Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials Sculpting Tutorial
Function available in CINEMA 4D Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Sculpting the Moon’s Face

With the Base Object now prepared we can start the actual sculpting process. If you did not save the steps from the previous section, click on the link below:

First, set your Viewport to Gauroud Shading without lines because the object we will use will have up to six Subdivision levels, i.e., an object with about 1.5 million polygons. The Subdivide function can only be applied if:

  1. The Base Object is selected and
  2. the Base Object is set to its highest Subdivision level.

Next, we will use the Pull, Wax and Smooth tools to sculpt the more basic features of the face. Since faces are basically symmetrical we will leave the Symmetry options enabled. These options as well as those for Size and Pressure can be linked for a given tool by simply enabling the corresponding options. For our purposes it will be useful to enable the Link Symmetry option.

Switch to Subdivision level 4 (Increase button) and add a new layer. Rename this layer Basic_Features.

Select the Wax tool and begin shaping the eyebrows. The process iteslf is again interactive, as already described for the Grab tool. Size and Buildup can be adjusted in the Settings tab. Just below the Buildup setting is the Invert option with which the tool’s effect can be reversed when enabled.

Once the eyebrows have enough volume, switch to the Smooth tool and fine-tune the surface created with the Wax tool. The Smooth tool ascertains the median topographic value of the surfaces that lie below it and applies this value to the surfaces.

We will create the nose and lips using the Pull tool. This tool is similar to the Wax tool but it affects the geometry as a whole.

The eye pits will also be created using the Pull tool - but with it effect inverted. To do so simply enable the Pull tool’s Invert option in the Settings tab.

In time you will notice that several tools can be applied successively when sculpting, for example Pull, inverted Pull and Smooth. You can optimize your workflow, for example, by pressing the Ctrl/Cmd key to invert a tool’s effect, which prevents you from constantly having to switch back-and-forth manually. The navigation can also be optimized using hotkeys - and a little practice - to optimize your sculpting workflow even more.

Additional Project Objects

As soon as you begin to sculpt the concave areas of the eye pits you will notice that this part of the face cannot be modeled accurately without the rocket and the eyeball. This is in part due to the fact that the size of these regions (the circumference in particular) depends on the size of other elements. Therefore, we will create an eyeball first, which can be done quickly creating, positioning and scaling a simple Sphere. The rocket can also be quickly created with a Spline object as the Child of a Lathe.

In order to be able to work more efficiently with the additional objects, make them Child objects of a Null object. This Null Object in turn will be made a Child object of the moon, which will allow us to move all objects simultaneously and we will be able to hide the rocket object, if necessary, with a simple click on the corresponding buttons in the Object Manager. The rocket can be easily made editable, if desired, by clicking on the Make Editable icon at the top of the left Icon Palette or by pressing the C key on your keyboard.

Along with the eye and the rocket we will also show you another weak point on this model. In the next step we will again use the Pull tool to sculpt the face a little more.

Click on the icon below to open the file we have prepared with which you can compare your work to this point.

Stamps and Stencils

Select your Base Object and subdivide it twice more so that it has a total of 6 subdivision levels. Add a new layer and rename it Finer_Details. This is where the craters in the face will be created with the help of the Stamp function.

You can maintain an overview of the geometry, number of polygons and the amount of memory required by viewing the HUD display at the top-right of the Viewport or at the top of the Sculpt Manager.

First, disable the X (YZ) Symmetry option. Next, select the Pull tool and switch to the Stamp tab in the Attribute Manager. Here you can load an image to be used as a stamp. The image’s brightness values will be used to define the strength of the stamp’s effect on the surface. The darker the values, the deeper the impression; the lighter the values the flatter these regions will be.

The craters can be created using a simple image with a black circle on a white background whose edges are slightly blurred and a little rough. Click on the button to the right of the Image field and load a fitting image, e.g., Krater_Alpha.jpg, which is located in the tex/tutorials folder in your Cinema 4D installation directory. Loading the image will automatically enable the Use Stamp function.

After the image is loaded, switch to the Settings tab in the Attribute Manager and increase the Pressure value to a value between 90% and 100% in order to create a deep crater. Set the Pressure from Freehand to Drag Rect. The stamp pattern can now be applied and as long as the left mouse button is pressed it can be scaled interactively.

Now add some craters using the Pull tool, with Stamp mode enabled. If craters are too small, even if Pressure is set to 100%, simply stamp that particular location multiple times to achieve the desired depth.

Alternatively you can use the Stencil tab’s tools. To do so, set the Pull tool back to its default settings. This can best be done be clicking on the Reset button in the Settings tab. After doing so, switch to the Stencil tab and load an image to use as a stencil. The image’s brightness values are also relevant for the Stencil function; load the same image you loaded for the Stamp function. We will change the Falloff value to make sure that the stencil is applied with even pressure. Switch to the Falloff tab and raise the right end of the function curve to the height of the left end. This will result in an even pressure of 1 for the brush.

Save this brush as a Brush Preset. To do so, switch to the Settings tab and click on Save in the Brush Preset menu. Assign it a name, e.g., crater_stencil, and click on OK.

You can basically use the Stencil in any view with Gouraud shading mode but the Perspective view has proven to be the best when applying the Stencil repeatedly. In this view you can move around your object freely and zoom in and out as you wish. You can also use the Angle, Scale and Translate to fine-tune the Stencil.

The decisive option is the Gray Value, which defines how far the dark regions of the stencil penetrate inwards and how far its brighter regions protrude outwards. Set the value to 1, which will cause only the dark regions to be used; the white regions will lie on the actual surface. Once all settings have been made you can start sculpting the surface using the Stencil. If the effect is too weak, simply re-apply the tool until you have the desired depth.

Masked, Inflated and Cut

If you look at the example you will see that the craters each have a bulge on their outer edge. To achieve this effect we will combine the Mask, Inflate and Smooth tools. To make the effect look visually appealing it should be applied simply to the edge of the crater. Select a crater to modify and activate the Mask tool. Sculpt a circular ring around the crater by simply applying the Mask tool accordingly. If you accidentally mask regions that should have remained unmasked, simply press the Ctrl/Cmd key and re-apply the tool. This will reverse the tool’s effect.

Now select the Inflate tool. Set it’s Pressure value to approx. 5%. Also, enable the Steady Stroke function and set its value to 8.

The Steady Stroke option ensures that the stroke you apply to the object is kept straight within the defined length of the stroke. Erroneous changes of direction will be compensated for so that the line that is created has an even appearance. The Steady Stroke option is available for all Sculpt tools.

Now sculpt around the edge of the crater and its edge should bulge like an inflated inner tube, hence the tool’s name, Inflate. Apply the tool to the other craters until you have the look you want. You can also use the Smooth tool to smooth out any irregularities that might result from applying the Inflate tool.

The Smooth tool is one of the tools you will use quite often during the sculpting process. To avoid having to constantly switch between tools, simply press the Shift key to apply the Smooth tool instead of the currently selected tool.

Next, we will accentuate the mouth a little more. Select the Knife tool, set its Size to approx. 11 and its Pressure to 10. Enable the Steady Stroke option and set its Length value to 15. Also enable the Link Symmetry option.

Now use the Knife tool to sculpt a line between the upper and lower lips. This will create a pronounced incision between the lips. We will use the Inflate tool to add some volume to the lips. Click on the following link to view a film demonstrating this procedure.


Contrary to what is shown in the film, we will mask the lower lip to prevent the mouth from swelling too strongly. Make sure that you follow the line you created very precisely. The mask should look similar to the image below:

The face has now been sculpted to a state in which we can concentrate on the details: