Using Your Phone to Create Realistic Textures For Cinema 4D | Patrick Foley | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Using Your Phone to Create Realistic Textures For Cinema 4D

teacher avatar Patrick Foley, 3D Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Taking the Photos


    • 3.

      Texture Prepping


    • 4.

      Applying Textures


    • 5.



  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class, you will learn how easy it is to take pictures with your phone and turn them into beautiful working textures within Cinema 4D.

We will also briefly go over which types of pictures work and don't work.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Patrick Foley

3D Artist


Hello, I'm Patrick. Many know me as Patrick4d. I've been creating photorealistic abstract renders in Cinema4d and Photoshop for awhile now and was overwhelmed at the support and buzz surrounding my social media. My work has been featured by Adobe, Photoshop, The Motion Designers Community,  and more.

So as a thank you, I've decided to share some of my knowledge. I will be releasing a new class every other month so hit the follow button and jump aboard!

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: What's going on guys, Patrick here again. We've got another exciting tutorial for you. Today. I'm going to show you how to go outside and shoot your own textures for your renders so you don't have to run the internet anymore. All we need right now is our DSLR camera and we'll get after it. In fact, we actually don't even need this because for the majority of you who are not photographers, all we need is this. We're going to go outside with our phones and take high-quality pictures. No one's going to be able to tell the difference by the end of this, whether you take it with a really nice camera or your phone. I think that's something a lot of people don't know or even think they're able to do. I'm going to show you guys this and it's helps for copyright reasons. You don't have to rely on other people's images anymore. It's just much more impressive to tell people that a 100 percent of your render is on you. From now on, you'll get the skills wherever you are, especially because you have your phone on you, take your own textures. Let's get out there and do it. 2. Taking the Photos: Hi guys. We're outside here. We've got nothing but our phones. It's all we need. If you guys were actually photographers and you've got your own DSLR, that's totally fine too. Phones these days with the megapixel count more than enough for what we need, especially texturing these things like floors that will [inaudible]. For the most part probably out of focus because the depth of field that we're going to be using in Cinema 4D. But right off the bat, textures like this work perfectly. You've got this nice work texture and this nice sidewalk textures. I'm just going to go here and take a picture of my camera. For one of the pictures, I'm actually going to include both of them. Here you go. For one of them I'm just going to take a picture of the brick. For the other one, I'll take a picture of the pavement. Again, watch out for shadows like this. The last thing you want is on a sunny day like this, sunny days are nice, but preferably it's better in cloudier diffused areas because when you have shadows, one, they're going to mess up the displacement. It will see it as a dark value and make that sink and more. Two, when using some of these pictures in the color channel or something like that, then you're going to be forced to have to play around with the shadows that you make within Cinema 4D. You've got to play, and you got to make sure you play by the same rules in realizing that the light is coming from a certain direction. If you take pictures without any indication of where the light's coming through. That's your best bet because it's going to give you more options. You'll be able to choose where you want to put the light source and at the shadows. From my experience, it's hard to play with things like this, especially in the displacement channel, because when you have really fine pieces like this, you dark valleys in the shadows. It's hard for Cinema 4D to compensate and distinguish what's actually going on here. It's much easier to take a picture of something like this, like a flat surface, but subtle differences like this. Because when you actually start displacing these things, Cinema 4D knows this thing will sink in because it got a lower light value within there and it'll act just as it is in real life. Another thing right here. It's a nice leaf texture. Things with similar color values that don't go crazy. Very nice, very subtle, and very good for displacement and bumps. I'm going to actually look at the back of this thing and take a picture here. You might be able to see it easier later if go back inside. But most for the most part that should be it. If you guys have questions later on, on what pictures work with [inaudible] I'll try to answer it the best I can but I think we have what we need so far. Let's go inside and see what we got 3. Texture Prepping: We're back inside here and we're looking at our photos that we just took. We only took a few. That's all we really needed, especially for this tutorial. But you'll be able to see that it only took us a few seconds to get some really cool textures and we just walked outside. One quick warning, I am a little bit sick so if my voice sounds a little horse or whatever, that is why. Let's get into it. You'll notice that these photos are not square, which in most cases they're okay, but I know my plane is going to be square and I'm going to fit it for that. The first thing we got to do is let's take this texture here. We'll start with this and drag it in to Photoshop or something that we can re-crop. I just [inaudible] this where I want. I already have it set to a square mode here so it's going to crop it like a square. This one's okay because we can't really see any sun indications or where the sun's coming from, which is good. We want to pretty flat image because like I said