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Extruding multiple splines in CINEMA 4D By Miwa Hirano
In this tutorial we create simple Japanese bridge using Extrude and Duplicate.  While the process is relatively simple, the idea of creating holes in 3D geometry is occasionally confusing.    Sometimes a whole needs to be created by forcing polygons into a particular shape.  Other times, a polygonal tool, such as a boolean operator can be employed to carve one piece of geometry with another.  In this tutorial, we'll explore how to make holes in a spline used for an ExtrudeNURBS object.   Using the ExtrudeNURBS object is probably the easiest way to make geometry from an Adobe Illustrator file in CINEMA 4D.

For more tutorials about getting splines from Adobe Illustrator to MAXON CINEMA 4D, check out Rob Garrott's tutorials or Ko Maruyama's tutorials on The Maxon Channel.

There are several different ways to attack this bridge scene - everyone works slightly differently, so if you have an alternative method, be sure to post your suggestions in the forum here on DMN where Rob Garrott is the moderator.

1. First, create a profile of a Japanese bridge railing in Illustrator and save it as Illustrator 8 file.

You can download the original Japanese Bridge Illustrator file here:

japanese bridge profile-8.ai.zip

2. To import the Illustrator file in C4D, go to File>Merge... and open the Illustrator file. The Illustrator lines will be converted to splines in C4D.

3. We'll extrude this to make a railing. With the splines selected, choose Extrude while pressing the option key. Option key will make the splines, a child of the Extrude. Name the Extrude as "railing".

As you see in the image, this is not what you want. The inside boxes need to be hollow. This happens when the image is made up from multiple paths in Illustrator. We can fix this in C4D. Select all the paths and choose Objects>Connect. Now you have a spline with all the paths combined so disable all the original paths (or delete them) and drag the newly created spline under "railing".

4. Next, we'll make the slats for the bridge. Choose a cube and change the size to X=7m, Y=20m, Z=400m. Name the Cube as "slat". Change the banking to 90 degrees so that the slat is facing up.

5. Now we are going to line up the slats along a curve.

Go to the front view so you see the profile of the bridge. With the Bezier tool, draw a curve along the bridge base. You can tweak the curves with the move tool. Press Shift to tweak the handles. Name this spline as "bridge base spline".

Select the "slat" we created earlier and choose Duplicate from the Functions menu. In the Duplicate attribute, type 30 for the Copies, check the "Generate Instances". Under Options, choose "Along Splines" from the Mode drop down, and drag the "bridge base spline" to the Spline box in the Position section. Check the Realtime Update and click Apply.

I changed the start Pos. to 2% and End Pos. to 98% so that the bottom steps are off the ground but this depends on how you drew the splines so tweak until it looks right to you.

6. Move the railing to the edge of the slats. Duplicate the railing by control dragging it in the Objects window and move the duplicated on to the other edge of the slats.  

Make a red wood texture and apply to the bridge. I added four decorational polls.

If you have any questions, you can ask in the DMNForums.

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Miwa Hirano is a motion graphic designer in Los Angeles area. She has a fine art background and studied graphic design at CalArts and Santa Monica College. She has over several years of experience in print graphic design. As a motion graphic designer, she worked at Form in W. Hollywood. There, she worked on projects for Motorola and NXcare which featured Carmen Elektra. Currently she is a member of Pixel Corps and working on projects with other artisans on the particle team. She is also a member of MGLA. Through her various experiences, she has knowledge of printing process, QuarkXpress, Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects.
Related Keywords:Tutorial, 3D Model, 3D Bridge, Extrude, Adobe Illustrator, CINEMA 4D, c4d

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  • 3D JAPANESE BRIDGE by DMN Editorial at Dec 21, 2006 12:31 am gmt (Rec'd 4)

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