How to make A Dynamic Rope in Cinema 4D using Spline Dynamics

March 14, 2011

In this tutorial, Simon shows you how to create dynamic dangling ropes in Cinema 4D using spline dynamics, cloth, and soft-body tags. Stay tuned for more tutorials from Simon. I love how he simple he makes more advanced tricks like this.

About Simon
Simon Homedal is a motion designer/3d artist at Man vs Machine before that he was a student at hyper island in Sweden. You can see his work on his site

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  • Wow this is timely. I just started a project that calls for this very technique! Thanks!!

  • Great stuff Simon. Hope to see you here again soon!

  • You know? -No I don’t know, if I am watching this video)))))…very interesting technique, I like it very much (…)…Nobody is perfect, but try to avoid this “You know”…

    Hope to see another super linked dynamic systems in your interpretation

  • Gerat Stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  • excellent posts simon, make it a 365 project 😉

  • Thanks Simon – keep up the great work!!!! 😀

  • Hey Campbell, why you phoning it in?

  • where are the snapping options? can’t find them.

  • Thanks for all your great tutorials – very interesting info!

  • Thanks a lot Simon!
    It’s very usefull for me.
    how to bind an object to a spline dynamics?
    that he was hanging.
    I have to use connector?

  • Simon golden tutorials!! love the no render or tendencies aplied to the tuts just hidden technics that for me are priceless

  • Fy fan vilka bra saker du lär ut. Ska kanske börja plugga motion graphics snart med 🙂

  • Simon – these tutorials are so helpful, thank you. Also in general, GSG is has been SO helpful for me learning C4D and i’d just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to Nick. I’m using C$D more and more to make coll stuff for my work all because of sites like these. Awesome work and it’s amazing to have resources like GSG! THANK YOU!!!


  • Very cool tutorial man. Just one thing: try to record in a higher resolution, sometimes is hard to see even what numbers you type. 😉

  • Hello Simon, great tutorial!! Are you using a lot more c4d than Maya? what´s our opinion about both software.

    • I probably use them 50/50. But to be honest. It’s not very relevant, its the output that matters. If I could chose I would use cinema all the time. I think its more suited for motion graphics than maya. quicker results. Maya is a powerful tool but not the most efficient, for what we do… but then again it dosn’t matter ! 🙂

  • Very cool, Will HD be up with this, quality isnt fantastic.

  • Great job, Simon, thanks for sharing your knowledge and techniques with us!

  • The tuts are very short and simple which is good and fast to learn.You should open your own blog I’m sure you will have followers.

  • Excellent and sympathic. Like the short tutorials . Thank you for your time & work!
    One question … At 1:14 in the video you use a shortcut, you have this “function cross” in the GUI, lokks like in Maya. How do you invoke that ?

  • simon …why u dont make an animation intro for your tutorials’?it will be great identify your stuff with a nice music an video identity…and realize that the good things are just starting…anyway….great stuff you have here..thanks

    • True, but would the very absence of such intrinsically ephemeral bits of tinsel equally not serve to distinguish what is currently produced from the common herd, as it were?

      Imagine, if you will, the natural extension of simon’s currently established approach – guerilla style footage shoot exclusively outside a public toilet, perhaps. We wait with baited breath, then a familiar voice from within might be heard to exclaim: “Holly Crap!”, “Boom – now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” or possibly even “Well now. That certainly wasn’t the result I was expecting…”

      The possibilities, I tell you, are endless.

      I only really lurk here, BTW, because of the free pretzels.

      Either way, I freely confess – I rather like the actual absence of all the more traditional ways of approaching tutorial production.

      Slick visuals and natchy stock-tunes rapidly tire with age – the way Simon goes at it manages to succinctly convey exactly what Simon is – a chap actually engaged in a full time professional job of work taking time out to lay down a quick piece of info or technique for others to take on board, absorb and share.

      It’s quick idea’s and rapid techniques that are clearly Simon’s thing – works – why dick with a thing, polishing it up as to appear everything it isn’t…?


  • Awesome tutorial. I’m amazed at how easy that was.

  • He simon
    thanks again!

  • Thank you Simon these tutorial are really helpful.

