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Burning Question: Greeble… What is it and how to make your own

What is a greeble?

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, there was one particular favorite Greeble tool that everyone loved, but it is no more. But, as software goes, things are not always updated to work in current versions, even popular tools. Today we bid farewell to Kuroyume Greebler. And, of course, new ways are born! This is a refresh of this article, we are featuring a new Greeble tutorial with INSYDIUM. Last month, Aharon Rabinowitz Greebler tutorial was added too!

What’s a Greeble?

A greeble, sometimes called nurnies, are the small details that you can see in the Death Star, spaceships, and cities, to make them look more complex than they really are. The idea is to add these details quickly and easily, without a lot of time-consuming work. Furthermore, they’re most often created with displacement, bump maps, or scripts.

Lego Star Wars: Brickorama – How to Greeble

This is a tutorial for the real world but it is fun to watch and gives you a great idea of the types of greebles you can create.

Let’s Make some Greebles… with software

meshtools greeble

MeshTools Greeble with INSYDIUM Fused NEW

Each week INSYDIUM shares a Top Tip, and today, Bob explains how to use MeshTools with INSYDIUM Fused to create a greeble.

Instant Greebles in Cinema 4D

Instant Greebles is a hidden tool inside Cinema 4D. Find Instant Greebles under the “Create” menu in Cinema 4D. Select “Greebler Object” from the dropdown menu.

Aharon Rabinowitz tells you how to quickly make Greebles with Cinema 4D with Instant Greebles.

TUTORIAL | Complex (but easy!) Greeble Objects in C4D

Then, Aharon followed up with another tutorial that dives in deeper.

He references a formula for 90° rotation: round(rnd(3;1000))
Rick Barrett did a tutorial explaining this concept. Watch it here.

Cinema 4D Greeble Capsule

PixelAffair talks about the same tool, but with a different project.

Video Copilot Motion Design Pack I for Element 3D

If you’re an After Effects user, Video Copilot has you covered!

This pack includes 12 greeble models for Element 3D, along with 200+ Abstract 3D Design Objects and HD Models in Multiple 3D Formats.

Free Greeble Tools

Free 3D Kitbash Greeble Library Download

Download Markom3D’s personal greebler library, originally created in Blender. He includes .FBX format.

Greeble for 3ds Max

A fun modifier plug-in that is useful for generating random detail for spaceship models, cityscapes, and Death Stars… By Klanky The Robot, this one works in multiple versions of Max, including Max 2018.

Another tutorial for Greeble for 3ds Max.

Greeble Elements Free Version

Created by Glenn Patterson, who has a lot of ZBrush greeble-related stuff. He also sells Greeble Pack Pro for ZBrush® 4R8-2021 for $10 through Gumroad and is receiving good ratings, but I haven’t tried it.

The video below is pretty old but the tool is updated to work in ZBrush 2021.

Glenn also provides a free Greeble Sampler Pack.

Download Free Greebles

There are a lot more freebies and tools out there than I have listed here but Google if you don’t see what you need here.

More Greeble Tutorials

After Effects and Cinema 4D: Greebler Scene Tutorial

A tutorial from VideoFort.

How to Greeble a City

This is a 3ds Max tutorial by Johannes Schlörb and looks incredibly useful. Read the tutorial at 3Dtotal.

Build a Death Star Trench in Blender with Plating and Greeble Add-ons

Tech Greeble Generator – Substance Designer

Matt Wesney’s Substance Designer library and 50 free environment maps.

Get the Tools to Create your own Greebles!

Cinema 4D!

Maxon Cinema 4D Subscription

Maxon Cinema 4D Subscription

3D computer animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software

Maxon Cinema 4D is a professional 3D modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering software solution. Its fast, powerful, flexible, and stable toolset make 3D workflows more accessible and efficient for design, motion graphics, VFX, AR/MR/VR, game development, and all types of visualization professionals. Cinema 4D produces stunning results, whether working on your own or in a team.

Cinema 4D 2024 provides unmatched speed and performance for the most sophisticated creative scenes. Rigid Body Simulations can now interact with all existing forces, pyro, cloth, and soft bodies. Pyro shines with a hot new feature that allows fire to be emitted from particles and matrices. And the new Vertex Normal tools offer artists unparalleled precision to perfect surfaces.

Learn MoreTry Maxon Cinema 4D Subscription for free!

Maxon One

Maxon One

Get all the Maxon products at one low price.

Maxon One is an annual subscription for all products in one all-encompassing package. To summarize, this bundle includes Cinema 4D, Redshift, ZBrush, and Red Giant Complete.

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Cinema 4D 2024 is better than ever – with massive performance improvements in interactive playback, enhancements to Rigid Body simulations, and a more “art-directable” Pyro workflow. With Trapcode 2024, artists can now create realistic thermal dynamics with the new Combustion feature and create particle tracks with Stroke from Parent. VFX 2024 opens up a new dimension in lighting control and includes several enhancements to the popular Real Lens Flares. With Magic Bullet 2024, color correction is easier than ever – plus a host of new presets give artists more creative freedom. Universe 2024 also sees numerous workflow improvements and offers new presets. Redshift offers more creative freedom when using the MatCap and Distorter shaders as well as performance improvements on multi-core CPUs.

Learn MoreTry Maxon One for free!

Insydium Fused for Cinema 4D

INSYDIUM Fused Annual Subscription

INSYDIUM Fused Annual Subscription

Includes both X-Particles and Cycles 4D

The INSYDIUM Annual Subscription allows for flexibility. INSYDIUM Fused contains all of our plugins and products in one complete collection. Everything you need to create stunning particle effects, realistic terrains and fulfill modeling tasks through to the final render. Plus, all our available 3D Resources, hours of Training, Technical Support, and Content Repository files.

Learn More

INSYDIUM Fused Perpetual License

INSYDIUM Fused Perpetual License

Includes both X-Particles and Cycles 4D

INSYDIUM Fused is their collection of plugins, products and benefits.

INSYDIUM Fused provides everything an artist needs in one complete collection. INSYDIUM Fused contains all of our plugins and products in one complete collection. Everything you need to create stunning particle effects, realistic terrains and fulfill modeling tasks through to the final render. Plus, all our available 3D Resources, hours of Training, Technical Support, and Content Repository files.

Learn More

And Autodesk Maya & 3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max

Create massive worlds and high-quality designs

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Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya

Create expansive worlds, complex characters, and dazzling effects

Bring your imagination to life with Autodesk Maya® and create amazing 3D worlds, complex characters, and stunning effects. From Windows to macOS or Linux – the possibilities are endless! Join other professionals in making captivating visuals – unleash your inner director today with Maya’s powerful animation software.

• Bring believable characters to life with engaging animation tools
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Autodesk Media and Entertainment Collection

Autodesk Media and Entertainment Collection

End-to-end creative tools for entertainment creation

The Media & Entertainment Collection lets animators, modelers, and visual effects artists access the tools they need to create compelling effects, believable 3D characters, and massive digital worlds. Move assets quickly between creative tools with one-click workflows. Includes Maya, 3ds Max, Motionbuilder, and Mudbox. In addition get Character Generator, Recap 360 Pro, Rendering in A360, and Cloud Storage.

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Article updates

15 June 2023: INSYDIUM Quick tip Greebler tutorial added. Kuroyume Greebler has been discontinued, so it was removed from the article.

4 May 2023: Added Aharon Rabinowitz’s new Cinema 4D tutorials. Did some cleanup and updates.

25 May 2021: new greeble assets at Maxon

28 December 2018 with information on Kuroyume Greebler and a new Extrudifier tool from Maxon Labs.

26 December 2018: Insydium has updated Bridge so that Greebler is now working in Cinema 4D R20. This has been verified that both the plugin works and older projects (R13+) load. Note: You must have the Insydium Bridge plugin installed and place Greebler in the same folder as the Bridge plugin for this to work.

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Posted by Michele Yamazaki

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