Creating Glass Sculptures In Cinema 4D

January 19, 2016



In a recent episode of Ask GSG cprice144 asked about these amazing sculptures by Ben Young. I’ve gotten asked about these a lot in the past and I’ve really wanted to tackle it but I knew it would take awhile to do it properly. We decided to finally tackle it and ended up with something pretty good. However it took an extremely long time to render and wasn’t as clean as I would have liked. So I spent some time to experiment more and recorded this three part tutorial. There are a lot of neat techniques in throughout the video resulting in a rig that renders incredibly quickly compared to the first pass. With the fast render speed it was simple to add caustics to the scene to add another layer. Be sure to check out the bonus video of Brian McCauley and I tackling it from scratch at the bottom of the page.

Watch Part 1

Watch Part 2

Watch Part 3

Bonus Renders





Original ASKGSG Segment Result


Is the live show Brian and I tried several different approaches. We finally ended with a series of panes of glass. Because of the many layers of refractive/reflective materials it took 3 hours to render this still.

Watch the ASKGSG version

This last video was recorded during a live episode of AskGSG. Visit our AskGSG Page to see our schedule and see how you can get recordings of our live show and Scene Files from this video.

Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,
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  • Is there a reason why these videos are available only on your website? I ask because I live in NYC and catch up on most of my tutorial learning on the Subway. I use the Vimeo app to do so because they allow me to download the video and watch it later, directly to my phone without opening iTunes or any other iPhone file transferring app.

    So, when I search for these videos on Vimeo I’m told they don’t exist, or I don’t have permission to view them. So, I can’t save them to my phone. So, I can’t digest all of the amazingly valuable information you’re sharing.

    FYI, if a user click’s the share button on your video and say, Tweets a link to the tutorial – the link that is shared is dead – leads to the page saying “Permission Denied”. Meaning; you’re denying viewership in certain scenarios and rendering your share function useless! The last few videos you’ve uploaded have been set to private and then changed for one reason or another and your website has been quite buggy since your last update (jumpy page scrolling, jumpy image hovering, refusal to load assets in mobile).

    Love your stuff – thought I’d share – I hope I can download on Vimeo soon!


  • Freakin’ Sweet! I watched the videos, now I’m gonna go ahead and try to follow along.
    Thanks a lot Chris!

  • hi! Its great . thanks for your tutorial.

  • I too was inspired enough by Ben’s work to have a go a couple of months ago. I ditched the panes as it was onbvious just how much of a render pain it would be. Here was my result. Rendered with arnold.

  • Excellent Tutorial! I love the results. I still need to optimize my render settings though – 2h for a 1080 Image is too much. Maybe i should get rid of GI completely (Using GSG HDRI Kit with High Settings). Btw: here is mine: (sorry for potato-quality – only have a badly compressed image at hand now…)

  • Hi Chris,

    Great tutorial. Thanks. Just thought you might be interested in this really useful free plugin

    The key one is DropToFloor so you just select your object, click the plugin and then it automatically puts that object on the floor. Really helpful.

  • So did you actually make one for real? If so what is the concrete mixture taht was used and how to you adhere it to the glass.

  • Great tutorial, my attempt became yesterday’s daily:

    Thanks Chris, some great tips in there!

  • i always love coming here and check your techniques, chris. i actually have a technique request for you. i see many renders of people doing highly detailed surfaces and structures that come out of Illustrator files. beeple does it a lot and many others like ash thorp. i really suck at Illustrator. maybe you can give us one of your famous tutorials about it πŸ™‚ beeple has a speedart thing on vimeo, where you can kind of see what he is doing. you find it here
    i would really look forward to see your approach on this. thanks for all the goodness GSG

  • This is absolutly wonderful! Chris you are my hero πŸ˜€

  • Part 1 @ 28:49 “why don’t we do it wrong and then fix it” < that's my favorite part and im not joking about it. it's awesome to learn from doing it wrong and then fix it!

    • Thanks! It’s one of my favorite things to do in a tutorial and when I see it other peoples video when I’m learning something new in some other software. The correct value to enter is no where as interesting as WHY that value is entered.

  • can you make a tutorial of how make this effect of toon explosions please

  • Hey! You said there is a couple of ways to deal with unwanted reflection of the floor when is bright or white and you didn’t πŸ™‚ Can you help? thanx!!

  • wow. you are so cool!! awesome!!
    thank you. this video is very good to me!!

  • Hi Chris, thanks for sharing this amazing tutorial!

    One small tip though (you might know it already): when you are trying to select all front faces of the object at 25:44 in Part 1, you can use the ‘Phong Break Selection’ (U~N) to select the complete front at once. I think THAT might be the fastest way to ‘select those’ πŸ˜‰

    Just trying to help here!

    Thanks again for your tutorials and enthousiasm!

  • Chris, thanks so much. As always, great tutorial. Much appreciated!

  • Maria Semenkovskaya February 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for a cool lesson, Chris!
    This is my result with a few compositing

  • Super coooooool !! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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