the basics: #3 Materials

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the basics: #3 Materials

Post by evergreen on Tue May 15, 2012 6:06 am

the basics: #3 Materials

Welcome to the third tutorial in our “the basics” series.

By now you should know the basics off the c4d interface and how to add objects to your scene.

In this tutorial you will learn what materials, textures and shaders
are and how you need them to create realistic looking scenes!

Cinema 4D and materials

In Cinema 4D materials and objects are two separate things. You can
look at it like this: the object is the volume, and the material is the
skin you wrap around it.

For example when you want to give your cube a different color, you
don’t need to edit your object. You simply create a new material (or
edit an old one) and add it to your object.

Of course you wont need to add a material to your objects, but
without materials your scenes will look boring and unrealistic, as can
be seen here:

Materials are managed from the material manager (Shift+F2) from
here you can load the Cinema4D default materials and downloaded
materials. You can also create new materials from the material manager,
or save and open ones you made yourself.

Once you have created a new material, you will need to apply it to your object.

To do this you have two options:

  • Select the material from the material manager. Now drag this
    straight onto the object in your scene and the material will be applied
    to that object. This is easy in simple scenes, but can be quit a
    challenge in complex scenes with lots of objects.
  • Thats why you can also drag the material to the object inside the object manager, as seen in the picture below

Some definitions:

Shader: Put simply, a shader is a computer program
that instructs the GPU on how polygons should look when they’re struck
by a virtual light source – whether that be a modeled flourescent light,
a flickering flame, an explosion, or a gunshot.

Texture: A 2d image that can be wrapped around your object, giving it its look.

Material: A combination of shaders and textures that can be applied to objects.

Downloading materials

Creating new materials is complex, and when you are just starting out
with Cinema 4D you will have a hard time making realistic looking
materials like for example glass , steal or wood.

Since you will probably need these right from the start its much
easier to just download them, you can always modify your downloaded
materials untill you are happy with them!

The web offers some great websites where you can download materials,
shaders and textures for free. I have listed the most popular sites
here, if you want more just do a google search and I’m sure you will
find more.

Once downloaded save them somewhere locally. I have created a map in
My Documents just for cinema4d, inside I have a folder where I save all
my materials, and another folder for all my projects.

Creating new materials

In the material manager go to file > new material.
Now double click on the just created material, this will open a new
window which allows you to change more than you probably ever need.

I suggest you to try all the different settings to see yourself what
they do, and what you could use them for. Remmeber when you are just
starting out its probably easier to just download some good materials!

Time to practice

Now its time to practice, there is no better way to learn how to use materials than by just start using them!

You can open the project from the previous tutorial and try out some
materials on it, feel free to experiment with all the different settings
and options!


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