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CINEMA 4D Essentials 9: Particles and Dynamics
Illustration by Richard Downs

Working with MoGraph and dynamics


From:

CINEMA 4D Essentials 9: Particles and Dynamics

with Rob Garrott

Video: Working with MoGraph and dynamics

The Dynamics Engine in C4D is powerful and easy to use, but what I think makes it most amazing is that it can be combined with MoGraph. What I mean by that is you can actually apply the Dynamics tag to Cloners and have those Cloners behave in a dynamic way. Let's create a very simple dynamic arrangement. I'm going to add a Plane to the scene, and that Plane is going to be a Collider object. So let's right-click on the Plane, and go to Simulation Tags, and add it as a Collider Body. And the Collider object doesn't move.

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CINEMA 4D Essentials 9: Particles and Dynamics
1h 27m Beginner Sep 28, 2012

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CINEMA 4D Essentials with Rob Garrott is a graduated introduction to this complex 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program, which breaks down into installments that can be completed within 2 hours. In this installment, Rob introduces particles, a cluster of objects used to simulate effects like snow, sparks, fog, or fire, and dynamics, which allow you to define how objects interact with their environment. The course covers creating a splash effect with particles, working with more advanced Thinking Particles, and how to understand the difference between the dynamics system's rigid bodies and soft bodies.

Topics include:
  • Working with particle forces and the Emitter object
  • Using Thinking Particles with the MoGraph Tracer
  • Understanding the Dynamics engine
  • Combining Thinking Particles with Dynamics
  • Creating dangling objects with spline dynamics
Subjects:
3D + Animation Textures Video Motion Graphics Materials Visual Effects
Software:
CINEMA 4D
Author:
Rob Garrott

Working with MoGraph and dynamics

The Dynamics Engine in C4D is powerful and easy to use, but what I think makes it most amazing is that it can be combined with MoGraph. What I mean by that is you can actually apply the Dynamics tag to Cloners and have those Cloners behave in a dynamic way. Let's create a very simple dynamic arrangement. I'm going to add a Plane to the scene, and that Plane is going to be a Collider object. So let's right-click on the Plane, and go to Simulation Tags, and add it as a Collider Body. And the Collider object doesn't move.

It just sits there waiting for a collision to happen. So now let's make a very simple MoGraph arrangement. Let's go to our Cube and add a Cube to the scene. Let's make it very small, call it, say, 10x10x10. Now let's add that Cube to a MoGraph Cloner. So I'll go to the MoGraph Menu and go to Cloner, and put that Cube as a child of the Cloner Object, and let's make it a grid of clones. So I'll change it Grid Array, and let's crank up the count just a bit and make it from 3x3x3 to say 5x5x5. Now let's raise the Cloner up off of the floor a bit so it's floating up from the sky.

Now we can right-click on the Cloner and go to Simulation Tags, and then make a Rigid Body. Now when we rewind back to 0 and hit Play, the whole Cloner falls down as if it were a giant Cube. It's looking at this entire Cloner object as a Rigid Body. What we really want to have happen is we want all of those little Cubes to be treated as individual Rigid Bodies. And the way you do that is by going to the Dynamics Tag and go into the Collision Options and telling it to look at the Individual Elements.

Right now, the Individual Element is off, and let's turn that to be All. Now when we rewind back to 0 and hit Play, you'll see that all those cubes are treated as if they were individual elements. Not only that, they slide off the Plane and ball off into infinity. That is a pretty awesome effect and you can do all kinds of great stuff with it. What I want to do is talk about the idea of gravity combined with this for just a moment. In the Project Settings is where you control the gravity for the Dynamics Engine.

Let's hit Cmd+D or Ctrl+D on the keyboard to bring up the Project Setting. And underneath the Dynamics Option is the Gravity Setting, and we're going to change that Gravity Setting from 1,000 to 0. Now there's no gravity at all in our scene. And when I rewind back to 0 and hit Play, you'll see that our objects just sit there. So let's rewind back to 0. Now what I want to do is have an object fly through the scene and collide with these guys. So let's add a sphere to the scene, and I'm going to bring that sphere up so that it's inside of the grid.

Then let's animate that sphere along its X axis. So at time 0 we want it back over here, and then under the Spheres Coordinate properties I'm going to Ctrl+Click to add a keyframe for position, and then let's advance forward about, maybe 30 frames or so. Then drag it through the Cloner object and then we'll Ctrl+Click again to set a keyframe. Now when I rewind back to 0, I'll hit Play, nothing happens. That's because the sphere needs to be a collider.

The next thing I want to do is to make this sphere a Dynamic object. Let's right-click on the sphere and go to Simulation Tags and make this into a Rigid Body. Now when I rewind back to 0 and hit Play, you'll see that this object is moving kind of slow. It's not moving nearly as fast as it ought to. It ought to be traveling really quickly across the screen to hit this mark over here. Underneath the Dynamics Tag that's on the sphere, if you go to the Force option, there is a Follow Position, and that Follow Position determines whether or not the sphere, the Dynamic object in this case, will honor the keyframes associated with it.

So by turning up this value I'll make it more likely to stick with the keyframes. If we bring that up to, say, 10, and rewind back to 0 and hit Play, you'll see that the object will travel through the scene and collide with those guys. Let's rewind back to 0 and make our sphere a regular old collider. So we'll go back and under that Dynamics Properties we'll change it from Dynamic On to Off. Now it's a regular collider and under the Forces tab, this doesn't have any effect anymore because colliders will honor the keyframe by default.

So now we can hit Play and you can see it goes through there and hits everything. Let's Rewind back to 0. Let's make the Cubes a little easier to see. I'll double-click in the Material Editor, and let's make a green material and apply it to the Cube. Now we've got a grid green Cubes. And now let's make the Cloner object smaller. So we go to the Object properties, we can scrub the grid down. Now I don't want to make the grid so tight that they're touching. I just want to make it a little bit more dense. Oops! That's a little bit too dense.

I accidentally scrubbed the Count value. Let's make that back to 5, and let's scrub the Y value to tighten that up, and then do the same thing on Z to get a much more dense Cube. Now we can rewind back to 0 and hit Play. You can see that that sphere will hit those Cubes and knock them off into space. If I make both dots on the sphere red by holding down the Option or Alt key and clicking twice on those status dots, now the sphere won't show up in the render engine and it won't show up in the Editor window, but it will still have an effect on the Dynamics.

Let's put that right at the camera. Combining Dynamics and MoGraph together is a really fun thing to do, and you can create all kinds of great motion graphics effects.

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