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:  ,

  • hey just waiting for the video to load but im gonna thank in advance cuz i’ve been looking al over the web for tutorials regarding this subject, and normal mapping πŸ˜‰ hope you consider making some normal mapping tutorial.

  • LicΓ­nio Sousa May 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Hi! Great tutorial, only one correction… you can use displacement with a parametric sphere… Just “untick” the render perfect option…

  • Nice Tutorial Nick! Might be cool to animate the noise too.

  • Another amazing tut.
    This gives me so many good ideas! XD

  • Andrew Kramer’s fringe secret has been revealed to me. I watched the final episode a few days ago and the quesstion popped up in my head again. I wonder how some people manage to use this a transition between shapes. Any ideas?

    • start with the first “object” (displacement map) at the highest intensity you intend to use, animate the height to 0, at the 0 mark, keyframe the first displacement map being replaced by the second one, animate the height back up again

      1 discplacement > whatever object you have in the center > 2nd displacement

    • Thanks. I think I understand it. Just a little logic and tricking of the eye.

  • Hey Nick.

    Cool video Nick, as always. Check out this related resource as well. Could save a lot of test renders.


  • Best C4D tutorial in a while. SPD is a really powerful feature. Great to see the interplay between Noise and the resulting look. Little details like this are what make your tuts so cool. Thanks and enjoy the long weekend!

  • I haven’t watched the entire tutorial yet but the previews you left look amazing Nick. <3

  • Love the tutorial. Is there a way to cache the displacement?

  • Wow. I can’t wait to try this one!

  • you drink alot of coffee before your tutorials dont you? lol Great vid as always.. πŸ™‚

  • Man, i really enjoy your C4D tuts.. it’s one of the reasons that nowadays i play if it sometimes..

    This one is a great help for making any kind of crazy commercial and personal job..


    (one thing i think it’s funny from the tuts is the time that they are recorded, most of them are on frdays or weekends at a really late hour, working just like most of graphic designers =P)

  • You may wanna check out the c4d help on SPD! they got some cool preview pics all the diffrent noises loaded into the displacement channel! πŸ™‚ any way nice tut as allways! πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for that great thing! Like also playin’ around with that textures! Looking forward to the next!

  • The Mograph Displace deformer is a quick way to view displacement without rendering. And you can use parametric objects with it.
    Nice link Rob, very handy.
    …and great vid as always gorilla.

    • I was just about to post this. I was looking through the help (!!!!) in C4D and the displace deformer blew my mind when I found it. Way quicker to see whats going on.

      Nick those seek black renders are really nice

  • love ya dude!! thanks!

  • hello nick
    i already emailed u this and i didnt get any answer, i thought maybe its better to drop it here,
    Plz check the then go to => Clients => Fox => 05
    thanks for all the tuts and info.
    best regards,


  • I use the noise channels constantly, and i never noticed that little preview box, that one tip made this tutorial invaluable, thanks nick!

  • Great Tutorial cool organic stuff, cinema 4D rocks, Jen

  • Awesome stuff! But how do I link this to the sound effector?

  • hi nice tuto,try to use displace defomer from mograph it more faster,

  • Did som combo stuff with the displacement deformer and mograph. watch the last half of this video.

    πŸ™‚ Cheers

  • Hi Gorilla

    this is the link to my “cool” shit.
    just a try
    you’re a very great teacher, you know !

  • Looks cool, nice job, I’m looking forward to messing with it

  • great tutorial Nick i love it πŸ™‚ great tips man I’ll playing with this technique NOW

  • Alright, here is the first (I’m sure of many) renders.

  • Here’s my little test.

    Pretty cool technique Nick, it’s amazing how much you can do with Cinema in a really simple way.

  • Great Tut! Im a Chilean Design student and your tuts are help me a Lot.. Thanx!!!

  • Great tut! Awesome looking stuff! Did you get a wide angle lens for your camera?? Seems further back.

  • Great tutorial to make high quality abstract shapes! Thanks.

    Here’s my try:

  • William George May 29, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Pure awesomeness!
    A fun question:
    Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could use an audio-track to displace/animate this effect? Is it even possible in C4D?

    • Yep, see the Monkey’s NAB presentation. You might have to link up some parameters in xpresso but definitely do-able just using the audio amplitude to control the displacement channel

  • Awsome website you’ve got dude!
    These tutorials are really helpful.

