Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Naming and organization, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- Naming objects and layers appropriately is good practice for any project you work on, whether it's in Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, you're going to want to know what something is so you can find it quickly and make changes. If you haven't named your objects correctly, you'll be forever turning things off and on, struggling to identify what needs to be changed. It's a bit of a pain to begin with, but it's a good habit to get into, and there's several tools in C4D to help us out. So while this file that we're looking at here isn't a particularly large sim, it's not very clear what's happening just by looking at the object manager.
We have to certainly play through the sim and see what's going on. And it looks like we have a particle being emitted, hitting the sphere, and causing some spawning action. I can look at the icons to give myself some idea of what's going on and this icon is, sure enough the spawning emitter, so this one I'd call the Main emitter. The Main emitter's using Group 1, so I'll also name that to be Main. Looking at the Modifiers tab, we can see that both these modifiers have been excluded.
So these are only being used by the spawning emitter, so let's start re-naming the rest of this. We'll call our second group Spawn, and because we have quite a few other objects that need to be named in the same way, we'll just cmd-click, select them all, and use the naming tool to name them all at once. I'm going to put a space and type Spawn, so anything I have selected when I click Replace Name, will just change, and that's a really fast way of naming a lot of objects.
We're going to call the sphere a Collider, 'cause you can see it has a collider tag on it. So this is looking pretty good. At a glance I can see we've got Main particles and Spawning particles, but we can do better. Let's add these objects to layers. Layers are a way of grouping scene items that can be controlled together. Just going to cmd-click the main objects, right click and choose Add to New Layer. If we bring up our Layers palette, we can re-name that newly created layer to Main, and we'll drag in the tag as well, 'cause you can also add those.
Let's select the rest of the objects relating to the spawn, and right click and Add to a New Layer. Change that layer's name to be Spawn, and also give it a different color 'cause it's quite similar to the Main one. We also need to re-name this material, because that's on the Spawn Trail. So I'll do that now and we'll just drag that onto the Spawn layer as well. Now we can solo the objects, and effectively filter out what we don't need, or what we're not concentrating on at this time.
We can also use the Search tool here to filter the object manager. So now you can see how much cleaner this is to read, and if someone else is picking up the file, it's clear what everything does. It might even be you coming to revisit the file later down the line in production. Either way, by using the naming tool and layers in C4D, we've organized our objects. You can now easily use the search, or simply isolate objects using the layer tools to make changes to just those things.
Before we move on, let's look at an example where it can get quite scary if we've forgotten to rename along the way. And as you can see with this particle sim, there's a heck of a lot going on, and not a lot of ideas of where to start. So now you know how important it is to keep organized and how to do it, we'll look at some other ways of keeping our sims neat and tidy.
- 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