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

Photo of Edna Kruger

Instructor Edna Kruger

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  • Duration: 04:17
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Learn how to use the Shear deformer!

This video shows how to apply the Shear deformer to an object or generator, and then set its Strength, Angle, Curvature, and Fillet attributes, and resize and move the deformer to alter its effect.



In this video, we're going to take a look at the Shear Deformer, and it shears objects at an angle while keeping their volume. You could use it to create the illusion of velocity, especially with cartoony animations. And even though it's kind of similar to the Bend Deformer, you can make the bend perfectly linear, which you want to do with rigid objects, like this pole here. One thing where shear can be really helpful is to fake out an italic font, either if you don't have it or if there isn't one available in your favorite font family. And we'll show you how to do that here. First, we'll select the text geometry. Then open the Deformer's Palette and press the Shift key as you click the shear icon. And this creates the shear deformer object, which is the purple box around our word here. Using the Shift key automatically makes the deformer a child of our object, which is where a deformer needs to live in a hierarchy if you want it to work. And because it's created as a child, the deformer matches the parent object's size, orientation, and location, which is important for getting good results. There's a little orange dot here that's actually a handle, and even though the axis is in the way, we can still drag it. And this changes both the strength and angle attributes. Obviously, we need to have a bit more control to make convincing italics, so let's go to the Attribute Manager, and we'll just zero out the angle here to see what's going on. First, set the strength to how much of an italic slant you want. Italic fonts usually have an angle of anywhere between 5 and 15 degrees. So, you could check what your font needs if you need it to be really accurate, or just play around until you've got something that looks good. The text is curving as it's shearing, because 100% is the default curvature, and this will give you a result more like the Bend Deformer. And when it's curved, you could use the fillet to ease or soften the shear at the top and bottom for a different effect, like maybe making a scary font. But not today. Unlike the Bend Deformer, you can set the amount of curve you want here, and zero is no curve, which is what you usually want for italics. And there it is, our fake italic font. We applied shear to the whole word here, but you could also deform each letter individually to get different effects, and let's check out how we can do that. We'll just display this layer here, where we have made the text editable. And this made individual splines for each letter, so we then extruded each of those splines with an extrude generator to create some depth. So to use the Shear Deformer, just select the parent of each of the splines, which we just did, and then press Shift as you click the shear icon. And this makes shear a sibling of the spline. Now you need to move each deformer below its spline, and this is because operations are performed from top down in the hierarchy. So, the spline has to be extruded before the Shear Deformer can work on it. Let's select the letter S here, and notice how the shear is happening in the object's X direction when the angle is zero. But let's change things up a bit with the letter H here and shear it in another direction. To do that, you could just make the angle 90 degrees to have it shear in the Z direction. And we'll just zero out the curvature for a better look. Now let's select the letter E and try something else. You can also change directions by changing the deformer's rotation values in the Coordinates Manager. And we'll enter 90 here for B, or the bank value. Then click Fit To Parent to snap the deformer back to the object's shape. And you can see that it's now shearing in the Y direction. And again, we'll just zero out the curvature. So, you can see that the Shear Deformer is pretty simple, but it can be a useful tool for certain things. 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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