100% proc. Shader : futuristic big ship/city


this is my first post on CG, i’m quite new to 3D, i’m quite bad with english, hope you won’t mind as i’ll try and do my best (for both).

I’m experimenting on a 100% procedural shader able to ‘fake’ the modelisation’s skill i havent’t got. My goal was to create backgroung for futuristic scene, and choosing 100% proc way was to try and learn more about shader’s node.

Here’s the actual result :

And with a little cam-perspective-distortion + DOF ( supposed to fake ‘speed’ ):

Here is the version : http://090876.online.fr/fastshare/cheap_ship.c4d

I’ve used a lot of noise/cellular mode and many many nodes, layer and fusion most of time, falloff to avoid windows on roof, and i’ve tried a cellshader to keep the windows enlighted in dark part of the shadow. If someone know a nice way by procedural, to get the enlighted/in shadows mask on a object ? I would really enjoy !!

Actually there’s no color ( did you noticed ? ).

Animated version without windows in luminance channel is okay, but i assume that i dont know how i can keep the flick away with luminance ‘on’. I’ve tried and add a proximal node to clear far away ‘windows’ but … seems i cannot tweak it the right way ?

Tried to bake the luminance as well, but no way to get the same result Proc. Vs Baked ?
I really don’t understand why …

Hope it could help for fast ‘backgrouding’, if you tweak it or have a similar shader that you can share … let us know.

( I’ll add a link to french C4D website with pictures to explain the ‘tree’ and settings, in case there’s someone, a beginner, that find it helpfull.)


EDIT : Here is the ‘TREE’ and the ‘luma instead cellulo’ release, good luck.


main displacement map ( layer )
…|first struct. level ( noise cellular)
,|second struct. level ( fusion )
,|mask : first level generator used as a mask for… ( noise cellular )
,|second struct. generator ( noise cellular )
,|third struct. level ( fusion )
,|mask : first and second as mask ( layer )
,|first struct gen. ( noise cellular )
,|second struct gen. ( noise cellular )
,|FX : contrast boost 100%
,|third struct. generator ( noise cellular )


little and big bump + windows ( layer )
,|two different bump ( fusion )
,|bump on first structure ( noise cellular )
,|mask : first structure generator to sort bump level ( noise cellular )
,|bump in confined area ( noise cellular )
,|final windows position ( fusion )
,|mask : first struct. generator ( noise cellular )
,|windows ( fusion )
,|mask : credibility ( layer )
,|not on roof ( fall off )
,|vertical arrangement ( noise cellular )
,|windows design ( noise cellular )


final windows position ( fusion )
,|mask : (Lumas)
,|first structure constraint hidding windows ( fusion )
,|mask : first struct. generator ( cellular noise )
,|credible windows ( fusion )
, ,|mask : vertical pattern and roof ( layer )
,|vertical pattern ( noise cellular )
,|not on roof ( fall off )
,|horizontal design ( noise cellular )


First struct. and in-between ( fusion )
,|Similar to confined bump with blue ( noise cellular )
,|mask : First struct. generator ( noise cellular )
,|Whatever on first structure ( Color : white )

GREEN : first structure is a main interest, each modification on this node would better be copied on any instance. ( Otherwyse could break the ‘harmony’ by adding too much mess.) But … no strict rules in experimenting.


Woah that is seriously all done with textures on that wireframe in the first picture? That is sweet!


that is just amazing- would love to see how you did it!


Absolutely stunning.:thumbsup:

I just tried it on a quick greeble and it is instant Metropolis.

Thanks for posting the shader to learn from.
Cheers, Alan.



so nice for a beginner to have (thoses) feedback ! (:

  • Macsupremacist : of course the mesh is the same one, i wish i could do more than square actually, in fact i really need a shader like this to help my lack of knowledge/skill in modeling. Until …

  • Rantin AI : i’m quite new to C4D and the french dedicated website was as an hotline too me, i 'll never forget how important it is to being able and download, browse, reproduce, … someone’s else work. I still have to do an step by step tut about this shader, then i’ll post. It’s a pleasure.

