Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Rendering particles with the X-Particles material, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- X-Particles comes with its own material to render particles. The materials itself has a vast number of parameters. We won't go into everything but let's take a look at a few of the essentials. So we've got this particle sim here with just a bit of turbulence. And we want to be able to render what we see. To do that, we need a material. So we'll create a new X-Particles material, like so. There it is at the bottom. And we simply drag it on the admitter.
When we chose to render, there it is. We got particles. Okay, so we can make this look a lot, lot better. We can change the properties. Currently, let's just look at the admitter. Color is the same as what has been set up in the display settings here so if we change this over, we need to regenerate the particles and just render. You can see we've got now those blue ones.
If we add a group and regenerate because the group takes over, the group color settings will take over. And if we just want to add the material onto groups, then that will render just fine. Going to move it back to the emitter to lead the group. Right, well look at some of the emitter properties now. First up is the color tab. So we've got this set's particle color and that's what we've just looked at. We can choose anyone of these really but let's select random from gradient.
And, if we can render that, you see we didn't have to respawn the particles because the X-particles material has already got the current date from the emitter. So it's just now taking over and applying what we choose to what we see rendered. You'll notice down here that we've got some modifiers. We can use modifiers to color the particles based on the particle data that's been passed from the emitter. So let's look at age. If I check this on, I'm going to twirl this down so we've got a bit more room.
And just twirl this as well. So we have a gradient and if I play through a bit more. Just play through this a bit more. What we can see is the particles that are just been born are blue and the older ones are becoming white. And the longer we get down here, expect these ones to be white. So that's what the age does and of course change these parameters when we load in a gradient.
So I'll lay down a preset that I've just made and hit render and there we can see if we change some of the knots around, it'll have an effect immediately. Let's look at speed. We can color the particles based on the speed they're traveling. Currently, everything is at the speed of 150 so they're all going to be towards this white end. Some slow ones there maybe they're just being caught in the turbulent field and that's slowing them down but generally speaking, they are all one color.
So we can add some variation. And just replay through that to ge the new data. And some of them, the really slow, are now blue. Just going to undo that. Come back to the rest of the material settings. Let's look at transparency. So if we use the slider, we can make our material transparent. Hit render and we can see we just zoom in on the particles. We've got some transparency here and the ones behind this one are showing through. Good modifier to look at with transparency would be life.
So over the life of the particles, when they're born and when they die, they'll fade out. So if we just slide this over. So they'll get more transparent over their life. You can see that we can choose to fade them in. Just fade them in using the gradient. You can see these ones will be fading in there.
So you can have a lot of fun with these modifiers. Let's just move over now to size. So currently we've got these size sets of either particle radius based on that. What we set up there and it's 100 percent of that we can scale this down. Add some variation of course. We can scale it up. Get these massive particles. Even further.
And if I just respawn this and have a look through. We're starting to get what could be like a rocket trail effect. So, with that in mind, let's just have a look. A little thing I made earlier. I'm just going to change the emitter so its pointing down. And we'll rewind and play through. So we've got a bit of animation on the rocket, on the camera rather, even this vibrate tag, it looks like it's taking off.
If I render that, we've got this trail of particles coming out of our rocket. One more thing that we can look at is: if this isn't enough particles for us and we want even more, we can do some filling at render time so just checked it on and I'll press command R to render. And wow! We've got loads more particles. It's like a count of 10 for every 1 being born I think. We can increase this, get loads of particles. This might be crazy. We can see the render is going to take a bit longer. But yeah, sure enough, we've got loads there.
And we can just play with the scale using the radius settings and get some size variation in there. And this is looking pretty cool. Some wierd things going on up here. That could just be to do with the emitter position. If it was moved down slightly, and that's looking a bit better. You can see that we took a little render here filling in the particles so that is something worth bearing in mind. I like the kind of overlapping effect that we're getting and it's kind of cartoony which fits in with the design of the rocket.
We've now created an X-Particles material and made changes to its settings. By taking it much further then the default properties, we've become familiar with how we'd render our particles and using modifiers we can take the particle data from the emitter and alter the characteristics of the rendered result.
- 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