An Artist's Guide to All Deformers: The Bend Deformer

Photo of Edna Kruger

Instructor Edna Kruger

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  • Duration: 04:20
  • Views: 9628
  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 18 and greater

Learn how to use the Bend deformer!

This video shows how to apply the Bend deformer to an object or generator, and then set its Strength and Angle attributes, rotate the deformer, and change the Mode to limit the deformer’s effect.



In this video, we're going to take a look at the bend deformer. It's one of the simplest and most popular deformers in Cinema 4D, and it's lots of fun for doing cartoony animations, like making this text come alive. If you don't want to use character animation tools, you could just animate the deformers so that even the simplest of objects can have a whole lot of personality. And when you combine several deformers together, you can create more complex and interesting effects, like this animation of paint being brushed on, or this flower bending and twisting as it grows. But the bend deformer doesn't have to be animated. You could also use it as a modeling tool to get just the right curve without needing to mess around with an object's points and polygons. So, how do you use the bend deformer? The answer is very easily. First, select the geometry that you want to deform. Then open the deformers palette and press the SHIFT key as you click the bend icon, and there it is. The purple box around our word. Using the SHIFT key automatically makes the deformer a child of our object, and it also makes the deformer match the object's size, orientation and location. How easy was that? The bend word here is mo text, which is a primitive object. But now, we want to deform each letter individually. How do we do that? Let's go down to the layer manager and display this layer to find out. We made the text editable to make individual splines for each letter, and then we extruded each of those splines with the extrude generator. So to use the bend deformer on generated objects, you just select the parent of the spline and press SHIFT while you click bend. And this makes bend a sibling of the spline. Then you need to move the deformer below the spline so that it works. As of release 19, you can apply a deformer to multiple selected objects at once. So, let's select the extrude generators for each letter and add a bend deformer for each one. And then move the deformer below each spline. So, let's zoom in a bit here and check out those bend attributes. There's a little orange dot here that's actually an interactive handle, but it's a bit hard to see. So, we'll open the filter menu and turn off the access display for now. Dragging the orange handle changes both the strength and angle attributes, but things can get a little bit crazy here in a perspective view, so we'll change the attributes in the attribute manager to have a bit more control. We'll just zero out the angle so that we can see the strength on its own. Strength is the attribute that makes things bendy, and it's pretty much the most fun to play with. Angle tells you which direction the bending happens and can also be kind of fun. So, let's select the letter E here, and you can see how the bend is happening on the object's X axis by default. But if you want to bend it in another direction just change the angle to something like 90 degrees to have it bend on the Z axis. Now let's go to our letter N and we'll show you another way to change the bend direction. Select the deformer and change its rotation values in the coordinates manager. We'll enter 90 here for the H or heading value. Then click fit to parent to snap the deformer back to the object's shape. And you can see that the letter is now bending on the Z axis, the same as the letter E is doing. You'll notice that as the letter is bending, it's also stretching. But what if you don't want that kind of distortion? All you do is turn on keep Y axis length, and it bends without the additional stretching. So, that's the simple yet versatile bend deformer. Make sure to watch the other videos in this series to learn some basics and to see what you can do with all the other deformers.
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