How to make the the Discovery Channel Rebrand Cube Transition Effect with Cinema 4D – Part 1

May 4, 2010

In this tutorial, I show you how to recreate the Discovery Channel Cube Effect that is the main part of a recent Discovery Channel Rebrand made by Royale. I have been trying to figure this out for a while now and I always had trouble controlling the boxes in such an organic, yet specific way. It wasn’t until I started playing with the shader effector that it dawned on me that this was the solution. Anyway, check out the tutorial where I also use a Cloner Object, the Plain Effector, Object Buffers, Ambient Occlusion and Specular Highlights to get this animation ready for composite.

Want to learn more about this technique? Check out this Mograph.NET Discussion about how to achieve this effect. It was while reading this when I finally decided to figure this thing out once and for all. Finally, many of you have mentioned this Russian Tutorial about the same subject. The final render looks good and he has a slightly different solution to the same problem. Which reminds me. There is no right way with motion design. Remember, if it looks right for the final render, then you did it the “right way”. Keep experimenting!

Final Render

Watch Part 2

Tutorial Focus:  ,
Software:  ,

  • Yes! I’ve been waiting for this. Thanks Nick!

  • Sweet! My mouth has been watering for this since you started talking about it! Thanks for sharing and for all the hard work Nick! You sir.. are my bloody hero!

  • Bout time, Nick! I’ve been salivating.

  • Awesome, watching now.

  • Actually the guy u talk about in the beginning of the tut is Russian. His name is Mike Udin, his tut too is really good, expecially for the displacement he uses to fake the projection of images on cubes. Thanks nick for all your great material as always. You rule dude..

    • Yeah, I blanked out for a second there. I have a link to his tutorial below mine. His result is nice.

    • Yeah saw the link after watching your tut too. As you said, there is not a right or wrong way to do the same thing. I think I’ll mix your tecnique and Mike’s one to do a 5 sec little film production title. The one I really liked about Mike’s tut is the possibility to make different cubes dimension with Fracture Object.
      Again, thank you for all your work and also to answering me, I watch you so much that now I feel like talking with a rockstar…keep going!

  • Nick, at about 30:00 you say, “sorry I’ll try not to sing too much”
    Obviously you’re being humble and kind of joking, but I think that’s just the kind of thing you’re talking about when you distinguish your tuts from others. Sometimes you have to sing along to figure out if your timing is right!
    Great stuff.

  • I’m excited to watch this one. Can’t wait till I have more time later this week to see it start to finish. Nick have you seen the Science Channel’s “cube-wipe transition”? Been trying to figure out how to do that. Similar concept.

    A series of rotating cubes move across the screen and at points reveal the video behind. So the live rotation of the cube field creates a “live mask” to give the show-through parts a random stair-steppy effect. The video is not given the look over being part of the cubes though; it’s behind them. Also, the cubes are orange so this pretty much seals the coolness factor if there was any doubt.

  • as always… a great tutorial. Thank’s gorilla 🙂

  • NIce, the tut is here. Looks great, I will give it a try tonight.
    Nice job

  • very cool. i wonder though how you would do it royale style, where their cubes are all random sizes? this one makes perfect sense, but to recreate the actual campaign may take a few more tricks…

    • You’d just have to calculate the size and space of the different cubes to fill perfectly. Just one extra step to get to the same result.

  • This tut is awesome, great job once again! Now let’s see if we’ll see this effect coming back in interesting varieties 🙂

    Thanks for the great effort!

  • Great tut man. Can’t wait for part 2.

  • hey great tut! Looking forward to part 2!
    In the original video the blocks have a different sizes and the discovery logo is reveals with rotating the cubes around the place on the logo not as in your result where the logo is on the picture.

    • yeah thats right! the cubes have different sizes and also in the original the don’t rotate at random like urs,.. instead they begin to rotate from a specific side like they start to rotate from the left and go through to the right side to reveal the next image

  • Awesome Nick.

    I noticed that somebody already mentioned you about the fracture & projection method.

    However when you were giving the cube colors. Why were you splitting it all up when you could have selected the polygon side of the cube and just drag a color to it? Like you said, there is no good or right, but I would like to know why you did it this way.

    Awesome tut and now I learned something about new: Plain & Shader effector. Keep up the awesome job. Maybe bringing with each tutorial a new effector to light?

  • ah man, another great tutorial, can’t wait for part 2.

    thanks for sharing.

  • will definitely watch this.

    PS: I think you forgot some code in your blog post, all other posts have huge fonts now. 🙂

  • good stuff! can’t wait for part two! thanks!

  • hey, Nick I think you’re CSS/hmtl code is messed up. Fonts are different and some are HUGE.

    Nice tutorial. I tried the russian (Mike Udin). Yours seems easier and less steps, but don’t know how much flexibility (different rotations (h,p,etc) yours has.

    I think combining both of your tutorials will result in some great pieces. I’ll finished my cubes animation soon and post it.

  • Hi, great Tutorial. Can´t wait for the second part, too.

    I think in the original version from discovery channel the cubes changing from the left site to the right and not all at the same time various. So instead of a noise i added a gradient with turbulence to the luminance channel and animate the gradient. You can also play around with diffrent gradient types.
    I think that gives a great look good, too.

  • I love the WHY part in your tuts nick !

  • teacher ok the video resolution is very slow but u cam look that?

  • Nick, I was watching another tutorial that used ambient occlusion except that it was applied to each material separately in a layer material multiplied with the luminance. The Accuracy, Minimum, and Maximum sample adjustments from each material were then linked up to some master global sliders on a null controlled by Xpresso.

    That being said, when you add the overall Ambient Occlusion effect in render settings, do you sort of “get what you get”, or can you go into individual objects and specify how much the AC effects them or rather how much shadow they cast, how dark, etc?

    Simply put: I want my AC shadows to be more dense/thick. Is this something dealt with best in AE using the multipass AC that we rendered out? Or is there a global shadow adjust ment I can mess with?

    Thanks for your awesome tutorial!

    • You can add AO to different objects by adding it to the luminance layer of the shader. Adjust the Maximum ray length and the contrast to make the shadows more dense. Sounds like a good idea for a tut? 🙂

    • Yes, a great idea for a tutorial. Fine tuning the GI and AC seems to be part of what makes the good stuff POP, but there are a lot of ways to go about doing it.

      Maybe in the tutorial you could link to this excellent write-up as a resource:

      By itself it is a little overwhelming but I think paired with at tut by the Gorilla it would be very helpful 😉

  • I wish I had known about the shader effector a few weeks ago. I recently finished a commercial in the same style for a bank and used the plane effector to get it done. It was a pain getting the blocks to come back to their zero point.

    Please, check ’em out and give me your opinion:

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks, Nick.

  • Glad the tut is finally here! So it seems where I would have used a target effector, the shader was the way to go. This effect had me stumped as well, so thanks for the creative problem solving! Just finished up my result, if you wanna take a look:

    Thanks again.

  • Hey Nick, this is a great tutorial!
    I totally agree with you about explaining what it is you do. If all you do is push buttons I learn nothing. Thanks again for this great tut can’t wait for Part 2 🙂

  • this a amazing tut, i hope part 2 comes out soon, but im gonna try do part 2 myself and see if i can do it right

  • Those gun targets over your shoulder make me wonder if you’re a dead-eye shot, dead-eye.

  • Super!
    Minor tip: after making an object editable, you can select the faces and drag the texture on top – no need to disconnect it.

  • Heres my go at it. Went alittle too far i think, but i got carried away i guess!

  • …’nother minor tip:
    instead of messing around with the handles of the keyframes, you can just lassoo two of ’em and change it to “linear”…

  • My guess is that he use the compositing to the background and applied the different background materials (the photos) to the faces of the cubes.

  • HI Nick i’m a new fan of you website . Good job for all the work that you have done.Very use ful tutorials keep up the good work.

  • Cant wait to start. man i hope my computer can handle everything this time. it rocks yo!

  • actually easier way to split up your cube is before making it editable,in the attributes,select make seperate surfaces.then make it editable. nice and simple.

  • I really like this tutorial so far and can’t wait the AE part of it. Anyway I have two (maybe noobish) quistions: neither I have handles on the falloff box (orange/red squares) nor I have the cone of the camera (the green cone). I don’t think I disabled them, but do you know how to re-enable them again? Thanks, hegearon

    • If you followed the tutorial closely, you might still be in face selection mode from when you had to split the cube into faces.
      On the left side of the interface get back into object selection, and the handles should come back.
      ….cause that’s what happened to me…!

