May 29, 2009#

C4D Tutorial: Create a Twisted 3D Text in C4D

(apologies to the picture size on this post. I changed the theme. I will adjust this asap)

I finally finished my exams so I can finally work on some tutorials. This is my first ever tutorial and I’ll show you some pretty cool 3D typography effects cinema 4D can achieve. 

Softwares you need: 
- Illustrator (optional)
- Photoshop
- Cinema 4d

Step 1: Creating a path

I used Adobe Illustrator for this mainly because its much easier to manipulate your path compared to Cinema 4D.
Since I have a tablet, I just scribbled the word “LOVE”.
Do take note that this effect works best when there aren’t any sharp edges turns in your cursive lettering. Therefore, try to round the corners of your ‘V’ using the “Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift+C)”.
If you find your drawing/scribbling a little messy, no worries, just use the “Smooth tool” to make your path smoother, hence the smooth tool. :)



Step 2: Saving your AI file

To export your AI path into C4D, you need to save your document as an Illustrator 3 file. (it may work with other versions but so far saving it as an Illustrator 3 file works for me)

Step 3: Open your file in C4D



Step 4: 3d your path

For this you need to use the Point tool and the Move tool (as shown in the picture)
By clicking the point tool, you reveal the curve points on your path.
Click on any point and move it in the Z dimension backwards or forwards.



Step 5: Add a Sweep NURBS object AND a Rectangle Object

(change the size of the rectangle to 25m x 25m – do this in the Attributes menu)

Step 6: Parenting

FIRST, parent your path to Sweep NURBS by simply clicking your spline in the objects menu (whilst holding down your mouse) and dropping it on top of the Sweep NURBS

SECOND, parent the rectangle to the Sweep NURBS

NB: if you do it the other way around, you get a big massive blob and we don’t want that.

You should get something that looks like the picture below. If you don’t, then you probably got it the other way around.
As you can see, my ‘V’ is still has some sharp edges, which makes the 3D object look a bit weird.


Step 7: Twisting

If you like, you can always twist the rectangular tube to create a more funky image.
To do this, click Sweep NURBS and you should see an Attributes menu on the bottom right of your screen.

Change the END ROTATION to 20 degrees. Or more if you fancy. But i think 20 is enough. You don’t want to many twist in love.



Step 8: Adding color/material

Its a bit dull at the moment so I’m gonna snazz it up with some dark red.
In the bottom of your screen, you should have a Materials Menu.
Click File > New Material (Ctrl+N)

You can edit the settings of your material in the Attributes bar.
I checked:
- Color – i used RGB: 74 0 0
- Reflection – reduce the reflection Brightness to 6%
- Specular – width 86%, height 33%, Fallout 3%, Inner Width 0%

Now add the material to the Sweep NURB by simply click + drag the material (in the bottom menu) and dropping it on top of the Sweep NURB



Step 9: Adding swirls

I want to add some cool swirls to twist around LOVE.
Creating this is exactly the same as creating the twisted love. But instead of using the LOVE spline, use the HELIX spline instead.
Then adjust the HELIX size, rotations, etc to get the effect you want

Step 10: Add a Sky and a Light

I placed the light just in front of the path to light it up a bit and decreased the intensity to 50%
I want the light to cast a shadow so under SHADOW, select SHADOW MAPS (SOFT)
(all of this can be found in the Attributes Menu for the LIGHT)

Leave the sky alone



Step 11: Rendering and exporting it into Photoshop for the finishing touches

In your Render settings few things to do:
- Select the GLOBAL ILLUMINATION setting under EFFECT
- Under SAVE, make sure you select ALPHA CHANNEL
- FORMAT: Photoshop (PSD)
- PATH: chose where you want your file to be saved

Once you are done, hit RENDER


(NB: in the picture I did a Render in ACTIVE view. But it works better when you Render it in PICTURE viewer)

Step 12: Open your file in Photoshop and make any changes however you like.

If you want to cut out the grey background, simply go to Channels and Ctrl+Click the Alpha channel.
then Ctrl+J to bring your selection into a new layer.

Then you can freely alter the background


I added subtle gradient in the background and the word TWISTED.


Hope you learnt something new today. Its a handy technique if you are a C4D user to help you bring more life into your 3D typography ventures.
Thank you for viewing my tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions/ feedback since this is my first tutorial!

I do apologize how the screenshots protrude to the left but thats how the layout of this wordpress theme is like. I’m in the process of getting a new theme. So it might change soon!


  1. thanks so much, very nice

  2. nice tutorial

  3. What font did you use for the word twisted?

  4. thanks man for tutorail

  5. which part of part 5?
    Drag and drop will create parent/child.

  6. Get stuck at step 5. :|

  7. Great tutorial! I have just to finish and the result is very good. Thanks!

  8. nice. Thanks for tips. gonna try it out tonight.

  9. yours look amazing as well. it works for your content

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