Thoughts on Modelling in c4d


I cannot say enough about this training course:
MAKING IT LOOK GREAT 11: Hard Surface Modelling Tactics For Cinema 4D

I’m plodding through it slowly and will likely need to go through it a second time.

I’ve always been more of a motion graphics guy and so my modeling skills have perpetually lagged.

But I have some other thoughts I’d like to share today and would enjoy your thoughts …


The “Making it Look Great” Series dates back over a decade and is a product of John Dickinson at

If you want to consider how transformative the training is… consider John himself. He’s a 20-year + veteran of After Effects and then c4d…a motion guy himself. But now some of the paid gigs he’s taking on is as a modeler. This all started when he connected with Toby Pitman, who is a brilliant modeler and a very solid instructor.

John’s skill was transformed by Toby’s training… and going through it I can understand how.

Sample videos and course outline here:


It can really take some time to wrap one’s head around modeling. It’s not a matter of just learning how a tool or feature works. It’s being able to see how quads should be crafted and knowing how to re-sculpt flow.

The other thing that I notice is that lots of helpful options to manipulate the modeling axis or quantize manipulation values can lay buried in the c4d interface.

As with many I’ve always had a custom modeling layout but lately I started to use a second monitor to perpetually display in the UI some helpful mode options snap, quantize, mesh check, tool attributes etc.


A few of the many tips from videos:

-Slide is insanely powerful and used with control key it can be an outstanding way to add geo. It often is a better choice than the bevel, knife and other tools

-Modeliing can be enhanced by tools that aren’t classical modeling tools. Two examples:

-Shrink wrap modifier is a unparalleled way to re-map geometry, esp. curved surfaces. Use it, bake results, move on.

-FFD is magic to fine tune a shape. Again… Use, bake, discard.

I am amazed how fun modeling can be and the sense of control you gain with some modicum of competency. I still fumble about quite often but it’s starting to get enjoyable.


You seem to have had a modeling epiphany Mate.

Sounds similar to the one I had last year ,when I suddenly was able to Dump Daz inc as resource for clothing and other assets.
I am now a Daz content developer of my own custom clothing content for my animated film project using Iclone for motionbuilding retargeted to Daz figures rendered in Maxon Cinema4D4 via MDD .obj/MDD export.

People tend to dismiss C4D’s modeling tool as being so far behind tools Like MODO and even Blender.
And yes ,there are much better pure sculpting solutions on the market.
However there are some non destructive parametric “deformers” in C4D
such as the Taper,bulge, & wrap deformers that are highly
useful when modeling clothing for my Daz genesis figures.

Another highly useful feature for detailing clothing is the “split” command combined with the Cloth nurbs tool for creating seams in smooth surfaces.

All the glowing seams on the boots and tunic of this oufit (depicted)
were made by selecting the polygons I wished to separete from their adjacents and selecting split.
They remain part of the mesh but when you
thicken the mesh with a cloth nurbs modifier
you get lovely seams & panels in your clothing item.


Also I come from a previous carreer as professional Graphic Designer with fluency in the creative Adobe suite of tools.
C4D’s ability to import and extrude Illustrator vector art is extemely powerful in the hands of an experienced Adobe Illustrator user.

This Character ,from my movie, is “Eson the Searcher”

Fans of the First “Guardians of the Galaxy” film might recognize this “celestial” as the one depicted destroying an entire Civilization with his staff powered by an"infinity stone"

The chest, shoulder and belt front embelishements were all created by importing and extruding Illustrator vector art in C4D.


I started this film over five years ago when I possessed effectively zero modeling skills and was completely dependant on Daz For premade content.

In the first hour of the film marvels “Galactus” is wearing
armor that was shared as freebie for the DAZ/poser community on ShareCG several years ago.
as seen in this clip

For the final space battle ,Currently in pre-production/layout,
I used my newfound modeling skills to completely redesign his armor,making it more practical for full body animation.
(note those lovely seams/panels in the new gloves using the
aformentioned split feature in C4D)


Also C4D’s ability to convert edges to splines and further geometry is bloody fantastic!!

