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

Photo of Edna Kruger

Instructor Edna Kruger

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  • Duration: 03:07
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Learn how to use the Taper deformer!

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



In this video, we're going to check out the Taper Deformer, which scales an object at one end to either taper or flare it out. It's a simple deformer, but it can be used for a variety of things like animating how these flower petals look like they're filling out. You'll probably use it mostly for modeling to get just the right shape, like for this spoon. Sometimes, it's just faster to use a deformer instead of messing around with points and polygons. So, let's check out how to use a Taper Deformer on this cogwheel that's in bright red, but we'll change the color up later on. It needs to fit within another cogwheel to make a gear, so we need to shape it. First, we'll select the cog, which is this polygon. Then, open the Deformers Palette, and press the SHIFT key as you click the Taper icon, and this purple box is the deformer. Notice that it's a child of our object here, and let's drag it beneath the caps just to make sure that it deforms everything that's above it. Dragging this little orange handle here changes the Strength attribute, but you can see that it's not exactly tapering in the direction that we want. So, no problem. We'll just rotate the deformer here on its x-axis, and you can see how any part of the object that's in the box gets tapered. We'll just make that a perfect 90 degrees in the Coordinates Manager here, since gears are all about accuracy. Let's go back to the Taper attributes and click Fit to Parent, to get the deformer back to the right size and location, and you can see that it's already doing its job. We'll just display the lines here so that we can see the geometry a bit better. Now we can set the Strength to create whatever kind of cog we want, and this is close to what we want. The Curvature is 100%, which gives a nice curve if your geometry has more segments in that direction than our cog does. But we'll take the Curvature down to 0% since there's no curve at all with these gears. You can also move the deformer to get different effects, and we'll just bring it forward a bit here to get a slightly different angle of tapering. Changing the Size values here can also give you different effects, so it's good to try that out. And we'll just adjust the Strength again to get it more to what we want. With this cog as we want it now, we can duplicate it and position it to be flat on this plane, and we magically already have this. So let's just display it. We'll just zoom in and check that the cogs are intersecting properly and maybe adjust the Strength a little bit. That looks pretty good. They're not touching each other, but they're close. Now, we can remove this red material to reveal the dark metal that they really are, and you're ready for those gears to start turning. So that's the Taper Deformer, simple but effective when you're trying to achieve certain results. 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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