How to Make The AT&T End Tag Logo in Cinema 4D Part 1

March 24, 2011

In this tutorial I show you how to make the new end-tag from the most recent AT&T commercials by using the Displacement Deformer, cloners, and sweep nurbs. In part 2 of this tut, we will head into After Effects and finish the spot by transitioning to the AT&T logo and adding the color correction, glows, and lens blur.

Watch Part 2


Based on the excelent new AT&T work from Prologue (site)

Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,

  • Thanks Nick, and yes, i think that this is a great way to learn, has you said we should take this “lessons” only to learn and then apply all the techniques in other projects and not to copy to increase our reel with tutorials and copys…

    And today i’ve learned, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • woot! I will have to try this. lets hope my 1.8ghz dual core mac mini with 2 gbs of ram can handle it ๐Ÿ˜›

  • 18:40 “Lets go to the dark side” NOOOOOOO. awesome tutorial as always. but nick your colors suck. im sory its all grey^^(greyscalegorilla, now i get it)

  • Havent watched it yet but I’m pretty sure it’s very very useful.
    Do your best Nick as always, and ignore haters!
    You’re the man;) thanks a lot

  • nice. let’s try it.

  • Good tutorials period.

  • saw some of the tutorial, looks like i was going the same way for a fiew things.

    For the line thingis, im just using PARTICULAR in after effects, kind of tricky to make it match but i still think it a better way

    • I think Nick’s point is: whatever makes the boat float with you in it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Does one have preferences which makes one technique more convenient? Find a new way or an unforeseen drawback in a mentioned method? Share! Specify; What are the advantages? The downside? How was the workflow? How easy is it to adjust to the client’s indecisiveness? How was the render-time? The end result? What is important to you? What’s not?

      “Diversity is strength.” ๐Ÿ˜›

      BTW interesting stuff (yet barely related:)

    • RELAX! im just commenting, not enforcing it
      i might do some in depth explanation, o just dont think anyone would be interested, and quite frankly dont have the time to do it.

      i saw a tutorial some time ago and remembered some of the technique and luckily enough, it was suitable fot this too

      if i find the tutorial ill post it, how about that?

      good day sir

    • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stress you or talk down or lecture in any matter and I must apologize that my tone wasn’t better. Sincerely. I got caught in a manic moment and wanted to encourage to spreading the knowledge – mostly because I’m interested, but I see my comment easily could’ve been presented in a more proper manner.

      Please see beyond my last post and keep it up, Jose!

    • you can set up particular to emit from lights… animate your lights around the globe in cinema, then just tweak the emitter settings in AE… takes the hard part of matching the move out and leaves you the flexibility you’d expect making the trails in AE.

    • @ jason
      thats brilliant!! i forgot about that! im a dumbas

      thats allright… we’re cool

  • While we are on the corporate logo tip…
    Can you please show how this spot was done?

    Pretty straight forward but just curious as to the most efficient workflow in combining all the various elements and transitions.


  • Hi Nick good tutorial you are the best keep it up ok master.

  • Nick, You Rock!
    Please Screw up as much as you can you seem human when you do hehehe, Beside something I learned from my mentor Scott Carol from Blue Sky Studios
    “Sometimes all you need is a mistake…”

    I have come across mistakes when animating that have given me moves or poses that I would’ve never thought about. So for you folks making mistakes remember, great and wonderful creative things are are born from mistakes.

  • Badass tutorial Nick, thanks!

    Just when I think I’m a huge nerd for sitting on my couch, thinking to myself, “Wow, that AT&T endtag was pretty cool… wonder how they did that”, it’s nice to know there are a bunch of other geeks out there wondering the exact same thing.

  • sometimes you talk about issues that i figured out myself some days ago, it`s cool, it feels like it`s the right path to understand c4d. i mean, there`s no “right way to get to a result” but maybe there`s a right way to face some obstacles. sweet tut, keep it up!

  • love it nick ๐Ÿ˜€
    cant wait for part 2!!!

  • The caps… remember the caps. Always turn off the caps from cylinder if no one can see them ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s a lot of wasted polygons in the caps.

    Also lowering the segments of the spheres would have helped a lot in viewport.. and when you have “Render perfect” turned on ๐Ÿ™‚

    And also while working in the viewport (I tend to) turn all unnecessary things off to check the animation: for instance those spheres and cylinders.

