3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

In Cinema 4D, interesting possibilities unfold when you convert primitives to polygons. The entire world of ‘make editable’ appears and this is your world, the world you create. We see exquisite creations; shapes become art, buildings explore architecture. Yet the best part is… you can also do a lot with a little, and will a little training too.

Most of your primitives will step through the window of ’3Dness’ with the assistance of a ‘NURBS’ tool. The ‘Non-uniform rational B-spline’ was coined in the 1950′s by designers applying precise mathematics to free surface(s). The nurbs tools in Cinema 4D take your skeletal shape and almost instantaneously endow with three dimensional shape, texture, and curvature.

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

We see amazing imitations of real life objects from Cinema masters, in movies, in most of the advertisements we see but lets see how easy it is to create a simple one. Since our splines and polygons are two-dimensional, it helps visualize and create the shape you want by drawing the skeleton in a profile view, then applying your nurbs tool, then viewing in full perspective.

Choose the front view by issuing the ‘F4′ shortcut key, then choose the cubic spline tool from the splines menu on top. The cubic tool icon gives you an idea of how it will treat the points you supply. You see an icon shape that looks something like a horseshoe with four equally spaced defining points.

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

Curvature will be applied between each two points based on their distance in the ‘X’ and ‘Y’ direction. This could be height and depth of your final shape, how sharply its face is curved. In our profile, ‘front’ view, picture the outline of a bowl and enter the top, middle, right bottom, then final point in what would be the center of your bowl. In this approach, this is really what we are doing, defining ‘half’ the shapes form that we want our nurbs lathe to create for us. A ceramic bowl might have a nice ‘S’ shape with a flattened bottom, so here enter a point for the top right, indent a bit to indicate how it curves in along the body, add a third back out to the right and near the bottom, where you want the base of this shape to be, then add your final, ‘closure’ point at the bottom on the ‘Y’ axis, at what will be the center of our new shape.

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

Now add a ‘lathe nurbs’ object, then slide your spline on to it, making it a child object. You immediately see a 3D shape with depth and curvature. Render your new shape and you see a very impressive 3D shape, probably a nice curved piece of pottery. Check your nurbs, ‘object->angle’ value. 360 degrees will produce a completed shape. Experiment with reducing this value to see a partial shape. This could be used to show a section cut in an architectural view or any object you would display in a cross section.

Whenever I’m impressed with a new technique and practically instant results, I always add a material from the Cinema library. This always adds yet another dimension of ‘instant reality’ when we create shapes and objects in Cinema 4D. The nurbs family offers a world of definition and projection doing most of the math for you. When you add a preset material, you’re ready to place it on your shelf!

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

3d Shape Pictures

We’ll look at more of the nurbs and how they bridge our 2D world… to reality.

By Tom Womack
Article Source: ezinearticles.com