Spiral Growth in Cinema 4D Part 2 With The Monkey

July 20, 2010

After finishing the last tutorial I received several emails from other people showing how they approached spiral growth. This time I run through a variety of new ways to do the same thing and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Methods Discussed

• Bend Deformer
• Extrusion Deformer
• Formula Object
• MoSpline
• CS_Recursive Spline
• FK/IK Joint Chain


Py4d Python for C4D

Chris Smith’s Python Cheat Sheet

Recursive Spline by Chris Smith

Golden Formula by The Monkey

IK Spirals by The Monkey

Watch Spiral Growth Part One

Tutorial Focus:  
Software:  ,

  • ha! Time to ignore work and watch this! Thanks Mike! EW-EW-AH-AH! And thanks Nick, for letting The Monkey on your blog! LOVE IT

  • awesome and useful as ever. thx both of u

  • Who’d a thought a Monkey and a Gorilla could make such sweet music together, um motion graphics that is. Love it, hey Monkey you need to do some tutorials on how to use SoundKeys, PLEASE oh PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Awesome – glad you replied to my FK/SK request Mike!

  • Once again, thank you so much Mike !

    The Gorilla & the Monkey are about to take over the world !!!

  • I’m always up for a tutorial!
    Even if its for a program I don’t have.

  • Again: Thx. Just plain informative and relaxing to watch!

  • Brilliant stuff! You blow my mind with the amount of science you put into your work, thanks for putting it into easy to digest chunks of nutricious information!

  • Damn great tutorial, thanks mike

  • great stuff man really helpfull

  • Got so much out of both of these videos man, love your intelligence and enthusiasm with 3d. Has been really fun learning and can’t wait for the next video.

  • 3d meier has some amazing spiral stuff on his site. A lot of it can be downloaded, and there are some Coffee plugins for Lorenz attractors and the such.

    Log spiral here

    Use Google Chrome to go there and you will be given the option to translate the page to english, which is what I did

    Thanks for the great video


  • Like the others in this thread I like the way you describe complex problems in a relaxing and thoughtful way that’s more informative then intimidating. Well done sir. You would make a great instructor.

  • yes this was very helpful! i didnt know about the twirl down menus on the mospline either, this is going to save me alot of time. cheers.

    Cs_recursive spline looks great as well, well done Chris.

  • Cheers Mike, fantastic tips!

  • Again great stuff! I’ll keep this in mind!
    The Monkey 4 President! X-D


  • Always get exited by seeing a new post from the monkey and benefit so much from the tips and techniques from the tutorials!!!! Looking forward about your upcoming plans ….

    Thanks for sharing your time!!!

  • MONKEY MANIA! Yes! Thx dude! Very good stuff!

  • you have a sexy voice!

  • This is just great! Please – join your ape forces and put out some more of these!

  • Thanks~!!!! very inspiring 🙂

  • haha you should get paid for that. its not like tutorial, its online lessons. and its awesome! i would love to see more theory stuff, as for project orientated tutorials there is the gorilla. you guys could even refer on each other in the tutorials, doing on practical part on a concrete example, and the technical part that is behind, talking more about the possibilities behind the technics. i also think its nice that there are people like you who plan the things and not just put physics to see what happens…

    please go on and stay motivated!!

  • hahaha

    “Like a jerk he wrote 25 lines of code that completely replaced me as an individual”

    Good to hear you talk man.

  • i realy hope you will be doing some more videos 🙂

  • QUALITAY! Thanks a lot!

  • Great presentation, Monkey. I think you should know my wife snickers every time you say bone, boning, joint, grab a joint, and joint chain.

  • Thanks Mike! This was great and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge. It’s great to learn the foundation in vid 1 and then the optional ways in vid 2. Great stuff. Please, please, please keep it up!!!!

  • The Monkey makes me want to learn stuff! Keep up the good work! Props to GSGorilla for promoting the knowledge sharing.

  • respect!!

    i have been following your blog for a while now nick.. but never commented.. just consumed everything whole 🙂 with mike in now.. things are getting way too good to be quiet about it.. amazingly awesome ..

