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How to Make A 3D Composite with an iPhone, Panorama 360 and Cinema 4D 302 Comments

I’m really excited about this one. In this tutorial, I show you how to make a 3D composite with Cinema 4D and images taken with an iPhone! I used a popular iPhone app called 360 Panorama to capture a panoramic image that I then use to light a scene in Cinema 4D using Global Illumination. Even the background plate was taken with an iPhone camera!

It’s incredible that we can pull this kind of render off using images from our cell phone. I can’t wait to see what you guys create with this one! Sure, images taken with a professional set up would look better and give cleaner results, but when it comes to learning about this stuff, there is no need to always wait for “pro” equipment. You have to use what you got! Enjoy!

Example Images

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  1. I have a problem using sky and not your hdr ring light… when I apply GI the scene won’t light up… The text went all black. can you help me?

    • Nemer

      i fond the fix place two lights on the Motext and render it should work !

    • A work around I tried was to make sure that the sky was turned on (both green dots), and then added another plane on the -x axis (the same size as your final output window and pushed back beyond the text) with the same properties as the disc you created.
      I’m sure there’s a better way but that works for me at the moment!

    • Wimp’s solution (6 steps down) is perfect!
      No extra plains or lights, problem sorted.

  2. Cool tutorial. But I must say, the first steps in photoshop seem quite.. Unnecessary.

    Why not just crop the image, pressing “C” in photoshop(atleast in windows)? Duplicating layers, feather masks and all that wont improve the end result, right, compared to a quick & simple crop? 🙂

    Hope you get the point. Keep it up! Will try this whem my wifes out, so I can sit by the computer.

    Thanks for a great site!

  3. Nemer

    Yh i have the same problem when i apply gi it goes black and i dont have the hdr rig

  4. Check this(if not using the rig)

    Select the sky and click-> Tags -> Cinema 4d tags -> Compositing -> Uncheck “Seen by Camera”

    DONT make the two dots RED, they should be GREY! If not, the text will be black.

    Problem solved.

  5. chris

    When trying to ‘fill in the gaps’ you could have just used content aware fill in CS5 – its magic at this type of thing.


  6. Tandy

    Hey Nick!

    Greetings from Germany! First of all, i want to thank you for sharing your knowledge with others. I’ve been learning a lot and having so much fun since i found your blog. All tutorials i had found before (especially german tutorials) were somehow boring and too technically. You show me the fun and cool way of learning. Thank you so much!


    I’m always interested in your great tutorial in Korea 🙂

  8. chris

    Hey, just done my first test with this technique and your HDRI rig and it worked great. There is one issue though that confused me. I standing where I want my 3d object to be and make my panarama. I then walk away from that spot and turn back and take a photo. When I use that photo as a back ground, and then inport the panarama into the hdri rig, it appears much bigger/closer than the photo background I’m trying to match. This makes the lining up process very hard and throws the reflections out completely. Is there a step I missed where you can size the HDRI rig itself?


  9. THANKS! for all these great C4D tutorials, i’m just a beginner and I’m learning a lot from you.

  10. Andy P

    Hi, for some reason when I click on create new back ground…it doesn’t do anything is there something that I’m missing, or some setting that’s turned off.thanks

  11. Mikkel S

    My hdr image seems like its scaled way to much s: i did not use the iphone app but i made my final hdr same resolution as nicks..

  12. Andy P

    Hi, I can’t get my ambient occlusion to reflect on the floor,that’s all that I’m missing to finish,can anyone please help…Thanks

  13. Chess Bonte

    Hey Nick! I accepted your challenge and used this tutorial on video! It’s my final project for my motion class. Started using cinema4D 3 months ago.

    Give it a look! Thx for everything that you learned me!

  14. george

    i need a little helop. i love this tutorial because it has perfect mood and atmosphere. but when i follow your steps i am not getting back shadows on the compositing disc. i have done all the things the guys already said. but still nothing. any guess?

  15. Marcelo

    Hi, why my background not appear ?? it appear only when i make render, why so ?!


    Brazil !

  16. Hi Nick thanks for all this tutorials!
    i have a question:

    what if i want to make a reflection in the floor that integrates the 3d object with the backround? do you know how to do it?

    bye dude, thanks again!

  17. How is the picture in a 16:9 format?
    does the new ipod touch have the same quality camera with the same picture size?

  18. Hey Nick, great tutorial. Just a quick one I’m really struggling when I try and make my objects glass with this setup – is there anything special I need to consider? I’m getting very blurred and dark glass.

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Caitya

    Great tutorial and great comments. What if I want to have longer and directional shadows, because the scene has a sun? Thanks!
    Best wishes!

