you can fly!? Painting with PD Particles...

painting foliage and shrubbery
Cinema 4D GO

part 1 - First Steps

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  Cinema 4D is a popular and very powerful 3D application by Maxon for design&modeling, rendering and animation. There are several versions in existence, such as the top of the line XL edition. Another one you may have seen is called 'SE', a special edition sometimes found in demo or trial form on some popular CG magazines. And then there was the 'GO' version, an entry-level version with a very low price tag, promoted also with an 'Instant Space' CD at some point.  In this tutorial we'll use Cinema 4D GO 5.2. Not the latest, still a great tool for hobbyists and beginners in 3D, and certainly loaded if a number of tools that can proove useful also for webmasters who need to quickly whip something together like an illustration for a space related site. The main focus of this tutorial is of course on how to add billboard rectangles and make them carry a texture of foliage and shrubbery painted in PD Particles.

After launching Cinema 4D GO, insert a 2D object such as a Plane, which will help get a bit of spatial reference for other obejcts placed in the scene, such as by showing the shadows which they cast, or to change the color between sky and ground. At this time we're not concerned with a complex scene yet, just the basics to focus on how to map a painted texture on a rectangle like a billboard.

If Wireframe display modes are not your thing, switch it to one of the shaded modes such as Gouraud or flat shading.

Depending on your graphic card's capabilities (or lack thereof) you may also benefit from spending a minute or two in the Options area to fine tune some more how to display things.

<< click image for full screenshot
Next, insert a rectangle. This one will stand upright and it's the one we'll use to map the painted texture on.
The viewing manipulators can act on the camera or on the currently selected object. In this case, we'll want to move the rectangle up to be completely above the ground plane. Click the icon below the camera, so that you're able to transform and manipulate the object.

Click the Translate (or pan) tool below the magnifying glass icon if it's not already the current tool.

It may be useful to have other objects in the scene just for additional points of reference. For example, a sphere placed  partly behind the billboard rectangle will make it easier to see where the  opacity or transparency mask of the texture is doing its job when mapped on the rectangle.

Use the Camera and rotation tools to view the rectangle in such a way that the sphere is partly behind it.
Time to load a material.

In the Material editor, select File > New Material
A first look at the material properties or shader.  There's a color component, shown in the default tab. It is made actually of a mix of a plain color (RGB sliders) and a Texture. Either of these can be present at the same time, by way of a slider 'S' which modulates the intensity of their parts.

If you only want the texture to be used, and no base color tinting, use the 'S' slider in the Colour group and slide it to the left at zero.

Notice also that below the rendered sphere preview, there's a list of checkboxes. Only the selected components will be active. Obviously, we'll want the Colour checked and the Transparency as well.

However, before we can move on, we need to create the texture in the first lace. So let's start PD Particles, and get busy painting.

   part 1  - 
part 2  -  part 3