How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Learn Cinema 4D quickly and easily by creating a Floating Island Landscape. Follow this tutorial step by step for use in video games, graphic design and illustration projects.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

You can use the popular low poly style for this project. Some of the skills you’ll learn will include creating basic 3D shapes, manipulating them, and using basic lighting and rendering.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

1.How to Create Low Poly Sphere

Step 1

Open Cinema 4D and take a look at the top menu bar of the screen. You’ll find almost all the tools that you will need to create the floating island.

Primary-ClickandHoldon the blueAdd Cube Objectbutton. This reveals a sub menu where you can click to create more objects. Select theSpheretool by clicking on it.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

Once the sphere has been created, change the properties of the sphere in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Under theObjecttab, scale the sphere up from 100cm to 250cm. For this tutorial, I’ve changed theSegmentsto100 and the sphere type toOctahedron.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Now untickRender Perfectand remove thePhong Tag. You can do this by clicking on it to select it and then hitting delete orBackspaceon your keyboard. This will enable us to render the sphere in the low poly style (otherwise it will appear smooth when we render).

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 4

Left ClickandHoldon the blueBendbutton. This will reveal a sub menu where you can click to create more objects. Select Polygon Reduction.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 5

Now click and drag thePolygon Reductionso that it is underSphere. Now go to theOptionstab, and place theReduction Strengthataround92%.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 6

Left ClickandHoldon the blueBendbutton to selectDisplacer.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 7

Click and dragDisplacerso that it is situated abovePolygon Reduction.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 8

WithDisplacerselected, go to theShading Tab. Here you will be able to selectShader > Noise.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 9

Now go to theObject Tab and play about with the settings here until you come up with a shape that you like. For this tutorial we have put thevalue at30 cm Height.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 10

Finally, go to the top menu bar and selectMoGraph > Effector > Random.PlaceRandom in theSphere Objectwith the others (above Displacer)and select theDeformertab.

From there selectPolygon.You can then go to theParametertab and the play about with the options there until you are happy with your shape.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

2.How to Model a Floating Island

Step 1

In order to make any further changes to our sphere, we will need to make it editable. To do this, make sure your sphere is selected and simply click on theMake Editablebutton in the top right of your screen.

Once you do this, you will not have access to some of the previous options (radius, segments, type, render perfect etc.), so make sure you are happy with your sphere setup before moving on to this step.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

Making sure that the sphere is still selected, click on thePolygonsbutton (this will change the appearance of your sphere temporarily in order to make the modelling process easier for us) and then click on theLive Selection Tool.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

With theLive Selection Toolselected, right click and selectBrush.In the options, set Falloff>Constant and set theMode > Surface. You can also adjust theStrengthandRadiussettings as well to suit your preference. For the purpose of this tutorial we will set theStrength > -25% and theRadius > 75cm.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 4

Now use the cursor to brush over the sphere object to manipulate it into the shape that you want your island to be.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 5

You can deselect your sphere to check out how your low poly island looks like.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

3.How to Cut the Floor of the Island

Step 1

Create aCubeby clicking on the cube object button and resize it so that it is large enough to cover the top half of your island. Make sure that the part of the sphere you cover is that section you wish to cut.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

Now go to the top menu and selectArray > Boole.Once you have selected Boole, click and drag both theSphereand theCubeinto it. Make sure that Sphere is placed above the Cube.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Where the cube overlaps the sphere is where you will cut your floor. You can now select the cube object and move it up and down to find a spot that you like best.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

4.How to Create the Mountains

Step 1

Now it is time to create the mountains. Go to the top menu again and selectCube > Landscape.This will spawn a landscape plane.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

In the options menu, experiment with theSizesettings (particularly the middle option) until you create the size of the mountain that you like.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

You can also use theScale Tool (T)to resize your mountain to the desired size.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 4

Now delete thePhong Tagwhich is located on the right side of the landscape object. This will help give the mountain the Low Poly look.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 5

Making sure that theLandscapeis still selected, make theWidth Segments > 15and theDepth Segments > 15.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 6

Now use theMove Tool (E)to move the mountain into place. You can put the base of the mountain inside the floor.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 7

Now go to the top menu bar, selectBend > Polygon Reductionand drag it into your mountain. You can edit the look of your mountain further by editing theReduction Strength.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 8

Repeat the same steps to create a few more mountains and arrange them to your liking. You can also change theSeedin the options menu to change the look of your mountain.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 9

Make sure you have the mountain Landscape selected. By clicking up or down on theSeedoption you can scroll through different randomised mountain shapes. Select a number that you like.

