Missed The Season 3 Premiere of AskGSG? Get the Full Schedule Here!

How To Model, Texture, and Light A Gumball Machine 107 Comments

In this tutorial I show you how to model, texture and light a simple gum-ball machine using primitive shapes and deformers. I also set up a dynamics system to fill the machine with gum balls and light the machine using HDRI and the Sky Sampler. Then, we head in to Photoshop to do some final color correction.

Final Render

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.


  1. Manny

    Awesome, was looking forward to this tutorial! Thanks Nick!

  2. Daniel

    Great tutorial man! Just a quick note that under the “Basic” tab of an objects attributes you can select X-Ray which will allow you to see through the object. It’s a little quicker than using a texture.

  3. Hey! buddy, great job! thanks for the awesome tutorial.:) Can you do one for Christmas coming up–something like how to make a animated bow–still can figure it out how o do it—thanks bud,

  4. frankenstein murr

    @mark: try using a spline wrap set to rail then tweak the curve display to make it thicker and thinner where it goes in and out of the knot. of course, you’ll have to draw the spline that makes the bow. you don’t need a tut for that, just practice.

  5. Great tutorial again ! Quick tip : in photoshop, you don’t need to make a selection, then a copy paste, just hold Cmd+Alt+Shift+E for combine all visible layers in a new layer.

    • Darren

      I was thinking exactly the same thing. I wondered, “What on Earth is he doing? Adobe have a shortcut to do that!”.

  6. Islam Farouk

    Hey Nick, I wish you use Lightroom instead of Ps.
    It is amazing , percise & easy

    Thanks Nick, You are the one

  7. Jay429

    Great stuff as always Nick, I noticed you had Vray plug-in installed , and was wondering if you was planning on doing any tuts based on Vray, good Vray tuts are hard to come by and i would love for you to do one 😉

  8. Gokhan

    really really nice tut Nick,
    thanks for share my friend 🙂

  9. Steve From UK

    Wow, I enjoyed watching this one

    Great stuff Nick!!

  10. ggreg

    nick, quick comment / question about the way you do fresnel on the reflection all the time. when you create a fresnel you then always mess with the brightness slider. it seems to me that the brightness slider does nothing at all to affect the look of a fresnel. is that true or am i missing something. i know the mix strength definitely affects a fresnel btw.

    • @ggreg. It does have an effect. But, only if you turn the fresnel down also. The top slider acts as a global reflectiveness if you turn the fresnel down.

  11. yas_d

    hello my friend
    i have all of your videos
    and thats very useful
    but i have problem with import plugin in cinema 4d r12

    i’m sure all thing are ok but i dont know why it dosent work

    i put them in the folder of plugin but when i run application there are nothing in the plugin 🙁 could you please help me???

  12. hi Nick,
    great tut, as always!

    quick question; when using cloth nurbs, is there also a way not to have the gumballs intersect, I do like the look of it here too, but it will not always work for every project. thx!

  13. Godmil

    @lsslss One of Chris’ tutorial recently showed how to make the dynamics stay a away from an object. What you need to do is select the glass sphere, and in the dynamics tag, under ‘Collision’, tick the box that says ‘use’ and then in the ‘margin’ box give it something like ‘3cm’. That means the dynamics will always stay 3cm away from the collision object.

  14. Eliezer

    Hey Nick, maybe you could do a tutorial about texture of chanttilly or cappuccino foam. I looked all over the internet and found nothing about it.

  15. Hey Nick,
    I just wanna say… I love all your tutorials! Since I found you, I watched every tutorial. I love Cinema4D and sometimes I had a little problems by understanding tutorials in english, because I’m german, but your tutorials are allways followable and I understand every step you made. So I just wanna say: Thank you for all your great work and all the inspiration you give us!

    And this is my Version:

  16. MonstaGraphicsAU

    nick im trying to create the spiral downfall ramp that the gumballs go down but i cant seem to make a working spiraling ramp , when you get a chance could you make a tut explaining how to go about making it?

    <3 MonstaGraphicsAU

  17. n49o7

    Two questions:
    – Why not put the Dynamics tag on the cloner ?
    – Why not use a Multi-shader for the gumballs color ?
    I understand there is no “right way” but are there any perks in doing it like you did ?

  18. Godmil

    @MonstaGraphicsAU I’ve not done this before, so sorry about the quality, but here is a very basic examble of making a spiral ramp. Hopefully it can give you some tips for your one.

