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Spline Patch generates surfaces from three or four splines; object generator
Spline Patch provides users of C4D with a patch-modeling function. It adds to the list of C4D’s nurbs objects and works in a quite similar manner. Drag and drop three or four splines that surround the surface to be created in the spline patch object and choose the number of subdivisions. That’s it!
Why do you need spline patches?
Patch-modeling is a method mainly used for modeling curved surfaces true to dimension and size. When working with car-modeling one will inevitably find this rather easy-to-use, yet powerful technique extremely useful. Nearly all tutorials dealing with car-modeling on the internet treat spline patches, with the exception of those designed specifically for Cinema 4D. Until now, this technique was not available for users of this otherwise very powerful 3D-software by Maxon. The Cinema-4D nurbs like “loft”, “lathe” and “sweep” do not offer sufficient alternatives. There is hardly an alternative to patch-modeling besides working directly with points and polygons. Despite this efficient technique there is enough work left to do. Most of which is connected with making splines which lead along characteristic shaping lines. Therefore, you generally use dimensional drawings, so-called blueprints, of the object to be modelled. By and by a cage of lines, a spline-cage, developes which defines the shape of the object. Between these lines surfaces can be spanned with three or four splines with their intersection points as limitations. The spline patch functions of most available applications require precisely determined intersection points in the space, which are created using supplementary functions for welding the splines. Our plugin is quite tolerant in this respect. Just take note that the splines come rather close at the corner points of the spline patch to be created.
Spline patches with Cinema 4D
Spline Patch provides users of C4D with a patch-modeling function. It adds to the list of C4D’s nurbs objects and works in a quite similar manner. Drag and drop three or four splines that surround the surface to be created in the spline patch object and choose the number of subdivisions. That’s it! When the number of subdivisions is set, many programs proceed with generating a polygon mesh, which you can work on with certain tools. This method does not correspond to the non-modal style of Cinema 4D so we decided to conceive our plugin as an object generator. The benefit is obvious: you can change every parameter anytime, including shape and position of the splines! Here, the actual patch-modeling would be finished. Spline Patch offers some more features that might please the patch-modeling fan:
This technique makes it possible to sew or weld several surfaces together in order to get a single smooth shape. Just group the spline patches you want to combine under a multi-patch. All patches will then be seamlessly welded together and smoothed, even if they are subdivided in a different way.
It is possible to provide the edges of a multi patch with various profiles. For example, in combination with HyperNURBS you are able to create the nicely rounded edges that are typical of the seams you can find on the body of a car. You can even set the gap width! If you are working without HyperNURBS it is possible to get rounded edges by setting a bevel value.
The shape of a surface can be changed using either one more spline or a polygon object. But you can do more than just create dents, as the term “deforming” indicates. Moreover, it is possible to bring the surface entirely or partly to a greater or lesser extent into a certain shape. Thus, for example, you can stamp something into the surface or smooth a bulge.
A single object
If you prefer working with a “real” polygon object, for example, if you want to provide a car with door handles, you can generate a clean polygon object by using the Cinema 4D functions “Make Editable” or “Current State to Object” at any time.
New in Spline Patch 3.0
The main new feature of version 3.0 is the new SplineCage object. Once again, it has become much faster and easier to generate patch objects. In patch modeling, all splines defining the object to be modeled, make the spline cage. The new object works as a generator and creates stable connections at the intersections of all splines of the cage. These connection points can be moved and are retained even when editing the single splines.
The preview options displays all the surface, that can be generated from the cage. With a click, real patch objects are created, optionally subordinated to a MultiPatch object.
Tri-Patch from quadrangles
There are some reasons to avoid triangles in modeling. Until now Tri-patches were always created from triangles. Optionally, Tri-patches can now be generated from quadrangles, if the number of subdivisions is even.
The MultiPatch obejct has been enhanced by a symmetry option. The benefit in comparision to the symmetry object is that the symmetry is applied before generating the outer edge profiles. Thus, there are no problems with profiles at the mirror plane.
New parameter for edge profile
The U profile of the outer edges has been enhanced by the parameter "Length". It is used to extend the inner part of the "U".
Integrated help system
The context sensitive help is now available via the plug-ins menu und is displayed in a window within Cinema 4D.
New in Spline Patch 2.5
Also the inlying edges of the spline patches that are connected by a multi patch can be edited now. You can bring out these inner edges by breaking the phong shading or by beveling.
You can define cut-outs using a closed spline object. Several modeling functions, like extrusion or beveling are available to be applied to these cut-outs.
The solid extrusion is a new option for the outer edge profiles. With this a completely closed object will be generated, that can be assigned e.g. a transparent material.
Up to now corner profiles were inserted automatically at the corners of the edge profiles, if the corner was also a polygon corner. Now you can control this behaviour by defining a threshold angle. Additionally, inner corners are included. Corner profiles serve as a controller for the roundings of HyperNURBS.
Horizontal and vertical offset
The former parameter "gap", that was used to define the distance of the outer edges of a multi patch to the lines of the spline, e.g. in order to realize the car-typical gaps between the components, was extended by a vertical dimension and is called now "offset". Both parameters accept also negative values. vSplit patch With this new function a spline patch can be devided into two patch objects along a line of the polygon mesh. The function creates a new spline object at the cutting edge and assigns an instance of it to each spline patch.
Further improvements and bugfixes
The stiching of the spline patches to a multi patch was more optimised, so that problems are eliminated, that might have occured at the crossing points of multiple spline patches. Now, spline primitives can be used for the deforming. The bug, that deformed spline patches were rendered undeformed in the picture viewer is fixed. Now, the subdivisions of the subordinated spline patches can be controlled relatively from the patches panel of the multi patch. Thus, you can test various polygonal resolutions using a percentual slider.
Windows 32/64, MacOS X
CINEMA 4D R13 or higher
Running Cinema 4D with a multi license server?
If you run CINEMA 4D with a multi license server, you have to provide the multi-license digits (starting with 2). You may then need multiple plugin licenses depending on the number of clients: