How to Create Long Shadows in Cinema 4D

March 20, 2015

In this quick tutorial I’ll be covering how you can easily apply a long shadow to your 3D objects in Cinema 4D.  The long shadow style has become very popular along with the flat design movement in a lot of web, mobile app design, and it’s made its way into Motion Graphics!  Creating these long shadows with 3D objects allows the benefit of the shadow to reflect the actual contour of the 3D object as it moves in 3D space as opposed to creating it in After Effects with a flat object with a bit more work.  I also go over using Sketch and Toon’s Quantize shading to make your 3D composition have flat shading and use the specular options to create those nice moving specular highlights that play with the light in your scene.  Keeping it all in Cinema 4D has been the overriding theme with my latest tutorials and here’s yet another trick to add to your 2D in C4D bag!

If you make something, be sure to share it!  Only one way to get better at your craft and that’s to keep on creating!


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  • Kuntal Mukherjee March 21, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Hi…First of all thanks for all the videos you guys has shared..well i saw a video on youtube but cant crack the spline thing growing around and the material of those spines (from 40sec). Pleas check the link given below.It will be very helpful for me if you make a tutorial on that technique..Thank you. 🙂

  • EJ … another good tutorial, but,with respect … you may be overthinking this one.

    1- No need for a parallel camera … just use front projection in the perspective view
    2- No need for a compositing tag … let the infinite light do it’s thing per your values
    3- No need duplicating the object for the shadow … no alignment issues

    As always … there’s more than one way to do a thing in 3D

    Feel free to use this file:

    • But he wants it rotating on Y not Z, which surely looks nicer – the Y rotation necessitates the intersecting and therefore points 2 and 3. And to be in keeping with this artistic style, a parallel camera ensures no perspective distortion.

      • Dave – Exactly, this is the setup I needed for this type of move which goes a bit further than just a Y rotation as you said.

        David – Sure that method works perfectly for specific situations, but not in the example I went over with that extra bit of rotation. Plus, think about an object that doesn’t have perfect symmetry, you’re going to have some issues with the object intersecting the plane.

        Thanks, Daves! 🙂

  • What I’d really like to know is how you seem to be screening the shines on with a second material. I’ve often wanted to do this but can’t work out how. Or is it just that this material has an alpha?

    • I mimic this effect on the texture with a gradient in linear 3d and put the texture projection on camera mapping. But I think it’s not the best way to do this 😛

      • Sounds like a good approach to me Otactu – thanks – and I guess you’d use an alpha channel. Really just checking that there’s not some way I’m missing of screening one material over another.

  • Hey EJ, can you make a tutorial on how to model the rupee? I’ve been trying but I got stuck because of my level of modeling… Thanks!

  • ALEKSEY GARMASH May 1, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Hi EJ.
    I think I do smth. wrong, but when I add an infinite light in a scene it gets black…

    • Hey there! Which version of C4D are you using? I noticed in R15 an infinite light works differently than in later versions. If you’re using R15 or earlier, move the Infinite Light away from the center of the scene and place it as you would a spot light, up in the air somewhere

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