Create an Entire Art Gallery in Cinema 4D with Moving Art and People

April 6, 2018 - By 

Chad and Chris team up to create a cascading piece of art, and put it on display in a gallery showing. Download the free scene files and follow along.

In this two-part Cinema 4D tutorial, Chris and Chad are going to team up and show you how they created this gallery and moving artwork. Take a look at the final piece here.

Ready to learn and create the moving artwork and then build out the gallery? Get started by downloading the scene files.

Download Free Scene Files

Click the button below to download the free scene files. You’ll be able to dissect the project, and see how everything came together.

Download Now

Cascade Art Gallery Tutorial – Part 1

In the first tutorial, Chris is going to show you how he created the cascading wall art in Cinema 4D. You’ll see Chris and Chad talk about coming up with the concept, and then we’ll dive right into Cinema 4D (R19) and get to work building the cascading wall art.

Be sure to experiment with your own movements, and share your projects with us! We’d love to see them.

Cascade Art Gallery Tutorial – Part 2

In the follow up to creating the cascading wall art, Chris hands off his project to Chad. Learn how Chad brings the photo-real gallery to life and see him light, texture, and render the space using Redshift and Cinema 4D. If you are interested in the 3D people used in the project, check out Human Alloy.

Hope you were able to take away some cool nuggets of knowledge from this team-up series. Leave a comment down below if you’d like to see more of these types of videos. That’s it for this one, we’ll see you in another Greyscalegorilla tutorial.


Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard

April 4, 2018 - By 

We test out the backlit Cinema 4D ASTRA keyboard from LogicKeyboard. Do you need one on your desk?

So why am I reviewing a keyboard when there are so many other juicy things to talk about in hardware? I guess because this particular item scratched an itch that’s been bothering me for two years.

When I first started learning Cinema 4D, I was coming from Maya and 3ds Max. To get a leg up on the learning curve, I decided to port most of my shortcuts over to C4D so I could get up and running as fast as possible. It was all going swimmingly until I started realizing that in most of my tutorials I would be hitting hotkeys that made complete sense to me in my Maya/Max mindset, but would be utterly confusing to the C4D artists following along.

Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Hero

Image via LogicKeyboard.

I recently came across LogicKeyboard’s Cinema 4D ASTRA, a keyboard with specific hotkeys printed on each key. Was this keyboard finally my excuse to ditch my patchwork hotkeys and go legit? I reached out to LogicKeyboard, and they were kind enough to send me a unit to review.

Before we get into it, I think you should know that I’m not a mechanical keyboard enthusiast (though this was not for lack of trying). I purchased a Cherry MX3850 and gave mechanical keyboards a shot. After about a week of the clickety-clack lifestyle, I ended up back at my trusty Apple wired keyboard. Yes, I’m on a PC and I use an Apple keyboard. I’m a sucker for both the form factor and the feel of the Mac keys. I don’t like a lot of travel, and I love how quiet it is. With that in mind, here’s what I thought about this scissor-switch Cinema 4D keyboard.

Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Layout

Image via LogicKeyboard.

ASTRA Cinema 4D Keyboard Specs:

  • Backlit keys
  • Dimmable light with five levels
  • Built-in dual USB-ports 2.0
  • Scissor-switch keys
  • Color-coded labelled shortcut keys with graphical commands
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • Dimensions – 17 5/8” x 6” x 11/4” (446mm x 150mm x 30mm)
  • Net weight – 2.1 lbs (950 grams)
  • Number of keys – 104 (ANSI version) 105 (ISO version)
  • Manufactured for 10.000.000 keystrokes per key
  • 1.8 meter cable with separate keyboard and hub connections (avoid interference with USB extenders)

First Impressions

I have to say, I was rather impressed by Logickeyboard’s packaging and overall presentation. A clean well-designed box is always a treat to open. Especially those with magnetic clasps that snap shut. Always satisfying. In addition to the keyboard, it shipped with a disposable cleaning wipe and a transparent silicone keyboard cover.

Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Comparison

Image via Chad Ashley.

The keyboard itself was larger than I had expected. A few inches longer and deeper than my Apple keyboard. A bit taller as well. The ASTRA has a dual USB plug, one to plug directly into your machine’s keyboard port, and another USB 3 plug that will turn the keyboard into a USB 3.0 hub.

What immediately drew my attention was all of the useful standard Cinema 4D shortcuts printed on all of the keys. It was like looking into a shortcut menu sitting right under your fingers. The printing on the keys is of high quality and well designed overall. When backlit, the ASTRA has several levels of brightness, but no RGB support. I must note that keys do seem uneven in their translucency.

