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Introduction to CGI for product photograpgers course


Introduction to CGI for product photographers


Computer-generated imagery is everywhere. Movies, TV shows, video games, and now more than ever, product advertisements. If you’re a product photographer and are wondering how to make the leap to CGI to meet the ever-changing demands of your clients, this course is for you!

Expert CGI artist and product photographer Janine Pauke is your guide for this fun and fascinating course designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of creating a realistic product image in 3D.

About this course

Expand your image creation abilities and take the first step toward mastering the necessary skills to create stunning and realistic computer-generated product images.

Working with CGI can be overwhelming. Janine Pauke streamlines the process, guiding you through complex topics such as modeling, texturing, and lighting with ease using one of the most approachable 3D programs on the market—Cinema 4D.

In this introductory course, you will perform every step in the 3D workflow needed to create the final “spray can” product image. Plus, you will gain valuable insights along the way as Janine shares her tips and tricks to make the process as efficient as possible.

Don’t have a license for C4D? No problem! WIth Maxon’s 14-day free trial, you can jump right in and work through all of the lesson in the course.

And as a bonus, Janine demonstrates the powerful Subdivision Surface Modeling method for creating complicated, smooth shapes quickly and easily.


3 hours, 4 minutes




Online Video Course


Learn your way around one of the most easy-to-understand professional 3D applications, Cinema 4D!

Learn how to create realistic product renders from scratch by following easy step-by-step instructions. Plus, get plenty of tips and insights along the way that will help get you modeling and rendering your own unique products.

Learn how to replicate common environmental and gradient-style lighting used in studio product photography.

Quick and easy-to-follow lessons. We know that you don’t have lots of time to spend, so we keep it brief!

Ask questions on our online forum and get answers from our professional instructors.

Lifetime access to the course materials.

Who will benefit the most from this course?

Photographers seeking to expand their skills into the realm of CGI

Hobbyists and artists interested in learning the fundamentals of 3D modeling and rendering

Course Curriculum

Course includes over 3 hours of instruction in 27 video lessons

  • Welcome [01:16]
    In this video, Janine Pauke introduces herself and the course.
  • C4D License & System Requirements [00:49]
    Learn about C4D licenses, including the free 14-day trial and the recommended system requirements for your computer to be able to run C4D.
  • Navigation [05:16]
    In this lesson, Janine helps get you familiar with the C4D interface and how to manipulate the 3D workspaces.
  • Move, Scale, & Rotate [07:53]
    In this lesson, you’ll see how easy it is to manipulate 3D objects.
  • More Buttons [03:18]
    Janine walks you through the rest of the most commonly used buttons in the interface, from the rendering buttons to the geometry creation buttons.
  • Rest of the Interface [02:37]
    In this lesson, you’ll see how easy it is to manipulate 3D objects.
  • Modeling 1 [05:32]
    In this lesson, Janine starts to model the spray can using basic primitives.
  • Modeling 2 [10:39]
    Learn to use a modeling helper image to facilitate creating 3D models that follow the required geometry of the subject.
  • Modeling 3 [08:30]
    In this lesson, you learn how to use the Spline tool to create the outline of a shape and revolve that edge about an axis to create a 3D shape. You will use it to create the top section of the spray can.
  • Modeling 4 [13:57]
    To wrap up the modeling section, Janine demonstrates how to complete the spray can by creating the nozzle using Boolean intersections of two primitives.
  • Basic Materials 1 [07:22]
    In this lesson, Janine shows you how to add basic materials to your 3D geometry.
  • Basic Materials 2 [07:59]
    Janine demonstrates how to apply textures to your model and how to manipulate those textures to achieve the look you want.
  • Basic Lighting 1 [07:41]
    In this lesson, you will learn how to add cameras to your scene and how to add and set up the first light for rendering.
  • Basic Lighting 2 [04:24]
    Janine shows you how to add two more lights to create the typical 3-point lighting setup most photographers are familiar with and how to adjust various parameters of each light to achieve the desired lighting effect.
  • Basic Lighting 3 [11:27]
    In Part 3, you will learn how to add a floor reflection commonly used in product photography to help “ground” the subject and how to adjust the reflected fall-off.
  • Basic Lighting 4 [02:40]
    Concluding this section, you will learn how to adjust the rim lights and tweak material settings to get started with highlight reflections.
  • Realism 1 [10:20]
    In this lesson, you will learn how to use High Dynamic Range Images (HDRIs) to provide realistic reflections and get introduced to C4D’s Node Material presets. In this case, adding a metal material preset to the spray can top and bottom that will accurately reflect the HDRI.
  • Realism 2 [08:15]
    Add another material preset for the plastic nozzle. Janine demonstrates how to use C4D’s interactive rendering capability and discusses the pros and cons of different render engines, sharing why Octane is her favorite external renderer.
  • Realism 3 [06:44]
    In this lesson, Janine shows you ways to adjust the properties of the HDRI and how to add a 2D background image that will serve as the backdrop of the final render.
  • Realism 4 [13:27]
    Wrapping up the Realism lessons, Janine starts by testing out further tweaks to the HDRI before making additional adjustments to the metal material preset and final color and positioning adjustments for the lights.
  • Final Output 1 [06:35]
    In this lesson, Janine explains the various parameters you can adjust in the Render Settings.
  • Final Output 2 [06:58]
    Janine makes some adjustments to the spline used to create the spray can top before demonstrating how to introduce ambient occlusion into the final render for added realism. She also explains how to easily export a layered PSD version of the final render that includes an automatically generated alpha channel for use as a layer mask in Photoshop.


