How to Create a Guitar in Cinema 4D: Part 2

How to Create a Guitar in Cinema 4D: Part 2


Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Follow this tutorial step-by-step to create a 3D Guitar model that you can use in video games, graphic design and illustration projects whilst learning Cinema 4D quickly. 

Some of the skills you’ll learn in this tutorial include creating basic 3D modelling, importing reference images, adding lighting to the scene and basic rendering techniques.

In the first part of the two-part tutorial, I showed you:

  • How to Import Reference Images
  • How to Prepare for Modelling
  • How to Model the 3D Guitar

In this, the second part of the the tutorial series, I’ll show you:

  • How to Create Colored Materials
  • How to Add Lighting to the Scene
  • How to Render the Guitar

8. How to Create a New Material

Step 1

Located near the bottom of the screen there should be a material selection window. Click on Create > New Material to create a new material to use that you can edit. 

Materials are used to colour in the various objects and parts of the Guitar

Create a new material

Step 2

Double click on the new material icon, displayed as a sphere. This brings up the Material Editor, where you adjust the various properties of the material such as the colour, transparency and reflectance. 

For this particular style you’ll only be interested in flat colour, or Luminance.

Go to the material editor

Step 3

Tick the button for Luminance and untick the boxes for Color and Reflectance. This gives us the cel shaded look for our final image of the Guitar.

Select Luminance

Step 4

Colour the Guitar, starting with the body, by adding the material to the object. Drag and drop the material to the object using the mouse. 

Drag and drop the material onto the object listed on the right of the screen. 

This process is repeated for the other parts of the Guitar. The base colour of the Guitar is as follows:

Choose a yellow color

Step 5

Apply the material colour to the guitar body and the headstock by dragging and dropping the material onto the object listed on the right of the screen or the preview window.

Apply the yellow material to the guitar

9. How to Adjust the Material Properties

Step 1

In the Material Editor, click on the arrow button next to Texture and select Sketch and Toon > Cel from the menu.

Select sketch and toon

Step 2

Click on the new Cel button that appears next to Texture to bring up a new menu.

Click on the new cel button

Step 3

In the new menu, adjust the settings as follows:

  1. Change the Diffuse to match the image at below. It should be grey scale with the colour getting light from left to right
  2. Untick Camera
  3. Tick Lights
  4. Tick Shadows 
  5. Select Multiply from the drop down menu
Adjust the cel settings

Step 4

Select a colour by double-clicking on the colour option box . 

The Material Editor gives you many different options for choosing and picking the colour.

These include RGB, HSV etc. Choose whichever option you’re most familiar with as a flat color. Because of the Multiply shading mode, the different colour shades also appears in the material.

If the material has already been applied to the model, the colour of the model is automatically adjusted to the new material colour. 

This is useful if you change your mind on a certain colour or a certain part of the Guitar model.

Change the base color of the material

Step 5

Because you’ve already applied the material to the model, the colour of the Guitar is automatically adjusted to the new material colour.

New material properties automatically applied to model

10. How to Adjust the Shading

Step 1

To get a better idea of the shading and how our render will turn out as you work on it, click and hold on the Render Button and select Interactive Render Region from the menu. 

Select interactive render region

Step 2

Use the mouse to adjust the window so that it fits around the Guitar model. Look for the very small arrow on the right hand side of the window and use the mouse to drag it to the top right corner of the box. This increases the resolution. 

Decrease the resolution by moving the arrow down if you find that the performance is decreasing.

Increase resolution

Step 3

To change the way the light source is facing go to Options > Default Light.

Add a light object to the scene if you are more comfortable working that way. 

Adjust the default light

Step 4

Change the light source in the Default Light window. Click where you’d like the light source to come from on the sphere and it’ll sync with the view port. 

Experiment with different lighting positions to come up with a lighting situation that you like. 

This is adjusted at anytime so you can change the lighting again if you changed your mind.

Change the light source

11. Other Lighting Solutions

Step 1

To set up the basic lighting, go to the Floor button located in the top menu bar. Left Click-Hold and then select Physical Sky from the menu.

