Creating Cel Animation Style Paint Strokes in Cinema 4D

December 11, 2014


I’m back with yet another way to create a 2D effect in 3D fast and easy using Cinema 4D!  In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to recreate the popular cel animation style paint stroke/splash effect you see in a lot of 2D animations using Cinema 4D without third party plug-ins.  The workflow I’ll demonstrate is super flexible and applicable to achieving a bunch of different cool 2D paint stroke looks for revealing an object, writing on text, or painting on screen.  BONUS:  Paint live by combining this tutorial with my tutorial on realtime animation using Cappuccino.

And here’s a scene file demonstrating the technique that you guys can mess around with:



Here’s one of my previous tutorials that shows you how to create the 2D illustrative materials using the Cel Shader that I’m using for the paint strokes in this tutorial: Using the Cel Shader to Apply an Illustrative 2D Style to 3D Objects in C4D.

Here’s another tutorial I mentioned in this video on using uniform mode on splines to have objects follow in sync along a spline.

In addition to this paint stroke style, be sure to check out Matteo Forghieri’s C4DAPT Challenge winning entry ( for a really genius method on how to create a different type of streak that is produced from an actual object!

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  • For some reason the render looks great in preview but when it comes time to actually render it I lose my splatter and only get background. Am I missing something in my render settings?


    • Nevermind! Did some tinkering and learned that when just rendering a still, the tracers wouldn’t play very well with the cloners and nothing would come up.
      My work around for that was to just Current State to Object everything to grab the still I wanted. Otherwise just rendering the full animation normally works completely as it should.

  • Hi EJ! Thanks for this tutorial!

    I’ve been having a bit of trouble with the metaballs though- no amount of fiddling with hull values, render segments, or scale with get me anything other than a great big blob.

    Any help or suggestions to get a better brush/paint shape with them is greatly appreciated!

  • Cinema 4d is great tool for 2d and 3d animated video production.

  • thanks for the tutorial for create 2d animation video effects in cinema 4d

  • Best platform for animators who work on cartoon 2D/ 3D animation thanks for sharing tutorial.

  • It’s very cool i like which tools you mostly you use to make render characters?

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