#AskGSG 1: How to make a Clay Render Look

January 1, 2015


In this Ask GSG, “joeydbooth” asks how to make the popular “Clay Render” look like in this cool piece by “Timothy J. Reynolds.” In this render, we also add sunlight to show shadows.

Watch the Tutorial

This video was recorded during a live episode of AskGSG. Visit our AskGSG Page to see our schedule and see how you can get recordings of our live show and Scene Files from this video.

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  • awesome tut! thanx Nick 🙂

  • Nick you are awesome

  • Why not use Cinema 4D isometric projection?

  • Love the tut and love the idea of a tut a day for January. For someone just learning C4D but who doesn’t have a lot of time at the end of the work day, greyscalegorilla’s short tutorials are the best.

  • The Rusted Pixel January 1, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Nick thanks for this. I could have done with this tutorial last night but hey still good to know. Here’s my attempt at a clay render prior to seeing this tutorial. Also some free toon style models in this Behance link https://www.behance.net/gallery/22399825/Japanese-Temple-Gift

  • antonio vicentini January 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    awesome! thanks for this man.

    hey, i know i already asked you about this but, well, maybe this is time.

    how about showing us a clue how make those beautiful jelly gummy animations? http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/jelly-gummies

    any tip is appreciated. thanks again.

  • Thanks.

  • Really cool Nick.
    Amazing. I have a project my self to learn a new tool everyday. Nice to have GSG in my day schedule now.

  • Awesome tut Nick, Thanks so much. Learnt a few new things from this and it will probably be used as my new way of showing any wips I produce.

  • Thanks Nick

  • wow great start and i am already looking forward to tomorrow’s.
    p.s. thank you!!

  • Cinema 4D isometric projection?
    I´m curious. Someone tell me how, please.

  • This is gonna be one heck of a month =).

  • I’m the opposite of you, Nick. I love modeling and see texturing as a necessary evil. I could look at wires and grey renders all day long! haha

  • Hi,

    If we don’t have the advanced render modes (using C4D Lite and AE), what are some recommended sample settings for changing Ambient Occlusion to smooth things out?

  • Hey, Nick can you make a tut about the motion tracker fullblown

  • I learned cinema 4d through greyscalegorilla bt now i did not watch any c4d tutorial because here in india vimeo.com website is banned . other alternative way there seeing your c4d tutorials

  • hieronymus bosch January 2, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Hello guys, thanks you very much for every tutorial and all the long hours you spend in making those wonderful tutorials, i have learn a lot about C4D since i begin to watch your Tuts. The idea of the 30 days tutorials is really awsome, and i have and idea taht can make a good tut, we can call it ” Game of Thrones opening style animation ” look at the video in this link and you will understand what i am talking about : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyCVvtwXcaM&hd=1

  • The best way to start the year.

  • A faster way of doing a clay render is:
    1. Create a Light, change its settings – turn on Ambient Illumination and turn off Specular.
    2. In Render Settings add Ambient Occlusion.
    3. Then create two materials, change one of the materials Color Brightness to 75% and apply that to the object in the scene and the other to a Background or Sky.
    4. Render \o/

    And yes you guys rock!

  • Hi nick , impressive tutorial , but you miss one think , That is not clay render that is just “Nice render” Because this reflects the color maps in diffuse , I think “Timothy J. Reynolds.” first created illuminated texture , created clay render , and not added difuse map , Shadows added in composinitng witnh shadow prepass.. Thanks ! Sory for bad english 😉

  • There are also some shader presets in the sculpting section of the content browser that emulate clay and other “flat” materials to check your model

  • Also, in the Color channel – check out Oren-Nayar as an alternative to the default Lambertian to get closer to that look!

  • Hi Nick, is there a way to download these tutorials? I don’t have enough data at home to stream each one and it would be great to have a copy to go through without streaming each playback. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Greetings from Mexico! Fantastic tutorial once more time Nick! I’ve been learning C4D from your tutorials, and all I can say its thank you very much! GSG are the best! Just one thing about this tutorial I guess you forget to say that the scene needs to be at real size or close to it in order to get the best ambient occlussion, I know a lot in this bussiness know that but for people starters like me its something we forget and its sometimes the key on this. Or you can adjust the min and max spread also. Thanks man!

  • I’m interested about VRAY for cinema 4d
    Whould you telling abut that sometime ?
    Alwayse thanks for tuts you GSG !!!

  • Hey guys thanks for this great TUT. Had a play around and added it to my model i am working on to see how it looks… i like the finish 😀 instagram.com/p/yj0Y80rEYg/

  • I’ll tell yo Nick, I have been looking for this tutorial for years. An now I finally get to know how to render like this. Isn’t it just nice how CG guys render their project without a single texture. Infact I used it on a Generator house I was working on last night, I hope my client likes it anyway.. So excited, and it doesnt end there explore some more if yo have time. Thanks NICK

  • CELSO HERNANDEZ March 4, 2015 at 5:58 am


  • know! they will see me like a Profeccional molder x xD hahaha!

  • Thank you Nick.

    One question: why did you use the luminance channel? Couldn’t you use a color or diffuse shader?

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