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Creating a loose shape with polygon modeling tools

From: CINEMA 4D Essentials 6: HyperNURB Modeling and Sculpting

Video: Creating a loose shape with polygon modeling tools

Our project goal is to create the letters RG using the HyperNURB modeling, and we're going to be using our modeling tools to do that. Before we get started, I want to make sure that we're all seeing the same thing. I am seeing the outside of my blue low poly mesh, because I've turned off a very important feature called Isoline Editing. Underneath the Options menu is this little icon right here: Isoline Editing. If yours is on, you're going to see a scene that looks like this. Notice how my lines are curved on the surface.

Creating a loose shape with polygon modeling tools

Our project goal is to create the letters RG using the HyperNURB modeling, and we're going to be using our modeling tools to do that. Before we get started, I want to make sure that we're all seeing the same thing. I am seeing the outside of my blue low poly mesh, because I've turned off a very important feature called Isoline Editing. Underneath the Options menu is this little icon right here: Isoline Editing. If yours is on, you're going to see a scene that looks like this. Notice how my lines are curved on the surface.

I like to work with this off. So let's go to the Options menu, and turn off Isoline Editing. Now you should be seeing this light blue cage surrounding the actual HyperNURB shape. Now we're ready to start using our Knife Tool to make some cuts, and I'm going to right-click in the interface, and go to Knife, and let's change our Mode from Line to Loop. Let's turn off those two options. And now when we move it around, we can see that we're getting a line right here. You may be seeing a line being drawn on the surface of your object. There is an interesting bug with the recording software that I'm using that's causing that line not to be drawn.

So if you're seeing a white line around your shape, then that's the right display. If I click to the four-way view, you'll notice that as I slide up and down this edge, you'll notice that I'm going to be cutting all the way around this shape. That's very important. If I make a single cut, it cuts all the way around. You'll notice also that it changed the shape. So let's undo that cut for a second, and switch back to the Front view. And the place we want to make the cut -- let's just zoom in just a bit -- is where we know we're going to have to do an extrusion. So I know I'm going to have to do an extrusion right out here at the top to make this curvature for the R.

So I'm going to make a cut right here. I know I'm going to have to make a cut right here, and right here to account for that extrusion, and my snapping is turned on. For some reason, sometimes when you launch the Knife tool, it defaults to Snap Enable, so let's turn snapping off for a second. I know I'm going to need to make a cut somewhere right about here. That's going to give me the handles that I'll need to create the serifs. Now that I've made those strategic cuts, let's go to the Perspective view. I'm going to select all the points, and hit T on the keyboard to bring up the Scale tool, and grab just the Z handle, and scale that in. It doesn't matter exactly how much. I'm just going to eyeball it for now.

I can always change it numerically later on. The most important thing is I want to get this back to skinny again. Most of the time when we work, we're going to be working in the Front view, but every now and then we're going to need to go to the Perspective view to get an idea for how our objects are shaped. So now let's switch over to Polygon mode, and grab a different Selection tool. I'm going to tear off the Selection menu. I like to switch back and forth a lot between the Selection tools, and I'll select Live Selection. I like to use that when I'm in Polygon mode. Let's grab this polygon, and this polygon.

Now what I'm going to do is right-click any place in the editor window, and go down to the Extrude tool, and I'm going to do an extrusion. And I'm not going to worry about exactly how much, but I'm going to do two of them, and that gives me a place to start from. What I want to do is, rather than try and extrude all the way around is, I like to shape my objects by moving the points around. So I set up this extrusion, and then I'm going to move the points into position. So let's do one more extrusion like that; I think one more like that.

So that's a total of one, two, three, four levels of extrusion. Now let's switch back to Point mode, and get our Rectangular Selection tool, and switch to the Front view. What I can do now is start to line things up. I'm going to grab all these points here at the top, and just raise them up a bit to change the thickness. So I'll take this, and move it down here. You'll notice I'm using the Rectangular Selection tool, and I have Only Select Visible Elements turned off. The important thing when you're working this way is to not obsess about the shape.

Every time you make a cut, you're going to have to reshape your object anyway, so your goal is simply to get the pieces into position. I want to take this cut, and line it up with the center on that R. So let's bring that over here, and take this one, and move it up like that. Take these guys, and move them up here, and take that one, and move it over here like that. Just like in drawing with the Illustrator, your goal is to make your shapes with as few points as possible.

And here's a really cool tip. If I go back to Polygon mode, it's remembered my polygon selection. So I'll hit D on the keyboard to bring up the Extrude tool, and I'll just do two more extrusions, like that. I think that's going to work. And then go back into Point mode, and get a Rectangular Selection tool again, and now I can reshape. What I'm doing is I'm going to get these up to a point where they're just facing opposite each other, and then we're going to bridge them together. So let's take this and move it over here, and move that up here, and then move those points around like that.

