Party Bot, Part 05: Apply Silver and Copper Materials

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Instructor Donovan Keith

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  • Duration: 07:55
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Make your character out of real world substances by applying materials.

Everything in the world is made up of different sorts of stuff, or “materials”. Each of these materials has a different visual property, and Cinema 4D makes it very easy to create your own materials or import premade photorealistic materials. Topics covered include:

- Creating your own simple materials.
- Using the Reflectance channel to add a glossy coat on your object.
- Adjust the amount of reflectivity using the Fresnel option.
- Opening the Content Browser.
- Searching for premade materials.
- Applying materials to your objects.
- Taking advantage of hierarchy so you only need to apply materials to top-level objects instead of every object individually.



In this video, we're going to take our pose character and add some materials to it. Materials are going to allow us to have bright colors, interesting textures, and a better, more realistic-looking object. And in order to add a material to a scene, it's pretty simple. You go to this thing called the material manager down here at the bottom of the view and choose "Create new material." And by default, you'll get this white material right here, and you can drag it on to something like your eye. And I can call this Eye, White. Now this, by default, is actually a little bit gray. So I'm in my color channel right here. I'm going to increase the brightness of this a little bit to make it a bit more white. That's looking pretty good. And one other thing I'm to do is go into my eye white. I'm just going to double click to open it up, and this is going to open up something called the Material Editor which allows you to access all the same parameters you can access here in the Attributes Manager, but it's a specialized interface that's just a little bit easier to work with. Next, I'm going to go to the reflectance channel and modify some properties. Right now, I've got something called a specular layer turned on, and I can turn that off with this little eye icon right here, or I can click to remove it. So I'm going to do that right now. And what I'm trying to create is a glossy-looking eye material. And I can very easily do that by clicking on these add dots right now. And I'm going to choose GGX. And GGX is just a name for an algorithm. Someone has done a lot of research and a lot of math and they came up with this GGX method. And it allows you to create really nice-looking reflections. Now, when I render this right now, I'm not getting much. My character looks like it has a black eye. And that's because we are looking at our material, our super-reflective material in an all black environment. And we'll work to improve that in just a moment. But before we do, let's go ahead and tweak the appearance of this reflection. And right now, it's very mirror-like. And what I want to do is rename this layer here from Layer One to Gloss. And the name has no effect on what the material looks like, but it just helps me to know what I'm trying to do here. Next, I'm going to go down into my settings. And I have this roughness setting which allows me to blur out my reflection and I'm not going to pay too much attention to that. By reflection strengthening, they keep nice and strong. Specular strength, I'm actually to bring all the way down to zero. And that's just because it's a holdover from a previous generation of computer graphics where you really needed these fake-looking reflections. And then, I'm going to go down to this layer for now option which makes objects more reflective at the edges when they're facing away than when they're facing towards the camera. And we're going to change for now from none to something called a Dielectric. And this is a property of objects in the world. They are either conductive or dielectric. Conductive or conductor surfaces, you would think of those as things like metal, things that are good at conducting heat or electricity. And dielectric tend to be things that are less conductive, things like plastics, and glass, and so forth, or insulators. So let's just use dielectric right here. And inside of here, we have some presets. And the custom preset was chosen by default. But what I want to do is just choose something nice and easy like, I don't know, oil. Maybe there's sort of like an oily film on the top of this substance. So when I click on that right there, I now have this white material that's looking all right. And it looks really good in this preview. Let's go ahead and apply this material also to the other eyeball. So I'm going to click and drag and apply to this other eyeball. And as you can see, the pupils become white. It's the same white as their parents because they are child objects. And what I want are black pupils right here. Now, I can select this material and hold down my control key to drag it over to create the copy. And now that I've done that, I can go to my color channel and I'm going to make this really dark-gray or a black. And I can now drag this directly onto my object in my viewport here. Or if I want, I can drag it on to the object here in the objects manager. And when I do that, you'll see that beside the object is a small version of this texture that you see right here. So we're already off to the races. We've got our black and white eyes. Now, we can go through a procedure like this to create all of our different materials. And I encourage you to explore these materials at length. Play around with all these different settings. But there's actually a short cut that's really going to speed up a lot of this work and I want to show it to you now. And that is to use something called the content browser. And the content browser is a way for you to view a bunch of different material presets. And there are also preset models and preset scenes. It's a really great place to explore. And you probably have at least the Prime version of Cinema 4D. And if you open up Prime, inside of here you'll see a materials folder. And inside of that, you've got a whole bunch of different sorts of services that you can create. We could look at metal down below. And inside of metal, we've got a bunch of different previews. And if I click and drag to expand these previews, we can see them a little bit more easily. And I'm just going to get this metal, silver, high reflection by dragging it from the content browser on to the head object. And if I move this texture tag from the head to the body, any child object that doesn't have its own material explicitly applied becomes silver. And I just want to have some different colors for my hat and maybe my mouth right here. So I'm going to go back into my content browser, and let's see if there's something interesting. I kind of like the look of this metal colored, which I might drag on to the mouth right here. And I might even drag that onto his hat. And what you'll notice is that I've got two copies of this material down here now, one for the hat, and one for the mouth. So a better option might have been to, and I'll do it right now. And so I'm going to hit undo until I get rid of one of those extra materials. And then I'm just going to drag it from here onto that hat as well. And I can also drag it on to the arms and the legs. So now he's got a silver body, a silver head, and a sort of brass-looking arms. In this video, we created two materials from scratch. Our eye whites, and our eye blacks. And we also imported a couple of materials from our content browser. Now, I fully encourage you to explore the materials available in here, to click on this presets icon to get to all of your presets, and to search for whatever you might be trying to find. Like, maybe, you want to see what concrete might look like. And you can scroll inside of here until you find a concrete material that you like. And you can apply that material to your figure and see what he looks like when he's made out of concrete. So you can really change the surface properties very easily. Now, I'm going to hit undo. And in the next video, we're going to go over how to add an environment and some lighting to really improve the look of this.
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