    Here’s my try

  • hey grilla
    nice tut

  • Thnaks for tutorial dude!

  • Hi,

    I’m happy you’re back to teach us great things and increase our imagination. Something like : ‘for my mind to yours’…
    Anyway, great results with displacement texture onto geometry but I’ve read somthing a year ago about it and it seems it’s greedy for render times !
    A usefull link to have the complete library about all kind of noises into C4D is :
    I wish I could make a PDF file of this usefull reference and share it with everyone’s interested by.
    Im waiting for your next tutorial, Mr. Gorilla !

  • I really dig the way you are sharing your toys with the community.
    Displacement is absolutly awesome for abstract motion design or for organic surfaces. I was looking into it a week ago and came up with my rendition of a bloodstream. SPD really helped me with the blood vessel, to bad I couldnt add it to the cells as the rendertimes would have exploded for me.

    I’m looking foward to your next discovery.
    greetings from germany.

  • Thank you, Nick!

    @Rob: thank you for sharing the link to the great cybergooch preview collection. Added to my favorites.

    I got inspired to do a little choclate ball using sub-poly displacement:

  • Nick’s finally released a tutorial on how he styles his hair, Nothing like sub polygon displacement.

    Nick your lucky you covered my 2 week old email in your live cast or i’d be sending death threats xD, Nah im playing thanks and imma make some stuff with parts of this tutorial noww ty.

  • I wonder if you could use this to fake grass? (time to experiment)..

  • Yup.. grass works..

    Obviously its a taxing process (5min render time per frame) and it only works if you zoom out…still nice..

  • This is good,anyone know how to switch shapes in animation?? like Kristian Boserup

  • This is a great thread on CGSociety about creating a complex scene with sub poly displacement. Pretty crazy texture and useful to study.

    You can animate the noise as well to get some cool undulating blobs happening too, and even morph between two textures using the Texture Track. Awesome!!! πŸ™‚

  • Hey Nick!

    Check out this video I made using the same method a couple months ago, I made an audio-reactive disp-map in aftereffects with sound-keys.

  • Thanks Nick. Played with displacements a while ago to make mountains. Always fun to play around with. Tweaking settings. Have uploaded a few test renders.

  • Here’s a good noise reference site to help.

  • Very Cool Nick. Thanks again for all you do. Somebody mentioned wishing they had a pdf of the textures on Now that I can do. What’s the best way to get it to those who would like it? Also, is it ethical to make pdf’s of one’s site? just wondering.

  • I would kinda like to hijack this post to just express one thing: Nick, I’ve gone to school for this shit, but you’re a better teacher than I ever had. I am going to force all my friends to wear shirts that read: “I love the gorilla”, and if any of them ask why, I’ll just give them a stern look… Thank you, I’d almost given up on it all, but you reminded me it’s important to have fun in what you do.
    Forgive the sappiness (is that a word?), M.

    • *to wear a shirt*, single, not plural… where’s the edit button?

    • Thanks for that, MdW! It’s so great to hear that people are learning and enjoying the videos. It’s why I do it. Can’t wait to see the Tshirts. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for taking the time to reply. The fanboyish tone may or may not have been caused by me being not entirely sober when I posted *blush*

      But yeah the thing is, it’s not the actual content, that information can be found all over the web. It’s the manner in which you bring it; There’s a spark of enthusiasm in it which, to me at least, is very contageous. It makes me want to sit down myself, and toy with the software, and it’s a world of diff compared to the teachers I was used to, who would mostly just bombard you with the dry info without ever really seeming to enjoy it themselves.
      But to make a long story short; keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration.


    • +1 Agreed.

      Cinema4D is a great product but i feel its community is fragmented way too much to the point where i am tired of stumbling into piracy sites in the search for tutorials (i had no idea piracy was so ramped in 3d software space). Nick’s blog is a welcome piece of digital fresh air that helps guys like me navigate the C4D + AE waters.

      This blog is the definition of street evangelism working.

