Tutorial 2 | The Abyss – Part 1


Alright, time for the Abyss tutorial. In part 1 of this tutorial, we will model our water tentacle, animate it and displace it as well. Click on the picture below to start watching this tutorial.

Since the soap box is all mine, let me give you some advice on how to make this tutorial. To build the tentacle geometry, you will need to make a cone object, make it editable and spline wrap it to a spline. This is pretty easy. When you displace your texture though using the displacement deformer, make sure you switch your setting from texture to 2D. Otherwise, you will run into some real issues.

The water texture is a piece of cake. Just a transparent texture with high specularity and a nice refractive index of 1.3. Also, make sure to add a background behind your tentacle to have something for the water to reflect. This can be done by adding a plane, dropping a picture on it, then positioning it behind your tentacle then using an external compositing tag to turn it invisible to the camera.

The part where the tentacle turns into a face is a little more complex. To model the tentacle which turns into a face, you will need to polygon objects, one as the tentacle and one as the face. Then you bring both polygons together by deleting the unnecessary pieces then stitching them together using the bridge tool.

After the modeling portion, the morph tag needs to be used to move the polygon from one look to another. Here’s the basic thought process. You can add your morph tag to a polygon from the character tags menu. Once you do that, the morph tag remembers what the polygon “looked” like, or the Base Morph. Make sure you have your new morph target selected, then change your polygon, which would be the face in this instance, using the brush tag. Once complete, you can animated between the Base Morph and the Morph Tag by adjusting the strength.

Also remember, you can have more than one morph, so you can get extremely creative with this tag. Add in the displacement deformer with the noise feature to make your tentacle become all watery like the prior scene and you should be done!

I have a little present for everyone as well. The project files are clear for download. You may have to reconnect the textures, but they are very easy to find. There’s no going back from R12, so I kept them in an older version so everyone can use them. To download this file, click HERE.


  1. John
    20 May 14, 10:06am

    A great tutorial, but way too fast for me, I am using R15 and after I create the cone and add a spline wrap I get lost, it does not seem to effect the tentacle spline as it does in your video. No idea what I’m doing wrong. 🙁

  2. 16 May 11, 4:44pm

    The forum is a brighter place thanks to your posts. Thnkas!

  3. 16 May 11, 2:22pm

    Wow! Great tihkning! JK

  4. 16 May 11, 1:17pm

    Kudos to you! I hadn’t tohhugt of that!

  5. 15 May 11, 9:39pm

    At last, semonoe comes up with the “right” answer!

  6. 15 May 11, 10:28am

    I’m impressed! You’ve managed the alomst impossible.

  7. 15 May 11, 1:35am

    No more s***. All posts of this qiuatly from now on

  8. 14 May 11, 11:16pm

    I’m out of league here. Too much brain power on disaply!

  9. astovlBMB
    12 March 11, 8:54am

    But u look like Filipino… I think Fil-Am… ^^,

    Very very Nice! Tutz… if ever can u cover about PryroCluster like Nuke!

    tnx Al Heck

  10. 11 March 11, 11:15pm

    Nope, I’m American. 🙂

  11. astovlBMB
    11 March 11, 7:29am

    Awesome tuts… tnx…

    Oh by the way… r u a Filipino?

  12. Cool3D
    16 February 11, 1:20am

    Amazing website!!

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

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