Once I plugged the ASTRA in, I fired up C4D and I was off and running. I simply had to delete my old shortcuts and switch to the C4D default layout.

The Good

Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Good

Image via Chad Ashley.

Overall, typing on the ASTRA is a reasonably pleasant experience. Key travel and feel was on par with other scissor-switch keyboards I’ve owned. I must say though that the hardware is not what impresses with the ASTRA. The keyboard’s ability to teach me the proper shortcuts in C4D keeps me coming back. It turns out having hotkeys in front of my face and under my fingers is precisely the sort of motivation I needed to legitimize my shortcuts.

I began to transition to the new keys reasonably quickly, and whenever I got stuck a quick glance down would set me straight. I also enjoyed the multiple levels of backlighting. It was helpful to transition to a brighter back when needed. I found myself discovering shortcuts printed on the keys that I had never even known about.

The Not So Good

Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Bad

Image via Chad Ashley.

The biggest problem I had with the ASTRA was the build quality. Several times my right index finger would catch the underside of the “h” key and nearly pop it off. A few other keys also randomly popped off with barely a press. Luckily they could snap right back into place but it was annoying nonetheless.

I personally was not a big fan of the key press feel, which was a bit mushy. My fingers would become fatigued when typing for long periods of time. Its size was not as big of an issue as I had anticipated, but I do wish it were a bit slimmer.

It’s worth mentioning that this keyboard is not easily affordable, with a retail price of $139. At that price, I would have liked to see some dedicated audio controls, or perhaps a slimmer build.


Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Summary

Image via Chad Ashley.

I’m rather split overall. I would highly recommend the LogicKeyboard ASTRA for anyone wanting to double down on learning the C4D shortcuts. This is a fantastic learning tool, much more useful than a laminated shortcut cheat sheet (which I’ve had my fair share of over the years).

Though it has a well designed look and appeal, the keyboard itself doesn’t really stand out from other traditional keyboards. If you are a big fan of mechanical or scissor-switch keyboards, you likely won’t be stunned by this device.

So if you are ready to commit to being a hotkey master, this might be worth the price tag. The real question is whether or not it stays on your desk when you’re ready to take the training wheels off. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

You can check out or order the LogicKeyboard Cinema 4D ASTRA keyboard here.


Welcome Marketing Director Michael Maher to Greyscalegorilla

April 3, 2018 - By 

We are excited to introduce Michael Maher as the newest member of the Greyscalegorilla team.

Welcome Marketing Director Michael Maher to Greyscalegorilla - Headshot

Greyscalegorilla continues to grow to better support the needs of our incredible community and customers. With that in mind, we are excited to introduce Michael Maher as our new Marketing Director. Michael will be helping share and promote all the amazing tutorials and content you see here on the site, in emails, and on our various social media channels.

Michael is a fellow creative with over two decades of experience in film and video. He started his professional career in documentary film, sports broadcast, and live production as a shooter and editor. Michael began sharing his experiences by creating video tutorials and writing articles for the PremiumBeat and RocketStock blogs, which were then acquired by Shutterstock. He transitioned from writer to manager, eventually leading all global content marketing initiatives for Shutterstock and its subsidiaries.

In his time there, Michael created tools and tutorials for filmmakers, video editors, designers, and photographers. Aside from the business successes, Michael is most proud of the industry-leading content his team continues to make. His strengths are in creating actionable and engaging content, and he has a passion for helping the creative community hone their skills.

Michael’s Bio

Michael is a Texas native currently living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He began making films at 5-years old with his younger brother. The two of them studied Radio, Television and Film at the University of North Texas, and went on to co-direct documentary films, commercials, and shorts.

Like every filmmaker in the world, Michael is “award-winning,” though he’d rather brag about his replica Michael Keaton Batman cowl and other various movie memorabilia. He once cried when opening a pair of knock-off Back to the Future II shoes – they don’t self-lace, but they do light up!

He now considers himself an accidental writer, and pretty darn good marketer.

Facebook: @michaelmaherwrites
Instagram: @maherfilms


GSG AMA: All the Questions!

April 2, 2018 - By 

Follow Us: iTunes | Android | RSS | Google Play

In episode 99 of the Greyscalegorilla podcast, the group answers questions from the audience and announce the return of 5-Second Projects. Stay tuned for episode 100!

