Creating plants in Cinema 4D.
In Part 4 we designed, modeled, and textured a giant building to add to our story. In this episode, we'll deal with the plant. As you're about to discover, however, that is going to be about 100 times more complicated and painful.
If something is going to move, you need to be a lot more careful when creating and rigging it.
This video is a DOOZY. We're talking 85 minutes of everything from designing to modeling to rigging to animating to texturing. It's just a crazy amount of information and it took a long time to actually create this asset.
One thing that we hope sticks, if you do manage to watch this whole video, is just how much time and effort doing a big project takes. It's pretty easy to underestimate just how much work is involved in something like this when you're seeing the whole thing done in your head before you even start. Keep this in mind when you get rolling on your own projects... assume that everything will take 2-3X your initial estimate.
Tutorial Full Transcript Below 👇:
Joey Korenman (00:00:12):
While I was recording and making this episode, it struck me that the tone of this video and probably the last two as well are very different than the first two videos where we went over the idea and the story in the animatic, you know, the technical challenges of modeling and rigging and texturing and animating are very different than the challenges of coming up with an idea and planning shots and editing an animatic. So it really drove home to me, the reason that bigger companies have a pipeline in place to help carry a project from department to department. See this makes sure that the story people can work on the story and the people who are really good at moving cameras around and laying out shots can do that. And people who are really good at figuring out complex rigs, they can focus on that. And while it's not that black and white, uh, as motion graphics artists, we tend to spread ourselves out a bit more, which is cool, but it can also be stressful because you're forcing your brain to do two very different things, solving creative problems, and then solving technical problems. Anyway, prepare for a geek Fest because this video is all about creating the plant. This one right here, and first I need to flesh out what this thing is going to look like a bit more. My initial sketches gave me some ideas, but I didn't really have any specifics mapped out as far as the shape of the vine, the relative size of things and what the head and face of this plant would look like. I brought in some more reference from Pinterest and started sketching.
Joey Korenman (00:01:55):
I ended up here and there are some things that I learned. One the shape of the stem or the vine is really important because it sort of implies a posture for the plant. I wanted it to look really fluid, but also have some inherent strength to it, I guess, almost like it was proud, but I wanted it to feel a little bit delicate too. So I made part of it a little bit thinner. And two, I really loved this reference image, uh, that I found of this plant. It had this cool spiral pattern. And so I use that as a reference for the face of the plant. And I tried a couple of things with the pedals and ended up liking it better when I had pedals that sort of wrapped around the face of the plant. So now we've got a basic design for this plant, and now we can hop into cinema 40 and start modeling.
Joey Korenman (00:02:48):
So the first thing we want to do is load in our reference image into the front here so that we have something to kind of go by when we're setting up our plant. So I'm going to go into my options here, go to configure. And, uh, over here, I'm going to want to go into this back section here and I'm going to add a background image. All right. So I'm just going to click on these little dots and we're going to go into the giants folder and grab that Photoshop file. Okay. And it's just going to load it right up for me and I'm going to move it. I'm first going to make it a little bit bigger and then I'm going to offset the why. And I basically want to use this piece of the artwork to line up the shape of that plant.
Joey Korenman (00:03:35):
All right. So I'm kind of lining it up with the origin and there we go. And the cool thing about doing it this way is that now I can zoom in and out and, you know, and it maintains that background image for me, and I'm going to make it a little bit transparent, right? So it's not overwhelming everything that I'm looking at. All right. So what I want to do is create a nice spline that this, you know, this plant can kind of grow out of now, thinking ahead, okay. Because we're going to be rigging this plant to be able to move and grow an animate. If I just draw a spline, I'm going to be limiting the ways I can animate this. Right. Because what if I want this thing to kind of bend or curl or do something like that to do that with a spline, I'd have to use a, deformer like a bend deformer, which might work, but you have, you don't have as much fine control as you do.
Joey Korenman (00:04:24):
For example, if you use bones and joints, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm actually going to set up a bone chain here. All right. And then I'm going to use a very cool trick that I did not come up with by the way, to actually allow me to animate this. So what I'm gonna do is go to my character menu, grab my joint tool. And I'm going to start by just putting a joint right here in the center. Someone hold command and click, okay. Put a joint there. And what I want to do is create a joint chain that more or less follows the path of this plant, right. Of this, this reference that we've drawn. And I'm trying to, you know, I'm, I'm trying to not add too many things because then it's going to be hard to control. And the last one can just be kind of right here where the head of the plant is going to be.
Joey Korenman (00:05:12):
All right. So now I've used my reference to give myself that nice curve shape that, that I was going for. Um, and then I can pretty much just turn that background image off. So I'm just going to open up my settings here. Shift V is the hot key for that, by the way. Um, and then I'm just gonna turn off show picture. So now I've got this nice set of bones here, and that is, you know, the shape that I want the vine to grow in. And what's great about using bones is that, you know, they're all parented together. And so I can just like rotate pieces of it. And if I rotate things and offset the key frames, I can have this thing curl up and open up. And because I'll have, you know, key frames for each joint that I'm rotating. Um, I have tons of control over what this thing's doing.
Joey Korenman (00:05:56):
If I want the whole thing to sway, I can grab the root and put like a, you know, a vibrate tag on it like this, um, and turn on rotation. And then all of a sudden it can start wiggling all by itself. So there's a lot of really cool things that, um, that you can do using bones and joints. So that's why I'm doing it. So one problem that we are going to have is I want to basically be able to have a vine grow up like the stem of the plant, grow up and kind of sweep along here. And so in my head, the easiest way to do that is going to be with a sweep nerve, um, or perhaps a spline wrap. That's probably the better way to do it is with a spline wrap for either one of those, I'm going to need a spline.
Joey Korenman (00:06:40):
And so what I want to do is create a spline that follows exactly what these bones are doing now, the way I'm going to do this is using a trick I learned on grayscale gorilla. And I'm going to make sure to link to that in the notes for this tutorial. Um, a few years back Mike sent in who goes by the name of the monkey, or at least he did. I don't know, maybe he's, maybe he doesn't go by that anymore. But Mike, uh, he did these two tutorials on grayscale gorilla that were mind blowing. And I, and I learned this technique through those. So I'll link to that and he goes into a lot more detail about it. But what I'm going to do is grab all of these joints and I'm going to go up to the character menu and I'm going to say convert joints to spline.
Joey Korenman (00:07:18):
All right. So now if I hide these joints, you'll see what it did. Was it just made a linear spline and the points of that spline line up with the joints. Okay. Now, if I start moving these joints around, if I rotate them, the spline doesn't move to do that. I need a little bit of espresso. So what I'm going to do is put an espresso tag on spline. Let's move this over here. All right. And so essentially what needs to happen, I'm going to try and explain this in like an overview and then I'll just do it really quickly, but basically I want express. So I want, I want that to look at the position of each of these joints, these little yellow circles here. Those are actually the joints. Now, these bones that you're seeing are automatically created between joints. All right. So when I select a joint one, it's literally selecting that right there.
Joey Korenman (00:08:10):
So that is the position that I need the corresponding point on the spline to be put so that, you know, the spline will always update. So the way you do it is this all right. And this is going to get a little weird. So just, just bear with me. So there's two parts of this one is I need express. So to look at every single point, every single joint and figure out where the position of each joint is. Okay. So to do that, I'm going to need it to literally iterate through each joint. All right. So start here and go here, here, here all the way to the end. So there's a group of espresso nodes called iterators all right. And I'm going to use the hierarchy, iterator and hierarchy lets you iterate through things in a hierarchy, which, uh, basically means over here in this objects manager, um, you know, the way these are parented together, that's called a hierarchy.
Joey Korenman (00:09:02):
And so I can navigate through that. So what I want to do is, uh, start at the root, right, right at this Knoll right here. So what I need to do is set the reference to the roots. I'm just going to drag that down. I selected the hierarchy, here's my options. And I dragged route down here. The start path, uh, should be that first joint I believe. Okay. So the way the hierarchy operator works is when you set a path, they start path or an integration path. It uses D and N D means down, which means it goes down one level and end means next. Which means if there's something else in the same level, then it goes to the next object. Now the way this chain is set up, there's only one object on each level. So we're just going down, down, down, down, down.
