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Cinema 4D Texture Tips and Tricks 147 Comments

I have been learning a lot about texturing while making the GSG Texture Kit. So, I wanted to post a few tricks and tips about mapping textures and making them behave properly in Cinema 4D.

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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.


    • Horst Wittmann

      Oh my god, what should I do without you?
      The most professional stuff at the Internet.
      Hey Guys, you are the best!!!!

      Thank’s a lot!

      Kind regards from Germany,
      Horst Wittmann

  1. Marco

    I think its great! its a good way to teach people use C4d in a more professional way.

    I would love to see an unwrapping tutorial for characters πŸ˜€

    pd: sorry if my english suxs

  2. Kasper

    Really REALLY useful. This saves so much times and trouble. THANKS!

  3. This is definitely useful! I think it may help me solve a problem I was having with the hair tutorial a little while back.

    Speaking of hair, I’m loving the new look πŸ™‚

  4. Kevin Moody

    Would cubic making be similar to the fit to region?

    • I personally like to use cubic more, it seems like it maps the texture in a less flat and more realistic way. Unless you have a texture that isn’t seamless.

    • That’s exactly what I thought…. Because else (like in the video) the top will be stretched…

  5. Majci

    Nice tut.. I didn’t know about fit to region, thanks
    PS: For better displacement try change in MoText options Intermediate points to uniform πŸ˜€

  6. Tommeh

    His is a bit of an unrelated question…

    Is their a way to apply physics to a object that’s been displaced?
    (the displacement itself)
    Meaning: can I make a sphere that’s been displaced roll on the actual displacement? Not the sphere it self?

    If I can, how?
    I can’t seem to make it work.

    If not…

    Thx in advance.

    Great tutorials nick!
    Diggin the new hair!

    • Martijn

      there is a displace deformer in R12, the actually deforms te geometry of the object, you can even see the geometry deforming in your viewport.
      only downside is that you need a lot of polygons to smooth it out

  7. Todd VanSlyck

    Great tips, thanks. I noticed that on UV mapping, it tends to just stretch the texture to long lines, especially on edges of things. Any tips on solving that problem? It seems this tip works only on the front surface.

    • nicky

      You should do a proper UV Map. You can use Bodypaint for that

      • David Scott

        I’d love to see a tutorial on Bodypaint. It’s like the forbidden zone – you have to change layout and everything – completely shakes my confidence.

      • Todd VanSlyck

        cool,thanks for the tip. Have to check for some tuts on that

        • Check out 3D kiwi’s bodypaint tutorial. Its costs a bit, but definately worth it. You’ll be sorted after that.

  8. Hey Nick.. I know this is off topic, but what program should I use to make HDR images for the light kit?

    I have a tripod head and stitching software for my 360 photos and I’d like to make HDR images for 3D lighting.

    Help? Photomatrix?

    • Martin Andersson

      HDRshop is your tool or i guess photomatix on a mac yes.
      Not sure photomatix will unwrap 360 balls though.

      Heard one guy who projected his images on a 3d ball and then used the 3d software to unwrap a flat image of the projection on the 3d ball but that didnt sound to simple.

      Most importantly though get this:

      • Thanks… I’ve been reading up on this… Now my only problem is, I’ve been using my HDRI lighting with GreyScale’s HDRI Studio Pack and this isn’t good for animation when using Global illuminations.

        What is the best way to light I scene in C4D with a HDRI without GI? Do I somehow use a sky object? I’m using R12, so any help would be useful.


        • MichiSchwarz

          To light a scene with a HDRI without GI?? What would the purpose of the HDRI be? Only the reflection in the material? Normally you would fake a GI with the standard lights built into Cinema 4D. That means: Light dome for general lightning and then carefully positioned lights in the scene. Have a look at this:
          Had a training with this guy and he faked the GI with normal lights. Can get long to position the lights though…

  9. I learn something new every time you post something, thanks

    I’m curious as to how well the Fit To Region mapping works when animating a camera, and why you wouldn’t use Cubic mapping instead?

    • If you don’t have a seamless texture, cubic mapping dose not work very well.

      • Michael

        Unless you select “seamless” in which it will reflect the texture map on each edge and make it work a little better, depending on the texture. Cubic is good because it maps the sides of the text the same as the front, so if you pulled the camera to an angle, it wont look stretched and ugly.

  10. CnApTaK

    thanks! it was very helpfull. really looking forward to the tutorial, how to make a splash of falling drops of water

  11. John John bo Bon

    Sweet. Good tip. Just an idea for the functionality for your site, It would be nice if there was a way to keep the video in play mode when you click on the comments. Kind of stinks that you have to go back and restart the video. You can achieve this with Ajax although will take a little work to get that working on your site

  12. vonpixel

    Nice stuff. Displacement tricks are good.

    I would found that bounding boxes in conjunction with the tips you mentioned work great for text too. Fit to region helps me figure out a good scale- then I do bounding box tweaks to get that. Its nice if your camera gets a good view of the sides where it can streak with the fit to region method.

  13. AGT Design

    Anybody know of a good site to get free textures? I’d buy GSG’s kit but I don’t have the money right now. Thanks!

    • Chris192 is a good resource for pictures/textures, although you will have to make the C4D texture yourself. a good tip would be to put the picture in a displacement or bump channel as well as the color channel, then mess with the “white and black points” to get a nice bump map with the texture.

    • You can do a google search, and find tons of sites with free textures. And another way (A little more work however) is to get your camera and and take pictures of your favorite textures on your own!!!

  14. This lightbox make look like that have some Gi
    nice tuto

  15. Hey, great tips. It will really relp me in an old project that I had stoped few months ago. Thanks. (sorry about my English).

    • dwight

      The MoText looked “pretty weird” till the end because he was showing us how to fix the problem of it looking weird. I think it would be very difficult if Nick would to show us the fully textured MoText without showing us how to make it, just to avoid helping us solve the problem of it looking “pretty weird”. If this isn’t the way to texture the word “four” with a blue coral texture on it, please help me out and show me an example of one.

      • MichiSchwarz

        Try for instance this:
        1.) Projection mode “cubic” and not UVW-mode
        2.) Apply your texture
        3.) Click on the texture tag and go to “Tags”->”Fit to object”

        If you need more geometry on the MoText:
        1.) Click on MoText
        2.) Go to the “Object” Tab and subdivide it reasonably
        3.) In the “Object” Tab go to intermediate points further down, select regular and use reasonable points
        4.) Go to “Caps” Tab and do what Nick did in his video

        • Throb36

          To get the most even polys, it’s best to make sure the subdivision number and the intermediate points number are the same. (Like 10 and 10)

  16. Connect Object! I wish I had known about that a few weeks ago when I was doing a project that needed textured-text.

    One thing I found, in addition to adding the “regular grid” and extra subdivisions was to change the “Intermediate Points” to uniform, and increase the count.

    • David Scott

      Spot on! and you can change the motext>object>intermediate points to ‘subdivided’ and nominate an appropriate detail (i.e. 10cm, whatever) and match it in the Caps>type (tick regular grid quadrangle). Voila, no more ugly fillets.

  17. Huston Petty

    Amazing thank you! where do i go to see you kits?

    • Vaibhav Bharadwaj

      LOL! πŸ˜€ I asked the same question seconds ago!

      • Warning to Everyone: Don’t go to a new city-to a new barber and ask for the usual…

        Hopefully back to gorilla hair soon.

  18. Vaibhav Bharadwaj

    Hey Nick, thanx for the tips πŸ˜€

    And OMG what happened to your hair!?? I think its tired and taking rest πŸ™‚

  19. Gavin

    I have a question, And I would love it if someone could please answer. I really need the help. I am making a little character out of a cube. I want to make him all hairy, so I add the hair to him. Now I want to give him a mouth, So I use bool and give him a mouth. Now the problem is I don’t know how to get rid of the hair around the mouth that I don’t want there, because you can’t see the mouth. So basically I need to know how to delete hair from an object but keep all the hair I do want. Any help would be hugely appreciated! thanks!

    • You can do that a couple of ways. You can either use the scissors/cut tool to trim the unwanted hair or you could delete the hair.
      Select the polygons you want to have hair on and then add a new hair object. The new hair will only grow on the selected polys.

      Hope that helps


  20. David Scott

    Speaking of texturing….

    Does anyone have a solid gold method of using Arroway’s Specular and Glare maps in C4D? (I try using these maps in the Spec Ref channel, the Reflection channel, and/or the Diffusion channel, but I’m not totally sure…). Got a tip?

  21. love your haircut and your tut, thx, useful tips as usual !

    from France

  22. Lawrence

    Great tip! Great ‘married’ hair as well πŸ˜€ Keep em coming big guy

  23. Here is my question, and I’m not sure if it was touched on. How do you texture two materials at the same time? For example text or object. I have seen it done, but not sure on the reason behind it.

    What do you think about that Nick?!

    • Throb36

      You mean like 2 textures on one object? If that’s what you’re asking, then the top material probably has an alpha channel.

    • Lyonnel

      You can also use “fusion” or “layer” modes in material editor.

      • Jered

        I would really love to be steered into some tuts on using fusion and layer modes.
        Nick – you’re always fun to watch and easy to learn from.

  24. Someone

    nice stuff nick
    i think that the connect object you used will help with adding softbody to text ill try that out now

  25. Nick, the Fit To Region is nice but for what you are trying to do, Fit To Object would be quicker. And for these examples you showed, Cubic mapping would work better than uvw mapping.

  26. I’m a game development student, but I know quite a few graphic designers, professionals and students alike.

    It’s pretty common for a designer to miss basic 3D concepts like UV unwrap, vertex/face normal, normal/bump/parallax mapping, tessellation, etc etc let alone know what they actually do. I’ve seen designers (including you, Nick) use very basic 3D techniques and come up with AMAZING results.

    Now, I know my way around through several polygon based applications like Maya, Softimage, Animation Master and 3Ds Max and I’ve been tweaking around with Cinema 4D for about 2 weeks now (thanks to this site). All I have to say is that I Am Impressed. This application IS the most intuitive and easy to use I’ve got my hands with. Its modeling tools are WAY better than Maya’s and its advanced renderer is just as good as it can get. Dynamics are very easy to understand too and while somewhat limited they still get the job done.

    I can only imagine what some designers could do if they took full advantage of their 3D software of choice.

    Hope to see more in-depth tuts soon. Oh and thanks for this site, really inspiring.

  27. no only did Darren tell you a tip,you shared it with all your viewers which is awesome! but i think Darren should make a few videos to give us tips and tricks,and every now and then some tutorials!

  28. federico

    nice tutorial can you please please do a tutorial on how to light scenes and objects thanks

    • brandon

      lol where have you been for last 50 tutorials from nick? he discussing lighting in almost all of them..

  29. Thijs

    Thanks man! This REALLY helps, it saves me from a lot of struggling with textures!
    The thing I’d like to see a tutorial about is texturing in animations, like the ‘fit to region’ is really really good but it doesn’t work for animations. So if you can please make a tutorial about that?
    Thanks anyway!

    • The intro is actual footage of air bubbles in a liquid.A pipette is used to inject the bubbles, the footage is used as an overlay.
      You could fake it in c4d, but would struggle to get that natural movement and surface tension.

      • i think @cheebachops is somehow correct, i’m search a appropriate gfx video to overlay with..!!
        but what abt those txt effects, thru those bubbles

        • The text could be done in a number of ways, tracking, keyframing or in some situations by moving a text plate under the bubbles.

  30. Hey Nick! πŸ™‚

    Awesome Tips! πŸ˜€ “Fit to region” is defenitly a helpfull one!
    Here are some tips that I figured out with Texturing:

    1. If you work with different Applications for generating Textures, it happens from time to time that you have mirrored Textures. This can easily be corrected in Cinema if you right-click on the assigned Texture in the object manager and go to “Mirror Veritcally”.

    2. It’S defenitly worth to check out the Shaders in the MAterialeditor-> File-> Shaders! (Banji, Banzi, etc.)

    3. You can change the specular-type of a MAterial if you go to the Illumination Channel and switch the Model to Phong, Blinn or Oren Nayer.
    Actually I don’t know what they do exactly, but as a rule of thumb it seems that Blinn works best for organic stuff and Phong for anorganic stuff.

    4.Cinema is a bitch when it comes to laiing out UVs. -.- I highly recommend a dffrent application…

    5. There’s a little Plugin arround called “Reference-Shader”. It’s really helpful check it out!

    6. If you get used to Vertex-Maps you can easily blend an mix Materials on one object without acually using any Textures itself! Just draw where you want it and your good to go! πŸ˜€

    Thats all for now! Hope it helps somewhat! πŸ˜€

    Cheers, Fabian

  31. Cubic and/or fit to object usually work better. And just use the scale tool instead of specifying the tiling no. Also you should mention the map preview size.

