Adding Images to 3D Objects in Cinema 4D


When creating 3D objects, there will come a point where you will need to add a logo or design to one of your objects. For example, you may need to add a label to a bottle. Today, I am going to show you how it can be done in three simple steps:

  • Setting up the Material
  • Changing Projection Method
  • Adjust Orientation

Before we begin, we need to set up the scene. For me, I quickly created a wine bottle using the methods I taught in a previous lesson on using the lathe NURBS. Cinema 4D already comes pre-loaded with a series of textures, including glass for the bottle, liquid for the wine, plastic for the bottle cap, and ground materials for the floor. For the lighting, I used a simple three-point lighting set up (also taught in a previous lesson) to give shadow and highlights to my bottle object. The only thing missing is a label on my bottle.

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There are a few methods you can use in adding the material needed to your 3D object. For instance, a client might provide you with the necessary materials. Another method would be simply be obtaining from the internet, say from a quick Google image search. For this lesson, I created my own label personalized for using Photoshop CC. If you do create your own label in Photoshop, be sure to save the image as a PNG without interlacing. This is to make sure only the label is saved with no background color.

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In Cinema 4D, you will first want to create a new material by going to the MATERIALS WINDOW >> FILE >> NEW MATERIAL. From there, you will want to go to that new material’s ATTRIBUTE WINDOW >> BASIC TAB. In the Basic tab, we want to make sure ALPHA is checked in order for our image to displace correctly without interlacing on our bottle object.

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From there, navigate over to the COLOR TAB and choose the 3 DOTS next to the TEXTURE option which will allow you to navigate and select your image file.

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Now, navigate over to the ALPHA TAB and again choose the THREE DOTS next to the TEXTURE OPTION. Select the same exact image file.

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Now your material is ready to be added to your bottle object. CLICK AND DRAG the material from the MATERIALS WINDOW to your OBJECTS WINDOW and drop the material onto your bottle object.

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After applying the material to your bottle object, you will notice that the label is not exactly appearing the way you had hoped. The reason for this is because, by default, Cinema 4D doesn’t understand how the label needs to be placed on your object. The projection method needs to be adjusted in order to achieve the desired effect. To do this, highlight the MATERIAL TAG next to your BOTTLE OBJECT in the OBJECT WINDOW. Then, navigate over to the TAG TAB in the ATTRIBUTES WINDOW.

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Because our wine bottle is a cylinder, we want to change the PROJECTION from UVW MAPPING to CYLINDRICAL.

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By doing so, you now see the label is fitted more properly on the bottle. However, now it seems to be repeated multiple times. To fix this, go to the TAG TAB in the ATTRIBUTES WINDOW and uncheck the TILE option. This is the option that is causing the image file to repeat, or tile, over your object multiple times.

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We are nearly finished. All that is left is to orientate the label to the exact location on the bottle where we desire. To do this, we need to select our bottle object from the OBJECTS WINDOW and then select the TEXTURE TOOL from the left hand TOOL BAR.

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The label on our bottle object will now have the AXIS ARROWS, allowing us to CLICK AND DRAG the MATERIAL to our desired location.

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The label still may appear a bit stretched or distorted, but no worries. To wrap it up, all you need to do is adjust the LENGTH U and LENGTH V options under the TAG TAB in the ATTRIBUTES WINDOW for your image material.

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