How to Build A Brick Road And Other Texture Ramblings

January 24, 2012

Today, Chris Schmidt shows us how to make a realistic brick road using Cinema 4D using Mograph tools and noise textures. He also goes over how to texture the bricks using displacement to make them jagged and random looking. Follow Chris down the yellow brown brick road of C4D rendering. Sorry, that was cheesy.

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  • Awh thank you so much for this! Im working on a project and its a little bare, this will add a little extra something to it!


  • I love the go-with-the-flow type tutorial, dude. It shows not only the concept, but the process, which I think is more important. It is good to see how other people deal with each challenge vs just plugging in numbers that were figured out prior to recording the tut. Thanks!

  • Chris is the man… IΒ΄m always close to a heartattack following the tuts. He is fast πŸ˜‰
    But I think when you learn from Chris you really learn the job… I enjoy watching him doing his stuff.

  • Thank’s for null tip!

  • I really enjoyed this. In the texturing portion of the tut, it was nice to watch your thought process in action. The amount of layering that can be done it C4D shaders is mind blowing. I love a good non-destructive workflow as well and the fact this whole scene is parametric is pretty cool to me!

  • Hey Chris, Thanks for the detailed work-through of materials on this one, and great uses of Random Effectors! Very helpful. Tom

  • Hi Chris thanks Γ  bunch for this one….. Go on with technics… You’re so damn good.

  • Hey Chris, thanks for another Awesome Tutorial. You have taught me so much, Big proppers to you.

  • Hi chris great job as always,
    maybe some extra tuts ideas:
    * How to use the new xref v13 to combine multiple files in one project
    * Creative ways to use bones/joints with NONE character objects (maybe for motion graphics pieces)
    * Maybe a way to use mocap data with the new character tools? (i didn’d find a easy way to combine them)
    * As usual everything mograph and xpresso related is always welcome.
    * Another great idea might be some tricks used in the recently posted Minestry of sound spot

    Again thanks for your effords they are being appreciated by many of us.

  • Great ‘Null’ tip!
    I know you are actually covering them as you go but you use so many different ‘shaders’ that its hard to keep up with what they are actually doing or the thought process behind them. Maybe a good tut would be describing what the different shaders do? Love the enthusiasm and the way you put these tutorials together!

  • Thanks Chris for another Awesome Tutorial!

  • Here’s my attempt. Broadband crashed half way through tutorial so didnt catch how to use colour shader fully.

  • So little effort for such great result. As suggested in the comments above a bit of explanation along the way would be much appreciated ( ex. Use of overlay instead of other, or the way the coloriser works). And may inspiration come upon thou.

  • Thank you as always – after a week in going through your tutorials I am rendering my own scenes and flying!

    A suggestion I have seen so many people like me (newbies with a sincere passion to learn and do something new and amazing whilst juggling a day job, a cat who uses all furniture as a personal destroy project, and carrying the groceries up 12 flights) we get up to the Renders and all is good. But it would be super rad to be able to then bake the object or textures to mirror what the render shows to export to Collada or similar for other uses.

    I would probably sell you my Cat’s kitten for that!

    (ps I am not saying all people who are new and learning Cinema 4D have cats with violence to all furniture disorders like mine).

    <3 Lemmie

    • Dude, can you work on a Smoke tutorial, Please! I built a room and made an explosion inside a room. I want the smoke to exit the room from the doorway. However, the smoke does not behave according to my environment. The smoke travels through the plane. I have tried rigid body tags that don’t work and cloth tags seem to be a waste of time. Can any cinema 4D guru tell me how to contain smoke?

      Is there a Pantheon of Cinema 4D Gods that can help a mortal novice?

  • You should make some tutorials on smoke / liquids with plugins like turbulencefd or software like realflow, if you can use them. Also you should record the whole process of making something for a real client, so we can see everything you do and then add some commentary to talk people through it, that would be the best way to learn new things.

  • great tut..i was wondering can we have a tut about a 3d logo with realflow interaction..floating or something?!?

  • Jonathan Aurousseau January 25, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Hey Chris,

    Great tut as usual, everytime you make a tutorial it gives me so much ideas to work on,
    and I had a question on the subject.

