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Cinema 4D: Create an Abstract Armored Sphere Scene

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a complex abstract Armored Sphere scene in Cinema 4D. You will use structure tools (such as Extrude and Extrude Inner), HyperNURBS, and the Danel shader to create the scene, and then render it with Advanced Render, and finally add some depth of field in Photoshop.


Step 1

Create a sphere object (Objects > Primitive > Sphere), and set the "type" to "standard", and the "radius" to "96m" (if m is your basic units). This sphere will be the core of the object.


Step 2

Create another sphere object, and set the "type" to "standard", and the "radius" to a size larger than the previous (100m for example). Make it editable (C on the keyboard). This sphere will be the base object for modeling the first part of the armor.


Step 3

Select 1/8 of the sphere.


Step 4

Split (Functions > Split) the sphere into 2 objects (the whole sphere and the previously selected part). A new object with the same name will appear. Delete the selected polygons from the base object.


Step 5

Select the new object, then select all triangle polygons and melt them together (Functions > Melt).


Step 6

Select all of the polygons and extrude them (Structure > Extrude), with an "offset" value of about "2m", and the options "Preserve Groups" and "Create Caps" checked.


Step 7

Use extrude inner (Structure > Extrude Inner), with the "offset" near 3m and the "preserve groups" option checked, to make some sort of border at the sides of the object.


Step 8

Select the polygons at the center of the object and extrude with an "offset" of "-1.2m" and "Create Caps" unchecked.



Step 9

Use extrude inner with offset 0.3m.


Step 10

Duplicate and rotate this object to form a sphere, then add them to a null object (alt+G). This null object will be the core armor.


Step 11

Add a HyperNURBS object (Objects > NURBS > HyperNURBS) to the scene, and drag the core armor null object into the HyperNURBS object.


Step 12

Create a new sphere object with a "radius" of "104m" , make it editable, and start making the next layer of armor by selecting some polygons.


Step 13

Delete the selected polygons and select all of the remaining polygons.


Step 14

Extrude the polygons with an "offset" of "3m" and the "create caps" option checked.


Step 15

Create some more armor layers (3 or 4 will be enough). Group all of these armor objects and drop them into the HyperNURBS object.


Step 16

Create a new sphere with a "radius" of "115m", set the "type" to "tetrahedron", and make it editable (Functions > Make Editable).


Step 17

Select 1/4 of the tetrahedron sphere.


Step 18

Split the selection (as in step 4).


Step 19

Repeat this action until you get 4 parts to the tetrahedron sphere.


Step 20

Select these 4 objects, then select all of the polygons in them (ctrl + a).


Step 21

Extrude the polygons with an "offset" of "3m" and the "Preserve Groups" option checked.


Step 22

Group these 4 objects and drop them into the HyperNURBS. Now group all of the objects inside HyperNURBS object so they will all be subdivided. We will position all these objects later.


Step 23

Create a new plane object, scale it up to "5000m", and position it under the main object.


Step 24

Duplicate the null object (that contains the 4 parts of the tetrahedron sphere) 20 times without selecting mode (Functions > Duplicate).


Step 25

Select all of the duplicated null objects and randomize them (Functions > Randomize). Make sure that they are not intersecting.


Step 26

Group all of these null objects and add them to a new HyperNURBS object.


Step 27

Position and rotate all of the parts of the main object.


Step 28

Now for some materials. Create a new material (double click in the material manager).


Step 29

to Open the material editor (double click the new material), and change color to a dark grey (35, 35, 35).


Step 30

Under "Diffusion", check "Affect Specular" and "Affect Reflection", and for the "texture" use a noise shader (noise = turbulence; octaves = 5; global scale = 3500%).


Step 31

Under "Reflection", change the "brightness" to "38%", the "Blurriness" to "10%", the "Max samples" to "20". Note: the more samples you have, the more accurate the blur will be, but we do not need accuracy at this time.


Step 32

Under "Alpha", use a gradient (type = 2D circular) for the texture.


Step 33

Check "Specular", and leave it as it is. Rename the material to "Floor".


Step 34

Drag the "Floor" material onto the plane object.


Step 35

Create a new sky object (Objects > Scene > Sky). Create a new material and name it "Sky".


Step 36

Use an HDR image with one bright spot, blur it using "Blur Offset" and "Blur Scale", set the "Mix Mode" to "Multiply", and adjust the "Brightness". Apply the "Sky" material to the sky object.


Step 37

Create a new material, and make it orange by tweaking color settings and adjust brightness to 110%.


Step 38

Under "Luminance", change the color to bright orange, and change the "brightness" to "200%". This material will be the core light.


Step 39

Create a new material, and change the color to white.


Step 40

Under "Transparency" change the "Refractions" to "1.4", the "Blurriness" to "3%", and the "Max Samples" to "20".


Step 41

Under "Reflection", change the "brightness" to "80%". This material will be a glass layer.


Step 42

In the material manager, create a new Danel shader (File > Shader > Danel), and open it in the material editor.


Step 43

Under "Diffuse", change the color to dark grey (43, 43, 43), and the "Algorithm" to "Oren Nayar".


Step 44

Leave "Specular 1" as is, but under "Specular 2", change the color to light orange (255, 191, 127), and under "Specular 3", change the color to orange (255, 144, 0). Leave "Reflection" as it is.


Step 45

Check "Anisotropy". Change "Roughness X" to "1500%", "Roughness Y" to "50%", "Length" to "120%", and "Attenuation" to "850%". Check "Specular 3".


Step 46

Assign the Danel shader material to the Hypernurbs objects (that contain the tetrahedron spheres) by dragging the material onto the object, or selecting object, right clicking on the material, and pressing apply.


Step 47

Assign the core light material to the core object (the sphere from step 1). Assign the glass layer to some of the layers, and the danel shader material to all of the other layers.


Step 48

Create a light (Objects > Scene > Light). Set the "Type" to "Omni", and the "Shadow" to "Area". Position it so it will be near the bright spot in the sky material.


Step 49

Choose a good position for the camera using the Editor Camera. Note: we don't need a scene Camera because we will use a Depth layer from Multi-Pass to create some Depth of Field.


Step 50

Go to the render settings (Render > Render Settings).


Step 51

Under the "Output" settings, change the "Width" and "Height" to match your needs (I used 2400x1800).


Step 52

Check "Multi-Pass" and add the image layers and a depth layer (you can do it by right clicking on Multi-Pass or pressing the "Multi-Pass..." button).


Step 53

Under "Anti-Aliasing" settings, change "Anti-Aliasing" to "Best", and the "Filter" to "Still Image" or "Sinc".


Step 54

Click the "Effect..." button, and add "Global Illumination". Under the "General" settings, change the "GI Mode" to "IR+QMC" (Still Image).


Step 55

Under the "Save" settings, check "Save" in the "Multi-Pass Image" options, and choose where you want to save your multi-passes. Make sure that you will be saving in Photoshop format.


Step 56

Click "Render > Render to Picture Viewer" (shift+R), and open the rendered file in Photoshop.


Step 57

Now, because we used Multi-Pass, we can easily modify any part of the picture, and add some nice effects like glare or depth of field. To add depth of field, merge all of the layers (create a new layer and press "ctrl+alt+shift+E"), the click "Filter > Blur > Lens Blur".


Step 58

Change the "Source" to "Depth", and click the image to change the "Blur Focal Distance" according to "Depth". Tweak the "Iris" settings until you get the desired result. That's it! You're done!!

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