Make Grass in Cinema 4D Using Hair

January 29, 2013

In this tutorial, Chris shows you how to make realistic looking grass using Cinema 4D Hair. Yep, Hair isn’t just for hair. Follow along to see how to make different types of grass and to learn about some of the Hair specific issues to look out for when rendering.


Tutorial Focus:  ,
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  • wow. it is great tut. love you nick .

  • thank you chris..

  • Nice, useful tut!
    Happy Birthday by the way! πŸ™‚

  • thanks guys. Cull tut. rmm!… who’s birthday is it?..

  • happyBday anyway

  • It was Chris’ birthday just yesterday! I heard Nick got him a City Kit as a gift πŸ˜›

  • Another great tutorial. Now, for me, this is a less “pretty unknown” module of Cinema. Thanx Chris.

  • Hey Chris,

    I have used hair for grass a few times but with 2 sets of hair, one for base grass and one for weeds/dead patches etc, i found it useful to do it like this as i could have different dynamic settings for each when using wind or collision etc.
    Also, using real images to grab colours (or colors πŸ˜€ ) is a great idea, i take it the PC version has this?.
    anyway, thanks for another handy tute (and all the others btw)



  • Great tutorial and I maybe could use it for a project I am working on. But 1 question. You could add some wind to it at last the grass react on that right?

  • Thanks Nick

  • Wow…………..its gr8 tutorial…………..nd Happy Birthday Chris…………………………………. πŸ™‚

  • thanks thanks guys

  • Nice tutorial, will have a play. would like some more guidance on how you achieved your final render.

  • How do you use grass with the Physical renderer

    • if i remember well, the hair engine does not render in the physical render. I just read the R13 help file. I even failed to render with GI.

  • I change a little and this is my version;

    Thx for tutorial and keep it up πŸ™‚

  • Thank you Chris…
    I just ask one thing if I’m open that hair shadow reflection refraction render takes to long about 5 min in small plane what is the reason for that?

  • Great tut as always! Thank a lot!

  • Hi Chris. Followed your tutorial and placed my company’s Logo in the grass with the sunset behind. Decided later to advance the image and put some grass on the top of the text as well. Cannot figure out how to apply the copy of the first grass to the selected top polygons of the text. Found out the way to make the whole text covered by the copy of the grass. But I want only the top to be covered with the grass. If I select polygons and apply new hair it works fine but I am not going to recreate this new hair again according to your tutorial, there should be easier way to just copy-paste-reassign of the first grass- right? Any suggestions?

  • Chris (not Schmidt) January 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Great rundown of the hair settings, it really helped with understanding how to use the hair to achieve different results. On a side note, I understand promoting plugins, but maybe not when Cinema 4d’s built-in Physical Sky looks leaps-and-bounds better, in this case anyways (unless you’re going for surreal), with virtually no setup time. Though, I’m not 100% that the Physical Sky comes with all versions of C4D.

  • Great tut Chris! Could you do a tutorial of how to make some of the plants in the Broadcast preset?


  • Thank you! I love your tuts, Chris!

  • an idea for one of your great tutorial !


  • Thanks a lot for your tutorials.

  • Great tut Chris, I learned a lot from it!

    Here’s my outcome:

  • I Need a way to render larger surfaces but wont crank the haircount up to 100million ;(

  • Hi .

    I have a tricky question.

    How to make large area covered with grass. This type of grass form the tut is nice for small area, but when I want to make a grassy hill far to the horizon the hair shader is useless – preparing the scene and calculations lasts forever etc. I tried several optimizations – less hair in greater distance etc. None of the results were satisfying – usually when something finally came up (after long time of calculating etc) it looked crappy.
    Any ideas?


  • Nice tut. Hair was unknow territory until now! Thanks

  • Thanks! Nice tut. For part two… There will be a part two, right… please add some dynamics like wind or objects interacting with the grass, maybe leaving some of the grass pressed down to the dirt?

    Two thumbs up for the tutorial!

  • And here’s my try :
    As always with you guys, amazing tut.

