Getting Started with Cinema 4D, Part 05: Introduction to Generator Objects - Part 2: Lathe Objects

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In this video, you will be introduced to another type of generator object called a Lathe Object that will allow us to build our fishbowl element.

In this video, you will be introduced to another type of generator object called a Lathe Object that will allow us to build our fishbowl element. Like the Extrude Object, Lathe Objects also need to utilize a spline to be able to generate a 3D form.

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Let's go ahead and explore another generator object that is commonly used. And this new generator is actually going to help us create the fishbowl and the sand that our submarine will be floating inside of. Now the generator object we're going to be using is the Lathe. Now you can see the little icon, basically, the Lathe Object is good for, you know, wine glasses, cans or something that is a bowl shape. So, basically, how the Lathe works, if I go ahead and grab my Lathe, I'm just going to demonstrate very quickly what the Lathe Object does. I'll just go to my front view. Now, what I'll do is grab my Pen Tool and just start drawing a spline, okay? And I'll just hit Escape to get out of my Pen Tool and I'll place my spline underneath as a child of the lathe. And if we go to my perspective view, you'll see what we just created. So, basically, what the lathe does is it revolves and creates geometry based off of rotating along or around the y-axis here. So you can see as we kind of move the spline points here, we're getting something that looks kind of like a bowl. And what you're going to see is that, as I move this closer to the y-axis, you're going to see that this hole at the bottom is actually closing. So if I actually zero out this point on the X, that actually closes up that hole. So as long as this point is on the zero centimeter in the X and Z, it will close completely and there won't be that hole, okay? Now as far as this top part, I'm totally fine with having this be open at the top because, of course, a fishbowl is open on the top as well. So we can just use this spline and continue building onto it to create our little fishbowl element. So I'm just going to grab these little spline points here, just adjusting to make, you know, kind of a fat bowl that can fit the submarine inside and let's create the little lip element here. Now if you want to add on to a spline, we can hold down the command key to add a point and that will actually add a point on to the end of the spline. The problem is the end of the spline is down here and if I turn off the Lathe Object, you can actually tell the beginning and end of the spline based on the color gradient that is applied to the spline. So the end of the spline is this blue. The beginning of the spline is white, okay? So if I want to add on to the end of the spline, it's actually adding on to this point right here. But, actually, I want to add on to this point here. So what we can do is with our spline selected, okay, I'm just going to right-click and I can actually say, "You know what? Reverse the sequence of points." And what this is going to do is change my first point to the last point and my last point to the first point. So you can see that if I Command + Click, it'll actually add on to this point. And this is the exact direction that I want to be adding points on to. So this is great. So now I can add basically the thickness to this little bowl element here. So I'm just Command or Control + Clicking and dragging, adding more points. And, again, I want to zero out the X here so we won't have that hole at the bottom. I just want to make sure, just go to my front view here, that the thickness is pretty consistent here. And, again, this is a linear point so I can just right-click and go to Soft Interpolation, zoom in here and, you know, just round that out, smooth that out, change that from the linear point to a Bezier handle point and just get a nice, little lip on this fishbowl, maybe add a point here. So, to add to a existing spline. So I want to add a new point right about here. I am, again, going to hold down the Command or Control key again, making sure we're in the point mode. And you're going to see this little icon, this cluster of dots. And if I click, you're going to see that that added a point directly to my existing spline. I'll do that for this part of the spline here, Command + Click or Control + Click if you're on the PC to create a new point there. And then just going to do some fine tuning here. And I think this is looking pretty good. All right, so let's turn on the Lathe. So I'm just going to change that X, click on the X to change it to a checkmark and that'll activate our Lathe Object there. And you're going to see that this doesn't exactly look like a fishbowl just yet. So let's go ahead and make this lip a little bit more flaring out, something like this. And maybe we go ahead and select both of these points. So, again, just holding the Shift key down to select multiple points or to add to your selection and maybe do something like this, and maybe select and hold Shift down, and select these points and just move everything up. So it's kind of moving things around. I think that's looking kind of fishbowly right there. I think I'm liking the shape of that, maybe make this a little thicker. Now we can also do rectangular selections by hitting the zero key and that'll bring up our Rectangular Selection Tool. So this is an easier way to just be able to click and drag and select points, hit E for the Move Tool, and then just start adjusting here. Now, there's a couple other shortcut keys that are good for selecting points. If I hit nine, this will actually bring up the Live Selection Tool. You know, I can just click and drag, and select all these points that I want. If I go ahead and click the eight key or press the eight key, you can see I have this Lasso Selection, so, 0, 9, and 8 are very handy selection tools. So let's go ahead, let's grab these points. Let's make this a little thicker. And really the tool I use the most is really the rectangle tool...Rectangular Selection Tool. So we'll just go and do something a little bit like that. Cool. Looking good. So now we have our little fishbowl element. Let's go and rename this lathe to Fishbowl and then we'll double-click on the spline and rename this Fishbowl Spline. So, again, we're keeping everything nice and organized. Now the problem with making something like this bowl here is we can no longer see any of the elements inside. We can't see our little submarine in there anymore. Well, luckily, we can turn into Superman, put on our X-ray vision and we can do that and look through, and see through the fishbowl by going on to the Lathe Objects Basic tab and you'll see this little option called X-ray. If we check this on, you'll see that we can now look through the fishbowl and actually can see all of the objects in the side. So this is handy to just be able to keep working and see what everything's looking like. And, alternatively, you can just, you know, toggle the Lathe Object on or off again by clicking this little checkbox and changing it to an X or vice versa. So whatever you want to do, I like using a little bit of both, the X-ray, as well as just checking the Lathe on and off. Cool. So we got our fishbowl going. So now what I want to do is create some sand. So I'm going to use another Lathe Object. And what I can do is actually just create a new Lathe, name this Sand because this will help us create the sand. And let's go into our front view here and create our first point. And while I'm actually building this, I can actually place this spline as a child of the sand lathe. And now I can actually see...if I bring up my floor up view, I can actually see the geometry we are generating. Now I want to get this curve. Let me undo that, Command or Control + Z. And I just want to make sure that this curve, the spline curve, kind of matches the fishbowl curve. Again, I'm going to make sure that this last point ends at zero in the X. So I'll just make sure that that's the case. And I can just go and adjust this, so maybe the sand level, get this a little bit lower, move this up. Again, I want to make sure that these two points that meet on the y-axis here are zeroed out in the X, okay? So, again, we have that issue of, you know, things looking kind of weird. And then, especially, if you go past the X and you go into the negative X, you'll start to see all these overlapping polygons and you'll have that little mess going on there. So just make sure you zero everything out in the X and Z and there we go. We've got our little sand there. Again, zooming in here, making sure that the sand is not overlapping anything, not overlapping our fishbowl, geometry on our lathe for that and there we go. So you can see this is the fishbowl lathe right here, and here's my sand. So I just want to make sure we're just placing it right on top and looking good. So now we can go back into our perspective view, make sure we rename this spline to the Sand Spline. And there we go. We got our sand, we got our fishbowl, looking really nice. Now what we can do is just start adding some more detail to this scene. So we have our sand, why don't we go and add some little seaweed. So we're just going to make some very primitive seaweed with some Primitives, pardon the pun, but we'll just grab a Capsule Object in here, we'll double-click, rename t his Seaweed. And go into our object or model mode and this will allow us to get our little handles to edit the model, okay? So, again, we're just going to move these in place, hit the T key for some scale, and just kind of move these around, Command + Click and Drag, to just duplicate these little seaweed elements in our scene and move this all around in our scene as well. So, again, we're utilizing all of our shortcut keys for navigation, our 1, 2, 3 keys, you're going to hold Command or Control, and click and drag to duplicate this little seaweed here, make this a little bit taller. And, basically, just, you know, Bob Rossing it, putting all of these little happy seaweeds wherever you feel they should live. And we'll come back and you know, actually adjust these later, add a little bit more detail to these little seaweeds a little bit later on. But I think this is looking pretty good. So just little, you know, simple capsules that represent the seaweed here. And what we can do to add a little bit more interest to the sand is to use yet another primitive object and this time it's one we haven't covered yet and that's the Landscape Object. If I go ahead and add this Landscape Object here, you can see that we have some really interesting Object Properties. And, basically, it looks like you just created a mountain here, okay? Now I really encourage you to play around with all the different Primitives and all of their options because they're all really unique and can do a bunch of different things. So, basically, what I'm going to use this landscape for is just make this small enough and just add nice little details to the sand so it's not so flat. So what I'm going to do is adjust the little rough furrows and you can see what's going on there if I just zoom in, that if I remove the rough furrows percentage, it's kind of just smoothing everything out. We're losing all that fine detail. Again, with the fine furrows, very fine furrows. We are just removing some of the smaller indents and, basically, just smoothing everything out. Now we have the overall scale, which is actually scaling the noise that is creating all of these deformations in this Landscape Object. And Multifractal is, basically, you know, like adding fractal noise. It's just using more than one fractal to create the distortion. So, again, we can just smooth everything out. That's looking pretty good. Let me just rename this Sand Mounds. And again, Command or Control + Click and Drag to duplicate this, I can hit the R key to rotate this. You can maybe move this over here, make sure that the little landscape object is not actually poking out of our sand. And one easy way to iterate with the landscape object is to just change the seed of the noise that's driving the displacement on our landscape object. So if I just changed the seed here, you can see we're getting completely different little mounds of sand from our Landscape Object. And, you know, this is looking pretty good, okay? So, again, we can adjust the size, the scale, the positioning, But, basically, this is making our sand look a lot more interesting than being just completely flat. Let's go and select the sand mound. The one thing you're going to notice is that you want to click all these objects but since the fishbowl is actually in the way, even though if the X-ray is on, we just keep selecting the fishbowl. So, again, this is an opportunity for us to just shut off the fishbowl and now we can go in here and actually select things inside the fishbowl there. And maybe remove more of the details here, smooth this out, move these fine furrows and the rough furrows on these sand mounds. smooth everything out, maybe see what the different seeds for this little landscape object does. And something like that looks pretty good. I just want to make sure that our Landscape Object is not actually intersecting our submarine, that would be bad. And there we go. You can see a little bit of this Landscape Object poking out over there. And this is always a good thing to, you know, look at all of your four views and maybe notice that this little bit is sticking out there. So, again, we can just move this back, make this a little skinnier, just manipulating these little handles and perfect. So we added some more details. We added our seaweed, we added our sand mounds, and everything's inside this nice, little fishbowl. Now, you'll notice that things are getting a little bit unwieldy and this is a good opportunity to start grouping objects together, place them under what's called a Null Object, just to keep things nice and organized. So what I can do is just click and drag to get my rectangle selection. And I know all of these top parts are the fishbowl elements, except for I accidentally grabbed my fins from my submarine. So to remove an object from your selection, just hold the Command or Control key and just click, and that will remove that object from your selection. And now you'll see we have all of the fishbowl, the seaweed, the sand mounds, and the sand selected. And now to group all of these objects together, I just need to simply right-click, go all the way down to Group Objects, and the shortcut key is Alt + G. And you'll see once I group up these objects together, it places all of my objects in a Null and If I click this little plus sign, that unfolds all of the objects that are inside of this Null And I can double-click this Null and rename this to Fishbowl Group, okay? So now when I'm not, you know, messing with any of the objects in there, I can just collapse it and same thing for all of these other objects here. So instead of right-clicking and going to Group Objects, I could also just go ahead and create a new Null. it's in the Primitives menu. So just grab a Null. And this is good because I know I want my access center, basically, to be dead center on the submarine hull. And you'll see that our submarine hull is just zeroed out, it's perfectly aligned to dead center of our viewport grid. So this is the same thing with the null, it's just dead center in our viewport grid. And I'll just rename this to Submarine Group and just click, drag, get my rectangle selection, grab all of these objects, make sure I have them all, command Z to undo those moves, and then just click and drag, make sure that the arrow is pointing down and that'll make all of those objects children of this one null. The great thing about this is we can now rotate along the center of our little submarine and we don't have an access center up here or anywhere else that doesn't make sense. And this is going to be important for animating later on, to make sure that our access centers are all positioned nicely. Now for the fishbowl group, it doesn't really matter that if we rotate this, this isn't actually rotating around the center of, like, the bounding box of all the geometry included because we're not going to be animating this fishbowl at all. So that's fine. So there's loads of other types of generator objects. You can notice that they're all color-coded green here. But, basically, I want to drive home the fact that if you want to know anything more about any other kind of object, say, maybe you want to know what a Metaball is. Well, there's something very, very useful inside of Cinema 4D and it's called the Help menu. It's Show Help, okay? And if I click on Show Help, I can search any kind of term. So I want to search this Metaball Object, so I'll just type in Metaball and this will bring up all there is to know about the Metaball, okay? And you can scroll through here, learn all about it. And basically, you can do this for any type of object or you can go ahead and say, click on any attribute here, right-click and go to Show Help. And this will do the same thing. This is going to be huge to help you really learn more about Cinema 4D. And I really want you to just take advantage of this because the Cinema 4D Help menu browser is one of the most thorough and useful help menus in any kind of software that I've ever used. So be sure to take advantage of it, use it and abuse it, and really get the most out of Cinema 4D.
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