Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials MoGraph Tutorial
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Working with MoSplines

In the previous tutorial we showed you how to create an effect using and extruded Spline object and clones. In this tutorial we will demonstrate what can be done using a special new MoGraph 2 object - the MoSpline.

To start, click on the icon below to open the corresponding Cinema 4D file:

Introduction to MoSplines

A MoSpline is basically used the same way a normal Spline is used. However, the MoSpline is actually a cloning system in itself with which Splines can be created, modified or multiplied mathematically or using Spline curves. Let’s take a look at what can be done using only a MoSpline.

As the image below shows, the MoSpline is a Child object of a Sweep object, as would a normal Spline path. The Circle Spline will run along the path defined by the MoSpline, generating a twirled shape.

Otherwise the Circle Spline has no noticeable parameter settings. Even its radius is irrelevant because this value will be overwritten by the MoSpline object’s settings. Hence, this Spline defines the Sweep objects’ contour only and not the size of the radius.

The Mode parameter is set to Simple because the description of the spline functionality will only take place mathematically and without a Base or Rail Spline.

The Grow Mode is set to Separate Segments. The Start and End values for the growth are set to -50% and 150%, respectively, which lets the Splines spread out more.

The Simple tab contains all parameters for the mathematical calculation of the generated Splines. The Segments parameter defines the number of Spline clones on the basis of the Cloner object. The Angle values reflect the corresponding rotational transformations. This tab is made available when the Simple mode is selected in the Object tab.

The Curve, Bend and Twist parameters define the shape of the Splines; the Width parameter defines the thickness of the geometry generated around the Sweep object.

All relevant MoSpline parameters are displayed in the HUD in the sample scene. Experiment with their settings to get a better feel for how they work before moving on with the tutorial.

Modifying Splines using MoSplines

In the following we will demonstrate how the MoSpline functionality can be used to modify and animate a Spline.

To start, open the following Cinema 4D file:

For this tutorial you can use the Spline object provided or create your own. In the image below you can see how the individual Spline paths (white to blue) are generated from left to right. Make a note of this if you are using your own Spline curves because the text should end up being written from left to right.

We will use a Circle Spline to create the contour of the text. Select Circle from the Spline icon menu and leave its parameters as they are.

Next, select MoSpline from the MoGraph menu to create a MoSpline. Switch to its Object tab and, since we will be using a Spline object as a base, set Mode to Spline. Since we want to modify the base Spline as a whole and not by segment, we will set the Grow Mode to Complete Spline. Before we begin fine-tuning the MoSpline object we will first turn our attention to generating the Sweep.

Create a Sweep by selecting the appropriate icon in the top Icon Palette and make the Circle Spline and MoSpline objects child objects of this Sweep object in the order shown in the image below. Disable the Use Rail Direction in the Sweep object’s Attribute Manager settings. Our sample scene contains a shiny orange material you can use for your text but you can also create your own texture if you like.

Next we will introduce the Spline path to MoSpline. Switch to the MoSpline’s Spline tab in the Attribute Manager and drag the Spline object into the Source Spline field. The generated text should have a Width of 10 so enter this value in the corresponding MoSpline parameter.

Render the Viewport and your result should look like this:

Let’s start fine-tuning the MoSpline object. We want the generated Spline to extend over both ends of the text, which means the Spline itself must first be extended. In the MoSpline’s Object tab parameters, set the Start and End values to -3% and 110%, respectively. If you used your own Spline for the text you may have to adjust these values accordingly.

Open the Extend Start/Extend End parameters’ menus by clicking on the arrow at the left of each of these parameters and enter the values shown in the image below. Finally, select the Sweep object.

Your rendered result should resemble the image below. Feel free to experiment with the Curve and Spiral values until you achieve the look you want. Now all we have to do is animate the MoSpline. The sample scene provided already contains an illuminated background.

The current state represents the last frame of the animation we want to create. We want the spline to extend from a curled Spline into the text we see now.

Since we already have the MoSpline in its final state we can easily set a keyframe for this state at the end of the animation. Move the green Timeslider to Frame 100 and set a keyframe.

To move the Splines we will animate the MoSpline’s Start and End values. Frame 100 marks the final state at which point both parameters will be recorded by Ctrl/Cmd+clicking on the animation circle, thereby defining the Values -3% and 100%.

Now move the Timeslider to Frame 0 so we can set another keyframe for the Offset value.

For our example we will define a Start value of -15 and an End value of -3, which will cause the MoSpline to create a complete spiral shape. Again, if you used your own Spline you will need to define different values.

Once you have defined the values in this keyframe the MoSpline animation is finished.

The text should now evolve from the spiral shape.

Click on the link below to view a movie that shows the animation as it should look:


Click on the following link to open the final Cinema 4D file: