Cinema 4D Tutorial: Unfolding Polygons Effect

Unfolding Polygons Free Script C4D

In this C4D tutorial I’ll show you how to set up your scene to create a really sweet unfolding polygon effect. This effect is made possible with the new free Python script by Rown. You can find his overview video and the .zip download here:


    1. kim

      love it thanks!

    2. kim

      maybe this is new to c4d13 or i missed this. but how did you get the rown custom commands over above the object manager. thanks. love all your models (packs) too = amazing!

    3. Joren

      Kim, go to “window” and “customization” and then “New Pallete”. You can then drag the handle on that empty pallete and dock it wherever you want, aka above the object manager. Then you can customize palletes, find the icon you want, and drag it onto that new, docked pallete. Hope that makes sense!

    4. Matthew Butler
      Matthew Butler02-20-2012

      I had been trying to re-create something like this last year and gave up. This is perfect!

    5. YesPapa

      Love the script ! Could tell me where do i install it ? Which directory or process ? Thank for your help.

    6. Jordan Wischmann
      Jordan Wischmann02-20-2012

      love this script, trying to translate isn’t going so well, script has garbage characters in it because i’m on a english pc.. hoping a english version is on its way!

    7. Jonathan Scott
      Jonathan Scott02-20-2012|en|

      Believe it or not, Google translate works pretty well these days. I used it to decipher Chinese very successfully last week – German should be simple….

    8. Shalom Ormsby
      Shalom Ormsby02-20-2012

      Always wanted to know how to do this. Thanks, Joren!

    9. Jordan Wischmann
      Jordan Wischmann02-20-2012

      ok, english version here:

      includes version 1.05 of the ALIGN_POLY_1.05 script.


      nice one joren, thanks!

    11. fasteddie

      Hey Joren – great tutorial but how would you do something like the NFL video you showed where there is some randomness/offsets in the polygon


    12. Joren Kandel
      Joren Kandel02-21-2012

      Hey Fasteddie, I’m not 100% sure, I haven’t tried that yet, but my first thought would be changing the rotation axis point so they’re a few pixels off the edge of the polygon so when they unfold there is a slight gap? Not sure, but that’s my first thought. I’ll have to play around with that!

    13. jay

      great script! I’m having an issue with changing the rotation axis with 1.05. Does not execute a change of axis. Anyone else having an issue? Thanks

    14. jay

      Got it! I was trying to selected multiple rows of polygons.

    15. henry

      This is great, but the German menus are a bummer. Is there an English version floating around someplace?

    16. Pedro

      Hi Joren,

      I was trying to test it in a circular plane but there´s an overlaping problem…any toughts?


    17. henry

      Doh! Ignore that last idiotic comment.

    18. Pedro

      Sorry, an overlaping problem usin mograph to clone a section of the circular plane ( to make it grow using varios effectors )

    19. kim

      thanks joren 🙂

    20. juz

      Awesome script. Does this work in 11.5?

    21. Nicolas

      Hi Joren, thanks a lot for this tut. It was very useful!
      I am now trying to figure out how does Rown archieves that spring effect in his video.
      I tried with delay effector (as effector+fracture obj, and deformer) and jiggle deformer, but none seems to result. Any ideas?

    22. Chris

      Hey Joren! Thanks for doing your tutorials…VERY HELPFUL STUFF INDEED. Does Rown’ unfolding script work in 11.5?? Just curious.

    23. Joren

      Chris, I don’t have 11.5, so I’m not sure, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. Thanks!

    24. Jorge Barrionuevo
      Jorge Barrionuevo02-23-2012

      just amazing….i love all your tutorials!
      thanks 🙂

    25. Chris

      I tried loading it in 11.5 ( wish I had R13 )…and no go. Maybe I did something wrong…but I don’t think so. I think it’s just a matter of running a old version of C4D. Too bad for me. Nice plugin though. Cheers Joren, and keep up the good work.


    26. xavi pablo
      xavi pablo02-25-2012

      Hi guys!
      I have a problem.
      When I try to create a hierarchy (second action-2nd button) It pops up a message saying that my order of polygons is not correct or the hierarchy of the polygons is not correct.

      What canI do?


      • James Harford
        James Harford08-09-2013

        I have the same problem. If I make the selection in a straght line – no problem, but any thign else gives me the same error. The long workaround is to go into the group and re-arrange them but it takes ages!!

        Here is a video where this is done

    27. Stephen

      I ran into the same issue. If you run your polys in a straight line then it works fine. I think the issue has something to do with creating multi line selections.

      Joren thanks for sharing. Never would have figured out how to install and use this script on my own.


      • James Harford
        James Harford08-09-2013

        Hey Steve,

        Have you discovered a work around for this yet?


    28. lyle


      Awesome script. Thanks

      How would you apply multiple setups like in the example. is it as simple as copy and paste to the new selection of polygons?

      Joren, could you do a tut on something like the NFL example? Is there a script to unfold blocks in the same manner?

