Making Abstract Shapes in Cinema 4D

August 18, 2009

I do this a lot when I want to try out different lighting techniques in Cinema 4D. I build this abstract shape and see how sexy I can make it. Follow along and learn how to build an abstract shape in Cinema 4D using the deformers and some simple textures.

Tutorial Focus:  
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  • Very Nice…I’m just starting to mess around in C4D. I like these short little tips too by the way!

  • Hi Nick, thx for sharing quick tips … i love C4D & AE… nice work and i hope to learn a lot from u.
    Thx again!!

  • THANK!
    YOU! :]
    Materials+rendering tuts\techniques are something i crave for :]
    Now, only thing left to do is make those white planes invisible..

  • The grayscalled Gorilla is Back! Cool lil tut, i like the tip on the deformer tools – never thought of using em that way…

  • Great !
    Nice quick tip

  • Hi Nick, thanks. Always interesting to see the way other people work.
    If you’re interested in adopting a Linear workflow, I’d suggest checking out the DeGamma plugin for c4d:
    It’s worth a download just for the manual.

  • sweet!
    Could you make a tutorial or some quick tips on global illumination? I’m testing it right now and with combination of some simple light rigs, you can get some pretty awesome results…

  • great short and sharp tip, good pace and leaves plenty of room for experimenting. Who spilt coffee in your left armpit? Or have you been humping furniture all day? 😉

  • Nick,
    I noticed the guitar behind you.
    Why don’t you pick it up, and play a musical version of Greyscale Gorilla next time?
    You know you want to do it!

  • Awesome! Thanks for the tips. You gotta love C4d!

  • Nice tutorial. I’m pretty new to the 3d world, I was wondering when you light for a scene with multiple objects and cameras moving through it, do you use the same technique of lighting planes or do you use lights?

    • Sometimes when lighting with planes, you have to be careful about too much crazy camera movement when rendering with GI. Sometimes it helps to have a global light for general light and then use planes more for reflections.

  • Greyscalegorilla is a 5 Star Restaurant and you’re the Chef 😉

  • Nice way to learn how various settings work in Cinema. Thanks

  • here’s my first test of this technique, I’m pretty pumped on it, but the laptop isnt.

    these lighting tips are great nick, can’t wait to start getting back on the C4D horse and rocking out.

  • Great tut, I’ve been playing with this technique for the whole day now, and this is what i got

  • Hey man, thanks for another great tutorial. Here’s what I came up with. I think I like using discs instead of a planes for the light sources because I don’t have to worry about those sharp corners in the reflections. What do you think?

  • Hi Nick. Googlelooking for some dynamic tuts i discovered your blog. I like the clear, open and honest way you teach.
    Concerning the build of abstracts i made this one below. maybe you take a look at it and see if it is useful.

    Greetz from Holland

  • Had a quick look at two casts last night and combined them into this:

    It looked ok two hours ago but now I think I see where improvement can be made. Want to figure out how to get a DOFmap for real lensblur..
    This is only the begining though-
    Thanks for showing the way!

  • Hey Nick, great job man! I’ve been following tuts from you, Hypa and a couple more places for a couple of weeks now and started doing my own work on Cinema. What a fun program. Anyway, wanted to share my first couple of renders with you, maybe get an opinion, would be great.
    Check ’em out below! thanks

  • I liked it! but how do I exclude the lighting planes from the render?

  • Where can I find these Seen by Camera? also, by compositing can It be the Perpective one?

  • Love the TUT! Just discovered your site… Great stuff!


  • Hi Nick,

    I just wanted to thank you for all your great tutorials, and also I would love to show you what I did after watching your tutorial.

    Thanks for watching 🙂

  • Thank you very much !

  • Hi Nick,
    great Tutorial as always.

    Here a little animation for you all i rendered out without using GI.

    Hope u like it.

    greets from Germany!

  • HEY 😀
    1st: thank you so much for your tutorials…they helped me alot *thumbsup*

    here is my render:

  • i loved this tutorial. i think i’m starting to develop the same habit as you, designing a bunch of these every week just to mess around! thanks again. here’s what i made….

    and also, i made one into a little trailer thing… 🙂

  • Hi Nick, great tip, take a look what I did, inspired on your technique

  • I followed this tutorial, but my shapes got some wrinkles/ creases in them – increasing the segments and poly count did not help. Is there any feature in Cinema 4D that allows you to “Spin Quads” (I know that’s a term from LightWave), but any tool that would allow you to rotate polys to reduce creases? Thanks.

  • Hey Nick:-)
    I’m following your Tuts for a while now and just love them.
    Maybe take a look on what i did:

    Grettings from Germany

  • Cool. I never start a project without any idea in my head and I think that’s a waste because I don’t spend time messing around with settings and generally with the program. And that’s a great way to know it a little bit better I think. Great tips as always Nick 🙂

  • Thanks for the great tutorial Nick! Just found it, and this is what I came up with.
    I’ll have to spend some time here……lots of cool tuts.
    Happy New Year. =)

  • Hey I’m a beginner and Ive got a problem with the banding when add the twist component how do I stop this from happening also how do I set my object defaults to the same colour and texture as yours? thanks for the help

  • Hi nick!!
    u r really awesome!!
    I follow your tutorials regularly. Thanks for the tutorials.
    I have a challenge here that i have to make an orange peeling animation. I have tried with helix and even tried in After Effects(after watching Your BBC tutorial). But was not helping much. Can you please help me?
    Thank you very much.

  • Hey Nick,

    One thing that must be possible, yet I can’t find any reference to on t’internet… is how to form a shape from other shapes (I imagine it involves using the cloner object) but say for example I want to form a face or leg out of tiny spheres or ‘particles’ and render them out as a still image with depth of field and a variation in size of particle.

    Can this be done? Fancy sticking a tutorial up there? Alternatively is there any reference on the web you can point me toward?

    Many thanks,

    PS. Loving your work/site/tut’s – just wish I was proficient enough to enter the 5 sec project. Alas, I am not.

  • This is my result Nick! Thanks a lot again! Your tutorials are so cool!!

  • its quite awesome tutorial !

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