  • WOW its amazing how little tricks can cause such big results, thanks nick, my inspired piece:

  • I’m a 3ds max guy myself but I still watch all the c4d tutorials. I love the 2nd render you posted

  • Here’s a question:

    I’ve played with the displacement maps a little before, but never got that deep into it, and I’m wondering if it’s possible to bake the displacement onto the actual polygons, so that I could ditch the material?
    I mean it’d be great to use displacement to create some shapes and zBrush to add the nifty little details just like I want them.
    So am I just overlooking something very simple or am I always tied to having the material on the physical object (well, as physical as a 3D object can be)?

    Thanks for your time, people.

  • Hey Nick, thanks so much for this amazing tut. I’m learning a lot by you. Just a thing i need to say about your tuts please don’t see that as a bad critic: When you explain many people are very focused about your mouse movements and about your words (sometime it’s not easy the “lesson” subject) and you move and click the mouse many and many times in input text box or move the popup windows and so on… that make me headache πŸ˜› and make me stress.
    I again say you THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!! Just i wanted to say that as advise to get a perfect tutorial not for other reasons. πŸ™‚

  • Alexander Engzell May 30, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Hey Nick!

    First of all, thanks for providing the best blog in the universe.

    Please have a look at my interpretation of your tutorial.

    Comments/Feedback would be much appreciated:


  • here’s my approach. great tutorial nick!

  • Nick, How does one go about transforming their displacement into another object? For instance, I want to start with a sphere, use displacement and make it do “cool shit” and then end with it as a cube. I’m new at all this.

    Second, does it make more sense to add depth of field in cinema, or do it in after effects?

  • hi!
    i started watching your tutorials today and i`m hooked but i have a request( like the annoying people bothering dj`s from doin` their thing)…can you make a tutorial for architectural rendering? i mean a real house and building materials? i`m using CSTools now and it`s made quite the difference but i`d love to see your idea on this.

    p.s. i promise i`ll buy your kit as soon as i can afford it:P

    great work!

    • Thanks for watching, Alexandra. I have never done any architectural rendering actually. If I learn anything about though, I will for sure do a tutorial. Cheers!

  • I’m not getting the Sub-Polygon Displacement option? Nice tut Nick! Please help.

  • hello gsg!

    this is an awsome tutorial und very inspireing! i try it out and modify it a bit with the soundeffector:

    i hope u like it.
    thanks for all the tutorials and inspiration. iΒ΄ve learned a lot. pls go on.


  • hi Nick, thanks for tut! This is my video: πŸ˜€ Simple rotation πŸ™‚

  • SPD is great for ocean scenes as well.

    Don’t forget you can ‘layer’ the noises so therefore adding even more effects instead of just one noise.

    When in the ‘noise shader’ attribute just nudge the movement up a little and the speed to about 1-2% and if using the correct noise (wavy turbulence seems good for this) and you can get a ‘rolling wave’ effect if applied to a plane.

  • good stuff Nick I also covered this a few weeks ago

  • Do you know you can live as a parametric primitive whit the Displace Deformer of mograph.
    You don’t have to make it editable and you can see the deformation when you modeling in the viewport !

  • Hi Nick,

    I just want to take the time to say you are so awesome!

    To do all these tutorials so that newbs like me can learn about AE and C4D and about the biz…and I am learning…soooo much.

    I want to get into the biz but am learning the progs right now.
    When I make the jump – sometime soon – I will definitely pick-up the Light kit – looks so cool!

    So please keep up the excellent work! We really need you out there!


  • Thanx for this lesson Nick !
    here is my try :

    (Made with a TV greyscale picture !)

  • Hey, got inspired and made something in XSI no not C4D i know πŸ˜‰

  • Another great lesson, Mr. Gorilla!

    Here is my attempt

  • Great tutorial man…

    You can also animate the displacement organically using the “animation speed” option..

    If you right click the texture you can turn on “animate” for the preview window too, this will show you how the texture will animate st8 in the material window πŸ˜€

    Hope that helps/inspire anyone

  • nice tutorial – as always!

    hereΒ΄s my render:

    this is easily the most time consuming frame i ever did – several hours on a 8 core macpro…

  • awsome tutorial man… πŸ˜‰
    here is my try…

  • this is what i did a year ago: a visualization of the largest cities in history. i prefered to use the displacement map option of mograph because it has a preview while editing. you can also combine it with a standard displacement material. i’m not sure but i think subpoly does not work in this case so you have to increase the segments of your primitive.

  • This is a quick example of what i meant regards animating the SPD by just upping the animation speed and movement.

