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Glass Mesh Softbody Tutorial Preview 178 Comments

I wanted to give you a sneak peak at an upcoming Cinema 4D tutorial about making this glass mesh soft-body thing. As always, I encourage you guys a chance to give it a try yourself first. There are quite a few different ways to do this one, so I think the results will be interesting. Drop your experiments in the comments and stay tuned for the full tutorial soon.

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  1. Qaiser

    where to find soft body in version 11.5?

  2. can SOMEONE please post a link to 11.5 version of this? Everywhere I look refers back to this comment section…

    • I have posted a video walkthrough using 11.5 on my site. This can be achieved in earlier versions as well, except for the nested spheres.

  3. hehe wobbly and bouncing glass. Looking strange but good at the same time ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Could definately use something like this in my paintball videos!

  5. The tutorial would serve me much, since I have a customer whose income is as Bingo and this simulation could be used for the animation, as it closely resembles the effect, I hope the tut! from already thank you very much!

  6. Christopher Scott Kn

    Looking forward to it…
    and… um… when did you get a lisp?

  7. Japes

    Wow cool and Yey’ new tutorial coming up. Thanks Nick! Trying it out myself too tomorrow.

  8. I have no clue how managed to connect all the objects to 1 mesh Q_Q. Im so lost

    Can’t wait for the Tutorial.

  9. Andrew

    Now this is interesting,The lighting set up look amazing I know you showed us a tut of it but on this one you cant see that much noise..

  10. Chetan

    Not happy that it is a R12 only tut ๐Ÿ™
    Too rude Nick. ๐Ÿ™

  11. that looks amazing!

    How long did this take to render and with what rendering power?

  12. lyonnel

    I didn’t manage to do it with “atom array” tool.
    So I did it with cloner objects: one to place the cylinders, one to place the little spheres.
    and it works fine…

  13. athime de crecy

    hey ! I’ve found how to do a similar thing with R11.5 I am currently rendering the animation

  14. I think I know how to achieve the physics part. I just have no idea how to build that thing.

  15. Cool. I’ve been working with glass texturing and lighting in Cinema 4D so this should be interesting

  16. Waait a minute. Glass isn’t soft. Or is it?
    I don’t know anymore!

    Your realistic, awesome render has fooled me once again

  17. Fsimoni

    Did you use Beam-Effect by Robert Legger for this tutorial?

  18. Rowan

    Fantastic. Softbody Dynamics are wrecking my head right now. Trying to get a slightly complex shape to bounce around. Its just crumbling and spiking out and all kinds of things, just not anything good. So looking forward to this thanks.

  19. Pauly-chops

    Yeah same here. Effect looks great but so many of us are gonna be left out in the rain ๐Ÿ™

  20. Mathias Refshรธj

    I achieved this but gave up on rendering glass with refraction and area shadows, this evening.

    However, I cant make my object so squishy as yours Nick (probably some settings i overlooked ^^)

  21. my glass looks more like cloudy plastic. can’t wait to see this one!!

  22. Hey Nick,

    You should at least wait 6 months until you start to do ONLY 12 tuts!! We dont get it for free like you bro ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Nice tut never the less for sure!!!

  23. Still pretty new to Cinema. Anyone know how to do the cloner spheres inside the atom array? I pretty much made everything else already

  24. Zachary O'Connor

    Marvelous Nick ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve only got 11.5 but I’m determined to work out how to do it anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for a challenge!

  25. Phoenician

    Hey Nick , can’t wait to see this tutorial

  26. Mdhamiri Nkemi

    I’m still only on r11.5, so not too helpful for me…
    But I’ve gone ahead and tried to recreate it in r11.5 with spline dynamics.

  27. Thomas

    WoW! Weirdly interesting and awesome! Great idea, Nick!

  28. nattu

    Wow! thats great..pls, post it soon….

  29. Chetan

    You are right Nick, you can’t wait either.
    But, how would students buy it so soon? ๐Ÿ™ You have taught us so much, that’s enough ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Is this anywhere near correct?

  31. Hey guys if your running 11.5 I figured out a way to do this. Its a little tricky but you can perform the bounce.
    Your going to have to do this the old dynamic way…

    Start with a solver and gravity under the dynamics tab.

    get a plane and a sphere or whatever you want to bounce.

    now put the gravity, plane, and sphere under/in the solver.

    hit C on both the plane and object you want to bounce to make them editable.

