Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Object tab, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- The Emitter is quite possibly the most important object in X-Particles. After all it's responsible for generating the particles in the scene. Throughout this chapter we'll go through each tab to make sure we have the fundamentals down. Once we've got a foundation of the Emitter we can begin to explore other aspects of X-Particles. So let's get started. So if you open the file 02_01_objecttab, if you don't have access to the Exercise Files you can just create a System and add an Emitter. Let's look at the Object tab.
To start with we've got by default an Emitter Shape of a Rectangle, which looks like a 100 by 100 square. You can change the Width and Height by just adjusting these sliders and if you want to add a bit more spread, let's just play through so we can see what's happening. So we've now made our Emitter a lot bigger. We can spread out using the horizontal and vertical Angles. And if we want to see what that looks like we get a 3D representation by clicking this button.
Let's uncheck that and return these to 0. And I can show you what the Offset X & Y does. If we uncheck this it's going to put our particles emitting from the absolute center of the Emitter, which saves you from changing the Width and Height to 0, 0, or 1 by 1, or something like that. Let's check that back on. Looking at the Retiming we can slow down the flow just by sliding this down, or speed it up.
But you're gonna get way more control if you actually do this in the emission settings by changing the particle speed. By default it emits on the Z axis, the positive Z. You can change this to say a positive Y and they'll flow upwards. All this is doing is just rotating the object here, so if you need reset that you can do so. Or you can press this Reset to Default button and it will return everything to the start point.
And this is a little gotcha actually, this is why I mentioned the Coordinates tab. You can see it actually hasn't reset our Emitter Plane, we're still rotated. So you might want to just return that to 0 and then everything's back to normal. So moving on. We've got different Shapes. Got a Circle with very much similar settings to the Rectangle. A new one would be to emit on the Ring Only. Let's just rotate the view and you can see you can get like a really cool tunnel effect.
The Ellipse, very similar to our Circle here. Just got a similar control, so you can change that horizontal and vertical Radius. So that's actually looking like a Circle at the moment, so let's just change that to be more elliptical. And the Sphere is like just shooting out from all directions. You can, of course, change this to emit on a specific Axis as well. So depending on the type of particle effect you're going for you'll want to choose a different Emitter Shape which is appropriate to that.
And we'll certainly be looking at different shapes as we progress. I just want to point out this button here. These four buttons, this is a button, and these other three, these are all going to be on objects within X-Particles. You can see we've got this one here. If you find that there's something I haven't gone over, or you need a bit more information because it's going to be way more in-depth, you can press this button here and it will jump you to the exact part of the manual to just give you a bit more in-depth knowledge.
And we've already pressed the Reset to Default button, bearing in mind the little gotcha we had about the Emitter Plane. We'll talk about these two special buttons in a later chapter. So I haven't mentioned these two settings here, Defined Emission and Object. I've already set up a file for Defined Emission, so let me just pause the playback here, and I will switch over to it. We've got a grid. You can set this up and have a look and just explore this file.
I've chosen to use the 3D Grid Mode, there are other things here, like Inline, Circular. You'll find the set up very similar to setting up a cloner in MoGraph, you just choose your number of particles in X, Y, and Z, and the Spacing, and you can do all kinds of design elements in this way. So imagine that you can create a grid, and then render it out, and just use it in your design workflow as well, very, very handy. Being able to emit from objects is something that we can cover in more detail later on, so we've looked at the Emitter Object tab and a few of the Emitter Shapes and what they can do.
We're going to come back to the other shapes once we've got a better understanding of the other tabs.
- 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