    Thats just by selecting wavy turbulence and upping the global scale.

    Its only a quick example and took all of 10 minutes to set up and render.

    For a better look i would have upped the AA plus layered a couple more noises to give smaller details.

  • Hi.
    its all the same mesh! The modling and displacemant map comes from Mudbox. I had to use the lowpoly mesh for rigging und anim. Its WIP ofcause but the SPD works fine just like Bodypaint(ing) the Lowpoly mesh!!
    I just wonna show nother way of usage SPD ;]

    GSG rulz

  • I’ve always wondered how this was done…

    A “fleshier” version of what you’ve done.

    • Not really sure (ofcourse :P)
      but i think he did some picture sequences, for displacement, color and reflection…

      then applied them on the sphere… to be animated over time by those passes/sequences…

  • Hey Nick, i just wonder if you know how to do a
    natural camera movement in c4d, i have seen
    animations that have got a camera wiggle like
    its real but i cant achieve it… could you
    share some tips?, i tried moving the camera with c4d frame by frame and adding wiggle expresion in AE but i cant get a really natural looking.


    • Most of the time you will find it has been shot for real with a camera, tracked with something like PFTrack/Hoe, Syntheyes or Boujou and brought into cinema as camera data. This is most realistic way to achive a handheld camera move. Try playing with the CSTools though as some of the camera tools in there have some randomness in them.

    • I would give CSTools a try first. Or, you can shoot real footage with a real camera and track it. Then use the tracking data on your scene.

    • Thats what i thougt, ill try some tracking then, the problem is that my camera got some shutter problem issues (HV30), but ill give it a try.

      Thanks for the tips!

  • damn nice nick – way to go… πŸ˜‰

  • Your like the “Andrew Kramer” for Cinema 4D! In other words: Your Awsome!. Dude I like your work, i like your tutorials , your site, everything. GREYSCALEGORILLA ROCKS!


  • Hey… just a quick question. Do you render your stuff outside of C4D or with the built in renderer? – Sorry if this has already been answered, I’m still trying to play catch up as I just found out about this site. Great stuff Nick! Thanks for all of your hard work.


  • Nice job man.
    Here are some test renders I came up with:

  • Hello

    First thing I ever made in cinema 4d, figured out how to animate elsewere but I must say your tutorials are awesome Nick, easy to follow and you have a great voice.

    Here’s my go:


  • i also was amazed by “tales of the unexpected”
    thank you nick for showing the way
    my short test
    using footage on the textures

  • Nice tut nick=)
    My short

    greetings from ger

  • Thanks awesome!

  • I experimented with this a little bit. Tons of fun.

  • David Hessel-Pioriez June 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Hey Nick, love the tut and thanks for what you do…..I just started learning C4D and you have been a HUGE help…….here is my try.

    Let me know what you think.

  • awesome learning explosion in my brain once again…
    thx gsg

    here’s my gooey mess:

  • You are the Bomba Nick !!

    Your tut inspired me to do my animation using music to animate the displacement.

    Here is the testClip

  • downloaded the Cinema demo to try this because it looks so rad. Love the site. Here’s my first C4D Render. Think I’ll try animating the displacement next.

  • Thx Nick for tut.
    Took some inspiration just to play around with a simple scene…
    U’re my preferred C4D teacher!!

  • here’s my little test, this displacement thing is great to produce some cool explosions of fluids!

  • heres an working example of how to map the displacement to the sound

  • Hy! ^^
    Cool stuff you’re showing here everytime.
    I did a short sequence wich shows a “breathing” letters and sweep nurbs object, hope you like it.

  • Quite cool Nick!

    Did some testings, also it inspired me to use it for some printwork maybe in the future.

    Anyway here’s my test with it:

  • Thank you very much for this tutorial, very inspiring. So inspiring that it actually made me try out cinema 4d for the first time, and I think I’m going to make a lot more stuff with it in the future, thanks to you πŸ™‚
    Here’s my try by the way:

  • Thank you very much
    Yours tuts are the best!!!

    this is my try:

  • maaaan i love your tutorial….i am like your biggest fan ever

  • Here is my test render.Will publish the real thing when its done.

  • Here’s something I made with your help:

    Thank you for the amazing tutorials!!

