Join Rob Garrott for an in-depth discussion in this video Modifying clones with Effectors, part of CINEMA 4D Essentials 7: MoGraph Modeling and Animation.
The Effector objects are a special type of operator that allows you to modify clones. They can also be used to modify objects that are not clones as well. They operate just like deformers in some instances. In order to demonstrate this, let's first set up a quick clone. I've got a very simple flag set up here. Let's hit Play. You can see that I'm using a Wind Deformer to modify this plane to make it look like a flag waving in the wind. And what I want to do is cover this with objects. Let's add a MoGraph Cloner object to the scene, and let's have that cloner clone a bunch of cubes, so I'll add a cube to the scene.
Now that cube's really big relative to our flag. And so, let's make it much smaller. I'll hit T on the keyboard and scale it way down. There we go. Now I'll take the cube and make it a child of the Cloner object. And the cloner, under its Object Properties, is defaulted to Linear. So let's change that to Object. And when I do that, I get this New Object field and the object that I want to drag in there is the plane. But before I do that, CINEMA 4D evaluates the Object Manager from the top down, and so you want to have the thing that's driving the position of the clones above the Cloner object in the hierarchy.
So let's take the cloner and drag it way down here and then we'll leave the original null group with the flag in there up above. So now under the Cloner, I'm going to take the plane and drop it right into that group. And as I drag that in there, watch what happens. I immediately get this flag covered with all of these cubes. And if I it Play, you can see that those cubes are moving exactly with that. Now by default, the cloner is creating a cube at the location of every vertex, and you could see that the distribution is vertex.
I could change that to be based on the edges, and I'll get a checkerboard pattern. I'm going to change that to be randomly distributed across the surface. And then when I do that I get a count, which is always fun. I can also tell it to be based on the Polygon Center, and I think that's what I'll leave it on is Polygon Center for now. Now that's quite a few clones for my purposes today, so what I'll do is reduce that number. The way I reduce the number when I'm distributing among Polygon Centers, is by reducing the number of polygons. So let's go to the Plane and change the Count on the segments from 20 x 20 to, say, 10 x 10.
Then I'm just going to have a hundred clones here. That's going to give me a nice smooth playback and I think it will be easy for demonstration purposes. So now that I've got that cloner group set up, I want to modify these clones with an Effector. So before I do that, let's hide the planes. So let's go to the null object and hold down the Opt or Alt key and click twice on the status dot. Boom, boom. And now you could see that I've hidden that. Now also, to make these clones more visible, let's make a new material. I'll double click on the Material Manager, and under the Basic properties, let's add in Luminance.
That's going to make it nice and bright. And then bring the luminance value from 100% down to, say, 50%. And now you can apply that material to the cloner. Now that I have applied it to the cloner, the cubes are nice and easy to see. So let's select the Cloner object and go the MoGraph menu and go to the Effector sub-menu and let's start off, you saw the Plain Effector in the previous movie, that just does position, scale, and rotation. And we could in fact, modify these clones based on their local position on the flag. What instead I think I want to do is I want to randomize them a little bit.
They're all very uniform right now. So let's go to the Random option. Now, I had the cloner selected, so the Effector went into this Effector Field automatically. Now if you don't have your cloner selected, then the Random Effector won't show up in there. You see when I delete that, the clones go back to their old position. So I can drag this Random Effector in here at anytime. I can also disable it, and I can also adjust the intensity, and you can actually keyframe this value and have the cubes fall back to their position. So let's hit Play and see what's going on here. You can see that we've got this really interesting arrangement of cubes that are being moved based on the position of that flag.
Even though the flag is not visible on the scene, it's using the position information from the points and polygons that make up that flag to create all these copies. I can also go into the Random Effector and rotate them. So let's go and add rotation in and I'll just scrub and add a little bit of value here. Let's hit Stop and take a look at what we've created here. And we've got this seemingly random arrangement of clones now. And the beautiful thing about it is it's non-destructive. If we don't like that, we can always disable the Random Effector. We can even keyframe the Random Effector strength under the Effector property and adjust it and have those guys come back to their original positions.
So for now, I'm going to disable the Random Effector because I want to show another Effector, and that is called the Step Effector. So let's select our Cloner object and go to MoGraph menu and go to Effectors and add in the Step. The Step Effector when you add it, will now modify the clones based on this graph here. The default parameter that it modifies is the scale, and you can adjust how much scale is being applied by adjusting the scale value here. And you can also go into the Effector Property and adjust how the scale is being applied using this graph.
And if I go into the graph I can add new control points anywhere on the spline by holding down the Control key and clicking in there. I can now move that around. You can see I have an arrangement here, and I have control over how they modify. And I'm going to bring that up so we got a distribution. Now anytime you see a graph in CINEMA 4D, the left-hand side is the beginning, the right-hand side is the ending. And you can tell by dragging this guy up and down, you can see, there's the beginning, and there's the ending, and we can adjust those values accordingly. Now the really cool thing about this is that it can be combined with the Random Effector.
Watch this, I'm going to go the Cloner object and under the Effectors property, you can see I have both Effectors applied here. But right now, I've got the Random Effector disabled. So let's click on that and turn it on. You'll see that we end up with this cloud of cubes that is randomly distributed but has a scale applied to each of them in a varying degree of intensity. And you can see that if I hit Play, all of this animation holds still and we can keep combining these things together. I can even clone this cloner. I could go into MoGraph menu and go to add another Cloner object to the scene, and drop this cloner into that cloner.
And now, let's drag all that down to the bottom here. Now what happens is I've created an arrangement of these that's--and remember by default this Cloner object goes three units on Linear. And let's change that to a Radial Array and then adjust the radius way outward. And what we'll end up with is this really interesting tunnel effect. And you can see I'm getting a pretty decent playback on this machine. It's going to choke for just a moment. You can see that it jumped to Line Mode. When that happens, you can do something called Render Instances.
And when I activate Render Instances, I now--I'm going to get a much faster playback on my machine. CINEMA 4D thinks about these copies differently. I could even clone this clone one more time and create a whole tunnel like this, but you get the idea. The important thing to remember about the Effectors is that they can be combined together and they are non-destructive. So it's okay to play around with them. Some of the Effectors are a little bit intense like the COFFEE Effector or the Python Effector, but most of them are pretty intuitive to use. Just remember that you can't do any harm. You can always just turn off the Effector if you don't like what it's doing.
- Using the Cloner object
- Understanding the MoGraph Selection tool
- Animating a logo with the Fracture object
- Creating movement with the Time effector
- Animating with the Matrix object