Create a Snowflake in Cinema 4D using MoSpline Turtle Mode

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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  • Duration: 04:36
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  • Made with Release: 17
  • Works with Release: 17 and greater

Use L-System structures in Cinema 4D to create a branched snowflake

MoSpline's Turtle mode allows you to create splines based on L-System rules like you may have learned playing with Logo in school. Move the turtle forward, turn left or right, and utilize branching and recursion to create a holiday snowflake with almost infinite variation. The project file for this tutorial includes MoSpline objects to create both the Koch Snowflake and a traditional holiday snowflake.

Complete documentation of C4D's Turtle rules can be found in the Cinema 4D Online Help.



- In this tutorial, we're going to use MoSpline's Turtle Mode to create a snowflake, and you might be familiar with this particular snowflake. It's actually called the Koch snowflake. I'm not sure on the pronunciation on that, but I'm going to go with Koch because I think it's the safest pronunciation I could try. And you'll see this snowflake a lot because it's one of the most basic examples of fractal geometry. But that is not the snowflake that I want to make today. We're actually going to make a more traditional snowflake like this, and we're going to use the MoSpline Turtle Mode to do it. Turtle can be a little intimidating, but I'm going to break it down so that it's easy for you to understand. So first of all, we're going to go ahead and create a new MoSpline object and by default it's in simple mode. We're just going to switch it from simple mode into the Turtle mode and we got a tree. But in this case, we're not trying to create a tree. We actually want a snowflake. So we're going to go into the Turtle tab, and we're just going to clear up all of this complicated math that's there and we're going to start from scratch. So the first thing that we want to do is go ahead and create the Y shape here that's repeated in each of these spokes. And to do that we're going to go ahead and start with a new premise. So what we want to do here first is to go forward to create the stem of that Y. And to go forward, all we do is type a capital F. This might look familiar if you played with Logo as a kid. Basically, that's what we're doing. We're moving our logo Turtle. I'm going to rotate this up 90 degrees so that we can see what it's looking like as we draw it. So here we have the stem of our Y, and now we need to angle a branch in either direction. So to create a branch what you do is enclose each branch in square brackets. So I'm going to do open/close square bracket and inside of that what I want to do is rotate to the left and go forward. And to do that, we use the minus sign. Minus rotates to the left, and then we already know how to go forward. It's a capital F. And so now we have the left side of our Y. To create the other branch, all we do is go ahead and create another open and close square brackets and, in this case, we're going to say plus F. And now we have a Y. Well, now what we want to do is go ahead and repeat that upwards. And so what we need to do is basically call this same premise over and over again. So to do that, what we're going to do is move the premise down into the rules. So I'm going to say A equals that premise that we already created, and A is just a term that I came up with myself. It's my own name for this rule and what I want to do is have this rule call itself at the end. So I'm just going to type A at the end of the rule, and then in the premise here, we'll type A as well. So now you can see that we've got repeating Y shapes, and if we go into the values tab here, I want to work with a default angle in this case of 45 degrees. And if I adjust the growth, you can see that we're growing successive Ys out of each other and we have the basics for one spoke of our snowflake. Well, now what we need to do is create additional branches to form all eight spokes of the snowflake. So for that what we're going to do is go ahead and create a new premise or a new rule actually. And we'll call this B, and basically B is just going to be rotate to the right with the plus sign and then create a branch and each branch is going to be A. And we'll just do a square bracket to close that, and now our premise is going to be B. Well, that actually rotated and created one spoke, but we actually want eight spokes. Well, the easiest way to do that is to just type B eight times. And there we go, we have a snowflake and the great thing about this is we can go into the values tab, and we can actually grow this snowflake out. And you can also adjust whether the angle is grown and the movement is grown to get slightly different looks. So that's how to create a snowflake using MoSpline's Turtle Mode. And if the snowflake you were actually looking for all along was that Koch snowflake I showed at the beginning, well, you can just pull that out of the scene file attached to this tutorial as well. The premise and rules are right there and it's ready to go.
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