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Create a Floating Balloon Animation In Cinema 4D Using HDRI Lighting and Particles 143 Comments



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In this tutorial, I go though the process of modeling, animating and lighting an animation I did for a Five Second Project called “Balloons In Black And White.” Follow along in Cinema 4D as I use particles, HDRI lighting and reflective textures to create this scene.

Original Animation…

Light Kit Pro
HDRI Studio Pack

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143 Comments

  1. Harry Mitchell

    Hi nick loved the Tutorial but can you add the HDRI file so I can try this out for myself ?

    Keep it up

    Reply
    • Lorenzo Pozza

      That’s a great tutorial! Love your vids, gorila. But could you release this HRDI? It would help a lot.
      Thanks, Lorenzo

      Reply
        • Same here! i’ve been tinkering around with the materials in R13 but can’t seem to get the transparency right either! they just become more and less reflective in mighty funky ways it seems
          balloons also only start turning transparant fromthe 50% mark it seems, but still it gives me overall funky weirdness! wonderful tut though!

          Reply
        • sorry… what exactly is the tutorial called? I can’t find it.

          Reply
  2. OK. This puts GSG over the top as my new #1 site.

    I’m practically developing obsessive-compulsive disorder visiting here daily! Keep up the awesome!

    Reply
  3. Hi Nick,

    Been sowing this around the office today and people are blown away.

    I have one question, is it possible to do this with an alpha on the balloons so I can compost them in AE with out the HDRI background for example?

    Cheers, Garus

    Reply
    • Toward the end of the tutorial, I go though how to export the balloons with an alpha for compositing. I do it in photoshop, but the process is the same for AE.

      Reply
  4. Pixelbinge

    This is the type of stuff I’m talking about. The new schedule format is working great. Again, thanks for taking the time to do this. You’ve got more style than a fashion designer that knows CSS.

    Reply
  5. Great tutorial! Being able to connect a modeled object with a particle system is going to come in handy!

    Here is my attempt at this tutorial:

    http://bit.ly/fjVUS

    The edges are a bit ratty, I may have forgotten to set the anti-aliasing or I didn’t have enough segments. The three balloons in the bottom right corner were added in Photoshop, since that corner was a bit empty.

    Thanks again – great tut!
    Adam

    Reply
    • Really Nice. The Antialiasing settings will help with that ragged edge for sure. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  6. Nice One. I’ve strayed from particles in C4D cause they seem to confuse me to much. Any chance you could post a quick comment on how you would achieve detection between each balloon, so if they touched while flying they would bounce off each other.
    Thanks dude.

    Reply
    • I haven’t played around with collision detection. I think we may need to use Thinking Particles for that.

      Reply
  7. Great tutorial. I was wondering if there was a reason that you choose to add more geometry instead of using HyperNURBS? Great site. I’m a big fan.

    Reply
    • having hyperNURBS on many instances of geometry will slow the scene down dramatically. If you bake the object, it should be quicker.

      Reply
  8. Xavier

    Hey Nick I was looking for a photoshop tutorial on your website and suddenly a suggestion came to my mind, it would be great if instead of one link called “more tutorials” there were 4 different ones called “photoshop”, “after effects”, “cinema 4d”, and “all tutorials”. That way it would be much easier to find them, unless I have been searching bad.

    Cheers! keep up the good work : )

    Reply
    • Thanks Xavier! I’m always struggling to find a way to keep my blog better organized. Try using the “Categories” picker to choose specific tutorial categories. I am also working on a secondary navigation bar with sections for each program. More to come as always.

      Reply
  9. SuperTosta

    Hi nick one more fantastic tutorial, i would love to know what plug in do you have to PS AE and C4D

    thanks

    Reply
      • SuperTosta

        No, apart of this tutorial i would like to know if you have plug ins to this 3 aplications and what are they :)

        Reply
  10. Markusw

    Hey Nick I noticed that you updated to C4D R11. I also updated this week and was wondering how did you get the render settings to look like R10. R11 render settings are set up a little different by default.

    Reply
    • Markusw

      I just got through the rest of the video and realized you were using 10.5…lol…hey you should do a tutorial about the R11 render settings…its a bit different.

      Reply
      • hehe. Yeah, I will have some R11 videos soon for sure. I am still getting my head wrapped around it too.

        Reply
  11. CAn you do a tutorial showing how to do a Transformer type of animation. Where something folds out into something new. Thanks

    Reply
  12. Do you think your original Balloon Null would have worked if you were to ‘Unhide’ the grouping?

