Creating, Texturing and Rendering a Wine Bottle & Box: Use Edge to Spline to Create a Package

Photo of Raymond Olsen

Instructor Raymond Olsen

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  • Duration: 10:35
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  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 19 and greater

Using edge to spline and extrude to model an object that surrounds another object.

To create the wine package’s cardboard insert we’ll start with the current state to object command giving us an editable copy of the wine bottle instance. Then we activate viewport solo on the new copy to isolate it in the viewport, and use a loop selection in edge mode to select the wine bottle profile. Next the edge to spline tool is used to create a copy of the profile. The editable wine bottle copy is no longer needed after that so it’s deleted. After that the create outline tool is used on the spline to introduce a gap between the wine bottle and the spline. A rectangle spline primitive is then made to define the outside edge of the insert. After lining these two splines up on the same world Y coordinates, the connect and delete tool is used to merge them into one spline which will then be extruded to make our insert.



In this video, we'll make the cardboard insert, which holds the wine bottle in place. First, we'll use the Edge to Spline Tool to extract a copy of the wine bottle's profile. Then we'll offset the profile to introduce a small gap between the wine bottle and the curve. Next, we'll combine the offset curve with a rectangle, using the Connect and Delete Tool, and then extrude the combined spline to make the insert. I wanted to give you a quick parameter on the Extrude Tool, just in case you're not familiar with it. I've got two spline paths in this scene right here. One is just a regular rectangle. And I've got a second spline that I've compounded a circle inside a rectangle with. And just so you'll have a better idea of what we're doing as we do it, I wanted to show you on these simple objects. So, I've got my rectangle selected, and I'm going to Alt+create an extrude. And it uses that spline shape and pushes a shape straight out from it. And depending on your object, it may or may not look right to begin with. A lot of the times, if your object is offset, it'll look a little weird, like it's extruding straight up in the Y axis, when really you want it to extrude out in the Z axis. So, if it doesn't look quite right when you do your objects, just try playing with those values. And then when we do the same thing on this compound path, you can see it extrudes with a hole in it. And that's essentially what we'll be doing in this video. I just wanted to give you a quick example, just in case you had never used that tool before. Now we can go ahead and get started with the real thing. Let's go ahead and start this video out with an incremental save of our file. Takes me up to V4, and we're going to be creating this orange insert here. And to do that, we need two splines. We need a square spline, that lines the inner border of our box, and we need another spline that hugs the contour of this wine bottle. So, let's go ahead and create those. Let's start out by not looking through our camera anymore to preserve our layout for the render. And we want to create that wine bottle spline first. To do that, we're going to use the wine bottle, but this is an instance, and we can't really do anything with an instance. So, I'm going to right-click the instance, and say Current State to Object, and that makes an editable copy of our instance that we can work with. So now, if I select this bottle in Edge Mode, you can see all the edges are being highlighted now. To make this easier to work on, I'm going to introduce Viewport Solo in this video. If you click right here, you can see all the Viewport Solo icons. And if you release with the top bar highlighted, it'll give you a floating palette that you can use. I'm going to go and keep that open for this tutorial. And with the wine bottle group instance selected, I'm going to hit Viewport Solo Hierarchy. And this is just for viewports. If you render, everything will show up in the render. But this just makes it easier to work. So, I'm going to grab the wine bottle, and I'm going to go into Display, Hidden Line, make this a little less complicated in the viewport. And we want the edge that lines the equator of this wine bottle, this one right here. You can see we're doing one edge at a time right now, with the regular selection. If you go to Select, Loop Selection, you can then highlight and select loops in your mesh. As long as your mesh is all quads or four-sided polygons, you'll be able to do this all the way around your object, which this object is. So, if we go ahead and select that equator edge, you can see it goes all the way around our object. Now, I want to go up to Mesh, Commands, Edge to Spline, and that's going to split off this edge into a separate spline that we can use. So if I go back to Model Mode, activate the Move Tool and move it up, you can see it's a perfect copy of that edge from the mesh. So, I'm going to undo that to put it back into place. But remember, we want that gap in-between the wine bottle and the cardboard insert. So with our spline selected, I'm going to go back up to the Mesh menu, and in Spline, there's a Create Outline Tool, which we're going to use. So, I'm going to go ahead and activate that. And in the viewport, with the spline selected, you can just click and drag and you can see it's making an outline. This is exactly like offset path in Illustrator. Because of the