How to Make An Animated Freezing Ice Effect In Cinema 4D

August 21, 2013

In this tutorial, we will show you how to make an animated frosty/frozen ice text effect in Cinema 4D using Hair, Sweep Nurbs, Motext, and Texture Kit Pro. Then, we will show you how to animate it in your scene using the proximal shader and Xpresso.


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  • Muy Bien lo usaria para elementos

  • Thank you for your brilliant tutorials. They are really great and opened my eyes in the darkest world of Cinema 4D. Keep it up Gorillas! 🙂

  • cool effect. reminds me of COD MW.

  • I’m brand new to the 3D world and have been looking at different software packages, trying to decide which one to commit myself to. I eventually landed on Cinema 4D due to no small part of Chris Schmidt and his great tutorials. Thank you, Chris, for all your hard work on illustrating the processes and techniques for creating cool, modern and captivating animations! You make learning effective and entertaining.

  • Hey Chris
    Is there a way to get the proximal node in xpresso without using the right click feature. Currently using r13.

    Loving the tutorial so far.

  • Excellent and well entertained Tut – i llllllove it!!
    btw: “…warm it up, Chris!” 😀

  • Cool! (and thanks!)

  • ….mad thing ,that what we say in jamaica …. when we see good work ……

  • from last 3 days i m searching. how to do icy Freeze effect in C4D……… Finally i got here 😀 Thanks GSG

  • Nice trick, Chris. And finally a new decent tutorial in a long time! (I’m not complaining, just happy about it.

  • This is in perfect timing for a project I’m doing for my job. I just might employ this.

  • ahhh, you lost me at the mograph text. 😉

  • Chris, you are the KING of tutorials!
    Your “intro’s” are short and waste no time with trying to be funny, hip and or cool! You speak clearly and your tone doesn’t “dumb down” the more experienced users, while at the same time, you refrain from sounding condescending towards total noobs!

    THANK YOU, sir! Keep them coming, please!

    Ps. How about some Cmotion, baking keyframes and Motionclips

  • Hi, I’m a big fan of your work and your tutorials are great. Remember when you did that iPhone lighting tutorial that you replicated from apple, well I was wondering if you can do a tutorial on this apple commercial :

  • Woow! Very solid effect!

    You did it again guys! 🙂

  • Love this tutorial, guys you are so thorough and honest it’s really nice to learn new techniques from the GSG TEAM!

  • Hi Greyscalegorilla guys! amazing work! i’ve learned a lot with your trainig vídeos!

    This one remembers me a little bit the latest work from Dvein studios because of the growing textures

    It looks like a really complex work, and i have no idea about how it’s made the texture evolution.

    If you haven’t watched it, i hope you enjoy it and may it can be an inspiration for future trainig vídeos!

    Thank you very much for your work!

  • I am too lazy to think this one through….. How would you produce the frost effect but without the initial text being visible before the frosting appears?

    Great tutorial. Lots of fun!

  • I liked it so much that I wrote for my guys your lesson in Russian, though I have a lot of noise …

  • Hello! Thank you for this amazing tutorial! Great playground!
    Here is what I did: and
    When you said you get back to Specular settings you never did, didn’t you?

  • I think its look great, but you cant really tell its ice..

  • Great, thank you Chris!

  • Hey it’s so cool. But the proxima shader don’t work with ä Transformed Motext… 🙁 It works with the material but didn’t with the hair… Any ideas?

  • nice job you have a new subscriber:D

  • very smooth.. or should I say jaggy..
    When I first saw the example, this kind of reminded me of the vertext map animator you created.
    I’m guess one could do it that way too, however I like this approach with hair also proximal is power.. I needs to learn mah shaders..
    thanks Chris

  • Maestro at work.

  • all hail to GSG king

    here is my results

  • Awesome tutorial! Right down to that camera trick at the end. Thank you

  • really digging C4D, just getting started thnx guys you all the the best!

    check out my ice and mineshaft

    thnx, todd

  • When I add the hair on my text (at 9:30 in the video) I’m not seeing any hair. I’m using R12 and I’ve followed the directions verbatim up until this point. Any suggestions?

    • Does not work with the connect to make hair on my text. It won’t work if I make the motext editible either. I have no idea how to continue this awesome tutorial.
      Someone who know what I’ve done wrong? Using r14.

    • I had the same problem. I fixed it by linking the connect to hair under the category guides for some reason it was linked to my sweep.

  • Hie guys i wanted to ask……..How can I add external compositing tags to a class of cubes in a cloner…..? The thing is I tried creating a cube and made it editable, selected one side and split it from the cube (editable) and applied external compositing tag to the separated cube face, haha when I placed both the cube face and cube in cloner they all had different positions (not as one). The thing is I want to add some footages to the cube faces (that’s I want them to be more than one, cloned) and to add simulation Tags to them cubes and floor to which they’ll bounce on. Please really really need some help….. thanks in advance ?

