Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Pixie dust, part of X-Particles for CINEMA 4D Essential Training.
- We're going to create a few short projects where the goal is to create a simple X-Particle setup. For this one, I'll show you how to create some pixie dust. Let's start by creating a system, and an emitter. In this scene, we've got an arc already created and I want to use this as the path for our emitter, so let's set up the emitter. Going to be a sphere. Just going to make the radius a bit smaller. And that will do for now. We want to snap the sphere to the arc, so to do that we can just right-click and choose an Align to Spline tag.
And for the spline path we'll just drag in the arc. And the emitter jumps over to that point. So we can just keyframe the position along the spline, back on frame zero, I'm going to keyframe the position to be 0%. At 150, we'll just turn off the emitter for now, 150 we want it to be 100%. So we'll get it travelling along this arc. There we go. So back on the emitter, I want it to stop emitting once it's got to the end here. So we'll go into the Emission Settings, and we don't want it to emit all frames.
We want it to stop emitting at frame 150. Let's take a look at that now. Cool, I want to have a bit more control over how the particles are being shot out. So I'm going to turn off the speed. We'll give them a bit of variation in the radius. We don't want them to last the whole length of the project, so we're going to un-check this Full Lifespan, and maybe give it about 125, bit of variation obviously. And I'm going to emit loads of particles.
And we'll give that a bit of variation too. Let's have a look at what we've got. So particles are now sticking to the arc. And then they're just dying out, over the length of the project, so that's pretty much what I'd like to see. What would be really cool is if they can rain down, so we can do this with Gravity Modifier. I'll create one of those. And let's have a look.
So we don't want gravity to act on the particles straight away. That is not what we want. We want them to stick onto the arc, and then, after a time, gravity will take hold. So we can do this with a Question and Action setup. So in the emitter I'll add a Question, "What is the particle age?" I'm going to say if it's within a certain range, so we can do that from one of these settings here. If it's in the range of around 20 frames, a range of five frames, so either side of that.
Then, we will control the Gravity Modifier, so I'll control the modifier action, and the modifier action is going to be gravity. We'll drag in that newly created Gravity Modifier in the field, and we'll just have a look at what we've got. So I think that effect is far too strong. So let's bring the effect of gravity down, bit of variation. See if that's a bit closer to what I'm looking for. That definitely is, that's looking nice.
I quite like that. Okay, we are getting there. I think what would be really useful is if we can kill off these particles that have gone below the arc. So we use a Kill Modifier for that. And it's in the Control Modifiers here. So we just set up this kill. Got a box by default, and that's just fine. I can just resize it using these handles. Or I'll use the V-Ports just to get a better representation of where I need to shape the box. So I think I can actually key in some numbers now, I'm getting close to where I need to be.
And, I want it to be just under this arc, that's a bit hard to see. Around about there, that looks alright. So, anything that is inside of this box, I want it to be killed, so I need to change the mode to be "Inside Bounds." So let's have a look at that. And that's exactly what I want to happen. That's great, looking good, okay. We can hide this now. Think I'll hide the visibility of the Gravity Modifier. Back in the Perspective view.
Let's take a look at that. Now I think all we need is a material. So let's set that up. We'll create a new X-Particles material. We'll give it a name, "Pixie Dust." I don't want it to just be one color, I want it to be a random color. So we use the Random From Gradient. And in the, if we just press this arrow to drop-down, we can load in presets. So I'll load in a preset, and one of the ones I really like is this Flame 6. I'll take out the dark colors.
Just twirl that back up. Let's look at the Size tab. I think we'll make them a bit smaller. We'll add in a bit of variation too. I want these to be quite sparkly and bright, so I'll go to the Illumination tab. And we'll choose the Neon setting. And this will be, we need to add the material on so let's just see. We'll drag it onto the emitter. And have a look, that's looking quite nice. I think I'll just bring the Falloff down a little bit and just see what we get there.
Yeah, that's looking better, it's just to reduce the intensity, I guess, of the Neon effect. We can see in the preview here what happened. So we've now made some pixie dust from scratch using a Question and Action setup to control when gravity takes hold of the particles. We've killed off unwanted particles, and made this gorgeous material. I've pre-built a scene, and I think our pixie dust will look great in situ, so let's take a look. So if I turn on the Scene Elements here. And we'll just play through.
So taking that setup that we had before and putting it into an environment gives it some context as well. And if I just render this, we've got the makings of a really cool motion graphics piece here. But we could take this further. How about adding some fireworks and stars to the background? If you're ready, let's move on to the next project and we'll do it.
- 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