How to Build and Model A Car Driven With A Motor in Cinema 4D 12

September 20, 2010

In this tutorial, my buddy Chris Schmidt from ChicagoC4D shows you how to build and animate a car using Cinema 4D 12’s new Motor object. He models a quick car and rigs it to drive itself using connectors and motors. Then, the real fun begins when he shows you how to set up a pile of boxes and knock them down using your new motor driven vehicle and a death defying jump.

About Chris Schmidt
Chris Schmidt is a self taught Cinema4D user since version 6 in 2001. After teaching C4D for 4 years at Prairie State College and creating a series of tutorials for Maxon on Cineversity, he cofounded Chicago’s C4d user group ChicagoC4d. With a general obsession of all things C4D he specializes in character rigging, animation, Xpresso and Thinking Particles.

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChicagoC4D

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  • Thanks for this. Been waiting on a solid tutorial on this.

  • Oh gosh, Laughting a lot at 11:15. Thank you very much for it.

  • Very cool. Very crazy. Thanks a lot for this!!

  • Dukes of Hazard 2.0

  • Great to see you’re bringing in more talent to do tutorials for gsg, nick.
    you should do a a “guest tutor” section with a tutorial by one of the gurus like once every month or so.

  • “There were no survivors.” hahahaha! I watched that over and over. What a great tutorial. Good job. (:

  • hahaha I laughed a lot with the narrative of the race haha’
    really nice tutorial

    by: Fabio from Brasil ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I’ve just finished watching and I’m so glad to learn a bit more. Chris, you’re very funny man. Actually you made me laugh a lot. A different way to learn. =D

    Oh, btw, it was laughing in the previous post, haha.

  • I feel another day is coming up where I won”t be very productive… but I’ll have a load of fun..
    Thanks to both of you for providing this coooooool tutorial.

  • bahahaha funny tutorial. Btw the link is broken it should be

  • this guy rocks, great tut!!

  • Thanks a lot!! great tut!

  • Veeeeery funny. Cool and amusing commentating, very useful tips. Catch you next time….

  • this is by far the coolest thing I ever seen!!! greetings from Colombia!!

  • very cool, nice to see some character tools being sub conciously imprinted into our knowledge base. some really useful stuff. you woudn’t belive how useful that zero all axis tool is for me.

  • Very funny AND instructive ! Thank’s

  • Great tutorial and very entertaining!!! Love the Sound Effects Chris makes when the car is crashing in the boxes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I had much fun with this tutorial!
    Thanks a lot for the great stuff.

    Greetings from Vienna, Niko.

  • My ‘inner child’ is grinning.


  • AHAHAHHA i nearly die laughing at this one, tomorow i will wake and jump on this right away…Thanks Nick for bringing Chris, and thanks a bunch Chris, this was a lot of fun to watch….peace guys

  • Hey Nick, Does the OLX + CS Tools trick thing work on version 12? I cant seem to get it to read my plugins folder the same way I did with version 11.5

  • Good humor! Useful tips. Thanks for that, you guys.

  • this is awesome!


    As on ChicagoC4D Chrisยดs Tutorials are very very dignified!
    Let us all thank NICK for bringing cool dudes in our offices ๐Ÿ˜‰

    See you all on Wednesday,


  • The sound effects really sell it ๐Ÿ˜›

  • wow that is awesome tutorial. loved it. thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks! that was so funny. I love the fact that everything can be done in multiple ways and you are actually playing with toys as you build this.

    Thanks again

  • Love it !! Remember me when i played with toys ! My girlfriend laughed a lot earing “brrrrrr” “wiiiinggg” simulating car’s sound !!!
    Hope that no polygons were hurt during this tut !
    Thanks for the good time Chris.
    Thanks the Gorilla, hope you’ll have more Buddy’s, tuts they’re always goods and instructives.

    Greetiongs from france

  • the spring mounted camera is so cool. i really want to see how that would work out with and object shot into a realflow simulation. if that would even work.