    Now on the plane go to tags>dynamic tags>Rigid body dynamic.

    Note were not using the Mograph>Rigid body tag because we are using a Dynamic solver and gravity.

    in the tag under mass put the total mass to 0.

    This way it won’t fall with gravity.

    and under collision put to full and your done there.

    Now on to the object you want to bounce.

    go to tags>dynamic tags>Soft body spring.

    a little window will pop up.

    Here is where it can get tricky. Now I haven’t gone all the way through these yet some of them take a lot of computing power and I’m only running a laptop ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ok so with the soft body tag window up

    go to springs>add soft springs (you need your object selected when you do this)

    and another little window will open.

    there will be a line called METHOD

    instead of structural you will need to hit Min/Max

    Now this is where it is up to you.

    underneath there you can choose how much you want to bounce.

    After you have chosen go to the collision tab

    under that you will see collision detection

    click it to Full.

    After that you are pretty much done and ready to light your scene.

    ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope this helps guys and happy C4D!

    Ps. can’t wait for your tut Nick looks amazing!

  32. Woken up at 3 am by a massive hangover and unable to sleep, i decided to give it a try. My head is all better now ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Nick, your blog is rejuvenating.

    it’s C4D 11.5

  33. Davy Menge

    You can always play around with the demo, at least to learn how to do it.

  34. Hi! It’ll be interesting to hear your take on the soft body. It tends to generate results that looks more of quantum physics than real life.
    I achived this with two cloner objects set to object mode (one with the balls; set to “Distribution:vertex” for the corner balls, and one with a cylinder set to Distribution:Edge for the edges).

  35. Steve

    Nick, I gave it a shot in Release 11.5, had to go where I had not been before. Still working to get the atom look on it….
    See the first try on

  36. gemy26

    Thanks Nick
    can i do that in Cinema 4D 11.5 ?
    if i can , could u show us how ?

  37. simon

    actually, that’s looks kind of easy
    you just play with the softbody and the atom array. awesome idea !

  38. Andrew

    I think Chetan should stop moaning and whining and look around there other way to have the product then when you making $$ out of it you pay back..

  39. oh hell yea. such a fun idea. working on it now

    it was amazingly easy with soft body dynamics in 12!! now im just texturing and rendering..

  40. Tiffer

    Hay Nick is Softbody easy to work with text in 12 ?

  41. hmm the only thing i cant figure out is how to get the faces in the right spots.. oh now that im typing this the solution seems obvious… dont hide the base object! =] brb..

  42. Simon

    To make the Atom array follow the sphere just use xpresso and ur brain^^ done in 10 seconds..

  43. Seinfeld

    I remade it aswell.

    Only i had a funny bug with the cloner spheres inside.

    I set there segments to 6 with render perfect on (this usually works and cuts down render time), but now the balls would go from small to big when the bigger spheres hit the ground :P.

  44. Chetan

    Hey Andrew, why not mind your business instead? It’s my wish and I find Nick as my close friend which doesn’t bother me telling him what I felt.

  45. Andrew

    You right Chetan is not my business,I’m sorry for pinching your heart is not my intention to squeeze it.What I’m trying to say there is an endeavors to get the product in alot of ways,85% of people do it.When ever you have the dough you compensate for the tools.Stop whining man. Happy Thankgiving

  46. alright here’s my work in progress.. still have to render out all the frames (i got impatient and cut off the end), and there’s some post work i wanna do in after effects.. enjoy =]

    btw nick thanks for the idea and the homework.. i actually learned a LOT while figuring this out!!

  47. James Beautron

    Im honestly lost on this one. Im just not getting the missing link. I can create both the glass and frame spheres, add soft dynamics, Collide and bounce, But cannot seem to get them to work together no matter how or whatever way i group them. Tis an enigma for me at this moment. Looking forward to Nicks tut.

  48. Chetan

    Forget it. I wasn’t whining man ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s so funny the way you have interpret what I have told. Anyways, Nick made a good point there. Take care ๐Ÿ™‚ And yeah, Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  49. Mathias Refshรธj

    Heres my take on it:

    Done using 2 cloners to fake the atom array look.

    I hope Nick will describe the way using an atom array and instance/moinstance, since I cant make my instance follow my real…

  50. Bebebhelle

    Nick was right! He can’t wait everybody to upgrade first before he do some tutorial for version 12. You can also do it with version 11.5, in fact somebody did so why can’t we, see earlier comments.

