CINEMA 4D Essentials 2: Polygon and Spline Modeling
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating the speaker cone using Loft NURBS


From:

CINEMA 4D Essentials 2: Polygon and Spline Modeling

with Rob Garrott

Video: Creating the speaker cone using Loft NURBS

Now that we've got a great looking tweeter for our speaker, we can start on the woofer cone that is going to sit in the main part of the cabinet. So let's back out just a bit and I'm going to reveal the Boolean object. I'm holding down the Option or Alt key on the PC, and I'm going to click once on these dots here and that's going to reveal the Boolean. You can see the tweeter fits nicely in that opening we created for it. Now we can concentrate on this area here which is where the woofer is going to go. To create the woofer, we're going to use something called the Loft NURBS and a Loft NURBS is a very special type of NURBS object that creates a skin based on the position and shape of splines.

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Watch the Online Video Course CINEMA 4D Essentials 2: Polygon and Spline Modeling
1h 40m Beginner Sep 13, 2012

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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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding points, edges, and polygons
  • Working with the Knife, Extrude, and Bridge tools
  • Connecting splines
  • Rounding corners
  • Extruding paths from Illustrator
  • Reviewing the polygon and spline modeling workflow
  • Working with NURBs
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

Creating the speaker cone using Loft NURBS

Now that we've got a great looking tweeter for our speaker, we can start on the woofer cone that is going to sit in the main part of the cabinet. So let's back out just a bit and I'm going to reveal the Boolean object. I'm holding down the Option or Alt key on the PC, and I'm going to click once on these dots here and that's going to reveal the Boolean. You can see the tweeter fits nicely in that opening we created for it. Now we can concentrate on this area here which is where the woofer is going to go. To create the woofer, we're going to use something called the Loft NURBS and a Loft NURBS is a very special type of NURBS object that creates a skin based on the position and shape of splines.

So to create my woofer, I'm going to need to start with a circular spline. So let's go to the Spline objects and grab a Circle spline primitive. Now, I want to get that circle in the exact same position as this cylindrical opening. To do that, I can use a little bit of math or I can use a cool trick. If I take the circle and parent it to the cylinder object and then go to the Coordinate Properties, I can use CINEMA 4D's default behavior of relative position to get that circle in the same location as the cylinder. So to do that, I'm going to go to the Coordinate Properties on the circle and then zero out the X, Y, and Zs.

And so, when I do that, you can see now the circle is exactly in the same position as the cylinder. Let's take it out of that hierarchy now. I'm bringing it up here to the top. Now we can start to build our woofer. All this other stuff is getting in the way a little bit, so let's hold down the Option or Alt key again and click twice on these gray dots, boom, boom, and then the same thing for the tweeter, boom, boom. Now we can focus just on the circle. The Loft NURBS needs to have multiple splines to create the skin and we want to have insets of these splines in exactly the same location.

We're going to use a really cool feature that's going to allow us to use a Scale tool to change the size of the spline and create a copy at the same time. I'm in Point mode, so let's switch back to model mode. I'm going to hit T on the keyboard and that's going to bring up the Scale tool. With the Scale tool selected, if I hold down the Ctrl key, and click and drag at the same time, not only am I scaling the spline but I'm making a copy of it as well. So I'm going to make three more copies using this technique, so there is one and then I'm going to Ctrl drag again and this time, I'll make the next one there and then I'll do one more that's inset from that one.

That's pretty good right about there. So you should end up with four splines that are all inset from one another based on that outer edge. Now what I can do is to put these under a Loft NURBS. Let's go to the NURBS objects and we're going to grab a Loft NURBS. The Loft NURBS creates a skin based on the splines that we put under it. So let's take these splines and then let's name them in order from the outward to the inward. We can call it number 1, and then I'm going to arrow up, and change the name of that one to number 2, hit the Up Arrow again and change that to 3, Up Arrow again and change that to 4.

So what we want to do is to reverse the order of these guys so that the 4 is the last one and the 1 is the first one. So let's take that and just go 1, 2, 3, 4, there we go. Now I can take these splines and place them under the Loft NURBS. And when I do that, you see I get eight new mesh and that mesh is based on the position. Now, all these splines are in the same location, so the mesh is kind of overlapping. So now what we can do is start to shape our woofer cone. So let's start with number four.

The number 1 we're going to leave in the same location. I'm going to grab number 4, and then take that with the Move tool and move it on the Z-axis back. Here we go. And then I'll take number 3 and move it back as well until it is just outside. You see that I've got a cap there and that's being caused by the Object properties on the Boolean. And I don't want to have a cap on my object, so I slip for the cap. I do want to have a Back Cap, but I don't want a Front Cap. So let's go to the End Cap and change that to None.

Now, I guessed wrong and that created an opening on this end. So what I want to do is change that one back to Cap and change this one to None. Now you can see that our cone is taking shape. So that was 4 and 3. Let's just change the shape on 3 just a bit. I want to have a little bit of an inset right there and our speaker cone looks fantastic. The cool part about this is that if we want the speaker cone to pulsate, we can take splines 3 and 4 and just have them pulsate by animating their position and we can create a little boom, boom action.

So I'll undo that to get them back to their original position. Now we can reveal the Boolean Object and see how our speaker cone looks compared to the model. So let's hold down the Option or Alt key and click once on those guys. And you can see there it is in position. Now, it's too far into the models. Let's take the splines and then hold down the Shift key to select all of them. And then I'm going to move them on the Z-axis so that they are out here at the outer edge. I'm just going to eyeball them into position.

That's pretty good just like that. So you can see our speaker is really starting to come together. We can now turn on the tweeter as well holding down the Option or Alt key and clicking on those gray dots. Now we're ready to create the bracket that's going to hold the woofer in place.

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