Model, Light, And Render A Coffee Pot In Cinema 4D

January 7, 2013

In this two part tutorial, Chris and I show you how to model, texture, light, render, and composite this 3D Scene. First, Chris will show you how to model the coffee pot using some traditional modeling techniques and loft nurbs. In the second video below, I will take over where chris left and show you how to light the scene using HDRI Studio Pack. Then I will tweak some textures and render using the Physical Renderer. Finally, we will head in to Photoshop and do a bit of final color correction and compositing.

Part 1: Modeling And Texturing

Part 2: Texture Tweaks, Lighting, and Rendering

Tutorial Focus:  , , , , ,
Software:  ,
Educator:  ,

  • Thanks! i’m gonna try it!

  • Whoa, we just created a coffee carafe for our latest Tim Hortons spot. Check it out:

  • I look forward to these.

  • I miss ur toturail chris

    Nice tuts and kepp it up man

  • Nice tutorials. Oh, you both, take care of that cough…!

  • Very useful tip at : 5:55

  • Great tutorial! Keep on doing this 2 parts thing!

  • formidable, toujours aussi excellent

  • Very nice tutorial. Learned a lot of smaal tips here:)

    I only wonder why you didn’t just delete a few circles in the loft NURBS in stead of the Boole, Nick.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Deleting circles in the loft nurb created a different curved shape and messed up the way the coffee refracted in the glass. By using a boole, it is a perfect fit.

      • Thank you guys so much. I used your techniques to model a french pot added som donuts into it! You and nick should do a tut. on how to model, light texture, etc. a modern looking house! that would be great!

  • Your tutorial on todays day 7 january, is my gift for orthodox christmas.

    Thank you GSG a lot.

  • the DD tutorial… awesome!!! we want more!

  • Lovin’ these two part modelling / texturing tutes. Great work Nick and Chris!

  • Your tutorials are the best! Especially the new ones. Keep ’em coming guys!

  • Really great modelling tutorial Chris! Learned a lot of good tricks!

  • I love it when you guys tag team the tutorials! I’ve been getting into modeling more and more, so it’s ALWAYS helpful learning and knowing shortcuts.

    Keep them coming!

  • Wow, great tutorial. In this year, don’t stop doing this great job.
    Thank you.

  • Good to see you back GSG – Hadn’t heard from you in a while ( newsletter)
    Came back with a nice one too… Happy 2013 to you and yours.

    PS: this is year 3 isn;t ot for your MAC ? You’ll be upgrading this year right?
    – when you upgrade – can I buy the one your using now?
    (I saw your comparision to the Duo – Quedx2 and 12 core)
    I’d be happy to have the quadx2 to be hones.. but that 12 core with 32gigs is sure sweet!

    Anyway – good to see your back – Have a Happy – and seriously – think of me when yo u go for that next upgrade. I ‘ll take a hand me down – I ain’t proud.

  • Dudes, you guys rule. Great tutorials, every one has been really helpful. The two part modeling / texture and render is a really great idea, PLEASE keep it up…..Nice work boys!!!!!!

  • I’m loving these modelling and texturing tutorials. Chris is amazing to watch!

  • Very nice stuff Nick and Chris!
    As always, your tutorials are really helpful!

  • Thanks for the great tutorial. If anyone is looking for a reference coffee pot search for “glass decanter coffee”!


  • Love your two part tutorials, and this was certainly no exception! Keep up the good work.

  • great stuff, thanks for make it so simple to learn

  • ooh nice jugs 😛

  • Another interesting tutorial guys. I always learn something new when coming here. GSG has vastly improved my workflow. Keep up the great work. I need a coffee now!

  • Great tutorial!! as always. I’d love to see a tutorial about a car moddeling/ texturing one day. The internet is really missing good tuts about it. Great work

  • Great job guys. It’s great to come here and learn everyday from you.

  • Thanks for the tutorials Nick. One I would like to see is your process for rendering video from After Effects and the best way to compress for Vimeo/Youtube. Not as exciting as modelling a coffee pot I know! But it’s an essential subject that’s not often covered (especially for us newbs).

  • where are the reference images ?

  • Thanks, Chris and Nick! Your tutorials are the best! Plus I always learn a couple of extra tips that aren’t necessarily part of the main theme like shrinking the circles rather than scaling. Thanks. Excellent work you guys! Keep ’em coming!

  • You guys have a great 2013!!!
    Great tutorial, looking forward to see more great stuff this year!
    Gorilla’s Go!

  • These two-part tutorials are awesome. The speed is great. Keep making them! Please! And thank you.

