New Global Illumination Settings In Cinema 4D R15

February 25, 2014

In this video, I will go over the new GI settings in C4D R15. Maxon has completely redone the GI interface and algorithms to make GI faster and more stable.

Animating With Global Illumination

Getting stable GI animation without flickering took a LOT of render time in the past. These new tools in R15 really speed things up. The new Irradiance Cache is rebuilt from the ground up to be much more friendly to use and


The new built in GI presets help get you started with GI without knowing all the technical details. However, the more you understand how the new GI tools work, the more efficient your render times will be. I will discuss some of the presets and it’s settings so you can pick the right preset to start with.

HDRI Studio Pack

If you are looking to get the most out of the new R15 renderer, check out the new HDRI Studio Pack and it’s custom R15 presets that come with it. Add lights and reflection to your GI scene instantly and use our custom GI Presets to render perfect stills and animation right from within C4D.

Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,

  • I was about to cut my head off, the new GI was driving me crazy. Thank you for the nice explanation about it, Nick! Your tutorials are the best ones! πŸ˜€

  • hey it’s nick from greyscalegorilla, i’m the gorilla…… Thank you

    • Hi everyone,

    • Hi everyone,
      I live in Berlin Germany, I am new in the 3D world.
      Thanks to GSG, I am learning fast.

      Nick, first of all I must say that, I love you guys!
      I know you are having positive comments all the time, but still, I wanna say that I am impressed by the geniality of Chris Schmidt. And you Nick, I am amazed of the beauty of your work, and the way you explain with all the details, some of your work seem so simpIe and all have that good taste touch.
      I can really say that I am learning and enjoying YOUR WORK!
      Now come the question: could you make a quick tutorial on how to start, Step by Step, a Team Render render in C4D r15 studio? Or maybe tell me how on an email, PLEASE.
      I got the new iMac 27″ with Mountain Lion and the 21″ with snow leopard, I would like to have a stronger computer but it has to be much stronger than my 27″, and that would cost at least 6000 Euro. Thats why I hope I could use my two computers for Render?

      Thank you very much, and really sorry for this XL comment.

      By the way, this Blog its a great help too, and very pleasant to be in it (even if this is my first comment, I been following for quite some time now).

      Best Regards,

      • Michael Vogelius May 25, 2016 at 4:55 pm

        Hi Pelle

        If you using After Effects CC 2015 together with C4D, you have to reinstall CC 2014. For using Watchfolders. Adobe disable the Renderfarm in CC 2015. I hope they will reinstall it again.
        Apple dont have the fastest graphic cards )

  • Hey Nick,

    First of all, thank you for all your tutorials. I have learnt so much from you and Chris! Love this website!
    Is it possible for you to record in full HD? Because, when you talk about the shadow details (the splotchy things πŸ˜‰ ) in the render, it’s very hard to see.

  • Wow. Much Helpful. Very Lighting. Illuminations. Wow.

    But seriously, thank you, I was confounded by it, and have learned a lot here.

  • As always great, and i’m so glad that you put it on your superb site!

  • sup nick! man, there’s not enough words to say thank you very much to you, chris and greyscalegorilla!
    really thanks! amazing tutorial like all the other in greyscalegorilla!

  • Thanks Nick for this wonderful video, helped me a lot this afternoon trying to do some interior renders. Thank you very much also to the whole team Greyscalegorilla.

  • If I use Global Illumination in a project and then pull that project through to After Effects with cineware. My objects lose their materials and appear black. You can still see reflections and the GI mapping, but they lose their colors and any planes in the scene are pure black. Any thoughts anyone?

    Disable GI and the materials come back. Been dealing with this for like 3 days now. any help is appreciated.

  • Thanks dude. Super useful stuff. I was wondering if there’s any advantage of using the Physical over the Standard Renderer when it comes to GI. For some reason I always though the Physical Renderer handled GI better but I’m starting to question myself!

    Thanks again.

  • Hee nick! great tut, i’m playing around with the setting for this model: How would you set this up? It’s free for everyone to download and try.
    Cheers, Remco

  • You are the best on Cinema4D tutorials!!! But there is a subject that has nearly no documentation at all, namely unbiased renders under Cinema 4D. There are a few great unbiased render engines – Thea Render, Maxwell Render, Octane Render, Luxrender but the best of all, in my opinion is Indigo Render. Can you do some tutorials on this subject?

