Join Donovan Keith for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the general shape with Bézier splines and the Lathe object, part of Digital Product Photography with CINEMA 4D.
For many manufactured objects, Cinema 40's spline modeling tools are more than sufficient for a realistic end result. In this video, we'll trace the outline of our bottle with the Bezier spline tool. Now if this is an unfamiliar topic to you, you may want to watch my course on Primitive and Spline Modeling in Cinema 4D, which will go over these techniques in more detail. Think of this more as a practical application of those techniques. Here is what we're shooting for. We have our reference imagery here and I've also already gone through the process of tracing and chamfering the edges of my spline.
So let's just go through this together and see how to create a similar end result. So I've opened up my spline file and I'm going to go into my front view. Now in order to trace out my spline, I'm going to use the bezier spline tool, but when I click I notice that the points of my spline aren't showing up and that's because my reference imagery is exactly at the center of my world, so I want to select my reference object. Take my move tool and my model mode and just shift it back on z about one unit. This way, when I draw my splines, they'll show up nice and easily.
Now, I'm going to go into my bezier spline tool, and I'm just going to click out some individual points. I'm going to start out in the center of my scene here at the base and click out along the corners. Now we're going to come back and tidy up these points a little bit later. So don't worry about any little inaccuracies that you may find as you go through this process. I'm skipping over this larger section in the middle because it's going to be hidden by a label, so we don't have to worry about trying to add in that detail. And i'm not worried about the roundings because i'm going to come back in just a second and chamfor all of those.
I'm adding a point to the middle of this large round section, because I'm going to soften that a little bit later, and then I'm also coming up here and I'm actually going to skip over the detail that you see in terms of this lip that's jetting out as well as the label. Because we're going to do some polygon modeling later and, our jobs will be easier if we don't actually add that detail in just yet. So, now that I've got all those points laid out I'm going to come back and I'm going to select some of them in groups and scale them down either on x or on y. To ensure that they're parallel. So to make my job a little bit easier I'm going to toggle between my selection tool and my move tool and now I can just use my spacebar to toggle between those.
I'm going to select the very first point, and I want to insure it's located at zero, zero. And then I'm going to select the two points along the bottom. . I'm going to set there y scale to zero to ensure they're nice and flattened out. And then I want to select the points that compose the outermost region of my bottle. And I want to scale those down on x to zero. So they are parallel. And then I'm going to come in. And I'm going to select the inner lips. And I want to ensure that those are parallel as well. And set their excise to zero.
And then the innermost portion right here, I want to select those three points, scale them down on X to zero so that they are parallel as well. And then last but not least, I want to come all the way up in here and select my top two points and I want to ensure that this is straight up and down and parallel, so again I'm just going to set the X scale here to zero. That ensures I've got a nice straight line. Next up I want to come back and then just interactively chamfer each of these points. So I'm going to take my selection tool, select a point, select my chamfer tool by right clicking, and then just click and drag to interactively round it.
And I'm going to do that for pretty much each and every one of these points. I might be able to get away with multiple selecting some of these points. And chamfering them all together. And I may have more luck with some than with others. Now if you find that some of your images are hard to make out. You can go into your settings for your material, and adjust your resolution on that image, and it'll show up a little more clearly. But, because I know the shape of this object pretty well, I can skip that. Last step, what I want to do is select this point on the larger rounded section, and choose soft interpolation, and choose soft interpolation, and just adjust the handles there.
Now feel free to go back there and tweak this or build these lines in Illustrator and import them in yourself if you prefer to that. But I believe I've got a pretty good shape here by simply tracing one half of the bottle's profile, we're able to accurately reproduce its shape. And the champfor tool allowed us to precisely convert those sharp points that we added into nice roundings.