Shattering an Object in Cinema 4D – Part 2: Lighting, Texturing and Rendering the Scene.

December 18, 2009

In part two of this tutorial, I show you how to set up the textures and the lights in this scene to prepare it for render. We use the GI Sky Sampler and an HDRI image to light the scene without any actual lights.

Final Render

Missed Part 1? Watch it here.

Tutorial Focus:  
Software:  ,

  • very orange ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sweet little tutorial. Will definitely be useful for some future plans I have.


  • Great! Do you know if there is a way to set this up using Version 11? I’ve been experimenting but I can’t seem to get it.

    Just curious…

  • The destruction plug-in seems to produce a lot of triangles. I used the untriangulate function to turn them into n-gons and it worked.

    Doesn’t this solution speed up the render?

  • Great stuff. For someone like myself looking into cinema 4D as another 3D option to add to my bag of 3D knowledge would you (or anyone who reads this) recommend any good resources for diving into c4d? Free or paid, does’t matter to me. Books, tutorials, videos, etc.

    Great little tutorial on the shatter plug and I’m looking forward to your lighting setups!

  • Cool news about the lighting rig stuff

  • Nick, you are great, thanks for the tutorial!

  • So I used this method to shatter some text with a cube. It Looks great. But I have this weird problem that when I render the dynamics change, and the pieces don’t move the same direction they do in the preview. Basically the cube falls and crushes the text and then stands straight up, but when I do my final render the cube falls over on it’s side.

    Any ideas on what’s causing the change in the actualy render?

  • I wanted to try this out here is my video

  • This is my result. You are a great teacher.

  • Yes Great teacher & Great artiste,thanks for the tutorial,and here is my video :

  • Hi man, nice tut and the plugin is awesome, didnยดt know about its before. thx …And that your website hopefully never more disappear ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Hey Nick, learned a ton from the tut but i was trying to drop the object and then having the shatter. I couldn’t get it to drop anymore…. can you tell me how to drop or toss and object and have it shatter on a wall or floor?

    Thanks again, – tj

    • Thats a bit different of a setup. I will try to figure that one out and post a tutorial on that as well.

    • Thanks so much in advance… but can I add another problem I’m having? When I attach a glass texture even before the collision the lines from the destruction plug-in show up from reelections. So… if you have time… drop a glass object, and have it collide with the floor and shatter. I know you have all this free time on your hands to teach me. Thanks again – and Merry Christmas

    • I thought about TJ’s question and got to this result:

      Settings are the same, I just animated the position of the sphere. I hope you find this useful.

      Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m still confused about getting this to work… i’m trying to get a beer bottle to slip out of someone’s hand and shatter when it hits the floor

    • Did anyone ever work this out?

      Spent the evening trying to do exactly the same thing. Gave up in the end and dropped an array on the model.

      Great tut btw. TVM.

      Will post a link when it’s rendered.

  • thx Nick for such a great tuts. I’m new to C4D, here’s my “destruction”:

  • Hey Nick, im love your tutorials, pls keep them coming, however, i dont know if its just me, i cannot view the videos from your site any longer. The tutorial doesnt load. Any suggestions?

  • Adjusting the friction of the floor makes it even more realistic ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for this great tutorial!!

  • Thx
    Here is my video including DoF and stone texture…

  • Cant beleve this! Finished a project a couple o weeks ago doing this to a logo. (

    Wish I had found that destruction script then. I had to cut the logo up by hand and then bridge to fill all the poly holes… Really slow and laborious! DOH!

    Well thanks Nick, that I’ll teach me to do more research next time!

  • Nick,

    Great Tutorial. I’m fairly new to C4D, so this question may be a little amature. When setting up this scene – if you move the camera down showing more of the sky – there seems to be this strange horizon line. In your final render – the camera was up high enough so this was not an issue, but even in some of your test renders throughout – you could see this strange line (in yours it was a dark blue in the sky) I’ve come across this problem before and I’m not sure how to get rid of it.


  • Thanks Nick.
    It is just great to get the low down on another Mograph object and how you can spin it.
    Much appreciated.

  • Great little tutorial there Nick. Can’t wait to see the lighting rig product. this will come in so handy for sure. Great work as always.


