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20 Cinema 4D tutorials to up your 3D skills

Cinema 4D tutorials
Cinema 4D tutorials: Quick links

Want to create some 3D artwork of your own? These Cinema 4D tutorials will help you master the basics if you're a beginner and hone your skills for the more advanced users. 

Cinema 4D is one of the CG industry's most popular 3D modelling, animation and rendering applications. Boasting a designer-friendly interface and powerful toolset, Cinema 4D has become a favourite among digital artists wanting to create show-stopping 3D art.

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

Let's get started...

Nail the basics

01. Learning Cinema 4D R19 

Cinema 4D tutorials: Learning Cinema 4D R19

Explore all the tools and techniques you need to get started with the latest version of Cinema 4D

If you're just starting out with Cinema 4D then you'll need to learn your way around. Learning Cinema 4D R19, hosted on Lynda, explore the core techniques and tools you need to get started with the latest version of the software.

02. Introduction to Cinema 4D

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 to light, model, animate, add dynamics and render the final sequence. 

03. Introduction to modelling in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: Introduction to modelling in Cinema 4D

This Cinema 4D tutorial from Pluralsight covers the basics of modeling, looking at commonly used tools and time-saving tips and techniques

In Introduction to modelling in Cinema 4D 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.

04. Rig a simple cartoon character

Discover how to rig a simple cartoon character with with this easy-to-follow Cinema 4D tutorial from EJ Hassenfratz. This gentle introduction explains the the two types of rigs, FK (Forward Kinematics) and IK (Inverse Kinematics), when to use them and how to set them up. 

05. Animate a simple cartoon character

Cinema 4D tutorials: Animate a simple cartoon character

Learn how to animate a simple character in this fun tutorial

Following on from the above, EJ 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.

06. Intro to Cinema 4D Lite & Cineware

Another from the Greyscalegorilla team, Introduction to CInema Lite and Cineware dives into how to use 3D animation tools in After Effects Cinema 4D Lite and Cineware. This video provides a rough idea of how Cinema 4D Lite can be added to your animation workflow. 

07. Create animated 3D text in Cinema 4D

It's always annoying when you start a Cinema 4D tutorial then discover that you'll need a plugin that you don't have in order to complete it. Here Greyscalegorilla shows you how to create animated 3D text in Cinema 4D using only the built-in tools; no plugins required!

Going further

08. 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. 

09. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Character animation walk cycle

In this almost hour-long beginner's tutorial from the c4dUK YouTube channel, discover a character rig and the tools that make it move, including all the controllers and buttons, sliders and movers that will help bring your character to life. 

13. 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.

14. Create a geometric 3D Photoshop brush with Cinema 4D 

Cinema 4D tutorials: Create a geometric 3D Photoshop brush with Cinema 4D

Create a bespoke Photoshop brush in Cinema 4D with this in-depth tutorial

Discover how to create a geometric 3D Photoshop brush with Cinema 4D. Basically, creating an abstract shape and using it as a Photoshop Brush in this step-by-step Cinema 4D tutorial  from Dmitry Taranets.

15. Model a low poly wolf

Cinema 4D tutorials: Model a low poly wolf

Learn how to create a low poly wolf in this two-part tutorial

Follow this step-by-step Cinema 4D tutorial to create a low poly wolf model that can be used in all manner of creative projects. Here you'll learn how to create a basic 3D model, import reference images, adding lighting to the scene and basic rendering techniques. 

16. 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.

17. X-Particles Tornado in Cinema 4D

In X-Particles Tornado in Cinema 4D from mirrormaze you'll learn how to model, rig and animate a tornado. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. Make realistic plants in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: plants

Play with the contrast in colour, texture and form when you make your own 3D plants

Add a unique touch and make your own 3D plants for your 3D project. The contrast in colour, texture and form can really help add interest to the final render. Learn how with this guide: Make realistic plants in Cinema 4D.

21. How to make an animated freezing ice effect

Cinema 4D tutorials: How to make an animated freezing ice effect

Stay frosty with the guys at Greyscalegorilla 

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

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