    29. Flemming Pauk
      Flemming Pauk03-06-2012

      HI Joren

      Do you got an idear in how to stick video material
      to this in the right way


    30. Jeff

      Thanks for the tutorial. One question. How would you go about texturing one image across several boxes and still have each box turn with the texture applied? I’m not sure how to map the texture when the polys get broken up to use in the unfold script.


    31. Frank

      Hi Joren,love your tutorials.
      Everything worked fine apart from when I render, none of the effects appear on the cube. Any ideas?

    32. rafa

      guys does the script works on c4d12? im having problems on the first step, when splitting the polys the popup menu won´t let me press ok, just abort and then it goes wrong, anyone experiencing this? any ideas please? it has happen both on osx and w7.. thanks

    33. marsio

      is it working with R12?

    34. Joren

      Hmm…I’m having the same problem with it in R12! Not sure why, maybe it doesn’t work in R12. I’ll have to ask the developer. Seems there are some bugs as well, since some people trying to use it have had random errors. It runs perfectly on my R13, so maybe the errors people are having are from using R12?

    35. ariel

      hi Joren, any ideas on how to make this work with triangles instead of squares? I’m trying with not luck.

    36. ariel

      It does work! you need to download The align_POLY-Script again from vimeo and replace it in the script folder in cinema.

      thanks for your tuts man, always very helpful!!!

    37. samseoane

      you can use plan effector + clonner. and you can get kinda same effect.

    38. ezar

      HI Joren. Thanks for your tutorials, they are very useful. Joren, just wondering if how can i make the unfolding polygons to be extruded just like the video of “NFL NETWORK DRAFT PROMO” that you have included in you tutorials. I am having problems to extrude the polygons using the script. Can you make a short tutorial on how to make that kind of effect? and how can i put my video or pictures on the polygons? sorry, i’m a newby in C4D and really excited about this software. I hope i could receive a response from you. I am from Philippines anyway. Thanks.! Cheers! 🙂

      • James Harford
        James Harford08-09-2013

        Hey Ezar,

        Try putting your object into a cloth nurb? Might help?


    39. rown

      Hello everybody,

      I´m not sure if I´ve understood all the questions correctly, but here two little answers. At first the script-set doesn´t work with versions older then 12.048. It is python-language, so I´m sorry it cannot work with 11.5 or older. Furthermore there are some more scripts and codes I wrote and used for the movieanimation. For example the spring-effect is done with one of them. After some weeks of working for other stuff I´d like to continue developing that poly-stuff. I´m sorry for bugs. I´ll try to kill them and besides I´ve got some new ideas. I´ll publish all as soon as I can. And of course! I´ll try hard to script english.


    40. imcalledandy

      Hi Rown,

      Thank you for making the script, and thanks Joren for the tutorial here.

      I’ve managed to translate the latest version to English for my own personal use. Happy to share with your permission and to help out with future releases… but your English seems to be perfect based on your comment! 😉

    41. reza

      thanks .thanks .thanks it’s cool

    42. Joe

      Okay, I translated the PDF that comes in Rown’s ZIP file into English as best I could… how can I post it?

    43. Joren

      You can just send it to me, Joe, and I’ll post it under the video…

    44. mMohned

      thanks .thanks .thanks

    45. caraffi

      rown – respect ! looking forward to any future development.

    46. Joseph

      Hi Joren,

      Nice post man. How would you make them thick as you show in the first video? That was awesome!


    47. Joseph

      Also, how do I put a delay effect on it to bounce when unfolding? T

    48. Peter Bickhofe
      Peter Bickhofe06-06-2012

      “nachbar” means neighbour 🙂

    49. Justin

      Hello, could anyone help me here? I get this error when I’m doing stage two (the one with nachbar/neighbour):

      “Either the object hierarchy is not connected, the first selected polygon is not a beginning or end element of the object hierarchy, or it is not a correctly created object hierarchy.”

      Has anyone else experienced and beaten this?


    50. Rick

      I too am getting the error when I try to arrange by neighbor. It works if I just select a couple polygons, but if I select a larger string I get the error. I have noticed you have to select a string of connected polygons, not a cluster.

      I think my issue is that I am not starting with a cube, but rather a custom polygon shape. This means my polygons are not square. They are all 4 sided, but not perfect squares. Also, the hierarchy of the polygons is very random when I split them. I realize this is the point of the arrange script, but I think the random naming and order of the ploys is messing it up. I have even tried putting them in hierarchy order before I try to run the script, and I still get the same error.

      Anyone else gavin tissues and have any luck with a workaround?

    51. Chris

      Hi Joren.

      I’m using R13, and am trying to unfold the 2 x arched edges of an uppercase B. I don’t seem to be able to get the axis to change using the ALIGN_POLY_1.05.

      Has anybody else experienced this/any suggested solutions?

