Easy Steps To Modeling Your First Character In Cinema 4D: A Beginner's Tutorial

In this Cinema 4D tutorial, I'm going to show you the steps to creating your first character in Maxon Cinema 4D.  You don't have to be a great artist to come up with a result the first time out. Just to be creative and use the tools at your disposal. In this three part tutorial we will model, pose, and apply hair to our character. The goal of this tutorial is to show motion graphics artists and novices that it is possible to dabble in some simple character design and animation.

Character modeling in Cinema 4D. Watch out Pixar... Here I come!

Character modeling in Cinema 4D. Watch out Pixar... Here I come!

Part 1: Model a Character in Cinema 4D

We start in Smith Micro's Anime Studio Pro where I show you how to use the Character Wizard to randomly generate a character. The Character Wizard allows you to export different views of the character if you require them.

Cinema 4D Character Polygonal Modeling

Cinema 4D Character Polygonal Modeling

We take our Anime Studio character and load it into Cinema 4D as reference. We will start with a cube and use the Extrude function to build out our character under a Subdivision Surface, formally HyperNurbs in previous versions of Cinema 4D.

MODELING NOTE: The end result in the tutorial is different from the reference I started with.  I decided to deviate from the reference once I got started but I've included the original reference picture for you.



Part 2: Pose the Character Using Deformers

You don't have to understand Cinema 4D's deep character tools in order to pose your character. You can use Deformers such as Bend and Twist to pose various parts of your character. The important thing to remember is that the hierarchy of your deformers under your geometry affects how each deformer operates. The deformer rig will also allow you to do some limited character animation if you so choose.

If your deformer rig gets complex you may want to consider CinemaPlugins.com Multi-Modifer 2 to keep your hierarchy neat in the Object Manager.

Part 3: Add Hair to the Character

Hair in Cinema 4D can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. It's as easy as adding a Hair object and hitting render. The initial result is not pretty but it's a result nevertheless.  

Three things you need to understand how Hair works:

  • Lights and Shadows
  • Guides
  • Hair Material (Kink, Curl, Fizz)

A few adjustments in each of these and we can get a nice result with Cinema 4D's Hair Module.

Other Character Modeling Resources:

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