    I concur with the request for higher resolution videos, though. I’ve been frustrated a bunch of times squinting to see exactly where you’re clicking or what number you’re inputting. Whatever size frame size the Gorilla uses seems to be optimal.

    Keep up the great work,

    Peace out-

  • Great stuff, here, Simon. Just out of curiosity, how would you go about cloning the rope if you’ve used the tracer object?

  • How can i attach a object to the end of the spline, so its like falling down an being hold by the rope … sry for my bad english 😀

  • hi, new here but a fan. have a question on soft D tag:
    i have a cushion w soft tag and a box (w hard tag) drops on it, it bounces a bit and rests but the problem is the cushion surface keeps vibrating indefinitely. how can you make it come to rest when the box does?

  • Hey!!

    Great tutorial!! Thank’s a lot!
    But I have problem… How to clone the rope’s?
    I only managed to clone the planes but not the real good looking rope’s… Thanks in advance.


  • Great comparison of techniques!

    Just one comment:
    the constant fiddling with your viewport rotation and zoom is really distracting. If you don’t move your cursor around so much, it’s much easier for people to see where you’re clicking and what you’re trying to do.


  • How do you get that hotkey menu to pop up with all the toolbar options in the middle of your screen? You did it at like 1:15 into this movie. Thanks for the tutorial. You are really good at this.

  • Hey guys…

    say, does anyone have a clue on how to make a crash test animation in Cinema 4d? A real one? the one that does all the warping and deformation as a result of an impact and not deformers…?

    Take a look at this:
    this is a Mercedes-Benz crash test. They first do a computer simulation of the crash and then you can watch the real video and see how precise it is.
    I hope to hear some really helpful thoughts:)

  • Hey Simon,

    Great tutorial, so easy I am trying to connect an object in the bottom of the rope to swing and hit and shatter an another object but cant get it right any advice?

  • great tutorial simon
    just one thing Do you know how to attatch an object to the rope because i cant figure out how to do this

  • cant subdivide the spline help im using windows

  • Its interesting (and annoying) that if you use spline dynamics you can move your null around and the spline follows nicely but if you use the soft body when you drag the null or connector around the plane goes wacky and starts bouncing like crazy all over de place. Is there a way to get the best of both worlds?

  • Simon, great tutorial, one question I have is how to parent a cube to the rope

  • one dumb question guys !!
    im newbie but what i press to show me that it shows on his screen at 1:13 :$

  • hello, awesom tutorials all over the page, thanks a lot.
    my question: how can i connect an object at one end of the spline in a way it’s held by the rope????

  • Hey, great tutorial. Pls keep it going !
    But I’ve a question about the softbody method.
    Why when I move the Null Object the rope is not moving accordingly?
    Did I forget something or it’s not possible to do it?
    Thanks in advance for reply.

  • Thank you for your excelent tutorial,
    I triple-tried your technique following your workflow with the clothe tag, however, it didn´t work as supposed -8:22-, instead, it just falls down, Im using R13 on WIN.
    I´ll apreciate any help, Thanx again.

  • After a week or so playing with this, I think I’ve figured out a way to be able to animate the ends of the rope. I’m trying to make a cable animation with two movable ends, and it just wasn’t responding. I was struggling b/c when I moved the null, the connector and polygon rope would not move or respond. But Simon mentions that connectors only work with dynamic objects.

    The solution is to add a collider body tag to the null. This allows the connector to move, and it works well (using the rigid body tag won’t work b/c your null will just fall b/c of gravity). Now I’m finally pulling and stretching a cable around the room.

    Thanks again Simon.

  • Hey Simon, thanks for the awesome tutorial! I’m curious if this will work in junction with “thegorilla’s” tutorial :

    I need to be able to “hinge” the spline / rope to a balloon, and also I want there to be another object hanging at the bottom of the string.

    Any input would be much appreciated , thanks!

  • Great tuts man…, For the God name, please somebody could give me an idea how to animate a tie that winds?

  • How can you use the Null-Object to move the Rope around ???… dont work for me in the second method 😉

    thanks 🙂

  • is there anyway to make the sweep nurb collide itself and then bake the animation on a geometry sothat I can export an fbx of an animated falling cable on the ground?

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