  • Post-Editing [02:51]
    In this lesson, you will learn how to bring your layered output render into Photoshop to perform final post-production tweaks leveraging the automatically generated alpha channel.
  • Gradients 1 [03:09]
    In this lesson, Janine demonstrates how to create more sophisticated gradient reflections in C4D for glossy objects like rings.
  • Gradients 2 [04:40]
    Janine shows you how to replicate a diffused light source with a gradient in the same way that you can create one in the studio with a strip light and a diffuser. In C4D, she begins the process by creating a plane with emittance properties to illuminate a simple 3D object. She shows you how to add an HDRI to mimic subtle background reflections that might occur in a real-world studio environment.
  • Gradients 3 [03:44]
    Janine finishes setting up the emitting plane by creating the desired gradient on the plane’s surface using an alpha channel in its material properties.
  • Bonus [15:44]
    In this entertaining bonus lesson, Janine shows you how to use the powerful Subdivision Surface Modeling method to create complicated, smooth shapes quickly and easily and then demonstrates how to set up a simple animation in C4D.


Most frequent questions and answers

The course uses the 3D application Cinema 4D (C4D). Maxon offers a free 14-day trial for the software, so you do not need to purchase a license to C4D to take this course.

Most any reasonably equipped Mac or Windows computer should work fine. See the Maxon website for details.

You will have 24/7 access to course videos, forums, and reviews on the website. It is optimized for mobile as well, and we stream from the worldwide cloud to ensure a worry-free learning experience.

You’ll have lifelong access to the course. There is no limitation on this.

All course students have access to a private forum dedicated to support. This is the place where Photigy instructors answer students’ questions, and students can share their own experiences and solutions.

Yes! Although photographers with experience shooting product in the studio will appreciate the parallels Janine draws between the two environments, the course is designed to take you step-by-step through each lesson. From learning to navigate the C4D interface to modeling the project spray can, adding textures and materials, setting up lighting, and creating your final render, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll get up and running thanks to Janine’s clear and concise teaching style.


During the first 48 hours of course release, every buyer will get 3 digital Photigy Splash Packs absolutely free!

$117 Value - Free!

Intro to CGI for Product Photographers

Course Instructor


Janine Pauke

Janine Pauke is a CGI artist and product photographer based in Best, Netherlands. She has more than 25 years of experience, having worked for an impressive range of companies, including Maxon and visual effects house The Moving Picture Company, before starting her own boutique studio Liandi, where she specializes in high-end images and product animations. Brands she has worked on include Rémy Martin, Heineken, Ballantine’s, Macallan, Fosters, Marlboro and Walls.

Get to know Janine by reading our fascinating two-part interview with her.

GCI Creations by Janine Pauke

Portfolio of the instructor


Left – Wireframe model,  Right– finished render

spray_can-wire_frame WIREFRAME


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