  • Hey this is an awesome video tutorial..I didn’t you could achieve all that with displacement…I was wondering mike, could you help with making a displacemnt for a furry carpet in an interior render..I see all those interior renders with awesome furry carpets..

    Please help me..Im massive fan of your site..I bought your Studio kit. Much love..

    Regards Roma

  • Have you seen that before ? It’s just great :

  • Loving the tutorial especially the way you’re telling it. πŸ™‚

    My tries:

    Luminance And Displacement combined with Proximal

    Consistent Dent Using Proximal And Tracer

    Proximity creates bulge & Luminance in geometry

  • Hi!
    Thanks a lot for the great tutorial.. love them all! very helpfull..
    here’s my try with this one, ended up using it for a college project πŸ™‚
    hope you like it..

  • hahaha man the things you say crack me up

    “lookit dat, dude, that’s dope.”

  • Hey Nick!

    Thanks for the ‘aha’ moment. After playing around with what you taught, I remembered a really cool animation that Universal Everything created a few years ago. Check it out!

    I think it’s a displacement based project and for the longest time, couldn’t figured out how they did it. Thanks for the inadvertent problem solving.



  • Hi Nick! Great tutorial, but I have a question, what are your render settings at… I have a fantastic macbook pro 17″ that i bought very recently, but when i do simple textural experiments like this one, I can’t preview without having to wait 10 minutes for the darn thing to render!

  • Hi, your tuts are really awesome. How can we give an animated texture map for displacement instead of any Image to animate the shape of the object displacing.

  • but can you keyframe it so it looks like a normal sphere transforms into this?

  • thnx for that, nick!

    check out what stuff i made based on this tut..

    cheers πŸ˜€

  • Hey,
    I was wondering if anybody has a good tip for rendering? I am using the amazing LIGHT KIT PRO objects i.e. softbox and HDRSky, but whenever I see the final rendering, the reflections on the sphere (with displacement) are a bit jagged/edgy.

    Any ideas? I’d really appreciate any given hand!

    • Sounds like you need to turn up your antialiasing settings.

    • Hey Nick,
      and when I enable antialiasing in my render settings, does this also affect my ‘live’ viewport scene?

      I would love to see the antialiasing changes without the need to render/output a file.
      I assume it does affect the viewport, as I am currently rendering something with antialiasing on best, 1% 1-16 and it’s taking a while.

  • Really nice tut, thanks.

  • Here’s also what I did with the knowledge, not much tho but there you go.

  • thank you

  • I missed this tutorial, although I’m really glad I found it now! πŸ™‚ Some time ago, I was wondering why the heck the bumpmap of my stone wall wasn’t working. Now I now that I did it wrong. I’m pumped after seeing this and I’m going to try the displacement feature right now! A huge thanks and greetings from the Netherlands! πŸ˜€

  • Hi,
    I was wondering if it is possible to turn the object with displacement map to polygonal object with all the displacements on it?Instead of a texture. Is it possible to do it without doing all that abstract style modelling?

  • hi,
    i do this with displacement map.
    the map is a video (liquid synchronise on speaker)
    i explain a the end of the video how i do this.

  • I love love love the fact that as you get more exposure you keep getting nicer shit. TV, mic, setup. Where’s the crunk Chalice that says GSG on it? Anyway I also love the content. your success (and not the material kind that pervades the background) is well deserved.


  • I must say, very well explained and excellent outcome. They look stunning! I’m gonna run along now and read every other blog entry.

  • Hey Nick,
    I’m using cinema 4d R12 but I think Sub Polygon Displacement could you check it and correct me if I’m wrong. thanks.


  • Nice and interesting tutorial, Nick! I really liked the volcanic rock-look on your 2nd render up there πŸ™‚ Keep it up, Gorilla, please do πŸ™‚

    Thanks again, Nick!

  • Hey GSG –

    Your site and tuts are fantastic,
    definitely an inspiration.

    I’m fairly new to c4d – and’ve been using a luminescence plane as a light source. Is there a way to have it’s light shown in the render but not the plane itself? THANKS

  • Fantastic Tut Nick! Here’s what we came up with:

    Thanks again for passing on this knowledge, you rock bro!!!