    • Thanks for the tip, it brought back the handles of the falloff box, but I still don’t see that green cone at the lens of the camera. Thanks again!

    • Are you looking through the camera? (is the little box to the right of the camera icon in the object manager black/unselected, or white/selected?)
      Cause you can only adjust it when the camera is not active.

    • I marked on the picture what I mean:

  • little trick for the next part of the TUT.
    if by mistake or lack of time the 3D guy you are working with or even yourself, doesnt give you the object buffer passes, wich happen sometimes for many reasons, you can either use the colors of the main RGB pass to key within after and get the alpha as a replacement or ask and wait for these missing passes to be rendered ;)) .
    great tut again, Nick, you rock!!

  • You are very generous with your time and knowledge. Thank You!

  • thanks man for the great tutorials actually you learned me everything i know in cinema 4D thank you so much please keep the great things come don’t stop 🙂

  • Great tutorial! Can´t wait for the second part …
    Thanks & Greetings from Munich!

  • Hi Nick ! Very nice tut, once again !
    I suppose you’re gonna add photos on After Effects, but why don’t you use photos directly in C4D ?

    • Yup, that was the kind of technique I’ve used for the Rubik intro of this movie :

      Each face of the cube had it’s own UV directly inside Cinema, I guess it can be used to make the Discovery channel trick.

    • I didn’t want to use cinema for the photos mainly because we didn’t have to. Besides, In AE, we can swap out the photos and hit render to get a result in seconds instead of minutes. It’s rare that “doing it all in 3D” is the answer.

  • a UV pass would be perfect to simulate the rotation in AE.
    so you render all your rotation in your 3d package, and you use the UV pass in your compositing package to remap any picture on the cube.
    That would work perfectly !

  • This truly rocked!!
    Thank you very much for this awesome tutorial.
    Nick….you the man!

  • Any tips for using different sized cubes?
    I’m using Cloner Objects in linear mode, each with a row of cubes of one size (each Cloner has one row of a certain size, in other words).These are all arranged into a flat object by parenting them to a Cloner.

    My problem is that to make my final object square and flat, I have to move the object axis of my cubes-if not, they will not all be in a flat plain, and the edges of my whole array will not be straight but crenelated.
    However, when I rotate the cubes using the Shader Effector, they of course rotate around each cube’s object axis, which is no longer in the center, so after say 180 degrees, my array is no longer a flat plain.

    Maybe instead of using a Cloner to arrange my sub-units there is a different way?
    Stumped for now…

    • …I guess I can just arrange each row manually…more fiddly maybe, but once I have everything lined up I think it’ll work the way I want it to…

  • Made a reply on vimeo for what i did to get different sized cubes

  • I finally found the time to do this one my way, and i think i nearly got it.
    Here’s the video :

    This time i tried to have the simplest object tree. So i did it with one cloner object, 2 cubes as childrens, and 2 effectors per transition. Mograph Selections helped me a LOT there !

    Love your tuts, especially the “hummmmm….” 😉

  • This rocked my socks!!! Thx Nick!

  • I’m in the middle of watching this so forgive me if I ask a question that you already address.

    How would you go about making squares of different sizes?

  • Great tutorial Nick…Thanks for sharing…

  • Unreal Gorilla man! Have followed tut and for a newbee like me its great that you take time to talk through the methods behind your madness.

    Question: As per the discovery example they have different size cudes rotating in different directions etc. How do you get it to do that? Might be stupid question but I am a newbee!

    Thanks again man!

  • Your Doing Great Job !

  • Awesome Awesome! i am loading going to see these now!

  • Nice technique! Could you make the blocks video available for download? I only have After Effects…


  • Hi Nick, that’s another great tut from GSG!

    I’m having a weird problem.. after i made all the work on C4D, when I try to open the cubes_comp.aec, my After Effects says:
    After Effects error: Can’t import file “cubes_comp.aec”: unsupported filetype or extension.

    I’ve already rendered twice, and my seetings are just like yours.

    Do you know anything that is causing this?

  • hi nick. thank you four this and the other tuts. my english is very bad. sorry for this.

    i have a question about render time. my computer rendered 44 frame in 3 hours. how many hours did you rendered it? what am i supposed to do minimize the render time? (my render settings are the same with yours. the only change is anti-alising best.)

    computer feature:

    processor: AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.80 GHz
    RAM: 4 GB kingston
    Graphic Card: ATI RadeonHD 4890 1GB

    thank you.

