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Abstract Modelling

Abstracts have continued to be the most popular genre of wallpaper images for the last several years.  Until very recently the techniques behind their creation were complex and required expensive software. Using Cinema 4D, however, it is possible to create very detailed abstract objects in a very short time, using normal in-built functionality and a little creative thinking.  Here's one very simple way to create abstract models from scratch... 

Step 1 - Add a platonic object into the centre of your image, as shown on the left. The 'Icosa' type with 1 Segment, and a radius of 100m should do just fine.

Step 2 - Now switch to the modelling layout. Select the object and press C on the keyboard to make it editable. Using the polygon tool, select a single side of the object...

Step 3 - Press CTRL+A to select the entire object.  Once you have done this, click on the matrix extrude button and play around with the numbers in the dialog that pops up.  If you want similar results to mine, enter the values on the left.

Step 4 - Right click on the Platonic object in the object tree view, and choose New tag > phong tag from the menu that pops up.  This will smoothen out your render nicely!    Next, add a hypernurbs object and group the platonic underneath it to add further smoothness. Finally, add a camera somewhere near the image and set its focal length to 10.  Click Cameras > Zoom  and zoom in until your object fills the camera viewport.

Step 5 - Select the platonic object again. In the top menu bar, click on selection > grow selection, and repeat this twice (i.e. 3 times in total).  Press the matrix extrude button again and enter the numbers on the left.

Step 6 - Zoom the camera out a little bit and you should have a funky image that looks a little like the one opposite.

Step 7 - Play with the position of the camera and its zoom until you get a better view of the abstract object.

Step 8 - Using a little creative license you should now play around with the object until it looks as cool as possible.  In my example I used a bulge and bend effect... although you can use whatever deforming functions you like.

After putting in these effects, keep playing with that camera!  Rotate, zoom in/out, and generally pan about until you are satisfied with the shot in the viewport.

Note: You can always add additional lights or materials to make your object better later, but for our example we'll keep it as simple as possible.

Step 9 - Its now time to render your model!   I used the render settings shown below (all other settings were left on their defaults):

Variations - And that's all there is to it!   Just drool at your render and go edit it in Photoshop.  With a little practice and skill you can transform your image into the cool abstract on the bottom right.  Good luck!  

The Raw Render

With a Little Photoshop Magic

- Tutorial written by Dryft

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Last 5 User Comments

User:  GhostRider103 (#43533)
Date: Sun Jul 22, 2007. 09:21:55

Post #9 of 9

Good job on the tutorial man, a very nice outcome.

Thanks a lot.:)

Reply to this post

User:  aquastealth (#37851)
Date: Tue Feb 13, 2007. 22:20:17

Post #8 of 9

Hi and thx for a great and simple tutorial that gives me
a lot of ideas to build upon with similar tools :)
Could you please post what you did in photoshop more specific?
cause that blue glow is awesome.
Keep up the good work

Reply to this post

User:  Lasse2k (#28957)
Date: Sat Jun 17, 2006. 11:12:28

Post #7 of 9

Quote from Sirit:
Im having a few problems:
1) when you "grow" the selection, does it have any visual changes? Because when i do it, nothing seems to change.

You must do a "Ctrl+a" before you make the first matrix extrude:)
then your "grow selection" should work out just fine;)

Reply to this post

User:  kainlane (#28520)
Date: Mon Jun 05, 2006. 14:46:07

Post #6 of 9

Nice tutorial, very simple and easy to follow. Great job and great result!

Reply to this post

User:  Lasse2k (#27551)
Date: Sat May 13, 2006. 09:24:06

Post #5 of 9


How do you make the picture so damn good looking in photoshop?
can du make a tutorial or mabe give me a link to one? that would've been nice!

Reply to this post

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