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Sketch & Toon Style 1: Rough Markers Tutorial 71 Comments

The first in a series of heavily requested Sketch & Toon tutorials we’ll tackle different looks inspired from different sources. First up, we’ll try and recreate a marker sketch look. Specifically we’ll be referencing this image from artist Richard Peter Han. First we dissect the different types of lines then start to replicate the look of each.

Drop a link in the comments below of a Sketch & Toon Style you may want to see in future tutorials.


Download the Robot Model Here

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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.


  1. You guys ROCK!!!! There are so many features I don’t use since I upgraded to Studio. This will be a HUGE help. Thank you!

  2. colormesync

    Thank you , thank you, thank you. Watching this right now.

  3. Anibal Diaz

    Hey this is a great tutorial, there’s not too many good tutorials on sketch and toon shading. thanks

  4. Thanks a lot!
    This robot and the animation looks awesome.
    Could you maybe do a character animation tutorial in near future?
    I would be incredible grateful.

    • I also think a character animation tutorial would be great.

    • Lars-Gunnar Thorell

      Yes, this robots rigging and design was beautiful, would love to see a rigging tutorial of a bigger robotmodel (I know you already did a hydrolic arm)

  5. Kevin Power

    Hi Guys,
    These cinema4d tutorials are great – thanks for sharing your knowledge its really inspired me to learn more. I jst wanted to ask if you could do or have you done something around what this guy has recently made – the final product looks really nice but the tutorial he has provided is, well, silent…what im trying to say is i think greyscalegorilla could do a lot better job…

    check it out and thanks again

    • Yeah, I hate it when you find a tutorial that looks like it will be really helpful, and then you play it and it’s SILENT! I hate that! Even a bad English narration is more helpful than a cursor racing around the screen clicking everything in sight . . .

      • Or worse, instead of being silent, it has what should be background music except it’s some bizarre electronica at volume 11 . . .

      • Nicholas Adamson

        Do you know if it works with current versions of C4D; R15 specifically?

  6. Frank

    Great! Try to Render with 12 – 15 fps to give it the right feel 🙂

  7. Andrew J. Mitchell

    Wow. Thanks Nick! Tell me this means the Heavy Metal movie refresh will be all C4D! haha.

  8. …and the Academy Award for Best Tutorial goes to…
    Seriously, this is the best GSG tut in some time. Finally a good one for Sketch and Toon.

  9. Amazing Tutorial – thank you Chris. This explains so much.

  10. Phill

    To get around the line thickness changing when zooming in and out try driving the thickness value with the camera zoom percentage with expresso, it worked really well for an animation project I did where I wanted it to look like a flat 2d sketch on paper.

    • Phill

      Just checked my file as it was over a year that I did it. To get the thickness consistant, Create a camera, get your starting viewpoint as you want it to look. Set the Focal Length of the camera to driver and the thickness scale in the render settings to driven. When you want to zoom in change the focal length on the camera

  11. Chris

    This tutorial is fan-freaking-tastic. Great work! I’d love to see how to develop different styles in sketch ‘n toon, and how to handle the settings so the outlines and strokes don’t look funky as objects move closer to – and farther away from – the camera.

  12. chris

    thx a lot

    i learned a lot from your tutorial for a mysterious feature within cinema -for me though

    is it somehow possible to set up kinda infinite floor set-up along sketch & toon?
    you’re using a bright “illumination only material” and that works for that purpose but when one want to cast shadows to the plane one’ll end up in trouble.
    i tried a lot to find a workaround but unfortunatly didn’t succeed…

    -> i’d favor a lighting/shadowing tutorial within sketch & toon

    keep up the good work & enjoy ur day

    • Wow this is very cool! I think it is c4d for sure, If I may add to that in post-production so work done on Dmesh Pro and definitely some coloring done with adobe PS. It really looks great!

  13. Chris – fantastic tutorial. This is a nice approach to exploring the many options of the SnT.

    As much as I’d love to see more variations of sketch styles, I’m also wondering if you would consider combining with the Art/Cel/Hatch/Spot Shader – another aspect of C4D that I’m sure could use some enlightening from you.

