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Incredibly Realistic
Water Text in Cinema 4D
and Photoshop
by ABDUZEEDO (HTTP://ABDUZEEDO.COM/PROFILE/ABDUZEEDO) Mon, 04/20/2009 - 23:11
esterday it was raining and I decided to create a
water effect. I didn't know what to do then I saw the
desktop wallpaper I'm using, a image from the depthCORE
(http://www.depthcore.com/) Heist chapter created by
Sumeco that we used of the Wallpaper of the Week 43
(http://abduzeedo.com/wallpaper-week-43-depthcore-
heist). To create the effect, I had to use Adobe Photoshop,
Illustrator and Maxon Cinema 4D (http://maxon.net/).
Ad f rom Vimeo Download Videos [X]
So, in this tutorial I will show you how to create a water text effect. Even though it might
look compex it's a very simple effect. We will use Illustrator for the text, then Cinema 4D
to make it a 3D text and Photoshop to mix the 3D with some real photos to create a nice
and realistic result.
STEP 1
The first thing to do is create a hand writing with the text you want to use for the effect. I
used Adobe Illustrator to write the text. Using the Pencil Tool (N), double click its tool
icon to open the Pencil Tool Option. Use 10 pixels for the Fidelity and 50 % for the
Smoothness. Save the Illustrator file, we will import it in Cinema 4D.
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STEP 2
Open Maxon Cinema 4D and go to File>Merge. Select the Illustrator file to import it.
STEP 3
Let's edit the path just to add a bit of depth to it. In Illustrator we have a simple 2D path,
now we can move in a 3D enviroment and that will give a nice effect. Select the Point
Tool (1) and the just click and with the Move Tool (2), move the points, use the Axis
arrows to make sure you are moving to the right direction and axis.
STEP 4
After you finish editing the path, add a rectangle. To do that click on the Draw a
Freehand Spline icon (1) and select Rectangle (2). In the Attributes panel change the
width and height to 30m, select Rounding and use 3m for it (3).
STEP 5
Even though it might look a complicated, this step is quite simple. Click on the Add
HyperNURBS Object icon and select Sweep NURBS (1). In the Objects panel you will
have the 3 object layers, the Zee path, the rectangle and the Sweep NURBS. Move the
path and the rectangle into the Sweep NURBS objects (2). Then in the Attributes
panel use the image below for reference (3), but make sure that you change the
Rotation.
STEP 6
Now let's add a melting effect. Click on the Add Bend Object (1) and then select Melt (2).
Again, drag the melt layer into the Sweep NURBS layer, (3) it wil be right below the Zee
path. With the Melt Object selected go to its Attributes panel and play with some values.
There isn't any fixed value, they will depend on the size of your text path. You can use
the ones I used from the image below (4).
STEP 7
The object is getting quite nice, but there's still some adjustments to be done. Let's
make it a little smoother and then add a nice water texture. So click on the Add
HyperNURBS Object icon and select HyperNURBS (1). In the Objects panel click and
drag the Sweep NURBS group of layers into the new HyperNURBS layer (2). In the
Attributes panel for the HyperNURBS object change the Subdivisions to 3 and use
Linear (R7) for the Type. Render the Perspective View to see how it's looking. Tip:
Change the angle and distance of the view by dragging the icons on the top right hand
corner of the preview window.
STEP 8
The material we will use to create the water is very important. In the Material Panel go
to File>New Material. Then double click on the material icon to open in a new window.
Select the Color, Luminance, Transparency, Bump and Specular. Use the image below
for values and settings references. TIP: for the BUMP click on the arrow button next to
Texture, click on it and select Surfaces>Water. That will use a water map for the Bump.
STEP 9
Click on the Add Light icon and add 2 new lights. Both will be Omni but make one 100%
intensity and the other 50%. For the Shadow select Shadow Maps (soft). Then move
the 100% intensity light to the top of the object (1) while the other light move to the
bottom and behind the object(2). Render the Perspective view to see how it's looking.
It's supposed to be alright and ready to be exported.
STEP 10
Go to Render>Render Settings and select the Save option. Select Alpha Channel,
Straight Alpha, and Separate Alpha. For the Output select Scree>1920x1200 pixels.
Then just go to Render>Render to Picture Viewer. After that save it and let's go to
Photoshop.
STEP 11
Open Adobe Photoshop and the image rendered in Cinema 4D. The first thing to do is to
go the Channel palette and then holding Command(MAC)/Control(PC) click on the
thumbnail of the Alpha 1 to load the channel as selection. After that go back to the Layer
Palette and select the layer and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.
STEP 12
With a very soft rounded brush and black for the color, paint over the mask to hide
more parts of the image, use the image below for reference. We will place now some
real water photos to give a very realistic feeling to the image.
STEP 13
Over at http://sxc.hu search for water splash (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?
f=search&w=1&txt=water+SPLASH&p=2) and download the photos of water with black
background, below I showed the ones I used. Place them in your design and always use
Screen for the Blend Mode, that way the black will be transparent.
STEP 14
Start copying some parts of a photo and place them in the areas of the image we had
hidden.
STEP 15
Keep adding the small splash. You can go to Edit>Transform>Warp to change some
forms, also with the Eraser Too (E) delete some areas of the splash to make it look real.
It's all about details.
STEP 16
Now add the big splash, for me it's easier that way because it's easier to avoid overload
the image with elements. Again make sure you use Screen for the Blend Mode.
STEP 17
Select all layers and group them. Duplicate the group and go to Layer>Merge Group.
Then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 20 pixels for the Radius. After that change
the Blend Mode of the layer to Screen as well. The blur with the blend mode will add a
nice glow effect, however it's going to be necessary to reduce a bit of the brightness and
increase the contrast. Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer>Brightness and Contrast.
Use -75 for the Brightness and 40 for the Contrast.
CONCLUSION
Just add you logo or any text and that's it, we're done. Because of the beautiful
outcome,you make think it's a very complicated effect, but the process is quite simple.
Probably there are ways to do the text using only the blend tool in Illustrator and not
use Cinema 4D but it's always good to know how to use 3D tools. As I said, the process is
all about matching photos with a 3D object. I hope it can help you because it helped me
a lot in my endeavour to learn more about 3D.
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/azeected/3458883003/sizes/o/)
VERSION 2
To add some color to the image just add a Gradient Overlay via Layer Styles to the
layer we applied the Gaussian Blur in the Step 17. Use Multiply for the Blend Mode of
the Gradient Overlay then.
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/azeected/3455623677/in/set-72157604672645588/)
DOWNLOAD THE TUTORIAL FILES
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FILES USED FOR THIS TUTORIAL
(HTTP: //ABDUCTIT. COM/FILES/TUTORIALS/INCREDIBLE_WATER_TEXT_IN_CINEMA_4D_AND_PHOTOSHOP/SAMPLE. ZIP)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THIS POST
Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to
look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used
applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator
Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks,
and web design tutorials.
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28 Comments Abduzeedo Login
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Anon 4 years ago
It means nothing if you never actually rendered the water. Using stock photos
makes you a noob.

13
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Arthor 3 years ago Anon
In the real world, when you have deadlines and other projects to work on,
using stock photos like this makes him/her an asset and you the noob.
Notice how he manipulated SEVERAL beyond recognition, rather than using
one and repeating it?

22
Reply
tetra 2 years ago Arthor
To be fair, in the real world if you were trying to use this piece for
more than one purpose, it would be a huge detriment to use stock
photography in the event that it needed to be scaled or otherwise
manipulated (motion, color adjustments, etc.). A one-off art piece,
sure -- especially if this were rendered out crazy hi-res -- but at the
end of the day, you shouldn't be relying on stock photography for any
asset on any piece.
Deadline or not, if you can't create the effect in the native software,
it's probably best not to try to fake it. I'm currently dealing with an
entire marketing department that has used nothing but manipulated
stock photos for all of their assets when they should have just taken
the extra care to create those effects from scratch. It's been
impossible trying to use those assets in digital pieces or for large
printed banners.
It's bad practice and any real creative shop isn't going to hire you if
that's your methodology.

1
Clydecotton 2 years ago tetra
The use of stock photography is thankfully a resource with
which we can enhance our work. either by way of reference
or to use directly in it. the simulation of natural effects such as
the one in this tutorial (water) are simply that - simulations.
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the one in this tutorial (water) are simply that - simulations.
nothing will ever look exactly like nature. That is intrinsicly
impossible. Therefore, using real world imagery is a great
way of recreating the desired effect. It is not bad practice at
all, and every company out there has done it at some point in
time, or is still doing it. it is an essential trick to have in ones
digital aresenal.


Reply
John a year ago tetra
nothing constructive here folks.. I don't see your physical
models up for scrutiny. why poke holes.. graphic design
works with people to achieve visual goals for clients. you
should change your attitude or else nobody will hire you.
period.

1
Reply
Raqueta Malvada De Tenis a year ago Anon
i thought you've never been in a real work environment...
There actually exists banks of hd stock photo among others kind of
resources... Those are tools. You can use several tipes of tools to resolve a
work, thats depends due to work needs or tipology.
Following your line of thoughts if youve never designing your own typos for
handle a proyect youre more or less a kind of a loser designer...


Reply
Anon 4 months ago Anon
What a poes man.


generationpolitics 4 months ago Anon
Anon honestly, him making a tutorial on his own time makes him not only
more mature, but also more dedicated than you will probably ever be. You
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more mature, but also more dedicated than you will probably ever be. You
calling him a noob on this tutorial shows how stupid you are and how little
you know. Includes the other 12 idiots you voted your comment up.
As a 3D Developer for one of the largest film studios in the world. Your very
comment would be disagreed upon by everyone in the advertising and film
industry.


Reply
Emmaokiche 4 years ago
Quick one, thanks...


Reply
ell 4 years ago
im getting a problem importing my file from ai, to c4d. >;(

2
Reply
muz 3 years ago ell
save file as eps version 8, that works in C4D

3
Bleh 3 years ago
It really depends on whether or not using stock images or footage is advantageous
or a sign of inexperience. The environment I am in doesn't afford us a great deal of
time for many projects. The average quantity of image that are required per hour
range from 3 or 4 up to 56. All of them complete compositions and some requiring
alpha channels. This does not include animations that can be from 3 to 20 seconds
in length as well being compressed. This means that there are anywhere from 1 to
4 full renders of the same animation before it is uploaded for use. We use stock
images all the time. However, when your work environment allows it, it doesn't hurt
to create something completely from scratch. In fact I did this today with fire and
smoke, but now it can be uses where ever and however it's needed.
Admittedly I too was hoping to see how someone would model and texture a natural
effect like water in C4D. As I am new to the application, learning these techniques
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are helpful. Though I would probably use Real Flow instead and just create a
procedural texture.

2
Reply
Masterofmovies 3 years ago
you didnt even render it out dude.... kinda sucks.

3
Reply
Hittaa 3 years ago
export it as a normal AI-File (Version 8) from Adobe Illustrator to get it into C4D

1
Reply
Dianaguirre 3 years ago
no se puede descargar el archivo : (
solucionen ese problemita


Reply
Peter Saunders 3 years ago
Everyone has a different way of working, there is no right or wrong way.. it's only the
result that matters. Nice tut, thanks!

1
Reply
Ant 2 years ago
Great tutorial! Thank you!


Reply
Mrwoll 2 years ago
Why do open paths keep getting closed when importing Ai to C4D? Have tried to
untick the connect splines box but still it all gets connected.
Help?


THOPPP 2 years ago
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THOPPP 2 years ago
Brilliant tutorial . awesome final result !


Reply
Elevenbravo 2 years ago
and ur non noob alternative to stock images is? 50 bucks says .abr files. lets see if
we get a deviantart tag anytime soon.....and waiting XD. honestly i dont see how
anyone can be a noob at art. fact of the matter is, is if you put a keyable background
behind anything, graphic artists will rape the hell out of it. this is why we have
licensing. if you dont want it to happen I suggest looking into that. As for the author
of this tutorial, thank you for taking the time to organize this for everyone.


Reply
Johnson P R 2 years ago
download link not working


Reply
Lx 2 years ago
I just dont get it,i tried everything,i simply cant make the object "3d" from paths,when
i add sweep nurbs nothing happens,and yes,I did move the layers in sweep
nurbs...please help...

1
mahmoud a year ago
this tutorial needs more details, this shows that not everyone is capable of writing a
comprehensive tutorial from A to Z , like : mentioning u have to have illustrator file in
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