Motorcycle Tire Modeling Using Deformers

Instead of a Five Minute Tip this week, I thought I’d produce something a little different. One of the more challenging tasks that I face when modeling a motorcycle (something I’ve become quite practiced at) is the creation of the tires. Below is a screencast walking you through the process I’ve recently used. I’ve also included the downloadable project files for you to play with.

Part of the issue comes from the fact that a motorcycle tire curves on more than one axis, and yet must still contain intricate repeating patterns. The technique in the video below is not new; it’s not even my original technique. (I remember seeing someone using 3D Studio Max demonstrate it for a car tire) What’s different about this approach is; the use of two deformers on opposing axes working together to curve the tire, and the MoGraph Cloner object.

There’s also a bit of math in here! We use π to accurately position one of the deformers. Even with the help of our favorite mathematical constant, it’s still a long and involved process to explain. The video below is roughly 45 minutes long, so grab a cup of Coffee or Tea, kick back, and enjoy.

Project File:

I’ve included the intended look of the tire as a downloadable zip file: front tire project file for Cinema 4D.
The file should open in Cinema 4D versions R12 and higher.

Note:

You’ll notice in the video that I’m really bothered when I can’t figure out how to create the correct polygon flow to make the tread patterns that were in my reference material. I actually spent another hour or so re-modeling the original “plane” segment of the tire, and that’s why the downloadable file looks quite different from the tire in the screencast. As long as you maintain the border edges of the tread segment, you can start to build and model any shape you want for the raised parts of the tread segment—this is what I ended up doing.

24 thoughts on “Motorcycle Tire Modeling Using Deformers”

  1. One of the best C4d Tuts I’ve seen… Great Job! This stuff is Tricky and advanced… but really well explained…. Many thanks for sharing the technique

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