Joey Korenman (00:09:48):
All right. So the start path is down one from the root cause. That's where the first joint is and the iteration path should be down. So I'm just going to put a D there. Okay, cool. So the next thing I need to do is have a way of pulling the position from each of those joints. So to do that, I'm going to need to use the object index operator. Okay. Now you might think that I could just use the object operator. If you know, a little bit of espresso, uh, the object operator, it lets you take any object as an input and then you can grab, you know, coordinates and different properties of it. Well, if you're using an iterator, the object operator doesn't work, you have to use the object index. Okay. And so what I'm going to do is connect this object to this instance.
Joey Korenman (00:10:39):
And so now this object index can do two things. It can basically tell me exactly which object is being worked on right. Based on the hierarchy. And then it can also tell me what number that object is in the chain. All right. And that's going to be useful in a second. So now I've got the object index. Now I can add an object node. All right. And for this object note, I need an object input, which I'm going to connect to the index. Sorry, the instance, here we go. And then the output of that is going to be the global position. All right. So let me try to walk you through what's going on here. This hierarchy operator is going to iterate, starting with joint than joint one joint, two joint, three joint four all the way down until it hits the end and then it will stop.
Joey Korenman (00:11:29):
It will do that. Every frame, okay. This object index is pulling whatever the current object is out of this. And then it's passing it to this operator, which is pulling the position of that object. Okay. So, so far, all we've got is a set up that gives us the position of every joint in the chain. Let me make this a little bigger, make this easier to see. All right. So what are we doing with the position of each joint? Well, I want to pass that position to each point of this spline. Okay. So what I'm going to do is add a new node called a point node, right? Or a point operator. I keep saying operator and node interchangeably. They're um, you know, they're both the same thing. So a point operator lets you specify an object and the specific point on that object and then you can move it or you can get the position of a point, whatever you want to do.
Joey Korenman (00:12:18):
So what I want to do is, uh, first let me grab my spline object and output the object, right? And basically this is just the spline object saying, Hey, I am the spline object. It's telling the point operator, look at me, look at my points, look at them. All right. So then the point index is which point are we actually manipulating? Well, what we're going to, we're going to be manipulating whatever point this hierarchy is kind of working on. So if it's on the first joint, I want it to be on the first point of the spline. If it's on the second joint, I want it on the second point of this blind. Cool. And then I'm going to need the point position. Okay. And so here, I'm going to have to pass that global point position into the point position. Okay, cool. So let's turn off the bones for a second and let's just see if this is actually working.
Joey Korenman (00:13:10):
So if I take a joint and I rotate it, all right, cool. So you can see it's kind of working. There is something going on here and I think what might be happening. So this last point is not getting manipulated. All right. So what's probably going on is I have my hierarchy set wrong. Maybe what I need to do is have this instead of starting with the roots, start with the first joint and let's see if that works. Let's see if that fixes it. So now if I rotate this, we're still doing something wrong. Maybe it needs to be the root in there. There we go. All right. So basically what I had to switch out was we're still referencing the root, but the start path is not down. The star path is nothing. So it's actually starting with the root. Okay. Um, so I know this is probably horribly confusing, but of course you'll be able to download this, uh, and, and look it over, um, and figure it out and break it apart.
Joey Korenman (00:14:04):
So now all I've got is a bunch of bones that are connected in such a way, right. That they, they can now control that spline. And what's cool is I can go to that spline and change it from a linear spline to say a cubic spline. And so now as these joints rotate, as I rotate them, right. And I'm just going to rotate them on their pitch, um, that spline is going to automatically update and curve and now I can sweep things along it, or I can use the spline path to form or with it. All right. The spline wrap. So now the bones can actually control the spline, which is super duper handy. All right. So let me close this expressway editor up and let me go back to my front view really quickly. Um, and just relying up with my picture cause I've already kind of messed it up.
Joey Korenman (00:14:50):
Um, all right. And so I'm going to turn my bones back on. I'm gonna select this joint here, joint one. And I'm just going to rotate that back a little bit and then I'm going to grab this joint here and rotate it a little bit. There. There we go. Okay. So now we're back to kind of where we started and you can see our spline matches that pretty much perfectly. Awesome. All right. So the next step is going to be, we're going to need to sweep something along that. All right. So let me, uh, let me turn off this image again. And what I want to do is basically just use like a cylinder. All right. So let's grab a cylinder. Um, and let's just add some height segments to it real quick. We'll grab ourselves a spline wrap, drop it underneath the cylinder and tell the spline wrap to use this spline.
Joey Korenman (00:15:39):
Uh, and we need to set the access to plus Y cool. So now I can shrink this, uh, shrink this cylinder down like this, and you can add a few more height segments to it if you want, and maybe take some of these rotation segments down, we'll delete that Fong tag. And so now you get something like this and what's great is I can use these joints, right. I can use it to bend this whole thing and, and control it. Um, and then I can also use the spline wrap and, uh, if I set this to, um, fit spline and mode clamp, and I offset this backwards, this way, I can now have it growing on and it can even grow on like this as the, uh, as the spline is moving because I'm animating the bones. All right. So we've got this great little animation rig.
Joey Korenman (00:16:29):
Now that's going to let us do a lot of neat stuff. So I also want it to be a little bit less regular looking. It just looks so, you know, like geometric and plain and stuff. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to up the height segments on it, so that we're getting a lot more detail. Um, and then what I want to do is, uh, let me add actually, a cap affiliate cap to it, right. So we can get a little bit of a tip to it. Um, cause that'll be, as it's animating on, that'll be kind of nice to, um, to have it, you know, a little bit kind of a thinner at the beginning, right? So it'll, it'll animate on like this and at the same time, I'm going to go into the rotation settings for spline wrap. Um, you can very quickly just turn on banking.
Joey Korenman (00:17:15):
Um, that'll rotate the whole thing. So that's not actually what I want. I want to rotate along the spline like that. All right. So I just literally am changing this, this little spline right here. And you can see now at rotates, you know, 360 degrees from the beginning to the end. Um, and as it animates on, it's kind of rotating in. So it's gonna look really neat. Cool. All right. Um, but it's too smooth. So what I want to do is mess that up a little bit. So I'm actually going to grab a displacer and I am going to turn on noise in the shader. Cool. And just doing that, it's already kinda messed it up a little bit. Right. And it kind of looks a little gnarly and just more interesting. And then I can just play with the intensity of that. Right. And I, and I may want it to be kinda like that.
Joey Korenman (00:18:06):
Just kind of an interesting looking thing. And what's cool. Um, so let's see what happens if I offset this. Right. You can see because the displacers happening after the spline wrap, um, it's actually gonna move this vine through the displacement, which looks cool, but it's not actually what I want. Um, so I'm going to reverse the order of this. So the displacer happens first and then the spline rad happens. So that now that displacement sticks to the vine, as it moves through, I hope you can see the difference there. Um, so the order that used deformers in can really make a big difference. Cool. So now we've got this. If I do a quick render, you can see you get that nice low poly kind of feel. Um, and the reason we're getting the jagged edges is because anti-aliasing is set to geometry right now.
Joey Korenman (00:18:52):
We're not going to worry about cool. All right. So now we've got this vine, um, another thing I want to look at too, before I go any further is I want to pull up my reference because one of the things that I did kind of without even, um, thinking about it was I made it thicker in certain parts, right? The base is thicker than the top and, and there's actually, it's even really thin in the middle. So what I want to do, let me just turn this off, uh, turn this light down a little bit. Um, I want to mess with the spline wrap settings for size, right? Because what I can do is, uh, I can take the cylinder and I can increase the radius so that it's basically hitting the bottom. Right. It's, it's being, it's being as thick as my reference image at the bottom.
Joey Korenman (00:19:36):
Okay. And then I'm going to go to my spline wrap settings, and I'm going to put a point here. I'm just going to hold command and add a point and shrink it. I'm literally pulling down, which is shrinking this shape in the middle, and you can use these, uh, these extra controls and you can, you can add as many points as you want to. Um, and basically I'm just trying to mimic as best I can, uh, the shape that I came up with here. Okay. And I'm also seeing that the bone, the way the bones are, um, need to be adjusted a little bit. So I'm going to just grab some of these joints and just kind of manipulate them a little bit more, try and nail that shape a little bit more. Right. So right in here, it needs to get a little bit thicker sooner.
