Modeling the Lampshade
The Lamp Brace
We will attach a cylindrical shape to the end of the Cone object, which will have a brace for the light socket. First, create a
Manually Creating Polygons
In order to be able to model the brace at the end of the cylinder we must first modify the structure. Select the Cylinder object and make it editable (c key or select
The Make Editable function can be applied to all primitives and to many other objects used to generate geometry but are not editable at the point or polygon level. With this function Generators, Boole objects, Instances and primitives can be converted to polygonal object.
After an element has been converted, all attribute parameters will be lost. Operations such as the rounding of edges will then no longer be possible. Converting our Cylinder object will, however, allow us to select its top-most cap surfaces using the
We will close this hole again. We will demonstrate how to do this using three different tools.
Create Polygon Tool
Switch to Points mode and select the
If you made a mistake or want to restart the selection process simply press the Esc key on your keyboard to release the current selection and start over.
When in Edges mode only one surface can be created at a time. How this mode functions is illustrated in the image below. The edge at the top was selected first and the cursor was dragged in the direction of the arrow - a quad (four-sided surface) will be created. Repeat this with the edges to the left to create a surface as we did on the right. The result should look like the image below (at right).
Closing a Hole
A hole can be easily closed using the
Reorientation of Normals
The purpose of Normals was already mentioned earlier in this tutorial. As a rule, Cinema 4D makes sure that Generators objects’ and primitives’ Normals are automatically given the correct orientation. If a surface is created manually it can occur that its Normals point in the wrong direction. This can be quickly recognized by the (blue) color of the polygon when selected. In the image below (at left) it is obvious which surface has its Normals pointed in the wrong direction. We want all surface Normals to point towards the outside of our object, i.e., to be colored orange when selected.
Switch to Polygons mode, select the surface whose Normals need to be reoriented and select the
Creating the Supports
Now that we have restructured the Cone object’s caps surface we are able to extrude two identical elongated polygon shapes for our brace. Again, we will turn to the
Switch to the
If the above-mentioned error occurs, the
Modeling a Bolt and Nut
Creating a function bolt/nut combination, complete with threading would require a great deal of work - and memory. Such accurately modeled CAD models in particular take up large amounts of memory when imported into Cinema 4D. Since our level of detail, especially for such hidden elements such as our bolt and nut, is much less than a CAD model would require, we will concentrate on accurately creating the outer surfaces only.
After the n-Side spline has been positioned, make the Circle spline a Child object of the n-Side spline and zero it to the n-Side spline’s position (Position and Rotation values set to 0 in the Coordinate Manager - in Model mode). Set the Circle spline’s Radius value to 1.5 and its Plane option to ZY.
Creating Holed Splines
We will now connect both splines in order to create an object with a hole in the center. First, make both splines editable (c key or the Make Editable command in the
Since the axis of the newly created spline was reset we will have to center it again. This can be done by either switching to Use Object Axis Tool mode and repositioning the axis manually, or you can use the Center Axis To command (
Automatically Centering Axes
The set of commands in the
In our example, simply centering the element is enough. Therefore, enable the Center and Points Center options only and click on the Execute button. Close the dialog window when finished.
Extruding the Nut
Create a new
The Screw Element
When the lamp is finished, most of the bold will be covered by other elements. This is why we will use a simple cylinder to model our bolt. This cylinder will be placed through the center of the hex nut, as illustrated in the image below. Create a
The Bolt’s Head
On the end of the bolt opposite the hex nut we will create the head of the bolt. Begin by creating an Oil Tank primitive object. Apply the settings shown in the image below. Zero the Oil Tank object to the Position and Rotation values of the shaft we just created and move it along the Z axis until the convex surface and a small side section covers the end of the shaft (see image below). Reduce the number of Height Segments to 1 and the Radius to about the size of the nut. Make the Oil Tank object editable by pressing the c key on your keyboard and switch to Polygons mode.
Increasing Subdivision Using the Loop/Path Cut Tool
In this step we will use the Knife tool to remove the part of the Oil Tank object that we do not need for our bolt head. The
We will use the Loop cutting Mode, which selects its cut line like the Loop Selection tool does. When in Loop mode, a cut line around a body will be calculated automatically. Other Knife tool options allow you to, for example, restrict your cut to a selection or restrict the loop area.
Making a selection in Loop mode is similar to making a selection using the Loop or Ring Selection tool - the cursor is placed over an object edge you want to cut and a preview of a possible cut line will be highlighted. This is illustrated in the image below.
If you want more control over the placement of your cut line you can press the Shift key on your keyboard when selecting a cut line. The selected edge will be temporarily subdivided into equal segments and will allow the loop cut to snap to one of the marked sections. A higher subdivision can be defined using the Quantize Step value.
A click of the mouse will then execute the cut. Set the cut line on our Oil Tank object slightly within the extruded surface.
Finishing the Bolt
Switch to Points mode and select all points, e.g., using the
We can now use the
Now the nut & bolt combination is finished.
Modeling the Lampshade
Our lampshade will be modeled axially symmetrical. To do this we will use a Lathe object. First, we will create a spline as a profile of one half of the desired shape. These types of shapes are best created in the front (XY plane) viewport using the Y axis as the axial line. We will use a
If the end point is selected the new point will be created as a continuation of the spline shape. The direction of a spline can be reversed using the Reverse Sequence command (
This is demonstrated at the center of the image below. Here we needed to add definition to the spline and therefore added a point. In order to create a narrow ring that runs around the lampshade once the Lathe object is applied, add another point, as shown at the right of the image below.