  • Hey Nick! Another great tut… I was wondering how you could do a bullet time style “stop and spin” mid destruction?
    Thanks again and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

  • Nice tutorial Nick. Just wondering if u had any tips on getting rid of the flickering you sometimes get with GI lighting when animating?

  • Check this out. I was messing with the settings and if you want the block to crack like glass or ice and not fall apart go to the force tab and change follow animation to position and rotation. The only thing that kills that effect is that the cube then jiggles like jello after impact. If you could get the object to just crack then you would get a really cool effect.

  • Great tutorial, looking forward of the lighting rig product as well.

  • does this plugin work with r11? or just 11.5?

  • You could give us that HDRI map ๐Ÿ˜› to work


  • Thx for this tutorial and plugin!! I took a shot at it and here was my outcome:

  • Does anyone know hot to freeze the shattered object in time and have the camera move around…like bullet time?

    Perhaps by baking the animation first and then deleting the keyframes except of 1?

    or is there a simipler way?
    Any thoughts to this?

  • Hello, thanks for the tutorial. Here’s my test.

    Waiting for the plugin!

  • awesome tut i tried it on my showreel opener check it out:
    thanks again

  • Hey there,

    Here’s my result. I hope you like it, guys!


  • This tut really helped a lot, thx for sharing your knowledge!

    What I am trying to do now is to do a 2-step shatter, the first one as soon as the sphere hits the cube and the second one as the broken parts of the cube hit the floor.

    This would be essential for glass as it (in most cases) breaks again when shatters hit the floor.

    Any ideas on that?

    (I’ve split the cube in 4 parts, kept those seperatly and splitted again, tried nested fracture objects but until now to no avail)

    An inclusion/exclusion list which objects can cause shatter on collision would be great ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I want to (HDRI)

    thank you

  • Great stuff…

    I got a tough one: I am trying to combine some 3d text with modynamics AND the jiggle deformer. basically, 3d text falls and bounces around like jello = no success ๐Ÿ™

    There’s a nice challenge for you. Do you think it can be done? I saw something like this a while back on HYPA TV.

    I also tried some cloth tags. again, no success.

  • Hey Nick

    Be great to see how you copuld optimise this workflow for something more elaborate than a primitive. Great stuff

  • Gorilla,

    How do we adjust the gravity of this scene? can you just bring in a gravity object? I want gravity to go up instead of down?


  • Joda & his Padwan 3D January 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Gorilla. Great tutorial but we need to know where we can find the HDRI you’re taking about. Please, we want to render as same as you show us =(

    Saludos desde Panama city!

  • is it only me or i couldnt install the destruction plugin on 64bit windows 7 11.5 version ?

    i put the folder of the plugin in
    C:\Program Files\MAXON\CINEMA 4D R11.5\plugins

    o.O ?

  • Awesome tutorial, I LOVE THE GORILLA! i tired to do my own version of this but i rendered it out as quicktime tif instead (due to my slow computer so i could resume part way), now i dont know what to do with all the frames i have? How do i complile them into one video?

  • Very nice tutorial here!!

    Can anyone help me out how to get it working so that it will explode when the cube hits the floor? Instead of some other object hitting the cube…

    Thanks ahead!

  • Thanks Nick! Here is what i created as this was my first Mograph Render:

  • what about if you do it in glass? cause i tried it and you already see the edges from the destruction plugin.
    you got any tips for that?

  • Hey Nick !
    That’s a great tut but I was wondering if I can change the inside color of the cube.
    I want it to be one color outside, and when it explodes to be in two colors because of the inside color. I tried to do that but I didn’t find any way.
    Thanks !

  • Hi Nick!
    Great tutorial.
    This is my project render
    Btw I have some problems when I breaking object for many pieces. In my render you can see it. In case when object do not have many parts it is looks ok. Do you have any ideas why it is happens?
    Sorry for my English

  • Nick I love this tutorial I am trying to do this on my Mac and DL’ed the plug in, I’m really new to Cinema 4d and can’t quite get it to work. Every time I click OK on the plug-in it crashes. Any idea what I can do to get this to stop? Thanks a ton!

  • Great tutorial! I worked through it and came up with my own short version here:

  • Hey loved the tutorial.
    been trying to create something similar to this using a wine glass being shattered by a bullet.
    It looks pretty good at the moment but when i add my glass texture you can see the the small cracks used to distinguish the glass pieces, would there be any decent way around this?

