CINEMA 4D has a specific set of spline creation tools which were updated in Release 17. In this video, learn how to use the various tools for creating and manipulating splines.
- [Instructor] Cinema 4D has a specific set of Spline tools which were updated in release 17 and makes Spline creation a very intuitive process. This is where we find all the Spline tools in the interface, just here, if we just click and hold. And if you press on these two line with two dots, you can rip off the tab like so. And I can just right click and change the icon size to be large icons so we can all see what's going on. So we have three groups really, the orange ones are for Spline creation and we can smooth and edit our Splines, which are already editable.
These blue ones are for primitive Splines. These are already created for us with certain parameters that we can change. And we can work in a non-destructive way when using these. And these other ones are for combining shapes and creating custom Splines, so we'll get into that a bit later. Let's first draw our attention to the parametric Spline primitives. And these are the blue ones. So if I just take something like a circle, and I'm going to close this menu.
And we'll look at some of the properties here, in the attributes manager. So we can change the radius, can use the sliders, or if you have the model mode available press t and you can then just scale down as well. And that will effectively change the radius too. And we can make this a ring which will create another inner radius. Turn it into an ellipse, just by checking these boxes. The plane is quite important.
Think about it like this, if you want your Spline to be lying flat on the ground, then you'd want it to be in the x zed plane. So it's pointing up and looking up at the sky in y. Now it's flat on the ground. And if you want it looking over in the distance in the zed direction, then it needs to go on the x y plane. We've already discussed intermediate points in the previous movie, and when you come to create geometry from the Splines, this becomes important.
So as I said, all these Spline primitives are non destructive until you make them editable. You can press this button here, make editable, and you can see in the help there the shortcut is c, so you can just tap c. And what happens is it's converted into a Spline, and it's no longer parametric, all those options have gone. So you'd have to undo to get back to those points. You would make your Spline editable if you wanted to manipulate it further.
For example, if we make this editable now, in point mode the points are now available to us and we can use the move and scale and rotate tools and selection tools over here. We could select say a couple of points and then move them back. We're getting a sort of unique oval. So we can only manipulate Splines in point mode. They don't have edges, they don't have polygons, so these modes won't work. So then you know that you have a point selected when it turns orange.
You can also save selections, if we go over to the select menu, and just choose set selection, that creates a tag which is a point selection. If I click off, and if I double click that it will reload those points which can be useful when you wanna manipulate them further. We use our move tool, we can change the bezier handles that we have here. We have a lot of control over that. You can even rotate those as well.
And you can scale. Let's just delete that now. And just come back up to the Spline menu and we'll look at a couple of others. We know we've got the rectangle here, with a width and height which we can change. We can add rounding all this. And then we have familiar controls such as the plane, and the adaptive, the intermediate points here. So we'll just delete that. And we'll pick another one, the star. Again, familiar controls, inner radius, outer radius, that twist.
So some are unique to the Spline, but there are again very similar ones as well. So once you get used to working with a few of these types of Splines, everything should become a bit more familiar. I'm just gonna make this editable, and we talked about point mode for moving individual points. But if you're in this mode and you actually wanna move the whole Spline, you don't wanna have to just select every single point and move this Spline. You can come back into model mode here, and then you have access to the whole Spline.
You see the bounding box up there around it, so you can move it and manipulate it in that way as well. So those are the parametric Splines, let's look at some of the Spline creation tools. So we'll just grab the pen, and when I'm creating Splines in C4D, I don't really do them in the perspective view and I'll tell you why. If I start creating something. Not really sure if I press Escape, I can just drop the creation mode.
Not really sure what plane that's on. It's not flat, I'd have to go back in and change some of the values of the points. So it's kind of created at the projection of the camera. So what I would do, I'm gonna delete that. I would go into either my top view, my front view, or even a side view. Generally speaking, maybe the front view would be best, and I would probably turn on snapping, so you can enable snapping here. The other shortcut is if you press P on the keyboard, and that will bring up a little menu underneath your mouse, and you can enable snapping.
Vertex snapping is enabled by default, but you could also start with grid points and things like that. So, then you can start creating some kind of shape. And this is in bezier mode. Now, one thing I wanted to point out, I think in previous versions of C4D, you couldn't just close off a Spline. But you see now we can, just by going back to the first vertex and the icon changes. And if you click on that, we indeed have a closed Spline. If you wanted to open up again, just uncheck that box.
So we have a closed Spline. If we go back into the pen tool, you can decide what type of Spline is being created, linear, cubic, akima. Bezier is usually the most useful, because you get these handles that you can move around. But again, once you've created your Spline, you can change the type. And you can go back. So in that respect, it is quite non-destructive. Let's just get back to the options of that tool, and I'm using the recent tools list here. And one thing you can check on, if you're creating a Spline like this, and then you go in and start doing another Spline.
Instead of creating a new one, it started by creating a new one, if you looked in the object manager, but then it brought it back into our original shape. And sometimes you might not wanna do that. If I undo a few steps, get back to where we were, you can see create new Splines. And then when I come around here and just create this, it's gonna create a new Spline, separate from the original one. So let's look at how we can alter this shape with some of the other tools here.
So we've got this sketch which is like a free hand tool. I'm gonna delete the Spline I've just made. And I'm sketch something out here, and I'll close this Spline up. So now, you can see that's just a real free hand sketch. We can come back into our selection tools and select a point, you see it turns orange, we can delete points that we don't like. We can also right click and choose create point, or use the keyboard shortcut m + a and this will give you another tool where you can create points.
However, we can also press command, or control, and you'll get this little icon here. And you can create points that way too. Another way of manipulating points is using the Spline smooth tool. So this will smooth out if I click and drag. And it's set to smooth, and you can dial this in the way you like this. Other modes here as well such as the spiral, so it's doing spiral and smooth, like a smooth spiraling.
If I just turn that off, maybe it's just gonna spiral everything. Yep. There you go, getting some twists there. And if we didn't like that, we can just smooth it out. And what this is doing is sort of moving and changing points to best accommodate the function that you have here. So that's a look at those tools. And finally, let's just have a quick look at the Spline arc tool. If we create a Spline you can see it's giving us a little gizmo here, and something to follow which should facilitate creating an arc, so.
We could come this way come out this way. You can start building up really intricate shapes that would be very tricky or slower to create otherwise. So that was a look at the Spline creation tools and how you can manipulate Splines. Hopefully you can see the power and control available to you within C4D.
- Setting up scenes
- Modeling with splines
- Using Illustrator files in C4D
- Extruding depth and detail
- Animating in the Timeline
- Creating clones
- Using effectors
- Lighting motion graphics
- Applying materials
- Creating animated materials
- Compositing multipass renders with After Effects and C4D
- Rendering motion graphics in C4D