  20. Hi I love the tutorial i have a question what settings do you use to get the layers in after effects i trying it but im getting white line around the image thanks in advance

  21. Thanks for this AWESOME tutorial!

    This was actually the very first time I opened up Cinema 4D so the result is not prefect but I am quite happy with my first attempt.

    I just love how a small device like an iPhone can do such powerful stuff

    Fun fact: Did you know NASA computers in ’69, when they sent the first men on the moon, were not as powerful as our iPhones… haha…

    Anyway, I actually added these 3D renders to a little video I made…

    Hope you enjoy it, and any comments/hints for improvements are more then welcome!

  22. 6ranit

    don’t you think the effect works better without reflections ?

  23. Dirkdiggler

    Try ‘photosynth’ for iphone. Just amazing.
    It creates completely closed 360 spheres.

    • Dirkdiggler

      By the way, nice tutorial nick!
      Maybe think about another tutorial using scenespector ‘cinecat’/’voocat’ or ‘icarus’ for 3D video tracking and composing stuff into a video captured with the iphone. Might be really interesting.

  24. Kevin

    Hey Nick!.. Just wondering if you could help me! I’ve done some footage but I didn’t use the app for a Panorama 360, Is there a way I could get this result without using it – cheating even more – I doubt it’s possible, but your the man!!

  25. Raphael

    Great tutorial !

    I think it work fine with Photosynth application from Microsoft.

  26. Hi Nick, thx so much for all your great tutorials. the most fun is to have such a stylish result all the time.

    I seem to make everything right but i have no shadows from the text in the final render. any help ?

    cheers !

  27. Larben

    Hey Nick (if you still read these comments) and everybody else. I made a minute-and-a-half video with character animation and lighting i learned from this tutorial. It’s my response to Nicks challenge to do this with animation.

  28. Kenny Williams

    So I’ve been watching your videos for what seems like forever now and I was wondering, why don’t you ever sync the audio to the video? There is a simple way to do this: Just turn on your camera and turn on your mic, have them both recording then clap.
    When editing put the 2 clap noises from the video and you mic together and its synced.

  29. I’ve been following the GSG tutorials for a while now but this is my first comment.

    I gave this one a go but since i dont have an iPhone.. i decided to take a different approach and took a series of screenshots in crysis (the computer game) and used photomerge in photoshop to assemble them, it actually turned it pretty good..

    The only issue i noticed with this cheat.. is that when you place your plane down to get the shadows.. your word or whatever it is you are rendering.. actually reflects this plane and you see a clear line across the face of your letters where the plane ends, the only real way for this to be avoided is if you shoot the image for your background from either almost directly above or from ground level.. or having a matt object of course.

    anyway, love your tutorials, good luck to anyone else attempting this one and good night to everybody from new zealand 🙂

    • a hint for people attempting this in the future.. instead of using a sky sphere… you can actually more easily project the panorama onto the inside of a tube object, just make sure it has a wide open inside and make it tall so you dont reflect what would be above the tube.. or add an extra image of a sky and of the floor for a better render.. though it takes more time

  30. Hey Nick, thank you sooo much for all you teached and teach me.
    As always, very good content, really clearly explained and the funny way. Love it.
    In photoshop, instead of creating a new layer, selecting all and doing the copy paste thing, you can just press “cmd+option+shift+E” to combine visible into a new layer.
    Hope this trick can be helpful and speed up a bit your workflow.
    Keep up the good work.

  31. I like photosynth more. its FREE and takes full globe panoramas. 🙂 great tut!

  32. Would it be possible to make a video like this? So using the same method then in addition to recording some video and then adding some camera tracking? That would be really cool! thanks.

  33. Robyson

    Hello, I doubt that you took a video about my class? do the tutorial in how far you will hdri.c4d plugin to insert the image in my c4d, do not have this plugin, where to purchase this plugin. Thanks waiting for reply.

  34. Robyson

    Olá, gostaria que vc tirasse uma dúvida minha quanto a video aula? faço o tutorial até aonde vc vai no plugin hdri.c4d para inserir na imagem, no meu c4d, nao tem esse plugin, aonde comprar esse plugin. obrigado aguardando resposta.

  35. This is very cool. Thank you. You challenged to do this with video. Could you please show us how we could do something like this in a video with say, a person or any moving object from the video (ie: cars) moving in front of the 3D object in the scene? All while still having interaction and reaction on the 3D object (ie: reflection, shadows, etc.) Would that involve rotoscoping or is there an easier way? I think we would all be grateful for a tutorial on that. Thanks in advance.

  36. ArgGeo

    Great tutorial Nick! How do you make the text “stick” on the disc? Can’t do that!

  37. bachtiardesign

    what a great tutorial from d’master -gorilla,..i’m stuck when GI effects make the text becomes dark..>o<'s take a long time to search the solution,..when trys wimp's solution it's work..thanks Wimp ^ ^..

  38. Thank you Nick
    Good Tuto like always.
    You’re a cool guy !

    Nego / Martinique – FWI

  39. MOB Design

    Hi nick,
    I really likes your all tutorials. I have a problem in this tutorial, when i open the background image its open upside down and down side up, or down side left or right. How i rotate it or make it straighten?
    Thank you

  40. Pat Weiss

    Hey Nick, nice tutorial I definitely will give it a try. nice results.anyway, is this nearly the same technique u showed a time ago?

    and one small correction in ur description…:I’m really excited about this one. In this tutorial, In this tutorial, I show you how… 2 times “in this turorial”

  41. jakob

    maybe the next tut will be on compositing on short video clips? 😉

  42. ZoFreX

    Nice tutorial! I love the design of your site too 🙂

  43. Wow… This looks amazing Nick!!! I’m definitely heading out with my iPhone! Stay tuned for my tryout! 🙂

  44. Nick,
    Awesome tutorial. I had a question as it relates to reflections on the ground. Is it possible to add reflections from the C4D file onto a composited ground plane if its reflective? I’ve always run into problems where the plane reflects too much light and appears washed out compared to the rest of the composite. Thoughts?

  45. harry

    :O your getting reflections from the disk in some of the shots nick

  46. Thanks for the tip on a great app – looks really useful! I’d be more interested in seeing how this stuff works with something animated, of course. But great stuff once again!

  47. davemehrman

    great tutorial, thanks Nick. I can’t wait to try it out myself.

  48. greay to see some more compositing oriented projects on gsg, after all the lighting and stuff.

  49. HA!

    Really awesome tutorial nick (even tho I haven’t watched it fully YET). This is something I was looking for last day but didn’t see any good result.

    You saved me a lot of time 🙂 – More “method & tools” tutorials! MOAR!


  50. I’m pretty new to this site and man…I can’t believe you give these tutorials away for free! Your tutorials are far and away the best I’ve found online. Everything you do is clear and concise, and while sometime slightly complicated for a novice user like me, easy to understand. Thanks for everything you do and for taking the time to share your knowledge.

  51. So for those who don’t have an iphone, is it possible just to stitch a panoramic via a dslr and photoshop?

  52. Thanks for this one nick, you are totally right when u said it doesnt matter the way u do it, if it looks good in the end is perfect.

    I have been trying to do this for a time without good results, i bought a canon hv30 camera just for tracking and then i noticed that the hv30 sucks for camera.

    Last weekend i toke the nikon 90d of my uncle and tried to make and hdri from a christmas ball to use it as a light probe but again i didnt get good results

    now i enter the gorilla and i see that you get nice results with a iphone, and best of all you said at the end that iphone videos are capable of tracking, now im thinking about buying one lol


  53. For reference, the iPhone 4 has 2 different FOVs depending on how you shoot the photo. so you can set these exact numbers in C4d, and you’ll get a similar FOV to match your shots.

    Since the iphone has a rectangular CCD, taking a shot from one mode, has a different FOV than another mode (landscape, vs, portrait)

    Landscape ~53° FOV
    Portrait ~37.5° FOV

    Hope this helps!

  54. Dope man! In photoshop u can also make a 360 img 😉 go to File/ Automate/ Photomerge

  55. For those with Photoshop CS5, the ‘content-aware fill’ works well for filling in the holes (the white & top & bottom) in the pano. This will save you having to scale up and/or crop you’re already sparse pixels.

  56. Nice tut Nick !

    I will try it vith video tomorow (it’s too dark for now in belgium).
    For the tracking I will use CameraTracker in AfterEffects, but I don’t know how to use the camera informations in C4D…
    I have to look for it.
    Is there a script or something to export AE Camera keyframes ?

  57. As usual, your tutorial is very awesome Nick!
    I’ll try this now!
    Thank you again

  58. mikeo

    Nick, love your philosophy on working with 3D. This is the hardest chalenge for most people starting out in 3D is that it can make you feel like you have to be overly technical. Not true. Sometimes it’s like being an old school practical effects person, you just gotta to use what you have to make it work.

    Keep up the killer tutorials man! Cheers!

  59. Alflud

    Awesome. I love it. Compositing is one of my favorite hobbies. Not too many clients demanding it – which is a pity – but hey, in my spare time I love to ‘fake’ it 😀

  60. Robert

    I love it when Nick talks in 3rd person. I always laugh for some reason

  61. William

    I’m just a beginner I thought that tutorial was amazing, you certainly cover the details well, Thank you very much. Have you made a tutorial using Video?