Note the edge details, on this space platform ,giving it a somewhat “illustrated” look.
Created by converting edges to stroked splines and shading the resulting geometry with C4D native procedurals.


Nice work, Dude.


Thanks Mate :blush:


Another vote for MAKING IT LOOK GREAT 11 - amazing modeling training and the instructor (Toby) is awesome. One note, it was made before the Knife tool had it’s massive R18 update but it’s not that hard to work around that (i’d recommend learning about the new knife tools first at Cineversity or Youtube, then digging in to MLG).

I’ve never used anything else to model except for C4D and I think it has really become very powerful and fast. I’d love to hear from someone who is very proficient in the other great modeling tools (and C4D) to share some of the things we are missing in C4D. I feel I can fairly easily accomplish anything I need at this point - but it would be interesting to know what is missing.

ThreeDDude - your modeling stuff looks very cool (and fun to create). Are you finding it lucrative to be a Daz content developer? Ive recently needed to dig back in to Daz to create some characters for a job after a long break from it, and am finding it to have become a pretty powerful app and marketplace, and was curious to know if the content make enough money to be worth it.


Right now I only develop clothing & morphs for my own “in house” use in animation projects.

However I am a brokered Seller with with a site called flipbook market where they sell motion files for the Daz figures as well as for the Autodesk Products.
My products there(mostly Ragdoll /collsions)
are in utmost need of an update for the latest Gen 8 Daz figures when I find the time.


The MILG series is great. I have from 6-11. MILG 11 for modeling is a masterpiece.


I know MODO lovers say where they prefer that tool for modeling over c4d is that you can easily add fall-offs to all your modeling tools. It’s a bit like our soft selections, but a bit more sophisticated.

But there are some ways you can mimic that in c4d…

Also axis controls are perhaps better in Modo.

The other thing I hear complaints about with c4d modeling is it’s lack of extensive symmetry controls.


I have seen those modeling tool falloffs which seem great - I had hoped that R20’s fields might have brought that to C4D modeling, maybe it will in the future. They seem so obvious as an important modeling feature

You can sort of approximate modeling tool fall off with NitroMan’s NitroVertex, but an actual UI widget would be much better.

One complaint I do have is how so much modeling power is hidden in keyboard modifiers. Every time I want to cut with a spline I need to go back to Cineversity and re-watch the tutorial on how it works.

Hopefully we’ll get some more good stuff in R21…


Overall I think we have it pretty good. The parametric stuff in c4d outweighs the few benefits Modo has.

I hadn’t even looked at the Modo web page in a while and I got a chuckle last night when I did. Their new version? It featured an edge selection process that we’ve long had in c4d…and they announced they’ve added AMD’s Radeon Pro Render. LOL.

I purchased Modo about six years ago…and never really used it that much. Never bothered to update it.


One thing I should mention - get HB Modeling Tools if you don’t have it already. I’m guessing you do, but just in case you had not checked them out yet.

Truly amazing set of scripts. Nothing you can’t do without them, they just make so many things so much faster on more convenient


Yes I have HB tools and concur w/you. I do need to brush up on some of the tuts.

I also like the MatCap modeling materials that comes with that.


To be fair MODO is a very powerful modelor
and has had true symmetry and a proper edge bevel since version 401(perhaps earlier)

That fact that it took Maxon eight or Nine versions for NGON support and (IIRC), 16 versions for an edge bevel has contributed to the widely held notion that MODO is far superior.

That said I have an old seat of MODO 401 that I do use for sculpting custom morphs for Daz genesis base Characters.
and I also have the modelor in Lightwave 2015.

However I find C4D with HB tools and its unique parametric
deformers more than enough for the modeling that I do for my Sci Fi based animated films.


As I think we all know…one’s knowledge of the tools and of the modeling process makes more difference than the feature set of c4d, blender, modo, maya, etc.

Toby Pitman can model just about anything in c4d-- and do so with lightspeed. If I could be half as skilled I’d be quite happy.

Suppose we all got exactly the features we wanted…how much more capability and speed would it add? Generally the tools we need are there now.

I do still reserve the right to whine about this or the lack of that… :sunglasses: