Sweeps and Rail Splines in Cinema 4D

The Extrude, Sweep, and Lathe are very useful objects in any 3D program. Cinema 4D lends itself very well to traditional designers, mainly due to the fact that it effortlessly imports Bezier splines from Illustrator. So, we can use splines drawn in Cinema 4D or in another program to Extrude or Sweep; but what happens when we need more control over the details of the generated object?

Cinema 4D has a few objects* that support a rail spline to control the banking or target direction. The video above will explain how to leverage the rail spline option for a swept object representing a racetrack with banked corners.

* The objects supporting a rail spline are:

  • Sweep/SweepNURBS object
  • Align to Spline tag
  • The Arrange function (legacy)
  • The Duplicate function (legacy)
  • The Cloner object
  • The Spline Wrap deformer
  • The Spline effector
  • The MoSpline object
  • The Motion Camera

22 Comments

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  1. thank you so much!

  2. thanx jamie. great tip, you’re really good at explaining things in cinema, one of the better tutorials i’ve seen in a while. look forward to more!

  3. I never paid attention to the rail option. Your tips are teaching me a
    bunch. Thank you!

  4. Hey Jamie, great video its just i have the old cinema 4D from 2012 i
    couldn’t find the create outline option. Is there another way other then
    scaling?

  5. Nobody was able to tell me how to prevent my roads from twisting and now
    after abandoning the project i find this … sigh

  6. Jamie!!!
    This solved my problem. Perfectly.
    I am creating straps for bags and could not figure out how to make them
    behave correctly. Adding the rail spline is the answer.

    I have to try it with an open spline. I wonder if the create outline works
    with an open spline. I will check.

    Thank you. 

  7. this is VERY cool! Thanks Jamie

  8. OMG IM GOING TO USE THIS RAIL SPLINE METHOD TO CREATE FANCY SCHMANCY
    FUTURISTIC ROADS!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! 

  9. Thanks Jamie! This is really useful info and I love the quick tips. Keep them coming!

  10. Can you make a tutorial on how to “twist polygons” ?
    If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, I can explain you better,
    it’s a thing that I still haven’t figured out very properly and also a
    feature that I really need to know for my modeling needings.

  11. fantastic tutorial as usual

  12. Believe it or not, exactly what I needed right now, thanks :)

  13. Good one, create outline was something I’ve been desperately needing for
    various reasons

  14. Thank you very much Jamie,really useful tutorial.
    I did’nt know some parameters of SweepNURBS,really great .
    I have a question about Subdivision modeling method,do you have an idea how
    to create like this “single” object?
    http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/1016/subdsample2.png
    http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/8031/subdsample1.png

    Thanks again for everything,bye.

  15. Perfect tip Jamie!! Thanks again!

  16. My latest tip is a really quick one that focuses on rail splines. They can
    be super useful for sweeps, and other object types too.

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