  • nice tuto, with very nice tips (fast building of a pyramid of cubes, the camera with spring,..), and funny car sounds.

    I will try to do the same with the R12 demo. but I think linking the motor to the forward wheels instead of the rear wheels would be better (less stunt, but more stability)

  • Nice work. But i have some question:
    how regulate way of this car? how turn on left, right? (keyframe bad variant because way random…or no?))(two boards is funny decision)

  • That was an amazing tutorial! I learned a lot about modeling tricks, dynamics tricks with the cloner and the camera stuff was awesome!

  • This is awesome, but I barely got r11.5, I can’t keep up with all these updates man.

  • Nick and friends – i love you guys!

  • Freakin’ informative, fun & cool! Especially love the workflow tips and the tricks you can only know by a lot of experience.
    Thanks for sharing guys!

  • Thanks so much. This tutorial was extremely informative and a blast to do! Cheers.

  • Great job Chris! It was awesome to meet you the other week. I hope to catch you around at another event like MG Fest. I loved the camera tips. The spring made the simulation more realistic than I could have expected it to do. AWESOME!

  • Great job Chris. Entertaining video to start my day at the office. Loved the enthusiasm.

  • Thanks Chris! You did a great job.
    Nice to see how much fun you can have by using c4d…
    Helped me a lot. Need to buy the R12 for sure!

  • love the new R12. Hereยดs some of my very preliminary tests:


  • You can get rid of the “retaining cubes” to keep the vehicle on track by simply putting a wheel suspension ( as hinge type) on the car. the steering angle will adjust itself to keep its direction (even the wheels steer automatic) no matter what happens along the road. Great fun!

  • Great tutorial!!

    One qustion though. If you get a different result everytime you play the animation, how can you predict what the render will be like? One of the great things about 3d is that you Can control nature, but here you lose that control. Nice for playing around, but what if you need the same result every run?
    Or am I missing something?

    Ed Bever

    • Tried it myself but i get same result everytime, so this is good. But at the end of Chris’s tut you clearly see the run with the nine cars. First run results in a rapid collision. Second run, most cars get to the ramp. And I didn’t see him change anything or is there a cut in the video?
      So what am i missing?
      Still I rely love these new options. So much fun!


    • I think that u can bake those dynamics like in normal rigid body tag. I cant check this by now because i dont have r12 yet. Try putting mograph cahe tag on car and hit bake, maybe it will help.

  • The very kind of tutorial that I needed.
    Thanks Chris and Nick.

    Oh poor drivers, how many were killed.

  • great tutorial! you should render that out ;D

  • That was an excellent tutorial. I also learned a lot of new handy things that Cinema 4D probably already had in it for ages!

  • That was a Brilliant Tutorial about the Connectors and motors. Maybe he could do a Tutorial for making a Map or Race Track that works in the same way his car going up the ramp and smashing boxes does.

  • They guys thanks so much for the tutorial—like always great job! Hey! Nick, when are you going to do more cinema 4D R12 tutorials—-still waiting for more….cheers!

  • Is there a solution to rotate the wheel ? Or should we always use a guide-like path to make the direction? I try to rotate the wheel but i cant because of the rigid body tag. I will try and looking for this.

  • Hey nick great tutorials!

    But is there any chance you guys can make a tutorial in making tank treads with the new motors, connectors?

    I really need a realistic tank tread in my new project thanks!

  • I figured out a way to avoid wheelies. You go into the car body dynamics tag and under the mass tab and I used custom density of 2 and moved the custom center towards the front of the car so there is more weight near the front. Now I can use a torque of 4000 and it wont flip. Hope this helps many. Maybe someone could better explain it.

  • Another great tutorial. Thanks !

  • hello
    can i make it with C4D R11?
    I search “Connector” and “motors” I do not find it in R11.