  19. Bender

    Nick in your render there are some reflections of gum balls at the top of the glass dome. Were these added in Photoshop or were they rendered in Cinema?

  20. Godmil

    @Bender, can’t speak for Nick, but in my renders those reflections (refractions?) appeared in the render.. they could probably be tweaked by playing with the refractive index of the glass.

  21. New to this site and I think I just found my Videocopilot version for Cinema 4D 😀

  22. elpablo

    I had a problem to create the top of the machine because I couldn’t bevel it to give a more realistic shape in the bottom (Some people had the same problem in their final renders).

    My solution: Select the oil tank, delete the height and bottom, then you have the top of the gumball machine, chose bevel and scale the first segment at the bottom, making it smaller (so you have now a kind of base), then you can bevel the next segment (by selecting bevel) and have a rounded and smooth end.

    Thanks Nick.

  23. Hey – thanks and appreciation for the tutorials!

    The killer tips for me were:
    – Using Cloth nurbs to create the glass wall / thickness. (Always used Explosion deformer before now)
    – Spend more time in photoshop!
    – Cheat to save time where acceptable.
    – Experiment and have fun.

    Here’s the result of a little tinkering llast night.

    Keep up the good work fella 🙂

  24. Bjarni

    i wanna try to make an animation out of this, make something hit the glass and it shatters and the gumballs fall out of it, how would i achieve that? any tips?

    • @Bjarni Give it a try and find out where you get stuck. Watch the latest shatter tutorial from Chris. it’s a good starting point.

  25. Omar Gonzáles Díaz

    Dude’s… im so noob, Can any one tell me how to inverte polygones?

  26. Omar Gonzáles Díaz

    U need to push “U” and then “R” for Reverse :)°

  27. Bjarni

    Yeah I watched his shatter tut and it’s great help, however I get stuck with making the balls acctually stay inside the sphere before the collision happens, they always seem to either explode out or just stay there without any dynamics to them… kind of hard to explain but I hope you get my drift.

  28. There’s nothing wrong with using Deformers for modeling. I use them in conjunction with polygon modeling all the time. They are just tools like anything else. Whatever tool gets the job done the quickest is the best way.

  29. I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out how to give objects thickness, you’re a lifesaver Nick. And dude, your har looks awesome.

  30. My First tutorial with R13!! (cartwheels round room smashes through window) Managed a near identical image at the close. Managed to get my top cap matched up perfectly by matching the main sphere radius with the ‘spherify’ radius. Also for some reason couldnt find my cloth dude anywhere to thicken the main sphere. So i just doubled up the main sphere and made it smaller then re ran the gumballs! AS always, great job nick!

  31. macray

    looks nice, but I see loads of intersections where the gum balls are entering the glass sphere!
    you might want to rerender it…

    • I actually talk about that in the tutorial. I decided to leave them in because I think they look like touch marks.

  32. Shane

    Can’t seem to get the gumballs to fall into the bigger sphere when I hit play! Any advice? I’ve gone back and forth over the steps you’ve taken and yours seem to animate, but mine don’t

  33. Hi this is great, and if i want to make the specular small,
    is there anyway to contraol the hdri image?


  34. kwaku nyantekyi

    When I click on the deformer icon to get the drop down palette, it doesn’t show the names of the deformers next to each icon like I see in Nicks tutorial at 7:24. The deformer drop down menu is the only one that I have this issue with. Can anyone tell me how to change that? I’m using R13.

  35. MozillaGFX

    Hello, i want you to make a tutorial on layout editor. like you have View, Render Settings and picture viewer in text abobe the view, plz help

  36. Daniel

    Thnx for the tut chris! I have a problem.. i have c4d broadcast 13 and when i put the dynamics tags and hit play just like you do nothing happens… it’s a software problem or a configuration problem? (sorry for my english)

    • CK2205

      i’ve got the same problem, applied the riged body tag on the gumball and the collider on the main sphere (glass thing). when i hit the play button nothing happends.
      using R13

  37. Gabriel Reyes

    i cant see the simulation tag in mine cinema 4d

  38. Hi Mr.Gorilla!

    I have this one question. It’s not related to this tutorial but I got an idea from it so… 🙂 I’ve made spheres to fall and I need to get some another object to fall too but not from frame 0 ! Let’s say that from frame 50… How to do that?

    I don’t know if i’ve missed but have you or Chris done some basic animation tutorials? Is there comming if not?

