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Navigating the 3D Universe: 8 Best Cinema 4D Courses for 2024

A curated list of C4D courses from fundamentals to advanced techniques in modeling, MoGraph, Redshift, and motion tracking.

In this guide we’ll explore the best online courses to begin or improve your skills in visual effects, 3D modeling, and animation with Cinema 4D. This article is specifically designed for individuals committed to master Cinema 4D, an industry-standard software for animation and 3D creativity. However, if you’re a novice looking to test the waters with a free and open-source software, Blender could serve as an excellent starting point.

When you start learning, joining groups of other learners can really help. For Cinema 4D enthusiasts, there’s an active Reddit group called r/cinema4D. Here, you can share your work, ask for help, and find lots of useful stuff like YouTube channels just for Cinema 4D.

We’ll kickstart our guide recommending Maxon’s official platform, Cineversity. Catering to both newbies and seasoned professionals, Cineversity provides in-depth courses and tutorials not only for Cinema 4D but also other Maxon products.

Considering different learning styles and levels of expertise, we’ve included a range of options from the Class Central catalog of 300+ Cinema 4D courses. Additionally, we’ve added offerings from popular course providers like Skillshare and Udemy, and incorporated recommendations from Reddit for a well-rounded learning experience.

Click on the shortcuts for more details:

Our Top Picks

Course Highlight Workload
Best Course for Beginners (Cineversity) 6-7 hours
Also Great: Course for Beginners (Udemy) 8 hours
Best Course to Master Modeling (Udemy) 22-23 hours
Best Course to Master Mograph (Udemy) 19 hours
Best 3D for 2D Animation Crash Course (Skillshare) 2-3 hours
Best Course to Learn Redshift for Cinema 4D (Udemy) 5 hours
Project-based Course With Redshift and Cinema 4D (Skillshare) 2-3 hours
Best Course to Master Motion Tracking With Cinema 4D (Udemy) 5 hours

Best Course for Beginners (Cineversity)

E.J. Hassenfratz, course instructor.

Our top pick is the Getting Started With Cinema 4D, a part of the “Cineversity Getting Started Series” by Maxon, the official creators of Cinema 4D. This free course is an ideal entry point for novices venturing into the realm of 3D modeling and animation.

Led by E.J. Hassenfratz, the creative director at School of Motion, this course offers a thorough walkthrough of Cinema 4D. It’s designed as a project-based course. You’ll be guided through the software’s fundamentals while working on a character animation project from start to finish. What’s more, you’ll get hands-on experience with project files created with Cinema 4D 25.

In Hassenfratz’s words, “By the end of this series, you should be comfortable working inside of Cinema 4D and be well-equipped with enough foundational knowledge to strike out and explore further on your own.”

The syllabus is extensive, covering everything from an introduction to the Cinema 4D interface, menus, and keyboard shortcuts to various advanced topics such as MoGraph, UVs and BodyPaint, and 3D lighting workflows. Additionally, you’ll delve into different animation techniques, scene management, and render settings.

The course workload is manageable, with an estimated total of 6-7 hours, making it a great starting point for those eager to embark on their Cinema 4D journey without feeling overwhelmed.

Also Great: Course for Beginners (Udemy)

Ozgur Gorgun, course instructor.

Another excellent option for beginners is the Cinema 4D Masterclass: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners, a comprehensive course that serves as a solid starting point for newcomers to Cinema 4D. This course goes beyond our initial recommendation by a few hours, providing a deeper exploration of the software’s capabilities. What sets it apart is the access to a vibrant learning community, a platform for you to raise queries, share insights, and directly interact with the course instructor. Completing this course also earns you a certificate, signifying your proficiency in Cinema 4D.

Led by Ozgur, a Maxon Certified Cinema 4D Instructor, this course is designed to take you from a novice, or slightly familiar, to a competent user of Cinema 4D. The course walks you through a complete 3D project from scratch, covering modeling, lighting, texturing, animating, and rendering.

Throughout the 8-hour course, Ozgur shares numerous insider tips and industry-standard techniques, each accompanied by an exercise file for hands-on practice.

One satisfied student, Olga, praises the course for its structure and usability: “Informative course, structured in a way that helps you remember the steps or easily find details. It gives you the tools to start doing your projects in Cinema. Made a scary Cinema 4d a piece of cake!”

Provider Udemy
Instructor Ozgur Gorgun
Level Beginner
Workload 8 hours
Enrollments 12,622 students
Rating 4.7 (3,439 ratings)
Certificate Yes, available.

Best Course to Master Modeling (Udemy)

Our top pick for mastering modeling in Cinema 4D is Cinema 4D Complete: Vol. 2. All about Modeling! This comprehensive course explores the ins and outs of modeling, laying a strong foundation in polygon modeling, an essential skill in every 3D application field.