  • Shake : as this step by step is not done actually i can post the first step of ‘conception’ ( and according to your ‘journey begins’ you won’t learn that much, great! Hope you won’t be despite ).

1 - a simple mesh

2 - first creating big blocks on the surface, using displacement and ‘noise’ on cellular mode,
thoses blocs are important to preserve large volume/relief with distance instead getting a flat grey 300 meter’s away. Contrast boosted to get the maximun value/relief.

3 - Tweaking until get a nice result ( that’s the subjective part, you can tweak for hours )

4 - Then i’ve add a layer, hidden by first one with fusion ( or layer in mask fusion mode ) to put a new level of smaller details in-between : noise’s global scale 60%. I choose to give them an horizontal shape with noise x scale : 900%. The luminosity is a little bit down to get less high volume. ( Same result available by replacing color 2 white default by a grey ? Many way …)

Notice that i may be didn’t really need to hide this noise with the mask as it’s a less-high one and won’t add to first one almost fully white.

5 - Result.

There’s a little ‘problem’ , if you’re looking on the last/far round structure in the middle, you can see some square… from this distance it’s not so annoying but closer … on step 4 i’ve put the global scale on 60% and push the x scale around 900% , i forget 3D ( not easy to figure in node parameters ) the z scale should be increase to keep the same horizontal shape.

6 - And so on… cellular noise everywhere :

In bump, masked by big blocks.
Cloned in color channel to put a little variation and sustaining the bump, so flat next to displacemnt but … creating the massive size Fx by complexifying little part (hope so).

In luminance, masked by big blocks,
masked by Falloff to avoid windows on roof ( not perfect ? May be too complex HxC displacement )
Tried to hide ‘windows’ with a light-sensitive node, … not perfect but… if you know tips, i’ll enjoy !! ( and if Maxon’s around … .)

And then i’ve copied the luminance channel and add it to bump, little fake depth for windows.
( without the light-sensitive node, windows still exists even enlighted )

That’s it.
Sorry for the fast step 6 but i didn’t have pictures nor perfectly in mind parameters ( lot of nodes, fusion mode,…). But with the first steps and pleasure to tweak, you may obtain best results.

So actually i’m trapped by the flickering light in animation. Oh, i’ve tried a fly-trought too quickly, i’ll see with a slower motion ( if it’s big i can’t fly from side to side in 5 seconds uh?) may be better … I’ll try proximal node as well, may be the way ?

I’m still looking for tips about best way to get the enlighted/in-shadow map on object. (:

I forget !

The left vertical part got reversed normal !! An easy way to complexify your city without modelling (héhé, cheap modelling), or getting another global design, it really changes !
Or, for the whole scene of course, (main displacement altitude) x -1.

Thankx again for your comments,
All the best.

( sorry for the lag, but that’s my second post, waiting for validation )


For a beginner you have an excellent understanding of the power of the shader layer function.
I look forward to seeing more of your experiments. (and learning from them)

I’ve voted this a well deserved 5 stars.
Cheers, Alan.



This beats any modeling effort as it could most likely be rendered and animated very quickly!

I would expect some instant offers for jobs very soon!

I have not seen anything like this kind of brilliance!

Great material!



really cool!!!


Very Inventive !!! (3 thumbs up)

Thank you.


Great stuff! Keep it up :slight_smile:


totally brilliant! thanks for showing your workflow. fascinating stuff, and so effective.


I’m speechless. Thanks for sharing! Merci!


Super job Testeur !! Je me colle dessus ! Merci !
Thanks for this impressive material. :thumbsup:


That’s impressive and clever work. Thanks for showing it


I did some tweakings on this great shader, and I have many ideas to test with it. Here’s my last attempt, but I have to change some parameters… Thanks again for the idea and result.

the 1024 version here


Nice Aurety (:

I didn’t actually tweak main color nor specularity and you’ve started, that’s a nice gain of time/knowledge. Could you post, if you’re not changing it anymore, your mesh ? Just a low-res one to have an idea. Fog is a good idea !

