Model A Microphone With A Wire Mesh Texture in Cinema 4D

May 30, 2014

In this tutorial Chris will start by modeling realistic wire meshes using sweep nurbs and cloners. Then he will show you how to render the mesh in such a way as to bring it back in as a bump map for use in other projects. Next, Chris will show you how to mold our wire mesh to a useful shape. Finally we will use that mesh in a full model of a 3D microphone.

Watch The Tutorial

In part 2 of this tutorial, Nick will show you how to light, texture and render this scene for final output.

Watch Part 2

Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,

  • This tutorial was TITS!!! Thanks a lot Chris 🙂

  • Tommy Hutcherson May 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Looks like a pretty heavy and high poly model though :/… Is it I wonder?

    • Heck yeah it is. But it’s for close ups! In the tutorial I talk about turning the mesh into a texture instead, if you are say… seeing it across the room. Got you covered man.

  • great ! but tough one for me 😉 gotta see it again

  • Hi Chris will,

    I’m Faheem. I’m New user of Cinema 4d. I cannot understand how to install C4D Tags?.

  • Great tutorial as always, thanks Chris!

  • Yeah that’s cool!

    But where is Nick? Where is motion graphics tutorials, animation, real gorilla things?

  • Amazing. Always amazed at what you can throw at this software and how deep your knowledge of it is – thanks Chris – opens up a lot of ideas.

  • Hey Christ awesome tutorial. Could this technique be used to create a Stent? Not really sure how to apply it to this structure but I guess it could? See the link below for image:

  • Thanks Chris… i was trying this and it came out to be a wire fence at the end … not what i wanted.. but cool too .. 🙂 just have the helix not completly flat…and u can weave a fence with overlappings

  • Very cool! Inspired me to create an Xpresso Mesh Maker. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

    • Nice. Works perfectly. I was wondering if somebody would make that. It was just begging to be an XPresso rig. Do you have a twitter handle? I’d like to tweet that out.

      • Thanks! Here’s an updated version:

        My Twitter is @mattdog100

        • Great rig!

        • Matt, seemingly I had a the same idea, but I was just a bit too slow…
          Certainly didn’t want to steal your idea nor your credits.
          As I took a bit different approach by using the formula spline instead of the degenerated helix, I still wanted to post it here anyway.
          At first I took Chris’ approach using the connect objects. Then when I was done, I saw your different order of objects, making the connect objects redundant, offering the option of renderinstances and having the beauty of simplicity. So I reworked mine in your way. Hope you don’t mind.
          So here’s my version of a mesh generator:
          Have fun with it.
          Any suggestions will be happily integrated.

          • Your rig doesn’t seem to work. Maybe you linked the wrong file?

          • Hi Matt,
            I just downloaded the file and tried it. Here it’s working fine.
            I’m sorry, this is not working for and would like to solve the problem.
            So you can load the scene file, I guess?
            When the scene file is opened, a mesh should be visible.
            The objects are present in the object manager and you can see the User Data section, when selecting the Mesh-Null?
            Perhaps there’s a localization problem? I might have referenced something by name, which is called differently in your language version (not sure, if this can be an actual problem). I build this here on a German C4D R15 Studio version. I just tried to switch to English, seems to make no difference. A Win-Mac problem?
            Could it be some Xpresso-node or and object (formula spline), only present in the Studio version? But then you should get a message, when loading the scene…
            I’ll try the archive at work to see it running on a different machine.
            Has anybody else problems with this?

          • I had a go with an old C4D R12 32-Bit on Windows XP and except for the wire rotation feature it works as expected.
            Makes me a bit sad, that it is not working for you. Unfortunately I have no Mac to test this…

          • Andy, It looks to me like the drivers got disconnected from the rig. I see everything, the mesh, the controls, and the Xpresso but the controls don’t seem to have any effect. See a screenshot here:

            Your Xpresso skills look very impressive so I’d like to see your version. I’m happy you found my rig useful. Feel free to use or adapt any part of it you want. I was working on some more changes to mine. Follow me on Twitter (@mattdog100), I’ll post an update there.

          • Matt,
            it’s way worse. You are right, the drivers seems to have gone awol. But also most of the user data parameters have been lost. You should have groups with parameters for configuring different shapes. A group for setting caps. Another miscellaneous group, which, amongst others, should contain the “Renderinstances” option, I copied from your rig.
            And looking closer, it’s getting stranger and stranger:
            The user data I see on your screenshot is the user data from a very early development state, whereas the Xpresso looks pretty much up to date… how is this possible?!?!? And why am I not able to reproduce this behaviour?