  • Team group is great. It shows how the industry really works! You are a great team. Nice to see you back.
    Happy new year!

  • I used an absorption color of rgb 220 139 64 and it gave me a little bit of that translucent brown on the edges of the coffee. I think it looks a lot more like coffee. Anyways that was fun and useful.

  • Good inspiration ! Thanks for the tut !

    One question … Part 1 at 19.40 … Why do you loop the splines in the Loft -Nurb ? I don´t understand the reason for that ….

  • Really awesome work here. Always picking up new things. Love the 2 person set-up.

  • As always a great tutorial Nick… Nice tip on disabling the color channel while physically rendering glass.. Thank man…

  • I have a question regarding the coffee “touching” the glass. At one point you say it is touching and at another point you say it is “just inside” the glass. Plus you shrunk the loft circles by 2 yet the cloth nurb added -4.

    Does the coffee actually have to be in contact with the glass? And don’t you normally get weird renders when polygons or nurbs are in the exact same space?

    Can you clarify this? Thanks. Great Tutorial BTW


  • hey buddys thanks i learn a lot!

  • Hi Nick
    Just out of curiosity – given that you’ve got R14, why are you still using Indirect Illumination, especially for a still? What is it that you think you’re gaining that compensates for the massive speed hit?

    • I think the new gi looks great. Do you use the old GI for speed reasons?

      • Personally, yes (I’ve got a very old mac pro). But I’m not sure that Indirect Illumination offers any quality advantages either. The help is brief and a little bit cryptic:

        “Indirect Illumination
        Strictly speaking, this GI mode does not offer any advantages compared to the normal GI mode with the introduction of CINEMA 4D R14 and is available for reasons of compatibility.”

        Makes it sound like the new gi is now the old gi. It goes on:

        “The Physical Renderer offers a special GI mode (whereby all other modes also work – and are recommended due to their better render times).”

        To me that reads like Maxon recommending not to use Indirect Illumination any more. My understanding is that II can still be useful for flicker free gi exteriors but that in most most cases QMC and the new Radiosity Maps are the way to go.


        • Wow, I just tried this and man is it fast!

          iMac i7 3.4 here.

          Basic scene, no lights, single luminance material soft box, physical camera with very low f-stop (tons of blur)

          Physical render (only), adaptive 2.5 sampling subdivisions (1, 8, 5%), indirect illumination checked with 2 diffuse and 6 subdivisions (this many needed to match the look) – render time 34 mins

          Physical render, adaptive 2.5 sampling subdivisions (1, 8, 5%) (indirect illumination unchecked) + global illumination QMC (2 diffuse) w/ Radiocity checked – render time 3.5 mins.

          The result is nearly identical, same level of grain, same details in every way. This is amazing.

          Nick, you definitely need to try this and do a tutorial on it.

  • Great tutorials as usual! Hopefully we have that bear brand in Sweden =)

  • LOL … guess we’re having almost the same inspiration gods … I made a very similar 3DIllustration last year ( for an self-advertisment.
    AND keep up the great work you do for the C4D community!

  • Another nice tutorial Nick…. Thanks

  • Hey Nick,
    some time ago you made this “matrix” effect tutorial and i think it doesnt work in R13 so could you explain to me/us how i could remake this effect (in R13) ?
    sry for my bad english^^

  • great tut! somehow i have got away with out using loft nurbs and now I will use it all the time. thanks guys! I need studio version….

  • Hi there Nick! thanks for this new tutorial. I always check this web preatty ofen to find something new every week. Just one helpful thing for Chris: First, you ‘re awesome with the modeling, but i think you talk too fast. Remember that other people are trying to follow you and sometimess it becomes difficult. Just that.

    thanks again for this super training. Ready for the next one!.

    Sorry for my bad english.

  • What is that rainbow icon that is on your interface on the top right?

  • Can you please tell me what’s the setting to show that axis orange line?
    For example at 14:52 you select the circles and you can see the orange lines on the left and right of the axis. I only see the axis but not the orange line wich is really helpful when you zoom in to see where the circle/object is.
    I hope you understand what i mean. I tried all settings and can’t make that guide line appear.

    Great tutorials! Keep it on!

  • Love these modeling and lighting deals. I need modeling training. Done about 90% of all your training in the last two years and working backwards. Thanks. Daughter works in the field of motion and is so much better than me. (I hate that. 😀 ) I’ve always been a print guy

  • Awesome as always guys. I am getting a problem however when I inner extrude on the handle. Each time I try I get artifacts/blown out planes? Any ideas?

