How to Create a Swimming Pool in Cinema 4D

How to Create a Swimming Pool in CInema 4D

One of my favourite short projects to teach in Cinema 4D is The Swimming Pool. In about an hour, you can come up with a fairly convincing animation of a swimming pool complete with rippling surface and dancing pattern of light on the pool's floor. Please skip to Part 3 if you want to go straight to the caustics bit. Part 1 covers the modelling, and Part 2 is about the texturing.

I really like caustics because it's one of those things that adds a lot of realism, looks great, and is pretty straight forward when you know how.

I hope you'll have fun creating your very own pool, and I hope that caustics will come in very handy with your projects. A little play now often pays off in the future!

Part 1: Modelling the Pool

In Part 1, you'll create the swimming pool model. For the main part, you'll use a Cube as your starting point. You'll use a Sweep object to create the border around the pool. You'll create steps using a Sweep for the rails, and cubes for the individual steps. You'll also model pool lights using primitive shapes.

Part 2: Texturing the Pool

In Part 2, you'll texture the pool. You'll learn how to use the Tiles shader and how to apply it to parts of the pool using Cubic and Flat Projection. You'll create a shiny metal, which you'll use to texture the steps as well as the rings of the pool lights.

Part 3: Adding Water and Caustics

In Part 3, you'll add water and use caustics to create the beautiful patterns of light on the pool floor.

For caustics to work, the water must have a rippled - not completely flat - surface. To achieve this, you'll use a Displacer modifier. You'll explore the caustics settings. And you'll use Physical Render to get a better result.

Now for the most fun part: you'll render out your caustics animation and hopefully marvel at the dancing patterns of light!

Try Cinema 4D 3D Software for Yourself


Easy to use, powerful, stable and fast. We think Cinema 4D is the best 3D software for 3D motion graphics work. If you'd like to try out Cinema 4D and have a go with all the powerful features on offer, then be sure to grab yourself a free trial. The trial gives you access to virtually all of Cinema 4D's features and you can also opt to activate it for 42 days of save functionality. Simply fill out the form on the link below to get started!

Get my free Cinema 4D trial!


Subscribe to Email Updates

About the MAXON Blog

Welcome to the official MAXON UK Blog. This blog provides the most up-to-date official information about MAXON, its products – in particular its flagship product Cinema 4D – and the Cinema 4D community. You can expect to see posts from a wide variety of MAXON UK employees.