before, if the sun was going from a really harsh direction over here, you'd see shadows and we don't really want that because that dictates where we would have to place our lighting in the render. This is good and notice even in the cracks, it's not like pitch black. It's pretty light, which again is still very good. You'll see why. We jump in a cinema 4D in a little bit. We'll see why. But this image looks really good. It's pretty flat, nothing crazy going on, but it gives us a nice even look, flat look at this texture. We're going to export this at 100 percent quality. You don't have to shrink down the pixels because you want all this information for the render. I'm going to go to textures and make a new folder called Finished textures and save that one. Then we can just get along with one more and that should be good. Maybe two. Let's go with one more. It'll be the leaf. Let's drag right here and because we can use the same Photoshop composition here. We're not really going to be using this for anything else. That looks good. Again, very flat, no harsh edges going on. These images are already pretty set to go. Again, since it's similar 4D, we can get as crazy as we want with it. Maybe some like this. Get crazy with it. This is just to get your head expand and get your mind thinking about these things. We're going to save this in the same folder. Again, you can name them if you want. I'm just being a little careless but definitely name it however you feel necessarily. We can name it Red leaf texture. 4. Applying Textures: So we're going to jump over to Cinema 40. That's all we really need to get started here. We've got a blank template here. The very first thing I'm going to do is create a plane. Again, for other tutorials, some things that I'm skimming through here, I will definitely cover whether that's textures or lighting. This specific tutorial obviously is going to be focused more on how do we bring these textures we just took to life. Of course, that has something to do with lighting and refining these aspects with a camera. You'll get an idea of how we actually bring those in here and make it look as best possible. Always turn this on the lines, at least for me, I like that view. I got a camera setup here in which I'm already going to set the focal length two tele, just to get the zoomed in here, so we can see a lot of the texture. Maybe change my view a little bit here, more bird's eye. But this looks pretty good. The first thing I want to do is start creating this texture, this ground texture. Right off the bat, you guys should know that before applying this, it's always a better idea when you're working with stamping on, pretty complex displacement maps and color maps to do this before you drag it on because I've noticed that that can cause your computer to choke up or lag for a little bit. So first things first, I'm going to turn on displacement and upload the texture that we were working with. Let's go back to finish textures. Let's go to the ground texture right here. We're going to open that. That should be good, looking good. Let's do the same for the color channel. Load image, same image. That looks good. Right now we can go ahead and apply that now. So now we're getting something. We got this flat picture of the ground here. The next thing I want to do is actually add an object because once we start messing with the light and seeing how this floor actually looks, big part of that is seeing how objects react to that and how the shadows will react. It'll let us see how actually realistic this thing is turning out. It doesn't have to be anything, it could be acute, it could be a sphere but anything simple, anything quick that you can gauge what's going on here with the lighting. I'm actually going to make this a little bit smaller, if anything. So drag that down. Looks good to me. Right off the bat, am going to go ahead and create a dome. I'm going to create a dome around this. From the previous tutorials, you know what this is, is the HDR dome that I always like creating. We're going to give this a little texture and kill the color reflectance, again, this is not how to make an HDRM. Am coming out with a tutorial later on about HDR specifically and how to make your own but for this I'm just going to upload a random one that I have already. It doesn't have to be anything special. But again, not the point. Just so we can get some slapped on there and right off the bat, let's see what we get. So let's slap on ambient occlusion and global illumination and start rendering this thing out a little bit. This looks actually not bad. If it does look like this thing's three-dimensional, it's pretty confusing because it's actually not 3-D at all because if we go over here, it barely is 3-D. That's because we literally have some polygon displace this yet and there's not enough segments. So what we want to do first before anything else is I would actually probably take this. Let's go back to our texture here, the floor texture and let's click "Sub polygon displacement" and take the height down to like two. Because it gives our computer less to process and a lot of times when you pump that too high, especially with pretty detailed textures, it'll start to get really rigidly and that's not what we want. Other than that, we're looking pretty good. But something else I want to do is just add a simple light here with a plane. You'll see why in a second. Just because I really just want to gauge how these ridges are in our floor. A better way to do that is just to add like a pretty decent spotlight on our object and see how the shadows react to the ground. Again, I'm just leaving this in frame. It really doesn't matter. Create a luminous texture, to your area light on. It's pumped to just like 250. We're getting a little bit of a shadow there, which is good. Again, this is just to gauge how the floor is reacting to the shadows and everything because that's a big part of it, believe it or not. It's working out pretty well. But again, because this is the pre-render, we can't see very clearly what's going on here. So let's create a render region here and let's see how detailed this floor actually is. This is definitely extruded and this is definitely three-dimensional, which is good. But as you can see around areas like here, it almost looks like cookie dough or something like that and that's not what we're going for. It's not defined enough. We've already said polygon displaced, I only like to go too far with that. The next line of defense is, we're going to take the plane, the floor plane here, I'll just title this floor and bumpy segments to like 200 by 200. Now, if we check the render region out, again, small slivers because we're not trying to boost the render time here, we're just trying to see a quick accuracy tests and looks like we're getting much better here. Not that. Certain areas like this, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about because this texture is very intricate, the more segments you add, the software gets confused a little bit and says, oh well, this looks very rigidly to me, so it points out certain ridges. When you look really closely, it doesn't look realistic, like the ground never actually looks like that. In an easy way to get around that is one depth of field. Depth field one adds for realism because we're working with small-scale here and another is to compose this correctly, so that our main focus isn't just looking dead into the stuff. Our main focus should be the object. You'll get a little bit of this but I'll show you exactly what I mean because after editing and photoshop our final image, you're really not going to notice anything because a lot of my finished renders look like this, believe it or not. One I don't bump it out at like an AK image, where you can zoom all the way in and see this stuff. It's like magic. There's no point in making ground look flawless when no one's going to tell the difference. So what I'm going to do is exactly that. I'm going to leave this light here because it really doesn't matter for this tutorial, am not trying to pick a finished render here, am just trying to show you guys what you can do. I'm just going to place this here, something like this. With my camera, I already have, let me check on depth of field and then with my camera because we're already in telephoto lens, we're going to have a really shallow depth of field. Again, I went over this in a previous tutorial but just to show you guys, let's go to an f-stop of like one and create the focus, this guy right here. As you can see, we changed the focus and if I jump out of my camera is focused completely. Let's get this down. My bad. Image is too small, so focus completely on the sphere. That's where the camera ends. For you guys that didn't know, that's when this little camera thing ends. That's where the focus is. We're going to jump back into the camera and obviously jump back in the camera here but as always, let's see what we got now. Again, we don't want this too big because we got a pretty displaced floor which takes awhile but you can definitely see the background is now getting blurry. From a view like this, which is more accurately depicting what the finished render will be, you really can't tell anything. You cannot tell this floor is very rigidy like we had it before. It actually looks really nice and it looks realistic. That's really what we're going for at the end of the day. Again, making sure that ball texture, if we were to add something there, that creates for realism and just adding the different elements but a huge part of it, I'm telling you is editing these things in photoshop but as far as this tutorial goes, I really don't think it's necessary because in pretty much every other tutorial I've done, I went 100 percent through. If you're curious about how that stuff works, you can definitely go back. But I will definitely be posting another editing tutorial, like a Photoshop tutorial about how to mess with the colors and bring the photo to life. But as you can see, this really looks good to me. Again, what about that other texture, that leaf texture? Just another thing to think about. Let's take this sphere out of here and let's add something like a little cube. Let's see what we got here. Let's drag this all the way down and maybe let's fill it a little bit. Let's go one centimeter for the filler radius, my apologies. Let's apply this thing. My bad. Before we apply, let's plot the texture. Let's go in the color channel. We can upload that cool red that we were talking about, that leaf texture, then let's upload to the displacement, the same image. This looks good to me. Let's place this on there. Let's make sure we set this down to like two centimeters. So polygon displaced that thing and let's make the segments like 15 by 15 by 15. Let's see where that gets us. Again, maybe it looks very displaced, misplace, my bad. Adding other things. It's that shine. It really just takes a lot of messing with. Honestly this is the first time we've tried this. I'm not even expecting this to look amazing but I just want you guys to start thinking about certain things like taking a picture of a leaf and applying that to an abstract object or that there wasn't even red originally, we change that in photoshop, other things going outside, taking a picture of the bark, a tree, bark, finding really good pictures. Your really only confined to where you can walk and what you can take a picture of. 5. Conclusion: But that just about does it guys. I really appreciate you guys tuning in again. For those of you who are watching the second premium tutorial, please let me know how I think I did. Granted, I'm sick I was coughing a little bit, but I promise I'd get this out to you on Sunday. Yeah, just leave a review. Please post your projects, whatever you guys come up with and I'll take a look at it, I'll definitely give you feedback. Whatever you guys upload, spread the word man. We got a bunch of these coming out every Sunday. Anyone who's interested in learning Cinema 4D or anything, I'll be trying to upload some basic videos, some intermediate, advanced, expert you name it. Yeah, appreciate all you guys take it easy.