    Thanks for the tip on connect.

  32. Fit to region is actually not a good solution for mapping text as it makes the texture “fit to the region.” Which is total incorrect mapping.

    A much easier and better solution would just be to switch the projection to cubic mapping. Or if you have time in your hands and would like to make it completely accurate you should just UVW Unwrap the text.

    cmon nick, we expect better from you, lol

  33. MikeC

    4 years using 4d and I have never seen the texture grid until your dog tags tutorial.
    I just use texture tags with C1,R1 ect.
    This is a cool alternate though.

    I learned quick tip the other day:
    Say you have four planes that make a square and you want the four planes to display a single picture and you want to move the planes around and keep that same pic on each one.
    Put the 4 editable planes in a group put the picture texture on the group, set it to cubic >fit to object then go tags>copy tags to children, viola! the texture will stay on the planes when you move them.
    Thought I’d share that little nugget.
    There might be an easier way in Mograph but I don’t have it.
    Thanks again.

  34. Hey thanks Gorilla, That helps a lot. Could have used that stuff on my last 5 Sec. Project πŸ™‚

  35. Yo Nick,
    How do you record your tuts, they are so nice, crisp and clear? Do you use camtasia? What settings?

  36. Instead of increasing the Subdivision Level of the Displacement you can go to the MoText object and change the Intermediate Point to Uniform and adjust the number to get more detail to the edges.

  37. Tyler

    Nick if i do a Camera orbit the texture looks great from the front but wack on the sides. considering i often use camera moves what other directive should i take?

  38. Ramin

    Hi Chris,
    could you make a tutorial about using pyroClusters and making realestic fir and smok trail for missile and aircraft?

    cheers mate

  39. Ramin

    Sorry aparentley I mentioned the name wrong ;d
    Mr. Gorilla :D:D:D could you make a tutorial about using pyroClusters and making realestic fir and smok trail for missile and aircraft?
    I am one of you fans.
    cheers mate

  40. Daniel

    Hi Nick! How is it going?

    Man, i really need to thank you. U dont know but you change my life!

    I always like to know how to make projects on a 3d software and u give me the a chance to learn that!!!

    You make me get more skills, get more focus, more creative, get another level to my works, and get more money soon! All of these because of your carism and the way u teaching your lessons and make everybody happy with your tricks and tips on these tutorials.

    im sorry, my english is not too good, but i believe i send my message!

    Tks again and have a nice day.


  41. Hey guys!!! why the texture is moving on the pieces of my Text when applying TNT for transformers Effect! and when apply “conect splines + delete” to the Ai text than Extrude it, Caps are disappear!! only sides stays!!!

  42. bzimage

    any idea why the coral texture when i apply it looks nothing like nicks. i followed hit tut exactly

  43. Matt Ciaglia

    Is there a way to use the composting tag to render out ‘C1’ and ‘R1″ Bevels? ALso is there a way to bevel everything like mental ray can do in Maya. So nice to just basic model everything and then hit bevels shader and everything has a nice bevel.

  44. Rahman


    i am using texture kit and i was trying to learn the same shown in your video,but i am facing problem with scene setup,can any body kind enough to send me light scene file by email. (

    Thanks in advance.

  45. Marc Chadwick

    OMG thank you soo much i have been trying to find a tut on how to do this and i found it now i can finish my biology project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. What you can do if i=you have a 3D object is that you can just change the material projection to cubic and so far that has worked for me most of the time πŸ™‚

  47. anonymousx

    thxxx this help out … was looking for this for a minute !!! thx guys …

  48. I have an interesting question for all you guys, I have a box model building, a replica (more or less/not perfect) of For Point, the little building under the SF side of the GG bridge in SF.
    I have this texture for the turret holes/windows/whatevermacallits, I cut up the model to select my window areas, I mapped one texture to one window… I’d like to get all the windows to comply but to make it easy I used tiling. See, my project scale doesn’t allow easy/smooth manipulation of the texture adjustment handles. In other words, my object is so small in world proportion it’s hard to adjust the textures. The scale is necessary to my workflow however because I’ll be using DPIT to add fog to my scene and it will be rolling under the bridge. I’d like to know if there’s an easy way to duplicate the values of a tiled texture, so if fits each window by copy/paste coords of texture, rather than having to manually tweak each window. A “Snap texture to center of object” may be a good fix. Is there a command for something like this in the axis centering dialog? I haven’t really seen anything that quite fits. Essentially a ‘select poly/add texture/center texture on relative x+y coords on poly. Then I could just copy the scale and I’m done. If anyone has a good workaround or workflow for this please let me know. Short of going to photoshop with my wall, and then making a single texture with the windows in the right spots, and then re-cutting my polys to match, I’m at a loss here.

