3D World

3D World

3D World

The new 3D World magazine is on sale from today in the UK. I was offered the exciting opportunity of creating the cover artwork and a twenty second animation for this months issue.

3D World from Tim Clapham on Vimeo.

Working with Mark Allin, an old friend and my ex-business partner from HYPA. We both developed the concept and design of the piece. I then took the designs and worked up the 3D animation in Cinema4D and completed the composite and grade in After Effects. Thanks to Mark, who also created the sound design for the animation.

As part of the project, I wrote a 36 step tutorial that walks you through the processes to create something similar yourself. Please visit the 3D World official website to find out more and order your own copy.

Author: Tim


  1. Regis
    Regis On January 13, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Hi There,

    Excellent, but I didn’t really get the point when you are saying about using a fracture object to follow more accurately the contour… Well I guess, I will go back to some courses I enrolled in fxphd when you explained about it.
    But anyway, great stuff, thanks a lot.



  2. Phil
    Phil On January 13, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    Is there a way to see the Tutorial online?
    Best regards, Phil

    • Tim
      Tim On January 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM

      Sorry Phil, I don’t think the tutorial will be online.

  3. Rob Maxwell
    Rob Maxwell On January 13, 2010 at 6:01 AM


    Love it! Can’t wait to get it in the mail.

    Best wishes,


  4. dogimo
    dogimo On January 13, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    just wow !
    I have to take some classes from fxphd !!!

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by nickvegas, MAXON, Joe Myers, PeterP, Joshua Cole and others. Joshua Cole said: RT @helloluxx: Cover Art and Tutorial created for 3D World Magazine, now on sale in the UK. http://bit.ly/5oygSQ […]

  6. Thomas
    Thomas On January 14, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    Can’t wait for the weekend to have a nice look on this brilliant piece of art work…

    Big Thanks for this one!!!

  7. Victor Soares
    Victor Soares On January 15, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    Hi Tim, that’s a great tutorial, but can ou give more tips about placing the elements by hand, using the Fracture Object as you have mentioned!


  8. digitalove
    digitalove On January 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    the tutorial is online at the 3d-world website, along with the project files.


    looks great Tim! I’m going to sit down and go through it tomorrow.

  9. Voxel
    Voxel On January 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Thanks for the online tutorial.
    It was a good job from you.

  10. Klas
    Klas On January 25, 2010 at 3:02 AM

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the tutorial. Very informative and I apppreciated it a lot.
    Especially the part on shaders, materials and lights.


  11. Raj
    Raj On January 28, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Hi Tim,

    Firstly thanks for the awesome tutorial, but could you please explain how to manipulate the individual objects using Fracture Objects ? Do you use Shatter or Explosion to separate them ?



    • Tim
      Tim On January 28, 2010 at 6:14 PM

      The objects are all placed by hand to make the shape of the letters. Sorry no quick way to achieve this. For the 3D World logo, it was designed in Illustrator first with simple vector shapes representing the objects, then this was used as a background image to help position the 3D objects in C4D. Once all the objects are in place, you then make them children of a Fracture object and set up the dynamics from there.


  12. Victor Soares
    Victor Soares On February 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    That’s a lot of work, but the result is much better, thanks for answering Tim!

  13. Jesus
    Jesus On February 4, 2010 at 7:22 AM

    Hey Tim, I was working on this tutorial and everything looked good till I brought it into AE. It seems the dynamics were jumping on several frames. I was using Net render to render this out. Do I have to cache the dynamics before I send it out to my farm? would the render farm give me those issues?

    • Tim
      Tim On February 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM

      yeah you’ll need to cache the dynamics for rendering over NET

  14. Ryan Farmer
    Ryan Farmer On February 25, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    Just ordered the February issue because of this!
    I know it will be amazing!
    Ryan Farmer

  15. Tim
    Tim On February 25, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Ryan, it is issue 126 you should have ordered, I think you ordered the wrong issue for my tutorial! Well if that’s what you’re after?