    • Never mind, i figured it out… If the handle is modelled too small at the bottom the spline flips out and creates all sorts of problems, re-did the spline with a thicker bottom and all was peachy! thanks guys awesome as always. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  • The only think I hated was the modeling.
    I so hate when people just make models big as giants…
    It really impacts the way lighting works.
    Other than that, great job.

  • Cinema 4d became too expensive to run for me, Maxon UK prices are insane, so now I’m a Modo user.
    However I still regular visitor of greyscalegorilla and enjoy learning/watching these tutorials.
    Great stuff!!

  • I like these tuts, a lot.

    What I would like to see is an additional piece with how to now go one step further, and make things “dirty” and more realistic.. i.e. imperfections in the glass, degradation of the logo, stains etc.
    I think modelling/texturing/lighting are absolutely the right things to do, but I just need help taking things a step further for added realism.

    Please don’t think I am ungrateful, I have learned loads from GSG.

  • Hey Nick
    Great tutorial, thanks

  • Muy Buenos Tutoriales Nick!
    Sigue Haciendo mas!

    Saludos desde Mexico! =)

  • indoor tutorial

  • well done again guys
    @chris melt polygons would do the same job instead join all point to same position then connect + del?

    guys i have a req
    i saw so many amazing sea renders (the very clear ones, like caribean) and some pools, there are a light wave, dont know if this is the right word, but the light hit pool surface and pattern the bottom

    see this

    any tips about how to do and animate this in c4d? i meant the light effect in pool, the water is fine to do and animate

  • @ Nick: How you can keep the original Dunkin’ Donuts sticker colors over the coffee pot glass?

  • He Nick,
    if you hold shift while you drag stuf from file to file it will automaticly snap to the center of your document. TimeSavePhotoshopTip.


  • Guys can anyone tell me what’s the setting to see the orange horizontal line visible in wireframe viewport? For example at 14:52 when you make those edges and you select the circles. I do not see that orange line and i don’t know if i zoom in, wich line i selected. It is really hard to see wich circle i selected without that horizontal orange line.
    I am new to C4D, so i would apreciate some help.

    Thanks alot

  • Cool. After making a burning burger and popcorn, now i have something to drink.
    Thanks to both of you.

  • Hey Nick! Great tutorial. Sorry to go a bit off topic however, in C4D R14. When you use Camera Morph is there anyway to edit the interpolation like a spline? Instead of using Linear, Soft 1, or Soft 2?

  • Thank u like always! Love u guys!

  • Great tutorial Chris and Nick. Got my own coffee pot now 🙂

  • Great tutorial guys! chiming in with the people that love the two part tutorials! 🙂

  • People Help!!! Now I have a problem: when using the bevel go so it does not smooth as it should, but just breaks from one another (in the picture I’ve highlighted this hole) help, what to do? if that is not properly written, sorry, I’m from Ukraine)

  • Hi Nick and Chris,

    I’ve been following your site for 2 years now and never left a message 🙂

    Great tutorial on this one again. Thanks to you guys i’m learning a lot. Chris can you do a quick tutorial
    modeling a Yacht ? Im having really problems getting in done. Used al technics (loft-nurbs, polygon, box-modelling, hypernurbs) , but i just can’t get the boat hull good. Think its very useful for everybody since there are a lot of organic shapes in it. I have the blue-print when interested. Keep up the good work guys..!!!!!

    From the Netherlands, Micky

  • Great tut once again guys but…

    I couldn’t really see it in the tutorial but because you shrinking of the circles in the loft for the coffee wouldn’t the coffee intersect with the glass at the bottom?

    Wouldn’t you be better of doing it the other way around? First Shrink the loft for the glass and then give that thickness outwards. That way when you duplicate the loft to create the coffee it is exactly the same as the inside of the glass.

  • Love the 2 part Tutorials! keep them going! Learning loads from them.
    Quick question the Logo Mapping didn’t work when setting it to “front”..It didn’t look like it worked on the tutorial either? That was the only part that i couldn’t fix.
    Excellent stuff guys!!

  • Awesome tutorial guys, I’ve been following you for a year now and it is really inspiring the work you both do sharing your knowledge to everyone of us.

    This particular tutorial came really handy today to properly create and lit some olive oil bottles for a customer. Eager to see tomorrow how the final render ended up.

    Really appreciate your work, keep it up and Happy New Year from Barcelona!

  • Great tutorial, thanks.