    Thank you and others some much who make these AWESOME tutorials for Cinema 4D! Just brilliant..

    Greetings: Marko

  39. Andy Mo

    thanks for the tutorial, was defiantly worth purchasing those files for this. Really looking forward to learning more of your tutorials.

  40. CINEMA$D

    Does Cinema 4D R12 have those all bodies??
    My Cinema 4D R12 do not have that all..

  41. Great tutorial! Does anyone know why my simulation tags stop working randomly? The gumballs don’t drop down anymore and it’s so frustrating! Thanks!

  42. Barbara

    hi nick
    I posted a link to your tutorial on my new blog.. hope you don’t mind..
    Would be an honor if you had a look 🙂
    thanks for wonderful posts and for being such a great teacher

  43. Excellent tutorial,

    first of all I would like to thank you because you made ??me broaden my knowledge in the area of ??3D modeling and animation, to be honest, I only had used cinema 4d five times and got a good result for a 13 year old boy who has no money to pay your texture pack and your HDRI light pack, I found some settings on the Internet for jobs created in cinema 4d and got the following result: keep helping me and all the curious who want to learn 3D modeling like me, you are an excellent “designer, I work more with special effects in photoshop image manipulation then had no problem getting the treatment that my own in my opinion was in fact very similar to yours.

    Excuse my terrible english I m from Brazil,
    Gabriel , you can call me CmGabriel…

  44. C4D Nerd

    Thanks this is really a great tutorial!!
    Im using the cinema 4D demo version and does not have any of these HDRI packs but it works great anyway.

  45. Always thanks Nick, I’m really happy with your tuts!!! Thanks

  46. champagnejelly

    Awesome tutorial! So I started this tutorial and I didn’t get very far haha, when I add the tags (to gumball and sphere) nothing happens (like when I press play, there is no animation) are there settings im missing or doing something wrong? Any help would be appreciated. – Greg

  47. Great Tut!!! At 9:41 In the Tutorial (creating the top bolt), instead of creating a separate Capsule, I pulled the cylinder slightly higher and added a fillet cap to it!

  48. Thanks for this great tutorial nick. I always learn something new no matter how simple or short the tutorial is.

  49. fares

    hi …i am from Libya i wanna say hay and 10000000000000000000000000000 thnx 2 u

  50. Roy Roy

    hey mate,
    really cool tut,
    Im a first step c4d newbie – and im having a probably silly issue – after adding the the rigid and the collider to the 10x10x10 grid – nothing happens when I press Play, no dynamics, nothing .
    been over your steps 5 times and still nothing

    any suggestions ?

    • Roy Roy

      correction*- i’ve added the collider to the big sphere – and the rigid to the 10x10x10 grid

  51. Marv Ruona

    Nick –
    Thanks for all the great tutorials you and Chris have made! I discovered Cinema 4D in April 2012 and GSG in May, and I’m really enjoying them both. I recently purchased the Texture Kit and the Lighting Bundle and I am very pleased with both of them. I think I’ve seen just about all of your tutorials now (some of them multiple times) and I’m always amazed at how much really solid, relevant information you guys pack into each one. I know you’ve probably seen a hundred different versions of this project, but I finally gave the Gum Ball Machine tutorial a try and my result is here:
    Thanks again.
    – Marv

  52. Linda Mulvey

    Amazing that something that looks as great as that can be done so surprisingly easy as long as you know how. Guess that’s the reason why there are lots of cool designs emerging everywhere. Thanks for the tutorial.

  53. heotuS

    Hi..can i ask to set the gumball position that you rendered to initial state..i mean that you have render the image in the middle frame..can you make this frame you rendered to the first frame?sorry bad english..

  54. Daniel

    iam usedto working on 3Dsmax but now i know Cinema 4D and Maya is best!
    so iam stop working on 3dsmax.

  55. Dude. I just have to say that you’re the best thing to happen to the C4D community. You’re rad, you’re helpful, your tutorials are super straight forward, you provide amazing tools that help nerds like me look like I know what I’m doing. Anyway, keep it up and thank you.

  56. Jane

    Hi, great tutorial. Just one problem, I use Maya and I was just wondering if you could do the same tutorial in Maya 3D? Or is it too complicated?

    – J

  57. Austin H

    whenever i render the final, my gumballs facing the camera are a black reflection and the reflect all the colors around them,…. is my gumball texture to reflective?! what the heck is going on!?


Leave a Reply

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.