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CINEMA 4D Essentials with Rob Garrott is a graduated introduction to this complex 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program, which breaks down into installments that can be completed within 2 hours. This installment covers the basics of the 3D modeling toolkit: splines and polygons. Rob reveals the components behind polygonal-modeling (points, edges, and polygons) and how to manipulate them with the tools in CINEMA 4D. He then walks through splines, an alternative to polygons that uses curves to create 3D geometry. The final chapter shows how to combine these techniques by creating a model of a speaker system.
There are going to be a lot of times when you're working with splines where you are going to want to create a smooth transition or connection between two splines. Now, in order to do this we need to connect the splines together much the same way that we did with the Bridge tool in the Polygon modeling module. I've got two arc splines here and what I want to do is create a nice smooth transition that goes from this point to this point. And in order to do that, the first step is going to be to connect these two splines together. Now, I'm going to select both arc splines and then right-click in the interface or right-click on the arc splines themselves and I'm going to go to Connect Objects and Delete.
When I do that, I end up with a single arc spline that now encompasses both arcs. So you can see that when I go into Point mode, I've got points on these splines I can now start working with. Now, what I want to do is to create a point right in the middle that's going to allow me to create a smooth transition from here to here. I'm going to middle mouse click into the Front view and let's zoom in on these guys. Now, if I click on the Move tool and hold down the Ctrl key, if I click to add a point, it's going to add from that end over there.
I really wanted to add from this end over here. So let's undo that for a second. And then let's select all the points on each of these segments by hitting Command+A or Ctrl+A on the keyboard. Now, what I'm going to do is right-click and go to Reverse Sequence. When I do that, now I can click to deselect all those guys. If I hold on the Ctrl key now, it's going to draw from that point right there. Now, I want this point that I've clicked to draw to be exactly in the middle. Now, in order to do that I can use the Coordinate Manager down here at the bottom of the interface.
I want to have this point be at zero along the X-axis so it will line up directly with Y. So if I take this value here and set that to be 0, it doesn't go to the right place. Now, the reason for that is because of this little pull-down right here. It is set for Object (Relative). Let's undo that for a second. And in order to see why this is happening, let's back out for a bit and get out of Point mode. Let's click on the model mode and you can see the Axis point for these guys is over here.
This change when I merge the splines together. So the Object Relative position for that point is relative to this location here. So if I switch it to 0, it's going to jump to line up with this Y-axis here, not the world Y-axis. So let's get back to Point mode and then change this pull-down to be World Relative. Now when I switch that to be 0, it's going to jump right to the center. And now what I can do is I want to connect these two locations. So now if I switch to the Selection tool by grabbing the Selection tool up here, I'm going to click and drag across both of those points.
Now when I right-click, I can use the Join Segments command to join those two segments together. And you'll notice that the flow of my line is changed now to going from white to blue. I had two different flows and now I've got one merged flow. Now, you can see that I don't have a smooth transition between these corners. What I want to do is grab this point here and right-click and change it to be Soft Interpolation. What that's going to do is give me handles on either side of that.
And if I click on that, I use the Move tool, I can now drag that out to create that arc. I don't want to hold the Shift key down, I want to try and drag that out as smoothly as possible like that. If I right-click again, I can go to Equal Tangent Direction and then Equal Tangent Length and that will make sure that my handles are lined up nicely. I can now grab these points here and select that and go Soft Interpolation as well. Now, this is going to be a little bit trickier.
I'm going to have to get in there and eyeball this. Now, I've already got my Move tool selected. Now, if I grab this handle here and I can draw it like that, I can take this one and draw it like that, I'm lining it up. I've got a pretty nice smooth transition. One last option I want to talk about when it comes to manipulating splines is something called the Chamfer. Let's create a new document, Command+N or Ctrl+N on the keyboard, and in that document I'm going to create a Text spline. And the Text spline creates the word Text on screen and under its Object Properties I can change which shows up here.
Let's create just a capital H. So I'll hold down the Shift key and type in the capital H and I'll click any place outside that field and I now have this giant letter H here. And I'm going to make this editable by clicking on the Make Editable button. Then go into Point mode, and let's say I want to create a rounded version of this. I just middle mouse click to get to the Front view. If I select all these points, right-click, and I'm going to go to the Chamfer option, and when I select that, I can now click and drag. I can put in a Radius numerically, but I want to eyeball this.
I want to click and drag to the right, and as I do that, I can round those corners off and that is a really amazing thing to be able to do, it's so easy. Let's undo that and do it again. Now, you want to be really careful. Don't click more than once. If I click and drag and then click and drag again, I'm chamfering the Chamfer. Let's zoom in and see what that actually looks like. You can see it created a second point right there. Let's undo that and undo again. I'll click and drag once and then click and drag again. You can see that it chamfers at each time. Now, you got to be careful. There are may be a time where you want do that, but what you don't want to do is to click and drag and have those points touch like that because now you're merging those two points together.
There's actually two points on top of one another in that spot, and that's not a good thing. Let's undo that to get back to just a nice square and then we'll chamfer it nice and round. I'll hit H on the keyboard to Frame up the entire object. The Chamfer tool has done a great job of smoothing that H out.
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