Cinema 4D Basic Tools: Primitives, Splines, Nurbs, Deformers and Mograph

April 6, 2009

In this cast, I go over the basic tools for creating and modifying shapes into objects. Ever wanted to start to build objects to use in your 3D comps? Use these basic tools to create almost any object or item. Stay tuned… In the next lesson, we will start to build simple objects with these techniques.

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  • thank you! please keep the c4d tutorials coming. the gamma / global illumination was hugely helpful. I’m curious on how to make character animation similar to the cartoon network spots on

  • Great tutorial, easy to understand, not long, and makes me go try stuff. Thanks

  • Maann that was awsome…I love your answer all the things im curious about…very good.

    Could you maybe show us a bit more about textures and lighting and basic animation…apart from that – 10/10

  • Awesome, definitely want to see more of these

  • Nick you rock. Do you think in a future cast you can go over the process of exporting the C4D camera to AE? This has never made sense to me, and was wondering if you had a work flow for this.
    Also, what screencast software are you using?
    Appreciate all your posts and efforts!

  • Very very good. Can you show me how to carve letters into objects..Thanks

  • Thank you Nick!!
    It’s what I was looking for!!


  • FFD – the last time I used it, I had real photography of an object and needed to create a realistic reflection. I used a not-so-photo-real model and did my best to match the background plate using the C4D camera. Since it’s incredibly hard to get a CG camera to match a real camera if you haven’t planned for it, I used FFD to tweak the low res model to more precisely match the perspective distortion of the photo so the reflection would line up correctly. It would have been better to plan for it and use Photomatch, but if there was any planning, it never would have been getting the reflective floor treatment in the first place.


  • ….serious you ROCK, Nick.
    (especially when you’re pussin’ pixels around)

    thanks for these posts. 1 metric shit-ton of awesome.

  • Thanks for the great feedback and awesome suggestions for more casts. More to come soon.

    • hey nick, i know this might sound like a very basic question. but for us newbies you think you could cover more on the bezier curve? its kind of hard to control. main question being, how would i remove points without having to cmd z.

  • hey nick can you do a tutorial showing how to take your cinema 4d scenes and use them in after effects? i think that would be really helpful

  • New one to me, that spline resolution tip, many thanks!

  • Hi Nick is it possible to share the .exr that you use ?

  • Ok. I noticed that when you made the text spline, you said, “you can choose different fonts.” That is true, but being new to C4D, I will choose a font and then my text spline disappears. Does it have to be a truetype font in order to work? Why does my text spline only work with a few of my fonts?

  • Thanks from Russia!

  • Excellent start point. Simple coverage but plenty of ops to pause and explore indepth. Have tried many beginners tutorials, but this will be the reference point for some time.
    Thanks for doing this.

  • Thanks from Brazil!

  • Really nice basic stuff.

  • Thank you for a very simple explanation of the basics! It has been hard to find anything that doesnt go off into tangents or too in depth about one thing then ignoring the others.

  • Hey, Nick!
    That was wonderful one thank you a lot. I’m playing around with Primitives but I noticed an object called “Relief” I tried to explore it but I found nothing!. Could you please explain quickly how I can use it or drop me a link to tutorial or article that explains more about it. Thank you, Greeting from Egypt.

  • Hey nick,you can’t be serious about this tutorial it’s best of the best honestly,keep it up and hey i need more tuts about lights, GL (Global Illumination) & textures please… :)thanks

  • hey nick good stuff, i kinda dived straight into some of the more complex tutorials without learning the basics, so going back to these.
    One object i have my heart set on modelling is a rubiks cube, i eventually came accross the tutorial for making it, now I am stuck on animating the thing, rotating the edges etc. the problem i am having is animating the edges individually, i have tried grouping the different faces and animating that way which works fine until i wanna animate a side that shares the same cube but different color. Im sure there is a simple solution to this if you could shed some light on it, that would be greatfully appreciated.

  • I really must say nick. your videos are not only compact well presented videos, but you also generate genuine enthusiasm with them. So far they are some of the best that i’ve seen in relation to cinema 4d. Keep it up man.

  • Very helpful. Many thanks for doing a great job Mister.

  • great! thanks, really touched base on the essentials – great starting point 😀

  • I am very grateful for the service that you are providing. I am subscribed to and your tutorials are a great complement for expanding the learning experience.
    If you be so kind and tell me where can I get info on how to conform text to a cylinder in C4D, I tried Wrap but I don’t know how to do it with text over text, like the Logo from Universal. Thanks.

  • thanks alot

  • nice video
    thanx for this hard work

  • I want to know how to make a hanging bridge. maybe with some dinamics…

  • hi! i know this tutorial is old, but i want to learn to use cinema 4d as good, i have the r15 version, and i am in the part of the nurbs, and the last nurb you say that you don’t know if can be used in something, i think could work for be a paper flying in wind,, haha! like your work and you teaching! great job men! i always follow your work! hope some day can work with your team!

  • Is it just me or did the sound go away from this video?

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