  • Too cool. Great tutorial, so much stuff in such a sort video. Awesome, thanks!

  • That was very informative and fun too! Thanks Nick and Chris!

  • great tut, humerous and informative, between Nick and Andrew Kramer your slowly making me look cool to my friends, they think im a graphic genius, even tho im not. but thanks to you guys im getting more and more productive!

  • Many Thanks to Chris for the info and many thanks to Nick for having him show this technique. Here’s my attempt at it…. with a loop!!

    • While adding/changing my scene I noticed a problem with the physics… what I was seeing in the preview was not what I was getting in the render. This has happened to different projects of mine and I was stumped. Then I was watching a tut then realized “duh!!” bake the physics! Bliuska did a nice tut on a basic bullet thru a bottle then baked the physics with a little expresso.

      Here’s the link:

      So if anybody else has a problem with ‘what you see is NOT what you get’ – this might help.

  • Great stuff! Thanks a lot!

  • Thanks Chris!! Thanks Nick!! Keep’em coming!

  • Estraordinario video. Hoy aprendรญ muchisimo. Gracias por encender la luz de nuestra capacidad de asombro. Motor de la creatividad.

  • Probably the most fun tutorial y have done in my life. Thanks!

  • WOOOOOW That was very Funny yet AWESOME one. Hope to see more from you, Chris.
    Thanks nick for bringing this man here :).

  • This is a great, funny tutorial, but I’m experiencing a huge performance hit (less than 1 FPS) when I play back in preview window. I traced this to the Connect object structure, when I disable it, I’m back up to hundreds of FPS playback. A straight 3x5x5 grid array wall has great playback speed as well. Baking solution doesn’t help.

    Anyone have any ideas? I have newish hardware (2008 8-core Mac Pro, 10 GB RAM)

  • that wheelie was EPIC lolololol

  • awesome tutorial – thx chris and nick – i was playing around and came up with this – ๐Ÿ™‚

    i had some problems with the boxes jumping around … still trying to find a solution …

  • How would you go about making the car turn?

  • ist superb! But how could it be animated along a path? Love greyscalegorilla!!!

  • Hi Chris , great tutorial , but i was wondering , I’m modeling a car right now and does this tut also work when u use the motor and connectors on a Null object . my car is a null , with all the parts inside . I could make it a single object , but than i wouldn’t be able to make changes on my car .

  • This was awesome! Maybe one of funniest tutorials i’ve ever watched! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you Chris!

  • Hey man, great tut. Was seriously helpful! Love the detail you went into for everything, really easy to follow. What would be the best way of setting out a track for the car to follow? Thanks for that!

  • That was so damn cool I could barely stand it.

  • I don’t understand. I have Cinema 4D R13.061 and under Simulate i have only Dynamics and Particles, and under Dynamics there’s only “Force”? no Connector, no Motor, no f*cking nothing.. WTF is this ? Please help!

  • Please demo to me for how create a face…..

  • Great tutorial, but i have question, when I’m adding segments onto the box i can’t see them but when i have made the box editable i can see them, you have any ide why is like that? i really would like to see the segments.

    running c4d r14 studio

  • SO HELPFUL – SO FUN – SO COOL! Thanks!!!!

  • Awesome tutorial! This was exactly what I needed.

    But is there any way to make the car drive straight without swerving wherever it wants?

  • Thanks a million for posting this, I had seen it a while back and finally created a full animation with it. You guys are the best! Cheers

  • You are the best at tutorials. Could you take a look at my work?
    My Portfolio:

    Thanks you made my day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I like this one.
    But it needs to be updated, since some tags were changed (collider body).

  • Hey Chris,
    with a full rigged car setup and physics the car direction is sometimes hard to control. Is there a way to combine the rig with physics for a realistic movement AND let’s say a spline for the direction? But following the spline must be fuzzy/unsharp, how can I say? So first comes the physics and second the spline where the car is nearby?
    Thanks a lot

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