Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the XP Gaseous material, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- Let's turn up the heat on this fire simulation and get it ready for rendering with the X-Particles Gaseous material. I've gone ahead and added some modifiers to the simulation. There's two that we haven't looked at yet: Vorticity and Gaseous. Let's look at Vorticity first. I've added this to give the particles some more chaotic motion. If we just slide this over so you can see, you can increase the Strength by quite a lot and, of course, add some variation. The Voxel size will determine the movement of the particles.
Lowering the value results in more details so tighter swells are created while higher numbers create bigger waves. Let's look at the Gaseous modifier. Gaseous modifier goes hand in hand when creating fire and smoke sims. All the settings act over time. So the values in the modifier reduce the values set on the Domain tag, per second. So take a look at these settings and explore them for yourself, but since we've made a change we're going to have to re-cache the simulation. So let's build the cache.
I'll create a new cache. So with the cache created we can play through the sim and we get a sense of what's happening in the Viewport. But if we render, there's nothing there except for the basketball. What we want to do is create a material that will enable us to render this fire. We'll create a Gaseous material, and there we are, and I'll drop it onto the domain. We don't really need this tag that's not being used, so I'll just delete that.
Let's just render and see what we've got. I'll just choose a frame and render that. This is the default look of the fire and smoke. You wouldn't want to just leave this be. I don't think it looks that great so let's try and improve it. We've got various settings on the material for Smoke and Fire, so we'll turn off the Smoke for now. I'm just going to choose the Smoke to be "None," then we'll just concentrate on Fire. The Fire is taking all its information from the Fire channel.
If we go to our tag, we added extra fire to it. You've still got a little bit of Smoke, a little bit of Temperature, but let's just go back to the material. The Black Body is like a realistic-looking fire. You can uncheck this and choose to make your own from a gradient. So if you wanted a more stylized look, we're going to leave it on Black Body for now. Let's just see where we're at without the smoke before we make any changes to the settings. And then we can build up a bit of progress as we go through this.
So that's where we are without any smoke and just the default Fire settings. I want to increase the Power to give it a more, sort of, hot look, going to decrease the Opacity somewhere around here, increase the Luminance a bit, and we'll just see what that's done. If we compare the previous version, we're getting a, sort of, hotter look. Definitely feels like the temperature's been turned up but still not what I'm after.
The key area of a gaseous material for me, and this was a bit of a "eureka" moment when I started using it, it was this Texture field here. These Texture inputs, we can add something to break up the material, and the best shader for this would be a noise shader. What's great about using noise is we can animate it too. So, we'll add some noise and we'll go into the settings. I'm just going to choose something like this for now and add a bit of animation.
And just for making that little change, we'll render and see what happens. So you can see from the previous version to where we are now. By adding noise we've increased the detail, and now when we render we get a much more realistic result. There's literally millions of combinations you could use but now you can start to experiment with these noise patterns. Let's add one to the smoke and just build up some of those settings there. We'll take the smoke from the Smoke and these graphs are mapped to these numbers here, the Smoke Min and Smoke Max, so we could just, sort of, choose to cut in on the smoke there.
You can see a little change in the little window here that represents the material. We're going to add some noise, and I'd like to use maybe the same kind of noise. Obviously don't have to but I want this to be scaled up because I don't want the effect to be as intense. And I'll animate it a bit, too. I'm just going to render that and see where we're up to. So that's where we're currently at. If we just go back to where we were and press "a" and then just go back to where we are now and press "b", we can just slide between the two.
We really haven't changed too much or got too complex, but just adding those textures has really helped to break up the smoke and the fire pattern and just give us a much more interesting, detailed result. From here, you could turn on Multi-Pass. We've had Multi-Pass on all the way through, so we look back at the picture viewer and choose Single-Pass. We've got our fire and smoke on a separate pass which we could composite, add some glows, color correct it a bit more.
And you're probably going to get most of the way there in Cinema 4D with the render but certainly taking it into something like Photoshop or After Effects, you can then really dial in the result and get it looking how you'd like it. So that was a look at using the Gaseous material. I think we've got a great-looking fire on our basketball for minimal effort. As always, it's down to experimentation and trial and error. You can try some different noise shaders and see how they change the look of the render, or experiment with different settings in the Gaseous modifier.
Just keep tweaking those settings.
- 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