    I would like to use a noise displacer (a black and white video) on a Mograph wall of cubes,
    but i would like it to displace only the Yscale of the cube to avoid them to intersect each other.

    Do I have to go by Xpresso (not a pro =)

    Again Thanks a lot
    And long life to the Schmidt Tuesdays

  • Hi Chris,

    It would be awsome if you make a tutorial about Paul Clements Headphone spot tricks. I have no idea about the curve belt animation around the jack for example or the final shot about the headphone core building animation whith that black and white map.How is it works? Or how can delaying, bouncing a joint chain animation? For me it would be very interesting a tutorial covered this topics.

  • Chris,
    Great tut! You guys are really the example for many creative people: sharing is knowledge!
    I’m relative new to C4D, (1 year in flighthours) but the tuts from GSG are pushing me forward bit by bit! Thnx & Keep up the great work!

  • i also liked the (older) hydraulic arm tutorial. nice tutorials Chris. Thanks.

  • Here are some ides for Tutorials: a 3D glass texture and slow motion breaking of glass tutorial (quick render time) or a camera mapping tutorial in C4D πŸ™‚ That would be fun πŸ™‚ Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Waow !
    Interesting things about using Cloner with Null Object, layering multiple shaders inside different channels, etc.
    I found very funny in all the comments here that everyone wants to know how to do a smashing CG video as the famous ‘Ministry Of Sound Headphone’ ! Let’s all face the reality of it : hours and hours of building strategies around cloner object, reverse engineering process to make all the parts appearing, so many techniques involved (like ‘joints’, mograph, etc – see Mike the Monkey explaining some of them)…
    GSG have to make a all-year-long tutorial session, just to peak any details inside the MOS Headphone clip !
    Why don’t you all contact the guy behind it and ask detailed questions on his Twitter account ? I read some of his answer and it’s quite interesting. He seems to be a nice person, isn’t it ?
    Anyway, I’m still waiting some tips like BodyPaint part 2 or TPs tutorials…

  • Another great tutorial. I found it really interesting seeing how you layer the noises on top of each other. I’ve never really done that, but it works great. Freestyle and structured tutorials are as good as each other as far as I’m concerened, I’m just always picking up tips from seeing how you work.
    Concerning future tutorials, +1 for some of the stuff from Paul Clements headphone breakdown… or for a change of style how about showing how to do something like integrating CG into video footage (like combing sIBL lighting with Voodoo Camera Tracker (which exports to lightwave which C4D can read) all of which are free).

  • I love the fast paced nature of your tutorials. It gets right to the point and you can cover lots of info. If I miss something, I can go back on my own time.

    I agree with most people in the thread that things like realflow and more thinking particles tutorials would be awesome. I like how you did a progressive set of tutorials with xpresso, and on that note, it would be nice to see some more advanced techniques. It would be great to have increasingly more advanced tutorials that build on the last. I wouldn’t even mind if you went a few weeks in between specific topics, but its nice to see a progression sometimes to introduce more complex solutions (almost like a class).

    Thanks for all the great tutorials. It’s awesome that you and Nick can take time from your busy schedules to continue to contribute to the learning communities.

  • Great tutorial Chris, thnx!
    If you’re up for it then I would like to see a tut on rain falling and creatiing a nice little puddle or maybe be an overflowing raingutter. Water in general created with only C4D. Thnx!

  • Hey Chris, Thank you!
    Great job, I’m going to watch this a few more times to absorb all that info….. Thanks again!

  • Thank You!!!

  • Hey Chris, great tutorial as always… I know you mentioned that you were interested in ideas for new tutorials. Would you consider doing a tutorial on creating realistic clouds and smoke with pyrocluster, I have tried a few times, but I wondered if there were a technique to make it look more cinematic?

  • I really appreciate the NULL tip. I built a dynamic wall some months ago and used the formula Effector to offset the bricks. This is so much easier. Thanks Chris.

  • SO GREAT! You brought a lot of real-world in and made it simple!

    I would love to see something with shading large mountains or canyons.


  • Would be great with some more modeling and texturing tutorials!