  • Ahhhh damnit, python.. yet another thing Im behind the curve on.. thanks a lot mike. no really thanks, a lot..

  • Thanks Mike and GSG, really like the tutorials.

  • great tutorial monkey

  • This stuff is da bomb 🙂 Love it – thanks!

  • Hey Monkey, thank you very much for this great video. You went through so many amazing stuff and I must say I got LOTS of tips & tricks from them you. Keep rocking. We need more talents spreading their secrets 🙂

  • Speaking of “Golden Proportions”…
    There is a programm called “Atrise Golden Section”, which I often use.
    Sometimes it really helps.

    • I am so glad you mentioned this program
      Finally I get something like the rulers in Photoshop in cinema C4d by unlocking the lock aspect in the look tab. Now I can see the center of the rendering viewport.

  • “wacky crazy mcgee”

    nice work!

  • Awesome! Keep ’em coming.

  • Hey, nice tut!
    i have a question, i want to animate a industrial robot arm. And i dont know how to!
    Mayby you could make a short tutorial about that.

    nice work!!

  • Superb information and inspiring thank you Mike, Nick and Chris………

  • Thanks again for your time and knowledge, it’s inspiring not only artistically, but just how much you both share with the world.

  • Hey Mike, I just wanted to say thank you! Your first video taught me how to animate these tubes using joints; invaluable lesson man!

    I was working on a promo video for a client and I was scratching my head… I used your joint technique to dynamically animate these tube things on my skybot.

    Please check out my video you helped me finish!!


    Thank you!

    – Shawn Astrom

  • Here is a good link for more Golden Ratio info:


    Warning: its pretty high on the geek factor but very interesting.

    @Mike: Have you seen the movie “Inception”? The sequence where the street starts to bend upwards…do you think that the street was CG-ed was using the same IK bone/bend deformer technique? It kind of reminded me of your first Spiral tut! 🙂

  • Hi,dear monkey.Great work! and can you tell me what type (brand/model) of microphone are you using to record your videos? thx!!!:)

  • Awesome! Another amazing post!

    Thanks Nick

  • So great stuff monkey! I´m about to jump to cinema 4d and start playing with all this stuff… thanks a lot!

  • Another great tut, thanks for sharing Monkey! Looking forward to your next one.

  • Monkey thanks so much for taking the time to make this, very entertaining and educational!!! you rock. thanks also to Nick for showcasing you here

    can’t wait for more!!!

  • Dude! Your hair looks so much better! Great tutorial AS ALWAYS!!! 🙂

  • Hi Mr. Monkey, i was playing around with particles and modynamics the other day and i was wondering if you could shine your genious light on this subject because i think it’s verry interesting.

    this is the vid i made

  • This is an amazing tutorial.
    Theres more here than what is covered which i like. With a little brain juice you can do some cool things with this.

    Many many thanks.

  • Great stuff. Really great.

  • Hi I am writing from Colombia is the first time I dare but there is something that is causing discomfort when I export to after effects and I pass the camera + light comp let me know if I can say how to make me not go this component I’ve tried many ways but always comes in after thanks

  • i like the gorilla better 😉

  • a more comfortable I feel good when you leave one comp and thought it was only me that none of your tutorials I have found out this compo


  • Thank you very much!!!

  • Very cool video, quite informative! It’s always great to see how many different approaches there are to every problem in C4D. In case someone’s interested, I sat down and wrote a Fibonacci spiral generator in Py4D, which comes pretty close to the golden ratio. http://michaelauerswald.de/blog/2010/08/04/py4d-fibonacci-spiral/


  • Hi Monkey!

    The Gorilla seems to drink a little too much coffee lately, so its nice to hear your quiet rumble. 😉
    (gorilla your great)…

    on topic… how about the epicycloid in the spline menu?
    i can seem to get some spiral stuff there, i’m not nearly as good with numbers as. well, my cat, but i wondered if you took a look at this option.
    hope to hear from you, and hope to see you back soon!
    Kind regards,

    Remco, remmac

  • Hey guys u should do a tutorial on how to rig stuff with armatures

  • While playing with the cloner I stumbled on another way to make a spiral of sort.
    Linear, Mode Per step and step mode Cumulative.

