Cineware Party, Part 11: Particle Confetti

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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  • Duration: 18:20
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Use CINEMA 4D Basic Particles to simulate confetti

Explore the exciting possibilities with the new live 3D pipeline in the next Adobe After Effects. In this tutorial series, you'll learn how to create a motion graphics piece in CINEMA 4D and composite and render it through Cineware in Adobe After Effects.

In this video, you'll learn how the basic particle emitter and particle forces in CINEMA 4D Broadcast or Studio can be used to simulate confetti. You'll also learn how to add the confetti to a dynamic simulation via the Cloner object.

NOTE that the techniques shown in this video require CINEMA 4D Broadcast or CINEMA 4D Studio.



- Okay so now our party is complete with fully dynamic balloons, but I think we can add just a bit more. So let's go ahead and add in some confetti. We'll go ahead and select our Cinema 4D file again and edit original to open it up in Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio. Any time the project is already open you might get this dialog box here. You can just hit Cancel in that case and you'll just return to the already saved file of the project. So what we need to do for this confetti is add a particle emitter and you'll find those here in the Simulate menu under Particles, Emitter and we're just using Cinema 4D's basic particles here. If you have Cinema 4D Studio you also have access to an advanced particle system called Thinking Particles. It's a little bit more tricky to set up so we're just going to stick with the basic particles for now because they're also something that Broadcast users have access to. Now, in order to make it a little easier for you to see this stuff, I'm just going to go ahead and hide our balloons and even our text here in the viewport. We'll do the video wall as well. Oh, and in fact, we need to add these cloners that we created for our balloons into our balloon layer so we'll just select both of them and drag it over the balloon layer here in the layer manager. Now those will be assigned and they'll be hidden because I've already hidden my balloon layer. So here we have our emitter and much like a lot of objects in Cinema 4D it works down the z-axis. So if I go into top view here really quick by hitting F2 and hit S to zoom right up in on that emitter, what you'll see is these dashes that come off of the back of the emitter. Now, right now that z-axis is pointing back towards the back wall. We want our confetti to actually come down from the ceiling. So we'll go back into perspective view and rotate this emitter so that it points down. So activate the rotate tool and we'll just drag this red band here until the emitter points down. Now, if you hold the Shift key while you do that, it will actually quantize the values to 10 degrees and you'll see on overlay here in the viewport that says minus 90 degrees to let you know that you're pointing straight down. So now you can see our particles shooting out from the emitter. The emitter, of course, is in the middle of the scene so we need to select our move tool and move it up towards the top. That animated camera is really annoying so let's go ahead and hide that as well so that we won't see it sweeping through the scene. Actually we need to go into the filter and turn off cameras and while we're at it, we'll go ahead and turn off lights as well. This doesn't turn off the effect of the light, it just turns off the visibility of the light in the view so that we won't see the falloff range there. So now we have our particles falling down from the ceiling but only at in a very small area. We need to size this emitter up in order to have it sort of fill the entire ceiling. So we'll select the emitter, make sure our attribute manager is active, and go into the emitter tab here within the attributes. You'll see that the default x and y size are 100 centimeters so we'll just increase those, to something like 2000 by 1000. You can see the border of the emitter right here in our perspective view and if you switch to top view you'll see that's how it lines up right there. Now back in perspective view we'll go ahead and play and you can see that now we're getting little particles emitting all over the scene. Now, we're only getting a few those and that's because the birth rate of the particle emitter is just 10 particles per second. These values here are per second. So we're only getting 10 particles every second of animation. Let's go ahead and increase that to something like 100. And you can set a different birth rate for the editor versus the renderer. So If you have a lot of particles you don't have to visual them all in the editor so that you can keep your workflow speed up. But this birth rate's pretty reasonable so we'll just leave it the same for the editor and the renderer. Now we'll go ahead and reset and you can see that we're getting a whole lot more particles falling at this point. Now, once again the emitter is one of those green generator objects in Cinema 4D so it's going to emit an object based on what we put underneath it in the Cinema 4D hierarchy. So, let's go ahead and just create a simple polygon object, once again plane and polygon are basically the same thing. Polygon just defaults to one segment. And we're going to want to make this fairly small, something like 20 centimeters on each side, and we'll go ahead and drop it under our emitter. Now, by default, the emitter still just shows the dashes just for speed purposes but if you go into the emitter settings you can activate the Show Objects option here and it'll actually show all of our little planes or polygon objects here in the scene now as particles. You can also activate this Render Instances option and what that does is simplify the object cache and utilize more memory in exchange for processing the screen quicker in the viewport and at the render time. So let's go ahead and see what we've got now. Now it's a little bit hard to see those so let's go ahead and create a material for our confetti. I'm going to go ahead and double click in the material manager to create a new material, we'll double click on that material to open it in the material editor. I'm going to go ahead and name this "metallic" and we'll go ahead and set up our material properties. Here in the color tab I'm just going to switch into our color table so that we can really quickly pick just a normal blue color. We'll add some reflection on this, maybe about 85%, and we want to adjust the specular as well. We're going to go ahead and increase the inner width quite a bit so that it's a really shiny, flat, specular and we're also going to want to bring the width down but we'll increase the height. Something like that. We'll go ahead and drop that onto our emitter. Now just like the cloner object, if the emitter has multiple children it'll iterate through those as it emits its particles. So we'll go ahead here and create some copies of our polygon object. Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V maybe four or five times. We'll select those copies and make sure that they're underneath the emitter because by default, Cinema 4D pastes at the top of the hierarchy. Now we need to create some duplicate materials as well with different colors so we'll take our metallic color here and we'll just copy that and paste a few times as well. Just like before, we'll go ahead and double click on here and go to the color tab and we'll pick some different colors for our confetti. So let's choose some red, some white, maybe some green, red or green, there we go, and let's do a chrome as well which we'll do by simply pulling the color down to, like, black and sort of be a black chrome confetti. We'll take those and replace them on each of our copies. Like so. So now we have our multi-colored confetti. It's all facing the same direction though and it's not really floating like you'd expect. So we need to work on this emitter a little bit more. We'll go back to the emitter and the first thing we want to do is effect the rotation so that all of these particles aren't all facing the same direction. So we'll go ahead and switch this rotation to something like 150 degrees. We also will go ahead and leave the variation here at 100% so that each individual particle will get its own rotation. Now you can see that we're already getting it to look quite a bit more like confetti. It's not actually getting all the way to the floor which is kind of annoying. We can either increase the speed of the particle emitter or we can adjust the length of our animation. Now, a lot of times you're limited by how long your animation can be but in our case we're not. So we can just increase the length of our animation because really I don't think that confetti can go much faster and still look like it's falling realistically. So we'll go ahead and choose this field right here and put in a longer time span for our animation. Let's just go ahead and double it to 180 frames and I'm going to go ahead and drag our preview range as well so that we get the full 180 frames. Now our confetti's getting pretty much all the way down to the ground. Not all of it. Now, another thing that we can do is we can adjust when the confetti is actually falling. So right now the confetti starts falling on frame 0 and it stops falling, or it stops emitting, actually, at frame 150. So what we can do is have this come out more in a burst. We'll set this to something like 50 frames and now it's just going to be one burst of confetti that falls instead of a continuous stream. You can adjust that to your liking as well. Now one last thing we can do to add a little bit more interest to this is add some particle forces. So we'll go in here to the Simulate menu in the Particle section and add some wind. Now you see we get a nice fan here in the scene and just like the particles themselves, the wind affects along its z-axis. So you can see that right now it's blowing those confetti particles back into the background. We'll actually have them blow sort of more across the scene instead so we'll take the rotation tool here and simply rotate this wind around about 90 degrees. Now you'll see that they'll blow off to frame right instead. They're blowing a little bit strong, so let's go into our wind object and in the attributes we can drop the wind speed down to maybe one centimeter and we'll also increase the turbulence a little just because that'll create some sort of eddies and flow to the wind so that it's not just a consistent blow direction from one side. And now we get something like this. Very subtle effect but it just adds a little bit more interest. The really cool thing is that wind is going to affect our balloon dynamics as well so that everything sort of looks like it's in the same environment. Now let's just go ahead and for good measure add a little bit of extra turbulence on top that. We'll go into the simulate menu and choose a turbulence force and we're just going to leave that at the default settings. So let's take a look at what we've got. Not bad. Now, these confetti objects, as they are now, are not dynamic. They won't actually collide with each other or with any other object in the scene. But making them dynamic is not hard at all. If you have Cinema 4D Studio you can add the rigid body tag directly onto the emitter. In Cinema 4D Broadcast we have to go a little bit more around about method because we can only make Mograph objects dynamic. So what we'll do is add a new cloner into the scene and remember that the cloner can clone along an object. So we'll switch the cloner into object mode and we'll drag our emitter in as the object that we want to clone on. So now it'll actually clone one of our clones onto each particle of our emitter. Now, because our geometry's actually going into the cloner we need to move our polygons from the emitter to underneath the cloner object. Let's take a look at what we've got now. Pretty much looks the same as it did. Now we just need to add that dynamics tag on it. So we'll go ahead and right click on the cloner, go to Simulation Tags, Rigid Body, and again you want to make sure in the Collision tab that Individual Elements is set to All. In here we're going to go ahead and decreased the bounce because confetti is not very bouncy and we're also going to increase the friction because confetti seems to stick to everything. We'll go ahead and hit the play button and see what we've got now. It's dropping pretty quick so again we'll go into our Mass and set a custom density of 0.2. I'm also going to go into the emitter itself and slow down the starting speed of the particles. We'll drop it down to say, 75 centimeters per second. Now let's go ahead and re-enable our text, balloon, and video wall layers and see what things look like when we put them all together. That confetti's actually starting kind of soon so we'll go back into our emitter and instead of starting at frame 0, let's go ahead and have it start more at frame 50 or so and we'll have it end at maybe 150. Now keep in mind that your balloons are all still cached from our previous tutorial and now that we've increased the length and also changed the dynamics of the scene, you're going to want to redo those caches. So select both cache tags, go to the attributes manager and just to be safe we'll go ahead and clear the cache and you can leave it in a cleared state while you preview this to see what it's going to look like. If you still want to make some changes to your forces or whatnot, you can do so now. When you're sure you're happy with your dynamics, you can bait the cache again. But you know what, we're going to need it on the confetti as well so we might as well go ahead and add a new mograph cache tag to the confetti. And we'll select all three tags at the same time and hit bake. Now we have our confetti all baked as well as the balloons. Everything's all working together with our new settings. And now we can jump back into After Effects. Just like before, just takes a second to re-render and we've got the effects of our changes. Now we did increase the length of this animation so we need to go in and adjust that in After Effects as well. We'll go into the Comp settings and we can go ahead and set this to 30 frames per second, 180 frames or 6 seconds. We'll increase the preview range and we also need to extend all of our footage items. So we'll select all of the footage items, go to the last frame, and hit Alt right square bracket. That will extend everything out to the full length of the comp. And now we are ready to go so we'll go ahead and run a RAM preview and see what this looks like when we put it all together.
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