  • Always love these on-the-go-tuts! especially from experienced C4D-cracks. The way you’re working with the layer-shader and noises opened my mind! thx for that!

    Keep ’em coming!

  • hey chris! Thanks for another awesome tutorial. I wld really luv to see you create a spot for a ficticious product. Lots of mograph, your CS cam tools and perhaps some dynamics. It would be real fun to see you go about something like that. I’ll be keepin my fingers crossed. Don’t let me keep em in that state please… πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much for your tutorials! Your works (GCG works as well) are incredible especially for beginners like me :). I’d like to give you an idea (if it’s possible) could you implement your tutorials about “architecture use” of cinema 4d? for example creating some of these structure or other little things like window, roof etc. and the best way to renderize them.

    However thank you very very much! i’ve appreciated this tut very much.

  • Chris,

    You’re amazing! This is the best place for learning and inspiration! And… I mean it with complete respect but you slightly resemble Rain Wilson πŸ™‚

    Keep it up!

  • He Chris,

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I think this was one of the best tutorials from you. Taking time to explain all the texturing with layer shaders. So please keep doing these not-so-short tips:)

    You and Nick have both theit specialties…and I love ’em both

  • Nice one Chris. These rambling tutorials are great. They reveal new features in the software which I wouldn’t find any other way. I would love more dynamics tuts. I am trying to figure out how to put letters on the top of vertical bendy wires, then and pelt them with objects so they spring about…its defeated me so far. So there’s some food for thought.

  • Like always, this is a great tutorial. Not only did I learn a excellent brick road technique, but I learned a lot of awesome tips about using the layer shader! Awesome! As for tutorial ideas, using the pyrocluster to create awesome vfx, preparing your model to use with the C.A tools in C4D, creating water with Cinema 4D alone, creating dynamic clouds, or even elaborating more on the use of materials, and the various shaders.Thanks Chris! You rock! Rock On!

  • Hey Chris,

    Have to say this one I really enjoyed and learnt a lot, great stuff!!
    I do like these un-planned approaches.

    1) I would love to see more rigging tuts like a updated version of your robotic arm tut way back!!
    2) Series of tuts on Expresso from the very basics to more advance

  • random textures arnt working…. HELP!

    • Make sure the random effector for managing the colours is associated with cloner

      In the layer shader where you have placed the mograph color shader make sure to use the colorise effect rather than the colorizer shader. That caught me out

  • Great tutorial Chris.. big thank-you, I’ve learned a lot.

  • Great tutorial Chris, loving the procedural texture tutorials. You don’t see many tutorials on this subject keep them coming. There are so many settings in the shader. Maybe an explanation on the different shader types, Phong, Blinn, Oren-naya what they can be used for! There are a lot of settings in the noise shader, the space mapping types.

  • This one was great — I love the whimsical feel of the bricks. Your tutorials are often pretty grab-bag, which is great, but if you felt like doing a series, perhaps you could build upon this by integrating it into a scene. Like creating a twisted house out of these bricks on a grassy hill for instance, and showing some animation techniques to boot.

    Anyway, thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge. I’m always looking forward to the next one.

  • Thanks Chris!
    With you tutorials I always find some new corners and nooks of the software that I didn’t know about.

    You know what I would like to see in this tutorial is adding some green fur to the plane so the hole thing look like a rural road french road or something like that AND if you know a way to use the brick data from the cloner to define the area where the grass grows so it doesn’t intersect with the bricks.

  • i would really love to see an example of how you built those expresso tree setups from your 2009 demo-reel, with so much control over paths and geometry.

  • Hey Chris,
    thanks for the tutorial! As for a suggestion to new tutorials, I would be very interested in building and texturing mud-brick architecture, especially walls with crenelations. Something like this perhaps:

    Would you build this with HyperNurbs? How do you construct irregular edges and the overall irregular look of the mud-brick wall? How would you make the materials?
    I searched for tutorials on this for a while now, but I think there aren’t any… yet πŸ™‚

    This would help a lot. Thanks!

  • Hi, chriss!

    First, I would like to say it was a great tutorial,
    And I learned alot from the technique.

