Cinema 4D Handbook: Chapter 5, Part II


All through September I am going through the Cinema 4D, r10 Handbook in hopes of gaining a new skill and better understanding of 3D modeling. I plan to (from here on out) cover two chapters a week (longer chapters will be broken into multiple posts). Stay tuned for new chapters.

Chapter 5: Materials and Textures, Part II

The reason I decided to break Chapter 5 into two parts is because the second half of the chapter is a pretty in-depth tutorial on the basics of working with the BodyPaint extension of C4d. So, without further ado…

Tutorial 5.3: BodyPaint

BodyPaint is a module of Cinema 4D that allows you to unwrap and texture individual pieces of a model. BodyPaint is pretty extensive, so this is meant as a jumping point to introduce it.

Selection Tags
Selection Tags are a way to isolate specific polygons so that you can recall them individually later.

To Create a Selection Tag:
1) In Polygon Mode using the Live Selection Tool, select a group of polygons that you would like to group together.
2) Create a new Selection Tag. Selection> Set Selection
3) Rename the selection in the Attributes Manager.

Setting Up BodyPaint:
To work with the BodyPaint module, you have to go into the BP layout. Window> Layout> BP UV Edit

Using the BodyPaint 3D Setup Wizard:
This tool unwraps the model and creates a plain gray texture. Unwrapping converts 3D images into flat 2D maps called UV Polygons. UV Polygons are used to create textures on broad areas.
1) Start the Wizard. Tools> Paint Setup Wizard
2) Uncheck any materials that already have materials on them.
3) Continue through the Wizard using the”Next” and “Finish” buttons.

To Show the UV Mesh:
1) In the Canvas’s menu, choose UV Mesh> Show UV Mesh
2) Choose the UV Polygon Tool. Tools> UV Tools> UV Polygons

Creating the UV Map:
A UV Map is a 2D layout of your unwrapped images that allows for easier texturing.
1) Restore a Selection Set by clicking on a set and then choosing “Restore Selection” in the  Attributes Manager.
2) Go into the UV Mapping tab, then hit “Projection” and choose “Sphere” as the projection type.
3) Repeat for all of your Selection Sets. *NOTE: UV Polygons that have non-spherical shapes may need to use different mapping settings.



Use a Relax UV for Overlapping Polygons:
For UV Polygons that overlap, a Relax UV will help for a more precise map.
1) Choose the proper Selection Tag, and restore the selection.
2) In the UV Mapping tab, go into “Projection” and choose “Sphere.”
3) Switch to the UV Points Tool and the Rectangle Selection Tool. Tools> UV Tools> UV Points
4) Select a box around the points that overlap.
5) In UV Mapping, choose “Relax UV.”
6) Activate “Cut Selected Edges” and drop the corresponding Edge Selection Set. Now hit “Apply.

Move the Pieces Back to the Canvas:
1) Use Restore Selection to choose a map piece.
2) With the Move Tool, move sets onto the canvas so that they are organized by type. (hair, skin, clothes, etc.)
3) Use the Scale Tool to resize the groups so that each piece is roughly the same size.

Adding Color to the UV Map:
To Add Layers:
1) Create a new material and activate the Color Channel. Then link the material to your model.
2) Select your new material and add a new layer. Texture> New Layer
3) Rename the layer to match the group you are going to color with it. (IE: skin color, hair color).

To Select UV Polygon Groups:
1) Select the Polylines Tool. Select> Select Polylines
2) Draw a box around the group you wish to color.

To Fill the Selection with Color:
1) In the Attributes Manager, go into the Colors Tab. Choose a color.
2) Select the corresponding layer in the Materials Manager.
3) Activate the Fill Tool and click inside the polyline selection. Tools> Paint Tools> Fill Bitmap

Use the Brush Tool to Add Detail:
On top of using the UV Map to add blocks of color and texture, you can also freehand detail using the Paintbrush Tool.
1) Select the Brush Tool. Tools> Paint Tools> Brush
2) Create a new material layer.
3) Choose a color.
4) Paint on details to your model.

Make sure that when you save your project, you also save your texture to the “tex” folder that is rooted with your project. For more information on file structure, check out my post on Chapter 5, Part I. BodyPaint is a module that also works with Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Softimage. Look back later for Chapter 6: Lighting.


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