you should get to know when beginning to use Cinema 4D. From becoming familiar with the UI to using MoGraph, trying out volume modelling, and utilising Team Render, it explores four crucial pillars of the software. And if none of those words mean anything to you, you should get involved immediately.

02. Learning Cinema 4D R19 

Cinema 4D tutorials: Introduction to Cinema 4D

Discover the power of Cinema 4D and its tools with this brilliant tutorial from the Greyscalegorilla team

If you don't have the most recent version of Cinema 4D, never fear. The brilliant team at Greyscalegorilla have created over 200 tutorials to help digital artists, including some brilliant free Cinema 4D tutorials such as this one, Introduction to Cinema 4D, in which you'll learn how to build this mine cart tunnel animation. Create the scene from scratch by learning how to light, model, animate, add dynamics and render the final sequence. 

(Also from Greyscalegorilla, this neat how to create animated 3D text in Cinema 4D tutorial will halt the hunt for 3D text plugins.)

03. Rig a simple cartoon character

Cinema 4D tutorials: Cartoon character

Use the Sketch and Toon module to create cartoon characters (Image credit: EJ Hassenfratz)

Discover how to rig a simple cartoon character with with this easy-to-follow Cinema 4D tutorial from EJ Hassenfratz. Using Cinema 4D's powerful Sketch and Toon module, you can transform your 3D artwork into a cartoon-like illustration with just a few clicks of a button. Here, you'll use it to create cartoon characters.

Following on from the above, Hassenfratz has also created a brilliant two-part Cinema 4D tutorial in which you can learn how to animate a simple character and some handy tips and tricks for creating animated GIF characters.

Going further

04. 15 expert Cinema 4D tips

Cinema 4D tutorials: 15 expert tips

Discover how to boost your skills and master Cinema 4D

This rundown of 15 expert tips contains essential information ranging from layer organisation to detailing. It will speed up your workflow and add new dimensions to your process. 

05. Make realistic plants in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: model plants

It's a simple but effective process (Image credit: Rob Redman)

Most scenes will benefit from having organic touches like plants and trees. This tutorial will take you through how to model them using Cinema 4D. It's a simple, effective process that takes advantage of MoGraph tools, with a very low polygon proxy object used as a placeholder.

06. How to create hair in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: hair

Make complex and vibrant 3D hair (Image credit: Jason Knight)

Give your character an extra dimension with some realistic 3D hair. Hair is a notoriously tricky thing to get right in 3D, but this step-by-step tutorial will see you modelling it like a pro. 

07. Cinema 4D shortcuts

Cinema 4D tutorials: shortcuts

Learn how to quickly navigate through some key features

This Cinema 4D trick could revolutionise your workflow is a guide to the shortcuts that will definitely save you time during your design process. It shows you how to quickly open a text field and how to find the most useful menus.

08. How to model concept art in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: How to model concept art in Cinema 4D

Build your dream motor without getting your hands dirty

Here's a use for Cinema 4D that might not have occurred to you; in this tutorial, How to model concept art in Cinema 4D, Michael Tschernjajew explains how he used Cinema 4D to create concept art for a range of vehicles destined for a PlayStation 4 game.

09. Triggering Dynamics in Cinema 4D

If you want to create dynamic simulations in Cinema 4D but need to take full art directional control over them, Triggering Dynamics in Cinema 4D from Eyedesyn should sort you right out. It'll introduce you to the basics of dynamics, explain how to use Ghost Dynamics to trigger them, and it'll show you how to record mouse movement to keyframes using Cappuccino.

10. How to sculpt in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorial: Sculpt

Six steps to sculpting success

Learn how to use Cinema 4D's powerful Sculpt tool in six easy steps with this guide, How to sculpt in Cinema 4D.

11. Intro to the Cinema 4D Time Effector

Cinema 4D's Time Effector is a powerful tool for automating animation. In Intro to the Cinema 4D Time Effector 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.

12. Cinema 4D's Character Builder

Rigging might strike fear into the hearts of rookie 3D artists, but get to grips with Cinema 4D's Character Builder in this guide to both the standard and advanced Biped setup using Cinema 4D's Character Builder.

13. How to make your 3D objects dance

This Cinema 4D tutorial explains how to make your 3D objects dance: bring a shape (or object) to life and make it 'dance' to music. Learn how to create an animation involving complex expressions and dynamics.

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Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.