    Also, I would prefer next time to be planned out a bit better, you were all over the place.
    At first, you knew what you were doing, but when It was up to texturing – I couldn’t understand what you were you were doing.

    Other then that, great tutorial!


  • I really like this tutorial, but was much more interested in the texturing aspect. Personally I am not to great about making a texture that would fit into the real world and look realistic. I know that I could modify the colors in after effects, but I am never happy with the end texture that I produce out of cinema.
    Anyways, I would love a tutorial on texturing objects that can be placed into live action footage. As in using real images and using those in the texture maybe? As I said before I am not the greatest at creating textures.
    Keep the tutorials coming! They are great and provide a lot of useful information!

  • Id like to see how you fill a winding road with a pattern like this..

  • I would also like to see tutorials on compositing a 3d object into a photograph. and dealing with shadows and reflections. onto a photographed floor.. all within C4D. (no post processing)

  • Another idea for a tutorial would be on using hair in any way you felt like like exploring. This module is really good, and I don’t usually hear enough ramblings on it!

  • Thx for making time to make tutorials like this for us

  • Hey Chris – – great tutorial as always. Is there a method of controlling the mapping of a shader loaded into the ‘Displacer’ deformer, ie: Cubic, Spherical, etc. Would be great to be able to control these parameters.

  • You’re tutorials are like art.

    You’re knowledgable enough to improvise through, at least for me, a very complex theme.

    Just like a jazz musician πŸ™‚

    And the result is excellent.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Only one internet provider to choose from where I live, and with a maximum download capacity. So every time the vimeo video is interupted I need to start from the beginning and am using up my capacity. Can’t these super tuts be made as podcasts so they can be downloaded once and seen as often as needed. At 1/3 of the month I am through my allowed maximum and set to a trickle. I am sure it would be much appreciated.


    • ” Can’t these super tuts be made as podcasts so they can be downloaded once and seen as often as needed. At 1/3 of the month I am through my allowed maximum and set to a trickle. I am sure it would be much appreciated.”

      You can download the videos from Vimeo and watch them offline.

  • Thanks for another great tutorial.
    I used your idea for the coloirize in the reflection tag as well, with a colour map between black and grey. That gave a random sheen to the bricks in the bridge feature I made using your technique.

    Your insights are invaluable for learning this program.

    Thanks again Chris and Nick.

    • [IMG][/IMG]



      • Hello Dave, I was wondering how you made the curved tiled dome surface in your picture culvert.jpg. I am trying to achieve the same thing but I can’t find a good way. Any help would be greatly appreciated !


  • Hello Chris!
    Thank you very much for this awesome tutorial!
    Maybe I’ve got an idea for another tutorial, where you explain how to animate the bricks (like something/someone bang through the brick wall? I’d love to know what ways there are for that. Maybe a logo or something that bangs through the wall.
    Go on like this, you are great!

    • You should watch his previous tutorial on vehicle dynamics, which does almost exactly that, except with a car and a wall of boxes.

  • Hello Chris, Thanks for all the tutorials. I’m learning a lot of tips, that have drastically sped up my workflow. As for suggestions, I prefer your project based tutorials, and would love to see more on rigging from scratch, if you can. Thanks again for everything!

  • Hi Chris,
    Thanx for this tut. Love the insights you give with the layering techniques for ‘bricking’ this street up.
    Very help full, now I’m gonna work with is to make it a bended path for a flyer.
    I’ll show that within a couple of days.

  • You know, Chris is starting to make Tuesdays a day to look forward to. Long may this amazing run of tuts and ideas continue !

    You asked for ideas for future tutorials…. here’s mine for you to use or ignore as you like.

