Thoughts on Modelling in c4d


For me the only measure of a tools worth is
does it enable me to achieve my creative objectives in an intuitive &efficient manner, based on how my right dominant brain actually works.

Not its “reputation” in the industry.

For general model creation that is C4D.

For Character animation, other tools Meet my requirements

Impressive feature sets of other apps don’t really matter much unless they meet this standard for me.


Still no point to circle parameter…when you have to drill ten holes on a control panel and constantly need to project an 8 sided spline to snap points, you really start wondering why on earth Maxon never added this function natively.
The cylinder caps default topology is also a nightmare to work with.

And symmetry…

The HB modeling toolset is mandatory for any serious modeler.


…and the “Clean delete” plugin, for us users of older versions, that eliminates the need for using the optimize command to remove orphaned points after deleting geometry

And while were at it, Riptide Pro for object/MDD import& export and MDD data management while maintaining correct vertex count.

This plugin is vital to My Character animation pipeline
that is based on Iclone motion retargeted to Daz Rigs.


One thing that Toby does in his training is to repeatedly hit “Optimize” to clear orphaned points.

This became unnecessary with R20, though there are other uses for optimize.

Here is the c4d help section on ‘Optimize’

If you were to build an object from many individual triangles and quadrangles — by using the Connect Objects function, say — very often some of the points and surfaces would be duplicated. For example, the parametric primitives can contain duplicate points after being converted to polygon objects. You can eliminate these double elements with the Optimize function. The appearance of the object will not change, or will change only slightly, when using this function.

Caution is required with objects that intentionally use these double points. Such points can be intended, for example, to produce hard edges — such as the caps of a Cylinder primitive — that cannot be smoothed over by a Phong tag or by a Subdivision-Surface object.

The selected elements to be optimized can be points, edges or polygons. If you select polygons or edges, then the associated points are also considered. If you select points only, then just the points are considered.

This tool can be applied to splines points also.


When enabled this will eliminate one- or two-point surfaces.

Unused Points

Enable this option if you want unused points to be deleted.


Specifies whether duplicated points are to be eliminated.


When eliminating points you may enter a tolerance value. If points are closer to each other than this value, then they are merged into one point; if the points are further apart than the value, they will not be merged. If polygons become redundant (e.g., if all three corner points of the polygon occupy the same point), Cinema 4D will automatically delete them.


It very much surprises me that c4d doesn’t have pre-assigned keyboard shortcuts for switching between points, edges and polygons.

Yes the return key cycles through these 3, though I do wish that this cycling included the ‘Model’ mode. And i wish that this all was assigned to the TAB key. As it stands one has to move the hand off the mouse to click ‘RETURN’ and this requires moving the right hand off the mouse.

Of course we can customize these things. TAB key for mode switches is making me a lot happier.

But regretfully we can’t cycle through while converting selections. (without mouse)


I failed to mention one of my favorite C4D modeling tools: Iron

Particularly useful when using the cloth engine to drape bits of geometry over existing geometry that later need to be made more symmetrical as rigid pieces themselves.

For example the upper blue and purple section of this chest armor were “modeled” by draping cloth over a Cylinder and using the Iron tool to smooth any wrinkles
that naturally occurred on the edges during the draping simulation.


I’ve not used iron tool much. Wouldn’t shrink wrap accomplish the same thing (draping) without the wrinkles?


In most cases yes.
However there are some occasions when the SR deformer creates too many excessively stretched
polygons for my liking, particularly on irregularly shape target items in my low poly to medium-hi poly , box modeling linear workflow.

In fact the SR deformers strength is rather global and a bit “brute force” at times thus not always the best solution for open ended partial meshes IMHO

It would be nice to be able to control its attenuation with a weight map,
as we can with the Jiggle deformer.


Interested to hear of anyone doing re-topology in C4D? I had to do a face recently and battled away for an hour or so before jumping back into Modo to finish this off, its tools seem much better for this sort of thing and there’s a dedicated layout, viewport setup etc that makes it feel very focused and efficient.


I’ve done several re-topo project lately and I feel C4D does a great job.

But, I rely on HB Modeling Tools to set it all up and manage it as it goes. Not sure what you’d do without the HB tools.!

This is C4D/HB Tools re-topo on top of a garbage CAD file


@ mikeh64
That is some clean topograhy Mate, nicely done.

For me personally retopo is something I essentially refuse to do, and I actually own an older seat of 3Dcoat!!

However I only work with base Figure models from Daz inc and everything else is cleanly built by me from scratch.
My commercial work does not involve accepting/fixing
buggered CAD models etc from other parties.
unless someone offered me a ridiculously high fee to do so ,paying my 50 percent upfront.


Thanks - I learned how to model like that from Making It Look Great Modeling with Toby (before that I wouldn’t have been able to do it)

I really like polygon modeling - it’s like working on the most complicated puzzle ever made.


Thanks for this Mike - looks like I need to take a proper look at these tools, thanks for the prod! C


I’ve been so impressed with Toby Pitman’s instruction that I wanted to learn more about the guy.

What’s interesting is that he is far more a musician than a 3d guy. He has played for artists like George Michael and David Arnold (who scores lots of big time movies). Tony has a done a lot of music instruction. Sample here:


I have to give some specific shout outs regarding HB Modeling Tools.

The “Symmetry Maker” is flat awesome. It will slice the object in half and auto-configure your symmetry and axis.

It will even set up double symmetry if you add a modifier key…and a triple symmetry with two modifier keys.

Crazy useful.


The HB selector tools take some retraining of muscle memory but they are absolutely transformative.

Explained beginning at the 11:20 mark…


yeah! it’s great to see people talking about Toby’s MLG training and HB Modeling tools

they are both so amazing and so important to modeling in C4D - if you are or want to model in c4d and you don’t have them both you need them right away


I don’t think modelling in C4D is good enough, whole interaction selection/move etc is well below most competition.
Why the hell the rectangle selection is unable to select also just by clicking a polygon, point etc…?! all other applications can do both functions selection an area or an element.

No shortcuts for points, faces, edges, neither polygon islands, commonly used commands needing 2 keys instead of just one like selecting a row of polygons.

Whole experience seems disjointed and not integrated.

I like the gizmo…


Other gems in HB modeling tools:
-Relax tools
-Make Quads to proper caps
-Selection to Circle
-Clip Symmetry

I haven’t dug into some of it so I know there’s more…


I’m curious if you’ve gone thru Toby’s training?

There isn’t a direct shortcut for Points/Edges/Faces, but the return key will enter into component selection then cycle thru modes. I changed this to tab, which works easier for right handed mousers, I believe.

And I believe HB modeling tools addresses your other selection complaints. (Granted c4d shouldn’t need an add on)

It’s been years since I used Modo, and I haven’t had any experience in Maya. But I can say that I now feel comfortable modelling in c4d and that I very much enjoy it.