  62. Great stuff Nick 🙂

    But is it just me? I kind of got the feeling that the second and third Image got mixed up, especially the rather blue typo on the third image does not really seem to match with the reddisch walls O.o

  63. Michael Tosetto

    Yo Nick, been following your blog for a while now and it’s become a regular haunt.

    You make some really great work. Keep it up.


  64. If you (like me!) are you android or similar you can stitch a load of photos taken on your regular camera and end up with the same output. Go Photoshop – File – Automate – Photomerge. Pick your setting and a pile of photos and let photoshop do the work.

    Like Nick suggested, you could bracket and create a genuine HDR. But would need to compile each section with the Automate – Merge to HDR feature of photoshop before stitching them together.

  65. Ronn Trevino

    Nice workNick
    But with all the hacks why even deal with Messing around in photoshop and extending the photo? Why not just crop it to the size that doesnt have white and use it like that?

  66. Hello Nick, Great tutorial and Thanks alot for helping us about compositing tricks.

  67. If the camera as a something like a fish eye lens, how can you modify the type to match the distortion of the lens. (

  68. tornadorobbie

    Hey Nick,

    i’m doing architecture. little study project on the island Lanzarote/Spain. i try to place a museum in the middle of a vulcano park. problem is that i don’t have that good footage or even panorama shoots. just to place it into a pic just with ps looks very shabby. so the question is if i can do something similar with just a single shot (not panorama) of the landscape. just a little tip would be nice.
    greetings from bittercold germany

  69. Hey Nick, the tutorial is dope!
    Liked the font and the filet step addition. I was really wondering about those. Other than that: LOVE the little speech in the end about ‘best practice’ and ‘just getting the job done’. You’re absolutely right!
    Why should you care about best practice when you’re just checking how stuff turns out in photoshop: Taking screenshots is perfectly okay.
    Even better than that: You say there’s a lot of grain in the original background: I actually think it makes the image look more realistic. If everything were without the noise (bg and text), everything would look ‘fake’, and that’s just not what we’re aiming for, right?
    I tend to add noise to just about every final image I export for these kind of goals. It just makes it look better. 🙂

    Great tutorial man. You never dissappoint!
    Keep rocking that cinema!

  70. Zictor

    This was fantastic. I always take shortcuts and get told by my tutors that it’s not the way I’m supposed to do things. I always say if it looks good at the end that’s what counts. They also frown upon me making things just because they look cool!!

    Can’t wait to try this out, I made a panorama on a shoot a while back using a more traditional method of taking photo after photo whilst turning the tripod round slightly, then using photoshop and its amazing abilities to create almost perfect panoramas. (Takes a few times). I’ll dig out the files and get to work!

  71. Thomas Patsenka

    FYI: use Content Aware Fill to correct the irregular top and bottom in your stitched image, almost miraculous.

  72. “Why don’t You take Your iPhone/borrow Your friends iPhone. Download the app on their account.” Hahaha! I love it.

  73. Eugene

    Hi Nick, very nice work!

    Whether it is possible to download ready photos made in panorama 360? A problem that at me isn’t present iphone 🙁

    sorry for my bad English, use google translate

  74. Hey Nick, I’m really new to C4D and was wondering if you could help me out. When you add your image to your background image, it shows in the viewer. When I do the same, it only shows when I hit the render button, which makes it hard for me to position my text etc. I’ve probably got something unchecked, but like said, I’m new and don’t know my way around the software yet.


  75. Hello! I’m a Chinese c4d fan, I really like your tutorial, but vimeo shielding China! I hope you can put your tutorial except vimeo, also spread to other sites. thank you

  76. Hahaha Nick!

    Got great news! My boss was so impressed with this idea, they might want to use this for their own personal bumper 🙂

  77. lyonnel

    Very nice tuto.

    I have a problem with “compositing with background” and IG: when I render, I can see the disc (it works fine when I disable IG).
    I can’t see where I mistaked.

  78. Nice work Nick, reminds me of you camera mapping tutorial. Nice one.

    i see you always flipping the gradient by hand – you can just righ click (command click on mac?) and chose: invert knots. it’s great if you gradient is more complicated.