    • is anyone help me?

    • That does seem slow- my computer is similar to yours (Core2 Quad at 2.83 GHz), and it took me a bit less than 3 hours to render 275 frames of this project at 1280 x720, using the “Best” setting for AA.

      Are your settings for Ambient Occlusion about the same as in the tutorial? Are you rendering at a really high resolution?

    • ambient occlusion-accuracy was %100. i think its the problem. now %60 accuracy.. and render time take 4 or 5 hours. thank you zymos and thank you nick.

  • Hey Nick, I got a question that has been bugging me. I don’t get the render instances box to show, it’s just not there. And also the plain effector does not do anything at all. Like yours shows in realtime when you change the rotation value, mine doesn’t. Any idea what might be wrong? Could it be that Im still using Cinema4D 11.0 ? Thanks for the tut, love it.

  • Man, I love your way in teaching. First, you don’t edit out the problems that faces you to teach us how to solve it, then using step by step method to make us think not just follow. Thanks for all of you tutorials Nick and Keep Moving Forward.

  • Thanks for a great tutorial.

    I have added the smaller blocks randomly placed with the bigger blocks to be more like the original ident. I used a cloner – it’s a neat little trick that I think will come in handy.

    View it here;

    Download the scene file here;

    • Hey Chris,

      Thank you very much for helping with the tutorial.
      I try to watch and download the file from the site the you post above, but it seems that is either incorrect or expired. The vimeo link says that the video is private.

      Please let me (us) know if there is another link or a way to watch how you got the random cubes to work

      Thank you very much.

      -Marco D

  • What is we DID want the picture to stick to the cubes as they rotate. I have tried this many ways and can not get it to work. Either I use Frontal projection and the material slips as expected as the cubes rotate or I use flat and the entire picture is repeated on each cube.
    Any suggestions?

  • Thats damn sweet Nick! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey Nick,
    In the whole idea of going beyond the tutorial I made an alternative of the tutorial. I personaly like it when the cubes come together before creating a wall for the images.

    This is my version:

    I’ll admit its a bit to fast, butttt i have other work to do so i was to lazy to fix it…but you get the idea 😉
    Thanks once again for all the effort you put in it!

  • hey Nick,Im doing the tutorial but I keep coming up with lines. Seems like my squares are not completely flush. even if the rotation is 180or 90 they seem to be off by a couple of degrees. You have any suggestions or tips?
    You can view the pic here:

  • Digging the tut. However when I add the plain effector and change falloff to box it no longer effects the cloner object.

    Any suggestions?

  • i got some problem with downloading the videos, if the download is canceled once the download requires resume from the first every time, i think there have some bugs in this website, am i right?

  • Your Blog is really great! It’s amazing the color balancing that you do here. Very clean and pretty!

    A hug from Brazil!

  • How long exactly will this tutorial will be displayed.. because i have work the next day and would love to catch more of the discovery channel graphic transition effect.. please notify my.. ThanQs :)) you’re the best sir!

  • Me.. typo

  • NIck, we all highly appreciate The Gorilla !! you’re king..

  • hi neck
    I’m a big fan Morocco
    you’re the man, i love your tutorials even that i have problem with English still you’re the best.
    my question please if you can give us a head’s up on how this design is done (Direct TV HD) how they they bring little cubes to text and v vs
    thanks in advance i hope to hear from you soon

  • hey nick, it’s a very helpful turorial, playing with the rotations is pretty fun. well this is my final render.!/video/video.php?v=130206326991844
    thank you very much

  • This is really cool! I just finished a photo slide-show type project too , wish I had seen this sooner 🙂

    I think there is an easier way to adjust the interpolation between the keyframes if you want a linear motion. I believe you can select the two keyframes and choose “clamp” in the window

  • sorry bro, but the multi use of “ah” & “um” in your speech is very annoying.

  • I noticed you made the cube editable first to separate all sides, a faster way is to highlight cube in objects manager then in your attributes manager click object then check separate surfaces then make editable to separate polys, a few less steps 🙂

  • Thanks for the nice tutorial. In the original animation you also see cubes spin in the other direction. I tried to figure out how to do that and my solution was to make 2 shader effectors and make a checkerboard material, then copy it but replace the black and white. now i gave the shaders the 2 materials. have to make sure the shader effectors materials are set to frontal mapping. everything else is pretty much as you explained.

