Cinema 4D Tutorial: Unfolding Polygons Effect

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:

86 Responses
  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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


  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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?

  7. 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.


  8. xavi pablo

    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?


    1. James Harford

      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

  9. 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.


  10. 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?

  11. 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.


  12. Frank

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

  13. 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

  14. 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?

  15. 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!!!

  16. 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! 🙂

  17. 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.


  18. 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! 😉

  19. Joseph

    Hi Joren,

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


  20. 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?


  21. 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?

  22. 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?

  23. Kris Castro

    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.

  24. Kris Castro

    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!

  25. Moe Ali

    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

  26. 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?

  27. 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)

  28. 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

  29. 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?


  30. Joshua Perlson

    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.

  31. 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?

  32. phil maron

    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?

  33. 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?


  34. 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.

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