    Realistic underwater environment (waves from underneath particularly)
    Volume materials, or faking them (example moving coloured water in a tank)
    Any more advanced modelling techniques
    Anything to do with complex or animated materials
    Pyrocluster – decent clouds, decent fire, decent smoke, optimization of…
    Unwrapping difficult meshes
    Terrain Map for snow capped mountains etc…
    A realistic fountain, or waterfall (perhaps as a follow up to your proximal shader tut)
    Dynamic camera motion workflow
    How to genenerate a rolling landscape for long flyover type shots
    Solving ngons / tris / degenerated polys

    I appreciate getting some of those into half an hour might be difficult. That’s fine – we like your long tutorials πŸ™‚ Anyway – thx again for all your hard work…

    • Brilliant, no sooner than do I express the hope that these Tuesday specials will be a long running thing, and they immediately stop ! Hope I it was nothing I said…

  • I want to know how to do something like this Please

  • Great techniques! would like if you tried to copy something everyone has seen before. Like a few seconds of a popular commercial or movie. Just to inspire the newbies like me a bit more. -martin

  • Thanks for another great tutorial!!!! I love hearing the thought process on the fly. I learned so much about the layer shader and all the possibilities there are for making an amazing rendering. Thank you thank you thank you. Keep them coming.

  • Hi Chris,
    I wanted to thank you for another interesting tutorial. i learned much about texturing and using the displacer deformer. One thing i have to note is the tutorial length, personally i don’t like and can’t afford to watch a long tutorial. But still Thank you very much for sharing…. πŸ™‚

  • Great tutorials, all of them.
    I wonder if you can give some tips about stereoscopic camera in r13 for polaroid method.
    Thanks for the teaching πŸ™‚

  • Good one, Chris! I reallly learned a lot on this! Its great to follow Chris when he is starting to flow with C4D…THX Man

  • Hey Chris.. idea for tutorial: how to setup netrender πŸ˜‰

  • I really enjoy your tuts, so many useful ideas and also the tuts are not very long. I normally clone them and every time I apply some of my own variations which just enrich the techniques you are showing us. The brick (or stones or whatever) have the endless use and your tut is the way to achieve more realistic look with a parametric work. So, thanks a lot.

  • Awesome as always Chris. The style of this one is harder to follow step by step, but it gets the point across and I don’t feel after a certain point I have to do exactly everything you are.
    I would like to see something practical with smoke (maybe a graveyard scene) using what comes with C4D as not everyone has turbulancefd or dpit

  • Thanks for all of you Shared!

  • hi chris
    just looked at your brick road tutorial. liked it very much. i am a 65 year old self taught c4d user.
    trying to keep up with you young guns but i keep trying. could this same process be used to do an old roman stone road that would have many different shaped stones in the road. i like detail and want to thank you very much for your tutorials.

  • If anyone ever has the same problem as me: The Dipsplacer is just not doing what you want? Turn of the instances on your cloner, then it workes…

  • Wouter Verstraete March 28, 2013 at 11:48 am


    thanks for the very useful tut about bricks modeling but if you wanted to have a brick wall with squeezed (extruded) joint, how would you start ahead with that?

  • I know this TUT was made over a year and a half ago, but I like Chris’ approach and agree with many of the comments above β€” like the problem solving in the moment. Could you create a TUT like this one for creating a wooden floor? Thanks!!!

  • Shallon@Pixelpowervfx December 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I really enjoyed this tutorial, there where some spots where I had a hard time, just because one setting was off in my shader and it would not randomize the color. I found it after going through everything and it turned out great! I am going to use it in my animation series. Again, thanks for the great tutorial.

  • hi chris
    enjoyed tutorial, have one question how would you fill in half brick openings at the edge of the walk.
    as far as a new tutorial how about doing a hand split wood shake roof.
    thanks for all your work.
    yours truly

  • Nice, this is just the thing i need right now.


    In Cinema R16 the thing with the Random Colorizer doesn’t work
    (or perhaps it’s just me). I tried with using Alpha/Strength , Adding,
    Substracting, and so on, but the bricks always had the same color.

    It would be nice, if you could figure out my problem.

    Thanks, Flo

  • Hey Chris, great tutorial! I was wondering if you would mind taking something like this further in terms of application. I am trying to insert a cement path into a real life photograph (it’s actually a boat launch that runs into a lake). The geography underneath the path isn’t linear but quite slopey and irregular. Any tips on how to use this path you created and letting it run along an irregular floor such as a slope? Any ideas on how to create the underlying geography from a simple photograph?
    Thanks for all the awesome tutorials! PS. love Light Kit Pro which I purchased last week!

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