    Cheers and thanks for everything. Everyone here is awesome.


    • oops, that’s “Fort Point”, sorry about the typo. I’m running on little sleep.

  49. Lex Wily

    You are the man sonnnnnnnnnn!!! Good lookin out on the clear, conscise presentations. You’re like the nerdy friend helping me out in the computer lab man. Much more pleasant than the Lynda tutorial dude.

  50. Rogier

    Great tutorial…i do have a question…how come that my Coral material does not act the same way as in your tutorial…..not even close…..i do make every step you make…but my is all spikey and does not have the coral feel….did you have some setting that i don’t know about?

  51. Cinephile

    Hi! Enyone here suffers from the double sided projection? I have a Sphere – throw a simple texture on it – since I scale the texture, it projects on both sides of the primitive – I set the Side to Front, to Back, and try all the Projection options, but still when I turn my model around, there is the same projected texture on both sides. I’d be really pleased if a charitable soul responds.

  52. Akintunde

    really love the coral texture……… can u mail me the file……pls

  53. Cody Sorgenfrey

    Nick, if you had to live with only Light Kit Pro, or Texture Kit Pro, what one would you choose and why?

  54. Richie Henson

    Motext With Connect Object Texturing Problem.

    I’ve been trying to texture MoText that is within a connect object (to create smooth ’rounded’ text front). I have applied a different texture for the main text, C1 and fillet capped R1, but the textures are only applied to the first letter. Is there a work-around for this that will retain the functionality of the MoText?

  55. Any help? I don’t know where else to ask for now. I have a lathe nurbs that is poker chip, I’m trying to put a texture on both sides for the money amount. I try a front/back and that seems to work with no tiling, but with the texture coordinates rotation “P” value I’m trying a 90deg/-90deg and can’t seem to get them right. I’m ending up with one side or the other mirrored even though I have two textures front/back and am rotating them on the right axis to keep them from mirroring. These are in great stacks as clones and very flexible/animatable. I’d hate to have to create polys of all of them if I don’t have to. Does anyone have some help here? Cheers, this is a great post. πŸ™‚

  56. Thank you alot! I was having trouble doing my text textures and the select region you were talking about helped me out!

  57. Damien

    Hello Nick,

    First of all thank you very much for your precious help and your great tutorials.

    I have a question about textures, i was admiring the work of Foreal Studio :
    and wondering how they made it.
    I think a lot of the letters are modeled this way, but i’m not sure for every one of them like the “B chocolate thing”, do you think this is procedural texture or is it sculting ?
    How would you do it ?

    I had no idea where to post this question so i’m trying here, even if it’s not entirely related to this tutorial, sorry for that. Thank you again !

  58. lisandro miranda


    A small question. I’ve added a psd texture on an object by using bodypaint. I created the psd texture by addin a new UV mesh layer in my materials in bodypaint. I saved the layer as a texture and adepted it into photoshop. Everything went perfect untill I activated the subdivision surface that covered the object. The texture scales vertically when activating the subdivision surface. Do someone know a trick to solve this problem. Is there some checkbox or something so the subdivision surface does not effect the texture on the object?

    Help me!

  59. Bogdan

    OMFG GSG you totally rock and you totally taught me a truly cool trick on how to do those nifty text projections that looks good only from one angle, and stretch across floors and walls if you change your view haha!

    Thank you!

  60. Josh Pabst

    There are some types of glass (in the real world) that as you move by, they change hues/colors. They might go from a pink to a purple to a blue, depending on the angle at which they are being viewed and the lighting situation ect.. I’ve been playing for the last hour to try to get something like this to work – if you have any thought or insight into this it would be greatly appreciated. Last, for what it’s worth, big fan, most of what I know in C4D is thanks to you. Cheers.


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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.