  14. just wanted to point out a few workflow tips:

    -instead of dragging off each individual sketch tag, you could deactivate them instead (still have to keep track of which one is which though)

    – I found that using the interactive render region, with a simple geometry, allowed me to get near instantaneous feedback when adjusting all the myriad sliders. Much easier to see what a given slider does.

  15. Anthony Thorne

    Chris, I’d like to see some colourful illustrative styles in a future tutorial, leaning more towards what you can get out of the ‘Toon’ aspect of the software – how flexible is that side of it and do you have any preferred methods in that respect? Basically cartoony stuff but if S&T can make things look even cooler I’m keen to see it.

  16. Namor Votilav

    Hey, Chris!

    Really nice tutorial. You’ve pointed out some of S&T’s hidden triggers that do the magic.
    Talking about the styles. I’ve always wondered if there was any way to achieve the watercolor look in Cinema. I did some experiments with noises (, but S&T should probably have some better ways to achieve it.

    This is the look to go for:

    Looking forward to see more tutorials 🙂

  17. Gordon

    Hi Chris, amazing job on the robot model and rig. I see a lot of splines and xpresso for the IK, is this a preference or is this type of rig beyond the range of the Character object?

  18. rayisaacs

    good timing, chris. i’ve been taking small steps with sketch and toons lately, and this tutorial is a big boost.

    can you do similar sketch styles with watercolor-like and colored-pencil-like textures?

    thanks a lot.


  19. zafar

    wooow it is amazing oh i love it thx Chris thx nick for the amazing tut that you don it for us. keep doing

  20. David Wickenden

    Thanks for the tutorial, there’s very little teaching material for Sketch & Toon and this will be a great opportunity to dive in.

    One of my favourite Sketch effects is in the Ecko Artifaks ad by Mike Senften. It starts at 00:10.

    If it’s possible, it would be great to see a tutorial covering this style.

  21. Sinead

    Love this! I am definitely going to have a go with this style it is just so cool.

    I’d really like to see a painterly style, if you do another toon shading tutorial I’ve been trying to work one out with toon shaders in maya but it’s never really come to fruition. The style I mean is like the short film “contre temps”:

    Or that amazing twinings tea advert by psyop from a couple of years ago:

    I’d be mega impressed if this was possible in cinema!

  22. Fiorentin

    Great tutorial!
    +1 for a character animation/rigging tutorial

  23. Marco

    Hi Chris, could you make tutorial how to animate robot motion? Im interested in robot animation, ive been searching a lot for tutorials about it but without success… Yours looking very good. If You could spend some times and do tutorials how to move those machines to live would be nice. Thanks.

  24. Colin

    Thanks for doing the grunt work and figuring out sketch and toon. You are truly an unsung hero.


  25. Alessandro

    This is the droid i’m looking for!
    very helpful tutorial, i was exactly looking for a video where to learn how to do a particular style and not the general settings that everyone can explain.

  26. Lucas

    Awesome!!!holy shit, now i have something to do this night.THX so much chris for all this material

  27. Ahmad Faiz

    hi, i don’t know if it’s the right place, but can you guys do a tutorial on how to model a car from a blueprint? I’ve been trying to do so but none of the tutorial that i found is helpful.

    It seems that out of all the tutorial that is available, greyscalegorilla have provided the best tutorial, with detail explanation and the best tips and tricks. That’s why I requested for the tutorial from you guys ^^

  28. Remin

    Great tutorial!! Thanks for taking the time for doing it.
    Do you think it is possible to achieve a watercolor sketchy stile ? I suppose it wont be simple, but well worth the effort . Something like those :

    Thanks again 🙂

  29. Roman Damin

    Great tutorial as always.Makes me to play with SaT more and more.
    Here is my try of chalkboard style and also a suggestion for next tutorial
    witch could be over another great feature of SaT,animated drawing of lines

  30. John-David

    Is anyone else having the issue that the first frame seems to render quite well. (~6-8secs)

    and then C4D gets stuck (generating lines) before it starts to render frame 2… and i’ve given it hours… doen’t complete the task

  31. When I found out this Disney Cartoon was done in a 3D/2-1/2D program called ToonBoom, I’ve been trying to find ways to replicate the style in Cinema 4D.