You can try to reverse the normal on ‘bridge’ part ( middle of them on a few poly, or randomly ) it should gave a nice result, … or not ? But it should mutate the global design by increasing shapes species on it.

What about the light you’ve used ? Is it a sun ? All ‘windows’ are on … so there’s light everywhere ? I wasn’t able to render with GI ( not even seen a first single dot before cancelling with most parameters on low time) were you ?
Could you try to add some shadows to see if the light-sensitive node have a good reaction ?

There’s some windows on top … ?? … i really dont understand that point … it shouldn’t.
Most of them are ‘invalidate’ by the fall off in luminescence ( somewhere in luminescence ) may be it should be pushed to (brute) force the window’s apparition only on more vertical surface ?
I mean by tweaking the luminescence/fusion/zone d’application/baie lumineuse/rendre credible/Attenuation pour eviter … and then increase the white part supposed to prevent windows creation on horizontal surface. ( I’ll change node’s name into english for the tuto )

I won’t reply to each nice comments you’ve let, but be sure that they went, each of them, straight to my heart ( truelly most of you are so skilled !) , thanks a lot.
In the other hand i still available for any question, even if i’m building up the tuto. As i’m waiting a few more days in case big improvement are discovered, i won’t post it yet.

People from Maxon around ? Nice … wishes for C4D X (:
According to this topic of course.

  • a real light/sensitive node instead bricolage with cell shader or whatever not really built for. ( I even try with Luma shader, specularity off contrast boost, black and white color )

  • an ‘instance’ node able to collect a channel result and redistribute it through another one !! That would be really usefull !!

  • a displacement bake : to turn a mesh+displacement in a real complex mesh, of course displacement was created to simplify geometry, but it could give C4D an powerfull organic modelisation tool. ( With all shader’s ability ).

And of course a visual interface about connectivity between node in a shader would be great, specially usefull for multi multi layered shaders. ( Like the Xpresso structure window ).
Hum ? With this the ‘instance’ node is no longer awaited as we could directly just draw two ‘stream’… ?

May be some of these ‘needs’ already exists, then i apologize. I still have to learn. Anyway C4D seems already a so powerfull-but-easy software.

All the best.


Thanks for the file Testeur


Great job.
I would love to see the shaders details…

Rich-Art. :thumbsup:


Very nice experiment


Hey Testeur,

that really is awesome ! I bet a lot of the SciFi-modellers will be really glad to have that shader !

Which would be… me !!!

First problem I encountered was a missing plugin called “Cellulo”, ID1012158 (I don´t even know where to look those plugin ID´s up). Then, there is a texture missing called “Ombres et lumieres”, which I guess translates to “Shadows and lights” ?

I am currently experimenting with changing the colours, I am thinking of more earthtone like colours for an experiment, think “future city ála J-C Mezieres” :wink:

THanks again for sharing, a great experiment, very inspiring !



First problem I encountered was a missing plugin called “Cellulo”, ID1012158 (I don´t even know where to look those plugin ID´s up). Then, there is a texture missing called “Ombres et lumieres”, which I guess translates to “Shadows and lights” ?

Cellulo ( ‘Cell’ in my langage, …) is a node coming up with Sketch&Toon.
The missing texture, you’re right, shadows and light :cool: :lightbulb contains, usually, results from this missing node.

But this node was anyway a ‘kind of tips’ to get the ‘enlightment’ map on the object.
You can get the same almost-well-done result with the ‘luma’ node, desactivating the specularity (all of them) and push the contrast at 99% ( 100% seems to bug on my own) and replacing red/black with a white/black.

Right now i cannot use my computer (the interesting one) and cannot be more accurate nor helpfull :confused:

May be you can just reduce the luminescence channel ( or switch it off for a ‘day time’ lightning ) so you can work on color without white square everywhere.

The tut. will come (english name for node), i’m waiting a few more in case major improvement are found. ( Specially about this cell ‘bad’ tips ).

Let us know your result (mesh are welcome),
thankx for your interest.