    Thanks nick! Great tutorials! i love the gorilla! lol

  51. jakob

    my gosh guys succeed w/ 11.5 cld i request putting up a step-by-step tut? ๐Ÿ™‚


  52. I cant see any of the comments for some reason?

  53. Same here, tried with IE, FF, Safari ๐Ÿ™
    Any advise? ..need to read suggestion for making it in 11.5 version.

  54. austin

    Couldn’t see comments referenced from tutorial. Delete this comment.

  55. athime de crecy

    that is maybe possible with clothilde I think.
    I gonna try !

  56. Woken up at 3 am by a massive hangover and unable to sleep, i decided to give it a try. My head is all better now ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Nick, your blog is rejuvenating.

  57. Tiffer

    Can you post a pic of your file setup ive been trying it to

  58. athime de crecy

    my computer crashed and i haven’t saved my file I try again

  59. Tiffer

    2 spheres change 1 to Tetrahedron 9 segments
    and drop it into atom array then group them all……. glass material on 2nd sphere

  60. I’m pretty sure it’s icosahedron

  61. Dmitry

    in c4d11.5 it is called Atom Array

  62. Cheebachops

    A more versatile way to do this is via the matrix object, cloner and tracer object.This way allows more control over the shapes you can have at each intersection and along the connecting rods.
    Atom array is the quick solution, but to get nicely rounded geom. you have to use high poly counts.

  63. 12 core machine takes 5 hours to render that!?!
    I wonder how many years it would take to render this with my 4 core , Lol.

  64. There will still be things to learn for 11.5 users I promise. Besides, am I supposed to wait until EVERYONE upgrades before I do tutorials for 12?

  65. Rowan

    Thanks for that I’ll certainly check out those references, great link! I think my problem lies with the slightly complex shape I have, but we’ll see. Thank you.

  66. roban

    How did you connected the Atom array to the sphere mesh? It falls apart

  67. Make a clone of the sphere below the atom array but don’t make it a child. It should stay connected. Make sure render perfect is unchecked as well. Let me know if that helps

  68. athime de crecy

    okay I did that by putting cloth tag to a sphere ( low res, editable and without phong tag) then I’ve duplicate my sphere (with the cloth tag) and put it into an atom array and voila !
    you can change the cloth tag’s settings but they must be the same for the two spheres.
    Then if you put a collision (modyn) tag to the first sphere and to a cloner objet (with an object inside of course), and a ground with a collision (modyn) and cloth collision you gonna have that you want !

  69. athime de crecy

    of course that is only one solution for the realase 11.5, there is ,I think, many more solution to arrive at this result !

  70. Great look! Is this straight outta C4D or did you take it into post? If so, what type of tweaks or effects did you apply?


  71. athime de crecy

    thanks (even if I don’t think so)
    There is a little bit of post, a simple curve and , we cannot see that with the low quality, some images of paint splatter in multiply mode and very very low opacity.

  72. athime de crecy

    P.S.when i said “even if i don’t think so” that was to say “i don’t think that is as a great look as that
    P.P.S.sorry for my bad english, I’m not really

  73. ok thanks I’ve got what you have, I used an instance object with a modyn tag to make the glass, this way it inherits the exact deformation of the sphere that is in the atom array. (with a cloth tag)
    Thing is now, how to let them bounce off each other when there are 2 balls? I’ve tried with a solver and old style dynamics but it doesn’t work for me. When i put modyn tags on the grouped balls they freak out and lose the inner balls.

  74. Thanks to both of you. I was referring to athime’s post, but appreciate the extra info as well.

  75. Daniel

    Just put a small sphere in a cloner to get a bunch of spheres with a rigid body tag and position it in the atom array. nothing special in my setup.

  76. Thomas

    ..and not to mention I love the refractive and reflective glass. Eyecandy and brain-ache at the same time hehe

  77. I won’t do ONLY Cinema 12 tuts. But I will be sprinkling them in every once in a while.

  78. Steve

    Done?? Apart from the balls inside and the two interacting with each other. I did not sleep much trying to get it done in R11.5. Discovered a lot of things while working on it.

  79. haha well yea steve i just wanted to help people with the bouncy balls first after that putting the others inside shouldn’t be to hard just a cloner object with some rigid bodies.

