In this first of a series of tutorials for Mastering Materials in Cinema 4D, Tim Clapham takes you through the processes involved in building your own procedural materials using the Cinema4D shader system. All of the materials you will make when following this tutorial are 100% procedural, this means that they do not use any textures and instead rely on tricks and techniques for controlling the Cinema4D native shaders. The advantage of creating procedural textures is that they are calculated mathematically and thus can be scaled to fit any model and will often tile seamlessly without any prepared UV map on your model.
All of the materials are developed on suitable models which are supplied as part of the package and are free to use in projects of your own. The series comes with each scene completed so you can apply the materials immediately to your own projects, or use them to cross reference the settings as you follow the tutorial.
Starting with a blank candle, we build three different materials — the wax, wick and flame. This tutorial will teach you the ins and outs of working with sub-surface scattering including tips to for speeding up the render, when to use direct method over cache. The flame will be built using a combination of gradients and masks, combined with displacement. We will also use the proximal shader which allows you link the shader to the position of objects within your scene.
Starting with a simple plane object we will develop a complex shader setup using a combination of gradients, noise and sub-polygon displacement. We will use falloff to mask areas of the terrain and apply snow to the flatter parts of our model. The result is a complex looking terrain, simple to setup that can be duplicated, easily adapted and re-rendered with unique properties.
In these tutorials we build a series of metal materials. Starting with a very fast and clean metal suitable for many motion graphics applications and created using environment maps for speedy rendering, we then expand upon this foundation and create a chrome and a brass material, exploring the use of diffusion and reflection for more realistic results. Highly reflective metals can be slow to render due to multiple raytracing bounces and high anti-aliasing requirements, we examine certain render settings which can be used to reduce the number of ray bounces required and thus speed up the rendering process.
Alongside the simpler metals we begin with, the later classes take things deeper as we create a brushed metal and a polished steel using blurry reflections combined with anistropic highlights from the Lumas Shader. The final tutorial in the metal series focusses on creating fast environment based metals, a galvanised connector with worn areas created procedurally through the use of a vertex map shader and a twist of copper wire, all applied to an expresso rig which will allow you to connect any two objects via spline rigged and controlled by null objects.
Skin is notoriously tricky to render and this tutorial will give you a solid foundation to build up from. We will create a fast and simple skin shader using sub-surface scattering. Next we develop a more complex setup with additional channels such as specular and bump. Finally we adapt the skin material to create a shader suitable for a darker skin colour.
Starting with a basic glass recipe, this tutorial will take you through the process of creating several types of glass including coloured glass using absorption, frosted glass and dirty glass. This tutorial covers the use of multiple texture tags by stacking materials to combine the effects of several materials on one object.