Create A Chess Set Using Cinema 4D

Chess Set

If you're just starting out in Cinema 4D, then a great way to learn some of the core concepts is by creating your very own chess set. Stick around and learn how...

In this 9 part tutorial, I'll show you how to create a chess setin 3D animation software Cinema 4D.To follow along, you'll either need to have your own licence of Cinema 4D or you can download a trial version here.

By the end of this series, you'll have learnt about many core tools work and you should be able to use them to create a wide variety of other objects.

I suggest that you watch each movie in sequence as I show you how you can re-use parts of previous models to save you time and ensure the scale remains the same.

Part 1: Pawn

In Part 1, you'll create a pawn using Cinema 4D's Lathe tool. Along the way, you'll learn how to draw splines using the Pen tool. You'll gain experience in creating complex splines easily by adjusting their tangent handles. You'll get a grip on using the Coordinates manager to set the position of specific points to "0" along the X-axis, to help create a seamless lathed object with no gaps.

Not least of all, you'll fine-tune the pawn by tweaking the spline while you get a real-time update of the 3D model which is generated from it.

Part 2: Bishop

The next piece to model is the bishop. The good news is that half of the work is already done, because you can use a copy of the pawn you modelled in Part 1 as your starting point for the bishop.

To convert the pawn into a bishop, you'll adjust some of the spline points and learn how to add points to the spline where needed.

Then you'll gain experience with a very useful tool: Boole. Boole is most commonly used to cut out shapes from objects and, in this case, you'll use Boole to cut a notch in the bishop's hat.

Part 3: Rook

In Part 3, it's time to create the rook. As with the bishop you created in Part 2, you'll use a copy of the pawn to start with.

You'll delete the spline points that you don't need, then extend the spline with new points.

You'll then learn some polygon modelling by making the object editable, then using Extrude Inner and Extrude to create tooth-shaped parapets.

Part 4: King

In Part 4, the next piece to create is the king. This time you'll use a new technique: lofting. You'll learn how convert selected edges of polygons to a spline, and how to loft a skin over multiple splines using the Loft object. You'll fine-tune the king by adjusting the splines in the loft object while you get a realtime update of the 3D model.

Part 5: Queen

In Part 5, it's time for the most powerful attacking piece on the board: the queen. It's only the upper area that makes the queen different to the king, so you'll begin by using a copy of the king. The interesting part of the queen is the crown. Here you'll learn how to change type of the spline to Bezier, in order to get the smooth rounding that is needed for the crown.

Part 6: Knight

In Part 6, you'll learn how to use one of the most powerful, flexible modelling tools in Cinema 4D: subdivision surfaces. You'll learn how to use a reference image to help you create the knight accurately. You'll use the Symmetry object so that you can model one half of the knight and the other half is created automatically for you, mirroring the part that you are modelling. And you'll gain experience in fine-tuning subdivision surfaces.

Part 7: Sculpted Knight

In Part 7, you'll refine the knight model that you created in Part 6. First, you'll make some smaller tweaks, such as tightening up the detail on the base using edge weighting.

Once the minor changes are done, you'll dive into Cinema 4D's sculpting tools (you'll need Cinema 4D Studio for this). You'll use tools such as Pull, Grab, Pinch, Smooth, Flatten and Inflate to add intricate parts of the model, including the eye and mane, as well as adding fine detail to the ears and nostrils. Along the way, you'll learn how to turn on Symmetry for the sculpting tools so that changes you make to one side of the knight are applied to the other side.

Part 8: Board

In Part 8, it's time to give the chess pieces a posh board. Here you'll use a spline to draw a cross-section of a fancy frame, then you'll use a Sweep object to whizz the cross section along a square-shaped spine, forming the board.

Next up, it's time to create some materials for the board. For the black and white squares, you'll use Cinema 4D's Checkerboard shader. For the wood, you'll dip into the material presets that are included with Cinema 4D.

Part 9: Texturing, Lighting & Rendering

In Part 9, now that the chess pieces and board have been modelled, it's time to create the black and white materials for the chess pieces. You'll learn how to adjust highlights and reflection.

Next, you’ll set up the lighting for the scene using a light box that is included with Cinema 4D.

Lastly, it is on to rendering your finished image. Here you’ll gain experience in using some of the render settings that make things look more realistic - in particular, ambient occlusion and global illumination.

And there you have it! Hopefully you got on well. Do let me know by leaving a comment below!

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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.