Oscar Month

This look was created using Cinema 4D with Greyscale Gorilla’s Texture Kit Pro, HDRI Light Kit Pro, HDRI Studio Kit and After Effects with plug-ins from Borisfx,  GenArts, Video Copilot and Red Giant Software.


The Oscar model is included as part of a free Oscars Pack available from eyedesyn.com. Follow EJ (@eyedesyn) for Cinema 4D related tweets.


The gold material was sourced from Greyscale Gorilla’s Texture Kit Pro. I removed the dents from the base material by switching off the Bump channel and tweaked the colours in the Color and Reflection channel to reduce the yellow.


The Oscar model in Cinema 4D with default lighting is dark and unimpressive.


Greyscale Gorilla’s HDRI Studio Pack with a single light HDRI from the Pro Studios pack adds a punchy reflection, but is still too dark.


An Overhead Softbox from Greyscale Gorilla’s HDRI Light Kit Pro adds soft, overhead fill lighting.


Greyscale Gorilla’s HDRI Studio Pack includes a seamless background. I used a mid grey to black gradient.


An Area light was used to cast a shadow, helping to ground the Oscar onto the seamless background. The Area light also helps to soften the blown out reflections.


A visible, volumetric spot light was placed directly above the Oscar. I used this to lock the Oscar into place and add some straight lines to the scene for variation.


Microfloaties was used to add some subtle floating dust to the scene. Microfloaties is free from Joelotron.com and handy for adding floating dust to your Cinema 4D scene. This could have been done with a particle generator in After Effects but it’s only a small render hit in Cinema and looks great. If you use it be sure to make a small donation!


The Global Illumination render helped fill the dark shadows on the Oscar and brighten the microfloaties.


The light and camera setup with Microfloaties also visible. The shadow casting Area light is high up on the right of the scene with only the falloff visible in this image.


After Effects’ Curves effect reintroduced contrast and added a rich golden hue.


The font used for the Oscar Month text is Gotham Light. The text was keyframed to have the words gently drift towards each other.


GenArts Sapphire Glow was used to create a subtle glow on the text that helps integrate it into the scene.


Video Copilot’s Optical Flares was set to track a Cinema 4D exported light – positioned on Oscar’s chest.


Flares don’t always need to be huge, a little can go a long way.


After Effects Shape Layers were used as the base for the bokeh-style lens effect. Here I duplicated one Shape Layer containing 6 ellipses and stretched them to create the thick and thin strokes. These shapes were keyframed to have them drift gently in various directions. Using Shape Layers rather than a particle generator gave me greater control.


After Effects’ Camera Lens Blur effect was used to give the shape layers a bokeh-style lens blur.


Boris FX BCC Film Glow on an Adjustment Layer adds a beautiful, filmic glow.


Another Adjustment Layer with Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet Mojo and the Curves effect was used for the final grade.

  1. Steve Cardwell

    Very nice work John. It’s great to see how much work goes into a seemingly simple short clip.

    There seems to be a colour shift halfway through the final version.

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Steve, I’ve looked a few times and don’t notice any colour shift…

      • Steve Cardwell

        Hi John,

        It happens at the three second mark. Everything turns brighter.


        • John Dickinson

          Weird, I see absolutely no change on this mac or the one at work…

          • Steve Cardwell

            That is odd. I took screen grabs and they show it. Must be something to do with my dinosaur of a machine.

            Still a great piece and excellent breakdown.

  2. Travis Wade

    Nice work John! Thanks for the breakdown.

  3. John Osteen

    Great work, John! One question: In After Effects, did you composite in 32bit linear?

      • Andre Friedman

        That means, that you disabled linear workflow option in project settings? Otherwise you get color shift in AE, right?

  4. Mark Shingleton

    Nice breakdown John. End result looks great. I might check out the micro floaties. They look kinda cool!

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Mark, I had known of Microfloaties for some time but this was the first time to use it.

  5. Jonathan Scott

    Fantastic all round as usual. Microfloaties really is an absolute “must have” isn’t it. I’m sure you could have used a particles plate but it wouldn’t match the depth of the Microfloaties rig. Really nice.

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Jonathan and I agree it’s great to have the floaties integrated into the scene in z.
      best, John.

  6. tielman

    great breakdown. The site of http://eyedesyn.com/ is awesome as well.
    However your link does not work 😉

  7. adam

    where can i download this??/

  8. Andre Friedman

    Hi John! Amazing work as always. You wrote, that you composited in 16 bit. Does that mean that you disabled linear workflow in Cinema, as it’d would produce color shift in AE, or this was color shift you could leave with?

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Andre, yes I disabled Linear workflow for this one. I don’t recall having any issues in 16bit with linear workflow active though… is this something you’ve noticed?
      Best, John.

      • Andre Friedman

        Hi John! Not at all! I did not notice any issues. It’s just I find this quite old (since R12, if I’m not mistaken) feature quite confusing, because I can either disable linear workflow and work with whatever bit depth per channel I want, or I can enable linear workflow and get amazing color range, but then to get the same colors in compositing I have to change colorspace and linearize working space, which causes some of the colors to look different or even weird. I’m trying to educate myself on colorspace definitions through sites like prolost and others, though I still feel there’s quite a long way to really understand what’s going on. What’s your opinion on the subject?

  9. riyaz

    hai john good morning
    this is riyaz how to create this Oscar Month gold meterial in c4d ….

    • John Dickinson

      Hi Riyaz, I modified a material from Greyscale Gorilla’s Texture Kit Pro.
      Best wishes, John.

  10. Nick

    Beautiful and subtle, lovely lighting! Ahhh makes me want to learn more C4D!!!

    Thanks for the breakdown! Also thanks for the Microfloaties link.

  11. Blake

    Great piece. Love how you used the shape layers to create the bokeh effect! Would you mind sharing Global Illumination settings? Thanks!

  12. Todd VanSlyck

    Gosh I haven’t been to this site in forever. Love the breakdowns! *leaves to scroll through old posts*

  13. Steve Blacker

    Nice work! Nice use of Microfloaties – I’ve played with it, but haven’t used it in a piece yet. (I noticed the same brightness “pop” that Steve Caldwell mentioned. Around the 3 second mark. Looks almost like an adjustment layer or something pops on at that moment.)

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Steve, either I must be blind or it’s some kind of playback issue!

  14. Ian

    How to use expensive filters, stock and not model something (which is what makes this special by the way).

    What would the cost of this be without said resources? What happened to learning how to do something by hand before relying on someone else.

    • John Dickinson

      Hi Ian, this is a breakdown of an actual project for a client and not designed purely to teach techniques. I love to model and could have modelled the Oscar but would have missed my deadline as this was a tight turnaround project. I use plug-ins because I have access to them and like the results they give me, but you could definitely use built-in Ae effects. Completing a project successfully is more than raw techniques, it’s knowing when to borrow/buy resources and what tools to use to get the job done on time and approved. Best wishes, John.

    • Todd VanSlyck

      I’ve always thought, if you have the time, go to town with creating something from scratch. It teaches you and you have the pride of knowing it’s YOURS. I always shuddered at the thought of using AE templates…until I started working on my own (not for somebody else) and had limited time and tight deadlines.
      John is right. Know when to be purely creative and know when to use resources.
      “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

  15. Allan.K

    This corner of your website is my favourite John, thanks for sharing.

    All the best

  16. Parisyne

    Hello this tutorial is just what I want, I create a trophy with Photoshop and I’d like to animate
    is it possible to download the project? to see how it works?
    I am a beginner in Cinema4D

    • John Dickinson

      Sorry Parisyne, this project is not available for download.

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