Cinema 4D Photoshop Tutorials

How to Make a 3D Graffiti Piece – Tutorial

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Cinema 4D and Photoshop CS4 to make some graffiti letters. We will extrude the letters and tweak them out. After the baseline render is done we will import it into Photoshop and add some outer strokes and grime.

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Step 1

To create a cool 3D Graffiti render, we are going to start inside of Cinema 4D. Open Cinema 4D and click on Objects > Create Spline > Bezier. Then switch to the top view port by chossing Cameras > Front

Note: We used version 10. Your version might differ but you should be able to do that same thing…

Step 2

Start off by drawing letters that resemble a graffiti piece. You can get some inspiration from the following sites: Art crimes or asddas. You will want to keep the whole bezier segment together and closed by doing one letter at a time. In my example I created the letter J.

Step 3

At This step, to see what it will look like in 3D, go to Objects > Nurbs > Extrude Nurbs. Make spline a child of Extrude Nurbs by dragging spline on to Extrude Nurbs until a down arrow appears.

Step 4

At this point switch to perspective view (Cameras > Perspective) to get a better view of the final piece. Click on Extrude Nurbs and change the Object Properties – Movement to the following -19m, 0m, 73m. Then use the buttons in the top right of the viewport to move around till you are satisfied with the look.

Step 5

Switch back to the Front View. Continue the process of making letters and adding an Extrude Nurbs object to them. Remember to keep switching to Perspective to see how it is turning out. Once you complete the other letters you should have something similar to the image below:

Tip #1) If you need to knock a hole out of your letter (i.e. a lower case "e") select both the spines and choose Function Combine.

Step 6

Now it’s time to make it a little bit more funky. Add some bend modifiers and make them children of the Spline letters. Use the object properties to bend them the way you like. I didn’t add it to every letter just some. I also used the move and rotate tool to add some more depth to the letters.

Step 7

In the Materials area, choose File > New Materiall (or double click in the blank area). Reference the below images for the settings:

Step 8

Now you need to add the material you just created to each letter.

Step 9

To get some really cool effects, select all your letters and then right click on one of them and choose Group Objects. Add a Twist Deformation to all the layers Objects > Deformation > Twist). I added a light to the scene as well to make it have more of a glow. Make sure your stack looks somewhat like the image below with the correct children and parent setup.

Step 10

Now we can export the render. On the main menu go to Render > Render Settings. Click on Save and change the settings to the following:

Step 11

Make sure your camera is on perspective view and it looks the way you like it. Once it is, choose Render > Render to Picture Viewer. Then choose File > Save Picture As. Verify the settings and choose OK.

Step 12

Open you exported render into Photoshop. On the menu bar choose Select > Load Selection. Verify the Alpha 1 Channel is selected and click OK.

Step 13

Create a new layer for you selection by going to Layer > New > Layer Via Cut. Name this new layer “Graffiti Render“. Double click on the layer, Graffiti Render and make a stroke of 8px – White. Finally, fill the Background layer Black.

Step 14

We are going to use the Pen tool to make every letter pop with a stroke. Grab the pen tool with the Paths option selected. Trace the first letter. Then create a new layer and on the paths pallett choose Load Path as Selection. Then go to Edit > Stroke. Choose a 3px Width with the color set to black. Location should be set to outside. Then click on OK.

Step 15

Repeat Step 14 for your other letters. Each on a separate layer. Erase the parts of the stroke that you don’t like. You should now have something like this:

Step 16

Now to add some color to this piece. Create a new layer called color. Then CTRL (CMD) click on the Graffiti Render and click on the Add Layer Mask Icon on the bottom of the layers pallet. This will restrain our coloring to only the Graffiti Render. Change the Layer Blending Options to Overlay, I choose a really soft brush and painted on different colors that I wanted it to look like.

Step 17

Create a layer called “Bling” and set the layer blending to “Overlay”. Grab the line tool and set it to Fill Pixels -10px. Then create lines at different areas or your letters. Do it on about 50% of the layers or to your liking.

Step 13

Open the Water Color Image from the Water Colors Pack and scale it down to fit your document. Change the Layer Blending Mode to Screen. Then De saturate that Layer by Pressing CTRL + Shift + U.

Step 13

Now Open up the Levels and drag the left slider over You should end up with something like this:

Step 13

Open up this image from our Spray Paint and Drips Pack. Change the Layer Blending to Screen. Inverse the layer by going to Image > Adjustments > Invert. Put this layer right above the Background layer in the layers pallet by dragging it downwards.

Step 13

Move the layers around to your liking. I duplicated the layer again (Layer > Duplicate) and moved it around.

Step 13

I added some misc. images from our packs. Stencils, Hand Drawings, and Spray Paint are great for this.

As always, you can download this PSD file for free. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial…..

About the author


My name is Jeya and I am one of the founders of Media Militia. I enjoy writing new content and designing something fresh! I currently live in beautiful Reno, Nevada. If you have any ideas or comments, please send me an email at


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