  • Ive finally gotten around to starting this in C4d and im having trouble with the plain effector not working like the previous people. Any one have a solution?

  • nvm i got it! sorry!

  • Hi there,

    Wow that’s a cool tutorial, i never worked with C4D of other 3D programs, isnt there someone who could post there C4D project so peole like me can use it too?

    I hope so.


  • hi! I tried rendering many times but i just can’t seemed to have anything appearing on my Object buffer 2 and 3. I can only see the cubes movement on my object 1 and 4. Any idea what is wrong?

  • HI!
    I am getting an error when i try opening the project on AE CS4, it says unsupported files. Can anyone help please Thnxz.

  • hey there, thanks for the great tut, I am new in cinema 4d with extensive 3ds max background, so my question is:

    In the original discovery clip all of the blocks vary in size, I have tried to achieve this effect with multiple cloner objects, but with no luck, so if i am just to build up the wall with multiple cloner objects and collapse them in to separate boxes, which mograph modifier would i need to use to put them all in and apply shader midifier?

  • Hey, I have a question
    What you make in early in the video after of insert the effect (ramdon effector). you delet it before of insert the shader effector? I don’t speak english and beginner in Cinema 4d, sorry..can u help me?

  • Hey Gorilla, great tutorial. I have a question: howcome after it finishes rendering i cant use the file for AE… AE doesnt recognize it… :S Any idea-? Gracias. From Perú.

  • Thank you, man. I solved it… was what u said.

    Im finishing mi proyect… ill upload it soon. Thnaks a lot, continue with ur great work.

  • Hi nick,

    Just to let you know that i love your logo. Don’t change it for a bannana or another gorilla stuff, pity !

    Thanks again for being there.

  • The video has lost it’s link?
    Why can’t I see it?
    since it is awsome

  • Here is my version of this video

  • I didn’t read through all of the comments but in the beginning when you’re separating the cube, you can also do it by checking “separate surfaces” before you make it editable. Just FYI =) Thanks for the awesome tut.

  • Thanks again for time, effort and great tutorials, Nick.

    I have a small question for someone who might know, though; I feel we always tick the “render instances”-checkbox during cloner object and also now for this. If it’s better and not checked by default; when is it a good idea to leave it unchecked?

  • hallo thanks a lot for the tutorial is been truly inspiring… the thing is that i´ve been able to follow it without problem but when i apply the plain effector it doesn´t affect the rest of the elements, i keep on aplying it but i can get it to work as in ur tutorial, any clue about what i could be doing wrong? thanks a lot

  • Hey Nick-
    Another fantastic tutorial, thank you so much!

    Just a heads up (and you might already know this by now) but you pronounce the studio Royale’s name the way they say ‘Royale with cheese’ in the movie Pulp Fiction 😉

  • I was also interested in varying the size and dimensions of my cubes. I downloaded Chris Seibold’s project file and was baffled with his randomly congruent use of Nulls to achieve a displacement of different sized cubes. I have much to learn.

    I went for a more uniform effect and it was achieved by calculating the size of the initial cubes to fit into a 2.55:1 ratio. Each cube goes into it’s own cloner object.

    Here’s the title sequence I designed for my editing reel:

    Here’s my initial take I did as a photo promo:

    I seemed to get some awesome specular shimmer on the photo promo that didn’t come across in the editor title. This is either due to the video and size of the cubes or just a step I missed without using the tutorial the second time.

    Anyway, Nick…you’re a saint.

  • hi
    thanks for ur lovely work,
    where can i buy this project ?
    best regards

  • they are not squares. They are triangles. triangle prism to be more acurate.

  • Wow great tutorial. Hope this question has not been asked, sorry if I repeat it.

    My Plain Effector seems to have zero effect. I followed all the steps in the tut but I’m obviously missing something.

    Please help me, I have a tight deadline and would love to use it for a client.

  • Hey Ivan,
    Might be too late on this but if you select your Cloner Object, then go to its Effectors menu, you’ll see the Shader Effector there. Drag your Plain Effector there too and you’ll be fine! Sam already mentioned this further up too…

    • Hey ciaran, thank you very much.
      i just dont know how to thank you. i had that problem, and you solved it. thanks again.
      god bless.

