Cinema 4D Dynamics Connector Series: Tank Treads

March 9, 2012

In this tutorial Chris will show you how to put together entirely dynamic tank treads. Then, he will also show you how to build some nifty rock terrain for your new tanks to play in.

Inspiration for this tutorial is here.

Example Video

Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,


    • I tried to do everything he said, it was a little different because I was using R13. The tracks kept falling apart and they keep sagging. Is there anyway I could get the project files so that I can take a gander under the hood to see where I went wrong?

  • Hi Chris,
    watching just the example video we should ask maxon to create a “Smart effector” in an upcoming
    version of Cinema,because these trackies behave kind of stupid! Just kidding! Great series of tuts!
    Greetings LK

  • Thanks so much Chris for spending the time making these incredibly informative and FUN tutorials!!

  • Chris… thank you very much. I have to say that the link for inspiration is broken. Cheers mate 😉

  • Loved the final competition 😀
    Btw, nice tip on making camera follow a target.

  • Thanks Chris! Love your style of teaching. Learning lots. When I saw the example it reminded me of a tutorial on tank treads. Always looking forward to your tuts.

  • Chris… i have a question my friend. Where can i get you layout? I searched on greyscalle… without results. Thanks 😉

  • Holy moly.
    You are a genius (and a little crazy too =8-))
    Very funny. Awosome

  • Your build is pretty much exactly like the one I did. I think the only main difference is I used a couple of hinge joints that were opposing each other in the y axis to connect the two treads. The two hinges created a pseudo shock system that allowed the treads to stay in contact with the ground more when driving in rough terrain.

    Great job. The best part is you didn’t butcher my name. 🙂

  • Awesome series of tutorials – everything you ever wanted to know about connectors but were afraid to ask, and used in a practical way, properly constructed, so if it goes wrong, we know why – and that’s as useful as anything else. Plus loads of useful tips along the way – Reset PSR – use it all the time, and would never have found it otherwise. Boom!

  • Hey Chris.

    Amazingly fitting tutorial for one of the projects I’m working on in my sparetime, and I’ve gotten as far as setting up the belt. However: What I’m trying to pull off is connecting ‘buckets’ to every sixth chain or so, to build some kindof conveyour ball-picker, but the dynamics go completely crazy with the extra weight. Do you – or anyout out there – have any idea on how to pull this off?

  • Hahah enjoyed this tutorial so much tnx!

  • Hey Chris nice Tut! I have a question for you, or anyone else who might shed some light on the matter. On 14:30 of your tut, where you’re moving the Connectors on the X axis, i am somehow unable to move them on any axis. I have followed your steps, several times to make sure i’m not missing anything, but can’t get it to work, it’s like they’re fixed, i can move them so i can’t change the pivot point.

    Any help much appreciated.

    Have a great day everybody.

  • Thnx for posting such a great tutorial (once again)!
    I have a question about rendering settings, how do i render in “interface” ,work mode or what its called?

  • Hey Chris, Great tut thanks.
    Question. I created a terrain scene using Vue 10 and imported into C4D R13. Now I want to take this tank tread model and have ride on the terrain. However, when I try that the tank does a back flip and all crazy types of things happen immediately when it hits the terrain. What is the best way to make my terrain that was created in Vue 10 , work in this situation? Or any imported terrain .


  • awesome tutorial, I did what Ron suggested and got it to work well. I also played with different connectors on the central connector. If you space the two treads a little further apart and use a ball and socket connector, the tank can go up more aggressive terrain. Thanks for the tut. keep em coming.

  • Nice Tutorial .. can we make a little change by adding some springs under the body of the tank so it can humping while it’s moving ? you know to add more realistic dynamic action ?

  • Can somebody PLEASE talk about C4D CONVERSIONS to OTHER FORMATS?

    I don’t know much about other 3D software (3ds Max, SolidWorks, Cad etc.) but I would REALLY LIKE someone to discuss this issue: “How do I correctly Convert / Export / Save as C4D files to other formats?”
    (there’s really no much about this when you google it, apart from some boring forums 😉 )

    SAVE AS…?

  • I added some car springs on the inner wheels (not the driving wheels). Works like a charm to keep the track taut and the dynamics work better too.

  • Thanks Chris,nice tutorial but I think Cinema 4D Dynamics are doesn’t work correctly sometimes 🙁

  • First of all Chris, Thanks for the great Tutorials! Now one question ive been having with dynamics and motor driven object is how to get such as your example to follow a directed path. Like Align to spline for whatever reason does not see to do it. Any ideas would be great!!

  • Excellent stuff…. Have had lots of fun playing with this one…. I created turd tank racing…. 🙂

  • You didnt like my tank video then?? Sorry if I broke any rules, I thought you’d like to see what people come up with…?

  • Great work again Chris,
    What a fun tutorial, seeing this tut it really gives me a feel of how to use connectors,
    which up to now I must admit was a complete mystery to me.

    Thanks a lot

  • I used Ron’s tip of adding another base on the other side which helped improve stability and instead of increasing the wheel size to get them to fit the TREADS I did this another way.

  • Excellent again Chris. THANKS

  • Thanks a lot, Chris. Been using CS Tools for awhile now- thx for those also.
    This took over my st party’s day, but no regrets- tons of aspects of exploration possible, really had a blast. Real familiar with modynamics (work only has broadcast module) but been waiting for a chance to explore some of these other tags, like motors and hinges. It’s all rad because it all makes a lotta sense.
    Here’s what I came up with.

  • Curious if with C4D r13 dynamics you could make a very simple helicopter that generates its own lift

  • Not sure if somebody allready wrote it, but it’s possible to skip the manual connection of the different chain parts. Simply set up an Xpresso Tag on top of the Connector (in the cloner Object).

    After coverting the cloner object simple fix the last xpresso node. That’s all.

  • Mohamed Aljazaere ( MJ ) May 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks alot Chris ..!! Nice tutorial
    I learned a lot from you guys!!

  • Thanks for the great tutorial! I really learned a lot from it 🙂

    Even though I made it a while ago, this is what I came up with after watching the tutorial:

    Hope you like it!

  • HOW CAN I MAKE THE TANK TO MOVE THROUGH A SPLINE ON IRREGULAR SURFACE? I WANT TO MOVE THE TANK THROUGH SPECIFIC PATH WITH ALL THOSE CHAIN DYNAMICS. IS IT POSSIBLE????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Awesome tutorial, Chris. Thanks! Here’s how mine manifested itself. My kid likes cranes, what can I say?

  • cheers chris, that was a fun tutorial 🙂

  • Man super cool stuff . I went like “WOW ” a few dozen times. I got a question though if you don’t mind;

    How do you control the motion of your tank incase you want it to stop or go to the right or left. This information would help me very much. I don’t know if this question was already posted by someone else but nonetheless, please tell me.

    Regards ,

  • Hey Chris!
    Wanted to thank you for all I’ve learned from you.
    Here’s a little animated factory project you helped me with.
    You can find your tank tread there, some popcorn-like stuff jumping around, a hydraulic arm and some other stuff.
    Will be glad if you check it out!


  • You can use Xpresso to connect the connectors. Go to about 9:15 in this tutorial:

  • Thanks for the lesson! Did it on a tank for a teaser for the game REALTANKS

  • My tracks keep spinning outward after running for a while, is there any way to fix that?

  • Thanx for an excellent and helpful tutorial. I was also struggling a wee bit with droopiness, but sorted it out by placing the base in the center of the wheels. Made it all more stable. Thanks again!

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