  • Hey what a great tut! I can see some really fun ESPN Promo graphics with this usage!

    Here is my example!

    Thanks again!

  • great ! thanks

  • Thank you Chris it’s very cool and helpful

  • Great tutorial Nick,you are really great man…man’s hand will be tightened πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for the great tuorial,very useful my friend .

  • Great tutorial Chris!

    I would like to make the grass even more realistic with clovers and those little yellow plants…
    In the Netherlands we call these ‘horseflowers’…. I guess it’s called different in english….
    I don’t know the name, but if you look outside and find some grass you’ll find these flowers…

    How can you make an extra layer with random small flowers in the grass?


  • Great tutorial, I was thinking if is it possibile to make this awesome picture with hairs.

  • Just two words…… Awe Some ….. =8-)-<

  • Anyone know how the screen shots are done? Is it just an apple thing or can PC do the same?


    please that if you can make a tutorial of several ways to do or how to create a tree in Cinema 4D and as their options thanks

  • Does hair receive GI or just straight light?

  • This was so useful, thank you so much πŸ™‚

    I’ve now wow’ed my friends over Facebook with my tree on a grass-ridden mound! πŸ˜€


  • Awesome tutorial. Just picked up C4d….moving from blender. Your tutorials are going a LONG way to helping get comfortable with the program.

    Here’s my attempt.

  • Hi, I was wondering, How can I put some football or soccer field lines?

  • Amazing as are the guyz I started learning more & more cinema these days…thank you…God Bless

  • Nice tutorial,thx a lot.You’re the best.

  • Thankyou so much for your help Chris!!!! <3 have a nice day

  • Love the tut. I am making a video for a friend who has a lawn mowing business and would like to know how to reveal his business name by getting a model lawn mower cut the grass to reveal his business name. any suggestions on how to do this.
    ps I’m a C4D novice.

  • Hi,

    Thanks so much for this endless amount of help!

    One thing I find difficult to manage is multicolor hair.
    What if you want to make a furry character or object that has a very specific area in another color.
    An (ugly) example:

    Or let’s say you want the letter ‘B’ on a hairy sphere, in another color but in the same Hair object (no flat projection on top of the one-color-fur).

    I know it’s possible to put an image in the Color or Root, but it doesn’t seem very controllable (like you could control a normal material tag with Tiles, offset,..)

    Should be great if Hair can look at the colors of the ‘bald’ model and just grow hair in those areas in the same color..
    Or something similar that’s easy to adjust (without going into bodypaint/uv mesh… or without using different parts of Hair on each part of the model or selection tag)


  • but i can’t find visualize kit dude ……..were is it is that plug in..

  • This technique is fine for small landscape, but what about extensive scenery where the same hair would have to be equally dense over vast area?

  • Hi, I want to make the same tree like that. Can you share that tutorial ????

  • Thnks for tutorial — it was really helpful to me. Now the grass seems more realistic.

  • Awsome tut! It’s allways inspiring and helpful to watch you working. Thank you a lot!

  • I’m in trouble, use the R17 version and there is a tab Reflection/Refraction/Traced Shadows. How active the shadow in this version of cinema 4d?

    Sry but my english is suck πŸ˜€

  • Hi,

    I have been trying to do an animated logo with grass in the breeze, I am almost happy with what I am doing except one thing, everything I create works well except it always creates partly symmetrical partings on the shape I am using that join in the centre, a bit like a pie chart. I have been playing with this for months now (on and off obviously), and no matter what I try, I can’t seem to avoid the forms showing up. If you take a look at my animation, you will see it started to happen the further you get into it, it is subtle in parts, but sometimes very prominent.

    Any advice greatly appreciated;

  • Hi,
    I am at the part of creating dried grass areas. But the hair is not responding to the noise or distorter. I don’t get any noise it is still a circular gradient.
    What could be happening?


  • I’m having problems when I get to the distorter section. When I add the noise to the distorter, it wont update the thumbnail and apply the noise to distort the black and white. I have followed step by step what you did but I’m not having any luck.

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