  80. Soul Walker

    hey shane, tried this yesterday and as soon as I hit ok after the Min/Max section, on ‘method’ part, Cinema 11.5 just crashed..
    I did see the sphere filled with red dots..

    I’m on a phenom II x6, 4gb ddr3 win7 x64, so I think we should suggest some “safe” values, like “if your sphere has xx radius, then use ‘this’ range while setting the soft springs part”.

    Anyway thanks for your steps guide, it’s better than no R11.5 tutorial at all! hehe

  81. Everything I post goes thought at least a little post work. I added color correction and a bit of sun light in After Effects.

  82. Steve

    RELEASE 11.5: GOT IT, took me a while, but got it all in: atom soft bounce, trapped balls, double collide. Used al lot of stuff. To be honest, the atom look is fake, did it by placing balls,and cylinders on the vertices and edges using a cloner in object mode with the soft body as the object.

  83. Mathias Refshรธj

    I did this with a sphere 10 segments icosa with softbody tags

    Using a cloner for spheres on the vertex and a cloner for cylinders on the egdes.

    However my spheres and cylinders wouldnt follow the spheres, and it had a slight delay.

    However this was fixed by caching the dynamic simulation and thus the fake atom array followed it ๐Ÿ˜€

    Now im just rendering, tho area shadows, refraction and all the good stuff this turns out to take alot of time, but I think my result looks nice.

    Will post it when its done rendering

  84. I used the mograph cloner with object mode. one for the spheres with vertex distribution, and one for the cylinders with edge distribution. the only problem I’m having is i cant figure out how to make the cylinders be outside the base object.

  85. AHA… turned off “Render Perfect”. gave me my flat faces =] im learning all kinds of new stuff while i experiment to get this result!

  86. I delete the phong tag on my glass sphere on top of turning off render perfect. Did anyone do the same?

  87. I am fairly new as well. I’m a long time technical writer, so when I saw the phong tag, I went to the help to figure out what it is. Basically it acts as a smoothing agent between polygons. It’s normally highly important to give nice smooth surfaces, but sometimes it needs to go away to give the right results. That’s my 4 beer explanation lol.

  88. Mathias Refshรธj

    As Nick would say:

    There is no RIGHT way. Aslong as the final output is as it should be ๐Ÿ˜€

  89. Thanks. I was thinking in terms of my setup in the object manager. But either way, the success is getting new ways to challenge myself. So I call that a win.

  90. I imagine Nick would give a gigantic affirmative to that. It’s new, so it takes a bit to get how they set it up but once you’re in, it’s bliss.

  91. Andrei

    See my post above (setup screenshot included)

  92. Let’s not start a fight. If one of you can have you’re opinion, so can the other.

  93. here’s what i did:
    (set to object, use glass sphere as object, distribution:vertex)
    -sphere (small, for the vertices)
    (object, glass sphere as object, distribution:edge)
    -cylinder (thin, these are the bars)
    (grid, sphere mode)
    -sphere (for the interior balls)

    thats one of the objects. now put the soft body dynamic tag on the original sphere, and adjust your settings there =]

  94. Got the same issue.
    Baking bodytag with the 11.5 solution (cloners) seems to work nice. But with 12, using PSR/mesh deformer or other ways result in shape differences along frames. Hmmmmmmm.

    Bums me.. haha

  95. oh yea i should have mentioned mine was in 12. i had no problems getting the soft body to behave properly.. i just applied it to the base object and set the vertex and edge cloners to that object. it doesnt quite have proper collision detection (it goes off the base object instead of each individual ball on the vertices etc), but its close enough for jazz =]

  96. If you select your soft body tags for your main shapes as well as the rigid ones for the balls inside, you can bake the dynamics in the ‘cache’ tab. If you make changes after the bake, clear the cache to avoid problems. I was getting different/wrong output renders than my preview renders. i.e. inner glass not staying meshed to it’s object. This solved it.

    My only real lingering issue (besides mimicking that awesome glass texture Nick is rocking) is that my floor keeps eating my outer balls, and I can’t bake the rigid body tag on my plane because I just turn it’s dynamics off for it to work correctly.

  97. On second glance though, Nick’s floor is eating his balls too. *snicker* Maybe it’s just because they’re part of the object with the softbody tag.

  98. You can increase the collision margin in the dynamics tag to compensate for the floor-eating problem.