Rock Goo Tutorial Part 1 And 2

September 29, 2014

This tutorial started as part of a “how’d they make that?” GSG Live Cast but it seemed fun enough to evolve into a full fledged tutorial.

This tutorial is inspired by the work of CROWD Studio and TAVO‘s amazing animation for the ADC 93rd Annual Awards of Art.

This tutorial covers a pretty specific topic, but inside it I cover a lot of tools you won’t normally see in your standard GSG tutorial so it may be worth your time even if you don’t think you’ll be needing some sticky goo inside a rock anytime soon. In part one I’ll show you some techniques for making a single volume mesh in the shape of a cluster of crystals or minerals. Robust clean models can be made this way using some tricks with dynamics, poly reduction, and the new bevel deformer. This has a lot of potential for very different structures.

Part One

In part two I’ll go through a bunch of different tricks prepare the geometry to be cut in two, then create and rig a mesh that looks and behaves like a sticky goo that is stuck to the surfaces of the rock. For this I cover some simple joint rigging, then move on to use the mesh deformer, smoothing deformer, and the pose morph tag to really sell the movement.

Part Two

Watch Part 3 Of This Tutorial Here

Tutorial Focus:  , , , , ,
Software:  ,

  • Nice tutorial thank you !

  • Thanks for the tutorial 🙂 one thing tho, the tutorials are reversed (part one instead of 2 an 2 instead of 1)

  • great looking tutorial, thanks for sharing.

    btw I think the labeling of Part 1 and 2 are switched, threw me off at first, just a heads up.


  • You are amazing Nick Thanks a lot

  • Very Nice! Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Nice Tutorial 🙂
    here is the director’s cut version 😉

  • Awesome, looking video there Nick. I live it a lot. Will be doing this tutorial too. This reminds me of Aqua toothpaste 😛

    Also, When can we expect to see your Detailed tutorial of Motion Tracker tutorial using r16 please?:)


  • Oh Nick, Just a quick question to ask, What Settings do you use from say C4D to After Effects in terms of High quality Video to later publish on Vimeo plz? Could you please explain?? For some reason, I never get that punch sharp colours when I output on Contant 5MB Data rate? Thank you very much.

  • Love the tutorial, great way to approach this effect!

  • This is a monster tutorial. Thank you so much!
    I can kinda visualize how would you do the outside dripping with pose morphs now that I know how to use it. Amazing tool.

  • Great work guys and looking forward to Nick’s bit. Very cool to see you guys jumping into the R16 era, will be happy to see Chris do some more Polygon Pen stuff and of course anything Reflectance related. Just a heads up, Tim Clapham at Hello Luxx is posting a new Reflectance-based Materials course over there sometime soon, but he also promises a free tutorial going over comparisons of workflow between R15 materials and the new R16 ones, and why Reflectance is better, so even if you don’t buy his new materials course there will be a free tute there shortly that should be quite informative.

  • Great! So much learned again. Thx Chris. Can´t wait to see Nick.

  • Amazing tut! for some time i was obsessed with this piece! can’t believe that i find how to pull it. You guys always make my day!

  • WoooooW!!
    This is like the most important tutorial I’ve ever watched!!
    It’s full of stuff that I’ve never known about!
    I love what you do Chris
    Thank you very much for that!

    • That’s great to hear Majd, I know it’s a very specific thing we make here but I covered so many tools we don’t normally touch on GSG I thought it’s gotta be useful to somebody!

  • Really good tutorial, thanks a lot!

  • Great tutorial, as usual!

    The ONLY thing i would say is why don’t use use Save Incremental? Why bracket a number at the start of the filename?

    That’s just about all I can contribute to that 😉

  • Wow Chris Schmidt……you sir ….. are awesome…..salute to you from India…..

  • Superb tutorial!

    Here is a another nice ‘Crystal’ piece of the same artist:

  • Wow ! Great tutorial, so many things to learn here. Not sure i’ll remember everything but Chris shows us a bunch of unusual tools 😉
    This guy is mad !!!!

  • Alexandre dachkevitch September 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Great great work. A solid case studie bringing tons of usefull tools.
    Everything a tutorial should be.

  • Awesome tutorial Chris, I don’t think I ever learned so much new stuff in a single tut. Even better it’s on a project that I really love and caught my attention a few months ago, puzzling me how the f that was done 🙂

  • James Hastings-Trew September 30, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    This was a very good tutorial. I learned of the existence of some new tools, and a couple of great work flow ‘tricks’. I especially love the trick you used by applying the polygon reduction tool to get rid of those stray points that often show up after a series of modelling operations. Beats my ‘obsessively chance down points with the weld tool’ approach. 🙂

  • Hi chris,
    I had got a big issue.
    The smoothing effect doesn’t work so well as did in your tutorial.
    The only way that seems to fix the stuffs a little bit, it is adding subdivision surfaces but is the worst way to solve the problem, a crazy stuff because obviusly pc crash and therefore it doesn’t result smoothing really good.
    I’m really getting crazy.
    what’s can be the way to solve it?
    I did the tutorial with a simple shape, with a sphere.
    The only thing I did just one time is optimize points but ’cause I didn’t have useless points.
    I’m really sad because I’ve just finished the tutorial but the result doesn’t satisfied me because my goo is not great like yours.
    ciao from italy 😉 and sorry for my bad english.

  • haven’t had the chance yet to see it all but looks great.
    One thing I think could be helpful to see inside the mesh and make sure it’s as hollow as you need it, is camera clipping. Few people seem to use clipping, but it’s a very powerful tool. I realized that while testing some ideas for a video mapping project. Clipping would allow me to gradually create an animated section of the building where the projection occured, which would give the illusion of seeing inside the building.
    anyhow…just thought it could be a tip.

  • Awesome tutorial, as usual I learned a lot. Thank you Chris.

  • Super Cool Tutorial!! Lots of techniques and tricks 😉 Thank you!

  • Wow, Chris! Another superb tutorial. I enjoy your tutorials more than any others I’ve found. I really appreciate how you explain the steps you are taking and why you get the results you do. I always learn something new from your tutorials, like what the Smoothing deformer does, or how the Mesh deformer works. These will be helpful for a couple of projects I’m working on. I’m looking forward to Nick’s part in this project. Thanks again for these quality tutorials that give so much inspiration and practical tips! Keep these tutorials coming!

  • Pose Morph tags are awesome! Loved every gooey bit of this tutorial, thanks Chris! Learned a lot in this one.

  • Nick and Chris, awesome tutorial. I started using Cinema about a year ago with no 3D background and have learned tons watching your work. Thank you.

  • Awesome setup Chris! Nice job

  • Is Chris working on Dumb and Dumber To? I have seen a folder in the Finder

  • Thanks Chris, lots of creative problem solving in there.
    Couple of suggestions…
    Using Clusters might involve a little less setup than joints
    Using Freeze Transformations on the clusters would give you a default PSR to return to without nesting everything in nulls

    Just a thought 🙂

  • I keep learning new stuff from every tutorial you make. Keep it up high sky Chris

  • Now that was BOSS like! This is one of the best C4D tuts ever. Great job Chris. Great find with the “auto initiate” on the mesh deformer – I would have thrown my computer out the window…

  • Chris Smidth is so good. Great tutorials, full of details and information I’m Italian and I understand quite well what he says, but many times explained very quickly and I can not understand all the steps. You could perhaps slow down a bit ‘way of speaking. I know it’s practically impossible, but it would be great. It ‘s just a suggestion, and I’ll never stop thank you enough for what you do. You guys are great!

  • Jonas Christensen October 5, 2014 at 7:04 am

    really great tutorial! and btw. Chris, in the modeling part where you got rid of the “pointless” points, you could’ve just hit the right mouse button and click “optimize” while no points are selected =)

  • Hey. you always amaze us with knew stuff.
    Chris rules!

  • Nick…!!! you are always so nice and bring great tutorials.
    I want to say a big thanks, because of u I am learning C4D in a right directions.

    Karanjeet Singh

  • You, my friend, are a genius. I could spend a whole week just diving into part 1.