Joey Korenman (00:20:23):
So let me go back into my size and I can pull this like back this way and pull this busier handle like this. And I'm just trying to make a nice, smooth kind of transition. I don't want it to be too, too abrupt. Right. And I can always add more points to get more control. Cool. And then we can hop back out here and we can see what that looks like. And you can see that now you've got a much more interesting looking shape here now in 3d. It doesn't always work the way it does when you're just drawing it. So I'm going to, I'm just going to adjust this a little bit and pull this down some, right. And it's a little bit better and what's cool. Is that now as I offset this, you can see it's going to sort of grow in this interesting way.
Joey Korenman (00:21:06):
Right. Cool. Um, now one thing I did, which actually now that I'm looking at this, um, there's two size properties, their size and then their spline size. And I think I actually want to try this on spline size. So let me, um, let me actually just, I'm just going to go ahead and just sort of roughly copy this, uh, while it's, while it's still there. So this is kind of in between 0.8 and then there's a point here that goes down just under 0.4 and then over here, I've got a point that's up about here and then this comes down to about there. Cool. And then I'm just going to reset this and bring this back up to a hundred percent, a hundred percent cool. And so now I've kind of rebuilt that same shape using the spline size instead of the size. And the difference is as I offset this, it's always going to be thin right there instead of being thin and then moving that whole thing along a spline.
Joey Korenman (00:22:07):
All right. So again, a subtle difference, but it just adds a little bit more of an interesting kind of animation feel to it. Right? It's like it comes in kind of, kind of thick already, right. And then it ends up getting thin in the middle and then thickening out at the end. And what I could even do is as this thing's animating on, I could animate this spline. So it starts out small and then grows as it's animating on, which I think would be really cool. All right. So there's a lot of animation to do to get this vine to start to feel interesting. Um, so I am now just going to play around with animation for a little bit animating the vine was just a matter of getting the poses right with the bones, applying some nice curves, offsetting key frames for a little follow through, and then working on the spline wraps, offset property to get everything feeling really smooth and to use a very loaded word, organic, but it's a plant.
Joey Korenman (00:23:08):
So I think it's okay to say organic in this case. And I ended up with this. It's not bad, right. It feels smooth, feels nice and it feels alive. So let's keep going now, before we model the, uh, the pedals and kind of the inside of this thing, and these leaves, I just kind of wanted to come back into Photoshop and take one last look at, at the reference drawing we did. And also at some of these images that I pulled off of my Pinterest board, especially this one, I really liked this kind of spiral thing and really makes it look alive and interesting and different, right? So, um, we need to figure out how to model this and how to have it, you know, created in some way that we can actually animate and give some personality to this thing. Um, and then for these pedals, I just need to, you know, basically come up with a shape that sort of comes out and kind of hooks around.
Joey Korenman (00:24:04):
Um, and I also think I might need some sort of sheets to kind of connect the stem of the plant to all of this stuff, these pedals in this kind of face thing. All right. So we're gonna hop into cinema 4d and we are going to blast through this. So here is the stem that, uh, we created an animated. And so I'm actually going to jump into just a new project here, um, to, to kind of figure out the best way of doing the face. Now I have tried a whole bunch of things and what I thought was going to work was doing something like this, basically taking, um, you know, like a pyramid or something and using a cloner to clone it in object mode onto a sphere. So let's just do that real quick. So we'll set the clone to object mode and the object is the sphere.
Joey Korenman (00:24:52):
It will turn the spirit off. Uh, and then I'm just going to come into the cloner here and pitch these pitch, these a little differently. So let's take a look at this. So I thought I was going to maybe do something like this, let me turn the segments down on that sphere. Here we go. Right. And, and then I could maybe put like a twist deformer on the sphere, but it really wasn't coming out like a spiral, like I'd hoped. Right? And so in the end, what I came up with that seemed to work, and I think this is what we're going to go with. Uh, and if not, you'll find out in a later video, but for now, this is what we're going to do. We're going to start with a pyramid, just a simple, simple shape. Um, and let's scale it down a little bit, just so that the scale isn't enormous.
Joey Korenman (00:25:37):
Alright. And I'm going to, I'm going to make this editable, so just hit C make it editable. And the reason I'm doing that is because I want to, um, I want the access to be on the bottom, right, right. On the bottom of this thing. So let's go to access center tool Y to negative 100 execute. There you go. And now I'm going to zero out the pyramid. So 0, 0, 0. Perfect. All right. It's always a good idea to zero stuff out. If you're going to put it inside a cloner before you get going crazy with it, because a lot of the stuff you do with Mo graph, it's based on the position of that object inside the cloner. And so if you zero it out, it usually behaves a little bit, you know, a little bit better for you. So now what I'm gonna do is put that pyramid in a cloner, and I'm going to set the cloner to radio mode, and I'm going to set instead of X, Y plane, we're going to do Z plane, right.
Joey Korenman (00:26:29):
And let's just expand that out. Let's add a few more pyramids. And what I want to do is I want to sort of start to push these pyramids out from the center, uh, so that as they get further away from the center and they rotate around more, it'll start to create a spiral. So you could do that pretty easily with a step effector. So what I'm going to do is just add a step effector, and I'm going to rename this step spiral is kind of how I like to, to name MoGraph stuff. It makes it easier to remember what everything does. So you've got your steps spiral, and I want that to affect the position, not the scale. And I want it to affect the Z position because this is in radial mode and it's orienting all of these clones around the, the center point, the Z position pushes them away from the center, which is great.
Joey Korenman (00:27:17):
So what I can then do is come to my cloner, set the radius down really small and turn this end, angle up a whole bunch. Boom. And you can see we're starting to get a spiral. So I need to add a lot more clones. All right. And I need, you know, I need to figure out how much of a spiral I want. I mean, this is starting to feel pretty good. Okay. And so I've got, uh, let's just make it nice. Even number 38, clones, the radius is 38 centimeters and actually want, I want a whole, uh, sorry, I don't want a hole in the middle. I want it to be closed up here. Okay. So now I've got something that if I just hit render, it already looks like a spiral, which is cool. Um, but I'm, I'm seeing like some geometry sticking out.
Joey Korenman (00:28:02):
There's some intersections, so it's not working exactly the way I need it yet. So, uh, I also noticed when I hit render that there's some holes in here, so I'm just gonna adjust this a little bit more and basically the process of making this stuff. What if I bring the radius down to zero, by the way, because by doing that, it's going to ensure that I actually have a pyramid right in the middle. And then I can just adjust my step, right. To do something like to be something like this. And I could even do something like this. So one thing that's called the step effectors, you have this spline that controls how, you know, basically how the steps are calculated. And so if I, for example, if I play around with this Bezier handle here, I can have more movement at the beginning and then kind of trail it off at the end, which is going to help have a smoother looking transition, right.
Joey Korenman (00:28:57):
A smoother spiral. And I think I need to shrink this. Uh, let's see here. I may need to adjust. Let's see. Let's see if I adjust the end angle here, I want to try and get rid of these holes. Another thing that that might help is if I go into the cloner, I go to transform and I just, the pitch of all of these, right. That's kinda cool. And then I could even adjust the bank of them and they can kind of point. Right. So now looking at this, that's pretty interesting. Now I don't like what's going on here right here in the middle. Um, so I think that that's probably because I have the radius set to zero, um, and that's, that's going to be sort of, yeah, that might just be an issue. All right. So I'm going to mess with the step a little bit more.
Joey Korenman (00:29:41):
I'm going to try and try and help push these things apart in the beginning, in a way that's going to look interesting and maybe, maybe what we need to do. Let's, let's undo the, these, these little adjustments we've done here. So what I want is I want, I do want these to pitch. I want them to aim out a little bit. Okay. But the ones in the middle, I don't want them to AME out as much. So what I could do to make that happen, let's just zero out everything on the cloner. And let's, uh, let's come back in here to the spiral and tighten that up a little bit. So there's no holes. And then what I can do is add a plane effector, and I'm going to call this, uh, plane pitch out. And this is going to control the pitch of all of these pyramids that are in there.
Joey Korenman (00:30:34):
And I'm going to set the fall off to sphere. And then I'm going to scale this down so that it basically just covers, you know, just the area where there are, um, pyramids. Uh, now let me turn off, um, let me, let me undo this for a minute. Okay. So, uh, what I want this to do is start to pitch out. So I don't want the position to do anything. I just want the rotation to basically increase the pitch of these things. Right. But what's cool is because I've got this set up with spherical fall off. If I crank my, uh, let me make sure the falloff is set to 100 and if I invert this what's going to happen, is that in the middle? Because it's inverted, you will get less effect than on the outside. Okay. So if I come to parameter now and I crank this, you'll see that the outer ones are starting to point out a lot, but the inner ones aren't pointing out as much.
Joey Korenman (00:31:33):
Okay. Which gives it this cool kind of flowery looking effect, which, which I like, which I, like, I also want to see what happens if I, you know, mess with the heading and the bank on these things. Cause you can get some pretty interesting looking kind of patterns here. Right. If I just do a quick render here, right. You can see, it looks kind of nice now, um, it's hard to tell what this is really going to look like when it's rendered. Um, and that's because it's, there's just no shading to it right now. So before I, before I turn on ambient occlusion, which is going to give me a much better idea, I want to try and fix this kind of geometry problem that we're having here. And I think maybe what I could do is turn the countdown a little bit. Let's show let's turn it to like 30.
Joey Korenman (00:32:18):
All right. And what we're probably going to need to do is just tweak the step a little bit and try to cover up, you know, any kind of extra little pieces of geometry that we're seeing here. Right. So let's see. So if I, if I push this and then maybe add an extra point here, so I'm just kind of adding some points to display and to try and get rid of any intersecting parts. Uh, and then I'll come back to the cloner and maybe bring the radius down just a little bit. All right. And we're starting to get somewhere. Cool. Cool. So I'm going to turn on ambient occlusion. I'm just going to go to effect Amy inclusion. And all this is going to do is give me a better idea of what this is going to look like with shading and all that stuff.
Joey Korenman (00:33:05):
And it renders pretty fast and you can see you clearly get a nice spiral. And now if I go to the cloner and I just the bank or the pitch or something like that, I can adjust all of these things at once. Right. Um, and then I can also use this plane pitch out effector that we've set up and that's going to affect the outside a lot more than the inside. All right. So let's zero that out one more time. And then we'll pitch this out like that. That looks pretty good. All right. And we'll turn these a little bit in the direction of the spiral and what's cool is I could animate this too. It's kinda neat. Uh, you know, like if, if this, for the closeup shaft, for example, when this flower plant thing is sort of thinking to just do a little animation like this, it might be kind of interesting.
Joey Korenman (00:33:56):
Cool. All right. And I'm still not loving what's going on in the middle here. Uh, and I think what I might need to do is just play with, uh, you know, just play with some of the, the step effect or settings, possibly tweak, um, you know, even like the end angle or I could affect the start angle too. Maybe it needs to, you know, be, be twisted a little bit less than the middle. That's definitely starting to help. And then I can do stuff like this. So I'm gonna play with that to get that to look nice. But first I want to show you how I'm gonna set the rest of the setup. Okay. Because I feel like this isn't a good spot to start. The next thing that I don't like about it is how it is. I want it to be more or less around.
Joey Korenman (00:34:36):
Okay. The problem is you can see right here, right. Because of the spiral, it kinda ends. And then you've got this weird little notch in it. So what I want is I want to kind of scale down these last few, uh, pyramids here. So it makes it a little bit more round in the end. So to do that, I'm just going to use another step effector. I'm going to go effector step, and I'm going to call this, um, step and scale. Right. And this is just going to help around it back out. And what I want to do is go to parameter and set the scale down. Right. So bring it down a little bit. Um, and then, and actually I'm going to, I'm going to crank it for a minute because now you can see that it really starts to get noticeable, but it's actually, it's, it's scaling everything down and I really only want it to scale those last few ones down.
Joey Korenman (00:35:24):
So if I go to effector and I bring this back like this, right, you can see how, if I, if I change the shape of this curve, I can have scale, not affect anything up until a certain point. Right. So let me just delete all these points here. I'm just going to move this along the bottom of this graph till about there. Okay. And now you can see it doesn't affect anything really until the end, which is great. So then I can just scale these down just as just enough and maybe even bring them back into the center a little bit, right. Just to help keep that thing a little bit rounder. Right. So that's all that step in scale is doing, it's making this a little bit rounder. All right. And this, this center is awful right now. I'm definitely going to play with that and get that to look a little bit better before we're done.
Joey Korenman (00:36:21):
Um, so another thing is, this is super duper flat right now, and I want it to feel a little bit rounder kind of like it's, it's sitting on the surface of, uh, you know, of a ball or something. So that it's, it feels a little bit more like a head, like a face. So to do that, I'm going to start, um, hiding some of these, some of these effectors. So, so they don't show up in the UI. I'm going to add another plane effector. All right. And I'm going to call this, uh, the plane effector. Let's give it a good name like around, right. It's going to round this thing out a little bit. Let me make sure that it's actually affecting those clones and I'm gonna, I'm gonna set the, um, it is going to affect the Y position, but I want spherical fall off.
Joey Korenman (00:37:03):
All right. And again, I want to scale this thing so that it sort of fits in, um, you know, it's, it's wide enough to, to affect all of these, right. And then what I can do is make sure that, um, fall off is turned up to a hundred percent. And so you can see where this effector is right now. It's not affecting the clones at all, but as soon as it starts to touch those clones, it starts to move them up. What I actually want is for it to move them down. So I'm going to set this Y to like minus 50 or something. Okay. And then I'm going to set the, uh, the fall off to invert. So now what happens? Let me pull this up full screen. What happens is that now it's going to affect the, uh, the edges and the center differently.
Joey Korenman (00:37:53):
So we're doing the same thing we did, um, with this pitch out. Um, but we're going to use, you know, we're going to have basically a separate control over it. Right. So let me, um, let me just go ahead and move this thing up and down. And you can see that now got a little bit of rounding to it. I want to, um, I want to really accent that. Yeah, there we go. So now the center is a lot higher than the edges, and that makes me want to actually pitch this out even more. All right. And so you could see now what's cool about this is now from any angle, you're going to get all this great detail, not just from the front, but from the front. You're really going to see the spiral nature of this. Okay. Um, it occurs to me another thing that might help to make this look a little better.
Joey Korenman (00:38:37):
Let me turn off fixed clone for a second. And I'm going to go to my pyramid and I'm just going to start scaling it on X and Y I'm gonna leave it. I'm gonna start X and Z. Right. And, and I'm, I'm thinking maybe if it was just a little bit, um, a little bit thinner and a little bit taller, it might work better. Right. So let me, let's try 0.6. All right. And now this could, because what's happening now is it's, it's feeling, uh, there's a little bit more fine detail to it. Um, and I think now, by going into my cloner, I can start to bank these things. Yeah. There we go. Right. We're starting to, um, once I close that hole up, this is going to be great. And I have a feeling I'm going to need more clones and probably to twist this thing a little bit.
Joey Korenman (00:39:27):
And then I know I'm going to have to come in here and start messing with this boy. I feel like we're starting to get, yeah, there we go. That's certainly look really sexy. And if I can just fix that one clone right there in the middle, I might have this whole thing kind of nailed down now. Um, you know, let me show you, there is a way if I just want that one clone right there to be lower than everything else. And what I'll do is I'll select the cloner. I'll go up to Mo graph selection. All right. And I want to select that one cloner, right? It turns yellow. I get a selection tag with that selection tag on. I can add a plane effector and I'll call this plane center fix. This is what I love about Mo graph. You can just keep working and working and adding little details.
Joey Korenman (00:40:11):
And then I'm just going to push that one cloner down a little bit. Okay. And what's happening is this plane effector is moving a clone down about 10 centimeters, but it's restricted to that MoGraph selection we just made. And that MoGraph selection only has one clone in it. And it happens to be the first clone. And so now I can totally just adjust that one clone, line it up exactly where I want and get this crazy cool spiral looking thing. All right. So this feels pretty good. I'm digging this, uh, I could parent all this stuff together and call this, um, plant face. And you know, what I'm going to end up doing is I'm going to create some user data controls. Right. Um, so for example, things that I know I'm going to want to animate, I don't want to have to dive in and remember what you know, which of these effectors, you know, I need to, to manipulate and all that kind of stuff it's going to take too long.