Show Notes:

Greyscalegorilla Around The Web:

Twitch | Youtube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Follow the guys on Twitter:

Chad Ashley | Chris Schmidt | Nick Campbell

Save time and make more beautiful renders with our Cinema 4D Plugins and Texture Libraries. Visit our store to learn more.


The Awakening: 5-Second Projects are Back

April 2, 2018 - By 

5-second projects have returned! We are thrilled to announce the resurrection of this community favorite with The Awakening. Here are the winners.

Before we publicly announced the return of 5-second projects, we gave our members in the Greyscalegorilla slack channel the chance to kick things off. The Awakening was this past month’s theme, and we are very excited to announce the winners and showcase all the great submissions.

The next 5-second project is currently open to everyone! Head on over to the 5-second project page for the theme, deadline, and rules.


5-second projects Greyscalegorilla


The key to honing any skill is practice. That’s the goal of 5-second projects. Whether you want to create an original piece for your demo reel, or you just want to learn a new toolor technique, 5-second projects are a great way to accomplish that.

By giving you a theme, and a very strict 5-second length, it’s our goal to challenge you to meet the same rules you would in any professional project – guidelines and deadlines. You can use any animation software of choice, so don’t let anything hold you back.

Winner: Martin Clarke

The winner of this 5-second project was Martin Clarke. In only five seconds, Martin managed to make us laugh out loud. You can check out more of Martin’s work on his website

We wanted to learn a little bit more about his process, so we reached out to Martin about his 5-second project.

Greyscalegorilla: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Martin Clarke: My name is Martin and I work under the name Mographster. I grew up in a place called Donegal, a nice fresh aired county in Ireland.

I studied graphic design before deciding to move into motion design a couple of year ago. I love learning C4D and After Effects and using them to move pixels around. I like to add humour into my work, and I feel it takes out my most creative side.

GSG: Tell about your process, and how you came up with this idea.

MC: I started off with a few ideas like an eye opening, but I thought more about the word awakening in terms of unconscious or being aware. With awareness, one thing that came to mind was “mindfulness.” When I practice mindfulness, I would sometimes fall asleep. This gave me a starting point and idea. I then began to write out rough scripts. One thing I wanted in the story was good humour, so I placed myself in it… naked.

5-second projects - The Awakening Winning Character

The Awakening still via Martin Clarke.

The beginning would start off with objects sitting or balancing on top of each other. Why? You see this a lot in images of meditation. The door opening was my unconscious awakening me, then the awareness of where I was. The script did change a bit as I started working on the animatic. The point was to always refer back to the theme.

GSG: How did you get started with animating this concept?

MC: The animatic was important for seeing what worked, and what didn’t work. I started drawing storyboards to see if it would be too long, or when to cut to the next scene. I had to think about camera angles and sound also. It really helps using this technique before going any further.

Once the animatic was going in the right direction, I then started to build the style frames. I knew what style and colours I was going for, and I wanted to try a flat 2D style in C4D. This also worked well for the simple character animation and humour of the project. I did another more advanced animatic to check if it was going in the right direction again.

All the scenes, characters, and cars were built in C4D using simple primitive objects. I used the cel shader for the flat 2D style and infinite lights set to hard trace shadow. To help get the flat 2D look, I set the cameras to parallel which flattens the objects in the scene. After rendering out of C4D it was time to do a little bit of compositing and render out to Premiere Pro for the sound.

Second Place: Ben Carmelli

Taking second place was Ben Carmelli. Don’t worry, as Ben says, “No clocks were harmed in the making of this project.”

Ben has a really great must-read writeup on his 5-second project over on his Behance page. You’ll find some great behind-the-scenes photos and GIFs of his entire process.

The Awakening 5-Second Project Second Place

The Awakening GIF via Ben Carmelli.

Tools Ben Used:

  • Cinema 4D
  • Photoshop
  • After Effects
  • Fusion
  • Redshift
  • Arnold

Third Place: Dan Hildebrand

Our third place award goes to It’s Alive! by Dan Hildebrand.

Tools Dan Used:

  • Cinema 4D
  • Redshift
  • After Effects

Runner-Up: Ryan Simrell

Special recognition goes to Ryan Simrell for his 5-second project submission.

Check out more of Ryan’s portfolio on his website.

The Awakening Submissions

You can watch all of The Awakening submissions in this YouTube playlist. Be sure to subscribe to the Greyscalegorilla channel for more 5-second projects, tutorials, podcasts, and more.

Want to join the next 5-Second Project? Check out this page for the next category and all the details.