Stopping Time: How to make the Matrix Effect in Cinema 4D

February 5, 2010

In this tutorial, I show you how to stop time in your Mograph Dynamic renders. I call it the “Matrix Effect” where time stops or stands still for a moment before it starts again. I’ll show you how I use the Project Settings to control the speed and timing of an explosion.

The Final Result

Tutorial Focus:  , , ,
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  • very cool, I kinda want to combine this with the shatter an object tutorial

  • Amazing render, will be trying this soon. I would also like to see if adding some kind of motion blur during the pause/spin might add a neat little effect without killing the Maxtrixy look. Thanks!

  • Great one nick!
    Im still wating for the one that you showed a few days ago… that with the multiple caps text…or something like that.. fucking loved that effect @.@

    best wishes!!! Teb

  • great stuff! can you show us that soft box and skyline light trick? love the render!

  • Hey nick great work,but you should slow even more the camera rotation,SHOULD hehe
    but thanks im a big fan anyway

  • Thanks Nick, I was wondering what this time scale thing is and out of ignorance never gave it a try…
    btw, love your site, thanks for sharing!

  • wow cool!
    is it also possible, that the animation goes on but slowly?

  • Bamm! Nice and smooth Tutorial – Thanks to the Gorilla!

  • Awesome tutorial!

  • Very nice – super useful tip there.

  • Will this work in C4D r11?


  • Wow, busy these days! Thx!

    Hope you find some time to judge the 5 second projects and to put up the next one πŸ™‚

  • Hi, thanks for the tutorial, but its possible freeze only a part of the objects, or you can only freeze all the dinamycs at the same time?

    thanks again

  • Hey Nick,

    Cool tut. I saw a similar one on cinversity and then I was sad that it could only be done in R11.5 πŸ™ as I only have R11.

    I asked a mate how to do this effect in R11 and he couldn’t really come up with a solution in C4D. Although I’ve seen this effect for a long time I hope there is a work around and if any one knows you toss it up on the board!

    That said, I do know a 2 ways to work around in After Effects, for people using R11 and lower.

    1) Time remapping to slow down the animation it’s not an exact science but can be done.. You need to do “frame blending” to get rid of the “jittery” style of your stretched frames.

    2) Theres a 3rd party after effects plug in that will give a smooth time remap effect. Sorry I can’t remember the plug in name or company :S it starts with an “F” I will have to wait till I grab the email from work to see what the plug is.. but yah if any one knows what it is post it up would be a big help for previous C4D users.

  • Great effect!!!!!!!

  • Huh, is it 10 years ago already?

    Just kidding, everybody still loves the bullet time effect πŸ˜€

    Keep it up Nick!

  • Hey Gorilla I ask to you for this tutorial….
    Alessandro Boncio

  • awesome effect πŸ™‚

    with your tutorials you made me fall in love with Cinema 4D . Thank you

  • Excellent tutorial Nick!!! I’m looking forward to this lighting product.

  • Great Stuff! But, i still have a little question…
    How is this Time stretch possible to accomplish for Normal\classic keyframed animation? not Modynamics? Because, for now, i have No idea how to do this [tried the F-curves graph, and found nothing] my only [stupid] option is to render all my scene @ 60fps, and just Time Remap it in AE. Unless one of you can offer a solution? πŸ™‚

    • afaik that would involve (quite a lot of) manual work.

      If you have an animation from frame 0-90 and want a camera spin around from let’s say frame 40 to 70, you would have to hold all other animation tracks in that range, e.g. create a new keyframe in frame 40 (you could easily do so by Strg+Click in that track at frame 40) and copy that one to frame 70 (drag and drop with strg held). But you’d have to repeat that for each animation track (except the camera)…

      To set the keyframe in frame 40 for all selected animation tracks at once you could press ‘q’ (or choose File > Record Current State in Timeline Window).

      If you want to freeze everything you have to copy frame 40 keyframes to frame 70, if you want the animation to be slomo you could forward to e.g. frame 50 press q again and move all those generated keyframes to frame 70.

      With a little extra work on f-curves you can reach a nice slowmo effect.


    • I would just use AE. If something can be done in AE, I would ALWAYS do it there. Tweaking in 3D is usually not worth it. I say get it close and finish up in compositing.

    • thanx to both of you guys, for your reply πŸ™‚
      But, Nick.That’s the thing, isnt it? I know you are a very proficient guy, and so, if i go by the route you suggested (which is what i thought of as well), that means im going through X2 times the Render time. instead of 24-25fps, its now 50-60 frames per second. so, im just thinking forward, what will i do next time, when ill have a tight deadline..u know. just a thought πŸ™‚

  • nick hello! Thanks for your great tutorials, they very helpful.however we need more After Effects tutorials!!specially like unfolding animation))


  • Hi Nike
    Thank you for your realy nice Tutorials

  • Once again a great tut! Thanks, your efforts are much appreciated!

  • it’s very generous of you to share everything you learn to us. you keep nothing to yourself it seems πŸ™‚
    Thanks Nick!

  • Nick Thanks!! We will wait for your new tuts:))by the way, where can i get microphone like you have?)))

  • Hi Nick! Just one quick question: can we achieve the same effect with out any modynamics animation? Lets say i just animate an object manually, for example, i animate the position of a sphere, from A to B, can i do the same “matrix effect”???