    Great tutorial by the way, thanks so much. :)

    Reply
      • Oh, I was wrong! I just doublechecked it and yes, you can use the Group inside the emitter. I just forgott to set the particles to be seen inside the emitter…

        Reply
  13. Cool Nick!

    I’d like to point out one thing regarding the wind deformer. Wind deformer in your scene didn’t have any effect on the particles, because the shape of emmiter is set to box by default, which means it only affects particles inside that box and your particles didn’t really fly trough it.
    One more thing, wind deformer is working in Z+ axis, so if you want your particles to fly up you should rotate it around so the Z axis of deformer is pointing the way ou want it.

    Just my two cents :)

    Keep those videos comming in, it’s good to get off work for a moment and just watch those tutorials :)

    Reply
  14. hi,

    Great tutorial. that wind backwards thing was buggin me all the way through =P

    Small things though. In the part where you try to reduce the amount of balloons and increase the size of the emitter, you could just decrease the size of the baloon =D

    And lastly you should check your emitter, there appears to be something wrong with it. Mine takes null objects just fine.

    Oh yeah, and gravity isnt infinite it’s defined by a box by default. you have to change it to unlimited in the “shape” tab.

    but cheers on all the regular posting!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the tips Aleskey! I usually play around until it works and then stop. I definitely need to learn more of the finer details and workflow of C4D. You comments help. Thanks again!

      Reply
      • No Problems.

        If you have any questions about c4d, just shoot me an email, i’ll do what i can to help. I’m really inspired by your site and your effort! I’ve been trying to start making tutorials again for like 3 years now, just can’t get off my ass and make em.

        Just had an idea for your 5 second project, hope i can get myself to do that.

        Reply
  15. Jules

    Brilliant. Thanks Nick. I actually managed to create something in C4D that looks pretty stunning.

    One suggestion for something I’d like to see covered in a future post is how to use depth of field in C4D. I’ve seen the option in the rendering settings, but haven’t really been able to get it to work.

    Keep up the good work.

    J.

    Reply
  16. Jules

    Hmm. Looking closer at my render, it doesn’t look like the transparency is working. I’ve tried lots of different settings, but still can’t get it to work properly (reflections and lighting looks great, but not transparency).

    Looking again at your tut, it looks like it’s not working for you either? Works in you original animation though.

    Any ideas?
    thanks.

    Reply
    • I thought the same when I saw my render first time. But render it out and open it in AE and you´ll see the transparency. Its not obvious on every frame, but here and there you will see some nice shinethrough/refraction of the ballons in the background.

      Reply
      • Jules

        Ah, OK. I don’t have AE, just rendering stills and tweaking in PS. Thanks though.

        Reply
  17. Akatsuki5

    Hey Nick,
    Recently stumbled upon your blog but, Im already a humble fan.
    I have a question about the HDRi file, I loaded the file into the material>Luminance settings and applied that material to the sky layer, but it only showed up as black.
    I opened with photoshop and the file look as it did on your screen. Not sure what to do.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Try to rotate the sky object in its rotationsettings, maybee you just show up only the dark part of the Hdri-image…

      Reply
    • Jules

      Same thing happened for me – think it must be a r11 thing? You’ll need to open the file in PS, save it as a 32 bit tiff and then import it. Hopefully that should do the trick.

      Reply
  18. Nice information for those beginning. Really nice to see cinema 4D users helping each other on the web. Great job

    Reply
  19. Hey nick! Once again a great tutorial!

    What software do you use to record your tutorials? Its great that we can see exactly what you are hitting on the keyboard! Thanks

    Reply
    • Actually, I use Screenflow. It works really well for me. It captures key commands and allows me to zoom in and stuff. Highly recommended.

      Reply
  20. Hi Nick,

    Would you be kind and doe a soft schadow ttorial for C4D.

    Thanks man,

    Reply
  21. Hi Nick, great tutorial.

    Good to see that also great men ‘stumble’ sometimes ;) . The reason your ballons are not showing in the emitter is you turned off the visibility on the balloon-object, with the red dots.

    Wonderful textures on the balloons. You’re doing a great job with the site.

    Reply
    • Dusan

      Yeah. That is the problem. And really nice tutorial, like always!

      Reply
  22. Rohan

    The .exr file is not working for me. Anyone know why? i am able to apply it in the luminance channel, but for some reason it does not show, i can’t see it.

    Reply
  23. happening to me aswell, the exr is not showing in the luminance channel, any ideas???

    thanks

    Reply
  24. the reason it doesn´t show the ballons is cos you have to click show objects in the the particle settings, no need of so many connects stuff.

    thanks, nice tuto.

    Reply
  25. STPHN

    Hello Mr Gorilla;

    Thx for sharing knowledge I never thought of entering the 3D so easily but if you have time maybe you will answer this question. I followed this tutorial step by step cheking all the thing and i still have a problem (problem solving right? =)
    when i put my Tiff render in after effect and just hit play i have a fog in my balloons a black fog exactly. it look like its too fast . I render it @ 30 fps and everything is setup @ 30 fps in AE .when i import the Tiffs in AE i let AE do the alpha thing . With a still image everything is ok but in motion, bam i have this damned blackfog .Keep up the awsome thx again

    regards from Belgium

    Reply
  26. Hey man!

    Love your video’s. This one is truly amazing. I’ll stay around for more video’s to admire.

    Thx,
    Phili

    Reply
  27. bxzhong

    Nice job Nick!thank you for share with the knowledge.i’ll keep in watch you exciting tutorial!

    Reply
  28. you know you can turn that crappy “flick panning” off in photoshop yeah?

    Reply
  29. Linkin

    hey great tutorial. helped me a lot! but like somebody mentioned above I can´t apply the .exr file to the scene nor use it in another test scene. any ideas what is wrong there?

    would love to use it and test the turoial by myself!!!

    Reply
  30. Not sure if you still check the comments on older post, but i’ll try anyway.

    I was wondering how to add collision detection to this tutorial? Has anyone figured it out?
    im still working on 10.5

    Thanks!

    Reply
  31. I need some advice on my file I can render my animation, I think it wouldb e better served if someone were to look over my file and tell me where I went wrong.

    Reply
  32. Hey, nice tutorial! I have a question though, for some reason, i cant see my segments, you know what you call in this video “resolution”, if i turn them up, i can see it getting rounder, but, I cant see the white segments, any idea? Thanks!

    Reply
  33. Speachhammer

    i have a very….newbie kinda question…i havent gotten the new version of c4d just yet and i am very new at using it and trying to teach myself…i guess my question is…how do you expand the keyframes if you want to make a animation longer than 90 frames?

    Reply
  34. Hi, I want to say great tutorial, soon I will send you some questions about cinema 4d or suggestions too, inspires me that people like you spend time doing these things, thank you.
    Greetings from Argentina

    Reply
  35. mauro

    hey! have you seen these balloons on the new skunk anansie’s video? pretty close nick’s.

    Reply
  36. por favor dime donde puedo descargar la imajen hdri…. nesesito esa imajen, no la encuentro en ningun lugar… me puedes decirr donde descargar es imajen… porfavor el archivo hdri no lo encuentro… ayudame… hel my please

    Reply
  37. Hey Nick,

    do you have a tip how to prevent the balloons from overlapping ? It seems not to be easy i think ..

    Thanks,

    Fabian

    Reply
    • You have to add some Mograph Dynamics to keep them from touching. I am working on a tut now actually. Stay tuned :)

      Reply
      • Steven

        Hi,

        Just wanted to check and see if you ever did a tutorial demonstrating collision detection between the balloons?

        Thanks,

        Steven

        Reply
    • Hey Nick,

      i found in one of your tutorials, that you can use effectors like wind and gravity to a clone objects with mograph, that was the missing link ! So i got it working in a pretty simple way, keep on your work i really love it.

      Cheers,

      Fabian

      Reply
  38. Damien

    Hey nick,
    can you post where i can get your hdri, please…

    Reply
  39. Jeremico

    I love the tuts by the way! But i had a quick question…is there a way you can make the particles interact with each other. Instead of just merging, to make them bounce of each other.

    Reply
  40. Hey Gorilla

    thanks for the tuts on your blog its really helping me!

    this is the first time i used c4d for animation and first time using after effects too – this is what i managed (after alot of head scratching) http://vimeo.com/10390530

    Reply
  41. Hey Nick,
    That was a nice one!

    If you put some blur amout with a frensel on the transparanty it won’t look so “glassy” with that refraction level.

    But on the other hand; that will seriousy slow down the render time.

    Earlier on a made this wallpaper, check it if you like :)

    http://www.mographer.com/balloons/

    Reply
  42. Hi man, that material u used for the sky, can u get that for free?! If yes, where can I get it?!

    -Paranoizer

    Reply
  43. mauricio

    Hello Nick your tutorials are great! but I have a question … how do I get the balloons do not cross each other, ie how to apply the particle collision??

    If anyone can help me! hug everyone. Thank you!

    Reply
  44. Whatup Gorilla, You Killin me when you forgot the ballon layer hidden lol..
    I like this tutorial & i’ii show you my final render…
    ThankX The Gorilla

    Reply
  45. Hello Nick!

    First let me just say thank you for making so many helpful tutorials!! I’ve learned so much from watching as well as doing the tutorials that you create.

    I have a question. I’ve been using C4D for probably about 3 solid months and because of your tutorials, I’ve got a decent idea on how to do things. I was wondering… I am doing something along the lines of this ballon floating through space, except mine is a bubble floating through space. Is there a way you know of to pop a ballon?

    Also should I not invest in trying to create water in C4D? I was told that RealFlow is meant for that and C4D water isn’t as realistic.

    Reply
  46. hi nike thanks alot for the tuts hekps alot, am just 2weeks old in c4d, but am doing pretty good. thanks man

    Reply
    • hi nick thanks alot for the tuts hekps alot, am just 2weeks old in c4d, but am doing pretty good. thanks man

      Reply
  47. Hi Nick,

    Endless thanks for this great tutorial.
    I’m just wondering how long did it take for you to render the final movie?

    Cheers

    Reply
  48. tsiwt

    I have to say that your videos+personality had made C4D fun to learn, two thumbs up. when I am finished, i am def. going to buy some of your products.

    peace

    Reply
  49. saunter

    Just cant seem to get a sequence where one or more of the balloons don’t pass threw one another.
    Had a crack at making them rigid body and opened up a whole new rabbit hole to play in. Plus im working in R12 so id love to see if I can inflate one of the balloons as it goes past.
    I think im making this harder than it should be.
    Maybe a good tut to re-do with the new dynamics system in r12.

    Reply
    • Ruben

      Thanks for linking it, I’ve been scrolling through these comments forever trying to find it.

      Reply
  50. eminkoff

    Hi.
    How to make that the balloons don’t pass threw one another?
    Is it possible?

    Reply
  51. jbmunson

    Man you sounded way too serious in 2009. Your communication skills have goten better!
    Congrats!

    Reply
  52. Dan Nguyen

    I know I’m like 3 years late to the party … but I just started using c4d, and I’m trying to work my way through as many tutorials as I can. For some reason I couldn’t get the transparency to look right and in my viewport the black balloons were always kinda greyish, so I tweaked it in after effects. I don’t know if any of you ran into that problem, but it would be great to know what I was doing wrong.

    https://vimeo.com/37070394

    Reply
    • I have just the same problem, im working with C4D R13 but the Luminance shader is not anymore so i dont know where can i find it, did you find the solution for that problem?

      Reply
  53. I truly love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my very own blog and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

    Reply
  54. yotam

    hi guys
    i know this is a very old tutorial,but…
    do you thinck there is a way to add text layers to the ballons?
    i mean diffrent text to each one..it could be nice for names or logos etc..
    i really dont have a clue where to begin..
    any way,this is a great website,thought me a lot!
    yotam

    Reply
  55. Hey, thank you so much for the tutorials you make.
    I often struggle with Cinema 4d, because most of the tutorials are really boring, but I like that yours are real and as you said you solve problems on the go, which makes it more interesting and teaches people how to think for themselves, not just follow blindly the tutorial =))

    Thanks so much! =)
    oh and btw: I loved your talk at creative mornings =) I showed it to everybody from my specialty in the university =)

    Reply
  56. Norman

    You are a master, really good and amazing tutorials thanks.

    Reply
  57. Ruslan

    Hello Nick. I Have a question. How can I avoid to getting balloons one into another. I tried to add rigged body tag but it’s don’t give a correct result. I will be happy if you will give me some suggestion. Thank you again.

    Reply
  58. Kevin Bain

    If I wanted it so that when the balloons collided, they bounced off each other, how would I go about it?

    I’m pretty new, and tried using the rigid body tags but that doesn’t work.

    Reply
  59. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for the great tutorials!
    Had a question. I’m trying to do balloons with strings with my animation class. We are using a tracer object with hair. The hair/strings seem to come off the balloons when the animation is played more than once.
    Here is the set up:
    Cloner>Add Tracer. Tracing Mode=Connect Elements. Select Tracer and add Hair. Hair Dynamics=Hold Roots, Roots 500cm, Segments 24. Hairs>Roots>As Guides

    thanks!
    Teri

    Reply

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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.