            Although I’d be interested, how this file and rig behaves for others?

            Perhaps we should shorten this here, probably not very interesting for anybody else. Can we get in contact via mail? On the lower left of my site you can write me an email… unfortunately I’m rather old fashioned… no twitter… less than twitter, no facebook… then I would send you some test files.

          • Matt,
            I think I found the solution… my mistake! Of course.
            Accidentally I must have added a set of user data to the Xpresso tag. This is… lets call it deprecated… my fault. I’ll post an updated file without this irritating rubbish in a few hours.
            For now: the correct set of user data is attached to the Mesh Null Object. Please try that.
            Sorry, for the confusion. And sorry to Chris and Nick for bloating this thread…

          • Ahh, yes. Seems to be working beautifully now. Nice job! Very comprehensive.

          • I have uploaded an updated version. I included an example scene, demonstrating some of the parameters. Have fun:

        • Awesome work on the Xpresso tag.

  • good stuff! thanks Chris!!

  • Hi Chris ,
    Nice tips in this tutorial .
    I was applying it but my machine run slow , I have a custom built machine a 32 cores. With a power graphic card – nvidia quadro k5000 – But my rendering view is a little bit slow compared to the power I got .
    If u may I need a tips about configuration cinema 4d with machine ( im a pc user :/ )
    Thanks .

    • medamine,
      if you could post a screenshot of your Program “Settings->OpenGL” window, I’m sure, we could help to tweak your settings.

  • Excellent work Chris! Thank’s a lot!

  • Chris you’re a boss. So much of the useful info on this site comes from you (and Mike the Monkey, and the dude from hyper island). Keep up the tuts, they’re the bacon.

  • Great tutorial Chris. I rarely watch your tutorials to copy what you’ve done (not sure I’d ever need to model a microphone) but just by watching it I pick up so many tips and tricks that I can apply to my own work. Your C4D knowledge is breathtaking 🙂

    Always love your tutorials! 🙂

  • Great one!!
    I just found a solution for the “problem” at , when the helix gets rotated 90° when it´s parented to the null, and then when you zero the banking out the normals get upsidedown:
    Just don’t type “0” in the x value for the Helix scale, type something like “0.0000001” instead. I don’t know why, but it worked for me.
    Hope it helps.

  • Great tutorial!

    By the way, I am trying to get into C4D with your “Introduction to Cinema 4D” series(
    Unfortunately it’s not working. Is the series still valid?

  • Hey!
    I have been watching Greyscalegorilla tutorials for a while now. It has helped tremendously with my school projects. Now that I am a graduate I’m looking into taking my modeling skills and starting a shop on Shapeways. Is there any tutorials in the making about 3d printing, or even better setting up your C4d file for shapeways 3D printing? Would love the help from great instructors like you guys!

  • holy moly Chris!!! HOW ARE THE ODDS?!?!?!

    right now i’m at minute 11 and i just can’t believe what i am seeing!
    i just did almost the same over a week ago, making a rope shader for a climbing rope. it’s a little more complicated though, because the strings are in pairs and some strings have different colors. (but i didnt had the knowledge or intelligence of using the helix 😀 )

    super psyched about the rest of the video now!

  • aaaaand done!
    thanks chris, this tutorial rocks! cool tricks. love the depht map fake and the 180° rotation for the splines. i use the mesh as a bumpmap on one hand and as a displacer on the other for extreme close-ups.
    but the rope will still cost me some headaches. great tutorial again. keep on tutoring!

  • One of the best tutorials I have seen. Learned a lot of new functions and tools. Thanks

  • At 8:30 after you got the right number of clones to line up the peaks and valleys you switched back to per step and the X updated from 798 to 9.975 maintaining the spacing of the clones. How did you do that? When I switch to per step the x stays the same so my clones get spaced out really wide. r14

  • hello guys,thnx for your awesome Tuts,you are great.
    but i have some questions not about this Video,but about an idea i had,and a pictures I’ve seen before,
    i just want to know if that project can be made in Cinema 4D,or can you tell me what software they used to create it,or maybe if i am so lucky you can make a tutorial on how to make something close to it,
    this pictures were captured from a TV station, and thank you again for this amazing website,and your awesome tutorials.

  • Pretty cool! I liked the mesh building.