  79. Hey nick,

    again, an awsome tutorial. Thanks alot. Just about gettin’ my jacket to make some 360 snow-domes in hamburg 🙂

  80. Pat Weiss

    Heres my try..not exactly a panorama, because I dont own an iphone, but I tried to use ur technique and did some postprocessing and added some DOF in photoshop…but besides that, I hope u like it.

    cheers nick

  81. Thomas

    Thanks again, Nick! Nice utilization, and glad to see that PrtScr is not an exception 🙂

    I do not own an iPhone, but I do have a camera, and I’ve tried to make a 360 degree panorama image of my own. I find it hard to composite/assemble the many photos into one and make it look the best. I’ll try the “Photoshop – File – Automate – Photomerge”-tip mentioned over, but what I was really wondering is about those chrome ball shots.

    I’ve seen them a lot of places on the web when searching for HDRIs, but I’m kind of stuck as I don’t seem to able to use them.. How do you convert them into a format that can be used in a sky object?

    E.g. to go from something like to something like

  82. Hey Nick,
    Here is my example of this tutorial:
    I took this shot at my work. And decided to not make a still footage, but give it some motion. There’s only one problem I came across. With this motion footage… the shadows on the floor are flickering when the letters have stopped moving. I tried to disguise this by giving the whole video some “wiggle” effect in After Effects. But any idea what this shadow flickering is? And how to avoid it?

    Cheers fabian

  83. i wonder if i can use this tutorial as an argument to get my boss to upgrade me to a company phone. probably not. oh well, i’ll just keep making panos with the 5d.

  84. lol awesome.. my favorite thing about your tutorials is i always find out something i didnt know. i never heard about that panorama app, i dunno how i didnt!

    gonna have fun with this for sure, gonna try a video today.

  85. that first pic is not what you want to use as your source; i would not recommend using a mirror ball to take pictures either (because you’re limited by the size of the ball and you’ll pick up the imperfections on the surface of the ball). your best bet is to use a tripod and fish eye lens to take a series of bracketed shots and then stitch them with software like this:

  86. Chris

    Just a note, the app is not compatible without video capabilities. Due to this, only iPhone 4 users will even be able to purchase/download/use the app.

  87. Anyone else having the problem of the background plate coming in upside down? I tried flipping it in photoshop but it still came in upside down and I can’t seem to rotate it with C4D.

  88. Hi Nick,

    great tutorial – like everytime 😉
    But I’d be really excited to learn some more about object buffers and multipass renderings.
    How would you render that font with all that shadows but without any visible background or floor? Thats what I (and I’m pretty sure some some other people too) am interested in.

    Anyway – keep up the good work!

  89. Hello! I’m a Chinese c4d fan, I really like your tutorial, but vimeo shielding China! I hope you can put your tutorial except vimeo, also spread to other sites. thank you
    You see my message?

  90. Thanks a thousand times Nick, I have been searching how to make my own hdr spherical maps for ages… didn’t even think about something as simple as a panorama shoot. It rocks and i’ll be sure to take my 550d on a ride tomorrow.

    I’ve have been playing with 3D compositing in C4D for a while now and never bypassed a simple problem though : I would love to see how you would have the same results with a reflective ground (like shiny cement, or ice), without using photoshop or after effects afterwards.

    The compositing tag seems to find its limits there as reflections are always “whitening” or “bleaching” the faked ground.

    Let us know if you find out.

    Anyway, awesome tutorial, as always.

  91. kamran nabipour

    Tanx man, i received Ur message.
    i will ask You my qustions next time.
    You’re really best. i love Ur tutorials.
    😉 🙂

  92. Stuart

    I’ll love to see this technique with video footage and a multipass render. I tried it, but my background never shows. I search what max users call matte shadow objects, so I can edit the video background and the 3d individually, never find a clear explanation about it. Please consider it for future tutorials! Many Thanks!

  93. Nice Tutorial!

    Did you know that you can make textures in the Editor View sharper by going to the Material > Editor tab and upping the resolution? That might help a lot with aligning HDR skies that don’t have clear landmarks such as yours.


  94. Thomas

    Thanks, Jason! Will use it, looks like it’s well explained on their page.

    Happy holidays!

  95. Bruno

    Can I do this with a 360 panorama shoted with my Canon T1i?

  96. bigodon

    damn nice!
    ill try to do something like this here
    thanks nick

    also, dont worrie because everyone do tricks and hacks.. rules are made to broken, thats why we can see things faster ou cleared like never before!

  97. joerg

    Thanks so much for this tutoria!!! heading out now to take some photos. Would be awesome if you could explain how to do this with video footage. Keep up the good work!!

  98. yet another great tut Nick
    TIP: if you dont have i-phone but want to give it a try:
    dive into google streetview and stitch your own 360!

  99. Thanks for a super tutorial Nick. This one was a lot of fun. I love to see that it doesn´t always have to be perfect or really expensive to work.


  100. Great tutorial, I’m just struggling with one part – hopefully someone can help. I’m using 11.5 and whenever I exclude the sky object from the render (by clicking the little dots) it renders my text as black – what am I doing wrong?


  101. Awesome tutorial Nick, as always! I love to jump ahead before you explain it all to try and figure it out myself, but I always seem to miss something simple that you help point out and explain.

    One thing I noticed about this method, have you figured out how to get around the boundaries of the floor reflection?

    You can see it in your 3rd render (the tunnel) the texture only reflects the background image up to the boundaries of the circle floor and then it reflects the sky.

    I tested this myself and I tried using a huge flat plane but it only makes it worse by causing anything outside of the camera boundaries to “tile” the reflection, which looks worse.

    Again, thanks for the methods man!

  102. Hey Nick. Nice tut. You know what would be a good idea.. To make cubes on the places where those benches are and give the cubes the background material with comp tag. That way you will get better reflections of the benches.

  103. An important thing (besides “do what ever looks good”) is to
    get the concept of spherical mapping. As the picture is taken from
    “point zero” at location, the same thing applies within Cinema.
    That is the Sky object and the Camera is locked to world center.
    Any object to be composited is placed, as in real world some distance
    away from the camera/center of scene and lowered the hight of the
    camera. The “floor” representing the ground is also lowered the same.
    Typically, the height of your eyes like 170cm(units).
    This way you get a “real” tripod inside the scene and any object can
    be moved freely as well be modeled in real world units.
    And finally, you can then rotate (never move!) and zoom the Camera
    around the scene and always have the correct proportions.


  104. Tomas Zara

    Hey nick loved the tutorial, i´ve done something similar to this these days, its kind of this panorama app but ive done it with the Gran Turismo 5 ps3 game, it has a part of the game where you can replay your races and do “Pictures from every angle” stoping the race, where ive token a panoramic picture and integrating it with some seconds of the replay of the race for my ending project in my motion design studies, sorry if i extended my self but i want to take you where this “cheat” is going because the renders of gt5 race pictures and enviroments are awesome.

    Hope to finish this soon and show the results it´s maybe a little cracker but it´s for fun and learning

  105. fredrik

    thanks for a great tutorial! i wonder what the the finder plugin you use is called? The black icon in the menu bar?

  106. Hey great tutorial!

    Just wondering how you guys get shadows on ground when enabeling “compositing background” in the Discs compositing Tag.

    I’m only getting either same brightness (when enabeling) or shadows (when disabeling) but not both together.

    Seems to me like Shadows don’t work with “compositing background” and GI in Cinema 4D 10

    Any Idea?

  107. Nick you ROCK!!!… your site its my favorite..always updated and something new to learn everytime… u know what i was trying to do some xmas balls it was a hard task… maybe you could show us how to make like a carved balls… and im saving money to buy your Kits… they look amazing.. here my try.. everything learned from your site of course… thanks a tons…. keep them coming please… and Merry Xmas… master Gorilla.

  108. joerg

    Hi there, can someone tell me the best approach to get a panorama with a dslr for cinema? would you guys hold the cam horizontal or vertical? i have loaded a panorama in cinema and it came out all squashed and didnt really work. Is there a trick to it?

    thanks for your help

  109. Hey NICK, great tutorial!

    Here are my results from your tutorial. We don’t get much snow in Ireland but I managed to capture a great photo last week in the snow and with the help of your tutorial was able to add my design inch logo to a scene. Added some music and snow falling and I think it looks great, a simple but effective Christmas Ecard.

    Thanks for your help!/video/video.php?v=137448799646532

  110. Jordon

    Hey Nick,

    Great Tut! I’m new to C4D, so this may be user error, but without using your HDR Studio Rig, when I go to render my text, it’s all black. I figured it was because I had the sky off and it wasn’t being illuminated. When I turn the sky on and render, the text looks great, but then I loose my background image. Then I’ve got great looking text on top of a crazy looking sky. Am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks for the help!

  111. Hey Nick this is Awesome!
    Your spot on about the rights and wrongs of making your work look great, i’ve always said that, as long as it looks the part who cares how it was done.
    Keep up the good work, always look forward to learning from your new tutorials!!


  112. This is cool as hell, just downloaded the panorama app definitely gonna give this a try, Thanks.

  113. Hey Nick, this ‘panorama 360’ has really been a wonderful and helpful tutorial ! Thanks a bunch!
    There’s one step I’d like to add to the workflow that happened to work out great in my case.

