Fully Dynamic Popping Popcorn Tutorial

July 23, 2012

In this “Tag Team Tutorial”, Chris and I show you how to model and texture a dynamically popping popcorn kernel and get them to behave like real popping popcorn. Just in time for summer blockbuster season. Based on this lovely render by John Robson

Part 1: Modeling, Dynamics Texturing and Animation

Part 2: Baking, Lighting and Compositing

Tutorial Focus:  , , , ,
Software:  , ,
Educator:  ,

  • cool! can’t wait to try this out!

  • When I saw Chris’s tutorial couple of weeks ago I thought it is pretty cool. But Nick, your prettified version is just fantastic. I really dig it! Thanks guys, both of you.

  • Thank you for this tutorial!
    Going to follow it now 🙂

  • Thanx! Just… are these popcorns barbecue flavor or what? Seems like a little… red, isn’t?

  • So rad! These tag-team tuts are really great! As always, thanks.

  • balls variation number 23648234

  • Had fun making popcorn a few months back but used an emitter after the pop. Check it at https://vimeo.com/34742574
    Also love the combo of Chris (Brainiac) and Nick (Cools MoDef) combo TUT action. Thanks guys!

  • WHAT, no beverage to go with that?

  • Thanks for great tutorial, Chris and Nick!

  • Anyone else having problems with proximal shader when cloner active ?

  • Thanks Chris, and Nick for the excellent tut! You guys have stepped it up a notch with the tag team tuts. Please keep em coming!
    Love the audio talk, it is an essential part of the creation process, plus we are musicians first!!! lol

  • The two part tutorials are really amazing!

  • Spencer Schmalz July 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    What I would really like to see is Chris make more detailed tutorials on rigging, joints, bones, things like that. Start from the beginning so anyone can learn it! I would love to see that.

  • Hi

    Nice tut.
    P.S Corn pops with really high speed – way faster than 3 frames, but I understand that 3 frames are for the sake of physics simulation. Popping corn: http://www.gifbin.com/984811

  • Please help us proximal shader won’t work inside the cloner. What’s wrong with us?

  • Chris you explain tutorials too fast, slow it down man!:)) and some of your steps you don’t mention,you should mention them too, kind of hard to fallow.Thanks for your sharing .

    • The great thing about videos is that you can pause them. You can always slow tutorials down to your pace, but you can’t speed them up. I say err on the side of being too fast, those who are slower can pause and it keeps it interesting to the more advanced viewers.

  • Hi Chris Ramzes is right 🙂
    I didn’t follow you. You’re too fast for me 🙂
    And thank you for your all efforts.
    I didn’t figure out proximal shader cloner problem 🙂

  • I’ve been through this part 1 tutorial a few times now. Still can’t get Proximal to work with cloner ! Driving me mad ! I’ve been using C4D for many years since R8 so not a noob. Maybe Chris has some preferences changed on his version of C4D ? Be great to get this sorted…

  • I found something it’s not cloner it’s about random effector problem when i turn of random effector
    it’s looking ok. And i try to put plain effector and that one also not working well with proximal shader…

  • What do you think about optimizing Chris´s Video look ( proper whitebalanced, a more structured backround setting etc)

    would it support the tagteam- idea or just reduce the contrast between their presented attitudes?!

  • Great tutorial. Thought I’d give it a go but fell at the first hurdle… when I increase the sphere segments it doesn’t smooth the displacer effect it intensifies the displacement… where am I going wrong? Any ideas? (I’m using R13 and copied all the settings)

    • Working in mm seemed to throw the shader scale. It worked fine with a much bigger global scale on the noise. Also the proximal shader worked fine but not when the cloner was turned on – got around that one by animating the texture tag U and V Lengths from 100 to 0 over three frames.