What I'm going for is a very smooth flow of polygons. I don't want to have things like that; I want to have a nice even transition going all the way around my model. Next up, I can create the extrusions for the serifs, so let's go back into Polygon mode. Now, I can use my Rectangular Selection tool, and draw a rectangle just around that part right there. You'll notice that it only selected that one polygon, and I'll repeat that process down here. I'll hold down the Shift key; boom, and boom. Now what I can do is just do an extrusion; D on the keyboard, and bring that out, like that, and they'll all be the same length.

Now I'm ready to do one last extrusion down here towards the G. If you hit the spacebar, it will take you back to the Rectangular Selection tool. I'll draw a rectangle around that polygon right there. Now, if you accidentally grab too many, you can hold down the Control key, and deselect , those polygons or just redraw your rectangle, so that you only get that one polygon. Now I'll hit D on the keyboard to get my extrusion. I'll extrude outward, and take it right over to the edge. Now, let's do that by moving the points around.

There's a point there. I am going to take it right up to the edge of that G, so it's ready to bridge that gap. Before we go any further, let's do a File > Save As, and we'll call this one Loose-shape-WORKING. You notice I'm in the hyper-nurb modeling folder in the Exercise Files on the Desktop. Now, in case anything bad happens, we can get back to that. So that's the basic shape of our R. So let's take a copy of this cube, and Control+drag it down there, and let's call this one R, and we'll call it pre bridge, so it's ready to be bridged to the G.

Now we're ready to make our G. So I'll start off by adding another Cube to the scene. Let's call this cube G, let's call this cube R, and then let's add a Null object to the scene. The reason is is that the HyperNURB only smooths the first thing it encounters. When I drag this null under here, notice it breaks the HyperNURB. I'll put my R under there, and then my G under here as well, and now both objects are being smoothed. Now I could take the G, and move its starting point over here. Let's get out of Point mode into Model mode, and then adjust the size of the G starting point on X, so it's in the right position.

Just move it over like that. That's actually a pretty good height I think. So now what I'm going to do is take that cube, and hold down the Control key, and drag a copy of it, and I'll call this one 001-G, and I'll call this one 001-R. Now, back on this G, I'll make it editable; C on the keyboard, and let's go into Point mode now, and we can get our Knife tool, and start our cuts again. So let's hit K on the keyboard, and we'll make a cut right about there, and then I'll make another cut right about there, and let's make one more in the middle, just to kind of even things out.

You never want to have too long an edge on an object, and so I'll make a cut right in the middle to smooth that. Let's take that down there, and do this one right about here. I'm going to go into Polygon mode, and draw a rectangle around that polygon right there. You can see, that's the polygon associated with that part of that G. And then I'll hit D on the keyboard to bring up the Extrude tool. So let's do a few extrudes, and then push and pull those points. I think that's enough for now.

So that was one, two, three, four extrusions. Now I'm going to go back into Point mode, and get my Rectangular Selection tool. Now I can grab those points, and move them up right to the base of where the R is going to merge with the G. I'm going to take that one, and put it right here; take this one, and move it up here. Remember, once again, you're going for a very smooth flow on polygons, so your goal is to get the spacing even, and the actual polygons themselves to be well aligned.

I'll take this one, and move it down; take this one, and move it down as well. You can see that it starts to round out that corner right there. Take this one, and move it down like this. There we go. Let's go back to Polygon mode, and do an extrusion; D on the keyboard. I'll extrude up. That's going to be where the R joins with it. If I hit the R on the keyboard, and click anywhere outside this, I can rotate around, and then I'll hit E to move it over. There we go. And then I'm going to do another extrusion.

I'm going to rotate it around, and I'll D through, and then I'll rotate it around. You'll notice I'm lining up the top edge. I'll come back and get the inner edge. Now I can switch back into Point mode, and go to my Rectangular Selection tool, and I can start to rough in the inner edge. So let's take that one, and move it in right here; take that one, and move it down here just a bit. I'm going to try to even things out.

And then I'm going to go into Polygon mode, drag a rectangle around that one, hit D on the keyboard, and just do an extrusion down. And then I'll go back to Point mode, Polygon Selection, and bring that over here. Now I can go back to Polygon mode, and get my serifs going. I'll grab that one, and that one, and then hit D on the keyboard, and do an extrude outward. And don't worry about it if it doesn't line up quite exactly. This is an interpretation of that typeface. And then I can go into the Scale tool, T on the keyboard, and then pinch those down.

Once I've pinched those down, I can switch back to the Move tool, and move them up so that they're flat. So there's my G, and I'll hold down the Control key and make a copy of this one, and I'll call this one G-pre bridge. Let's save our working file; Command+S or Control+S. In the next movie, we're going to connect these letters together, and use the Bridge tool to close up the gaps on the model.

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