Monocyte rig in Cinema 4D: Deformers

Cinema 4D has loads of useful deformers which are a big help in both modeliing and animation. In this test below, which is still a work in progress, I have used several Mograph DISPLACEMENT DEFORMERS to create the undulating irregular surface on the rolling cell.

The displacement deformer is a tool I use in practically every project I work on, and because one can quickly achieve some very cool organic surfaces and motion with it, it’s a very useful tool for medical animation.

Another favorite of mine seen here is the SQUASH AND STRETCH deformer. This creates the effect that the cell is compressed against the surface of the blood vessel wall as it lands and moves along.

For the tendril-like protrusions coming off the surface of the monocyte (pseudopods), I’ve used the Mograph EXTRUDE DEFRORMER. I pre-selected polygons on the cells surface for this deformer to effect, then keyframed the effect to trigger as the cell lands. There were issues with the pseudopods going out of whack as they came into contact with the SQUASH and STRETCH deformer, but that was easily fixed using a SHADER EFFECTOR with the color white loaded in and set to a spherical falloff at the base of the cell where the SS deformer is, which counteracts the extrude effect in that area.

I’ve also used the MORPH TAG to quickly animate the endothelial cells spreading apart as the monocyte moves through. Finally the good old BULGE DEFORMER, one thats been around as long as I’ve been using C4D, creates the squeeze effect as the cell infiltrates between the endothelial cells of the vessel wall.