  • Another Great Tutorial.Amazing.
    But Whoa! You get stuff rendered so quick! It took ages to come up in my case! What Graphics Card do you use man?! πŸ™‚

  • This is a little off topic, but im looking to mimic the lighting and texturing that was done in the new start trek title sequence. any suggestions

  • thanks man
    this is my first example.
    Next time i will try to change noise with sound.
    Do you have any advises?

  • After a little more research, I guess what I am looking to do is to make a logo animation similar to legendary films. I have some shapes i want to have some deep scratches in, and bump mapping doesnt cut it. this displacement process is close. any suggestions?

  • je t’aime beaucoup!!

  • ace ace ace tutorial im very very new at 4d and i was wondering, how would i go about animating the texture from a standard sphere to the displacement texture, any help from anyone or any links would be massively appreciated thanks

  • hello
    first much respect for this tutorial

    I have a question.
    where i can found the oversoftbox & the HRR tools for light effect. i browse the web but don’t found.


  • dude thank you so much, feel like an idiot because the answer was so simple, legend thanks alot

  • hey, nice stuff… did some similar things in maya:

    rock on

  • I’m trying to achieve this effect using the Typography but with no result. Any chance for help ??

  • Heres my try at it (: Tell me what you think.

  • Hey guys, pretty new to Cinema 4D.
    Is there a way to animate this displacment to randomly morph and displacement? Kinda like a wiggle expression in AE?

  • Hi Nick

    You bring the coolness into any Cinema 4D tutorial. I saw some sub poly displacement tut on 3d world but it was so boring so I did not learn anything.
    Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  • Hey Guys!
    I am new to the Cinema 4D and I am lovig it so far. I have a cquestion about this project. I have been playing around with the keyframes on the height and strenght of the noise, but i dont get that look thats its “moving” Something similar to the fractal noise in AE that evolves durign time. Does anybody have any advice in what could help me out? hanks in advance!


  • sweeeeeeeeeet. too bad when its strong it takes the render time to hell and back… but awesome effect I’m sure I’ll find a use for!

  • This tutorial is legend.. wait for it… DARY!

    But I came across this problem. My sub polygon displacement is not showing, it’s nothing there! It’s enabled in render settings and I’am totally stuck!

    Got any tips?

    Kind regards joe!

    • hey , joe…im having the same problem.going crazy for two days trying to figured it out!!did you find any solution …im using C4D broadcast…
      thanks a lot in advance…

    • Dear eMTea.

      My problem was missing modules! “Installed” advanced render and bam, got it working!

  • Not sure if I’ll get a reply here, but I’ll try nonetheless:

    My sub-polygon render looks fine when i render on screen at 72 dpi, but when i try the exact same render, but render it to 300 dpi and like 30x30cm, it looks completely different?

    Can anyone tell me what I need to do in order to make the render look the same in a large (300dpi) format?

  • Hi, I love it… but why when I merge a fbx camera from Maya my sphere is deformed by the shader!?

  • For everyone wondering why they do not see the Sub Polygon Displacement in the Displacement Material Option in R12 is because you probably don’t have the right version of C4D R12. Check your version and compare the features here:

  • Just another great tut. Cheers man!

    Please watch this and tell me what you think.

    It was made based on this tutorial.

  • i got a question this is a noob question ha umm i have like 2 separate rectangles that are Grey around my perspective box so basically when i render i have to render the view within those boxes because if i go out it cuts of the image is there a way to make the thing full screen and take those boxes away?

  • Hey bro .. thanks alot for this tut . ur GREAT !
    here is a sample i made

  • What do you do when the polygons are not the same size?. I just can’t figure out how to displace when the polygons aren’t all similar in size.

  • Huge thanks Nick, it is awesome and easy tutorial.
    Cinema 4D is infinite!

    Here is what I got –

  • Nick you have been a great inspiration to me and it is cuz of ur tutorials and presentations that i have developed the love for c4d.
    Teaching style of yours is very well done.
    i love this tutorial but i have a problem, im not able to locate the sub-polygon displacement in the displacement tab. there is nothing as such there, im using c4d r12, but yet have problems finding it, can you please help me resolving this problem.

  • Hi mate,

    Really good stuff!!! a quick question, is there a way to animate between the noise patterns? for example your 3 renders are using three different noise patterns, can u animate one into another.

    Thanks dude your my number one learning device!

  • hi nick.

    i made a scene with spheres which include attractor in the the middle there is the biggest sphere which has the displacement channel.everything works except displacement dynamic things with shader layer.please if you know how to do this combination, let me know.

    btw i can see displacement material in my render but can’t see in editor..i just need to know how it works with dynamic (rigid body).

    tnx anyway.

    this is my biggest sphere..

    -shader (displacement added material)
    -cloner object (rigid body + vibrate + mograph cache + mograph selection)
    -sphere (motion blur tag)
    -camera target

  • Here is my go, animated and with some Trapcode Particular.
    All put together in AE.

  • Hi guys, wanna see the ones I made?

    Check’em out!
    (there you can also see what the various types of noise look like!)

  • Sick tut man thanks I used this for and intro, and LOL at 11:43 I had a good laugh πŸ˜›

  • Hi Gorilla, very good tutorials, but men, i m very new on this and I learned very much because of your initiative. We see you in Chile to!! jaja. I have a problem with this tutorial, because i can t see the sub polygon displacement. Why is that!?

  • This is great and totally worked with my version 11.5 upgraded to 12 and the sub polygon menu in the displacement menu is not there. i only get the first half so what should i do???

  • Hi!
    How would you net render a animation done with the Displacer modifier. I have tried “point cache” but still it seems to render only the first frame for the whole animation. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • I think this tip could be useful for creating a transformer

  • How do you animate polygon displacement in Cinema 4D? I’m new to this software and i really wanna learn how! I really like your works , Nick!

  • Hi, nice video!

    Here is my animation of it πŸ™‚

  • Hi,
    I’m currently using cinema R13 and I can’t find the sub-polygon displacement tab. It’s not under the displacement tab in the material editor. Any idea on this issue?

  • Nice thing, but one remark. You will not need to convert the sphere into polygons, if you uncheck ‘Render Perfect’ property of Sphere in Attribute Manager. So you’ll get additional parameter to play with displacement on the run — number of segments.
    Also, you can just drag and drop texture from bump channel to displacement, you click over noise texture, drag to Displacement lable in Material Editor, wait a little, then put the texture into Texture field (bar).

  • Hello Nick ,

    Thanks for this tutorial !

    But i ‘m a beginer and i have a little question , how make a animated texture ?
    In my timeline i can not place a keyframe on the texture layer



  • How do you then animate this in After Effects? (total newbie)

    Thank you.

  • Inspired by and created using this tutorial.

  • Just downloaded Cinema4D, your tutorials are of great help, thank you so much!

  • Hi, I’ve got a problem πŸ™ I don’t have the sub poly displacement option. Have a look: Do you know why and how to fix this? Thanks.

  • Hi guys,
    Great tutorial as always Nick! Just one thing: Have been trying to make the process react to music, and was wondering if anyone would have a good tutorial concerning this? The one mentioned here in 210 on Cow Creative features a broken link now.


  • “Fast die” poen animathion (hungarian language)…../…… first try +little time+ many problems πŸ˜€

    thx gsg!

  • Hey guys,

    Any ideas how to make it with white texture, because when i’m trying to change it to white in color tab it doesn’t really works.


  • i cant see the sub polygon menu in displacement. Why? can anyone help?

  • Gorilla you’re awesome.
    That’s the displacement I did for an animation course at the accademy of fine arts.
    thanks a lot man

  • if u dont have SSD u can use hyper nurbs to works the same pretty much πŸ™‚ correct me if im wrong nick

  • Hey Nick, I use C4D for my work doing presentations and so on, not very fancy stuff as of yet but they are now wanting the higher end looking stuff so I’m working to it. This a grand tutorial, there was one thing I noticed tho, you had said that the Primitive had to be made into an “editable” but I actually discovered that’s not true. Forgive me if I’m wrong but if you just turn off the “render perfect” in the attributes of the sphere it will work and displace while allowing the primitive to remain in its primary state.
    Just figured I would share that.

    Cheers again

  • Love this tutorial

    I just Try

  • 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:

  • Hi!

    Does anyone now is it possible to add blur on top of noise, and then use it as displacement? i want to smooth harsh edges in cell voronoi noise.

  • Hey, Nick great tutorial but I am stuck on getting the right texture in the material. I am currently using studio R19 so can you guide me to how to make the material process. Mine is simply black and even after using reflectance it doesn’t make much of a difference.

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