  • Yo nick, what u think of andrew kramers new plugin, 3D element? This is gonna cheapen our craft along with ur stupid shit a bit more. gz scrub


  • please make a tutorial hoe to make this chrome logo in this trailer don 2..chrome text saying “excel entertainment” IN THE STARTING 0.00 TO 0.03 VIDEO LINK:



    • pratheesh you spamming this blog page was useless because:
      1. you don’t have to post multiple times when Nick gets notified about any and all comments on his blog,
      2. he hasn’t responded to your numerous requests anyway, and
      3.- It’s an insult, and I would ban you from posting on this blog , if it was mine!

      You are not paying for any service, and it’s selfish and immature to demand someone to respond to your requests.
      So please, GROW UP!

  • I enjoyed watching the tutorial. but I was a bit disappointed by the final result.. I dont think it looks like popcorn. the example they were trying to replicate is a much better..

  • Proximal shader still not working when Random / Cloner introduced.
    I’ve been over the tutorial multiple times to see if I missed something. Spent hours trying to solve this but no luck. Help !!

  • Thanks for this tutorial, I found the proximal technique quite interesting.
    To speed up viewport playback rates once dynamics are baked, you can uncheck the enabled option of all the dynamics tags. With this C4D will use the baked scene but won’t recalculate dynamics speeding up the playback.

  • Hi,Nick. I meet a problem that I never met before. I’m used to render still image. But when I render Animation with GI-On,I found my animation flashing all the way. And I found if I changed GI mode into IR+QMC(Full Animation) mode everything will be OK. But It takes much more time. Is there any better way to solve this?

  • Hey Nick! Great tutorial as always! I remember seeing those car/demolition derby renders a few weeks ago. Any chance you could provide a tutorial on those next? Thanks!

  • Hi Nick,

    I cant find any other way of getting this request to you so I hope this is the right place to put it up!! Sorry if isn’t. Just really to say that it would be great to see the techniques behind this showreel here: http://www.umeric.com/. Its been about for some time and you may have seen this already, but as I am now moving into motion it would be great to see the techniques used in the piece from about 01:19mins into the piece with the hair/ fur shooting out tentacles and then 01:28mins in with the forming of the shoe. The opening scenes are good too but I think some of the principles have been covered in your Vimeo title sequence tut and some others. If you think its a valid request then it would be appreciated in a tutorial. Your tuts are top class for all levels hence why I resist no more to comment! Thanks for it all.

    • Thanks for the link ! Stunning & beautiful.

      • Yeh, Umeric do some nice work. Check out http://www.pabloalfieri.com from motion studio Plenty (Argentina). Amazing. I’ve set myself the challenge of getting my textures as luminent and fluorescent like in some of his work just to train myself in C4D. It’s not going quite right though. Ideas anyone………. Nick? 🙂 Thanks

        • The project he did with for the Alcohol drink with the modelled numbers, those textures are so attractive. I can get the basic colours but to get the glow and pop like that before taking into AE is not going to plan! And those bespoke diamond shapes are so cool. Nick, how would you build something as basic as this but make it look so good? Thanks from a newbie!!

  • Do you think you could recreate something similar to this Nick? It was featured on Breaking Bad and looks very cool. I know it was made in 3DS Max but you have a way with these things.


  • How do you make your renders so smooth? when i render mine, it either only renders a certain amount of frames and keep trying to render them whilst other frames are dispearing, or when i get it to not do that, it’s all stuttery. could you tell me/everyone how you do that?

  • Yo Nick, You mention Chris Robson, but did you realize @hackeyesup had a hand in this also? if I remember correctly he did the coke bubbles in TP.

  • Hey Nick, another great one! Thanks for all of the tutorials, they’re really useful.
    Not sure if this is the right place, but I just wanted to ask you something. I want to build a workstation for video editing and motion graphics. Can you give me some directions for components, specs ? Preferable PC, because budget is not infinite.
    I will be very grateful! Thanks.

  • This is my version… some alterations to the procedeur and put in an other context.

    Thanx alot for all the inspiration..

  • I was working through this tutorial and found that it was hard to follow. It seems he was explaining the steps slower than he was making them. Like when he said that you have to add a deformer, but he was already three steps ahead. It just makes it tough to learn from speed tutorials. It took me 3 hours to go through the first video. I had to stop and go back to make sure that I did not miss a step. When he was explaining the difference between soft body and ridged body collisions, he mixed them up and was very confusing. I am just trying to learn how to do particles and animations, so I am a little new at this, but I know enough of Cinema 4D to be a generalist. I do appreciate these tutorials A LOT! Just wish they where easier to follow.