    So i used a Sanyo xacti to do the 360, but this resulted in a very wide 1600 * 16000 picture! Pixelaspect 1 to 10 !!!! Now what i did is this extra step:

    I took the picture in a new scene using the HDR sky rig that came with your first Lightkit Pro.
    Then I opened the baker option and enlarged the bakersphere up to an 800 diameter
    and raised the segmentsvalue to 360 . After that I made the sphere editable and flattend it
    and experimented untill i found out the perfect the height was about 16,6666 % of the width diameter 135 in this case.

    Then i baked it to a hdri using the lightkits baker method.
    The result is amazing: the sky image is in it’s right proportions and you allmost don’t need the
    extra photo anymore. I used it in this animation to have the mirroring cubes work perfect !

    i also posted it in the Newyearsthread cuz it fits there as well
    well this was my five cents.

  114. rodolfo

    Excelent!! GreyscaleGorilla You are the best MotionGrapher. This Web is very important to many artist who want to learn with bigger like you. Im filmaker from argentina and never see anybody in web more enthusiast

    i hope learn more with you

    merry christmas

  115. Eye Contact

    i am very new to C4D (as in less than 72 hours), and this is one of the first tutorials i’ve done with it. i got a result i’m pretty satisfied with, all things considered, but am far too much of a coward to post it here.

    you’re a wonderful man, you are.

  116. issam

    why u did not involve the tutorials ,,?
    i really need that

  117. Loay Emad

    Nice one, nick. and That Snapshot tip is Killer!

  118. After getting a couple solid stills with this method I accepted the follow up challenge and tried implementing the technique in live action video. I think it was really successful! even sharp reflections look good and I don’t notice any inaccuracies there.

    The only think I had to do extra, lighting wise, was add 1 or 2 specific 3d lights to get extended or precise shadows from my objects. esp. the outdoor scene I had to create a light to get that long shadow or else I just got that generic soft one from GI and AO. ultimately not much time spent on that though, it was easy when the major lighting is already done by the panorama.

    reflective cube test

    reflective text test on same footage

    matte boulder down my street indiana jones style

  119. I was wanting ask you if there is a way to do this but have it reflect off the ground instead of it being a shadow…. say you want to place your text over water? and i want it to reflect the words? how would i go about doing so? if you could give me a tip or a hint as to how to do that i would really appreciate it 😀

  120. Very nice =), I am new here^^
    I would like to know what kind of computer you have^^.. you render so fast o,O

  121. Konrad

    I need help here…when I set up Global Illumination settings me subject appeared black.

  122. Looks like disco regular to me. One of my favourite fonts (unless it has to be readable).
    Nice tut Nick. Always good to show how something can be done with the tools to hand.

  123. I give that task as a challenge at the end of the tutorial. It’s essentially the same except you need to do some tracking and render out some passes.

  124. I put up a challenge at the end of the tutorial for someone to get this working animated. Lemme see what you got, Dave!!

  125. Hey Nick, have you covered this in any previous tutorials? I’m interested in incorporating 3D in some studio photography, and I’m wondering would it be beneficial to do a panoramic of the lighting set ups from the middle of the studio. And even for video work, would it make sense to get panoramic stills of the location? It this the same as what they do with the chrome ball?

    As always, thanks for a great tut!

  126. To stitch a true hdr in photoshop is extremely difficult. Because you need bracketed exposures to get a 32bit float and to stitch all them and blend them the same way in photoshop is next to impossible.

    Although technically not a TRUE hdr you can trick photoshop a bit by shooting in RAW and using the “Photomergs” command from bridge. You can save the resulting stitch as a 16 bit image. You can then use adobe camera raw to simulate exposures at 2+ and 2- and merge them to HDR in photoshop.

    If you would like to take really good bracketed HDR panoramas I would take a look at

  127. frankie

    No you must use a cell phone.

    A DSLR and Photoshop will not work.


  128. jaysmithVFX

    I need to brush up on my c4d but could you do a straight up mirror material for the floor pane then tweak it in after effects to tone it down and feather/blur it?

  129. I’m all about statements, but seriously? You really think that post name is necessary? Save it for your bumper stickers would ya.

  130. Andre Friedman

    Agree with Hamilton.Grow up man,it’s too low for this wonderful site/tutorial

  131. I think The Foundry have some great tuts on this on their website, and that it’s as simple as choosing C4D from a menu. I could be wrong though.

  132. hey !

    as long as you dont have any zoom in your camera movement, just copy the camera focal length of your AE cam (cmd+shift+Y to enter cam infos) and paste it into the C4D cam. for exporting the cam movement to c4d, use the free script AEtoC4D provided at aeenhancers i believe. works quite smoothly (creates some parented nulls to get all the movements right, but i works like a charm)

  133. You want the reflections to be in a similar position. Extending the sky helps keep the placement the same in space.

  134. lyonnel

    thanks for the tips. I didn’ know these functions (inverse knots and double knots)

    Note that right click exists on mac too (Ctrl+click works too…but not in C4D). one button mouses are old story.

