A Beginner’s Guide to 3D Simulation in Cinema 4D

An introductory project-based course for the aspiring 3D motion graphic artist.
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 (16 ratings)
737 students
41min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

The fundamentals of 3D Simulation to help students gain an understanding of the tools and techniques used in the motion graphics industry.
How 3D Simulation and Dynamics work in Cinema 4D.
The use of the MoGraph Cloner, effectors, rigid body and collider body tags
Controlling simulation with the tag settings friction and bounce
3D Modeling, cloning along a spline, the use of emitters, simulation tags and render settings
Using various geometry to create an interesting animated effect consisting of cloned spheres and a maze-like structure


  • This is a beginner course and a basic understanding of Cinema 4D’s user interface is recommended.


In this series of lessons we will cover the fundamentals of 3D Simulation to help you gain a basic understanding of the tools and techniques used in the industry.

Part 01: Introduction to 3D Simulation Techniques

  • Overview of the Mograph cloners, random effector, rigid body tag, collider body tag, friction and bounce settings

  • Experimentation with parametric primitives and various geometry for different dynamic effects

  • Splines, lathe nurbs, rigid body tag, collider body tag, friction and bounce settings

  • Create a vase being filled with spheres

  • Using an emitter with a rigid body sphere to start a simulation

  • Work with the initial linear velocity

  • Overview of the random, formula, push apart and step effectors

  • Use of spherical, cylindrical, cone, linear, radial fields and falloff settings

Part 02: Domino’s Project

  • Model the domino’s with splines and extrude nurbs

  • Use domino images from the asset browser to texture the model

  • Use the selection field to apply materials to the front, back and side of dominos

  • Use of the MoGraph Cloner in object mode in conjunction with a spline to duplicate the dominos along a path

  • Adjust the cloner’s distribution settings for evenly spaced dominos

  • Use rigid body and collider body tags to set-up the simulation

  • Use and emitter to create the initial impact by setting the initial linear velocity for domino’s to fall

  • Refine bounce, friction and rigid body settings

  • Define final output render settings to complete the animation

Part 03: Maze Project

  • Model the 3D environment and add a collider body tag

  • Create a sphere inside a cloner and assign a rigid body tag to start the simulation

  • Model the maze geometry using parametric primitives

  • Create shelves, front and add collider body tags

  • Adjust the maze geometry to control the simulation

  • Duplicate the sphere cloner to add additional animation to the scene

  • Create sides to the maze to prevent spheres from falling outside of it’s borders

  • Use the display tag to hide geometry in the perspective view

  • Apply procedural Cinema 4D materials to the maze and spheres

  • Use gradients on the spheres and refine their parameters for added visual interest

  • Create a camera animation to follow the simulated sphere movement

  • Define render settings for final output

Who this course is for:

  • Beginner aspiring 3D motion graphic artist


Designer | Cinema 4D Expert | Founder, Triplet 3D
Pete Maric
  • 4.5 Instructor Rating
  • 51 Reviews
  • 1,807 Students
  • 10 Courses

Pete Maric founded Triplet 3D in Cleveland, Ohio in 2013, with the goal of creating a 3D studio that can bring together a wide range of skill sets and experience to deliver inventive, high quality work to clients.

He graduated from The Cleveland Institute of Art before working for three of the top 50 retail design firms in the US. In 2001, he began working independently in the architectural industry and worked with brands such as Adidas, Nintendo, and Everlast. His work has been featured in the Adobe Illustrator WOW! books, Photoshop User Magazine, Architecture in Perspective, Cleveland Magazine and House Trends.

Since 2008, he's been developing his CGI expertise, and teaches modeling and 3D animation at The Cleveland Institute of Art and Tri-C Community College. With over 10 years of in-person and online instruction, Pete understands his students learning objectives and crafts courses that are clear, concise and informative.

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