Turn Text Into A Tropical Island Scene

August 11, 2015


In this AskGSG, we get asked by MadnessPro how to make a Tropical Island scene out of text similar to this beautiful spot by Animo – 3D & VFX Studio. First, Chris builds the island and water using the Displace Deformer and textures it with gradients. Next, Chris adds trees to the scene using a simple model and Hair. Finally, Nick tweaks the textures and lighting for the final render.

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  • Awesome guys, it is very cool

  • Actually, Canale 5 is a well known italian tv channel, you can notice the .it web address (.it means italy). This promo advertises the italian version of “Survivor” format.

    Anyway, the tutorial is very well explained.
    Keep Greyscale going!

  • Hi guys, thanks for that awesome tut. Im gonna check it out in blender though πŸ˜‰
    PS i have a great app so you can switch back to your last used folder by a short cut. Very handy if your all over the place in the system during a days work.

    You need to check defaultfolder x on mac, its HUGE time saver

  • “it’s French”. thanks for that giggling πŸ™‚
    it’s Italian I guess.

  • Hi guys! great tutorial! I was only wondering how you copy things inside the layer channel. The usual ctrl+click doesnt work inside the material editor.

    PS: the .it is italian. The name is: The island of the famous

  • Andreas Schwietzke August 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Very good tutorial! It’s fun to listen to you while I’m learning new functions. Very well done guys!

  • Thank you very much. Very informative. You guys have taught me so much over the years. Serious thanks!!!

  • Great tutorial, Nick & Chris.

    I would like to point out that I am having trouble trying to make the hair material reflect the palm tree texture. I have ticked the option under Hair object > Generate > Keep textures but the final render shows what it looks like a bunch of “2d paper cuts”.

    My palm tree dimensions are:

    X – 150
    Y – 3000
    Z – 150

    and I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to set the Hair material’s Thickness to match those above. Should the Thickness option be 150 x 150 or 150 x 3000? What am I missing here?

    Any light on this issue is immensely appreciated.

    Thank you a lot. You guys are fantastic contributors to learning C4D.

    • Don’t try to match us, just get trying bigger and bigger numbers until you go too far, then pull back. You might be set to different units than we have. For instance on your thickness try 1, then 10, 100, 1000, 10,000 and so on until you see them pop in.

  • Hey Nick!
    Awesome tutorial, as always!
    I’m learning a lot eating up the videos at GSG website, and I’m curious about this one why didn’t you use any GI or Physical Sky to that scene?
    Tks again! Cheers!

    • Nick is the one who know lighting, but my guess is that it is pretty straight forward to get generic daylight lighting, and it then gives us a lot of control of brightness/shadows/colors that a physical sky wouldn’t give us.

  • Hi mates, that’s a good tutorial. The problem about the shadow is something that has been frustrating me all the time and IΒ΄ve never been able to solve it. It would be great if you could find the problem and then share the solution. Cheers!

  • I can not find your color scheme as in cinema 4d R16 ?

  • It’s not french nor spanish! That’s italian!
    Canale 5 (channel 5) is one of Berlusconi’s tv channels and the island is the channel logo.
    Isola dei famosi (island of the famous) it’s the italian version of “get me out,i am a celebrity!” reality show. πŸ˜‰

  • The original looks like it was built in Vue.

  • Just awesome !!
    Chris is sooooo productive and he’s one of the very few people that when say “I spent 14 years playing with cinema 4D” I would believe them.
    and Nick is just so amazing person.
    you guys are my favorite tutors ever!!!

  • Hi guys, great tutorial…but have you seen the entire promo’s version??? its absolutely amazing!! never seen realism like that…anyone knows the name of production studios who made that?


  • Thanks so much for making this tutorial! It was awesome! I contracted the makers of the reference video, and they said that they made it with Blender. πŸ™‚

  • Hi Nick & Chris nice AskGSG topic..

  • Thanks again for making this awesome tutorial! Here is a picture of what I made from fallowing your tutorial πŸ˜€ http://imgur.com/BVnNDlD

  • Really learnt alot from playing around with this one, thank you guys!

    Here is what I ended up with, I skipped the layers in c4d and did the noise all in PS πŸ™‚

  • Hi guys thanks for the video but I have a little problem with the displacer at the beginning, how do you manage to get the various layers(S, gradient, noise) in only one displacer? I can’t find that “Shader Properties” and had to create a displacer for each layer needed to obtain a similar effect using R16. Thanks again πŸ™‚

  • It’s amazing… coooooooooool .. I wonder where i find the exercise files plz πŸ™‚

  • gdesignfactory.com September 4, 2015 at 3:23 am

    “Promo l’isola dei famosi” is not French πŸ˜‰ Is ITALIAN! C’mon guys! you can confuse it with Spanish, not French! Anyway, it is a bad TV show like Big Brother, but in an island. Really rubbish. Thank you for tutorial!


  • Hey guys!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    I was super stuck with a client job involving scenery, a “cartoonish realistic” miniature city and some water, cause the job was just not going where I wanted and I was super super tired of dealing with it with very little sleep and so on. Then I just decided to pop here and see if there’s anything new on GSG and give myself a break. Funnily enough, this hit my eye and it was exactly what I needed!
    A fresh look, a new way to do some of the things I was stuck with (tree area render times were killing me).
    So I ditched the whole scene and started from scratch πŸ˜€
    Much better now.
    Good tips on using the Gradient shader, I was losing my hair with the Terrain shader, and also (no pun intended) the Hair instance saved most of mine. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the inspiration, guys!

  • I created these video game islands using this technique . Have a look


  • Thank you very much for this tutorial!

    I am just curious: when watching your tutorials it occurred to me that you guys often create and test render a beautiful scene in the Standard Renderer, only to final render it with the Physical Renderer. Which, as you noticed in this tutorial, often changes the whole look of the render.

    Why don’t you just always start with Physical? πŸ™‚

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