Instances are powerful objects in Cinema 4D. They allow you to copy or “clone” an object while maintaining a link to the original. This works out well for perfect copies of objects, but what do you do if there’s variation in the materials of these instances?
Years ago while I was placing 3D cars in parking lots for architectural work, I stumbled into this technique. It turns out that if any objects in the hierarchy of the original object are un-textured, texturing the instance causes the material to cascade down onto those objects. Check out the video below for a demonstration.