    • Try just putting the cube in a cloner. Without first seperating the face, etc.
      And just adjust your footage later in after effects so it matches the face. You can probably just off set the nulls slightly.

      And to get a null from each cube in cinema 4d just select the children option in the external compositing tag.

  • can rigid body n soft body dynamics be animated manually as it falls or drops???…i tried several times 2 set keyframes 4 em b@ it really didn’t work…r there any other ways???…thank u

  • Can you do this in AE?

  • Hey ive done something like that some time ago, but only with one procedural material with keyframed values and a vertex map.

  • Thanks this was just what I needed to top off the animation i’m working on!
    Great Tutorial once again!

  • Hi Chris, very inspiring tutorial! That’s how I used/interpreted it:
    Merry xmas to you an GSG!

  • Thank you for useful tutorial. You are c4d wizard.

  • done the whole thing but the difference between mine and yours is my hair goes floppy once i animate.. Why is this happening? R13..

  • i have a problem when i do render view the effect is perfect but when i do render viewer the result is bad because the hair object isnt on the final render
    For example:
    Render View:
    Render to Picture Viewer:
    help please

  • you are my hero 😀
    thanks !!

  • Wow! thanks – it took a while, but I think it came out pretty well – it’s still rendering so I am excited just to say thanks!

  • i want….tariya………..

  • Great work buddy. You gorrilas are doing a great job 🙂

  • Hi! When i “Right Click” on Radius, The “Xpressions” Tab isn’t in the menu. How would i be able to get that tab???

  • Great tutorial Chris! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    When it was time to place the “Proximal Ice” shader to the duplicated Proximal box, the End and Start Distance changes to Undefined…any reason why this is happening?

  • Hey Nick, is it possible to make a bubble foam in C4D?

  • I can’t seem to get my non frosted text to look ice cubish, I’ve tried playing with the colors and materials but it’s just not up to par. Any suggestions?

    • One suggestion. Make sure you have things to reflect around your text. Try an HDR?

      • Chris used the GSG texprokit rose and ice cube materials which I don’t have. I just want to understand correctly, are you saying use an HDR image instead of similar textures or along with like colored/textured materials? Where would I post my file so someone or yourself can view it? Thanks for the reply


  • So, I got stuck at the proximal. I apply that material to the plane and the connect, but whenever i render, it does not show, there are no other materials on the plane but there is color on the text, dont think that’d matter so I need help.

    P.S. I apologize for replying on such an old post. :/

  • Nevermind that last part, I re-did the entire process, with new spline and new material and it worked

  • Great job, bud would you please mind sharing the files so that I can practice that would be awesome of you–cheers!..:) I tried so many times and for some reason I get very lost..:( Thanks! You guys are the best!

  • HELP!!! when i finish rendering big chunks of frames are cut off i dont know why? PLEASE HELP

  • HELP !! when i render the animation frames are cut off

  • Having trouble with with the ice growing with the circle..Im not seeing the small hairs on the fade part. its just popping out after the inner circle. Im running r14

  • Thank you Chris Schmidt
    cant wait to post my render.

  • This tut was awesome, here is my render.

  • Well, this is pretty old, but maybe someone will be lurking and have an idea.

    The proximal shader seems to work great for controlling where on an object hair is growing, as long as you don’t move the object from 0,0,0. There seems to be a disconnect between proximal, and the scale parameter in the hair material settings, when it comes to coordinates.

    Any ideas on how to use the proximal shader in this manner on an object that located anywhere other than 0,0,0?

  • my cinema 4d isn’t having hairs menu…what should i do?

  • This is how you explain something you work on…

    Great work… i am new in this… but how you explain how to create ice on this text, you r the best… i could do this by miself…

    if you ever come to Croatia, let me know and i will buy you a beer :))))

    Great job… thank you for your time, and for that you know how to explain the work you do…

  • Chris! You’ve made C4D learning fun! You’re a no baloney type of teacher with an insane ability to problem solve and stumble your way through new thigns then sharing that with us. I want to get to that point so keep em coming!

  • Love this tutorial, though my end result is a bit different.
    The frost/hair is coming on jittery/flickery at the very edge of the transition, then they grow in more normally afterward.

    It’s actually kind of cool looking, reminiscent of the scaly transition they used for Mystique in the X-Men movies, but it’s not quite what I’m looking for.

    I can’t figure out what is causing this, and what to tweak to get the smoother, growing from nothing look of the original.

    • +1: Mine does the same. I’m using this technique to create a still image, and I find there is no gradual increase from no frost/hairs to fully grown. I have tried regrowing the hair, etc. from the Hair Guides panel, I have messed around with the proximal shaders and so on, without success. Has anybody been able to solve this one?

      Otherwise an absolutely fantastic tutorial, thanks so much Chris!

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