Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Create Menu
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Deformer object

The deformer objects deform primarily the geometry of other objects (see below for alternative uses). You can use deformers on primitive objects, Generator objects, polygon objects and splines.

The deformer will affect its parent object and the hierarchy below that parent. This means that a deformer will affect any object at its level in the hierarchy (since those objects are children of the deformer’s parent) and any object below the deformer’s level in the hierarchy (since those objects are in the hierarchy of the deformer’s parent). However, a deformer will have no affect if it is positioned at the top level of the Object Manager hierarchy, since it will have no parent.

If the object to be deformed is selected and the Shift key is pressed when the Deformation object is created (see also Using keys when creating elements), the Deformation object will

  1. have its object origin and
  2. its size and orientation

adapted to that of the deformed object (originating from its bounding box).

The order of the deformers is important!

You can use several deformers on the same recipient. Their order of evaluation is from top to bottom in the Object Manager. The evaluation order matters — a twist followed by a bend produces a different result from a bend followed by a twist.

The deformer can only work with what you give it. For example, to twist the recipient smoothly, ensure that it has a sufficiently high number of segments/subdivisions along the twist axis.

All deformers are activated automatically when you create them. If a deformer is activated, you will see a green checkmark icon in the Object Manager.

To deactivate the deformer, click the green checkmark. The icon changes to a red cross.

A deformation object has no effect when deactivated. You can also switch off the deformer using the Enabled option on the Attribute Manager’s Basic Properties page.

You can activate or deactivate all deformers at once by toggling the Use Deformers option on the Tools | Execution menu (main window). You can find more information on the Draw Pipeline page.

Restricting Deformation objects

The effect of Deformation objects can be spatially restricted in a variety of ways. At right a linear effect with its strength lessening from red to yellow.

Three methods can be used to restrict the Deformation object’s range (this does not apply to all Deformation objects - some will simply ingore the one or the other method):

Vertex Maps or polygon selections can be used to restrict a deformer’s area of influence.

Activate UVW mapping to fix textures before you deform objects. This will prevent textures from slipping. Read more here

Deformation Objects And How They Affect Other Areas

Top: Effect on particles, hair (as geometry); Bottom: Effect of two different Deformer Objects on MoGraph Cloners in grid array.

Deformer Objects affect more than just individual objects. They also basically affect all functions used to create geometry.

These include:

For self-evident reasons, the Deformer Object will not work in conjunction with the following functions: Explosion Object; ExplosionFX; Polygon Reduction; Spline Deformer; Shatter Object.

Exporting animated deformations

Deformation animations created in Cinema 4D must often be exported to other applications. To do so, the Bake Objects... command must be used to create a PLA animation, which in turn can be passed on to other applications via the FBX Export function (to do so, enable the PLA to Vertex Cache option).