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New Flexibility and Efficiency with Caps and Bevels in Cinema 4D R21

By EJ Hassenfratz and Ryan Plummer
Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D R21 features enhanced Caps and Bevels

As we noted in our Cinema 4D R21 review, the new Caps and Bevels feature "is more than just fancy fonts and text."
With improved constraints and internal bevels, Delaunay cap skinning, a new bevel preset library and the ability to create your own bevel profiles, this release is all about flexibility and efficiency. Plus, caps and bevels are integrated on all the spline-based objects, like lathe, loft, and sweep — "for unlimited possibilities."
In our Cinema 4D R21 Caps and Bevels Tutorial, EJ Hassenfratz, our 3D Creative Director, guides you step by step through the tool's various uses, demonstrating why you can expect to speed up your workflow with Release 21.

Cinema 4D R21 Caps and Bevels Features, by Maxon

Cinema 4D R21 Caps and Bevels Tutorial, by EJ Hassenfratz

Inside EJ's Caps and Bevels Tutorial

As seen in the above video, in his tutorial EJ addresses a number of enhancements to Caps and Bevels in Cinema 4D R21. Below, we summarize the improvements in control and flexibility, illustrated with some animated gifs from within the Cinema 4D app.
Want to learn more about Cinema 4D? EJ teaches a course on it.
cinema 4d basecamp.jpg

Bevel Options in Cinema 4D R21

The options are significantly improved in Cinema 4D R21, using Caps and Bevels on extrudes, MoText, logos, sweeps, lofts, and lathes.
In the Caps tab, in addition to Solid, you can select:
  1. Round
  2. Curve
  3. Step
With the Round option, you can alter the Shape Depth parameter to create an inner or extruded bevel.
At first, your shape may appear a little rigid, but there's a simple fix: using the Segments parameter, simply increase or decrease the number of segments until you achieve your desired result.
The greater the amount of cap segments, the smoother the look.
Here's a front and back view of a letter M with a concave bevel:
Round Bevel Option in Cinema 4D R21.gif
In earlier iterations of Cinema 4D, chiseled text had to be modeled; with the new Curve Bevel option, there's a spline editor that allows you to set points for your bevel, as well as bezier handles for controlling your bevel profile.
Create your own unique creation and save it as a preset, or start off with one of the pre-built curve bevel presets.
As EJ points out, this is one of the most powerful features in the new Caps and Bevels system:
Curve Bevel Option in Cinema 4D R21.gif
Plus, if you right-click in the curve editor, you'll be presented with additional new options — Double and Symmetrize — to help you create more complex bevels.
Double extends the curve by doubling its original length, maintaining but repeating the same shape.
Curve Bevel Doubling - Cinema 4D R21 .png
Symmetrize works in a similar fashion, doubling and mirroring your curve editor points.
Curve Bevel Symmetrize - Cinema 4D R21 .png
In prior versions of Cinema 4D, you were only able to add one or two steps to your bevel, unless you created a separate model — and, when increasing the size of the bevel, you had to watch for unwanted artifacts and low-quality edges.
Now, you can create as many steps as you want, without limitations:
Steps Bevel Option in Cinema 4D R21.gif
By selecting the Stair bevel option, you can generate a stair-stepped bevel; to increase your bevel's size, use the Size parameter to avoid self intersections.
Want self intersections? No problem — simply toggle it on.

Sweep Objects in Cinema 4D R21

With Cinema 4D R21, it's never been easier to round the edges of your sweep object.
In the past, you had to add a fillet cap, guess the radius of your sweep's start and finish, and then crank to the radius of each end:
Rounded Sweep Cap - Guessing Radius in Cinema 4D R20.gif
Additionally, if you changed the size of your sweep, you had to start from scratch.
In Cinema 4D R21, on the other hand, all you have to do is increase the size of your round cap:
Rounded Sweep Cap Trick in Cinema 4D R21.gif

Creating Front and Back Bevels in Cinema 4D R21

Creating front and back bevels was a laborious process in past Cinema 4D releases; not anymore.
In Cinema 4D R21, both sides receive the same bevel treatment by default, cutting your work load in half.
Also, if you want to separate the front and back bevels, you can — with a simple click of the Separate Bevel Controls checkbox.

Changing Bevel Fonts in Cinema 4D R21

Even the best of us experience aha moments in the midst of 3D animation work, and with Release 21 of Cinema 4D that's no longer a clear cause for concern.
If you decide to change your font after you've created a bevel, you can — without changing the bevel profile (as long as you're working with MoText, of course):
Font Change and Bevels keep in Cinema 4D R21.gif

Editing Objects in Cinema 4D R21

Ever popped a cap in Cinema 4D? You're not alone.
Fortunately, the previously painstaking work of editing 3D objects in this app has been significantly simplified in Release 21.
No longer will you lose your cap when loop-selecting it and extending the shape:
Bad Editable Object caps workflow Cinema 4D R20.gif
In R21, your cap remains properly attached to your object:
Good Editable Object caps workflow Cinema 4D R21.gif

Shading Sections in Cinema 4D R21

Adding shading to your object is a pretty standard step in 3D design, but in past releases Cinema 4D required you to manually input code snippets in the Selection field to assign a shader to a specific portion of your work.
Now, all you have to do is enable a specific selection in the Selection tab and then drag and drop it into your shader's selection field. Cinema 4D R21 will do the rest, automatically applying it to the selected region of your object:
Shader Selection Tags in Cinema 4D R21.gif
You can even choose between Polygon and Edge Selections.

Mastering Cinema 4D R21

Adding 3D to your toolkit is one of the best ways to up your value and expand your capabilities as a motion designer.
With the new pricing options and enhanced features of Cinema 4D, there's never been a better time to master the world's leading 3D animation software — and there's no better way to learn than with School of Motion (97% of our alumni recommend us!).
Taught by our very own EJ Hassenfratz, who helped us review Cinema 4D R21 and created today's Caps and Bevels Tutorial, Cinema 4D Basecamp will have you utilizing Cinema 4D like the pros.
Plus, when you sign up for a session of Cinema 4D Basecamp, Maxon will provide you with a short-term license of Cinema 4D for use in this course!
SOM founder and CEO Joey Korenman created a tutorial that'll teach you how to make a shader that looks like clay, and animate something that looks like stop motion — all in Cinema 4D.