Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Making branching particles, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- The Branching Modifier can be used to create plantlike structures. We'll continue to use the trail object to visualize what is happening in the viewport. So we've just got an Emitter and it's emitting one particle from the center. You can just see it. There we go. And what we're going to do is create a Trail. We'll add the Emitter in. In the Modifiers, the Generate Modifiers, we'll choose Branch.
And we'll Rewind and press Play. Let's just change our Trail settings here. And I'm going to hide the Falloff of the branch render. So we're getting something happening. So the branch is going to be generating this single strand and its length is going to be 90 frames. And we can reduce this down to something that suits our needs.
It's going to bend in five frames, so we're going to get this bend. And if we want to straighten that out we could change the bend deviation to just be zero. And just we're getting a straight up branch. Not very natural but it could be useful for our needs, but I'm going to add in a bit of deviation there. And to make this interesting to start branching we need to Add a Branch Object which will create this sub-branch.
Very, very similar settings to the actual Modifier. So just take a look at those. So if you go back to the branch, it's going to say, "We've enabled branching. "We want to branch in five frames, "and these are the number of branches." It's all quite self-explanatory. I think really we'll just Rewind, press Play, and you can see what's happening now. So by adding these sub-branches, we'll begin to build up detail, and we're going to start to make a treelike structure.
On the sub-branch, I'm just going to change some of the settings because I want these branches to be a lot shorter, just to add a bit of variation to the bending. Let's just see what we've got now. It's kind of a more natural result. We can add another level of sub-branch. Just going to the sub-branch and adding another object. And you can add an infinite number of these, I think, but usually just a few will be enough to get enough detail.
Let's make some changes to this object. We want these to be shorter once again. And now we're starting to get an interesting looking tree. We could certainly add something to this group as well and you can think of different applications for that. I'll just show you. Let's add some Sphere.
We'll just drag that in, and you can see. They probably need to be a little bit bigger. There they are. So imagine these could be leaves or something like that that you generate and then turn into maybe flowers or something like that. Let's just turn this off for now. To give this some volume, we can use the SplineMesher.
So all it needs is a spline source, so we'll drag in the Trail. And there we're getting a pretty chunky looking tree here. So we could just reduce the size down and hit turn on Caps to sort of join these sections together. We're getting any gaps like here and here. You can see that. We just need to increase the substeps. We can remove those all hopefully.
We might need to go a bit higher but we'll just see what we get. And there, yep, it's starting to get a bit better. So it would just be a case of playing with these settings and see if you can get a smoother result. Now that's got some volume. We can render that, start adding textures and things. So just to show you a few more examples, we've got this project set up with a variety of branching happening. And you can go from just a simple kind of weedy like thing to a more fully formed tree.
As you can see, there are endless possibilities for the branching patterns you can create. You can open up each of these systems and take a look for yourself. You can now create branching structures using the Branching Modifier, and using the SplineMesher we can add volume and render the branches.
- 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