  135. Pat Weiss

    have you colormapping enabled? if yes, turn it off.

  136. lyonnel

    Nope. It was already disabled.
    When I disable “receive shadow” in compositing tag, the disc is no longer visible but a little useless because it doesn’t render shadow of course.
    Thank you.

  137. i can see the cloud reflected (where the material curls around and doesn’t tile; that is what’s causing the rings) on the top of your spheres. you should try using an equirectangular image for your sky object. either way, your render looks great. good job!

  138. Pat Weiss

    Yes thanks. I realised it too. I think it maybe should look better, if I just blur the skymaterial just a little bit, so i got reflections and not such ugly reflection. the problem is this photo, its not really a panorama.

  139. i understand that it’s not a pano. you might be able to keep the road but use photoshop to mask in an equirectabular cloud shot and that would clear up the ring like reflections. i really like how the lines on the street are reflected though. pretty nice!

    oh, and since the road should technically be a straight line you could conceivably duplicate it and make a pano to use as the hdri.

    it’s not perfect but something likes this (minus the spheres of course!):

    i made an 1800×900 image and squished your road into the left 900×900 then mirrored it onto the other side. then i found an equirectangular cloud image to mask on the top of the image so it would tile when mapped to your sky.

  140. Pat Weiss

    Thanks Jason, nice idea. ill will give this a try and rerender it 🙂

  141. Nice one. Way to push it forward. You may have to turn up your GI quality or use “Full Animation” mode to loose the shadows.

  142. Just wondering why you think the HV30 is such a bad camera?

    I’ve got one myself and it’s been giving me great results all the time, I really love it!

  143. funny you keep checking back in to see what he’s up to.

  144. why would you go to someone else’s site and complain about the material they’re making and teaching for free?

    Not that Nick needs anyone to stand up for him but GSG is the best c4d tutorial site I can find. He’s at least the most devoted too.

  145. Egon, that is exactly the problem I’m running into. If you find out a solution please let me know and I’ll do the same. Its frustrating, but if I can figure it out the end result would look 100x more real.

  146. Cheebachops

    There is a work around for this problem.
    You need to create a reflection pass for the floor plane and object.Then add this as a layer above the real frontal mapped non-reflective one. Also use an alpha map to feather out the un-needed parts and harsh edges and composite into scene.
    It’s a bit long winded but works (quicker to just do it in AE afterwards).

  147. Lisenker

    Looks freakin’ fantastic and Jónsi’s music fits it all perfectly!

  148. David

    really cool. can you share more about your shadow catching technique when compositing video?

  149. Cheebachops

    Check your openGL settings.
    OpenGL should be ticked in preferences menu.
    Textures icon should be on in the viewports display menu (and enhanced openGL option if you have it).

  150. Cheebachops

    Also remember that when using HDRI as your only lighting for the scene, your veiwport may not display properly.
    Try adding a std. light to the scene while setting things up, then turn it off at render time.

  151. If you arent using Nick’s HDRI products, you will need to keep the sky object on and add a compositing tag and uncheck “Seen by camera”. That way it will still provide the GI, but stay out of the way of the background image.

  152. Got it, awesome!

    I’m heading out with the iPhone this weekend looking for interesting locations.

    Thanks for the help guys!

  153. Jonathan,

    Whats your technique for getting proper reflections on the disc? I keep getting renders where the disc is a lighter color than the background.

  154. Jordon

    please ignore, should’ve read others post first. Thanks again for a great tutorial! Love your stuff.

  155. John Buckman

    Hey, I saw your test renders and I was hoping you may help me out with a problem. I am using a panoramic 360 shot of the desert and all my reflections look fine, even when turned up stupid high, but ONLY on the spheres. The cubes reflect a very blurry grainy image. any ideas?


    Hey Kyle,

    I realize that this is about a year too late. Regardless, AND to the point, I found the same problem with the image coming in upside down, as you had. I tried flipping the image in Photoshop and re-importing it = no change. Also tried fixing things in the coordinates manager and got only so far, and texture manager = poor results. The answer–at least for me– was to shrink the image texture size. Was working with a picture 3400 px + on the horizontal image file. Pretty big bitmap. I shrunk it down to 2000 and re-imported into C4D Colour channel = worked! Seems there is a limit to the amount of pixels you can cram into a C4D texture Chanel.

    Hope this helped.

    Oh, and thanks Nick.
    Good times with the iPhone hack.


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