How To Use The Proximal Shader in Cinema 4D

January 10, 2012

In this video, Chris Schmidt shows you how to setup and use the Proximal Shader to set up different special effects and texture tricks. There are some really fun examples in this one.

Tutorial Focus:  
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  • I’ve not even watched this one, but am so excited to see it here. Love all your tuts so far Chris, you have a knack for explaining things so I ‘just get it’

  • This tutorial give me some very cool ideas… :}
    I’ll try some of them maybe tonight 🙂

  • Awesome tut, Chris, as usual. Thanks man!

  • Thats very cool! Now I’m able to make someone pee his name in the snow 🙂

  • Chris!!! That is amazing. Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoy these technique based tutorials. I had no idea that shader was so useful. Pretty much endless possibilities when you combine that with all of Cinemas other tools.

  • Thank you, Proximal was this kind of feature that I didn’t explore and forgot about it. Now, the potentials are very clear and will definitely use in my next project.

  • I’m sorry, but last animation looks like pissing into snow 😀
    BTW nice tut Chris, thanks 😉

  • nick, whatever you’re paying chris, you should double it!

  • hey chris your tutorials are allways great but please can u put a 5 second preview video above the main tutorial video like gsg? thanks alot man

  • Wow!!, didn’t even know anything about Proximal shader

    Bloody excellent 🙂

  • U killed it !! Awesome technique Chris ..i think the c4d becomes more powerful the more we explore it :)) Cheers

  • Chris, you’re a beast. I’ve been wanting to know how to pull this effect off ever since I got ahold of C4D. I look forward to these tuts every Tuesday. Awfully generous of you!

  • I had a play with one of the last things you did in this tutorial and it is sooo much fun.

    I took the plane and added a metal texture to it and added an omni light to the scene too with soft shadows on and then rendered it and it looks like some sort of invisible creature is bashing the metal plate and causing all these dents, pretty cool.

  • This is the Tutorial !!!
    You are great Chris,I want to watch and learn some technics with like this tutorial,
    Very very useful and interesting tutorial 😉
    Thanks for share Chris 🙂

  • Proximal is approximately the coolest thing I’ve seen this week. Thanks, Chris!

  • Hi,
    thanks for that nice use of promixa shader.

    I’ve a question: How to use Correction with Motext object ? I tried the “wire” effect on some objects but it didn’t work with Motext : It only take one face of the last letter, not all the shape.

  • Hey Chris, I tried out the emitter/plane/displacer technique but I am having trouble getting the friction effector to keep the deformations on the plane. I am also using R13. Is there anything special required to have the friction effector work?

    • I had this too.
      Make sure the particles are not too fast. Otherwise they pass trough. Also set the falloff to 0 and/or make the thickness of the friction area (the scale) bigger.
      Hope this helps.

  • As usual great stuff Chris. I would love to see a tutorial on Multi Shader and the Mosaic Effect I have seen on the C4D site. Keep up the good work.

  • thanx for the superb tutorial 🙂

  • great, great tips! awesome!

  • Really awesome tutorial! Thanks a lot, Chris, for showing what can be achieved with the proximal shader.

  • Oh yes…this is GOLD.

  • I’ve never wanted to give a tutorial a standing ovation before.
    Thank sooo much, I feel like I don’t need to learn anything else about C4D now, this has given me enough ideas to last a lifetime 🙂

  • Thanx Chris, really nice tutorial. So many new possiblities with proximal… 🙂

  • Very nice this Chris! Brill tutorial, i didn’t realize the Proximal shader was so powerful. I can think of bags of use for this! Hope to see more tutorial on shaders.

  • Sick.
    Thank you.

  • Chris, you are a genius!
    I look forward to your Tuesday tutorials with great anticipation.
    Thank you for sharing this gem.

  • Cooleos, so want to try this now. Will defiantly have to come back to this tutorial when I have more time.
    Chris is just the coolest cat.

  • Great tutorial mate! I’m looking forward to experiment with this, I had like 3 different ideas for projects while watching this. Loved the metaball part, who would know you could use two materials and even blend them using metaballs… ink drop, anyone?
    I would love to learn more about other shaders like this I’ve never even touched cause I’ve got no idea what they do and apparently they do nothing when I fool around with them.

  • Thank you so much Chris for this tutorial 🙂
    Really loved the metaball part… here’s a short attempt :

  • Hi. This was an a awesome tut. All I wanted to do is to show you guys this music video it was done in Cinema4D all of it, it is not my video. I would beg everyone to see it.

  • That is like so cool.

  • Brilliant. You just blew my mind.