small corners in this spline, though, we're getting intersections as the values get larger. So I just wanted to show you the tool to begin with, but I'm going to undo that, and we're going to use this distance dialog to input our own value. So, 0.1 is the value that I came up with, 0.1 centimeters, and I'm also going to activate Create New Object. Otherwise, it's going to put the new spline and the old spline in this spline object, and I want it to split off to a new object. So, with 0.1, I'm just going to hit Apply, and now you can see we have two splines here. I'm just going to delete the original and that leaves us with this guy, which is offset 0.1 from the original spline. So, that's all we need for the wine bottle spline. Now, we just need to make the rectangle spline that lines the inside of the box. So, I'm going to pull our wine bottle spline out of that hierarchy, and let's go ahead and delete that editable copy, because we don't need it anymore. Now, I want to grab the wine bottle spline and the wine box bottom, and let's Viewport Solo Single those. I don't need any of the children. So, Viewport Solo Single will just give you the active objects that you've got selected. And now, let's go ahead and make a rectangle. If I hit S to frame it up, it's way too big. So, I'm just going to scale it straight down. And that's pretty good on the width. I'm going to move it up and kind of eyeball-center it. Then over here in the Object tab, I'm going to go over to height. And it's offset, it's not centered up with the box, and a quick way to do center objects, as long as the object's axis is centered, which I know this one is, you can just grab this rectangle, drop it right into the box hierarchy, and it's now using this object's coordinates as its world. So, if we just zero out the coordinates, that'll kind of take it to the origin of this box, which is in the center. So now, that box spline is centered. Take it back out of the hierarchy. So, if we adjust the heighth, they're both going to hit the box at the same time now. So, I can kind of zoom in here and adjust the heighth. And I'm using Alt+click as I scrub, and that gives me a tenth of a unit with every Alt+click. With every single click, you get a full unit. And if you want finer control, you can come up to Edit Preferences, and drop this from centimeters to millimeters, over here in the units. And now, we've just divided everything by 10. So, if I Alt+click this, we're getting a 10th of a millimeter, which gives you much finer control. So, I'm going to go ahead and dial those values in. I'm going to go back to my preferences, set that back to centimeters. So, that's all we need. We've got our two splines now. But before we can extrude those splines, I need to make sure that they're on the same plane in the Y axis. So, let's grab our rectangle and our wine bottle spline and just Viewport Solo those. And you can see they are offset. So, I'm just going to grab the Y coordinates of that wine bottle spline. I'm just going to paste those right in here. So now, they're on the same Y plane, and all we have to do now is connect these two splines, and then we can use those to extrude our cardboard insert. So, I'm just going to Ctrl+click to select both those splines, and I'm going to right-click again and say Connect Objects + Delete. So now, these are one spline, much like a compound path in Illustrator. So if we Alt+click and Extrude, that makes our new spline the child of the extrude. Looks like it's extruding in the wrong direction, so let's just go over to the object. Let's cut that out of the Z and put that into the Y. There we go. And I'm just going to make that a little smaller, and I believe two millimeters was the value I came up with. And you can type in millimeters, even though we're in centimeters here. So you can see, that came out to 0.2 centimeters. And then just like the box, I want to put some fillet caps on this. We used a bevel for the box, but for this, we're going to use the built-in fillet option. Let's use a 0.3 millimeter radius. That's the number I came up with, after some experimenting. And we've got that machine edge, just like on the bevel, so we just need to add some steps to the fillet, and now we've got the rounded edge, just like we did with the box. And that'll do it. That's our cardboard insert. So, let's go ahead and rename the extrude, Cardboard Insert. I'm going to select all and copy that, and then just use my Down Arrow key to get to the rectangle below it, and I'm going to rename that as well, but append it with spline. And the last thing we need to do is come over here to the layer's manager. I'm going to middle-click the cardboard insert, assign that to the two-page layer, and it looks like I forgot to put my two-page camera on that layer as well. So, let's go ahead and add that back. And at the top of our floating palette here, you can turn off Viewport Solo. So, I'm going to do that. And then, close out that palette. And now, our cardboard insert is sitting nicely inside our wine box. So, we can go ahead and look through our camera again. In this video, we introduced a lot of useful tools. There's Viewport Solo, Current State to Object, Loop Selection, Edge to Spline, Create Outline, Project Unit Preferences, Connect and Delete, and Extrude. And that's a lot of information to try and remember. But once all these tools get into your workflow, you'll find yourself using them over and over again. We'll finish up this installment of the series in the next video, by fine-tuning our lighting and textures in preparation for the final render.
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