Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Emission and Extended Data tabs, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- Let's take a look at the Emission tab, where, amongst other things, we can control the number of particles and some basic particle data. In the Emission Parameters section we have several modes to emit particles. Rate is the default, and the settings are fairly similar for the other modes, in the sense that we can control the number of particles using the Birth Rate, and the Lifespan, and when to start and stop. So if we just press play and just look and see what Rate is doing. Getting a constant Birth Rate of 1000 particles per second you can also change this to per frame.
And they're going for the full lifespan which is the full length of the document. This would be 150 frames, and we can choose, at the moment, we're emitting every single frame, but if we un-check that, we could just say, "I want you to stop emitting at 90 frames." So if we just look for when the playhead gets to 90, and they'll stop. The other modes, as I said, are fairly similar. Very similar controls, with Pulse, we're just emitting a pulse every 30 frames. With Shot, just one shot of particles, this time it's happening on the first frame, for the length of one frame.
We'll come back to the other modes later on. Moving back to Rate, let's look at some of the basic particle data. We've got Speed, Radius, and Scale. Speed is the speed at which the particles are emitted, so they're currently all going at 150 centimeters. This is just referring to the units that you've got set up in your document already. We can add variation to that. And if we add in some here, you can see that different particles are going to be going at different rates of speed, and that's just adding a bit more interest.
And you'll want to add variation to your simulations to create this kind of unique feel to them, and you can see that there's variation sliders for almost every parameter in X-Particles. If we change the radius, you're not going to see anything at the moment because the dots don't actually show a radius. I'll have to show you a different Display mode, so let's just change it to Circle Filled. And you can see now that we're getting a, I'll zoom in here, we're getting different sized particles being emitted.
Just change that back to dots because it's the fastest mode. Scale just refers to when you're using generated geometry, so if I enable a little setup that I've got here, and these cubes are all coming out at a scale of one. If we add some variation to that, I'll just rewind. Might be a bit hard to see, but you can actually make out there's some different sized cubes coming out here. If we move on to the Extended Data, and just add some rotation, these are settings that you don't need in every single simulation, so that's why they've got their own tab.
The physical properties are like temperature and smoke and fire and stuff like that are used when we're doing fluid-based simulations. So let's take a look at adding some simple rotation to this. I've already set this up to have a simple spin. And five degrees on each axis. Maybe we'll add some variation to that too. And you can see now that they are spinning pretty randomly. But again, it's a nice way to add some uniqueness to your simulations and that might be the effect that you're going for.
We'll just have a quick look at the Sub-Frame Emit and Motion Inheritance here. And I've got this Emitter set up with a Vibrate tag, so it's going to be doing some crazy things. You want to keep this checked, normally. If I un-check it, you can see that we're getting this banding or stepping happening. And that is something that's generally undesired. You could easily increase the number of particles but this will ensure that we remove the banding there.
Looking at Motion Inheritance. What Motion Inheritance does is look at what our Emitter is doing, movement-wise, and then takes the position and rotational information and then it'll add it to the particles. So the particles can jet off in different directions and rotations, as defined by the Emitter. So let's enable that now, and you can see they're going absolutely crazy. Just take a look at that now. Now, that's way too strong, so you can use the Speed Blend to dial that in so if we bring this down, and, there it's a bit more controlled now.
The last thing to mention, is, with this basic particle data, when you're using groups, this won't be available in this tab. All this information then gets sent to a group. As you can see the Emission Tab is super powerful. It's where we control the number of particles and how they are generated. Using different modes of Emission, we get different effects, and we can alter parameters such as particle lifespan, size, and speed. We can also use the Extended Data tab to enhance the basic particle data by adding rotation and physical properties.
Crucially, we can add variation to the settings to achieve more organic, unique results. It's worth taking the time to play around with these settings, and become more familiar with them.
- Working with the Emitter tabs
- Adjusting particles with modifiers
- Creating visible particles
- Using sprites
- Colliding, freezing, and lighting particles
- Caching in X-Particles
- Applying constraints
- Adjusting materials settings
- Sculpting particles
- Saving and loading presets