  • I am working on this tut and using C4D V 12. My question is how come the Plain Effector does not work or indicate that it is a Plain Effector in the Attribute manager. It shows the Plain Effector Icon with the word Plain and the word [Plain] with brackets around it is next to the word. What does this indicate?

  • Another awesome tut Nick! The possibilities this opens up are amazing. I didn’t know anything about effectors before this. Thanks!

  • Sir Nick, why I can’t export the *aec file that I’ve made in C4D?
    It always says “Unsupported Filetype or Extension”?
    need help please..

  • Sir Nick, why I can’t export the *aec file that I’ve made in C4D?
    It always says “Unsupported Filetype or Extension”?
    need help please..

  • This is awesome, just found this site after being out of the AE thing for a few years, inspires me to get right back into it.


  • Im still having problems with this .aec file thing. Why did it look like Nick had an .aep file to just click and open up?

    i did all the settings right and even tried twice. I only get an .aec, I went to the maxon site but didn’t see any C4D R12 to CS4 so just got the 11.5 to cs3/4. Obviously that has to be my issue right?

    I tried going to project open and its greyed out so I cant even select the .aec file and tried file import and it does nothing after clicking the file. Anyone can further help?

    C4D R12 & AECS4

  • I haven’t finished watching the tutorial yet so you or somebody may have already mentioned this but You can apply a sphere falloff to the shader effector, duplicate the effector, and animate the scale and such to have the start of the cube rotation spread out like in the Disney versions.

  • Hey, when I apply the noise material to the shader, it only manipulates the scale of the cubes, does rotate them… Followed it to a T – although I’m guessing I must have missed something… any help?

  • Hi dear Nick.firstly thanks for the nice tutorial…but I have a problem about render output settings…
    when I start the render,I can’t see ”Background Layer” in the layer mode.I’ll check my output settings again again…but nothing changed 🙁

    can you help me please?

  • greaaaaaaatttttttt..!!! like this! :D:D:D

  • Hey Nick!
    First of all thank you for all your tips and tricks for C4D….
    Just a question about this tutorial:what about if i need to get the plain effector follow a path imported from illustrator??
    I tried to set the shape of the PLAINEFFECTOR falloof in “source”, dragged my AI path into the “source link” but nothing happened : / !!!
    I’m sure u have the answer to my problem !!!! please help me !!

    Matt from Italy !!!

  • Nick.. You are my biggest inspiration when it comes to motion graphics. Because of you I’m gonna go back to school and study motion graphics. To get it on paper and hopefully work with it in a couple of years. Thank you so much for teaching me everything, lots of love from Sweden 😀

  • I always thank you for your tutorial with kind explanation. Good luck with everything you do.

  • Thanks for the great tutorial! For some spec work i did recently, i found a different way to create the transition effect entirely in cinema 4D. This way, you get real perspective distortions on the textures:

    I created the cubes by setting up 6 different clone objects, each with a plane inside. Every clone object makes up one side of the cube – this way, you can map the textures on each side directly in cinema 4d.

  • Gorilla, You’re very pro, I made this tutorial step by step following your teachings, and it really seemed like a tutorial with a lot of data, I would say broudcast level.
    I have one question and how to solve the
    movement of the buckets in the slower rotating, especially at the end, and happened to me
    I also saw in your final render example. Discovery seeing there is no such difficulty.
    Will have to adjust more precisely the tension between curves? Thanks anyway is a great tutorial.

    I appreciate everything you do. Abrazo!

    I know my English is very bad!

  • well here is my try for the whole rebrand stuff its not up to date but i hope someone gives a comment on this one
    btw nick i like all you stuff youre doing a great job for us
    love and regards


  • hi nick,my c4d can’t save the file into after effects.pls any advice,cos i can’t finish the part 2 of this tutorial.please.

  • I have a problem, my cubes seem to be rotating in pairs instead of individually, does anyone know why this is? I’m new to this sort of thing. Thanks

  • Hello I would like to ask if you want the video showing the different sizes of boxes which need to C4D how in the production of ideas.
    thanks you

  • Okay, correct me where I’m going wrong, but can’t this be pulled off just with After Effects and a custom card wipe transition? I need to try it out there now instead of trying out Cinema for this.

  • Great tut Nick. One other option is to have separate cloner objects with varying heights/widths of the cubes so you can get the same kind of randomization as in the reference. Also, I ended up assigning RGB luminance textures to selection sets and rendering out a multimatte pass in order to work non-destructively. Then in AE I just chose the channel I wanted and used that as the alpha matte. Thanks for getting the ball rolling!

  • When you talked about disconnecting the parts of the cube at 17:30, there actually is an easier way to do it.

    While the cube is still parametric, check the “Separate Surfaces” Button. When you make the cube editable, it will come as seperate planes under a null object.

  • Hi, somebody know why in Cinema 4D R13 Plain Effector not work – i konnot get it to work properly 🙁

  • OK, I’m really dumb, but I can’t figure this thing out –> whenever I render, the render preview or file always defaults to the view I have of the object–but I want the full size 16:9 view! I’m getting the rectangle at an angle with the black BG. How did you get C4D to render just the cloned cubes you made in its entirety without picking up the space around it?

    It seemed like you just resized till the viewer captured the entire thing, and shift-R finished the job, but I’m getting these borders which is the empty space surrounding the object. Help, please! Thanks.

  • Hi Nick,

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing with the world 😉
    I’ve this problem with the Plain Effector, wich is not affecting the shader as it should. Can you help me with that? My version is R13.

    Once again thanks a lot.

  • Anyone know why you can’t “explode segments” in R13…GRRRRRRRRRR
    DAMN YOU MAXON!!!! hahahaha

  • I can not get the Plain Effector to do anything…. I put it to -90 for the Logo and it will not adjust anything, So I can not get the “orange side” .. Any help appreciated on this lovely thing. Otherwise I will keep truckin on with the tut.

  • Is there any place i can go to download Ambient Occlusion ? i found a .cof file but no idea where to put it. (if it makes any difference i’m using a mac)

  • how can i explode the segments in cinema R13?
    please help!!!!

  • Hi there… I assume that something changed in R13 because the plain effector is not working, doesnt matter where I place it… Any clue on how to fix this?

  • hey Nick… awesome tutorial.. am trying to utilise the technique for a static poster. I am using R13 and I’m stuck at the point of Exploding Segments to create separate faces. R13 doesn’t seem to have that function.. any help would be really appreciated. .. Many thanks

  • I love this website, so inspirational. I was trying to watch this one and couldn’t because I got the idea to turn this effect into a sound effector, and I got it working. Turned the wall of blocks into an equalizer where they turn and change color in bars to the music. C4D is so cool.

  • You can send for everybody source file????? It is very great

  • Hey I just want to know if its possible to put a video in place of photos.

  • Hi,is it possible to add this effect to a video?

  • Hi there! I was wondering, How to create the Bug on Discovery channel! I have been looking every where for a tutorial or walkthru to create the globe + D swing around and then Discovery pops out then comes towards the screen with the D + Globe again … :)? Does that make sense? LOL. Thanks

  • Hey! Man thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve learned so much. But i have an issue right now, i’m using the CINEMA 4D and it doesn’t have the menu “Functions” and i can’t disconnect the cube and keep following the tutorial. Or there is any other way to do it. I’m a beginner in C4D please help. I need to finish this for a project. Please Nick or someone answer me as soon as posible.

  • and here is what i came up with
    different sized cubes
    thx for sharing Nick!

  • Hi Nick,

    While following many of your great tutos (Thx a lot), I used the camera projection technique you told us in the house tuto to make it entirely in C4D (it’s the bonus – the wrong thing is that your picture have to fit perfectly to the size). For those who haven’t seen it:
    1 – do the cube+cloner+shader effector stuff
    1 – create a material with a picture in the color channel
    2 – create a camera
    3 – Apply the material to one side of the cube / cloners objects
    4 – choose “camera” for the “type of projection” and put the camera you’ve been created in the camera field.
    That’s it

  • thank you, I couldnt find it.

  • Could someone please explain how to vary the size of the boxes?
    I’m stuck on how to pull that off.

  • Original rebrand was done by Nate Howe of now when he was still freelancing if this helps you on whom did this.

  • The thing with you Mr. Campbell is that you may not be the cinema4d guru, but you surely are a great teacher.