  16. Felipe Assef
    Felipe Assef On March 1, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    was watch your tutorial “Create a Brilliant Motion Graphics in Cinema 4D”, and I was wondering how do you get the cloners objects perfect align to the logo shape?

  17. Eric
    Eric On March 5, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    tim, you’re a champ. i’m going through the tutorial and i had 2 questions.

    first, it would be cool if you could go over what you had to do with the fracture object to make everything align perfectly to create the letters. that process is unfamiliar to me.

    second, for some reason cinema 4d was crashing when i tried to export the .aec composting file after i made the render. as a test i opened your file that came with the project and exported the .aec file fine, cinema 4d didn’t crash. it did take a few minutes to make the file. i’m just curious if you’ve ever encountered that problem.

    keep up the good work, your tutorials are the best.

  18. Eric
    Eric On March 5, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    you can ignore the first part of my post, after i posted i read what everyone else wrote…. oooops

  19. Jason
    Jason On March 19, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Hey Tim,

    Great tutorial! The final result is unbelievable. I’m working through it right now.

    One question though, for you or anybody who had worked through the tut.

    I’m on step 4. In my material editor, under Color>Gradient, I don’t have the same options as you do in the screenshot, or that you describe in the mag. Specifically, I can’t turn off interpolation. I also can’t numerically define the knot positions (20%, 40%, etc.), although that’s not as essential (I just eyeballed the positions).

    It appears from the screenshot that these options are a function of the knots themselves. I’ve double, right, and single clicked on the knobs. I can’t find those options though!

    I have 11.5.

    I’m going to feel really dumb when I hear the answer I’m sure….

  20. Jason
    Jason On March 19, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    My God. I spend half an hour trying to figure this out on my own, and then two seconds after I post the question, I figure out that there’s a triangle by gradient to expand the options. I’m a fool.

    Thanks for the great tut! The effect looks amazing!

  21. Dean Jones
    Dean Jones On March 24, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    I’m having the same issue as Eric while exporting the .aec file. I’m on a Mac and I get the endlessly spinning beach ball when I click “SaveProject File…”

    This happens with my created file AND the downloaded original file.

    I can muddle through the rest of the tutorial, but I’d like to know what and if this problem is. Thanks.

    • Tim
      Tim On March 26, 2010 at 1:53 AM

      Try deleting everything in the scene except the camera and any objects you want exporting with external compositing tags, then export the AEC.

  22. Jason
    Jason On May 27, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    I’m curious how you achieved the Slow-mo look of your final. I’m assuming in your final you used a much slower rotation for the “Rotate Null”? I’m stumped on this one.

    Thanks for sharing how this was done, beautiful piece and awesome tutorial… thanks a million

    • Tim
      Tim On May 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

      @Jason – I used the Time Scale parameter in Document Settings to slow down the simulation.

  23. PchStudio
    PchStudio On July 4, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Amezing motion man!! your particular system is singular outstanding!! cheers!!

  24. Marc
    Marc On December 24, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Hi Tim,

    unfortunately the tutorial is no longer available, so is afaik the magazine. Do you by any chance know how to get it?

    Thanks in advance,


  25. MrSeanG
    MrSeanG On December 27, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Amazing work, and I would just love to get a peek at these files.
    HOWEVER! The tutorial is no longer available at 3D World…

    How can I be down? Hook a brother up please!

    • Tim
      Tim On January 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      @MrSeanG & @Marc If you search on Vimeo, I’m pretty sure someone posted the whole tutorial there.

  26. MrSeanG
    MrSeanG On January 6, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    I was actually after the tutorial FILES in addition to the tutorial it self.
    I’m sure there are nuances and other things I could learn by simply opening that thing up.

    All the same THANKS! I’ll get to it.

  27. Marc
    Marc On January 6, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    Thanks, I will search Vimeo.

    Great work btw. But I’m sure you hear that all the time 😉

  28. Magic Puppet
    Magic Puppet On January 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Any chance of getting a copy of this tutorial and scene files???? Please!!!!

