Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Fireworks, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- Creating a firework from scratch would go beyond the scope of these quick projects, so I've started this one off, and we're going to finish it together by creating some smoke trails and some materials. So I'll play through the scene and you can see what we've got. A particle flying up and exploding. There's all these modifiers and questions and actions set up, which you can go through. Everything's organized into subfolders. And so it should be pretty clear what's happening if you just twirl these down, you can see I've tried to describe what's happening with each setup.
So let's focus on creating some smoky trails. What I'd like to happen with the smoky trails is, I want them to follow the exploded particles. So we'll just play through. So once it's exploded, I want them to follow the path of that, and let's get to it. We can do it with a Spawn modifier. So we'll set that up now. I'll call this Spawn Trails, and it needs an emitter, so we are going to create an emitter for that. We'll name the emitter Trails.
And we'll just drag it into the field. I'll reduce the number to be around 50, and because, you'll notice when we're slowing these particles down gradually, they'll eventually freeze, so I don't want them to spawn on frozen particles, so I'll check this box for that. There's some things we need to do with the trails still, so back on the Emitter, we'll create a particle group. And we'll call this, you guessed it, Trails. I want to make the color a bit darker, maybe this sort of grey color.
Something like so. We're going to take all the speed out maybe just leave a bit in, just so they're not completely frozen. And we'll add some variation. Let's rewind, and we'll play and see what we've got. So currently we're also getting, yeah, we're getting exactly what we need here with these trails happening with the explosion, but we're also getting some trails happening on the firework. So we can exclude the Trails Modifier from the Firework list. Let's go to the Emitter, and in the Modifiers tab we'll exclude the Spawned Trails.
So I don't want these trails to last the whole life of the document, I want them to gradually begin to fade out, so I'll go back onto the Trails Emitter and in the Emission settings, we'll uncheck Full Lifespan and then we'll just set some frames up and give them a bit of variation. With that done, we can set up some materials. We'll create a new X-Particles material, and we'll call this one "Firework", What I want to do is just make the particle color white, and in the Illumination I will change it to be neon.
And we'll add that to our firework group. I'll create a new material. And this is going to be the Explode material. So we'll name it accordingly. With the color, I want to choose a random color from a gradient. And in the previous example we loaded in the Flame 6 preset, so we'll use that as well. And I'm going to take out the black and this other dark color here. Let's go over to the Illumination tab and we'll add the Neon lighting mode.
And that's going to be a bit too strong I think, so bring that down maybe a bit further. And you can see it changing in the viewport. Let's drag this material onto the Explode group and we'll create a new one for our trails as well. We've named it correctly, and what we can do now is with this one, we're going to use one of the modifiers so we're going to use the Life modifier, and I want this to be a grey.
Maybe a bit lighter. And then I want it to go to a darker grey. So I'll just add in a color there. I'll add in a bit of transparency, and I think I might like to fill in this as well, let's just add it on, see what happens. Yeah, we're not getting enough particles here so I'll fill in some of the gaps. Let's try a bit of variation as well.
And we'll see what that does. Here we're getting a bit more, they're obviously dying out at this point, so we'll rewind and play through and see what we've got. That's quite cool, it might be quite hard to see but it is meant to be dark, smoky trails, so you can just make it out there. We'll check through our other materials. We've got our Firework here, and then we've got the explosion happening as well.
And from a distance, that should read quite well. We've now finished off the firework, and it's looking pretty good, but it's not really a firework display with only one particle. So if we wanted to fire off more than one, we can simply change some settings on the firework emitter. So we'll do that, we'll go on to the firework emitter. The key thing here is to change the mode from just being one shot to, we'll choose a Pulse, so we'll get pulse of fireworks at an interval. We'll change that to be something a bit quicker. And we don't want them to emit for the whole scene so we'll just end the emission at Frame 105 and I'll just emit one particle each time.
When this was set up initially, in the object settings I had it set up to just fire from the center, but I don't want that to happen any more. I'll check this back on, and we'll add a bit of angle to this Cone Angle. Because we've got several emitters in the scene, just for a bit of variety, I'm going to go into the Advanced tab and just change the Random Seed. And now when we play back, we'll get particles firing off. And we're going to get this awesome fireworks display.
So if we have a little render of this, we're getting a nice effect. Then switch over to our project that we were creating before, with the pixie dust. And I've got the pixie dust in, I've got some fireworks in, and I've got this new system for some stars. So we'll set that up really quickly. We'll just create an emitter. Change the object to be a sphere. And we'll make it absolutely massive. And in the Emission, we just want it to be one shot. That will do.
Full lifespan, I don't want any speed on these, I just want them to just freeze. And a bit of variation of course. We've got this star material already made, so I'll drag that on. And I'll press Play. And you can see something strange is happening. The particles are actually looking at all the other modifiers in the setups, and saying, "Ah, should I be using you?" But we don't want that to happen. So on the Emitter, in the Modifiers tab, we can say Use only the modifiers in the same system.
So I'll check that on, and I've made sure I've done that on all the other emitters in the other systems. So now when we play back, our particles are just going to do what we expect them to do. They'll just hang out in the sky. And we've got the pixie trail generating. We've got some fireworks just firing off and exploding and I think this final scene is working quite nicely. Don't worry if there's anything in here that looks unfamiliar. If you just look into the scene, there's some light tags on the lights.
We've covered this in a previous chapter, so you can go back and get yourself familiar with those. So now we've created this pixie dust, stars and fireworks, and combining multiple particle systems. We've now got a great-looking motion graphics piece. I finished this by caching the sims, and then setting up separate render passes for each system. From there, I'd composite the passes, adding color correction, glows, and maybe even a subtle sky with some clouds or something like that.
- 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