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Simple and Cool 3D Part 4: Plugins

Even more easy beginners tools By Ko Maruyama

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While there are plenty of cool tricks that you can incorporate into your 3D project, there are some parts of Cinema that have been better exploited by 3rd party developers.  Sometimes these brainiacs donate their hours of work to users for free.  Yep, Rob heard right.  Free.

Although the community of plugin developers is generally a scattered group, Maxon's website tried to keep up with them, but linking their sites together under the Plugin Cafe.  However, with the ever-growing group that is creating patches and scripts, shaders and plugin tools, it's become too difficult for Maxon to keep up with the current list of 3rd party plugins.  While there are several, I'm going to focus on one plugin: Ian Gorse's PlaceOnPoints2.  Download the free plugin here.  To install it, drag the entire folder into your Cinema 4D plugins folder, then restart the application.

While other plugins might help you to edit your mesh, construct elaborate animation tracks, or aid your workflow by highlighting or annotating specific objects in your project, PlaceOnPoints2 can help you put together some intricate geometry rather quickly.  By cloning one object across the surface of another object, you can build up instances of geometry with a single click.

New in version 2: allows you to use selection tags, vertex maps, targets, multiple objects - and apply secondary POP tags to your referenced geometry.  All good stuff.

If you want to make a group of rocks embedded on a flying carpet, the procedure is fairly simple:

1. Create a plane.  Set the Width and Height segmentation to 4 x 4. (note: POP2 uses geometry's point by default)

2. Create a wind deformer.  Move the wind deformer to the edge of the plane. (By default, a plane is 400x400, so the front edge of your plane is (0, 0, -200)).

3. Drag the wind deformer to the plane, making it a child of the Plane.  Because the wind deformer defaults to Z-displacement, you'll have to change the rotation coordinates of the deformer. (Set rotation to 90, 90, 0).  You'll probably want to change some of the object properties of the wind deformer as well.

Now you have some flappy geometry.

4. Create a sphere (or other geometry that you want to put onto the flying carpet).  Set the sphere's radius to 25m.

5. From the Plugins pulldown menu, select PlaceOnPoints 2.  A plugin null will be created in your object manager.  Simply drag the sphere to the POP null, then drag the plane.  The hierarchy should look like the first image below, and produce something like the second image.

With a little creative editorial, you can create the surfing stones quite easily.

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Related Keywords:MAXON, Cinema 4D, 3D, Graphic design, Matrix Extrude, 3D Camera, Place On Points, Ian Gorse


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