  • Hey Nick, this is excactly the tutorial I was looking for. You explain each setting. So I know in which direction to adjust. No more guessing. Thank you

  • Hi Nick, As ever a superb, friendly tutorial. I was floundering around with my newly acquired R15 and all the GI bells and whistles. Your tutorial put me straight without making me feel like a gormless eejit.
    Greyscale Gorilla is the go to website for C4D wisdom.

    Many thanks. James

  • Thank you Nick, this is a very useful tutorial that help us as a post-it can do. Cheers.

  • Great video Nick! Thanks!

  • you guys are amazing

  • Hey Nick!
    Thanks for this great tutorial!
    You mentioned you have a 12 core mac pro, is this a 2013 model?
    I am currently thinking about getting one of those for my 3D work, would you reccomend a configuration?
    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  • Hi Nick
    Loved the tutorial on the new GI in C4D 15. It’s a little easier to understand now.
    The language in your tutorials are easily understood compared to others.
    Is there an upgrade pricing for owners of HDRI Lightkit Pro 1.5 to 1.9?


  • Dude, you are awesome. Not only you do a heavy investigation by pure practice which I bet it took so many hours, but also you work more to prepare a 45 minutes tutorial to share what you learned with everybody. Thanks a lot for making it. I learned a lot.

  • Hey Nick!

    To answer your question, turning off the Hemispherical and Discret Area Sampling makes sense if you are using HDR Images on a sky object for lightning with no illumination being used within the scene. (For example with the GSG HDR Studio Rig)
    Means, the only lights that are being calculated come from the HDR, what speed up your render time a lot! In previous versions of C4D this was called Sky Sampler.
    I put together a side-by-side comparison, take a look!

  • Thanks Nick for making this amazing tutorial in layman’s language.
    truly appreciated

  • Hey Nick!

    Some pretty awesome tutorials here! I’ve strated following you guys a couple months ago and I can truly tell i’ve improved a lot in C4D thanks to you and Chris Schmidt! I would have one question though, do you still use object lights in your scenes or do you just use materials with luminance plus the GI?

    Thanks a lot and keep up the good work you’re doing for C4D community!

  • I have GSG_HDRI_Studio_Pack.lib4d and bought it in December. Is there an update for the new 1.9? I have been following you for a long time and doing tutorials, which had made me much more efficient with Cinema 4D! Thank you Nick and team!

  • Wait, Who’s the gorilla???

  • Nick, LOVE everything u do but PLEASE try to refrain from saying KINDA so much…

    I beg of u.


  • Thanks a million!

  • Hello Nick,

    This is Vicky Shah Motion Graphic Designer. I learned Cinema 4D and designing sense from your website to watch tutorial. Right now i m working in Channel in India and i want to learned more thing from you and your team. Actually i wanted to work with you Nick sir. So please suggest me is it possible. But please do reply it’s important for me. I’ll will send you my work reel soon.

  • Awesome!

    im having trouble to light grass/hair with Luminance, do you know how to fix this!

    Thanks a billion!

  • Hello, Nick! Thank you for all your tutorials, support and other help.

    Can you tell me please, how i can solve problem with flickering in cinema 4D r15?
    This is my result render:

    I used setting for render:
    Cinema 4D R15.
    Physical render. Sampling quality: medium.
    Anti-aliasing: best, min: 8×8, max: 16×16.
    AO: OFF.
    GI: OFF.
    Also i’ve disabled shadows in tab options, because shadows flickering in all my tests.

    HDR: one standard map for a standard sky.
    The second card (10 thousand pixels.) Made in HDR Light Studio, a standard sky.
    This card is loaded in the channel material environment.
    Blur reflection: 1-2%.
    These parameters are used in all three tests render!

    1. Objects in the scene without materials and all shutdown HDR, rendered good (whithout flikering).
    2 . Objects in the scene with the material and all shutdown HDR ( including the channel environment) rendered good (whithout flikering).
    3 . Objects in the scene with pictures and maps included with all HDR, rendered with a lot of flickering .

    Please share your thoughts !

  • Guilherme Todorov May 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Hey Nick
    I have just watched this video plus all your NAB/Siggraph pannels from this year and 2013 and would like to ask something.
    I still didnt have time to fully work with C4D on my real workflow as much as I want, so every time Maxon releases a new version my mind gets turned upside down.