Remember you can always go back through all the different options that you used (Polygon Reduction, Displacer and Random) to further tweak your island and landscapes to the shapes that you like.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

5.How to Create Mini Trees

Step 1

To create the trees for our floating island,go back to the blueAdd Cube Objectbutton again.Left Click-Holdand then select thePyramidtool from the menu.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

With thePyramidselected, click on theMake Editablebutton and use theScale Tool to resize it and reshape it to the appropriate size.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Select thePoints Toolon the left side of the screen and then use theMove Tool (E)to move the top of thePyramid down a little. This will squash the object a little bit so that we can fit a second Pyramid underneath. However if you prefer the look of a taller tree you can leave it as it is or even move the point further up.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 4

Next, you will want to duplicate the pyramid.Control-Click-Dragon your object on the right of the screen. Then using theMove Tool (E)place one pyramid on top of the other.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 5

For the tree trunk, we’ll need to create a cube. Click on theCubebutton and following the same steps as before scale it down and position it below the two pyramids to create a tree.

Now group all your tree objects together by selecting them all and pressingAlt-G. Before we duplicate the group and add it to the island, we will move on to the next step where we will learn how to add colour.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

6.How to add Colour to your 3D Objects

Step 1

Now it’s time to add some colour to our 3D objects.To do this, click on theCreatebutton at the bottom left of the screen. Then selectNew Material.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

Double click on the small sphere icon that appears. In the material editor, you will have access to a variety of options that will change the appearance and properties of the shapes that you create. UntickReflectance.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Now click onColor. Choose the colour you want (you can see the colour I have used for the tree below). Once you’ve chosen the colour, close the material editor.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 4

NowClick-Dragthe material onto your tree to apply the material colour.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 5

Now repeat the steps for the tree trunk and rest of your floating island.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

7.How to Group and Duplicate you Objects

Step 1

Now we will begin to populate out floating island with the trees that we created previously. To do this we must first select all the objects associated with the tree (cube, pyramid x2) and then pressAlt-Gon the keyboard to create a group.

Now you can rename the group from ‘Null’ to ‘Tree’ and duplicate the group to create more trees.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

Now hold theControlkey on the keyboard while youClick and Drag the tree group to the section below. This will duplicate the whole group.

Do this several times until you have the desired amount of trees for your island.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Use theMove Tool (E)to move the trees around your island.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

8.How to Create the Moon

Step 1

To create the moon for our floating island,go back to the blueAdd Cube Objectbutton again.Left Click-Holdand then select theSpheretool from the menu.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

As we did at the beginning of this tutorial, delete thePhong Tag. Then we’ll add aPolygon Reductionand aDisplacerto the Sphere. Edit the settings to your liking as we did before.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Add a colour to your moon and use theMove Tool (E)to the location that you like.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

9. How to add Lighting and Render the Scene

Step 1

Choose a suitable angel that you like in the viewport by navigating around the scene. Then click on theCamerabutton at the top to create a camera.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 2

To set up our basic lighting, you’ll want to go to theFloorbutton located in the top menu bar.Left Click-Holdand then selectPhysical Skyfrom the menu.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 3

Making sure that Physical Skyis selected in the menu on the right, a new menu will appear on the bottom right of the screen. Select theTime and Locationtab and choose a time using the left and right arrow keys. This will change the lighting.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 4

Now click on theRender Settingsbutton on the top menu bar.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 5

Here you can choose the resolution, height and width of your image. For this tutorial I have chosen1920x1200 72dpi.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 6

Choose where you would like to save your file and your file name. Also you may want to tickAlpha Channelon, if you want to continue editing the image in another program likeAdobe Photoshop.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 7

Now go to theEffectbutton at the bottom left and select bothAmbient OcclusionandGlobal Illuminationfrom the drop down menu. This will add these options to your render.

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D

Step 8

Click theRenderbutton and wait for your render to finish!

Awesome Work, You’re Done!

And with that, your 3D Floating Island is complete! Feel free to share your own creations below! You can also export your image into Adobe Photoshop to enhance it further or to use it as part of a larger illustration. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, and I’ll see you next time!

How to Create a Low Poly Floating Island in C4D