How to Create Colorful Feathers in Cinema 4D

September 8, 2015


In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create colorful feathers inside of Cinema 4D.  This is the first tutorial I’ve done inside of Cinema 4D R17 & as an added bonus I’ll briefly go over the new spline Pen Tool and how I used it to draw our feather ‘rachis’ or feather stem.  I’ll then be breaking down all the options inside of the Feathers Object and how to create a believable, organic feather.  Then, I’ll show you how to apply colorful materials along your feather and finish up by showing you how apply lights and shadows to your feathers to give it some nice shading and depth.  If you have any questions, be sure to hit me in the comments below!  Have fun and if you make something with this technique, be sure to share it!  Enjoy!


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  • even better result we can reach when is used a second feather object,with diferent start and end values in spacing tab,for that kinky barbs on the start of the feather

    • That’s exactly right! You’re not limited to just using one Feather Object but there’s way more control in adding more details to it by adding a second Feather Object, a new Hair Material and Frizz it up!

  • Is there any way to copy the shape curve to make it symmetrical? Thx

  • compatible with R15 but the pen tool is not on R15.
    what makes this tut compatible to R15 if the first tool (Pen) is not in R15
    how do i get around this?

  • Thanks for this brilliant Tutorial! Really helpful. Please help me with one thing though.. when I try to import the feather I made into Element 3D, all I get is the centre stem (Rachus) but no feather hair… why is it? please help

  • Thanks for the tutorial. At the end you mention using post effects to mask the feathers. Im having trouble doing this. Could you expand please.

  • Hey, would you mind sharing project file? I’m in a hurry for a job, would be great! Thanks for all your work, you’re the best. Robin

  • Hey, thanks for the awesome tutorials as always! I had a question, I am trying to create a realistic feather falling from above my scene, and have it realistically float down to a floor.
    How would you recommend getting that accomplished? As always thank you for the great tutorials!

  • Hi there, i have a problem with texturing feathers in Arnold. The Hair Material Tag / Hair UV’s – Feather option is not working with Arnold rendered. After a day of searching and trying things a couldn’t understand is it possible to make realistic feather look texture with Cinema 4D and Arnold Renderer. Please if you have a time and energy to do some tests… post the results here, i believe that this is a common problem for a lot of users who want to progress in the world of birds with C4D and Arnold.
    Thank you!

  • @YAVKATA You can try to convert the feather object to a hiar object via „C“-command and then you can change generate option from „none“ to „spline“ in the „generate“-tab in hair object. After that, c4d generates splines, which you can texture. I did this in octane and that should also work in arnold as well.

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