  • thanks a lot for this useful and wonderful tutorial

  • chris, you’re good but too fast. I can not follow all the steps because my level is beginner. My problem. However I think I learned something in this tutorial, and it is enough for me now. I’ll keep follow you. Congratulations.

  • good work .. i loved it

  • It is a meniscus thing:

    The electrical charge of the glass attracts the coffee molecules, and they pile up at the edge.
    The opposite effect (a little hump) is seen in those wall-mounted mercury sphygmomanometers that many doctors’ offices still use. Mercury is used specifically because it does not cling to the glass at all, allowing for more accurate readings.

  • One of my favourite tutorials.

  • Where is the reference image link of tea pot….?

  • I finished the coffee pot pretty fast, but then I wanted more. So I ended up with a complete American diner.
    Hope you guys like it.

  • Nice tutorial. Here is mine.


  • Sorry guys… bad link.
    I used GSG HDRI but Vray render engine.

  • My question is to Chris… When I make the handle and I make it into an editable object unlike your caps which are one solid side, mine have many triangle points which the top points and bottom points make to build the side with.
    What am I doing wrong? How can I avoid this?

  • Hi Friends,

    Good work i follow u r all tutorials really help me lot nice
    Thank You

    But dunkin’ donuts not in world wide only in America
    America runs on dunkin donuts

  • great tutorial love the 2 parts really cool!

    my result:

  • Hey Nick, thanks for the coffee pot – 193 passes eh? Yeahhh… I can do hmmm maybe 3 in an hour :S Still, I learned a lot.
    Btw. Do you know Kay Tennemann from MoStyle tv? He shares some great stuff as well on Vimeo. Anyway in this one video (this one: he makes a really cool quip in your direction (go check it out it is right at the beginning, around 14s- 15s). Did you know? You guys should team up some time for a project or something. Thanks again.

  • hey chris im not sure if it is really a problem but umm…i just followed what you did in the video but i end up with this coffee can you take a look if it is really a problem

  • Can anyone tell me a good workaround to the use of the Cloth Nurb to add weight to the glass, for those who dont have Studio?


  • Thanks for the great tut! I’m new to c4d. I followed the steps briefly , but after i put the cloth modifier to create glass extrusion, my base spline (platform) detaches from the rest of the coffee pot glass? Any clue to a setting or perhaps step to remove the seperation in shell/extrusion in the glass?

    youtube mp3

  • Nick, these modeling/texturing/lighting/rendering tuts are probably the best educational content posted since the Internet was invented.
    Thank you.

  • I wanted to add this just in case anyone else had the same problem I did. After adding the handle to the hypernurb and you get all those edges spazing out underneath, you then select the big loop edges like Chris did and bevel them to fix it.

    Only when I did it it would never fix it or so I thought, like an idiot I didn’t let go of the mouse button after dragging right to make the bevel. When Chris did it, the spazed out lines just popped out of existence but for me they would still stay on screen but would disappear once I let go of the button. I hope I’ve explained that OK.

    Nice tutorial as always guys. A Dynamic Duo indeed!

  • Hey guys,

    I’m rather new to GSG and I’m slightly overwhelmed by all the incredible information that’s available.
    Thank you all!

    I’m having a few problems with this render.

    -Rounded boole object still gives odd shape to “coffee” with many mesh subdivisions on both layers he specified.

    -Dunkin Donuts logo won’t show brightly, it seems like it’s recessed or behind the coffee?

    -Dunkin Donuts logo doesn’t change when I switch it to only be on the front of the glass, it’s still on both sides.

    -Can’t get the coffee to look right 🙁

    Here’s the link:

    I hope you guys can help me out!

  • Was really enjoying this one! Until I hit a bit of a speed bump..
    I cant work out when I connect/delete the caps on the handle why all these lines join together? I wont let me extrude inwards because of it. Any Ideas??

    Heres a pic,


  • Peter Chicarielli March 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Loved it! Thanks guys.

  • Here is the coffee pot file for anyone else looking for it.

    Thanks for all tuts and info guys, you have been a huge help.

  • @ Nick Just a question man. I’m following the tutorial, but when a copy the glass to make the coffee, the image on the body goes grey, like yours. But if I move a little it goes transparent again. If I put the boole and use the cylinder, after I put the cylinder inside the boole, it’s image goes to wireframe and I have no visual feedback of it cutting the coffee. So I cannot see the effects of it or the little crease that has to be created.

    Is this a problem of my computer or gpu?
    AMD FX 8120 – 3.1Ghz
    16Gigs Kingston 1600
    2x Nvidia GTX 550Ti

    I’ve tried other graphics, but nothing happened. Any other tip?