    First, you do not mention on the videos the use of Physical Render + new GI for animation. Should I still consider it? You seem to get away without it with some good results so I’m not sure anymore about the benefits/uses of physical render.
    Second, do I still need to put use a switcher from LKP if I’m using GI (with or without physical) and also adding some more lights to the scene? Some more lightboxes for example.
    Third, is vrayforC4d still relevant with the r15 out? Is it worth the investment and time on starting from scratch on a totally new workflow?

    And last but not least, thank you so much for your time and videos. I seem rather lost but would be a lot more without your tips and analysis.

  • Great video Nick!

    Helped me a lot to improve the quality of my renders. : D

  • Hey guys at GSG,

    I have a question concerning GI and a lot of different light sources.
    I building a slotmachine/jukebox with some LED strip on them.
    The LED’s light the whole scene.

    WHYYYY does it take solo long to render (I actually know why)
    But is there a way to make this quicker?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Nick,

    Thank you for the tutorials, they eally helped me to improve my self in Cinema 4D, I have a questions about the lights: Is it possible to get the HDRI lights for free?

    Again thank you

  • Hi Nick,

    Thank you for so many good videos.
    What kind of Mac are you using with C4D? Special video card? Memory?
    I’m thinking of buying a new.

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

  • Hi all!
    Have a problem with r15. My rotation animation leaves shadow instead of moving it. It is doesn’t move with the rotating text but leaving a shadow trail.
    please have a look

    any ideas appreciated ^)

  • Hey! Can you share the project file for this tutorial? I will very much appreciate it.

  • DImas Wahyadiatmika November 1, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for this great tutorials, it help me alot to understand the GI setting in R15.
    I have some problem with rendering time in this version, and I have been following the setting from another of your tutorial that talking about the IR cache, coz i have very heavy scene and it just I cant find the right setting to reduce the rendering time.

    Just wondering is the setting will be the same in this version, with the setting in previous setting?

    If you have a tutorial that covering this, it would be so helpful for me in the future, coz i am still quite new in this software and i want to learn more about this.

    Thank you so much!!! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Nick,

    Great tutorials across you site on GI, one think I would love to know is how can you save the raw GI data as a image. I love the look of the bounced light calculations before the final comping cinema does. The GI multi-pass looks all smooth is there any way to save the pixel bounce information as a image before cinema smooths it out? Almost like a lazer scan of a room etc. If you can solve this think it would make an interesting tutorial ; )

    Cheers Tim

  • Hey Gorilla!
    Love your tuts, always helpful.
    I was wondering if you can create (or direct me to) a tutorial about render optimization. I couldn’t find a tutorial that deals with it. I don’t want presets – i want to be able to reduce render time by understanding what GI setup to use (if GI is needed) and how to decide subdivs # and type…
    Thanks in advance.

  • Haha you are so good at explaining stuff, I love how you give the pixels personality complete with existential questions “where in the world am I?” πŸ˜€
    Real awesome tutorial, never stop! (or do if you want to but donΒ΄t because we want you to keep doing them)

  • for gi rendering… which plays major role CPU or GPU???

    should i invest on processor & ram or workstation graphic cards??

  • Thank you Nick. It’s real usefull tutorial about GI. It really helped me. As always, you are the best)

  • hey man!
    your tutorials are great, but too nervous.
    youre talking too fast, with triple less speed you can say the same thing. also your mouse is running over monitor like he is eating 10 ecstasys.
    just slow down, it wil be easier for us to follow your thoughts.

  • Amazing tutorial, learn pretty much more on GI today watching your video.

    Thanks guys.

  • Hey Nick,

    How can you make a “Luminant” Object a volumetric light while using GI?


  • Hi Nick,

    I have a scene where I’m using GI and I’ve followed your steps and pretty much everything else I can think of. It looks great in the final render viewer in C4D but when I view it in the Windows picture viewer the shadow depth is creating edges in the gradient of light from GI. It almost looks like Sketch Toon.

    The link for my project file is in the ‘WEBSITE’ input. Please take a look when you can, if you can. And great tutorials, I’ve been watching for years now!

    Yours sincerely,

    Luka Bajic

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