  • Awesome
    Post more tuts with settings in materials, plz

  • Nick can you show us how to do something similar to this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c4WYzr30B0) which was on Breaking Bad a few episodes ago in C4D?


  • wow – thats so cool
    I did try AF but kinda difficult for me 🙁 maybe gotta try again

  • hey GSG thank you so much for these tutorials, they’re amazing.

    I wanted to request a more in depth tutorial on proxies if possible, I’ve heard that render proxies are one of the main perks of c4d and I can’t find that much on the internet about how to use them.

  • Thank you guys SO much for all of your amazing tutorials. I am very grateful for your willingness to share your techniques with all of us.
    As several others have posted: I too am having an issue with the Proximal Shader when it’s added to the cloner. With the cloner off, the unpopped kernel looks great, but as soon as I enable the cloner, the multiple kernels look like little Rollo candy pieces. Could I maybe have missed a setting?
    Again, I understand if you can’t reply to all of our questions. I really appreciate the time you share with us!

    put the cloner object in the proximal shader instead of the sphere

  • Hello, the tutorial is very beautiful.I love it. Popcorn model can be sent to me?
    Thank you!
    Great need
    My mailbox 2427120@gmail.com

  • Help, please!
    I’m having a problem with the Random effect. I’ve applied it and use pretty much all the values used in this tutorial (Position-scale-rotation), but when I try to see frame by frame how it works, the kernels just don’t move. Am I missing something? Please Help!!! (I’m using R13 btw)

  • i love the tutorial but chris went way to fast for me i couldn’t keep up and in had to go back and watch it over and over. but still its a very great tutorial and watching it over and over is what gets you good at it i guess

  • Hi! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for your great info you have got here on this post. I will be coming back to your web site for more soon.

  • Great tutorial … can u plzzzzz give a tutorial that shows how to create the extraction of pizzza cheeeeezzzzzzz from the pizzzzaaaaaaaa . i mean the effect that can show the original look when the pizzza piece is extracted …. that cheeeez looook …. thanks alot 🙂

  • Hi everyone ….. How are you? …… I have this situation…. When I use a fracture plugin….(xplode or Nitro) and I make very small pieces,these have problems with dynamic.The problem is these pieces never stop moving…..

    Whenever this happens to me, in the end I fix correcting it piece by piece.And this is very cumbersome.
    Somebody knows what I’m talking about,and Know a more practical solution than the mine.

    Best regard,

  • I just stopped at 20:15
    my popcorn is not popping ! what’s the problem?

  • Hi
    can you make a tutorial to modeling and texturing a Peanut?
    It´s dificult to make the material 🙁

    Thank you.

  • Thank you both for the great tutorial.
    I think the sound is a little out of sync (at least in part one so far). thought you should know

  • Great tutorial, guys! I realize I am about 10 months late to this party, but I just completed this tutorial. 🙂 I am using R14. Everything works just fine except my kernels don’t “pop” (move up vertically). They all just pop and stay on the floor of the box. Is there a setting somewhere that I am missing? Many thanks!

  • Talking about speed, fuel to the fire
    You guys are teaching C4D, World community appreciates your efforts, but English is not the only language on the planet.
    And you should be proud that your tutorials are followed in many countries worldwide.
    Therefore, I request that you(s) speaking vocalizer.
    Greetings from Spain, here is an official language and four regional-historical languages.
    (In China, India, Russia, Africa… may be hundreds)

  • Might not be important anymore Chris…since this is a old tut. But I was trying different alpha channel effects to get it to where the kernel always shows closer to the center rather than in the outer regions…..Ambient occlusion ended up working to my liking.

  • Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand
    your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and
    the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still cwre for to keep it
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  • Is what I was looking for and is better that I thought =) Thanks a lot!!!

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