Join EJ Hassenfratz for an in-depth discussion in this video Spline shader for splines as material, part of Motion Graphics Weekly.
- [EJ] Welcome to Motion Graphics Weekly, where you up your Mo-Graph knowledge one week at a time. I'm EJ Hassenfratz. Let's get our learn on. Typically when you need to add text or logo material on an object in Cinema 4D, you'd need to first create it in Photoshop, save out the image with alpha, and import it as a material to Cinema 4D. Well, not anymore. Today, I'm going to be showing you how you can create materials from text or spline objects using the spline shader. So, here's a little hat I made using Sketch & Toon, and I wanted to put this number four on the front of the hat.
So, the spline shader is going to be perfect for this. So let's go ahead and go to a starting scene, where we have no number four on the front of our cap, here. And let's just create a new material first. So, I'm just going to double click in our Material Manager. I'm going to open up my Material Editor. I'm just going to load up a color in the luminance channel, so let's just choose like a blueish gray. And then what I'm going to do is actually use the spline shader as an alpha to knock out that color in the luminance and apply it on our hat.
So, I'm going to check on alpha so it's being used, and let's go and load up the spline shader, which you can find in the Effects Menu, Spline. And what that's going to do is it's going to create, by default, abc in my little preview, here. And, you can see that it's actually using a text spline, and there's abc in the text field by default. So, what I can do, you can see this is kind of cut off, and if I try to apply this to my hat, you can see that I need to do a little bit of adjusting here.
What I'm going to do is change the projection from UVW mapping to flat, and I'm going to uncheck tile, so it's not tiled all over our hat. And then I can just use these offset UV controls to center this up, and that's looking pretty good. But what you're going to notice is that we have the ab on our hat, but it's chopped off. Now, the way that the spline shader works is we need to position and scale whatever we have in this window, here, we need to scale it so it fits.
So that's where these XY Offsets and XY Scale come in handy. So, what I'll do is just scale this down. You can see that now that it's fitting in this preview box, it's actually not getting chopped off anymore. So, then I can use my offsets here to center this up. Use a little bit of X Offset to try to center that as well. And you can see, we kind of have this centered on our hat. So, that's using the default text spline, and the great part about this text spline is I can just add a four here, this way, or I can change it to whatever I want.
Hello. And that'll show up and again, because the text is a little bit bigger, I'll have to rescale that. But, what I actually want to do, and this is actually really handy, because then you can just use text as a material, and actually the best part, I want to point this out, is that I can zoom all the way in here and render this out. And this is going to be a really nice, sharp edge. So it's non-destructive. So, if we actually imported a Photoshop file and found that when we zoom in, our image is kind of getting degradaded because we're up so close, we'd have to go back into Photoshop and resave that image that we'd be using at a higher resolution to maintain that integrity or that image integrity.
And that is not the case with the spline shader, because you can zoom in super close and you still see nice, sharp edges. So, that's a really great feature of the spline shader right there. So, in addition to using just text, I can uncheck this, and I can actually load up a spline. So, I have my four spline right here, you can see, right in the top corner. And I'm just going to load that in to our spline shader, and again, you can see that this spline's fairly big, so I'll have to do some scaling and some offsetting to make sure this fits in the middle of our preview window, here.
And we'll just scale a little bit and we'll do some offsetting, here. There we go, that's looking good. And let's actually just scale it down because it's a little bit too big on our hat. And you're going to notice that when this is scaled up fairly high, like this, you can see on the back of our hat it's kind of copied. Let me just move this again so you can kind of see. You can see that we have a four on the front and a four on the back, and that's because using the flat projection, we have this applied to both sides.
If we just do front, you can see when rendered out, it's actually just on the front, but if we have this on both and I render, you can see that texture on the back. So, using the flat projection, just make sure we just have it on the front side. And even though it shows it on the back side in the view port, when you render, it's not there. So, just one thing to keep in mind. So, let's jump back into our spline shader material. And let me just name this spline shader. And we still need to do a little bit of tweaking, here, because I've just scaled that all crazy for demonstration purposes.
And if I just offset this a little bit, and I need to offset it a little bit for the x to center that up on our cap, and let's just render that. And you can see that, by default, this is actually just rendering a stroked version of our spline. If we actually want this to be a solid, filled in shape, I can just check on fill, and you can see that when I render, it's now a filled shape, but it still has that stroke width, and that's controlled by this line width. So, if I just bring this down to zero, you can see that that stroke's gone and we can see just our spline, filled in as a material, which is really awesome.
So again, I just want to cover, I can zoom in so close and render a nice sharp edges. So, you can see how useful the spline shader is for keeping your text and logo material workflow entirely inside of Cinema 4D. Don't want to wait until next week to learn something new? No problem. Here are other ways to feed your creative brain to keep you busy in the meantime. You can check out my other courses in the library, visit my website, eyedesyn.com for more tutorials, subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when I post a new video, join my Facebook page for daily Mo-Graph inspiration, and keep up to date on all my latest Mo-Graph creations on Instagram.
Thanks for watching, and I'll see you here again next week.
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