Guided by Lionel VICIDOMINI, a Paris-based Maxon Certified Instructor, Master Trainer, and Motion Designer, you’ll refine your abilities in a range of modeling processes. You’ll learn to select, move, scale, and rotate polygons with precision and fluency, improving your workflow. You’ll also delve into the usefulness of splines in creating complex objects, and explore the role of generators, like the mirror and remesher, in polygon modeling.

Other aspects covered include polygon commands, such as extruding and beveling, as well as using deformers to reshape objects. You’ll even touch on OpenVDB modeling, offering a parametric way to create complex objects. The course wraps up with practical workshops, where you’ll apply your new skills to model various objects, from a coffee cup to a soccer ball.

This course is ideal for artists aiming to boost their modeling skills, designers seeking to better understand the technical side of modeling, and animators wanting to create their own objects rather than download subpar, costly models.

One satisfied learner, IrisMan E., raves, “This is truly a Master course. The instructor is led by a renowned C4D artist in Maxon webinars. There are no other exhaustive modeling courses for cinema 4D like this.”

Provider Udemy
Instructor Lionel VICIDOMINI
Level Intermediate
Workload 22-23 hours
Enrollments 2,083 students
Rating 4.6 (299 ratings)
Certificate Yes, available

Best Course to Master Mograph (Udemy)

With Cinema 4D Complete: Vol. 3 Unleash the power of Mograph!, Lionel VICIDOMINI continues his educational series, this time focusing on the power and utility of Mograph. This tool allows users to generate intricate, captivating animations with ease due to its flexible modular design.

The course is structured as a video guide, offering learners the freedom to navigate through the content based on their needs. It caters to a wide range of users – from beginners looking to grasp Mograph’s fundamentals, to advanced learners seeking detailed insights.

During this course, you’ll explore the core concepts of Mograph, delve into its library of effectors, understand the use of fields in combination with effectors, and get hands-on experience with Mograph Generators such as the Voronoi Fracture. You’ll also learn how to blend Volumes and Fields to produce impressive imagery and discover the potential of Vertex Map fields for creating organic growth systems.

The course concludes with an immersive final chapter that offers four hours of practical exercises. This hands-on approach solidifies the concepts and techniques introduced throughout the course.

“I really enjoyed listening to Lionel’s lectures. He teaches clearly and the important thing is he teaches the logic of animations that he makes you understand easily. He answers your questions quickly and he cares about his students.“ – Alper B., Udemy learner.

Provider Udemy
Instructor Lionel VICIDOMINI
Level Intermediate
Workload 19 hours
Enrollments 1,380 students
Rating 4.8 (130 ratings)
Certificate Yes, available

Best 3D for 2D Animation Crash Course (Skillshare)

Russ Etheridge, course instructor.

Looking for a fun, engaging way to dip your toes into 3D animation? 3D for 2D Animation: Getting Started in Cinema 4D could be the ideal crash course for you. Particularly suited to those already familiar with 2D animation, this course offers a practical introduction to Cinema 4D, with a focus on creating a dynamic skateboard flip animation.

Guided by Russ Etheridge, a UK-based freelance Animation Director and Designer with over a decade of experience, you’ll start by exploring the basics of modeling and 3D animation with Cinema 4D, and then how to make it look like a 2D drawn animation using Sketch and Toon.

This course, which provides learners with the opportunity to share their final projects and receive feedback from both the instructor and peers, is invaluable for 2D animators aiming to incorporate 3D elements into their work. However, it’s equally beneficial for anyone embarking on their 3D journey.

“Absolutely loving the class! C4D felt strange and complicated but after the class I can navigate around the interface easily and also model small objects. Thanks Russ!” – Nash Vail, Skillshare learner.

Provider Skillshare
Instructor Russ Etheridge
Level Beginner
Workload 2-3 hours
Enrollments 2,468 students
Rating 100% recommended (26 reviews)
Certificate Yes, available

Best Course to Learn Redshift for Cinema 4D (Udemy)

If long rendering times in Cinema 4D are hampering your productivity, the Redshift for Cinema 4D Masterclass could be the solution you need. This course is dedicated to leveraging the speed of GPU rendering in Redshift to transform your workflow efficiency.

With this training, you’ll master the use of Redshift for Cinema 4D from beginning to end, culminating in the creation of a stunning, photorealistic render. You’ll explore how to optimize Cinema 4D’s interface, work with Redshift lights and HDRI images for lighting, utilize cameras, achieve depth of field and the desirable Bokeh effect, and navigate materials via the Redshift Shader Graph.

