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Creating NURBS In Cinema 4D

By Ko Maruyama
If it's not straight lined geometry you're after, and you haven't tried playing with NURBS object, this might be of some help to you to create some interesting and organic looking backgrounds for your animations, web design, or fun.

Whether you're new to 3D, or have been playing with it for a while, you may have stayed away from objects not located in the Primitives toolbar.

NURBS are Non-Uniform Rational Bsplines. They produce interesting geometric progressions that, when introduced to edges of objects in 3D space, produce some interesting shapes. The most popular NURB is a HyperNURB which is most frequently used to smooth edges on low-poly models.

The same object.
Left as Polygons only.
Right: Polygon object in a HyperNURB.

The cousins of the HyperNURB are equally interesting. ExtrusionNURBs are fairly safe, adding depth to a spline object. LatheNURBs are also fairly innocuous, They rotate a spline around an axis creating an object in its path. If you've ever used a lathing tool, you know exactly what the procedure produces.

A flower shape
At the top: extruded
At the bottom: lathed

LoftNURBs and SweepNURBs are the more creatively interesting relatives in this bunch.

For organic looking objects, I'll create 2 separate NURB objects. The first employs the Loft NURB. Lofting applies connections between a series of splines. The splines can be similar, or dissimilar. The splines can contain the same number, or an unequal number of points.

First I'll take the same flower shape and duplicate it once.

Now all that is left is to create the Loft NURB parent. In the pulldown menu:
You can also select this from the GUI icon bar. In the default bar, it's located under the HyperNURB icon (the one that looks like a pinched orange box with white anchor dots at the corners).

The LoftNURB looks a bit like a wedge.

Making the two flower splines "children" of the Loft NURB is as easy as dragging the icon for Flower1 and Flower2 on top of the icon for the Loft NURB. The forumula in the Loft Object automatically creates a new object from the two splines.

Right now, it looks not much different from an Extrusion. However, there are a few things we can do right now to change that. The first thing we'll do is rotate the second, or farther spline 60 degrees on the Z-axis. Then, we'll duplicate that spline. In Cinema4D, all you have to do is hold down the Control key while dragging the icon in the Object Manager for the object you want to copy. A little "+" mark will appear once you begin to drag the object around in the manager. Be sure to keep the spline within the Loft NURB parent group, just below the second spline.

Now we'll resize our new flower to 200% of its original size. If you're working in scale relationships in C4D, you only need to change the size from "1" to "2".

After Resizing is complete, move it forward to meet the first (front) spline. This step seems to cover the entire object.

We have to create one more duplicate. Holding down the Control key, click and drag on the last (large) flower spline. This time, we'll scale it back down, and push it back in space.

All that's left to do is drop it into a HyperNURB to smooth it out, and add one of our textures from "No, Really. It's just a Cube".

You can edit these splines' shapes, create your own splines, use text splines, or even import splines from Adobe Illustrator. You can make amazingly complex images with this one tool.

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Related Keywords:Cinema4D, Nurbs, Animation, Modeling, 3D


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