How to Make the Infinite Floor Look in Cinema 4D

October 15, 2010 - By 

in this tutorial, I show you how to get the popular “infinite floor” look in Cinema 4D by using a background object and the compositing tag set to “composite background”.


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  • i tried on Cinema 4d 10.5, but there is a little problem, the edges is still there even-though i followed your steps. can you help me to solve it. Thank you! from the Philippines!

  • Christopher Scott Kn December 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Just found a really cool “trick” that I know have in my arsenal:
    I created a project using the instructions above to create the infinite floor in this tutorial and saved the project with the name ‘new.c4d” and placed it in the root folder alongside the application itself. (I’m on am Mac.. I assume it works the same on a PC)
    Now, every time I start the C4D app, the infinite floor is already loaded and ready to go.
    Bingo! Pretty cool, hu?

  • Awesome Nick… love your site..always updated.. it would be nice if you make a tutorial with the infinite floor but reflective..for you said before..the gradient on the alpha doesnΒ΄t work for me…but thanxz a lot for your efford.

  • Wow! this is really helpfull! Thanx!

  • As silly as this question might seem, i can’t seem to find a solution. Whatever object i use in this scene, it comes out black, no matter what texture/material i put on… any ideas why this would be?


  • Hey Gorilla,

    Is there a simple way to adjust that background to fill out the edges if you want use the 16:9 ratio? In regards to the “Infinite Floor” tutorial.

  • I think i found out a possible solution about the GI problem with the floor,with the help of a few comments on this theme, what i did was to set the primary intensity on the GI render settings tab to something like 50% and then just compensate with your lights putting high intensity values. It worked for me pretty good! Let me know Please if works for you guys aswell!
    Thanks Nick for this great tut!

  • Hello,
    I’m french so i’ll try to do the better to explain my problem ! I read a lot of the comments but didn’t see any answer.

    I have my infinite background and an objet wich is reflective. The problem is that the reflexion isn’t infinite (no frontal reflexion) with or without GI !

    What should I do ?

    Thanks and great website to learn more about c4d and English language πŸ˜‰


  • Awesome but i have golden text and you can see from the angle i have it the floor plane ending in the reflection any ideas?

  • anybody found a solution to make this and also use GI.

    The only way i have found is to use a disc as a floor and enable alpha ( circular – white to black ) on the floor texture to fade out the edges. but this makes the compositing tag useless and also makes it hard to have perfect seamless color with the bg.

    any lead on how to make this easier with GI?

  • thanks so much for this tutorial!

  • On the subject of including reflections on the floor. It seems to work fine if you turn off the sky light. This is rendered with a reflective floor and GI at 40%

    – Cort

  • I’ve done everything that you did in this tutorial but im not getting any shadows from the sphere shadowing onto the floor. I dont have your light kit but i used an area light above the sphere. Does that matter?

  • Has anyone figured out a way to make this method work with reflections?

  • Hi, I’m new to C4D, Im a graphic designer but trying some new concepts out with 3D text, I followed this brilliant tutorial which has worked a treat, but I don’t have any shadows? I’v had a nosey around and tried afew things but I can’t get any shadows on it at all, any ideas? Thank you in advance.

  • Hello Nick!
    I just got the kit and i have to say it’s amazing!, (I am new to C4D) I’m trying to do the spheres like you did in one of your examples but, the reflections are not looking right, they look sharp (I did the reflection with a fresnel texture, and I played with the brightness), they don’t look glossy and polished. I don’t know how to fix this or how to do the reflection the right way. If you could please help me with this it would be great!

  • hey!

    Nice tut. But I’m not getting any shadows. It’s just my object in the middle of the plane, no shadow. It’s like the object has died ang has gone to the light LOL!.

    Anyone know why this is?

  • Great tutorial πŸ™‚

    Is there a way to use Ambient Oclusion on the floor to get that nice shadow under the object? – when I do I can see a tiny bit of the horizon.


  • As some of the other users already asked before: Does this work in Cinema 11.5?? I’m just confused about that because I did exactly the same things as you did in your tutorial.

  • Hi everyone.
    Thanks a lot for this tutorial. I use 11.5 and do exactly the same things that you made, but I don’t got any shadows :/

  • I FIGURED IT OUT!!!!!!!
    The problem that I encountered and a few other people as-well…the reflection of the plane showing on the object, like this

    The solution is basically make a light tent in any shape to fit your object, and add the color gradient with frontal mapping. You wont need a background. this is my fixed render.

    Heres the scene file
    (I’m using 11.5 – this scene is without the light kit pro lights)

  • Hi Nick,

    This is some great stuff! I’m a beginner in Cinema so these tutorials are very useful.

    Is there anyway to get shadows off of a plane object with the luminance channel selected? I tried using it with the white background and wasn’t getting results. I switched to an area light and that seemed to work better.



  • I have a problem… i have a reflective object on the plane and in the reflection i can see the floor plane ending like a sharp line? any ideas? fix?

  • also im getting some noise in my shadows

  • Nick, you are an internet hero. Not only do you provide excellent tutorials, but you also very kindly offer constant support and advice to your commenters. Thank you, and keep up the very good work. I’ll be looking all over your site for more interesting effects!

  • Great tutorial…
    but PLEASE….no more swallowing or smacking your lips so loudly on the mic….i feel like vomiting.

  • thnx for this perfect technique
    damn I think I’m gonna puke

  • Hi there! Is it possible to use a background object together with your HDR Studio Rig? I’m trying to set this up, but the Background object doesn’t render.

  • I love this tutorial makes it so much cleaner, keep it up Nick

  • Hey Nick, what is the font you used for that infinite render? Its awesome! I adore your tutorials, I love getting home from college/work and checking out some lessons! I’m only 17 too haha πŸ™‚

  • how to make that shadow effect on the floor? please could u make a tutorial for that? i never have been available to find it out :S

  • Really like the look of this and use it often. Although when I set it up for a multi pass render, the background material does not render on the diffuse pass and shows up black in AE. Has anyone had this problem? Any work arounds for this?



    • I’m having the same problem. And I can’t find a solution.
      It seems that C4D doesn’t recognize the Background as an object, at least in the diffuse pass.
      I tried adding a new BG but with no effect.

      Any ideas?


  • how to i get rid of the corners

  • Thank you nick I’m using it in combination with GI at the moment and luminance and your right about the Floor object faced lots of problems with that but 1 more question How i get that center bigger?? I already played with the settings but it didn’t work any ideas left?
    if so contact me.
    By the way your work is AWESOME.
    Here’s the link to it hope you like it:

  • Ha ha forgot how to do the infinite floor now… which was a request from a client…. “who you gonna call….. not ghost busters…. NICK CAMPBELLLLLLLLLLL!!!” THANKS FOR EVERYTHING NICK!!!!

  • I have a problem: I can’t get the plane to disappear. I am using 11.5 and have done just like you did in the tutorial. Do you see the problem?

  • Nice Tut Nick, We are learning a lot from you, Thank you so much, and Keep up your Good work.

    Thanks once again πŸ™‚

  • Hi Nick

    This is the most useful tutorial I have ever found for C4D! But I have a little question: I’ve tried to model a milk box and render it upon the infinite plane. The shadows look good, but when I try to use some reflection on it, it doesn’t look well, or the reflections just fails to render.. πŸ™ Can you give me some tip abou this probem?

    Thank you Gorilla, your site is the best!

  • Can someone help? For some reason, every time I render it, the background doesn’t show up. It’s just black, and doesn’t look right at all. It was fine before I went to render settings and tried to save it, but now it is just black.

  • Hi,

    I question.

    Lets say I got a floor and a background, with a material on it9 which has a animated displace shader.

    My problem is when I move the camera the background – in this case the sky stay fixed. So as the camera shakes, or move or rotated looks like the floor moving.

    Is that clear?

    Any suggestions, how should I fix this?



  • This has been an awesome thing to have in my bag o trix. I’ve run into a situation on a current project that this won’t work on. When you have some specific texture (in my case an alpha overlay) on the floor. It botches this structure since you can’t frontal map anything but a solid.

    The only option I’ve found is to do a disc shaped floor, add Sky, and render with GI. I’m sort of stuck trying to figure out how to get a quick render time. :-/

  • Hi Nick, first of all thanks for the contributions I have learned a lot with your tutorials
    my question is in R12 is the same.
    I tried to follow your steps but the floor is not compositing whit the background. thanks again. Jorge

  • I agree with everyone else who is using 11.5. I tried this tut just now and I can’t seem to get it to work right. GSG is using a newer version which includes a background option in the objects panel. I don’t know how that differs from older versions but it seems to be getting a lot of people stuck. Can you use a plane instead? I even tried to do the gradient and that didn’t seem to work either. I’ll check my settings and repost if there is something I missed but for now I’m stumped.

  • Hi Nick, firstly… big fan. Secondly, I’m just going through some of your older tuts and I came across the infinite background piece you did back in 2010, did you ever do an update on how to get reflections on that background? I disparately need reflections for a website I’m designing.

    Hit me back. Thnx for all the fantastic knowledge.

    Best regards,
    Marlon Marcano
    Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.

  • Cant you just add both plane and sky, use the same color, and basically get the same effect?

  • I successfully use GI and reflections to make a infinite floor. Thank you Nick. I think everybody know you are very good at texturing and lighting. Would it possible for you to give us some tutorial about Sketch and Toon?

  • Hi Nick,

    When you use several area lights, with area shadows, and you try to make the infinite floor, its seem doesn’t work…in some point it show the plane limit..How yoy can fix this error?

    Thanks…By the way..yours tutorials rock!

  • Hi im trying to start some 3D in C4D…I followed your steps but whatever I try my sphere renders black dark:/ I even got Your light set and it doesnt seem to work…the background is great though..please help!!

  • That was very helpful. I was wondering for days how to do it. Thanks for sharing.

  • It seems that when I add multiple models or polys to my scene with this set up and separate lighting the floor texture appears to change. I’ve checked my composite tags, and texture settings again and again and I’ve found the biggest problem to be adding anything other than a simple polygon to trigger this. The separation from my BG to my groound plane needs to be seemless because I want to see shadows, but if I turn off appear in cam from my composite tag, I end up losing both, so that’s no fix. Any suggestions on a fix?

  • Hi Nick, thanks for sharing your tutorials.

    I’ve done all the steps in this tutorial, but I don’t like the result in my text. Grains are seen in the reflection. How i can fix it?

    Sorry for my bad English, greetings!

  • Hi Nick,

    Great tut, however I am getting a lot of flicker on the gradient background when animating using this background technique.

    I have disabled ambient occlusion on the background and floor to see if this is causing it and it still seems to happen. It’s as though the gradient on the material is moving all over the place.

    Anyone else had this problem, or know how to fix it?


    • I’ll answer my own question… I stupidly had enabled turbulence on the material.

      Great tutorial… works a treat πŸ™‚

  • Love you GreyscaleGorilla.
    I always know I can rely on your tutorials.

    I’m just hoping my work will upgrade us to R14 so I can continue with all the fun times Cinema has to offer! πŸ˜€


  • Pleaseeeeee! I followed this tutorial and everything works fine BUT, besides receiving shadows, i want the floor to receive LIGHTS.

    A good example of what i want is the traditional intro of Pixar movies (the one with Luxo jr )
    where you can see a seamless floor, shadows, and the floor being illuminated by Luxo’s spotligh


  • Thanks a lot, its a great tutorial, short and trully efective. thanks From Madrid .

  • hey all, i seem to be having the shadow issue as well…infinite floor tut worked great! no weird seams or anything…however, my subject looks like its just floating, there is no shadows underneath at all. i used an overhead light as well…please help?

  • I found this tut so helpful as a beginner in C4D.

  • Hi Nick,

    I hope you are still looking in on this forum, I purchased your kit and the seamless floor works great except when I do a multi-pass render, I tried selecting all the multi-pass options but still the floor renders as white. Any help is much appreciated.

  • hey man, can i use the global illumination when put this effect in a render??

  • That’s nice! This tutorial is really helpful and you are so handsome! Thank you very much!

  • Has anyone seen this before? I’m using the infinite floor technique along with Nick’s light kit, a physical camera with 1/15 shutter speed for motion blur?

    thanks for your help.

  • Hi,

    Hi iΒ΄m using the HDR Studio Rig with the infinite floor:

    anybody else having the problem, that at the horizon a thin black line is showing when ambient occlusion is on.


    I know i can turn it off and it will be gone, but i would like to use it on the floor, as it gives nice contact shadows…

    any ideas for a fix or workaround?

    thank you

  • P.S. I extended the floor as much as possible, just to let you know….

  • Thanks a lot. Great tutorial again.

  • Is there a way to get this using the GI lighting with the physical render in R14? It seems the floor shows up once you click on the GI lighting in the physical render.

  • Good day!

    I’m new to Cinema 4d. May I know where I can find the “material editor” ( 01: 58 in the video)

    I can’t locate mine. attached is a screenshot:

    • On your top right of C4D, on the Layout option, it seems you have Modeling selected. If you switch to Startup, you’ll see it located on the same place. Alternatively, you can go to Window > Material Manager, and this way you don’t have to switch your layout.

  • this works fantastic in C4d but not so in Cineware. Any one out there can help? πŸ™‚

    • I’m having the same troubles too! Would be great to know if this is a Cineware issue or just me being a noobie πŸ™‚

    • I was having the same problem and found a fix: Right click on your Cinema 4d file in AE and then interpret footage. In the Main Options tab and under Alpha set the alpha to “Ignore.” The background object should now appear.

      • Jason,

        I love you man! I spent the last two hours of a sixteen hour day trying to figure this out.

  • I have my infinite floor and lighting set up perfectly. The problem is I am using a transparent texture for a spacecraft model which shows the horizon line. Could somebody help me out? I have spent days on my modelling and it would be a shame to not have it work out, I’m desperate.I can send the project file if it helps. Thanks.

  • If you’re rending out shadows to bring into AE with live footage, would you use the infinite floor so there isn’t a hard black line when the floor ends so that it doesn’t effect the multiply in AE?

  • Awesome idea. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks a million for this Nick! Fantastic tutorial!

    For those still having some troubles with getting a visible horizon line using GI I found that after reading somewhere above that disabling ‘Recieve GI’ in Ground Material >> Illumination >> Recieve GI, helps a tone.

    I also found that the position of the light which I used an above softbox along with three fill softboxes to light my product, played a big part in whether the horizon would show up. I found that the light being too close, especially from above would have less than ideal results. I took the lights further away and extended the fall off to reach the object really helped get the lighting I wanted and no horizon line.
    Not sure if it will work for everyone but hope it helps.

    Cheers again Nick.

  • Hi all, i am really sorry for the stupid question, that i am going to ask, but a can’t search it anymore. The background button is missing, i’ve search it everywhere, but didn’t found anything. Can someone please show “the lost person’s” way πŸ™‚ thanks
    Here’s a screen shot

  • Hey Nick!

    Great tut’s!!!!
    How did you texture your red balls in this scene? I really like the look.
    BTW I’m new to 3D and just figuring it out.

  • thank you

  • Love this and all the other tuts. I had to re-watch this a few times to get it all right but really nice and simple

  • So my C4d refuses to create this effect even though I followed the tutorial step by step, the texture is set to frontal and the compositing tag has the background option selected but it still does not work, any Ideas GSG community? Image:

  • how to make text with light balls background?

  • For anyone still struggling with the infinite reflective floor:

    Make duplicate your floor / background material. 1 will be for the floor, the other for the background. Leave the background one untouched.
    Add a reflection on the floor shader. Then add a Fresnel texture on that reflection. Make sure it goes from black (left) to white (right).
    Apply the floor material to the floor, remove the original material from it just to be sure.

    That should get you rid of the horizon!


  • anybody know why this thang doesn’t work in C4D Lite? Well it does work actually, but when you switch back to AE, (which you have to do cuz it’s Lite Rite?) the background doesn’t show up. Instead, I get some kind of alpha….Help…

    • Hi Scot
      I am having the same issue in wanting my infinite background to be visible in AE from c4d Lite.

      Did you end up finding a solution for this, and if so can you please share it with me?


  • When adding the Global Illumination to rendering, there is without infinite effect. How can I solve it?

  • I Know this is an old post, but it’s still useful. It totally helped me. Thanks!

  • thank you, gorilla. you helped me.

  • Great man just what I was looking for. I watch one of your tutorials everyday

  • Hi,
    Thanks for tutorial. But I didn’t have soft shadowing on the ground. Because the plane is composting background. If I don’t click on it. I have shadowing but than the background look bad. How can I fix it.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Just starting in cinema4d and EVERYTHING I need to know…you have the answer.

    Thank you!

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