Select physical sky

Step 2

Ensure that Physical Sky is selected in the menu on the right, a new menu appears on the bottom right of the screen. Select the Time and Location tab and choose a time using the left and right arrow keys. 

This changes the lighting of the scene according to the time of the day. Choose a suitable time to light up the scene. You’ll see how the lighting affects the scene in the viewport.

Choose a time

Step 3

To add a light to the scene, select the Add Light button in the top menu bar at the top of the screen.

This creates a Light Object which you can move around the scene. Move the light object using the Move Tool to a suitable position.

Select a light object

Step 4

To customise the lighting further, experiment with the light object options in the bottom right of the screen. Here, adjust the Intensity, Light Type and even Color.

Customise the lighting

12. How to Color the Guitar Neck

Step 1

To create a new material we can duplicate the material by holding CTRL on the keyboard and then using the mouse to click and drag the material to the side.

Duplicate the material

Step 2

Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. From there change the colour to the following:

Change the color of the material

Step 3

Apply the new material to the neck by clicking and dragging it directly onto the object.

Apply new material to the neck of the guitar

Step 4

Create a new material. Duplicate a previous material in order to keep the settings from before.

Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. From there change the colour to the following:

Make new light grey material

Step 5

Create another new material and change the colour to the following:

Make new dark grey material

Step 6

Use the Polygon Selection Tool to highlight the rectangles of the fretboard, leaving a space in between each one. Then apply one of the two new materials to the selection.

Apply new material to fretboard

Step 7

Highlight the remaining rectangles and apply the second new material to the selection.

Apply new material to fretboard

13. Colour the Tuning Keys, Bridge and End Pin

Step 1

Create a new material and change the colour to the following:

Make new material

Step 2

Select the bridge 3D object and apply the new material to it by dragging and dropping the material onto the object listed on the right of the screen or the preview window.

Apply new material to bridge

Step 3

Apply the same material to the tuning keys.

Apply new material to tuning keys

Step 4

Apply the same material to the end pin at the bottom of the guitar. 

Apply new material to end pin

14. How to Color the Sound Hole Border

Step 1

Create another new material for the sound hole border and change the colour to the following:

Make new color material

Step 2

Select the cylinder 3D object and apply the new material to it by dragging and dropping the material onto the object listed on the right of the screen or the preview window.

Apply new material to sound hole border

15. Render the Guitar Model

Step 1

On the top menu bar, click on the Render Settings button. This brings up the render settings window.

Select render settings button

Step 2

In the Render Settings menu, change the options to what you need. First you will need to tick the Save Settings to select a file location, file format and alpha channel.

Select Alpha Channel if you wish to keep the background see through. This is useful if you wish to add a background to the image in Adobe Photoshop.

Adjust save options

Step 3

In the Output Settings choose the resolution, height and width of the image. 

Adjust output options

Step 4

To ensure that the guitar render is nice and sharp, go to the Anti-Aliasing settings. Select Cubic (Still Image) which can be found under Filter

Adjust anti-aliasing options

Step 5

To create the final image of the guitar, click on the Render button. Remember to make sure that you’ve selected the right view in your viewport (front, right, left or perspective etc.) and that you’re happy with the camera angle. 

Choose a suitable angle in the viewport by navigating around the scene.

Click on the render button

Step 6

For more control over how the final render looks, create a camera object to help. Find a suitable view using the viewport first and then click on the camera button. 

This creates a camera using the current view in the viewport. Check out the camera settings to see how they will affect the final render.

Select the camera button

The End Result

Wait for the final render to finish. Once the render is complete, repeat the steps above and change the camera or the view port to create a new image from a different angle. 

Throughout the course of the project you’ve learnt:

  • How to Import Reference Images
  • How to Prepare for Modelling
  • How to Model the 3D Guitar
  • How to Create Colored Materials
  • How to Add Lighting to the Scene
  • How to Render the Guitar

Feel free to share your own creations below. You can also export your image into Adobe Photoshop to enhance it further or to use it as part of a larger image.

Final 3D guitar model



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