    Any how… Cool tutorial and love to see you back in the Cinema business! ๐Ÿ˜›

  • anyone got any thoughts on alternative ways to get the rings animating?
    i think jose may be right on the “particular” method, or maybe trapcodes form, love the method of creating the color though.
    also, nick, totally on your side with the non indepth tutorial on the actual transition, to do it right its tedious, messy, and a lot of trial and error usually, i know from experience, to get a good transition like the dudes from psyop, mk12 etc.. takes a lot of work and thought, its not really a tutorial thing.
    as always, great work nick.

  • Hi Nick!
    Great one! The point where you struggled with the ring size, the way to go was to make the plain effector a perfect sphere I think. You stretched it to an oval and so the rings in the middle had no good falloff.


  • Man, I love to see your tutorials. I saw this tutorial quietly. I’ts so natural, spontaneous.

  • Hi Nick,

    Some great techniques here in this tutorial ! The first time I saw the preview, I was like ‘Oh Crap ! Another trendy motion design !’
    But great things, especially in designing the RINGS animation, reverse camera animation concept and also the use of the Fresnel shader to give some randomness in the global aspect… Very useful.
    But… I have to experiment some of your techniques, in other ways. It seems to be ambitious but maybe it could increase all the workflow. Let me explain :
    – using arc splines and tweaking the radius, instead of circle splines
    – try to use the ‘atomic’ node instead of cloner for the EARTH modeling technique (to add spots & lines on the mesh)
    – put some Xpressos to improve animation workflow
    – using your lightkit or hdri kit for a better render
    – optimizing render settings, especially on reflections & transparencies.
    I hope to have some time to push all this features and give you a feedback soon.
    Thank you for give us all this knowledge. I can’t wait for the next part !

  • Thanks Nick, this tutorial feels like a present. I was wondering how to make that facetted look and I know one way to get there. Looking forward to part 2.

  • Nice tutorial, I think im gonna try and recreate those lines and dots with the new Plexus plugin for After Effects, need to learning there ๐Ÿ˜›

  • great tutorial Nick , u da best , and please more AE tutorials .

  • Nick, keep these videos coming dude.
    I like your approach because it is nearly always a “commune type” – “share the knowledge” – “try to become smarter than yourself” thing. That is what always excites me in your posts. I know it’s not always easy for you to continue, but for some of us, believe me, GSG is as important as breakfast. Love, Jim

  • Great tutorial! Instead the displacer deformer on earth i use a random effector as a child of the earth with point deformer on Z position. do the same job. cheers

    • David – Good call. I was noticing that in Nick’s example the triangles were a little too uniform – they all appeared to be equilateral. Whereas, in the ATT spot the triangles seemed to be of random sizes and angles. The random effector seems to get closer to that effect, making the location of the points more random. I like it.

      Nick – great tutorial, as always! Much appreciated!

  • Hey Nick,

    Instead of using a cloner object to get the grid/node look, you could have duplicated your sphere and put that into an atom array. Much faster.

  • adding a fresnel to the transparency channel of the sphere’s material helps it to feel a bit more like the original. Thanks, I always enjoy your tutorials.

  • Nick, any reason you prefer animating broadcast graphics in 24 instead of 30?

  • if you’re looking for a higher res of it just use keepvid and snag the 720p from youtube. it’s not incredible but it’s good enough and you will be able to play it in quicktime and study it frame by frame.


    btw, that first part of the spot with the basketball and the kiss is just dumb. i also hate at&t with a passion; can’t wait until my contract is done.

  • In addition, the original footage seems to feature those visible little lights in every “atom array” edge corner, so we could create another similar cloner with the same settings as the cylinder one to wrap the sphere properly, tweaking our omni lights (enable visible) just to reproduce the effect inside C4D. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • rendering out one with the fresnel technique, but working on a different approach.

    instead of trying to get the different colored triangles using the sphere, i’m using textured polygons in a cloner, with a random effector for the texture color. doesn’t seem like the ones in the advert change as it rotates, so the fresnel doesn’t quite cut it imo. granted, this way is much more performance-sapping to work with, but you can turn off the poly cloner while youre working on the animation, then turn it back on for the render (just like the edges/vertices)

  • Hey Nick,
    great Tutorial. I enjoyed watching this one. Your way to presenting and talking reminds me to a tv-show called “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross. You know it?
    Maybe you watch here:

    I think this show was from the 80s, but I had a fun time watching this as watching your stuff.

    Keep on going … waiting for the second part;-)

  • Hey Nick,
    Can’t explain how much i appreciate and enjoy the tuts you do. Thanks for everything and here is what i came up with, I couldn’t wait for part 2 lol. Am curious how you will finish it up.

  • Great tut Nick, If you like you can use this free plug-in with Firefox to download mp4/flv video from youtube so it’ll more easy to explore frame by frame:

  • Here’s what I did with this tutorial this afternoon.

  • Every every time I enjoy your tutorials cause of their awesomeness ๐Ÿ™‚ I think GSG one of most usefull resources in Internet ever.
    Best regards and wishes to you and your friends, Nick!!

  • hey guys . Can you give comment on this. thanks ..

  • great! cant waite for tut 2:)

  • Nice tut, thanks Nick. But I must give up – render each frame three qurters of hour ๐Ÿ™ is too much… must look for some stronger comp

  • Part 2 ! Part 2 ! Part 2 ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for another great tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You rock nick ! waiting for more !

  • Good day Guys,

    Hi Nick, you mentioned that the prologue designers had a small chat with you. Do you want to share it with us? like how they approach the design and their techniques or insights? Good tut nick.


  • did they texture each polygon by hand in the original clip? i mean with fresnel in color channel – each polygon gets some gradient of 2 colors at some point…
    but thats hell a lot of polygons to tex manually.. =\

    Thanks, Nick!

    my first comment in here hehe… love ur site and ur work!

    • try changing the interpolation mode from the colors for the gradient from smooth to none, then you get rid of the gradients between your chosen colors.


  • hmmm, but that means that on some polygons under certain angles there will be still 2 colors on 1 polygon divided with just a line, but not a gradient.. since there will be no more gradient. its how fresnel works i think..

    • It took awhile to figure out, but here’s a pretty effective way to randomly texture each poly:
      1) Download and install bobtronic’s handy plugin ‘Color Changer’ ( ). NOTE: This is actually a shader and not a plugin available through the c4d plugins menu, so if you don’t see it there – don’t worry. It appears in the shader menu
      2) Create a new material – using the Colorizer shader as the texture in the Color channel.
      3) Then, click on the ‘Colorizer’ shader you just applied and select the ‘ColorChanger’ from the shader/materials drop-down menu. You now have a ‘sub texture.’
      4) Click on the ‘ColorChanger’ sub texture and check the ‘Polygons’ button. This will ensure that each polygon receives a random color.
      5) Go back up one level and adjust the gradient in the ‘Colorizer’ shader.

    • Oh, and if you follow the same procedure and apply the ‘ColorChanger’ shader to the Transparency channel (stick to shades of black/gray), it gives a nice random effect there, too.

  • Hi Nick thanks amazing tutorial. Check my version of this animation.


    I donโ€™t see anything necessarily ethically wrong with showing us how to do this type of WORK!

    First off โ€“ Cinema 4D is a very complex program to learn even for a novice or advanced user.

    Second โ€“ Thereโ€™s not an abundance of literature out on the market. Tutorials are crap. (Crap is not even a strong enough word)

    Third โ€“ deconstructing someoneโ€™s work is a freaking skill and the only people who are โ€œJealousโ€ are the ones who are not creative minded in the FIRST PLACE!

    Fourth โ€“ There sure of Hell is not a plethora of CINEMA 4D Artists in NEW YORK CITY on a 8,000 to 10,000 setup teaching themselves in the middle of a FREAKING FINANCIAL CRISIS. Plus, NYU and Parsonโ€™s are not pumping out C4D students if thatโ€™s what everybodyโ€™s worried about!

    Iโ€™m sure THE MONKEY knows that the only comp he has is from a half dozen post houses in New York that are left or are almost out of business.


    JESUS PEOPLE You really need a 10,500 dollar setup to really be in this game if you want to make deadlines overnight. I say ten because Mac Pro 5,000 if you mac it out, 2,000 for abode suite, 3,500 for C4D studio Minimum!



  • Well, as I just registered in the MoGraph site, I cannot post anything yet. But I wanted to give my point of view on GSG’s breaking down of commercial animations:

    1.- They’re completely harmless
    2.- They help “less creative” animators how to figure out, combine and use different techniques and tools.
    3.- Make you think outside the box when it comes to delivering fast results and you’re stuck.
    4.- They illustrate ONE of many possible ways of achieving a particular setup.

    This isn’t like you’re counterfeiting anything. It’s just that “breaking it down” or “reverse engineering it”.

    Let’s not be hypocrite and don’t tell me none of you have “borrowed” techniques or setups to achieve a particular scene.

    If you’d rather him making tutorials with just a dull ball, a fresnel shader and a keyframed zooming cam, you better go read the C4D manual.

    Nick, keep doing your stuff and helping people all over the globe learn and understand different aspects of your art. Your videos make my brain juices flow big time! Just because the way I am, I try to achieve the same results with opposite techniques to prove myself!

    Cheers from Argentina ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s what i’m saying!!!!!!!!! Come on! Other people need to voice or give some 2 cents on this message board! Maxon should pay homage to this website. It’s Free Advertising! Plus, how many cool C4D websites are really out there? Without strings attached!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Damn! Nick, Do you have Mac Pro with multi core, right? If you work with polygons so slow , can you imagine my mac how long does it takes? (i’m afraid, my english is not so good, I hope you are catch what I mean). I think my monitor explode in my face! XD

    • It’s more about the video card than the processors when it comes to that stuff.

    • Understood. I try, but probably I die after the first rendering. See you guys, love you everybody ๐Ÿ˜‰ Nice, Nice tuts Nick, really!

    • The video card handles your viewport.. the rendering is all processor. My work computer has a 16 processor cores, whereas my home computer only has 8.. but my home video card is a beast, so i do most of my work at home and do final rendering in the office.

    • @Chris: Infact, now I watch better video here, seems a “problem” of video card when Nick zooming “crystal ball”. Many dots, too much polygons for best refresh on display. So I need upgrade my video card or… buy a new, great, mac with a best video card. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Can recommend the ATI HD 6900 – scores over 70 in Cinebench.

    No doubt the newer cards give even better OpenGL performance.

    Thanks for another great tutorial, Nick ๐Ÿ™‚

  • you could maybe ‘ve used a cloner object mode for the streaks or perhaps a bulge to shape it?

  • George Davidson April 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    what are your render settings for screenflow? maybe you could take a screen shot?


  • Thank you Nick ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here’s what I’ve made:

  • I found a really good way to get the rings around the sphere and randomize them.

    – Use a radial cloner instead of linear
    – Turn off “Fix Clone”
    – Set the radius to 0
    – Click Align

    At this point the clones should perfectly wrap the sphere. Then you can just add a random effector and change the rotations, positions, and time offset.

  • hey, thanx for that great tutorial!
    i made the small dots and lines of the globe with an atom array,where i threw a copy of the original globe in… i think thats a much faster way and i guess itยดs also faster on rendering…

  • wow! great tutorial.
    well done job.

  • Hi,god,hao to download?

  • Thanks for your all effort Nick. You are more perfect than a sphere which is rendered perfect. =))
    I wanna suggest this:

    Trapping the outer rings into a sphere shape is easier and works well by using a “spherify” deformer. I kept the rings and deformer together under a null and tuned the scale and strength values of the spherify. That’s all.

  • Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my site thus i got here to return the desire?.I am trying to to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to make use of a few of your concepts!!

  • Hi Nick,

    i found the high res sample:
    but i still wonder how did they approach the moving lights along the edges effect,
    custom script ???
    would you please make a tutorial for that effect,


  • God i loved that Nick! It’s truly an adventure doing this and even just watching. i know very little about c4d, i sure appreciate your tuts. I’ll definately be watching Part 2. and you’re right it’s all about getting out of holes…there’s a little story in Taoism, i think it’s called “The Donkey” about that, literally and figuratively out of holes.

  • Awesome tutorial as always. I had an idea while watching mid-tutorial. For the lines on the edges of the geometry, where you used cylinders, couldn’t you get a similar effect by UV unwrapping the sphere and coloring the UV lines white, then use that as a texture for the luminance channel? I am not sure if that would work, I was just thinking it might be a less CPU intensive way of achieving the effect.

    Regardless, thanks for the vid!

  • Nick, you don’t talk to much.I think you have so much success because your natural and make people feel comfortable watching your tutorials.Great tutorial as always

  • I’m trying to learn cinema 4d, but I get stuck right at the beginning… I cannot see the polygons that make up the sphere, and don’t know how to make them visible. Google didn’t know the answer… Help?

  • Nick, i just joined this group and the first tutorial i saw blew my mind up. Thanks for being superman.

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