Joey Korenman (00:41:09):
So what I could do is say, okay, I know I'm going to be changing this plane pitch out. You know, if I wanna, if I want these things to kind of breathe a little bit, right. I could, I could just kind of, you know, change the pitch or change the heading. Um, I could also come into the cloner and use the transform here, and maybe that's what I want to do. Uh, if I came in here and just affected the pitch, this thinking kind of open and close a little bit, um, I can turn them, you know, I can twist them, do some interesting things. So what I, what I could do is just say, um, you know, let's, let's just grab all three of these and, uh, I'm gonna, I'm going to right click, and I'm going to say user interface, copies, or data interface, then I'm gonna come back to here plant face and go to user data and say, paste, user data, interface, interface, interface.
Joey Korenman (00:41:57):
And so this is going to be my, um, why don't we call this cloner rotation? Okay. Or I can just say clone rotation. And because I pasted it, it's already got the, heading the pitch in the bank already set up in there. Uh, and you know, the unit is already set to degrees. Everything's already set for me. Right. And so then all I need to do is, uh, is basically just wire these up. So if I click on, um, if I click on this and I say, expressions set driver, right? And then I come down to the cloner and I click on this, not that click on this and say, set driven absolute. Then I can now come back here and I can control all of this through my user data slot my user data slider. And I don't have to remember which, you know, um, which of these effectors is actually controlling this.
Joey Korenman (00:42:53):
So I'm going to give myself a bunch of little controls like this just for the face, just to be able to manipulate them. Now, let's also talk about how we may want to animate this on, cause we are going to have this plant grow on at the end. And what I'm thinking might be an easy thing to do is just use one more plant effector, um, to basically scale these things down to zero. So if I grabbed, um, you know, effector plane, right. And I said, plane grow on and I have a feeling I'm probably gonna want that effector to be first in this chain here. Right. Because basically all I'm going to do with that one is scale these down on Y like this, okay. And have them grow out like that. And maybe they'll actually, maybe they'll just have to grow just scale on uniformly like that. So they can all grow on like that. Now I don't want them to all grow on at the same time, that's going to be pretty boring. So I'm gonna use that same trick. I'm gonna say fall off sphere turned fall off to a hundred percent. Right. And so now if I adjust this correctly, let me scale this thing down a little bit.
Joey Korenman (00:44:08):
Right. I can, uh, I can have, I can have them grow on at different rates, although it doesn't look like they're doing that, what's probably going on is I don't have, um, I have this plain grow on first in the chain and I may actually need to have it last. Let's see what happens if I move it down here. Okay. And then I grab it and I move it up and down. Yeah. Now you can see it's working. Okay. So right now what's happening. If I scale this thing up, all right. Now what's happening is everything's already on. And then they shrink. So that means I need to invert the fall off. Right. So they're not there. And then I push up and the outside right now, the outside's growing on first, let me scale this up and turn the, uh, I'm going to reshape this fall off a little bit.
Joey Korenman (00:44:56):
Right. So now it's the center ones are going to sort of finish a little at a slightly different time. And this is really interesting too. That might be an interesting way to animate stuff too. So I'm just going to have this thing kind of grow on like this. Beautiful. Okay. Um, and I might tweak this spline function down here, so there's a little bit of easing baked into it. Uh, I'm just going to turn this off for now. So this is all set up to where now it's in a good place to really experiment and tweak and do all that stuff. Okay. So let's leave that for now. All right. So, uh, we've got the plant face and let's just turn that off. The next thing we're going to need to do is have, um, you know, kind of like a pedal that can curl over that plant face.
Joey Korenman (00:45:38):
Right. Um, and let me just go ahead and orient this sideways so that it's facing the right way, because I do want to eventually pitch this thing. Here we go. Um, I do want to make sure that everything kind of works together at some point, too. All right. So for now we've got the plant face and what I'm going to do is create one pedal. So that one pedal, I'm just going to base it off of a plane. All right. Um, and I'm just gonna kinda, I'm just gonna kind of eyeball this, so let's make sure that we've got, uh, lions turned on so we can see how much geometry we're making here. And I don't want a ton. All right. Um, let's do two height segments. So you get a nice symmetrical line down the middle, and then we've got a bunch of segments here for the width, and I can, I can crank those up a little bit more, make that editable, and then I'm going to go into point mode and I'm going to just start reshaping this.
Joey Korenman (00:46:31):
And so an easy way to kind of quickly do organic things is you can grab some points. Like if I grabbed these four points here, um, if I hit T and start scaling them, they're just going to scale in, in a very linear way. But if I go to soft selection and enable it right now, I can get little bands and stuff like that. And then even better way to do that is to make sure you have your selection tool turned on, go to the soft selection tab there and turn that fall off from linear to something like a dome. Right. And so what that does, you can see these little yellow highlights and basically the radius of the effect is determined by this little switch here. Right. Um, and so if I select, let's say these two points and these two points, you can see the middle is not being affected as much.
Joey Korenman (00:47:19):
Right. So now I can start to just grab points like this, and you can see just by grabbing, just by grabbing kind of random points throughout and scaling them. I'm, I'm actually affecting a lot of points at once and it's kind of making this nice organic kind of curved shape. Right. And so I'm just going to kind of grab points like this, make sure that I'm always grabbing something that has symmetry. Here we go. All right. And I think I do want it to taper out a little bit at the end. Um, now over here, I want this to scale down a lot. I want it to be a lot thinner here. Okay. And I'm going to grab this point in this point and scale it in like this, and then I'm going to, I'm actually gonna leave soft selection. Right. So I'm gonna set the mode back to normal, and I'm just going to grab these and I'm going to grab this and I'm going to grab these two, and I'm basically just doing a very quick, but sort of irregularly shaped pedal.
Joey Korenman (00:48:25):
All right, cool. So now that I've got that, let me grab this spine of points right in the middle. Just kind of select them all and we'll push them up in the air like that. So we'll get a nice little bit of curvature to it. And let me turn off my Fong tag, come back here. Now this one is probably going to be lower. All right. And so actually what I may want to do is, uh, select that point and then go back to a soft selection and move that down. Although that's going to start effecting those bottom points. I don't want to do that. So I'm going to have to kind of do this, the, uh, the manual way. Let me turn off soft selection. And I just want to get a little bit of curvature to that spine. Right. And it's good that this is low poly, cause it's gonna, it means I can get away with being a little more sloppy, but there you go, right.
Joey Korenman (00:49:20):
You basically got this interesting shape for kind of a leaf. Um, and then the next thing that I want to happen is I want that leaf to be able to grow on and curl around. Right. If you remember back here in the end, I decided it makes more sense for this thing to kind of curl and kind of hook around and almost cover up that face a little bit. So an easy way to do that would be to come down here, let's go to our front view and I'm just gonna draw a spline from here. And it's going to kind of come up like this and hook around like that. Okay. And it's about the same size as a, as this polygon. So it should work fairly well. And then I'm just going to take a spline wrap, throw it under that plane, put the spline in there.
Joey Korenman (00:50:02):
Okay. Uh, now the spline, uh, is rotated in a different way than this plane. So I'm gonna go to my rotation and just bank it 90 degrees, or it might have to be negative 90 degrees, negative 90 degrees. There we go. Cool. All right. And there we go. Now we've got this leaf and it's hooked around and it's curled and it looks great. Um, looking at it though, uh, I think that now I probably want to scale this stuff in a little bit. It just feels a little too fat. So I'm just going to grab those points and scale them in a little bit. I'm not using soft selection. Um, and then I'm going to grab these two points and just kind of try to round this out a little bit more. Cause I left it pretty hard. And then on the end here, I'm going to take these two points and really scale them in like that.
Joey Korenman (00:50:49):
And I just didn't like the shape that we were getting. All right, cool. So now you get this, now that curl is kind of crazy. Um, I'm going to take this spline and switch it from Bezier to cubic. Uh, maybe not keep it, maybe be spline. I just want it to be a little bit easier to manipulate. Um, and so I can really nail the shape that I'm sure that I'm going after here. Right? Cause I don't want, I don't want a, you know, what's going on here. You've got all this intersecting, geometry let me go to the spline wrap and set it from Fitz spline to keep length. All right. And then I can, um, I can control the length of it by the, from, and to options. And let's grab that spline and try to get a really nice curvy shape to it.
Joey Korenman (00:51:42):
Right. And it might, this might be easier in the front of you, by the way. Um, and I'm having trouble with beast blinds. I'm gonna go back to Kubik and actually I'm just going to delete some of these points. There's a lot of extra points on here that I probably don't need. Um, really all I want is a nice smooth curve with a little bit of a lip to it. I just drew it freehand, just, uh, just cause all right. And then I can just adjust the two, so hooks around like that. That's better. There we go. All right. And then I do need to flip the banking now to 90 degrees and we should have a nice little curled up leaf. There we go. Beautiful. All right. And it feels, uh, it might be a little fat, but I'm a little wide, but it, but it's, it's curling the way I want.
Joey Korenman (00:52:28):
And because it's, it's spline wrapped, um, I can turn on clamp and then I can just offset it and it can grow on just like that and curl around, which will be cool on top of that, because it's based on a spline. I could also add a bend to that spline. So let me turn off the plane for a minute. Um, if I, uh, if I bend this spline and I'm going to have to fit to parent, and then I'm going to have to adjust some stuff, I'm going to need to rotate this thing and I need to bank it 90 degrees. Let's see. I always get confused. Here we go. Yeah. So what I want to do is move this bend back to the beginning of our, uh, of our spline here, open this up a little bit, make it a little easier to see what's going on. Right? And now I need to set this. I need to increase the size of it too. It's two, here we go. I need to make that. And I want to try and line up the edge of that spline with the edge of the bed, um, and say, keep y-axis length. And now, because I've got it set up, right. I can actually bend that spline.
Joey Korenman (00:53:36):
And by bending the spline, I'm actually bending the leaf as well. So I could be, I could have the Leafs start out, like curled up like this and bend down like this. And at the same time animate the spline wrap using the offset. Okay. So there's a lot of ways I can animate this thing now, and they're all gonna be pretty easy. And once I've got that all set up, let me go ahead and turn off these, uh, the former. So you don't see them and I can group this and I could call this leaf. Okay. And then I could, uh, take the access tool and I'm going to just, I'm going to try and be pretty precise here. I want the access to be lined up right on the tip of that leaf. Okay. And the reason I want to do that, and then I want to zero out the position of that leaf.
Joey Korenman (00:54:22):
And the reason I want to do that is because then I can easily clone this. I could put this leaf in a cloner. I could set the cloner to radial. Uh, I could set it instead of X, Y I think it needs to be Z Y. There we go. Right. And you can see now I've got, I've got these nice little pedals. Um, and let's just do a quick and dirty animation just to show you how I'm gonna approach this. So let's say that after, I don't know, 40 frames, the spline wrap needs to be there and the bend needs to be there. And then we go back and I want it to start bent backwards like that, and offset negative 100. Right. So you basically not, let me just go back a little bit further, so you're not seeing it. And so this is basically what's happening, right?
Joey Korenman (00:55:11):
And it's, you know, there's a lot of tweaking that needs to happen to make that feel better, but that's the idea. And then, because this is all happening inside of a cloner, you can just go to the random effector. I don't want it to affect any positions or anything like that yet, but I can just give it a time offset, 10 frames. Now there is a 10 frame randomness with these things growing on. Okay, awesome. So now I've got these pedals, which can animate on to, I've got the plant face, I've got the pedals and everything's ready for tweaking. And the last part of this, which I'm not entirely sure is going to be necessary, but we'll see, is, do we need some sort of sheath to go around here? Okay. And don't worry about these leaves. We'll get to those in a minute, but the sheet, I think we may need some sort of connecting objects to basically help us transition from the stem into these pedals in the face. Right. And so what I was thinking for that, let me go ahead and group these, and I'm going to call these pedals.
Joey Korenman (00:56:12):
All right. So what I was thinking for that was sort of, um, just a very simply shaped object in, uh, you know, one, one cool thing that we could try, um, is, is just basically taking, um, you know, let's take a spline, let's just do like a simple, uh, linear spline. All right. I'm just going to come in here and I'm just going to put a point here and a point here and we're done, and then I'm going to grab a circle spline. Uh, and I'm gonna make that on the Z, sorry, Z Y a. And let's shrink that down. Let's make that 50, and then we're going to sweep that circle through that spline. Okay. And, uh, I've got this here we go oriented the wrong way. And then, uh, what I can do is go to my caps and I don't want an end cap.
Joey Korenman (00:57:06):
I want that to be open, but I do want to start cap and the start cap can be affiliate cap. All right. And we can give it a couple of steps, uh, in a bigger radius, and I'm going to turn on constrain. And when you constrain the cap, instead of getting bigger, it gets smaller. Right? So now I can have something like this, um, for the circle, uh, let's set the intermediate points, uh, actually what would be even better than a circle and what I should have done is an incited polygon. So let me just delete that circle and make an incited polygon and make that 50. What's great about that is I can, I can easily add detail and, and just select how many sides I want this to be. Okay. And then I can add, um, you know, I can go to this, this sweep here and I can go into the object details and I can adjust the scale along along this.
Joey Korenman (00:57:59):
Okay. Um, now the spline only has two points on it. Um, and so, you know, if I want to have more points on this shape here, um, you know, I can, I can set intermediate points to, um, subdivided and that way I can just add as many points as I want using, you know, like the angle or the maximum length. Um, and so that's going to give me more geometry and then I can come in here and easily shape this thing to look exactly like what I want. Right. So if I want it to, to kind of be shaped like this, right. Um, and you know, that like, and then have the pedals grow out of here and have the, the face in the middle. And what's cool about building it this way is then I can easily have it just kind of animate on like this in a very simple way.
Joey Korenman (00:58:49):
All right. And that's going to happen fairly quickly. Um, so this is just an easy way to build something like that. Um, and then just have some, have some control over it. Uh, and I could also, um, you know, I could, I could rotate the end a little bit so that as it grows on you get, you, you know, you feel a little bit more of the, um, you know, it'll feel like it's moving a little bit more, it'll just feel more interesting. Um, and let me turn that, turn that font tag off, and you could see now you get this kind of interesting looking shape and, you know, there's a spiral inside of it and it's got a spiral, so everything's starting to come together. Um, so now I'm just going to spend some time trying to tweak this and animate it and get everything to feel good.
Joey Korenman (00:59:29):
And that's the, that's the thing that takes a long time. Um, so just watch as I do that, and I'm going to tell you a little bit about what I'm going through, no, getting around it. This part just takes awhile. I start by just tweaking endlessly on the spiral face of the plant to get it, to look the way I want. And this just takes a lot of fiddling and experimenting. I'm using effectors and fall off and just kind of nudging things around until it looks right. There's not really like a process. It just sort of happens until I'm done. Then I made a little expressive setup to make it easier to animate the pyramids on and off. And I did some quick animation just to see how it was looking. And I know I'll probably have to go back later and tweak this, moving on to the pedals.
Joey Korenman (01:00:17):
I worked on the basic shape for a while. And then I used a random effector and a displacer deformer to get some nice variation in the pedals. So they all looked a little bit different and overlapped. Then I animated my pedal and because I had set it up with the random effector, creating some random time delays, it worked out pretty well right off the bat. I did some quick animation on the sheath, that little connector piece. That's going to tie the head of the plant to the stem. And once I got everything working together, I brought it back into the project with the animated stem and lined everything up.
Joey Korenman (01:00:57):
So now I've lined up the plant head with the plant. I liked the scale of it and the way it looks. So the next thing I need to do is actually attach it to the stem, right? So you can see there's a little problem here as the stem grows on, right? Let's pretend we want the head of the plant to start animating on back here. Well, I need to attach it to that part of the stem and because of the way this thing is animating, it's going to be a little bit tricky, right? Because what's actually happening is we are using the spline wrap to wrap this kind of goofy cylinder along a spline. So how do we figure out where this part of the stem is at all times, right? This is going to take some doing, so what I'm going to do, we turn the stem off for a minute.
