Mini Making Of Selenicereus obtineriis, diesmal in einer Sprache, die dem englischen ähnelt. Ein bisschen.
I was asked how I created the stems of this cacti, so I decided to make this short making of. It´s not a detailed tutorial, but it should give you some ideas to follow along. For sure there are different options to get similar results.
Step 1: Create the base shape of the arm
First I layed out the path of the arm with a regular spline object. I always try to use as few control points as possible, otherwise editing of the shape gets tricky. Then add a profile and put all into a Sweep Nurbs object – you can see the result below.
Step 2: Create the swellings
I guess this step depends a lot on the modeling package you are using. Some offer powerful selection methods, where it´s possible to choose every nth face or vertex. Other packages offer nice deformers. I am working with Cinema4D and decided to make use of the Mograph Displace deformer. I multiplied to Gradient shaders and tiled them over the arm. You could have painted something similar in Bodypaint or Photoshop also, just do what you like. This serves as height map for the Displace deformer. In this case I put a second Displace deformer on top, just to create an additional bulge on the main displacements. Why two Displace deformers and not just include this extra tip in the main displace texture? Because a second Displace deformer on top of the first one gives you a different result, which I prefered.
Step 3: Areoles
Now it´s time to distribute the areoles on the vine like stems. Again this is something that depends mainly on the tools at your fingertips. I decided to go this route:
Loop select the edges that run along the swellings, marked blue in the picture below. Then use a Cloner to place the areoles on those edges. Now we have to limit the distribution, so that areoles only appear on top of the swellings. I used a gradient texture (based on the one used for swelling displacement) to do so.
These are the main steps needed to create the arm like stems of the queen of the night. The rest is about fine tuning and pushing some buttons. As I mentioned before, there might be better ways in other applications – probably even in Cinema4D. But this worked good and fast for me in this case.