  • Hey Gorilla ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m happy i found your website, because everytime i want to do sth. i just have to search here and there is the perfekt tutorial!

    Now i made a diamond and now want to blow it up with a bullet. So far that worked. But now i wanted to ad a material i made before. On the original diamond it looks normal and has fast rendering. But when i put it onto the connected chunks which are in a fracur object it takes 7 min to rander 4 squares!! I think he renders each fractur and thats alot rendering with reflection and all that stuff a diamond has. So how can i make him rendering normal until the bullet hits the diamond?

    Greez and thanks from germany ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hi Nick,
    really nice work.
    Here i found one of the video, i think it’s using same plugins and technique.
    Do you mind in future, doing the tutorial like that one?

  • Hi gorrilla! , please where can i get studio_hdri_baketestreflection.hdr


  • Great tutorial! I started learning c4d last week, and your website has been and always is a great resource. Thanks!

    Anyways, here is what I ended up with using the method shown above:

    PS: To get the slow motion effect, hit command + d (control + d for pc), go to the MoDynamics tab and change the Time Scale to something less than one. I used 0.5 for this render. Also, make sure to give yourself enough frames in the project to fit the animation.

    PSS: I get a weird bug when I use the destruction plugin. Once I have the explosion all set up, and I scrub through the timeline, I can’t scrub backwards. I would scrub forward, the explosion would begin, when I scrub back, it stays still, and when I scrub forward again, the explosion continues. Scrubbing back and forth enough times, gets you far past the end of your project frames. I’m on Mac v11.5.

    PSSS: Nick, have you used ? Would you be able to compare, and possible make a tutorial on it, or a compare/contrast video?


    • Just a quick answer to my PSS, for those interested (Yerp, I answered my own question).

      The reason you can’t scrub backwards is not because of the plugin, but because of the dynamics. Since there’s no way for the dynamics to predict the animation, you have to start from frame one and scrub forward for dynamics to figure out what’s happening on the fly.

      In order to be able to scrub backwards, you need to cache the dynamics by baking them using the MoGraph Tags > MoGraph Cache tag.

      You can see Nick cache dynamica in this tutorial at 9:43 ->

      In case I wasn’t the only noob, I hope this helps.

  • Heya Nick,
    Nice tutorial!
    I would like to texture the insides of the broken pieces a different color or texture map. Is it possible or do I use XBreaker for that?


  • Hey Nick!

    i’ve been going thru so many of your tutorials, im a graphic designer getting into some motion stuff now. I’ve learned a lot mostly everything just from your tutorials.

    Check out my shatter effect, i used the xplode plug-in

    Thanks for all the help! Keep them coming!!!

  • hey everyone, I know this forum is old but someone might answer, I can’t install the destruction plugin in my mac, I’m running R12. Please I need some help! I’m copying the Destruction plugin into the R12 plugins folder, restart, and doesn’t showed up.

    Thanks guys!!!!

  • Hello
    That’s was awsome I cant belive human can do that!Am trying to make one like u but I dont have Lighting, Texturing and Rendering the Scene So can anybody help me give me link to downloading it ?

  • Dear Nick,

    Love your tutorials. Learned a lot from it!

    One thing i don’t understand is when you use a Sky object with an HDRI lightmap. You always talk about using “Sky Sampler” as GI Mode, while you can leave it on IR (Still image) too. Sky Sampler takes much more time to render… I like IR (Still image) more.

    So why do you prefer using Sky Sampler over IR?

  • Great tutorial, thanks! The Destruction plug-in is pretty neat as long as you don’t push it too far, just a shame there doesn’t seem to be a fixed version available. One question though: how do I stop the fragments of my shattered cube skidding over the floor like ice, and have them come to a rest sooner after hitting it?

    I’m only just finding my way around C4D, and animation in general, so your relaxed, well thought-out tut’s are really helpful, not to mention considerably better than many out there!

  • Could you guys please do a tutorial on Joe Hamilton or just explain to me what he is doing? It’s a little bit avant-garde and I would just love to figure out how he is doing what he is doing!! Cheers!

    Here’s a link:

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