Joey Korenman (01:01:39):
I'm going to use a matrix object. All right. And I'm going to set the matrix object to object mode, and the object is going to be this spline. And so here's, what's happening. The matrix object acts kind of like a cloner, and it just adds a bunch of little invisible matrix objects, uh, you know, to an object or, you know, you can do, you, you can do a grid array or whatever you want, but these objects don't render and they don't do anything all by themselves, but you can clone other things onto them, or you can grab their position and rotation and scale and sort of connect things to them. So that's what I'm going to do. And what I want to do is set the distribution to even, uh, and I'm going to add, I don't know, out a few more of these, and what I want to do is basically just give myself, uh, some points along the spline that I can then access and attach things to.
Joey Korenman (01:02:28):
Okay. And because of the way this scene is set up, these matrix objects are going to stick to that spline, and I'll always be able to grab their position and scale them in rotation. Um, now you're probably seeing there's a little bit of a lag where they kind of go off the spline for a second and then catch up that's because the matrix object is up here in the object manager, but the spline is being calculated afterwards. All right. So it's kind of screwing up the order of calculation. So if I move the matrix down to the bottom, it should make that better. And it does. Okay. That's one of the, that's a priorities thing. And you have to, when she'd get into rigging and sort of more complicated setups like this, you have to worry about what order cinema 40 is calculating stuff in.
Joey Korenman (01:03:12):
All right. So now we've got these matrix objects. Now, uh, one problem we have to solve is the stem grows on, and I need these matrix objects to grow on in the exact same way. So what I could do is animate the ending of this matrix object and try to time it so that it works exactly the same way this spline wrap is working, right. We, we animated the offset of the spline wrap to have this stem grow on. So if I can get the offset of the spline wrap to control the end of the matrix, I think they'll work together the same way. So what I'm going to do is use an espresso node here, or an express tag, and what I need to do here we go get rid of this. So what we need is the matrix object and the spline wrap.
Joey Korenman (01:04:01):
Okay. So for the spline rap, I want this offset in the output section. Okay. So I'm going to be using the offset to drive the end parameter of the matrix. Okay. So, uh, if you're not familiar with express, so there's actually a tutorial on school of motion called intro to express, so that, you know, kind of wrap your head around what I'm doing here, but basically I just want to drive this value with this value. The problem is the spline wrap is animating from negative 100 to zero, and I need the matrix object to animate from zero to 100. Okay. So it's not the same numbers. So what I can use is something called a range mapper. And all it does is it takes a range of numbers and maps it to a different range of numbers. Pretty simple. All right. So what I need to do is make sure that I'm working in percents because both of these values work in percents and the numbers won't work and they'll get scurry otherwise.
Joey Korenman (01:04:59):
And so the input lower is going to be what the spline or app is doing, which is going from negative 100 to zero. And then the output lower should be what I want the matrix object to do, which is going from zero to 100. And that's what we have. So now, if I scrub through this, you can see me turn off the, uh, the stem for a minute. You could see that now those matrix objects line up perfectly with what the, um, with what the stem is doing right now. We are what I want, I guess, ideally is right on the edge there. I need a matrix object there and I don't have one. So I'm just going to use the offset parameter and just offset this a tiny bit so that now I have a matrix object right. At the tip and it follows that stem perfectly.
Joey Korenman (01:05:50):
Okay. So now what the heck can I do with that? So here's what I'm going to do. So let's just, uh, let's just pretend that I had, I don't know, let's just use a sphere just as a placeholder, right. So I've got the sphere and I want the sphere to stick to the head of this thing. Okay. So first thing I'm going to do is group that sphere under NOL, and I'm just going to call this sphere. No. And the reason I'm doing that is because I want the Knoll to actually follow that matrix object, and then I can move the spirit around to adjust it. So what I need to do is somehow get the position in rotation of that matrix and transfer it to this Knoll. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to grab a motion graphics, data tab. Okay.
Joey Korenman (01:06:35):
I keep saying the wrong word. It's not a tab, it's a node. And I want this matrix object to output its object parameter. And basically that just tells this data node, look at this matrix object index is saying, which of the matrix objects in here, or which of the clones should I look at? Um, and you can see that I have 16 in total. So that's going to be a number from zero to 15, and then I can, I can pipe out different pieces of information. So what I want is the global matrix. The global matrix is basically this one pipe of information that carries the position, scale and rotation all in one. And what's cool is I could grab this sphere null. Okay. And actually, I'm going to do this a little bit differently. I'm going to, um, I'm just going to cut these really quickly.
Joey Korenman (01:07:23):
I'm going to make this a lot easier for myself and to cut this, I'm going to put the espresso tag on the sphere. No. Okay. And then I'm going to come in here and I'm going to paste that little setup and this sphere, Knoll object, I'm going to change the reference mode to relative reference. And I'll, you'll see why in a minute. And I want the global matrix input for that. I can pipe it to the global matrix output of this. And now what I'm able to do is click on this data tab and just select a different index. Right? And so if I go to index 15, which is the last matrix object in the chain, it's basically taking that matrix object, right? It's getting its global matrix, which is the position scale rotation. And it's passing that to the spear. No, and the reason that I changed this sphere, null object node to be set to relative references, because now I can do this.
Joey Korenman (01:08:18):
I can, um, here's what I need to do. I need to take this plant, head Knoll and group everything inside it. And I'm going to call it plant, head geo. And I'm just going to take this express attack and move it right there. Right. And I kill this now. Now, if I look at the expressor tag now, and I look at this object, it's automatically updated to be the plant head. When you set this object node to be a relative reference, then it actually looks at whatever object this tag is on, as opposed to which object you dragged in here. So if I wanted to copy and paste this expressive tag around, it would make it really, really easy. And if I turn this on now, um, you can see that it does stick perfectly to there. Okay. Um, now obviously it's not oriented the right way, so we need to, uh, we need to figure out which way this thing needs to go.
Joey Korenman (01:09:12):
And, um, the orientation is all over the place. So what I need to do is go to my access center tool, uh, and I need to include children and I want to move this thing. I need to figure out where this needs to go. There we go. So X should be as zero. Y should be negative 100. So it should be right at the bottom of this thing. It doesn't really look like it is. So I'm just going to have to do this manually. I'm going to grab my access tool and come in here and just move it to the bottom of this. All right. Make sure it's in the middle. That looks good. Cool. And now I can rotate it and oriented the right way. So I want it to face out this way, right? Like that. All right. And let's go to this ending position here and just kind of put this back where we, where we liked it.
Joey Korenman (01:10:12):
All right. And I feel like it, it may have grown a little bit, so I'm just going to shrink it a little bit, move it down like this, rotate it just a little bit up. Right. Let's take a look at that. Okay. So it needs to scale up a little bit. So this is going to take a little bit of adjusting just to get everything, to fit exactly the way we want it. Right. But the important thing is that now it should stick perfectly to the stem. Now I am seeing that little delay happening again. I'm gonna turn the matrix objects, Ville visibility off. Um, and the reason for that is because this espresso tag is being evaluated first. And actually it should be evaluated last, right? Because I need to know the cinema 40 needs to know what the spline shape is then where the matrix objects are, then where the plant head goes.
Joey Korenman (01:11:03):
So you can actually change the priorities here. And I'm just going to change this to generators and basically cinema 4d evaluates from the top to the bottom. So expressions are evaluated before generators. So if I switch it to generators, that delay should go away. Now it should work perfectly. It looks like it does very cool. And so now I need to figure out, okay, if I want that plant to start opening up, let's say, here, I can now go into my animation mode. And let's say, first thing we want to happen is I want the sheath to animate on. Okay. So let me, uh, let me get my timeline here. So the sheet is going to start animating on here and it probably needs to animate on fairly quickly. Okay. Then I want the pedals, right. And the pedals are animating on, um, you know, using some, some controls on the leaf geo know.
Joey Korenman (01:12:02):
Um, and so we can move those back to here and then we've also got the plant face. All right. So actually, I'm going to go into my timeline here and I'm just going to make this easier. I'm going to say view and unlinked from the object manager. So now I can just see all of my, uh, key frames at once. And I've got the sheaf sheath, the leaf geometry and the plant face, and the plant face needs to not show up just yet. Right. And I'm basically just trying to figure out my timing here. I also think we may have screwed up some of the key frames. So when I scaled this whole thing up, some of the values that I animated may have gotten a up. So for example, if I go to this pyramid growth, right, and I take a look at this, if you look closely, you can see that this is where those, uh, the pyramids of the plant face are supposed to start animating on.
