How to Work with Sculpting Layers in Cinema 4D Essentials 6
Working with sculpting layers
Now that we've got our geometry ready for sculpting, we can begin the process. Now, that process is a little bit time consuming, so rather than do the entire piece of type, I'm going to work on just a small area up here in the upper left-hand corner. In order to help you understand the process that I went through, I have open in the background under the Window menu a sculpting-layers -EXAMPLE file, and this is in the Exercise Files. And this is the finished type object, and we're going to be actually creating these weld marks on here, and these pinches, and stuff.
And so let's take a look at the layer structure that I used. Let's go to the Layers menu, and switch over to the Sculpting layout if you're not already in there. And here in the Sculpting layout, I can now see my layers. Let's bring that down a bit. And you can see I've labeled my layers. I've got a base object. These layers are named after what I did in each of them. So I started with the base object; that's the very first step, and that's where you subdivide your object, and make it ready for sculpting. So let's go back to our START file, and let's start off by saving this as a working file.
So let's go to the main File menu, and do a Save As, and let's, in the Exercise Files, in the sculpting subfolder, let's call this one Sculpting-layers-WORKING. Now, don't worry about the .c4d; CINEMA 4D will automatically put that on there for you, and I'll Save that. Now we can get out of Point mode, and let's go ahead and subdivide our object. First of all go to the Objects manager, and make sure that you actually have the correct object selected. Then you can go back to the Sculpting Layers, and click the Subdivide tool.
Now that starts the subdividing process, and we want to click up to Level 5, so let's go 0, there's Level 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. And that last one is going to give us just the polygons we need. So that's our base object. Let's Command+S or Control+S to save the file, and let's make a new sculpting layer. Click that button once; let's go back to the Window menu, and check our EXAMPLE file. And in this first layer is where I did the pinching, and I did the pinching just on the edges here.
So let's go back to the WORKING file, and we're going to get the Pinch tool, and then rename our layer. We'll call this one Pinching, and now we're doing the pinching on the sides. Now, under the Pinch tool, if you click on the fx option, there's a random Pen Pressure that's been set there already; I'm going to hit Cancel. And that's going to create a really nice behavior for the Pinch tool that makes it very sort of uneven feeling, and that's just what we want. So let's go into the area that we're going to focus on. Remember, I'm not going to do the whole thing; I'm just going to start in this area up here.
And let's go in and start to pinch. And I want to focus on the transition from the face to the sides. And let's run the brush down just a little bit. You can see, as I go back and forth over the edges here, it creates a nice transition. Let's make the brush just a little bit smaller. Now I'm clicking -- oops; I middle mouse clicked, and I forgot to drag. Let's middle mouse click to get back to the Perspective view. Middle mouse, and then drag to the left to make the brush smaller, and let's get in just in that area there. You can see that it makes a nice transition to the sides.
And one of the nice things about this process is that it's very organic; you don't have to get real precise with the tool. I'm going to work my way down the side there. Let's make the brush a little bit larger in this area. There we go. You can see it's no real wrong answer on this, except maybe to do too much. But I think that will do nicely, and I'll grab that side right there, undo that one; I missed a little bit.
I want to kind of go right down the edge to get that transition, and grab that one. Oops! Undo; I don't want to get the face yet. I just want to focus on the edges; there we go. I think that's pretty good. Okay. Let's save our working file, Command+S or Control+S, and then go back to the Window menu, and go into the Sculpting-layers-EXAMPLE. And the next step is the ridge pinch, and I've got the same random Pen Pressure set there.
So let's go back now, and let's start off by making a new sculpting layer. Let's call this ridge pinching, and in the ridge pinching layer we're going to focus on just the ridges here. And so let's zoom in on that area, and then we'll run our brush over just that spot. Let's make the brush a little bit smaller, and then focus on that. Oops, I missed that one a little bit; there we go. Bring the paint down that way a little bit. And if you go a little crooked, undo that, and you can get again.
Remember, you don't have to be super precise with this. I don't want to have two ridges, though, so you want to be careful that you actually hit the same spot twice. Make the brush a little bit larger; there we go, and that starts to really raise that ridge up. There we go. I'll work my way around there. That's enough. I'm not going to concentrate much on the rest of the type, so I'll get just that little bit, and run it down the edge there. I think that's pretty good. Nice.
So that's a pretty good job on the ridge pinching. Let's save, Command+S or Control+S, and go back and check the next layer. So, in the example, the next thing I did was to create a ridge with an inverted stamp. So let's go back to the WORKING file, and the Stamp option creates a pattern based on an image on the surface of your object, and there are some really cool Presets. So let's click over on the Presets, and in these Presets, I'm going to change the View to a list, and then let's double-click in here, and go into Sculpting, and then into Sculpt Brush Presets, and let's go into Scratches.
Now, the scratch that I want to use for this process is going to be, I think probably scratch_11 or scratch_12 will do nicely. So let's grab 11, and I'll double-click, and that takes us into the Pull tool, and if we go back to our Sculpting Layers, make sure that we're in the right sculpting layer, and then the Stamp option has been set; it's loaded with a brush. Let's go out here, and click once, and drag down. If I drag left or right, that rotates it. I want to drag once, and you can see that when I do that, it creates an indention based on that image that you saw on the preset.
Now, what I want to do is to create an extrusion. So I'll undo that, and I'll hold down the Control key, and when I drag out, it's going to make an extrusion. I think that's a pretty good size. Let's go back now, and work our way around the ridges with this tool. So let's start over here, and kind of work out an area on the ridge. You notice that I'm kind of dragging along with it, and I want to be careful about how big I'm making these marks.
Now, I just made a mistake in all these brush strokes; I forgot to hold down the Control key, and you can see that I'm actually creating an indention on my surface, and I don't want to do that. So let's undo all those brushstrokes, Command+ Z or Control+Z, and this time I'm going to hold down the Control key when I make my stroke. So let's hold down the Control key, and I'm dragging to the right each time I click, and that's going to create that extrusion. I can work my way around; let's give it a little orbit.
You can see that it's creating those -- they look like little mountain ranges almost. And let's go down here; yup, you've got to remember to hold down the Control key, so that you can actually invert that. And I just remembered a very cool shortcut. If we go to the Settings on the Pull tool -- let's raise that up here -- at the very bottom is an Invert button.
This will save us from having to hold down that Control key. So let's click on the Invert button, and now by default, the tool will create that extrusion, and if you hold down the Control key it will create the indention. So let's undo that last stroke, and let's just do an extrusion around. So now, with that Invert key checked off, I can work a lot faster -- oops; undo that one -- without having to worry about accidentally making too big of a mark. There we go.
I am going to add a little bit of width to that bead. Yeah, not bad. And so the idea is to make this little sort of mountain range down your object; here we go. I think that's going to do nicely. Let's get a little bit of more width in this area; there we go.
I think that's pretty good. Let's save this; Command+S or Control+S, and that's pretty good for the ridge pinching. Let's go back to our Window menu, and go back to our EXAMPLE, and take a look at the layers here; let's lower that down. So that was our ridge with the inverted stamp. Now we're ready for the Inflate brush, and this is where it starts to look like a weld. So let's go into the Window menu, and go back to WORKING. Let's make a new sculpting layer, and let's call this one inflate. Now, the Inflate tool moves polygons along their normal, and so when I click and drag with it, you'll see that's it's going to bulge these things out.
Now, I don't want to bulge the whole thing; I want to bulge a very small area. And so let's make the brush nice and small; about the same size as the ridge line itself, and let's go through, and start to drag through. Now that's little bit too much Pressure, so let's undo that. So let's make the Pressure really low, and then come back and drag across. We'd rather do it multiple times than have one that was too big. So now you can just kind of work your way down. You can see it really starts to look like that weld that we have.
If you stray outward a little bit, that's okay; that's all just part of the marking process I think. Let's get the end here a little bit; there we go. Nice. Now we come down here on the front; nice. There we go. Now I think it's really starting to look like a weld. There's one more step we have to do. So let's save this, and go back to the Window menu, and take a look at the layers example, and the next thing is the smoothing.
Let's go back to our Window menu, and go to the WORKING file, and here we're going to grab this Smooth brush. And the Smooth tool literally does smooth out the layers. You can see I just did that brushstroke right there. I'll undo that. Now, the first thing we should do is make a new sculpting layer. So let's click on make a new sculpting layer, and let's call this one smoothing. And let's use a very small brush; about the same size as our bead, and a very low pressure, because we don't want to smooth too much, so about 5% ought to do.
Let's run that smoothing brush over the weld, and what that does is it just kind of eliminates a lot of the jagged edges; makes it feel a little more organic. Of course, you don't want to run it too much. If you run it too much in the same spot, it will really soften those things up too much, so I'll undo that, and I want to have a little bit of a jagged to them. And what you do is just run that across, and just run it down the front here too; very nice.
What you're left with is something that looks a lot like a jagged weld on the surface of your type. So let's review the layers that we did here. That's one of the great things about the sculpting engine is that you can start over, and turn these things off and on at will. And I'm going to work backward in time, so that last layer was the smoothing. If I turn that off, you can see it goes rough again. And then we inflated it, and then we created the ridge pinching, and then we created the pinch on the sides, and that is our base object. So there's the base object, there's the sides pinched, here's the ridge pinching, here's the inflate, and there's the smoothing.
So you can see that's a pretty decent formula for that beaded weld. Now, keep in mind that the Sculpt tool is way more powerful than what I'm using here. What I tried to do in this example is show you the kind of project that you might have to do on a regular basis if you're a motion graphics artist. Now, if you're a hardcore modeler, and you're having to create very intricate, organic objects, I would definitely recommend spending a lot more time getting to understand the layers, and all of the other sculpting tools.
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