3D Artist

14 amazing Cinema 4D texturing tips

Tips & Tutorials
Steve Holmes

Discover the secrets behind pro level shaders and texturing in Maxon Cinema 4D

14 amazing Cinema 4D texturing tips

01 – Find other texture resources that are readily available online My two principal website sources for textures are CG Textures at cgtextures.com and Swiss Landscape Resources at gumroad.com/slresources. Swiss Landscape Resources is a small platform of photo materials that are really great for amazing landscapes at a very affordable price. Bastien Grivet

02 – Accentuate your models with edge breaks The Phong Shading Tag gives an object a smoother appearance. Selecting certain edges and breaking the Phong shading there can accentuate different material qualities of the model. Erwin Kho

03 – Add dirt without having to unwrap a complicated mesh If you want to add dirt to a model but don’t want to mess around with UVs, you can stack textures with Alphas on the detached geometry of your original mesh. Using Cinema 4D’s Live Selection Tool, pick some polys – then use the Mesh Split command. Do this as many times as you like, and keep varying them by adding different Alphas and Displacement attributes. This is faster than unwrapping a complex mesh, and you will get a fairly good result. Michael Tschernjajew

04 – Try C4D’s Vertex Map Shader C4D’s Vertex Map Shader enables you to render a Vertex Map as a greyscale image. To end up with the proper greyscale output, apply the Vertex Map Shader in the Alpha and Luminance channels. Assign the Vertex Map weights you made to the Vertex Map Shaders and you’re done. Erwin Kho

05 – Achieve better noise colour with Colorizer Noise shaders only have two colours, but you can add extra colours with a colouriser shader. Select Colorizer in the drop-down menu on the left of your noise, as if you wanted to replace the noise with another shader. Instead of replacing it, the noise will be placed in the Colorizer shader. Now you can add a full colour gradient to the grey values of the noise. Istvan

06 – Create your own texture library and regularly add your own bespoke resources to it I’m always going back to my good old home-grown texture library – I’ve got my Canon 7D with me most of the time for this purpose. Usually I try to keep my library organised. Axel Roessler

07 – Link the properties of two shaders with the XPresso editor Create an XPresso tag on a Null object. Drop a master noise shader and a slave noise shader on the XPresso editor. Link each output from the master noise shader to its corresponding inputs in the slave noise shader. Now, changing a parameter on the master noise will update the slave noise in real-time. This works for every type of shader, not just noise. Istvan

14 amazing Cinema 4D texturing tips

08 – Select texture tags or objects to quickly change materials Rather than scrolling through the Object Manager trying to locate each individual model that shares the same material, click on the material in the Material Manager and LMB and choose ‘Select texture tags/objects’. You can then drag your new material into the Texture Tag>Tag Properties>Material slot and all the materials will be updated. Paul Massey

09 – Create a glowing edge effect with the Fresnel texture If you have a complex model, add a Fresnel to it and leave the background black for a nice glowing effect. Zeng Xiaolin

10 – Work with Fresnels on reflective surfaces Work with Fresnels on reflective surfaces When you need a reflecting surface, you can use the reflectivity channel. In order to make the reflection transparent, an option is to just lower the opacity of its layer inside the material. However, it will be best to use a Fresnel layer for the reflectivity reduction, as this will create more natural reflections. Uli Staiger

11 – Get more realistic edges with Fresnels If you’ve used a Fresnel in reflections and want a more realistic result, add that same Fresnel in the Color channel and invert it. Then set Mix Mode to Multiply. Without this trick, your edges will have a brighter colour than they should. Philipp Pavlov

12 – Default Cinema 4D noises looking too obvious on your model? You can use the Distorter effect with two different noises. This will generate a lot of interesting organic textures by distorting existing noises. Philipp Pavlov

13 – Avoid having too many Ambient Occlusion render effects Have you ever used a material such as glass in your scene and wondered why it may have rendered dark instead of rendering as transparent? You probably used Ambient Occlusion as a render effect. Grab the Composition Tag for the glass object and click ‘not visible for AO’. Uli Staiger

14 – Utilise the Normalizer Pure black-and-white images are used in the Bump channel. The Normal channel creates more detailed surfaces, but it needs a normal map. So load the Normalizer into the Normal channel and feed it with your black-and-white image. Reflections and specular lights will now look a lot better. Uli Staiger