    I built a RCA 77DX many years ago in Lightwave and used a similar technique in forming the mesh. Instead of having a second object to go on top of the mesh, I had the form be very sticky and the cloth mesh just adhered to it.

  • Fantastic tips Chris!

    But…. being the anal-retentive guy I am, I know the Shure SM-58 intimately, (owning a few and using them in studios and live settings for years,) and the body of the mic is all metal. No plastic. Now that says how great your Tuts are! The only flaw I find is in the real thing, not your model!!

    Great stuff as always!!

    Kevin “Bluetonesblue” Lawson

  • This tutor is about modelling, isn’t it? Not about texturing. Sorry, but you use a lot of excess information. Showing examples that excesses examples in a such hurry that it doesn’t make any sense. Why? You could do it tripled shorter and effective. Thank you.

  • Hi Chris,
    What view setting you have ticked for your tutorials that gives the nice orange border around the silhouette of your active object? (I’m running R13 if it’s build-specific).

    • It is build-speciffic. I don’t recall what release that was introduced, but it is a default behavior, and for sure wasn’t around in R13.

  • Hi Chris,

    it is amazing Tutorial, I like it! Now i can mesh model to make.
    Thank you!
    Greetings fron Germany

  • Hi Chris,

    This tutorial is soooo great. I was watching it several times before I started to try to build everything step by step.

    I have a problem by using the plane object as a soft body and the both spheres as the colliders. The plane object is tearing a little bit at the top of the sphere at the beginning and then starching and starching when I play the movie. It’s not behaving like yours. In your tutorial it’s like a cloth that stays hanging on the second sphere. Mine is stretching and at some point tearing apart.

    Maybe I missed something, but I can’t find anything. I was trying to reproduce your steps several times again and again. The effect is always the same.
    (I’m working with C4D Studio R 15)

    I would appreciate any hint,

  • Very nice tut, thanks a lot! 🙂

  • Guys- I want to thank the both of you for this awsome tutorial….I’ll be applying this technique right away. You guys rock!

  • Hi Chris,
    I have a problem with the Modeling connect.
    I follow steps one by one but when the additive in project I don’t have the effect of tutorial.
    What am I doing wrong, could you help me?
    I have like this.
    Thanks a lot!!!

  • Hey Chris, magical stuff as always. There was one section around the 4 minute mark that (quite rightly) you sped over that I feel could be (or might already be) a great tutorial in and of itself. Namely, the section where you are playing with the hierarchy of objects and cloners and so on. As I followed along that section really blew my mind and I quickly found out the importance of exactly placing things where they HAVE to go for things to work.

  • it is possible to download this project?

  • hey it’s my first comment thanx for this hard work but have a little advice you can use math to make it easier, like in these part of the helix it’s height is 800 and half wave is 10 cm so 800/10 it will be 80 so the count in cloner 80 and the space between each one of them is 10 try it, it’s working i’m a beginner in c4d but i’m studying in faculty of science math&physics department =D .

  • Your tuts have turned this once intimidating app into something I now enjoy using. Thank you so much! However, with this particular tutorial, why is it that when applying the connect into the cloner does it have no effect?

  • Hey
    Does anyone know how I can wrap all the ball?
    I tried with two layers, squeezing the fabric and it go crazy???

  • Hi Chris, I have problem with this tutorial. I’ve made everything like it goes in video, but my mesh deformer has some problems. It looks awful and not like in tutorial (~minute 41) – Could you please (or some1 other) look at this project file, correct this and tell me what was wrong there? I have no idea, I was doing it 3 times in a row from start to this minute, and it always looks the same. Please help, Mateusz.

  • At the point at which you’ve placed the mesh and it’s instance into the new null, and all the rotations were off… this wasn’t due – as you posited in the video – to the scaling you did, but rather the use of Reset PSR, which had a cascade effect on your hierarchy. For me, once I had everything in position, rather than use reset PSR, I made the null a child of the plane, and zeroed it out (right clicking the up arrow in the coordinate values of the OM is a quick way to do this)

  • Great post ;p really useful

  • Chris, I’m new to C4D and am working on class project. I’ve gotten to the step where you put the cloner inside the connect. When I do that my helix lays down. Each one rotates 90 degrees. I can’t see what I’m doing wrong.

  • Kseniia Bortsova June 3, 2019 at 3:56 am

    First of all your tutorial is great, but I have a trouble with helix. When I used Connect, it rotated my Helix to 90 degrees. I decided to use Formula in stead of Helix and my trouble was solwed

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