Cinema 4D Tutorial – How to Create 3D Grass

by . August 13th, 2008


Ok! This is a Cinema 4D Tutorial I’ve created which will introduce you to object manipulation, textures, fur and also general familiarity with the program itself. I’m using Cinema 4D 10 and you can download the demo directly from Maxon.

Tutorial by Adam Woodhouse:

How to create 3d grass - By Adam Woodhouse

Cinema 4D Tutorial – How to Create 3D Grass

Step 1 – Creating a base

First of all open the Cinema 4D application, which will automatically create a new scene for you to start working with. You then need to create a base for your grass to be attached to, I’m going to add a cube and modify it – ” Objects > Primitive > Cube”.Your canvas should look exactly like this now :

Step1a - Cube

Step 2 – Modifying out base

Now we have out cube, we can edit to to be more of a interesting shape by firstly clicking it, and in the Attributes pane, increasing Segments X, Y & Z to a higher number ( I am going to select 50 and this will enable me to edit the shape more smoothly )

Step 2a - Increasing segments

I’m going to manually edit my cube, by selecting the orange square on the cube and dragging them to a desired position in the X, Y and Z plains. You can alternatively change the size of the image in the attributes panel by typing X, Y Z variables, but let’s keep this simple and quick.

Step 2b - Size

Then I am going to hit the “C” key on my keyboard ( Make Editable from the menu ” Functions > Make Editable ” ) This allows me to then use the Magnet tool to manipulate my plain further. Select the magnet tool ( Structure > Magnet ) And click and drag the cursor on the plane to create any desired effect.

I used the tool to add a hilly effect to the plane:

Step 2c - Using the magnet tool

Step 3 – Adding texture to the base

We now need to make out base look relatively organic, so we are going to add a soil type texture. In the materials pane, ( bottom of the screen ) click “File > New Material”, underneath where you just clicked a new texture will appear in the shape of a circle named “Mat” – Double click on the word “Mat” and rename it “Soil”.Double click on the Soil Sphere texture, and a new dialog box will pop up looking like this :

Step 3 - Adding a texture

Click the arrow where the option for ” Texture” Appears on the right area of the dialog box. A list will display below, click on “Gradient”. You will notice the circle with the texture displayed in the dialog box will change. What we are going to do now is change the gradient itself, so double click where the flat gradient is displayed ( underneath the texture arrow ) and change the values in the shader properties to something like this:

Step 3b - Textures

We want to now click the close button on this panel, and apply the texture to our plane. You need to click and drag the texture onto out plane, this is illustrated below :

Step 3C - Applying the texture to the plane

Step 4 – Selecting the placement of the grass

Ok if you have got this far you are doing pretty well. We now need to click the window icon, which will allow us to see multiple views of our scene.

Mutiple Views

Clicking this will change our view to this:

Step 4b - Seeing the multiple views

Ok, we only now care about the top right view, click the Use polygon tool – so select “Tools > Polygons ” from the menu. Now we need to select the rectangle selection tool and select all polygons in the top right window labeled “Top”. (Basically this will be the area the grass will be placed on) – So select ” Selection – Rectangle selection” From the menu. Move the cursor to the top right view and in a click drag motion, select all the polygons until they all turn orange.

Now your view will look like this:

Step 4c - Top layer selection

Now come out of this view by pressing the same window icon as you did before, however, click the one in the top left ( Perspective view ). You will now be able to see your object with only the top polygons selected.

Step 4d - Top view with polygons selected

Step 5 – Adding the grass

Now we have our top layer of the plane selected, we need to add grass, ok ok, so I lied to you, it’s not grass. It’s Cinema 4d’s Fur Tool, but does a sweet job or replicating grass. All you need to do now is click from the menu “Hair > Fur” and some spikes will appear on the plane in the perspective view.We are now going to increase the amount of fur, so in the objects panel, select “Fur” which will update the Attributes view. Where you can change the ” Count ” Aka, amount of fur. It’s initially at 10000, but I’m going to change mine to 30000, but you will have to experiment to ensure you will have the full area covered in grass depending on how large you made your plane. Also we will change the Randomness of the grass, by adding a variable randomize setting of 6 degrees.

This might sound like gibberish but experiment with the attributes, and who knows, you might create some really cool stuff.

Step 5 - Adding the fur

Step 6 – Add texture to the grass

That’s basically it to be honest, but we will need to add a new texture to the grass to make it green. When you added the grass, a new texture was made in the textures panel. It should be called “Fur Mat” – double click it to open the texture dialogAll I am going to do here is change the gradient of the grass to two shades of green. You can change the thickness etc via the left hand menu if you want to experiment!

Step 6 - Adding texture to the fur

Step 7 – Rendering

That’s it! You have made some grass on a plane, if you got this far… congratulations! Now we need to just render the image to see the final result, so click “Render > Render View” From the menu which will show you exactly what you have created! I just added a background ( Objects > Scene > Background ) and changed the attributes to ” Use color > Always”. Here’s my final result!


Adam Woodhouse ( )



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