  • Hey Love the tutorials thanks a bunch for creating these. I’m having a little problem with the disconnect of the cube. I am able to do the U-D and get disconnect but then I can’t do the explode sections. I am using Cinema 4d R14 Broadcast version. I can see the explode section but It’s grayed out. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Thanks for the amazing tutorial, I spent almost a week searching the web to find out how to do this transition – Cheers mate .
    Also can i place a video instead of a picture . will that work ?

  • hi, greyscale i love you and i love what you are have been of great inspiration to me. you are indeed a great teacher.
    i need help please. My c4d software lacks some things in it. on the mograph panel so many things are missing. For example:
    shader effector, plain effector and so on,. i use r12 and r13. please teacher help, what should i do. Hope to hear from you. regards

  • Someone said it before, I´ll say it again anyway: You are a Saint. Thanks so much for this and all the other great tuts.


    How would you do the exact same thing but using pyramid objects instead of cubes?

  • Ariel De la Rocca May 25, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Hi Gorilla,

    What’s so special about the Discovery channel effect is not just the rotation but the variance in cube size. could you please explain how it was done?

  • Hey,Nick I think You Can Easily Do This Trick In After Effects.By Card Wipe and Messing With Settings And To Make Image 3d And Cubes also Just Copy The Effects Multiple Times And The Image Multiple Times..

    Anyway You Are The Boss
    Bye And Thanx For the Tutorial…..

  • Tairony Medeiros August 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Hey guys. I have been following tutorials GSG and learned a lot! Thank you! But I can not apply the Plain Effector. Can anyone help me?

    Thank you.

  • Hello Nick Great work you are my favorite . I have one question for you , if you can answer it ,i’ll be very gratefull. I have C4D R14 and i have one problem, you remember that project with your parents in Hawaii with cubes ,i disconnected the cubes, then when i tried to explode segments and can not see the option, i cannot make them to break up in seperate sections in the menu , can you help me have a nice day Nick

  • explode segments doesn`t work in r14. stupid maxon(

  • i’m working with r13 so explode segments does not work. then i did the polyonsgroup to object-issue but by now i could not figure out how to have my seperated-faces in the object-manager.would anyone give me a hint?

  • I was trying this tutorial as a bit of C4D practice (relatively new to the software) and am having an issue with the multi pass render – specifically the ambient occlusion. The files appear to have generated correctly but are pure black.

    Is there some setting that I might have missed somewhere? As far as I can tell my settings match Nick’s in the video.

  • i have problem when i try to save the file of after effects with C4D R13

  • Thanks a lot Tom with your idea of polygons group . i did search but you are the first one i got who can tell.

  • Im using Cinema4D R16. After converting the “Cube” to a Polygon and “Disconnect” (can be found under Mesh Menu > Commands), I can’t seem to click “Explode Segment” (can be found Mesh Menu > Spline). Help me :/

    • Little late in this but, If it helps after disconnecting, select each side of the cube using polygon mode (the left menu select the cube with the top in orange) then right click on the side and select split. This works just the same.

  • HI Nick

    I hope you can help me I was following a long with your tutorial until I couldn’t get how could I separate the cube in different faces. IM using CINEMA r16 .038 Broadcast and the explode segment was not clickable in my case. I can click the explode segment if I use splines only. Hope you can help me. Many thing in advanced.

  • using r16 …same as above…No matter how i tackle it I can not get “explode segments” to work. 🙁 Any ideas Nick)

  • Solved for R16
    once you disconnect the cube use the polygons to group in the same menu under conversion (its at the bottom) hope this helps you all

  • Hi Nick !

    I recently discover you tutorial, it’s a very good one !

    Is there a “simple” trick to export UV map for all cube faces ? As I can see, you built your scene without having UV map in mind so it seems complicated regarding that to export a clean UV map for each faces.

    Thank you for your help !

  • Where’s the video for these? They aren’t showing up!

  • Hello, is the video tutorial still up? I can’t seem to see it? If not I would really like to watch it somehow. Thanks

  • Hey Nick… I downloaded the r20 (demo) version and installed it/registered… it does not seem to have the “explode segments” option. And while I can color the cube faces different colors, when I go to render, I can’t do the object buffer for each of the sides.

    Is there another way to separate those cube sides so that they are still under the “cube” or do you happen to know why or how I can get that “explode segments” option to show up – because it is not currently a choice.

    Thanks for your help.

  • 9 years on and this has absolutely saved my bacon!

    Thank you so much!

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