Join Christopher Broeska for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the sweep for the ear, part of Modeling Characters in CINEMA 4D.
The ear is hands down, one of the most difficult reasons of human anatomy for any character model to create with nerves or polygons. We'll start with a Nerve Sweep. From there, we're going to make it Polygonal and start the painstaking process of cutting and stitching this model together. I'll try to keep the anatomy terms to a minimum, and in the end this is just good practice to challenge yourself. So the first thing we're going to do, is do a little housecleaning again. Let's Rename our Loft, Eye. Let's collapse it. And we'll just drag and drop it into our patches, No.
And let's hide the Eye. Now let's start working on that Ear Spline. So we're going to go into our side view and focus on the ear area. Let's select a Linear Spline. And what we're going to do is draw out a 12 point Spline around the outside of the ear. So we'll start right here. We'll click one. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine.
Ten. 11. 12. And now we'll go ahead and select Close Blind in our Attributes Manager. We're going to grab our Move tool and just shift around some of these points so we've got them exactly where we'd like them. Now you might be wondering why up here around the top of the ear we've got so few points. What will end up happening later is, when we do create this as a Polygon and subdivide it, these three points will actually end up making a nice, smooth arc for the ear. And we're trying to keep our Polygons as low as possible so it stitches together much nicely with the rest of the head later.
We're always free to add more cross sections as we need them, when we're in the Polygonal state. But at the moment before we start stitching stuff, I want to try and keep the Poly count as low as we can so we can ensure a nice smooth result when we start stitching everything together. So I'm looking pretty happy with this, shape for the ear. So the next thing I'm going to do, is I'm going to actually center the axis for this Spline. We'll select our Axis tool. And then we'll select Mesh Axis Center. And simply click Execute.
Be sure in Object mode so you can see here. It'll center our axis for the Spline. And the reason I'm doing that, is when we actually use the Sweep, the Sweep is going to be defined by the center axis of the object. And when we first create the Spline, that center axis is going to be way down here by his groin area at zero, zero, zero. So we'll end up getting a real bizarre result if we don't center that axis. Let's just close our Axis Center box for the moment. And let's Rename that Spline Contour. Let's go on our front view, and just move this into position.
So be sure we're on Object mode with our Move Tool. And we'll just slide this over. Oh, we're in Access Mode there, let's turn that off. And we'll slide that over. And now while we're in our front view, let's go ahead and make our profile Spline. Again, I'll grab a Linear Spline. And this time we'll simply create a six point, Linear Spline. Create the interior contour of that ear. And again, we'll repeat that same process. Let's go to Object Mode. Let's grab our Mesh Access Center.
And we'll Center the axis for that object. Then we'll double click and Rename this Profile. Now let's go ahead and Create that la, that Sweep Object. So we'll drag our profile into the Sweep, then our contour underneath the Profile. And it has created our Sweep. And be sure you've got your Profile over your Contour, otherwise it's not going to be Sweeping along the right, Spline. If we reverse that, we're going to get a much different result because it's sweeping the Contour along the Profile. So just be sure that you've got that set correctly.
And now you can see our Sweep is looking a little odd. That's because both of our Splines were created on different planes. This Sweep is, works best if you create Splines on the same plane, but for us this is actually pretty easy to fix. What we're going to do is change the axis of the Profile. So we'll select our Profile. Select our Axis Tool and our Rotate Tool. And now I can literally just click and drag, and roll this object until it's positioned how we like it.
So we'll just keep rotating it on the x. Until it starts resembling the shape that we want. So here I've got the interior area of the Profile Sweep. And you can see it's creating that interior lip of the ear. Alright, I might even roll it just a little bit further. Alright, that's looking pretty good. Now let's make a few changes to our Sweep. I just want to be sure that we've got Caps turned off, because if, without caps turned off, we could end up with extra geometry, when we make this Polygonal. In this case we're not seeing it, but it's always just a good habit to have caps turned off, if you know they're not necessary.
And then we'll change our display to Isoparm so we can see, what our Polygonal object's going to look like when we make it editable. And right now, you can see we do not have enough Isoparm subdivision. So let's go ahead and increase this to 12. And now we've got the correct number of cross sections for our ear. Alright, with our basic shape in place, it looks like we're ready to move on to reconstructing it to better resemble the ear.
- Setting up templates in the viewport
- Creating the proxy model
- Modeling facial features with NURBs patches
- Stitching the elements together
- Creating the torso
- Extruding the arms, legs, hands, and feet
- Setting up the UVs
- Mirroring polygons and UVs