  • Mike, if you like a very neat movie about the golden spiral than check this out


  • Brilliant stuff.
    Just playing about with MoSpline, and using ‘ind’ as a value (i.e. the point index) in the formula field – in place of tweaking the spline – generates some nice spiral effects. You can exaggerate the effect by multiplying to this or some nice effects by subtracting from this value too.

  • Really enjoyed both videos – very informative.

    Is Chris Smith’s recursive spline meant to work in V12? Is there something I’m meant to do?

    xsDeformation doesn’t seem to work in V12

  • Thanks Mike,

    your tutorials are amazing. I’ve found myself using a lot of the techniques covered in many different aspects of my workflow. Thanks so much! I really prefer these types of tutorials much more than the usual straight forward ‘here’s a popular style and here’s how to make it’ ones (not knocking other tuts as they’re all incredibly handy, it’s just a personal preference).

    I’d love to know if you have any further tutorials planned for the future? Perhaps an extension of your NAB audio synching talk or further exploration of xpresso, perhaps thinking particles? I should really stop being so greedy!

    Anyway, just wanted to say a huge thanks!



  • the Monkey ROCKS !!!!!

    it might have been, a most valuable techniques
    I’ve learned in 3D. at least for me =)
    I never forget you now… =D mostly cause of the Golden Ratio, -triangle etc. (K) =)

    Wish you the BEST !!!

  • Damnit, you’re looking like a mixture of Ewan Mc Gregor and Keanu Reeves 🙂

    Nice tuts keep on…

  • Crazy good. Thank you.

  • Hey guys, Great tut, always enjoy the gorilla’s friends tuts just as much as his. Quick question, trying to get the py4d plugin, and when I follow the link below the video I dont see “get py4d”, clicked on the post you have opened up, but every time I click a link on the page it just says NOT FOUND. Is there somewhere else I can find the plug-in…..Please help…

    • If you have C4D v12 it should already be built in if you look up at the top tab. I had the same problem, if you google it you’ll find Python got bought up by Maxon and cancelled their license for anyone v12 and under.

      You’l notice that the Python tag doesn’t work and has a little ‘x’ over the tag. To fix this you should: “delete symbols as sy from the import statements and replace every instance of sy with c4d” quoted from above.


      • Thanks a lot for this, I was looking all over trying to find an update for the Python Generator and it was right here in the comments. It should really be included in the description.

  • could you please send me the plugin, I really need it for a actual project I do. thanks a lot.

  • Deformation plugin? I missed this in the last video? Setting sizes for deformers is sort of my most loathed task in Cinema. Thank you much.

  • 1st of all anyone’s teacher is person’s himself 🙂 It’ about everything. But if I talk about 3D the others are you: Nick Campbell, Mike Senften and Chris Schmidt. So, I wanna say thank you 🙂

  • Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • soooooo usefull stuff again!!!!Thank you so much!!!!!!!

    Wish I could use the -CS_Recursive Spline- c4d file – Preset…
    but i m running on C4d R13 and the py4d.com site is down and python script is already integrated in C4D by now…. i didn’t figure out by myself how to change the original script to work in C4DR13 – via the “script – python – tag” so that i could use this fantastic Set Up in C4DR13!!!

    Help Wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanx a lot !


  • hey…too much talk…!
    but, nice work…

  • Hello, I’m trying to use python setup, but it doesn’t work now. Using c4d r16.

    Could you upgrade python set up to new c4d versions?

    Thanks a lot

  • Great Tutorial. Would like to see an update for this. The py4D tag is no longer in use.
    How can we adapt for R16?


  • Great Tutorial,
    Still prefer the joint technique 😉
    I’ve updated the Recursive Spline by Chris Smith Python code to R15++ and it’s available here: bit.ly/1QaqTrZ.

    Thanks !

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