  29. Magic Puppet
    Magic Puppet On January 19, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Found the tutorial on vimeo!!

    Still haven’t got the scene file though… someone help me?

    • Tim
      Tim On January 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

      @Magic Puppet I don’t have the rights to distribute the scene for that tutorial. If you follow the 3D World tut on vimeo then you should be able to remake the scene yourself. You need a collection of models, but you can just use primitives if you like, the principle is the same. Enjoy!

  30. neoangin
    neoangin On February 26, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    The page on 3D world is down. has anyone an idea how to get the scene file?

  31. Tim
    Tim On March 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Why not follow the tutorial and then you’ll have made the scene file yourself?

  32. Atish
    Atish On April 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Here is the link for tutorial and scene file.


    Thanx Tim for you amazing work. You are my mograph Idol.

  33. Justin
    Justin On June 22, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    Hey Tim,

    Ive had this project completed for months now as an extra piece to go on my reel. I was waiting on a new machine to kick out some faster renders (the machine I had before took 2-3 hrs/frame) and now have gotten my renders down to about 10 minutes a frame, running with an 8 core processor now. However, I KNOW this can be optimized for even faster renders. I have played with AA settings, AO settings, Reflections, Speculars, reduced the number of clones, etc but this project is still unrenderable.

    Some issue I am having now are that when I render a multipass… it gets these choppy edges after the render is complete. During the 10 minutes it takes to render the frame, everything looks fine, and I have no clue what to do to fix it. Hours of googling, restarting the project over and over, and trying different settings have led me to just ask someone that knows it more than I do as the frustration is getting to me, and I am considering just scrapping this piece all together… If anyone can take this scene file and make it “work”, as far as getting a decent looking render out in under say 5 or 6 minutes, it would be GREATLY appreciated…

    Also, my clones are passing through each other in the first few frames? I assumed the rigid body tags that make them slam into each other later in the scene would have fixed that issue…

    http://tinypic.com/r/4kxlr5/7 < the halo'd edges

    http://tinypic.com/r/anzqtl/7 < the image during render with no edges

    https://rapidshare.com/files/4285529123/uptownarrow_RESTART.c4d < link to the project file

  34. Simon
    Simon On March 9, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Hi Tim,

    I have version 13 of cinema. I have the rigid body tag on the cloner object and the cube. However my clones are flying off and not falling and colliding with the spinning cubes? I know Dynamics is a little different in R13. Can you please point me in the right direction mate?

    Much appreciated


    • Tim
      Tim On March 16, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      @Simon It sounds as though you either have the incorrect collision shape, or the cubes are intersecting.

  35. J. Zadoria
    J. Zadoria On March 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Hello Tim,
    Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial, learned a great deal of info. I too have version R13 and running into the same problems as Simon had. In the Rigid body tag, under the force option, there is no option for strength but for “follow position, and Follow rotation. I animated these according to your instructions, and got the same results. The objects exploded outward, and they did not return to the Text outline, original position except they disappear. I also used cylinders not cubes as my collision shapes and placed them according to your tutorial. I also tried cache and bake but to no avail, can’t figure out what the issue is. Can you offer any suggestions as to what I may try to correct this problem?

    Again thank you for the awesome tutorial!

    • Tim
      Tim On March 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Try disabling the outer object dynamics tag. I think the enclosed space is causing the problem. If that stops the objects flying off into space then you need to rebuild the outer shape. Use lots of individual cubes to make the edge wall and then group them in a null. Add a dynamics tag to the null and under Collision / Inherit Tag, choose Compound Collision Shape to include all the children objects.

      The dynamics bullet engine has trouble with concave shapes and I think this is what is causing your problem, by remaking the shape with separate objects you can get around the issue.


  36. J. Zadoria
    J. Zadoria On March 20, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Thank you Tim, that seemed to do the trick.

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