How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Follow this tutorial step-by-step to create a low poly tree model that you can use in video games, graphic design and illustration projects whilst learningCinema 4D quickly.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Some of the skills you’ll learn in this tutorial include creating basic 3D shapes, extrusion techniques, basic rendering techniques and how to colour 3D objects.
How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

1.How to Create a Cube

Step 1

OpenCinema 4Dand take a look at the top menu bar of the screen. You’ll find almost all the tools that you will need to create the floating island.

Select a new project in Cinema 4D and enter Perspective Mode by selecting it with the mouse.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Navigate the mouse to the top of the screen and click on theAdd Cube Objectbutton in the top menu bar.

Primary-ClickandHoldon the blueAdd Cube Objectbutton. This reveals a sub menu where you can click to create more objects. This will come in handy later on in the project. Create the Cubetool by clicking on it.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Make sure that the cube is selected and then click on theMake Editablebutton in the menu bar on the left of the screen.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

2.How to Extrude Polygons from a Cube

Step 1

Select thePolygonsbutton on the left side of the screen. This allows you to select the polygons on the cube.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Click the polygon that you would like to extrude. The polygon will appear highlighted in yellow. Hold theControl Button on the keyboard and use the mouse to hover over the direction you want to move the polygons to. For this example we will use the y axis (green arrow).

The mouse cursor should change shape, indicating that you can move the polygons. Whilst holding theControl Button,click and drag the arrow to extrude the polygons.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Choose from any of the polygons sides in order to extrude the object to the shape that you want.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

3.How to create the Tree Trunk

Step 1

Use the Scale Tool to create a tapered look to the tree trunk. Make sure to select the top polygon first using thePolygonsbutton.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Click and drag the axis using the scale tool to taper the top of the cube.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Extrude the polygons and use theMove Toolto change the direction of the tree trunk to give it an interesting shape.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

Remember to taper the top polygon by using theScale Tool.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 5

Repeat the previous steps a few more times, using theScale Tooland theMove Tool, until you are happy with the shape of the tree trunk.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

4.How to create Tree Branches

Step 1

To create the branches select the polygon for it’s point of origin using thePolygonsbutton.

Once you have a polygon selected, secondary-clickthe mouse to bring up a menu and selectBevelfrom the list of options.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Click and drag on the selected polygon until you are happy with the shape of the bevel.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Use theMove Tool to extrude the branch out. Hold the Control Buttonon the keyboard whilst using the mouse to click and drag the selected polygon.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

Taper the branch using the same techniques used to taper the tree trunk. Play around using theMove Tooland theScale Toolto get the best results.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 5

Keep extruding and tapering the branch out until you are happy with the overall shape. Remember to use theMove Tool to send the branch out into different directions.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 6

Choose another polygon on the branch and extrude another shape out.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 7

Repeat the steps above to create a second and third branch. Make sure to view the tree from different angles in the viewport. This will give you the most interesting shapes for the tree.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4DHow to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

5.How to create Low Poly Leaves

Step 1

Navigate to the top menu and click and hold on theCube Button. This reveals a menu with options to create more shapes. Select theSphere. This will spawn a sphere in the scene.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Navigate to the top menu and click and hold theBend Button.This will reveal another set of options. SelectPolygon Reduction.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Drag thePolygon Reductioninto theSphere.This will reduce the amount of polygons in the sphere.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

Make surePolygon Reduction is still selected. In the bottom window change theReduction Strengthuntil you are satisfied with the results.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 5

Navigate to the top menu and click and hold theBend Button again.This reveals another set of options. This time selectDisplacer.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 6

Drag theDisplacerinto theSphere.This changes the shape of the sphere and add more options.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 7

With theDisplacerstill selected, navigate to the bottom of the screen where the Displacer options are located. Select theShadingtab and click the arrow button next toShader.SelectNoisefrom the drop down menu.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 8

Select theObjecttab and adjust theHeight until you are happy with the way the sphere looks.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 9

Select theSpherethen select theScale Tool.Make sure that theModelbutton is selected and use theScale Tool to adjust the shape of the sphere until you are happy with it’s shape.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 10

Use theMove Tool to position the sphere correctly on the tree. Using all four views in the viewport can help with this. To do this, click on the middle button on the mouse.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 11

Duplicate theSphereby holdingtheControl Buttonand clicking and dragging the Sphere Object.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 12

Move the new sphere to another position on the tree using theMove Tool.Adjust the look of the new sphere by selecting theDisplacer and using the options as outlined in the previous steps.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 13

Continue to duplicate and position new spheres to create a look that you are happy with.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 14

Repeat the steps to create leaves for the other branches of the tree.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

6.How to Group Objects

Step 1

Select all theSphere Objectsthat belong to a group of leaves. Group objects by holding theShift Keyon the keyboard and selecting objects with the mouse.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

With the objects selected pressAlt-Nto create a new group.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Use the mouse to select theNull Group and rename the group with a suitable name.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

Repeat the steps for each sphere group.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

7.How to Colour Objects

Step 1

At the bottom of the screen click on theCreate Buttonand selectNew Material.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Double click on theMaterialand a new window will appear. UntickReflectance.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

SelectColourand double click on the box at the top of the window.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

Select a suitable colour for the tree trunk and then click the OK button.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 5

Apply the material to the tree trunk by clicking and dragging it to the object using the mouse.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 6

Repeat the steps to create several different coloured materials for the leaves.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 7

Apply the materials to the grouped objects.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

8.How to add Light to the Scene

Step 1

Choose a suitable angle in the viewport by navigating around the scene. Click on theCamerabutton at the top to create a camera.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

To set up the basic lighting, you’ll want to go to theFloorbutton located in the top menu bar.Left Click-Holdand then selectPhysical Skyfrom the menu.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Ensuring thatPhysical Skyis selected in the menu on the right, a new menu will appear on the bottom right of the screen. Select theTime and Locationtab and choose a time using the left and right arrow keys. This will change the lighting of the scene. Choose a suitable time to light up the scene.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

To add additional lighting to the scene, select theAdd Lightbutton in the top menu bar at the top of the screen.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 5

This will create aLight Object which you can move around the scene. Move the light object using theMove Toolto a suitable position.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 6

To customise the lighting further, experiment with the light object options in the bottom right of the screen. Here you can adjust theIntensity, Light Typeand evenColour.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

9.How to Render the Scene

Step 1

Click on theRender Settingsbutton on the top menu bar.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 2

Choose the resolution, height and width of the image. This tutorial uses the settings1920x1200 72dpi.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 3

Choose where you’d like to save the file and the file name. You may wish to tickAlpha Channelon, if you want to continue editing the image in another program such asAdobe Photoshop.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 4

Go to theEffectbutton at the bottom left and select bothAmbient OcclusionandGlobal Illuminationfrom the drop down menu. This will add these options to the render.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Step 5

Click theRenderbutton and wait for the render to finish.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D

Conclusion

And with that, the 3D Low Poly Tree is complete. Feel free to share the own creations below. Explore different camera angles, lighting set ups and colours to find out what works best for the illustration.

You can also export the image toAdobe Photoshop to enhance it further or to use it as part of a larger scene or illustration.

How to Create a Low Poly Tree in Cinema 4D