    • Solved here, I guess. It was a bug with one of the shaders I used. Tried another glass and worked fine. Go figure. Thanks for this tutorial. This is the first C4D I’ve ever made and I loved it.


  • Hey nick! loving the two part videos. Still new to c4d just wondering if individual silhouette shapes of the coffee pot could have been imported from illustrator? basically like creating your nurb layers in illustrator then importing them in. please keep up the inspiration.

  • First of all great tutorial!

    I have one issue, after drawing the spline for the handle in Part 1 and making the spline closed and adding the Extrude Nurbs I cannot create an Inner Extrude because the two sides of my handle consists of lots of small triangles. Any tips? Thanks!

  • Fantastic!! If it wasn’t for greyscalegorilla I’d would of raged quite on 3d. Thanks for the smooth learning curve you guys provide, much appreciated.

    Please do more complete sets from Modelling to final production, as they are a hoot to do!!

  • one more cool tut! Thanks

  • Thanks For your job Man! appreciate a lot !

  • Jesus, I’m in love with these tutorials. By the way, I love how Nick is always on an amazing mood when making these tutorials.

  • Amazing guys, I really enjoyed this 2 videos! I’m speechless! 😀 Well done!

  • Sorry newb here. In the early stages of modelling and when i make the discs they don’t join up like yours thus creating the shape of the flask. ie I have just a bunch of discs. Is this a view issue or do I have my settings wrong for example?


  • Amazing! it’s so easy learning 3D with you, Nick!
    It’s a really smooth way to begin!

  • Amazing!!! Love your work!!!

  • Hi Chris. Thanks for the tutorial. Your work is amazing.
    Here’s a newbie question: In the first modeling video, at about min 33.50, the R13 bevel tool helps to triangulate the inner surface of the handle, creating the correct subdivisions that will look good after applying the hypernurbs.
    In version R15, the new bevel tool does not create that triangulation.
    How can I solve this?
    Thank you 😉

    • I had the same problem – figured out a make-shift solution.

      Once you bevel the edges, take the knife tool and make a few vertical cuts straight through the handle (try making one at each peak – uncheck visible only) and then turn on your NURPS, the handle surface will stay inside the edge.

      You might have to try a few times, cutting at different angles – just check your render and make sure the vertices that are created don’t make gaps in your surface.

  • spot on… so many good eye opening techniques. thankyou

  • Great tutorial!

  • Hi,

    As always – thanks for this amazing tutorial.
    I been struggled to find the Cloth simulation.
    I use Cinema 4D R14 Broadcast. Is it has anything to do with that?

    Looking forward for anyone’s reply.


  • Great tutorial, as usual. I had some problems with the handle. To get rid of the artefacts did some knive cuts to get quads. The logo position Front does not work. Tutorial at 20:43 show the same. Need to convert and place into polygon selection.

  • love your works Guys. followed your tuts and made a similar one how do i send the image to u guys ….

  • Hi guys! Thanks for this tutorial. I’m trying to model the handle, but I’m having some troubles with the hypernurb, because to me the “bevel trick” doesn’t work. Do you have any idea of why?!

  • I always seem to be missing certain tiny things when running through tutorials. For instance in video one, when the render settings are being tweaked. I dont have the button labeled “indirect illumination”. Has it been moved in certain upadates?

    aside from that (which obviously isn’t your fault) these tut’s have been a great help!

  • horrible scratching noise about 1 minute in the video.
    I really want to watch this tutorial, but I may need to wait for my hears to heal.

    Did you move the mic or something? I really hope that wasn’t added in post.

  • The sound works great for me, thanks for these videos! Breaking the tut between you guys is awesome too! Keep on keepin’ on 🙂

  • Hey people,

    I have a BIG QUESTION.

    I have Cinema 4D 15 Studio and in the render settings I don’t have the Indirect Illumination option. Where can I find this option because I don’t have any shadows for the coffee pots.


  • Chris always caughing lmao hanging with cheech over there buddy? 😉

  • hi
    where is the image !!

  • Hey guys!

    Trying to render a still of this robot I modeled. I textured it using topcoat and am using the HDRI rig for the scene. I don’t know what I hit or adjusted, but my render has an insane amount of noise and I can’t seem to get rid of it no matter what I play with. Any idea what I did or how to correct this? Not using any third party render, just the physical render in C4D. Thank you so much.

    Link to screenshot of what I’m talking about:

  • My first tut since I started working with Cinema. Loved it.

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