Applying a material

There are two ways to assign a material to an object.

1) If the Cinema 4D scene contains materials you will be able to select one of them by clicking on the icon and selecting from a pop-up window. 

2) Alternatively, you can drag an Illustrator artwork or a placed image onto an object and a new material will be created. To delete a material, click on the swatch you want to delete and click on the trash can icon at the bottom right of the panel.

To delete a material click on the swatch you want deleted and then click on the trash can icon at the bottom right of the panel.

Material Attributes

Clicking on a material swatch in the Scene Structure panel or the Materials panel will display the attributes for that material. The material attributes are divided into two sections:

The attributes settings, which define the material
properties (glossy, textures, etc.) and the projection settings, which define how the material will be projected onto the object.

You can switch between these two modes by using the buttons at the top-right of the panel. Notice that the projection settings will only appear when the material is applied to an object. 

Material channel mode

Projection mode


Sets the resolution of the artwork applied within Illustrator. Higher dpi will result in a higher resolution texture.


Color: Clicking on the color will bring up a color dialog where you can choose a base color for the material.

Displays the texture or shader applied within the material. Drag Illustrator elements onto this field to apply them as a texture.  

Mix Strength:

Use Mix Strength to blend between the Color and Texture (100% will only show the texture; 0% will only show the color)

Luminance Settings

Transparency Settings

Reflectance Settings


Defines how transparent your object will be. 100% produces full transparency, 0% makes the object opaque.


Reflectance Brightness: Defines how reflective your object will be. 100% will result in a fully reflective material, 0% will result in a non reflective material.

Specular Brightness:
 Defines the specularity of the material. 100% will give you full specularity, 0% will give you no specularity.

Bump Settings

Alpha Settings



You can choose between the following modes

Spherical mapping projects the texture onto the object in a spherical form.
Spherical projection is rarely suitable for flat objects. Spherical or cylindrical shapes will easily distort the texture.

This mapping type projects the texture onto the object in a cylindrical shape.
Cylindrical projection is rarely suitable for flat objects. Distortion will also occur with spherical objects.

Flat mapping projects the texture onto the object in a planar direction.
Flat projection should primary be used with flat objects only. The texture is soon distorted when applied to a sphere or cylinder.

Cubic mapping projects the texture onto all six sides of a texture cube.

The texture is projected from the camera position onto the object. This ensures that, if the texture is projected onto a Polygon object and onto a Background object, the two textures match exactly (assuming the Texture tags for both objects use the same Offset and Length values). You can create various visual effects using Frontal mapping, or create compositing tricks directly in Cinema 4D.

Spatial mapping is similar to Flat projection. However, with Spatial mapping, the texture is pulled up and to the left as it passes through the object. Spatial mapping does, however, cause some distortion and as such it is not suitable for photographic images. Spatial mapping is more suitable for structural textures such as plaster and marble.

UVW Mapping:

If an object has UVW coordinates, you can select them as the projection type. In this case, the texture geometry is fixed to the object surface and is subject to all subsequent movement and deformation applied to the object. An example of UVW mapping is the page of a book as it is being turned. First you must fix the texture (e.g., text and an image) to the page using UVW mapping. The texture will bend with the page.

Shrink Wrapping:

With this projection type, the center of the texture is fixed to the north pole of a sphere and the rest of the texture is stretched over it. The advantage of this mapping type is that the texture converges at the  bottom pole only. This prevents a seam running between the poles. Only a circular section of the texture is used, with the center of the circle corresponding to the center of the picture. The remainder of the picture is discarded.

Camera Mapping:

With camera mapping, the texture is projected from the camera onto the object.


If this option is enabled, the texture picture will be repeated endlessly on the surface.

Offset U, Offset V
Length U, Length V

The Offset and Length settings define the position and size of the texture in the U and V directions on the texture envelope. For example, if Length U and Length V are both set to 100%, the texture will cover the envelope completely.

SKETCH & TOON Materials


Sets the color of the stroke


Sets the brightness of the stroke


Sets the thickness of the stroke