    • If you are keyframing anyway, then I would just keyframe your matrix effect. Stop the movement for a time and then start the movement. Or, if your render times aren’t too long, you can try Time Remaping in AE.

  • Hi Nick,
    I have a question about vimeo compression. Hope you or anyone here can help. When a i compress my videos at H264, the warm colors seems to be very washed. Is there any work around to get the best colors from my videos when i compress them?
    Sorry for the english, have to practice more!
    Greetings from Brazil. =o)

  • I’m liking C4D more and more everyday! Great Tutorial!

  • Found the plug in I was talking about earlier. Its called, “Kronos” from Furnace for AE.

  • Great and simple!!! Thaks!

  • Hey Nick, great tutorial heres a massive scene i applied this technique to :],
    first test
    and final
    god bless my little macbook pro


  • Thanks Nick…. Thats just what I wanted!

  • Wow! I am hooked! I canΒ΄t help myself. Stopping is an old but fun trick. (Thanks grey monkey or the smart tip, much better than screwing around with variable FPS)

  • Is it that you do tutorials on whats on my list, or you read my mind, i was working on that same effect here ( I just ended up using function of copying “as-is” or sunfin like that.
    But ima give this a try and try it again.

    about the AE tutorials, C4d is addictive and it’s hard to go back to 2d compositing, once you learn what can be done with these programs.

  • Thanks Nick. I know I am a little late to the party but here’s my test…


  • Thanks for the great tutorial! Quick and cool- I love this stuff. MoGraph is so powerful.

  • A bit late, but the stop time effect is really useful (to me). Another example:
    thanks again gray monkey.

  • Great tutorial !
    I tried to use the technique in a special case but it had some limitations.
    I’d like to have an object explosion with all the pieces flying and then reconstruct into a nice 3D logo.
    I explose my object with the destruction plugin but after that… There’s no “back in time” possibilty ?
    Perhaps with the use of a force to attract the pieces.
    I Hope that somebody has a solution.


  • why doesn’t the timescale affect the heading of the camera….b/c what if you want to apply this technique to the whole entire scene, not just the moDynamics….???

  • Here is my attempt with this effect, dressed up a bit with after effects and logic pro.

  • I just want to ask, how do you render your C4D animations in high quality; less the artifacts, corrected material textures and color? I followed all your animation tutorials but I cannot finish it because I dont know how to fix the animation render settings.. Please help me Nick.

    from your fans here in Polynesia.

    • Hey Sai,

      if you post a jpg of your render as it is, that might help a bit.

      are you rendering with Global Illumination turned on? Do you have Anti-Aliasing set to “best?”

      Most of the Render Options can be found in the “Render” menu item on the top of the screen, and from there go down to “Render Settings.”

      hope that helps Sai.

  • WTF, after I go to Project Settings and add the both keyframes, it doesn’t “freeze time”. Please help!

  • Hi Nick,

    Just found your site – looks amazing already! Thanks for sharing so much cool stuff!
    Nothing in my Project Settings > MoDynamics > Dynamics is working. I tried adjusting all the settings there for a simple test scene and no results at all. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? I’m using v. 11.5

  • Hamid Reza Jafarnia August 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Nice. I want to make this technic in real world and with real camera. can you help me?


  • Hey Nick, great tutorial! does the Modynamics slow down time for ALL of the objects or just those that are using Mograph?

  • Hello,
    I’m am so hooked on your tutorials, best on the net.
    I have a question, I’ve set-up a similar scene to this, I just can’t seem to be able to set the sphere object as the cloner object in the cloners attributes. The tab which says “select element” is greyed out.
    Anyone know how to get it too work?
    Many thanks. πŸ™‚

  • Great tutorials as always…:) thks so much.
    Ive tried this ..hope you like it

  • I’m using R12 and have hit a bit of a wall, and hoping someone may be able to shed some light. I added a rigid body tag to the cloner, and all of the cloner objects just fall straight down, not exploding outwards. And after they fall straight down, they reveal the sphere object underneath. Any ideas on whether I might be overlooking something?

  • Muchas Gracias Nick! Thanks Nick!!

  • Now how do we still accomplish this same effect in R12? Please help! Also does anyone know how to stop real time?!

  • how do you make the cubes or the objects fall on the plane

  • he i was trying to do this effect combined with the transformer plugin, but after doing some research i figured out that ofcourse it does only work with MoGraphs. Is there anyway to do this with the transformer plugin? to make it stop, swing the camera around and make it go on?

  • Is it possible to make this effect in r13 ?
    because if i attach the rigid body thing to my cloner object it dont want to explode πŸ˜€
    sry for my bad english ^^

  • Video is down nick (; please get them up again I really want to see this one again

  • Nick, does this only work when you have mograph elements applied? I have used PolyFX to destroy some text and would quite like to try this method but the steps you used don’t seem to work.

  • Hi, i was wondering if anyone had any idea how to get the same effect when using a simple emmiter to emit smoke using the pyrocluster shader?

  • Very good tutorial πŸ™‚
    But I have a question: If I have more than one MoDynamics, is there a way to time scale just one of these?

  • I am curious, i am having troubles with the Time Scale Feature. It seems to have no effect on any scene i apply it to. The values change but there is no visible slow down.

    Thank you in advance.

  • very nice tut:-)

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