How to use Sub Polygon Displacement in Cinema 4D

May 28, 2010

I recently have been playing a lot with Sub Polygon Displacement and I wanted to show you some of the fun things you can make with it. In this tutorial, I show you how I made the abstract shapes below by starting with a sphere and adding a texture with Sub Polygon Displacement and a noise pattern. Please link to any fun renders that you make with Sub Polygon Displacement in the comments. I would love to see them.

Final Renders

Tutorial Focus:  ,
Software:  ,

  • I have an animation set up using 2 different textures in a displacement maps value in one material, located at 2 different key frames. When I render the animation, the key frames render appropriately with the displacement, but the intervening frames render without a displacement map. I am very new to animating in cinema . Please can someone help me on this? Thanks very much.

    Sorry by my bad english, im a mexican fan to Nick

  • Quick and fun tutorial again Nick, thanks!
    I’ve made a couple of animated gifs with this, here’s one result:

  • A biiiiiig lik for You about this amazing option , But if you moor detailed in the last part of the tuto about displace an image that’s will be a big gift from you πŸ˜€ thank you soo mush & good luck

  • Hey, great tutorial! Will love to experiment with sub-division, but my problem is that in Material Editor in the Displacement I am missing the sub polygon displacement menu. Any idea why`s that? I am running C4D 13.016


  • Hey Nick,

    Check this πŸ˜‰ Audio and Video


  • hey man, thanks so much for this great tutorial, check out my results:

  • Youre my f.cking hero!!!! πŸ˜€ amazing tutorial to be shared

  • Hi

    Thanks for putting this tutorial out it was really helpful! In your renders at the top (the first image, the one that looks like bubbles are popping out) I am wondering how you made this and how you could export this into realflow to have liquid bursting out of each bubble for example. Any help would be appreciated!

  • Hi there, I was playing around with the sub polygon displacement and was wondering if you could use a movie that was desaturated to greyscale and use that information to displace the object. ( Essentially using a video of a person walking into a black blob that would walk as well.)

  • Any chance someone would know why I don’t have a sub-polygon displacement menu under the displacement tab? Using R15.

  • i canΒ΄t find the sub polygon dissplacement option i am using c4d r 15 can anybody help me please

  • Firstly thank you sooooo much for your tutorials, they are by far the best out there. Good Man:) Secondly I am trying to create some sort of atmosphere for the object, something like thinking particles/fog/smoke buzzing around the object as i animate it. Im hugely struggling to find what I’m after, I was wondering if you could point me in some direction. Link to a still –

  • Steven van der Linden December 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you soo much! I’ve looking for this for days! Solved my problem! Thanks again!

  • I have some problems. When I render, my object is not reflective at all, it still just looks a flat matte looking black. Also, you talked about “animating” the objects but then never showed how to do it. Can you explain how to use keyframes so that I can view the object going from having no Displacement to being displaced.

  • Hi, thank you very much these amazing tutorials but I cannot play the tutorial video. It loads but does not start to play. I tried both on Safari and Chrome. Please fix this, thanks a lot!

  • I almost never leave a response, however i did a few searching and wound up here How to use Sub Polygon Displacement in Cinema 4D. And I do have a few questions for you if it’s allright. Is it simply me or does it look like some of the comments come across like coming from brain dead folks? πŸ˜› And, if you are posting at additional places, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of your community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  • please nick do tutorial about that i cant find any tutorials making realistic cobblestones in cinema 4d

  • Hey is it possible to reproduce this effect using the transform plug in with just the broadcast version of cinema 4d?

  • Thanks for your all your great tutorials.

    I love sub polygon displacement and can’t stop playing with it after i finished my new music video.

    Now i render fresh animated gif loops.

  • Great tutorial!
    thanks. one thing i am trying to figure out: in the tutorial you mentioned that with the changing of the strength and various setting in the materials we could animate this. I am having trouble figuring out how to animate a changing from material settings to the next. At the end it just keeps my materials settings at what i last left it. i am trying to animate 0% strength of dissplacement all the way to frame 150 at 100% strength. but it seems the materials settings just stay the same. Do i need to create a whole new sphere at 100% material settings at the end for it to animate to that?

  • I just want to thank you,
    you have been my teacher for years now, and i just realize, i never thank you for that. I’m very proud to show you what i can make.
    Thanks again, without you, i never had the courage to learn 3D.

    Have a great day !

  • This was an excellent tutorial.
    I wonder if you can get similar effects with hair (faster rendering)?

    I wish you can do a tutorial similar to Vue Tutorial: build a ‘little big planet’ which sort of builds on this I guess. That would be much appreciated Nick.

  • Hey, is it already possible to convert the displacement map to an actual mesh INCLUDING the sub-poly-displacement? TYVM! Dombauer

  • Anyone know where I can’t find lightroom folder in cinema 4d? Anyway, nice tutorial πŸ™‚

  • It was really nice, easy and fun video. On top of that! creative! different than other tutorials~ thanks a lot!

  • This has been the main image-generating technique in my work for years. This film was done entirely what SPD:

  • Hi folks, thanks so much for this great tutorial, check out my results:

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