3D type (Cinema 4D)

3D printing is everywhere – it’s another tool for designers to take advantage of. In the previous task, I created a 3D letter physically using white card and superglue. In this task I did the same however I used a digital programme called Cinema 4D. I think what’s interesting to see is the difference between the two outcomes. Some may say the traditional hand-made letter is better but some may say the digital version is. I explored 3d software as a way of generating letter combinations in the same way seen on LoSiento.

These letter combinations were handmade in the same way I built the letter P in my previous task. It’s so impressive how they combine two letters to create bold structures. The neutral grey tones, the sharp corners, the crisp white card and the intense shadows make the structure appear to be digitally created. I was challenged to create a letter combination similar to this, as a way of revisiting my 3d skills and to experiment with a 3D printer. Cinema 4D has always been something I’ve found difficult. I am a strong digital designer when it comes to Adobe programmes, but 3D software has always been my achille’s heel. This was a simple task, one that required a few basic skills, but it still managed to challenge me! I wanted to recreate LoSiento’s letter combination in order to show the different between physical 3D and digital 3D. Using MoText, I created two letters: A and W. I changed the depth of the letters to 200cm and then I changed the font to Lao MN. I then rotated the W by 90 degrees so that it sat at a right angle to the A. Using the Boole effect, I made the A and W intersect one another to create a structure similar to my example. The final outcome looks clean and sharp, but I feel like it’s missing a realness. The shadows don’t look legitimate and the edges are really pin point. I know these can be fixed with caps and lights, but I still feel like the hand-made letters look so much more authentic. Unfortunately the 3D printer is not in service anymore so I couldn’t print out my combinations. I think if they were printed and then photographed, I would have been able to pop it into a studio and make real shadows – making it look more genuine. Maybe a mixture of traditional techniques and digital is the way forward…

I continued practising with Cinema 4D because I wanted to create a 3D title sequence for my Design Portfolio animation. My idea was to make my own neon pink sign that quickly lit up. Neon signs are very trendy right now, if you go to East London and pop into any hipster cafe you will see some sort of inspirational neon quote hanging from the wall. I found a handwritten font online and imported it into the programme so that I could create words in that style. To get the curvy look and so that I could turn the letters into cylindrical 3D objects I used the spline tool to carve out with letters bit by bit. I then added a circular sweep to the spine to create a neon sign. By adding a cube behind the type, I was able to create a background for my title sequence. I added a pink brick wall material behind the type and also added a light that moved across the pink type to make it glow up like a neon sign when animated.

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