Two Ways to Wrap or Align Text to a Spline in Cinema 4D

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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Learn how to wrap or align MoGraph MoText to a Spline or Path in Cinema 4D.

Learn two different methods that can be used to wrap or align text to a spline path in Cinema 4D. To deform or curve the each letter face, use the Spline Wrap deformer in Keep Length mode and adjust the text for better deformation. To simply align text to a spline, use the Spline Effector in Relative mode.

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Transcript

- In this Cinema 4D quick tip, I'm going to show you two ways to wrap text along a spline. In this scene I've already got a couple of text objects, as well as a couple of splines. I'm going to hide these two for now so we can focus on the NEWS and this spline that wraps around the globe. And the first way that you can wrap text along the spline is to use the Spline Wrap Deformer. This works great if you want to actually curve the faces of the letters themselves to match the curve of the spline. So to apply the Spline Wrap Deformer, you can just hold down the Shift key while you add the deformer to the scene, and it will automatically be added as a child of the selected object. Otherwise you can just add it and drag it under the object you want to deform. Now once you've got the Spline Wrap Deformer in the scene, you just add your spline into the Spline field of the attributes and you can see that's going to wrap this text completely around the spline, and it's really made quite a mess of it. In most cases when you're working with text, you're going to switch the mode from Fit Spline to Keep Length, and that's going to keep the current length of the text consistent. We can roll the offset around here to see the text, and you can see that it's properly spaced now, but it's also upside down and backwards.a couple of things to look at when this is the case is to go into your spline and for primitive splines you can reverse the sequence by checking this box here in the Attribute Manager. If it's not a primitive spline, what you can do is go into the Mesh menu, Spline, and choose the Reverse Sequence option. Now you can see the text is still backwards, and to fix that, we can go into the Spline Wrap Deformer, and switch the Axis from plus X t0 minus X. Now we'll roll the offset around, and you can see that our text fits right there along the spline. Now the one thing you have to watch out for when using this method is that by default the text object is not set up to deform properly. It's set up for speed and flexibility. So if we roll around here to look at the side of this, you can see that the letters are kind of a little bit cockamamie. They're not quite deforming correctly along the spline. If we go to the Gouraud Shading mode with lines, you can see that this is because there is a single face along the front of each of these letters. To fix this, we go into the MoText Object and go into the Caps tab, and you're going to switch the type of Cap from N-gons to Quadrangles. And we'll also want to apply a regular grid, and this will regularly distribute squares along the face of the caps. You want to adjust this with until it's a pretty good spacing for the size of your text and the deformation you want to apply. Now we've also got some mess along the edges here, and to fix that we'll go into the Object tab, and switch the Intermediate Points from Adaptive to Subdivided. And typically you are going to want to set the maximum light here on the subdivided section to the same value as you've used for the width in your Regular Grid. So now we've got a much cleaner subdivision, and we've got text that properly deforms around the spline. Now what if you don't actually want to deform the text along the spline, but you want to simply align it to the spline? And this is often the case, so what we do is we will enable this other spline, and this Cineversity text here. And for that what you want to do is use a Spline Effector. To apply the Spline Effector, we will select the text and go to the MoGraph menu, and choose the Spline Effector from the Effector menu because that text was selected, when I hadn't automatically put that effector in the letter section of the MoText. So now again in the Spline Effector, we want to just drag the spline that we want to wrap around, and again it's wrapping around the entire spline. We don't have a keep blank option here so we're just going to have to adjust the end value until it's roughly the right length for our text, and we can again roll the offset around until it lines up properly. Now you can see again that our alignment is totally off for this text. But before we mess with the alignment, we want to switch the mode for the Spline Effector. By default, the Spline Effector uses the Step mode, which puts even spacing between each letter. But text doesn't work that way. We have different kerning for each letter pair. In order to properly space the text as we wrap it around the spline, we need to switch this mode from Step to Relative, and you'll need to adjust the Relative Offset Axis. In this case, plus X is the correct value. Now we just need to adjust the rotation of the text. We will go ahead and set this to 90°, and you can see that it fits now properly on the spline. We want to go back into the Effector tab, and drop the end value down a little bit more to reduce the spacing. And you can see that the kerning between the letters is a little bit messed up, because of the way that the spline works. But the great thing is that we can go back into the text in the Object tab and enable the 3-D GUI for kerning, and we can still go in and tweak the kerning of each letter pair. So you can see the letters here in the flags. If we scroll in close enough, you'll see those better. And even though the letters don't actually wind up with the letters themselves, we know which letters are which, and we can simply go in and adjust the spacing like so. Now because it's keeping the length of the text on the spline consistent every time we take from one kerning pair, we're giving to another, and we'll need to adjust this in conjunction with the end value here in the Spline Effector itself, and that looks like it is pretty good. It looks like the V and the E can be spaced out a little bit more. That is two different ways that we can wrap text along a spline in Cinema 4D using the Spline Effector and using the Spline Wrap.
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