Joey Korenman (01:12:58):
You don't actually see them until here. Right. Uh, which means that this value is now too low. It should actually, if we go back here, there we go. I need to adjust that low value just a little bit so that it starts to animate on. And then the high value might be too high. Yeah, it is. All right. So that's the high value. So I'm just adjusting the high and the low value. So we get the animation working their way. We like, all right. And I just want to make sure that I'm starting to, you know, get, get the timing that I like here, right. This thing opens up.
Joey Korenman (01:13:38):
All right. So I want, I want to delay the, a, this face a little bit longer. I want to have the pedals be delayed a bit longer. So I'm now just going to spend some time tweaking this animation and maybe tweaking some of the curves too, just to make this thing feel the way I want. And then I'm going to quickly design the leaves and attach them. Um, and then when it's time to texture, those we'll hop back in and I'll show you how I'm gonna do that. You can probably guess what happens now, more animating and tweaking, animating, and tweaking. And eventually I'm happy with what I've got. So I quickly model a simple leaf, uh, use a bend deformer to animate it on. And I attach it to the matrix objects that I use to attach the head of the plant to the stem, after a serious tweak athon, here's the modeled, rigged and animated plant.
Joey Korenman (01:14:33):
I am pretty psyched about this. It turned out like I wanted, I'm sure I'm going to have to tweak stuff once I see this thing in context, but because I've done my homework and I already know pretty well how this plant is going to be used in the piece. I think it'll work without too much trouble, but it's got no texture. So next let's deal with that. Now that we've got some animation and we've actually got, you know, the entire plant modeled and we've got the vine and the leaves and the head of the plant, everything, um, you know, the next thing we got to do is texture this, and really that's going to be pretty easy. We're going to use the same approach that we did with the environment and with the building. Um, I'm going to use as many procedural textures as I can.
Joey Korenman (01:15:20):
So that process is going to be fairly straightforward. The only part that will be a little different will be these leaves, because I really want them to have a little bit more detail to them. Um, you know, the vines and stuff. I can just use some color and some noise and get an interesting stat texture. But for the leaves, if you remember back in Photoshop, um, I thought it would be cool to have something, you know, just a little bit more interesting. Um, and the reference for this was actually this image here, you can see, there's like this really beautiful kind of painting. Um, and, and I just like how it feels very thin and delicate and kind of cut out. So what I want to do is first create a quick UV map for these leaves. So that should be fairly easy. What I'm going to do is go into the BP UV edit layout here.
Joey Korenman (01:16:09):
I'm going to make sure show UVMs is on. Uh, and now that I can see the UV mesh, I can also see that the UV mesh is terrible. So what I need to do is click on my leaf and I need to go into one of these UV modes here, right up at the top. Um, if you've never used UVS or body paint or anything like that, watch my UV mapping tutorial. This will make a lot more sense. And I'm going to go to the projection tab and I'm going to try a flat projection, um, which is not coming out very good. So actually, what, what probably an easy thing to do would be, is just pop in really close, like this. I'm going to try and align the camera as much as I can to this leaf. And then I'm going to hit frontal.
Joey Korenman (01:16:50):
And what that does, it basically takes whatever view is in my viewer. And it just projects those UVS onto the UV space, um, makes it really easy. And then I can just relax the UVS to kind of flatten them a little bit. Um, and then I can just use my 5, 6, 7 keys to rotate and, and scale. So now I have, sorry, four or five, six, I said 5, 6, 7, I meant four or 5, 6, 4 moves, five, five scales, six rotates. And I can basically just move my UVS like this. All right. So now I've got a nice UV map for that leaf. Uh, I'm going to go ahead and just copy that onto the other Leafs as well. So let me delete that UV tag and that UV tag and copy this one. So now they all have nice, beautiful UVS. Um, and now I need to create a texture for it.
Joey Korenman (01:17:41):
So what I want to do is go to my materials, create a new material, and I could just name this something like, I don't know, leaf texture, uh, I'm going to hit X to load it into memory. And right now there's absolutely no texture loaded into memory for me to actually paint on. So I'm just going to double click under this, see where this tiny little faint X I'm going to, double-click there to create a new texture. Um, and you know, in the end there's going to be a ton of these leaves. I don't think we're, I'm not sure how close we're going to get to them. The, the texture size, uh, right. The resolution of the texture. That's what I'm trying to figure out right now. Um, and I'm just thinking about the, how far away from the camera. These leaves are going to be most of the time they're gonna be pretty far away, but there is that one shot where we're flying up the side of the building.
Joey Korenman (01:18:29):
And on that shot, we might get kind of close to these leaves though. There's probably going to be motion blur. So I think, uh, just to be safe, I'm going to do a two K texture. Um, so 2 48 by 2 40, 20, 48 by 2048, I'm going to hit. Okay. And now I've got, now I'm basically set up to actually paint on this texture and I've just got like a basic, you know, gray layer here, but, you know, you can see that, uh, I could grab, I could grab like a, you know, like a brush like this and start painting. Um, and if I'm looking at the right leaf. Oh, and here's another thing, here's another tip that I always forget. I need to actually apply that texture to something like the leaf. And now I can actually, you know, I can just paint right on this texture and, you know, make the leaf look like whatever I want.
Joey Korenman (01:19:18):
All right. Fantastic. So what I want to do is, uh, I want to create, um, a UV mesh layer. Okay. And so to do that, I need to be in polygon mode, right? So one of these polygon modes, and now I can go up to layer or maybe I'm getting this wrong. Maybe it's UV mode. See, this is, this is body pain. It confuses me all the time. Um, let's see here, I'm doing something wrong. I know I am. All right. So I want to make sure that I have this object selected and then I can go layer, create UV mesh layer. All right. So just to clarify, cause I had to figure it out. Uh, I need to have an object selected. I need to be in one of the object modes. I don't think it works if you're in a UV mode. Oh, it still does.
Joey Korenman (01:20:05):
This still works, create UV mesh. And what that does is it creates this, this layer. It's actually, um, if I turn off show you V mesh, which I can't do until I'm in a different mode, this is, I love body paint, don't you? Um, but you can see it actually made a one pixel kind of outline of my UV mesh. And what's great about this is that now I could actually save this texture as a Photoshop file. Right. And tell it to save somewhere. So I'm going to save this, uh, let me just go ahead and make a texture folder here and I'll save, this is leaf texture color. We'll save that. And then I can go into Photoshop and I can open up that Photoshop file.
Joey Korenman (01:20:51):
Right. And now let me make this like a black background. You can see that in Photoshop. I see the outline of my leaf. And so what's cool is I could, you know, I could actually go and grab this image and start pulling off pieces of it to create the texture I want. Okay. And so that's actually what I'm going to do. I'm not going to go ahead and try to get a rough texture of this thing. And I'm going to make the texture black and white so that I can then inside cinema 4d, colorize it, however I want to. All right. So that's what I'm going to do right now. I grabbed that leaf image and manipulated it, stretched it, warped it so that it covered the UV space. Then I just used a Photoshop brush to trace over the lines and the image. So I could get a nice high Rez, black and white texture to use once that was done.
Joey Korenman (01:21:38):
I just reverted the texture and body paint and boom instant leaf texture. I moved the plant into the scene and of course I didn't model the plant to scale, which meant that it screwed a bunch of stuff up. And I had to fix a few things, but no big deal. I did that. And then the next part was just a lot of tweaking. A lot of tweaking. I set up an interactive render region and I tweaked colors and textures for a very long time, doing many, many, many, many test renders to find the right combination of color and pattern that would make my eyeballs happy. And finally, I arrived here and then I took it into Photoshop and played with it a little bit, just to get a sense of what compositing might be able to pull out of the image. So this looks even better to me.
Joey Korenman (01:22:29):
And then just for fun, I did a quick test render and did a quick new composite just to see what it would look like moving. So that took a crap ton of work to pull off. Hopefully you're starting to get a feel for the process of doing something this big, this plant has to grow on one time at the end of the piece and the rest of the time, it's fairly static. And yet I spent days working on this thing to get it to look right. And I could've spent even more time if I really wanted to make it perfect, but then I'd probably never finish. So I'm going to go ahead and call this good enough. And now we are one step closer to the final film.