Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Generating geometry from particles, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- Let's look at how we generate geometry from particles. In this set up, I've just got the particles floating up on the Y axis. I've got some speed with a bit of variation, and I've added some variation to the radius as well. What I'd like to do is turn these green boxes into the objects that I've got here. To do this, I can use a generator object. So in the Generators null, from the list, we'll choose Generator.
A generator needs an emitter and some objects to generate, so we'll give it the emitter here, and drag it into the field. So now the particles aren't being generated anymore. If we rewind to the beginning, I'm going to select all my objects, and move them under the generator. Press Play, and the objects are generated. That's the basics to get going, but we can develop this look a bit further. Let's look at some of the properties of the generator object.
I can choose to generate the child objects in a number of ways. I'm going to choose Randomly, and if I don't like the look of what's happening here, I can change the Random Seed and get a different result. The Clone Type is currently set to Straight Clone. So if I play back, and change it to something like Create Render Instances, you can see that the playback is a lot smoother. However, we've got this issue here where our objects are visible.
So what we could do to fix this is just move them offscreen somewhere. That might not always be ideal, but it's worth knowing that you can do that. So I just want to point out, you couldn't hide them from view using this method because they'd be hidden from the generator also. Which is why I moved them offscreen. So let's look at the scale and rotations of things now. We're currently scaling using the Particle Scale, which is set to one, and there's a bit of variation in there as well.
We could also choose to use the Particle Radius, which should be a lot smaller. Or the Source Object Scale, whatever we created the objects at. We can leave this on Particle Scale for now. That should be okay. We can choose to set the rotation, very similar options to scale. I'm going to leave it on Particle Rotation, go back into the emitter, and in the Extended Data tab, let's check on Use Rotation.
I'm going to enable Simple Spin, and just add a small amount of spin and a bit of variation, too. And now our particles are spinning as well. That's looking a bit big to me, so I'm actually going to choose Particle Radius. I've got some scene elements here, so let's just turn those on. I'm going to hold down alt and click on the traffic lights there, I'm going to look through the camera. Might pause the playback. And just Render, so we might be getting a bit of intersection happening.
And to fix that, I'm just going to go into the Emission, choose No Intersection, and because I know that some of my objects are around 20 centimeters, just going to set the radius to be 20 as well. And Rewind and Play, and just render a frame. So you have the makings of something potentially quite useful here. It could be a background element for a children's TV item or a screen wipe. You could certainly take this a lot further, and replace the geometry with other models or shapes. Now you know how to generate geometry from particles.
- 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