Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Using particle painting to create condensation on a soda can, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- For the ultimate level of control over particle positioning, there's the particle painter tool. Let's take a look at how it works. First we need some geometry to paint on. I'll choose a sphere, and I'll select the xpPainter, which is the particle paint tool. And you can see that all the settings are greyed out. This is because we're on frame zero. In order to create particles, we need to be on at least frame one. I'll press G to move forward one frame, and we have our settings.
All of these are very similar to any of the normal paint tools in C4D. We can certainly focus on these ones, which are relating to our particle... changes the color of the ones that we paint, the life, the radius, speed, and some other settings as well. Let's just start painting some particles. So we'll paint on the surface, and we start getting these orange particles, because I just changed the color there. You'll also notice that a spawning emitter was created.
We can change the display settings in the emitter, so it's a bit easier to see and carry on painting. I'm going to choose some spheres, select the geometry again, and we can continue painting these spheres. It's all quite intuitive. This is starting to give me an idea. Why don't we paint condensation on a can of soda? First we need a can. Yeah, there's one in the content browser.
So, let's get the content browser up. Shift-C, I'm going to type in "content", or Shift-F8 will get you there. And here's one I searched for earlier in the presets, the can of soda. Let's drag it into our scene. Close the content browser. We'll get rid of what we just made, and here's our can of soda. First, we need to scale it up. I'm going to hold down Shift and scale it up quite a bit, somewhere around there.
Let's back up a bit and have a look at it. We'll select the particle painter again, select our can, press G to move forward a frame, let's just make sure we're back on that tool, and we'll just start painting away. They're a bit hard to see, so maybe we'll make them white. Just undo if you move the can away. Add a few particles in.
If you added some underneath and wanted to get rid of them, you can choose to delete particles. What we need to do is go into our emitter editing and make sure the points are editable. And now we can just remove those unwanted particles. To put this in context, we need to give those particles some volume. I'll create a system, we'll put our emitter into the emitter section. In the generators, let's add a skinner.
The skinner needs something, which will be the emitter. And we get this ridiculous blob of mess on the can. We can change down to one of the different surface types. I might choose this one for example, and we can certainly bring down the polygon size maybe quite a bit more. You'll also need to bring down the render polygon size, otherwise you'll get a different effect to what you see in the viewport. We can turn on some smoothing and reduce the surface level.
Something like so. I can see that I might have to do a bit of refining and a bit of editing on this as well, because we're getting this great cluster of particles and then nothing here. So back on the emitter, we're editable. We can make sure we're in the particle paint tool, and we've chosen to delete. And we can just remove particles, and now we can even create some more particles. Now we just make sure we're not in this mode. Of course, we need to have the can selected.
(laughs) Silly me. Right. And we'll just add in a few more. We might get a bit more control if we reduce the radius. And just add a few more dotted around. I think we're starting to get the idea. It is actually quite a lot of fun. I better stop there, and we will give this a material. Let's create a new material.
I want it to be no color, transparent, a bit of refraction, and we'll add some reflectance to it, too. Let's drop this on the skinner, and we need to give it something to reflect, an environment. I'll just add a physical sky, and we're starting to get something going on here. I'll render the view. Yeah, this is starting to look pretty cool. As you saw, you can get quite carried away just adding particles and really just refining it until your heart's content.
You can certainly take this much further. I've gone ahead and worked up a similar example, so let's switch to that now. I'll just play it through for you. I've added some scene elements, such as lights and a camera move and a slight rotation on the can. You can pick this apart to see how I created the effect of the particles flowing down the surface of the can. Here's a little hint: you can just check out the settings on these modifiers here.
So finally, a couple of renders of the result. Shift-F6 to bring up the picture viewer, and here we go. I've got one from the start of the animation, and one towards the end. As you can see, we could use a few more condensation particles on this can. So why not use what you've just learned and add them to your taste and make this project your own? You can now use the particle painter to control where particles are born on geometry.
- 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