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Texturing type with multiple materials

From: CINEMA 4D Essentials 4: Materials, Texturing, and Lights

Video: Texturing type with multiple materials

Texturing type is something that every MoGraph artist has to do, and there are some very special techniques that allow you to create some great legibility on the surface of your type; but there is some invisible codes built into the Extrude NURB object that make this possible and it's crucial that you, memorize them and then use them. What I've got here is a simple Text object underneath an Extrude NURB, and the text object just has the C1, R1, C2, R2. Now, these numbers and letters are very important. They are those invisible codes that you need to memorize.

Texturing type with multiple materials

Texturing type is something that every MoGraph artist has to do, and there are some very special techniques that allow you to create some great legibility on the surface of your type; but there is some invisible codes built into the Extrude NURB object that make this possible and it's crucial that you, memorize them and then use them. What I've got here is a simple Text object underneath an Extrude NURB, and the text object just has the C1, R1, C2, R2. Now, these numbers and letters are very important. They are those invisible codes that you need to memorize.

These codes are built-in Selection tags. In the previous movie, I showed you how to make a Selection tag manually. The Extrude NURB object has Selection tags built into it, and you can use these letters and numbers in combination to limit where materials show up on that Extrude NURB. So let's make a base material for our type. I'm going to double-click in the Material Manager, and let's call this material Base. And I'm going to make it a nice dark-bluish color. That's good. Crank the value down somewhere in there.

Let's drag that onto the Extrude NURB. So that we can see what's going on, let's bring up the Interactive Render Region and let's zoom in our type a little bit. We don't need to see those letters and numbers right now. And I'll bring up the Interactive Render Region, Option+R on the keyboard. And let's bring the Quality slider up and then enlarge the Interactive Render Region so we're seeing more of our scene being rendered. This type looks okay, but it would be much better, from a legibility standpoint, if I could isolate the face of the type and the edges from the sides.

That way I can have a nice dark side and nice light edge and face so that my type will really pop off the screen. I want to create a new material that's just going to show up on the face of the type. Let's do it based on the base material. So, I'll hold down the Ctrl key and drag the base material to the right. Let's call this one face. Now, the face material I want to be lighter than the base material, so let's take the value and move it up. Now, I'm working in HSV. If you're working on RGB and you want to see the same thing that I have here, you can click and hold on this pulldown and change that from RGB to HSV.

I'm going to leave mine on HSV. So let's take that value and bring it up nice and bright. And now we could take this and apply it to the Extrude NURB. When we do that, our type gets brighter. All of it gets brighter. The reason for that is that CINEMA 4D evaluates these tags from right to left. This new tag is overriding the base material. We only want this material to show up on the faces, and that's where these numbers and letters come in. C1 refers to the face of the Extrude NURB object. That's the face that we're seeing.

R1 refers to beveled edge of the Extrude NURB on this side. C2 is the face that's on the back side of the object. And R2 is the edge that's on the back side of the object. So if we go to this Texture tag that we want to have show up on the front face and in the Selection field we type in C1-- it is case sensitive; it has to be a capital C and the number 1-- when I hit Return, watch what happens to my type. I've got a dark side and a light face, and that really makes the type pop off more, and it makes it much more interesting.

Let's do the same thing for the edges. Let's select the Face material, hold down the Ctrl key, and drag a copy to the right. Let's name it Edges. And in that edge material, let's go to the Basic properties. We want to make the edge material much brighter than the face. Now, I could go to the Color property and crank up the value, but that's really not that much brighter. If I go to the Basic property and turn on the Luminance, that's going to make it incredibly bright. Now, it's too bright. Now it's gone full white, but if I select the Color channel, hold down the Shift key and click on the Luminance channel, I can now see both of those properties at the same time.

I can take this swatch right here, drag it down onto this swatch, and then the Luminance channel will become the same color as the Color channel. That gives me a much brighter version of the same material that now won't be affected by light. It's going to really pop off those edges. So let's take the edge material now and apply it to the Extrude NURB. Now, when I apply that material to the object, it's overriding the other materials. You can see now the type feels like it's glowing. That's the Luminance channel.

We want to have that glowing sort of feel only in the edges. And so now we need to use the same Selection tag, so I'm in the Tag properties for the tag that's going to be on the edges. And I go into the Selection field and I type in capital R and the number 1. And when I do that, I now have that material only on the edges. And you could see that when I orbit around-- let's look at the type from the back side-- my type on the back is still dark all the way around. And when we orbit around to the front, we have a nice pop on the face and a strong edge. When we back out from the type nice and far-- bring that all the way back here and make it small-- you see you have a great legibility, even at a small size.

This is a really important technique for texturing type, and I recommend that everybody commit these codes to memory.

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