    52. Fabian

      Hi guys,
      did someone found a way to fix the issue Jeff mentioned a few posts over ? about texturing the polygons. Thx 🙂

    53. Kris Castro
      Kris Castro06-20-2012

      For any of you who are having problems with the Align Poly V1.05 in R13 I found a workaround…

      Select the first polygon in the hierarchy just like you would for the align plugin

      Under the Mesh Menu > Axis Center > Axis Center… Use these settings:

      Action: Axis To
      Center: All Points
      X=0%, Y=100%, Z=0%
      (or set whatever direction you want the axis to move towards to be 100%)
      Make sure Include Children is selected and then hit execute.

      I think what happened to create the problem in the first place is that R13 changed the location and names of some of its functions. So what the rown plugin must have been referencing to create the same result went away and now we have to do it manually until there is another update. Just a guess though.

    54. Kris Castro
      Kris Castro06-21-2012

      Also, here’s a solution for anyone getting the error:

      “Either the object hierarchy is not connected, the first selected polygon is not a beginning or end element of the object hierarchy, or it is not a correctly created object hierarchy.”

      It’s a bit of a pain, but instead of clicking the first polygon and then shift selecting the rest in one big swoop, try selecting each polygon individually. starting with the first one and going sequentially all the way to the last in the order that they should unfold. You’re basically manually telling it what the hierarchy should be instead of letting it guess.

      Next, when you click on the hierarchy “arrange” button, instead of “by neighbor”, choose the second option, “By Selection”.

      That should do the trick. It’s extra work but at least you’ll get the result you’re looking for!

    55. Joren

      Wow, Kris, thanks so much for sharing your workarounds etc. with everyone, I really appreciate it!

    56. Moe Ali
      Moe Ali06-21-2012

      I have a problem here, How to round corners of a rectangle polygons and unfolded them with this tool ??!!

      Please tut or any advice!!

      Thank you in advance

    57. Cory

      Hi all! Thanks so much for this script and the tutorial. Someone mentioned they had a translated PDF guide; where could I find that?

    58. Simon

      Hi there, anyone had this problem?

      When I setup the action, somehow, a duplicate of my original poly item is visible above the new unfolding version….

      (using R13)

    59. Simon

      Actually, I worked it out, if anyone’s got the same problem, take it out of the null object and delete the original (and now empty) parent null

    60. AJEET

      Thanks a lot…Gr8…stuff

      ARDI JULIANTO09-25-2012

      can this plugins running in C4D R12

      • Joren

        I’m pretty sure it works in R12…

    62. Adam


    63. Remington

      There’s an English version available here

    64. Dan

      Hi there, great little script here, quick question tho…. doesn’t seem to be working overly well with triangles (which I can kinda understand) is there any fix or way around with this?


    65. james

      Thanx. I’ve been trying this in Houdini LOL

    66. Joshua Perlson
      Joshua Perlson04-17-2013

      I’m having an issue with this plugin…when I create the individual polygons (step 1) it doesn’t number them in order so I can’t move forward unless I rename them so it recognizes that each poly is next to each other. Do happen to know what’s going on? I’m on R12.

    67. Tu

      Hi Joren
      I’m using c4d in windows. I unzip and put all the file and folder in script folder. but i can’t see the commands panel in customize commands panel show up. So please tell me that i do correct way or have to do somethings else?

      • Tu

        I mean the rown command button. sorry.

    68. Maddie

      Oh my god it worked!

      Much thanks Joren, you and your dimples.

    69. Kristian

      Anybody figure this out?


      Nice…Thanks so much!

    71. Faical


      Awesome script. Thanks for sharing

    72. phil maron
      phil maron09-30-2015

      Sadly the script EXACTLY does not work for those NFL-Trailers, since they polys must be connected to each other. You CAN control hierarchies of object with the script, but where is the difference to a regular mograph setup then?

    73. Matt

      Hey dude,

      is there a way to “bake” the resulting folding script? I’ve tried to use cappuccino with all the settings on (PLA etc) but it doesn’t seem to convert it… any ideas?


    74. taeksukim

      wow !

    75. taeksukim


    76. Matt

      I had an issue with irregular polygons at varying angles. The angles of the axis were off when I used the option to automate snapping it to the edges. Everytime I fine-tuned the angles so that they matched the rotation I wanted and plugged in the python tag, everything went hay-wire because any adjustment you made to the rotation of the axis also effects the angles of the folds.

      After an hour of trial and error with various techniques to find a solution, I found that what fixed the issue was to freeze the polygon after I adjusted the axis but before adding the python tag. You can find this in the “Attributes tab” under “Coord.” There is a twirl down section called “Freeze Transformation.” Just hit “Freeze All” and repeat for any polygons you need to tweak their rotation. Finally, just add the python tag and you should be good.

      • Joren

        Wow, sweet, thanks for sharing Matt!

    77. thulani

      hi i cant seem to find the scrip please help i would really like to give it a try. Thulani from South Africa

    78. Seppo

      Awesome script! I’m also wondering is it possible to bake script animation to keyframes?

    79. John

      Is this script still available? none of the links work

    80. Tom Marquis
      Tom Marquis11-27-2017

      I translated the instructions to English. (with google translate so maybe a couple errors) Here is the link:

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