In addition, you’ll delve into motion blur, scene optimization, denoising, and ultimately, rendering a scene. These professional-grade tips and tricks are accompanied by all necessary project and reference files, enabling you to learn actively and effectively.

This course has received high praise from its attendees, like Timotion H., who says, “A perfect course for anyone who wants to learn Redshift step by step… I fully understand lighting, materials and render settings and even learn more about physical property after completing this course.”

Provider Udemy
Instructor Ozgur Gorgun
Level Intermediate
Workload 5 hours
Enrollments 876 students
Rating 5 / 5 (175 ratings)
Certificate Yes, available

Project-based Course With Redshift and Cinema 4D (Skillshare)

Here is the instructor train scene example created in this class.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience to learn and practice Redshift for Cinema 4D, Create A Space Train Scene With Cinema 4D & Redshift Render is the course for you.

This course provides a guide on creating a cinematic space train station scene using Cinema 4D & Redshift Render. It also imparts essential techniques and tools applicable to various motion graphics projects. These include basic modeling tools in Cinema 4D, an overview of the GPU-based Redshift Render Engine, optimization strategies for Redshift Render settings, techniques for generating extensive scenes quickly, and smooth camera animation methods.

The course also offers instructor-led assistance through the “Discussions” section for any necessary clarification. Also, by completing the course project and sharing it, you can receive feedback from your peers and the instructor.

“I just learned redshift a few months ago and it was quite overwhelming, your class brought back all of the concepts I learned in a very digestible way and was such a great refresher, and I re-learned how to use all of the features of redshift, as well as learned a ton of new tips. Please make more redshift tutorials!” V D, Skillshare learner review.

Provider Skillshare
Instructor Don Mupasi X Visualdon
Level Intermediate
Workload 2-3 hours
Enrollments 1,422 students
Rating 100% recommended (26 reviews)
Certificate Yes, available

Best Course to Master Motion Tracking With Cinema 4D (Udemy)

Master Motion Tracking with Cinema 4D equips you with a key skill necessary for work in special effects – integrating 3D objects into live-action shots.

The course enables you to proficiently handle the 3D tracker built into Cinema 4D. The curriculum includes an understanding of 3D tracking and matchmoving, how to capture your own videos while sidestepping common errors, and instruction in the fully automatic tracker.

It delves into scene calibration to establish a sense of scale and orientation, comprehensive review of the tracker interface, and features to improve your tracking results. You’ll also learn manual tracking, the lens distortion workflow, object tracking, 3D reconstruction, shot tracking with a stationary tripod, planar tracking, and object-assisted tracking.

The modular structure of this course allows for selective learning based on your requirements. Each chapter handles a separate topic or technique for learners interested in comprehensive knowledge. All the footage used in the course is available for download, along with the exercise files. Plus, Lionel VICIDOMINI, the instructor, is known for responding to learners promptly.

“This course is very professional. Lionel’s explanations are very easy to follow and the results are very good. I think all his tips are very useful and I can always come back and revisit his lessons in case I forget how to do something.” – JP I., Udemy learner.

Provider Udemy
Instructor Lionel VICIDOMINI
Level Intermediate
Workload 5 hours
Enrollments 562 students
Rating 4.8 (56 ratings)
Certificate Yes, available

Why You Should Trust Us

Class Central, a Tripadvisor for online education, has helped 60 million learners find their next course. We’ve been combing through online education for more than a decade to aggregate a catalog of over 150,000 online courses and 200,000 reviews written by our users. And we’re online learners ourselves: combined, the Class Central team has completed over 400 online courses, including online degrees.

How We Made Our Picks and Tested Them

Trying to find “the best” can be daunting, even for those of us who live and breathe online courses. Here’s how I approached this task.

First, I combed through Class Central’s Catalog, reddit communities such as r/cinema4D, and the internet to find a variety of free and paid open courses, some with certificates.

I extracted information from course syllabi and reviews, and compiled their ratings, leveraging the Class Central database with its thousands of course ratings and reviews written by our users as well as available course provider ratings. I watched some course videos to sample courses I hadn’t already taken.

Then, I defined the scope for these recommendations. A Cinema 4D course can cover various topics. I chose top courses from a range of sub-fields: Fundamentals, Modeling, MoGraph, 3D to 2D animation, Redshift for C4D, and motion tracking.

Ultimately, I used a combination of data and my own judgment to make these picks. I’m confident these recommendations will serve as an excellent learning path to master Cinema 4D.

Fabio Dantas Profile Image

Fabio Dantas

Content writer with a degree in chemical engineering. I'm passionate about creative writing, process improvement, productivity, and mindfulness. I aim to empower learners through my articles by providing practical tips, inspiration, and a deeper understanding of learning.

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