Cinema 4D

As we are aiming for a flat, 2D stylised look we intend on using cinema 4D to achieve this. Hannah T was working on developing the lighting and texturing for the bedroom scene so I started working on the hallway scene where we first meet Kimmy. The set had been laid out by Hannah T so I began by importing the scene into cinema 4D and started on trying to develop a look for the lighting.

Seeing as this is a piece of software I haven’t used before for lighting I took to the internet for some tutorials:

A tutorial to explain how to use objects to emit lights, as with this scene we could see the lightbulbs – it made more sense to have them actually emitting the light themselves:

This next tutorial was extremely useful as it went through the various aspects of lighting which allowed me to break down the scene and really think about what I needed to do to create the right effect. It included examples and explanations of:

  • Types of lights and their effect on an object
  • Using appropriate shadow, explaining some of the important shadow settings
  • Tricks when using multiple light sources
  • Diffuse, specular and shadow casting lights, disabling certain settings
  • falloff
  • solo lights, building the scene up one light at a time
  • Coloured lights, useful when light sources may provide colour of their own, eg. lightbulbs and the slightly orange colour they give off
  • The position and direction of the lights
  • Linear workflows
  • Global Illumination

Obviously not all of these settings were useful as we are creating a stylised look to our short but it was an interesting topic to read up on.

Below are a few screenshots of the first lighting set up I had a go at:


With the first attempt the lights were far too harsh and the scene was too lit but then Hannah T reminded me that the technique of light linking that we’re familiar with from maya could be applied in cinema 4D. So below I started to play around with the lights and what light would be linked to which object, from now on it would be a matter of experimenting.


I feel like with the render above I was starting to get somewhere, some nice shadows had formed across the front – although still a little too hash. Channel of Paulo Barrelas, who had a really helpful video on the technique of light linking within cinema 4D. To light link you select the chosen light within the scene > then to the right of that the lights setting will open up > select project > to exclude an object select it and drag it into this box.


As the lighting was getting  somewhere I then set up a sketch and toon material to apply to the scene:


To set up a sketch and toon head over to your render setting tabs and select sketch and toon, from here the line thickness can be adjusted accordingly:


As you can see from above there was still a lot of work to be done, I won’t go into much detail with the next couple of renders, they are really just here to show my progress from start to finish.



With the image above the end of the hallway was too bright in comparison to the rest of the render, to fix this the door wand walls were excluded from the eight lights that had been placed within the scene. A new light was then added and everything apart form the doors was excluded meaning that I could now control the amount of light hitting the back of the hallway independently from the rest of the scene, the result being scene below. I was also beginning to experiment with the lights shadow density and interpolation values.


With the render above I was drawn to the harsh shadows above the light source, the shadow density of these lights were adjusted to 20% to soften the appearance on the roof which can be seen in the image below. Also to counteract the harsh shadow above the lockers in the foreground, the light which was causing that would have it’s density reduced to 60%. There are also some harsh shadows done the right of the hallway, these lights shadow density was adjusted to 70%. All of these adjustments can be seen in the render below.


I had then thought that I might have removed too much shadow form the scene and attempted to bring some back…



After some adjustments I found that I was happier with the shadow in the render above, there was no longer any harsh shadows, I just felt that the light at back of the hallway was still a little too bright, it didn’t quite fit, below is a shot to show the scene in the viewport and the position of the lights.


I was rather pleased with the render above, I felt that it had a better sense of lighting that the previous attempts, and the rest of the group had agreed that it was a nice set up.


Overall I had 10 lights that were each linked up to their own set of objects, below are some screenshots of the settings:


Final Render: I’ve added some lights outside the hallway to provide a light source for the light on the ground below the windows.


When we met up later that week to have a team meeting, the cinema 4D renders were looked at (Hannah T’s and mine) and we realised that we weren’t achieving our desired look, so cinema 4D was scrapped… Hannah T then went on to look at achieving the style we wanted within maya’s toon shaders and I went onto modelling for episode 2 and animating.

I did really enjoying getting to learn another piece of software, lighting in cinema 4D is actually a pleasant experience and the software was beginning to grow on me but we weren’t achieving the look we wanted so it was better to call it quits earlier rather than later.



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