How to Light and Render a 3D Model in Cinema 4D

In this final tutorial, Viktor demonstrates how to light and render the 3D model he created in Cinema 4D using Arnold renderer.

Guided by Karl, Viktor creates a real life lighting scenario using a selection of Arnold tools. He demonstrates how to create different lighting effects, including spot and softbox lighting, and how to control the hardness, softness, brightness, size and position of various lights. He then finishes by showing you how to render your final model, explaining a number of different render settings and output options.

In this class:

  • Lighting 3D models using Arnold
  • Adjusting position, brightness, hardness and softness of light
  • Adjusting Arnold camera positions and settings
  • Adjusting depth of field using Arnold
  • Arnold render settings
  • Saving rendered images

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Gary Stasiuk

    A good intro and overview of 3D. If I was going to suggest new additional classes/topics to add, on top of say lighting a model of a motorcycle or car, this would be my list:

    1: Same model, but add texture maps to label, convert tabletop into wooden surface with texture.. bottle could have other details added such as embossing of a logo/detail. And perhaps a glass beside where issues for reflected and refracted surfaces could be discussed.

    2: Creating a 3D environment for a real product shot.. compositing the two together. The issue here is creating a believable perspective, horizon and vanishing point that matches the product image.

    3: Creating a replacement part or section in 3D for a real product. Take a real product shot, but something is slightly damaged in the real so you need to fabricate in 3D a matching element. For example, having a vintage cognac bottle where the cap seal is broken or missing and a matching 3D fabrication must be created to complete the product.

  2. Very interesting! CGI always sounded very technical and complicated to me, but seeing that the basics are not that complex makes me wanna model stuff. 😄👌🏻 Thanks for demystifying it.

  3. Hello Karl. Do you see CGI phasing out actual product photography mostly or completely in the next 20 years? Do you think there is a future for actual product photography or will it all be replaced by CG images? I see so much CGI now for products so I have to wonder. I ask as someone who came from and fled the CGI/VFX world and has no interest in going back.

    1. Hi Tim, I think CGI will make more impact on big brand products in the next 10 years because they already have the 3d models built. But not on smaller brand products because it can often take longer to build the 3d model and create good lighting and a render than it does to do the photography. But only time will tell. CGI has certainly made inroads into video work of products but many of the top product and advertising photographers in London are still busy.

  4. Great course, and with a unique approach. You hit the nail with this course, and got best from the both worlds. Please make an advance training.

  5. Great Video, I feel like still life retouching has a very similar mindset to 3d modeling. Looking forward to watching more up coming 3d modeling courses!!!

  6. really great videos ! I’m waiting for the next course and maybe we can see some animation too !

  7. Awesome, course. I love it, It seems so simple when Viktor explain it. I hope there will be some more advanced courses. Meanwhile, I will practice !

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