Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video What is X-Particles?, part of X-Particles 3 for Cinema 4D Essential Training.
- So what is X- Particles? X- Particles is a plugin for Cinema 4D developed by Insydium. So it's not part of the standard tools that ship with C4D. Particle effects have been popular for years and are used in VFX and Motion Graphics from smoke, fire, and fluid simulations to creating pixie dust, light trails and other effects. I want to show you how you can add X-Particles to your tool set and have the confidence to integrate particle effects into your projects. As this is essential training, we won't cover absolutely everything.
We couldn't possibly. We're going to touch on a great deal however, and where possible I'll show you a quick setup and then we'll go into a deeper example so it's easier to follow. Even though X-Particles is a plugin, it's not available from the plugins menu. As you can see it has it's own position in the interface here, which makes it feel like one of the native tools in Cinema 4D, like Mograph for example. If you've used the Mograph tools, X-Particles will feel very familiar because like Mograph, and it's effectors, X-Particles uses modifiers to make changes to X-Particles simulations.
It's worth noting here that you can even use the Mograph tools to control X-Particles as well as the standard C4D particle modifiers and even Cinema 4D deformers. But we'll come to that in a later chapter. If you look at this diagram, you can see the vast number of objects which make up X-Particles. We have the Emitter, Generators, Modifiers, Questions, Actions, Dynamic Objects, and other objects such as The Cash. And all these fit into a system.
We have Tags, Materials, and Shaders, so you can see it's a very deep plugin and diving in at this stage can feel overwhelming. You're going to be accessing the X-Particles objects quite often so I've created a palette that you can use to help with this. If you have access to the Exercise files, you'll find it in a folder called Palette. To install, you need to navigate to your Cinema 4D preferences folder. So we'll do that here. You can choose edit, preferences, and you want to click on this button here; open preferences folder.
If you don't see the folder here, called palettes, you can create one and then we'll go into that and we want to take the XP_palette.l4d file and just install it into the folder here. With that done, you can restart Cinema 4D and the palette will be available for you. So once Cinema 4D has restarted, you can access the palette by going to Window and choose Load Palette here. That'll bring up this dialog and inside the folder palettes we've got our XP palette which we can open.
And now, you can dock that in your interface wherever you like, somewhere here might be good. If I right click and just make the icons a bit smaller we can just add X-Particles objects quite easily and if you click and hold, a fly out menu will just allow you access to all these different modifiers. I'm going to be using a custom layout because it allows for more screen real estate when recording. So i'm going to switch to the now. I've just made this X-Particles layout here. And you can see I've got my palette docked at the top.
To make things a little easier on the eye, i'm also going to make some visual changes to the viewport. You don't have to do this, but it will help you see the particles better. As I want to increase the contrast so i'm going to do that by changing some preferences. Now, i'm going to go into the Scheme Colors here and just change Background one and two from their defaults to make things a little easier on the eye. I'm also going to change some visual settings in the viewport. You don't have to do this, but it will help you see the particles better as I want to increase the contrast of the viewport.
So don't worry if your version of C4D doesn't look like mine. It's just for recording purposes. Because the Grid and Horizon line and this World Axis can be a bit confusing, i'm going to remove those two. So i'm going to press shift + v and just ok to my view settings here. In fact, i'm going to filter the Grid, the Horizon, and the World Axis. With that done, now we're really ready to dive in.
- 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