  • These were great, learned a bunch of new things. Thanks guys fir sharing the knowledge!

  • sooooo so good. i don’t even know what i’d do without you guys.

  • Started to fiddle with that cloner/rocks-kind of thing but started to loose focus somewhere on the road. Ended up with a couple of hairy balls. Still – pretty nice balls. Better animate them…

    Keep up the good work!

  • Excellent tutorial, Chris!
    Thank you. Working in C4D is the best part of my day. Your entertaining, and informative tutorials have enhanced my abilities, thus enriched my career. I’m very thankful.

  • Suresh Krishnamurthy October 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Amazing….Great Tutorial i have Ever Seen….!
    I have not seen so much Techniques, tips and Tricks all in one video,
    Here It is…!
    you are pretty fast in your tutorials, C4D beginners like me was quite a lot to hang on.
    Thanks Chris… you Rock:)

  • Awesome…..Great Tutorial. Some Superb techniques,tips and tricks in a single project.
    Thanks Chris…You Rock…!

  • very nice tutorial! interesting as always

  • Awesome tutorial Chris, a lot of really cool concepts and functionality. Thanks so much. Really appreciate all the knowledge you, Nick and the others share with everyone.

  • Amazing! Thank you

  • Thanks for the great tutorial, Chris! I started with your modeling techniques, and then went off on a tangent. Here’s what I ended up with:

  • Can someone please, please help I never had this before, but when I place the object at the very beginning of the video to a riggid body it turns to collider instead? How I can fix this.

  • Love your tutorials. Wish you did a live show in Chicago. Keep it up!

  • sup Greyscalegorilla!!!!!!:)

  • My boolean keeps disappearing as you mentioned.. I tried rotating the connects as you suggested but no dice! The only thing that helps is turning off high quality, but then I’m unable to create a single object. Any advice?

  • These tutorials are mind blowing to a C4D noob like me. Keep them coming please. They make me wanna spend more and more time with this program. Thanks heaps!

  • When I ‘current state to object’ I get a null with the ‘rock’ object inside and I can’t get rid of the extra points. I keep repeating the steps exactly but I get the same result every time. I’m using R14

  • Good tutorials……………..Thanks to Greyscalegorilla

  • Best Tutorial On GSG so far. Need more like this!!!

    I’m more of a stills kinda guy and i didn’t really do much with this model, but here’s my FP:

    ty for that texture kit. probably wouldn’t have come out looking as good if it wasn’t for that.

  • Amazing, stuck on one part though. When I copy the ‘cap’ into a new project, the entire cube is copied in, not just the cut off segment. I’m very new, thanks for any help!

  • Really neat stuff!

  • Thanks so much. My first C4D tutorial. Very fun, felt like a brain marathon.

  • Hi, i have an issue at 7:31 where you connected all platonics inside the null to the connect object and then made them editable. Heres my problem, my animation stops moveing, just stays the same when i pressed the letter c. Also they stop moveing when i remove the dynamic body tags. Help would be appricated, im a big fan:)!!<3

  • Super cool tutorial, I learned a lot, but I am pretty basic level, so sometime you talk and move just al little to fast for me. Do you have any slow goin tuts for noobs?

  • At 25:55 when you grow the selection to include the entire stalactite, you say U-L (at least that’s what I hear) but the shortcut for grow selection is U-Y.

    The thing can still be selected by hitting U-L, but I think that what you’re using there is U-Y.

  • Hi , nice tutorial.
    I have a problem when I want to merge into video 2 (18 min) .

    both forms merge, but it gives this:

    Anyone can help me plz ?

  • Thank you for awesome tutorial once again ^^ Greyscale Gorilla is one of my favourite places for tutorials. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of your products one day, they seem very nifty.

    I bumped to a problem with the rock goo tutorial though:

    It’s kind of long blah so I made a blog post about it.

    Also I have not yet advanced to the part 3 where this issue might be taken care of.

  • in cinema 4D R14 in dynamics body tag there is no (force) option. can anyone help?

  • Found an adaptation someone has used quite well of this on Behance.
    Looks really cool though not much different but for colours. – which look great.
    They really should have sited you though :p.

    Awesome tute.

  • Thanks for this awesome tutorial, I’m just having an issue with the cutting the rock. Every time I make the 2 Boole’s editable I’m missing the end caps on both sides of the rocks. Any ideas on why it’s happening?

  • Thanks for an amazing tutorial, Chris and Nick! I have learnt more about C4D in general from this than probably every other tutorial I’ve followed combined! Great work! Bravo!

  • Awesome tutorial, very helpful, I learned a lot from it! One strange thing when I render my animation out is on frame 88 the goo material seems to pop, some of the soft shadows or something (not sure what exactly it is) disappear.
    Here is a quick image to show the difference between frames 87 and 88: – Might be a little hard to see (it’s very apparent in the animation,) but do you know what could be causing this?
    Thanks guys!

  • Hey, sorry about that.. I actually just re-rendered the animation and the texture pop does not occur. Not sure what happened there but it appears to be fixed! Anyway thanks again for the awesome tutorials!

  • Hi Chris Schmidt, awesome tut, glad to be back on my daily tutorial completion challenge from GSG tuts.
    woot woot im on it

  • Well, overall it is a great tutorial, but it is anything but beginner-friendly. Maybe you rush through it because it would take too much time, but for a beginner like me who starts basically from 0, this is explained way too fast. Constantly pausing the video and rewinding it just to understand what just happened makes watching this tutorial so frustrating. Anyways, good job.

  • Raag Raisinghani June 4, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Hey Nick/Chris,

    Thanks for the amazing tutorial. I am having an issue with the step at 54:00 in the second part of the tutorial. The moment I click on ‘Auto Initiate’ in the Mesh properties, the base of the goo moves outside of the deformer cube and therefore shifts from the base of the rock as well. Did that happen while you were working on it? Can’t use the Pose MoGraph sliders because of that. Let me know if you have a solution!


  • Thank you so much fot this tutorial. cool 🙂

  • Hey! All is well and good until I get to the boole, when the object just disappears. I looked this up to no avail (c4dcafe is down for some reason). How can I boole the two connect objects without them disappearing? They don’t even show up in render view…

  • Just an idea from The Netherlands, Chris: when you just want to select the (flat) top- and bottom part of an object, you could instead use the ‘Phong Break Selection’. Just two clicks (top and bottom) and you’re done.

    Thank you so much for your tutorials at GSG!

  • Hi Nick, great tutorial ! Was wondering if ther is a way to do the goo with ex particles and make them fallow the rock? Would get a really detail look with that but I m new to all this. Thanks

  • Hey thanks a lot for this tutorial guys. Really learned a lot =D. Worth every damn seconds from all the videos lol

  • Really thanks for the tutorial , is amazing !
    And you are fast enough to not bored me 🙂

    I just have question:
    When i make the joints, and when i move one, the other is influence by the one i moved. I want move the joins separate. I search a lot this in Internet but i couldn’t find a solution.

    I hope you can help me.
    Thanks in advance. And thanks again for the tutorial.

  • Hi,

    I’ve been following the tutorials. I am stuck on part 2. With the loop and fill tool. When I use the fill tool it selects everything which we don’t want. I went back and remodeled the goo again to make sure I had ‘caps off’ did everything correctly still no joy 🙁 I am using r14. Hope someone can shed some light.


  • Really nice tutorial, at 13:25 you mention turning on point mode and you see “redundant points” they are remaining because you checked “Create Ngons”. If you go to Modelling mode, go to the Mesh Checking tab and check the “Enable Mesh Check” you will see all the green lines connecting to those loose points. Probably an impossible task to keep them all quads.

  • For anyone wondering, the last ” hedron” the ” bucky” as its called, is a shape popularized by buckminster fuller. hence its name bucky.

  • I got as far As the boole with the top and bottom half of the rock. my rock is hollow! and for the life of me i cannot figure out how to fix it! i dont have a smooth top to each half. its just a big hole and the object is hollow!

  • Hi Chris,

    Great tutorial, thanks a lot.
    Could you give us some pointers for how to do the drips on the side.

    Thank you

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