As is shown at the top of the image below, a broken tangent was added by click + Shift + dragging on the tangents, which creates a somewhat sharper curvature. The curvature we created is a little too sharp and needs to be corrected. This can be somewhat problematic due to the fact that the neighboring curve segments were modified too strongly after the tangents were shortened and moved. These neighboring segments should however remain in tact.
This is why we will take advantage of out ability to add new points, without affecting the shape of the curve. Ctrl + click to add a point on the left and on the right of the point we need to correct (as shown at the top right of the image below).
Select the point at the center and call up the
Creating the Lampshade Body
Now we can create the actual geometry for the lampshade body. Create a
The spline point at the base of the body must lie exactly on the Y axis so no gap is created. Set this point’s X and Z coordinates to 0 in the Coordinates Manager and rotate the Lathe object so the body is positioned correctly in the bracket at the end of the gooseneck.
Since we will be shaping a slight protrusion to on the side of the body with which it will be attached to the gooseneck we will have to convert the Lathe object to a Polygon object. As usual, use the
Switch to Polygons mode, select two neighboring surfaces and apply the
Using the Modeling Axis
Whenever multiple polygons, edges or points are selected the object axis will always be placed at the common center of these elements. However, the position of the axis is not always optimal for all modifications.
This problem can be avoided using the settings in the Attribute Manager’s Modeling Axis tab (when the Move, Scale or Rotate tool is active). For example, the Axis option menu’s Selected option will center the axis to the common center of the selected elements. The X, Y and Z sliders can be used to manually modify the position of the axis.
The Orientation options are used to define the axis’ orientation, e.g., parallel to the world, object or camera coordinate system. The Normal setting even lets you orient the axis according to the median direction of the surface Normals. In our example, this setting will be helpful in scaling many points added via the Extrude Inner function.
In the image below, these points have been selected and scaled along their Y axis. This maintains the shape of the original surface, allows the extruded surfaces to be rounded slightly at the narrow edge.
Finishing the Base
Switch to Polygons mode and select both new surfaces. Activate the
The surfaces can now be scaled along the Z axis until they are form an even surface. Subsequently extrude the surfaces (Extrude tool) far enough so that they fit between the brace plates on the gooseneck, as shown in the image below.
An object’s look is not only influenced by its shape, but also by how its surface is illuminated. As a rule, a Phong tag is used to smooth the transition between neighboring polygons on an object’s surface. If the angle between bordering polygons is less than the defined Phong Angle value, a continuous, smooth shading will be calculated across the object’s edges.
If imported objects to not have a Phong tag assigned to them, one can be added via the Object Manager’s tag’s menu (Cinema 4D Tags). All primitives and Generators objects created in Cinema 4D will automatically be assigned a Phong tag.
The Phong tag is of great help in the depiction of objects. After all, we want to keep the number of polygons an object has to a minimum while still maintaining a smooth surface. The Phong tag is however not always able to smooth regions where relatively large polygons border on relatively small polygons. In such instances, it often helps to modify the structure of the polygons or add polygons to those regions.
Let’s have a look at the area on our lampshade that we just modified (see image below). When you view the scene in Quick Shading or Gouraud Shading mode you will notice how some surfaces just don’t look right. This is due in part to the irregular dispersion of polygons in this region. First, the structure of the surfaces should be checked. You should be aware of the fact that quads, i.e., four-sided polygons, will be broken down into two triangles for rendering, since triangles are mathematically easier to calculate.
To see how triangles that make up a quad are positioned, a quad can be manually split into two triangles. To do so, select the quads that connect the lampshade to the brace we just modeled and select the
You can also create a quad from two triangles. This is what the
In order to correct the orientation of edges, switch to the Edges mode and select the two edges selected at the bottom of the image above. Select the
Completing the Brace
We want our brace to be slightly rounded at its end. Switch to Edges mode and select the short edges of the end surfaces. Modify them using the
Switch to Polygons mode and select the two lateral polygons and scale them down using the
Finally, select and bevel the brace’s edges as shown.
Adding a Glass Plate to the Lampshade
We will use a Cylinder primitive to close the opening in the lampshade. Create a
In this step we will add a decorative element to the top of our lampshade that will also serve as a handle for adjusting the lampshade. To do so, select the
Create an Extrude object and make the new Bézier spline a Child object of this Extrude object. After extruding the spline, reposition it in the center of the lampshade.
Modeling the Back Brace
The brace that runs from the back of the lampshade to the end of the gooseneck can be easily created using a Sweep object. First, create a
Creating a Groove Around the Lampshade
In order to make the lampshade a little less boring we will add a groove that runs around the entire shape. Switch to Polygons mode, select the
Again use the Ring Selection tool - this time to select the polygons of the outer edges of the surface you just extruded. Use the
Completing the Model
The model is now finished and you have had an opportunity to make use of many of the available modeling tools. Click on the following link to open the completed tutorial file.
You can now make all objects belonging to the lampshade, from the cylinder above the Cone object at the tip of the gooseneck on, Child objects of that Cone object. To do so, select all objects and drag them into the Cone object in the Object Manager (arrow must be pointed down). As you can see in the image below, we also added a power cable to our model. This can be easily done via a