Fill letters with smoke in X-Particles for Cinema4D with Redshift

Video transcript

What’s going on everybody welcome to another tutorial for Cinema 4D and X-Particles. My name is Rick Speets from Studio Speets. I run a one-man creative agency and make all kinds of visual and audible content for businesses brands entrepreneurs artists. So yeah, today I’m going to teach you how to fill up certain letters or words with smoke with the help of X-Particles in Cinema 4D. It’s a very cool way to maybe make a video header for a website. You could for example fill up the letters of your logo or another company’s logo or name with the smoke. It’s very stylish and is probably gonna look really great on your website or your clients website, but of course feel free to use this in any way you see possible. Maybe you don’t even want to fill letters up with smoke, you can always do it with different shapes, but for this tutorial I am picking the word “COOL” because it’s very cool. Okay so bad jokes aside let’s get into it.

In order to make this work you’re going to need (a couple of) key objects, it’s very important that you imprint these objects into your head. It’s going to save you a lot of headache in the future, so yeah make sure you remember these, so you can quickly make new (smoke) systems. Or of course feel free to save these into a template, which you can easily and quickly load into a new project from the content browser in Cinema 4D for example. So the first object is an Explosia Emitter to emit fuel, heat and smoke. In this case I’ve chosen a small sphere and I applied the Explosia Emitter tag to it. Or the Explosion Source, that’s what it’s officially called. So you right click an object like a primitive and select the X-Particles Explosia Source, this way that object will become a fire source – it will start emitting fuel, heat and smoke.

The second key object is an Explosia Domain. In this domain you can render the fuel, the heat and the smoke. So without this domain, which is the pink box you see in this video, it will not work, so you need these two elements to make the smoke visible in your viewport.

Now in order to fill the letters with smoke, you’re going to need the letters of course, so choose a cool font that you like. I’ve chosen a quite chunky font, so that the letters can easily be filled.

Now the fourth object that you need is an Explosia Collider tag. So with this ExplosiaFX collider tag – which is under the X-Particles tags if you right click an object. So right click the letters in this case and select ExplosiaFX Collider. This way the fuel, the heat and the smoke can collide with the letters. If you don’t do this, the smoke will generate and evaporate in the Explosia FX Domain you made. With the Collider tag it can collide with any object that you apply it to. A very important step is to uncheck the “solid” box in the Explosia tag. So this is the tag that is applied to the letters. In this case, if you uncheck “solid”, that way the smoke will fill up the insides of the letters. If you leave it on “solid” nothing will happen. It’s very important because when it’s solid, when the two objects overlap each other (so the the Emitter sphere in this case and one of the letters that you made) they overlap, but when the letter is “solid”, the emitter just won’t work. Because of this overlap of the two objects. So when you uncheck the “solid” checkbox, again that is the tag you attach to the letters, the simulation should work.

If the simulation is too slow, you can always up the simulation speed under the Simulation tab in the Explosia Domain (ExplosiaFX Object), the pink box that we’re using in this tutorial. By increasing the simulation speed you can fill up the letters quicker, if it’s going too slow for you.

Then the fifth object which is also very important is the X-Particles Cache object. With the Cache object you can not only cache your simulation and scrub through it, which makes it easier for playback in your viewport, but it’s also needed for the sixth object which is a Redshift Volume object. In this case i’m using Redshift, but you should be able to use it in – I don’t know any render engine that supports volumes – so Octane, that kind of stuff, that should work as well. But for this tutorial I’m using Redshift. So yeah I’m using a Volume object to point toward the Cache object, or the Cache path that we made in step five. So add the Volume object and point that object toward the Cache folder. You only have to select the first file in this folder, press the Detect Animation or Detect Frames button in this object, and maybe set the playback mode to “loop” or “once”, whatever you like.

And then for the final object you’re going to need a Redshift material, which you can apply to the Redshift volume. So when you press “create” in Cinema 4D (when you have Redshift installed of course) – when you press “create” in the Material tab on the bottom, just go to Redshift Materials and select the Volume Material at the bottom, which is set up in a way that it automatically works for Volume Objects. So create that Volume Material, apply it to the Volume Object and you should almost be golden. Just be sure to fill in “density” in the Scatter Channel. Density is one of the channels that gets cached, but without pointing to it in the Volume shader, you still won’t see anything in the render. So make sure you fill in “density” in the Scatter Channel.

You can always change the colors of the smoke! The default gradient is black to white, that goes for the Scatter. The Absorption and the Emission those are the different elements of the Volume. See those as the different elements of the Volume, so the Absorption tends to be the darker shades of the smoke and the emission tend to be the lighter shades of the smoke, of the simulation. So feel free to mess around with the settings in order to really make it your own, but the default settings should be good for a realistic smoky look.

You’ll want to add a Redshift Light, maybe something like an Area Light or a Spotlight and slide up the Volume Contribution scale all the way up to one. You can do that in the Volume Tab that is in the light source. So just add a wretch of light to your scene, go to the Volume Tab and slide up Volume Contribution all the way up to one. This way the light will contribute to the Volume, so the light will be scattered and absorbed by the Volume settings – so this way the Volume will become way more noticeable in your scene. It’s a crucial step in order to make it visible in your renders so i’m gonna have to give a big shout out to Workbench for giving me the tip on unchecking the Solid checkbox in the Explosia tag. Definitely check out his tutorials, I’ll link to it in the description below. Thanks to his tutorial that I got this simulation working, because I was fidgeting around with getting the simulation to work. Turns out it was unchecking the Solid box which was a very important step. So I hope you made it all the way through this tutorial and did not skip that very crucial important piece of information.

Anyway, I hope you liked this tutorial please leave a comment, like it, share or subscribe. Let me know in the comments if you have any requests for future tutorials. I’ll catch you in the next video! See you later.

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