  • This is Awesome! How about more tutorials on the different shaders? Especially the lesser known, rarely used ones.

  • Superb tutorial!

    – Finally I know how to make a “piss in the snow” animation with C4D haha 🙂

  • Thanks a lot for your tutorial, great as ever! I like the way you combine such technics, i would never thought of that! 🙂
    and btw: my first thing in mind was also “peeing in snow” and i knew, that many others would have written that!

    greetings from germany and keep it comin’ … you 2 do a great job, i appreciate it!

  • Awesome tutorial so much information into a short space of time!
    Even though these tutorials are some of the best out there and are very informative I would like to see some of these techniques used in projects that you have actually worked on. Whenever you have had a client request to produce something that you didn’t really have a clear idea on how you would do it. I think this would be the icing on the cake if you could bring out tutorials that showed your excellent work in real life scenarios. Hope thats not taken as a negative but it would be very interesting to see how you guys tackle motion graphics in the real world.
    Thanks for the tuts they are awesome!

  • One of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen… Actually I love Mr. Smith tutorials… I have been following him for quite long so far… What about making a nice “rain falling into a puddle” effect with this technic uh? Great stuff… thanks a lot!

  • Would there be a way to simulate a liquid with all these techniques?


  • 1st Class tutorial Chris.. massive thanks, please keep them coming 😉

  • Finally got around to watching this! Great tut Chris.
    Had a play and added some mograph…

    Thanks man.

  • Wow finally some 1 explains how that displace deformer works couldnt figure it out my self so THANK YOU MY LORD

  • Hey guys awesome tutorial. This proximal thing got me thinking about something and I can’t figure it out. Perhaps someone can make a tut about it cause there doesn’t seem to be one. I’m trying to figure out how to change polygon colors on an object with some sort of proximal effect, but in a way that individual polygons would change colour. Right now when I place a proximal shader on a color channel it pretty much colors everything very gradually and I would like to figure out a way to only have polygons sort of turn on and off as a falloff goes through it…the closes thing I could find was the polygon flicker file using poly fx a plain effector and a vibrate tag, but theres no real control over how the colors affect each polygon. I hope I sort of made sense and hope to hear some input from you guys!

  • hey chris! i LOVED the trick with the edge shading! i would have needed that 2 months ago… i am trying to use that inside of a cloner now for some visuals but seems like it does not work in cloners. any suggestions?? thanks!!

  • Really cool, love these tinkering tutorials.. great stuff! Thank you for sharing!

  • Hey Chris – I dig this tut, I’ve been using it, but one thing I can’t figure out:
    I want to use the proximal effect with a displacer deformer just like you did with the large sphere and the small cube, but I want to use an object moving along a spline to cause the proximal effect. Try it, it doesn’t work as expected. So if you grow a swept vine, say, and you want it to make a dimple on a tomato once it gets near the tomato, how would you do it? Thanks for the great tuts! I watch them all the time.

  • In using this effect to deform an object (object 1) during collision with another object (object 2), how would you go about doing it of ‘object 2’ were a cloner? Basically how do you make the proximal react to the individual elements of the cloner rather than the entire container?

  • Thank you Chris for this tutorial. Very interesting and opening many possibilities. Here is where it finally leaded me:

  • This not work in R14 as far as outlining the edges? Pretty simple concept, hard to imagine I botched it.

  • Hello Chris
    Great tutorial and learning material into using proximal, thanks Ken

  • a lot of comments already here, but still wanted to thank you for THE best tutorials in terms of speed of talking, amount of information and of course topics come in handy, too.

  • This is lovely. Thanks!

    So, even though this tut is pretty old, I’m wondering if someone might know if it’s possible to use the volume of an object to drive the proximal shader, as opposed to the vertices and edges. The animation Chris rendered out around 13:00 is cool, but can you use this method to fill in that animated outline?

    Thanks again!

  • I’m creating a scene of liquid blobs using Cloner, Emitter and Metaball and it looks great without metaball, every single sphere has its own color but once I put the cloner under metaball, all textures are just disappeared.

    To solve this problem I checked this tutorial, I saw many guys suggested this. And I tried everything I could but for some reasons I didn’t solve it. This is a sort of urgent to me. Please somebody help me.

    The scene file is below,

    • Hey NAK,

      put the emitter in the metaball, make the sphere a child of the emitter. Delete the cloner. Add a material on to the metaball, go in the material to the color tab and add a layer channel. Then add the proximal shader as one layer. Put the emitter in the object field and adjust your end radius. Go to the layer channel and add a colorizer above the proximal shader, then add some color variation to it. Hope that helps.

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