    Here’s a clip of the show, most of it seems like the paper cutout tricks, but you can obviously see it’s 3D when they are showing the pirate ship turning about in the water. Basically ends up looking like a hand drawn cartoon style.

  32. Back to what makes me always come back to Greyscalgorilla. Tutorials that make us shine and be part of the pack. Thanks. Keep up the good job!

  33. GlennA

    Chris, you are a genius. You make great stuff. I’ve been really impressed with the outcome of your tutorials. Even more impressive is the fact that you are able to flow continuously while you teach us. Amazing!

  34. Shadownian

    Ok…anyone else having an issue with this…
    I completed the tutorial…even added some coloring and some lighting to it…came out sweet looking…..buuuuutttttt…..
    When i go to save it….I cant. I can do renders without saving to an actual file on my computer….but when i want to save the completed project I cant. The save checkmark is greyed out…its there but its greyed out. And the “….” button across from file is also greyed out and doesnt work. If its Chris’s way of protecting his robot creation he used for the project I can understand that….but I wanted to show what I had done to it on my youtube…giving full credit to Chris and linking to this tutorial.

    Any help would be appreciated. I tried opening other files and checking if they worked and everything else was fine.

    • Shadownian

      ok…4get it…it was something stupid. Chris had his actual save option on the left…where you add say….ambient occlusion or Global illumination unchecked when i brought the file over….I wasnt expecting it so I didnt even think to look there…lol


      Anyway…great tutorial…i always wondered how people did these cartoony renders out of cinema 4d whenever i saw the 5 sec And i agree with some of the people here. A tutorial and the basics of building and animating a robot would be greatly appreciated.

  35. shadownian

    Heres my final project:

    I added color…global illumination…ambient occlusion….sound…bit of music etc. Took about 38 hours to render before bringing it to AE. Theres just one issue…the main body color for some reason didnt…like…attach right…so its kind of floating around…but ill just say he has high tech camo….lol

    Please take a look. I put a good amount of effort into it and would love the feedback. TY

  36. Nicholas Adamson

    Wow. This is an amazing tutorial and incrediblyyyy useful. Sadly, I am using C4D R15. There are some parts that I just can’t follow because the settings and parameters have been renamed, and I can’t locate the translations. I’ve played with settings, looked for an official changelog, and even tried to find other R15 SnT tutorials, but to no avail. IF the software is available, do you think you could help explain the differences to us R15 users?

  37. darkarmy

    Missed your tutorials Cris! If I saw this a month before…I did a project using pcsoft pencil for 3ds Max, similar results and faster renders, but definitely more control overall with Sketch n Toon. One thing that also troubled me was setting up line thickness relative to camera, since this effect is quite nice with complex camera movements. Thanks!!

  38. Dear chris, Can you make a tutorial of the robot itself? How you should build all those little details … That would be a really nice tutorial!


  39. Slavica

    I have a question and would really appreciate an answer/help 🙂
    Is it possible that when the animation plays, the lines stay static and don’t cause the blinking, when the model or/and camera is moving.
    Im working on a short cartoon for study purposes and am using Sketch and Toon, added 3 different lines to all of the objects in the scene – so its an illustrated look, but when i render, the lines keep recalculating and once you play the animation you get the blinking effect of the lines, which is very annoying in my case. I just want them to be still even if the model is moving. Anyone knows of any tricks, settings how this can be avoided?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  40. Shravit

    I have been out of inspiration lately but this has inspired me . Thank you Chris! =)

  41. Julian Smith

    Great Tutorial, I was wondering if there was a way to apply sketch and toon to a subpolygon displacement material… I’ve tried with no success at achieving the look I’m going for…


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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.