X-particles colored smoke tutorial for Cinema4D

Video transcript

Okay guys what is up, Rick here again with another tutorial/time lapse. I’m just going to take you through this video and narrate when possible. So what you see here is a smoke simulation which i’ve made for a client which asked me to make some colorful
colorful videos for his website. So it’s going to be used as a background video and they’re gonna display their logo as a sort of lithograph superimposed over it. That way you’ll see the logo and through the letters of the logo behind it you will see my colorful smoke simulation along with some other visuals i’ve made. But today i’m primarily focusing on this smoke simulation.


So what it is is an ExplosiaFX domain made with X-particles for Cinema 4D. I use the sphere as an ExplosiaFX emitter and I attach that sphere to a spline – and I did that through using the align to spline tag of course – and I animated the sphere along this
spline. And since it’s an Explosia emitter it will emit fuel heat and smoke in that domain and that will give off this quite realistic and smoky look that you see here.

So I’ve added a little bit of smoke, fuel and heat dissipation in order to make that
all dissipate, disappear into nothingness. Because if you don’t do that the the
fuel, the smoke and the heat will indefinitely stay in the domain and that will take up a lot of space and memory.

So to achieve the quite colorful look of the smoke – I had some issues with this – there are, well there are always numerous methods to do anything in Cinema4D and X-particles. The way I thought i would do it was create multiple emitters with each their own color of smoke and have them interact with each other – but I found it quite difficult to have the the multiple smokes collide with each other. So the way I solved it is just have one emitter, just one sphere, that emits all the heat, the smoke and fuel and I
lit it with lights. I just put some spotlights on it. I made sure in the Volume tab I put the
volume contribution scale all the way to one, think it’s one, I think one is the maximum.

So slide up the the Volume Contribution (in the Redshift tag), that way when you color the light it will color the smoke that color. So when you add multiple spotlights on the smoke, one from above, one from the left, one from the right etc. That way you’ll achieve this quite colorful look for one Explosia emitter. The Volume Contribution is of course
added through the Redshift Tag. I rendered everything in in Redshift, I’m not sure if you can do the same in Octane. Octane users, sorry about this but I use Redshift. I switched from Octane a while ago and yeah i’m quite happy with it.

Apart from the spotlights that light the smoke from the sides, I’ve all i’ve also added a couple of lights within the smoke. So I added some area lights I think, or point lights – it doesn’t matter – in the smoke, along the the spline that the emitter sphere follows.
The lights are also animated with a Align to Spline tag and they light the smoke from the inside, which just adds that new layer of detail, especially when when the smoke starts to dissipate and holes start to appear, you can really see it and shine through nicely. It really looks awesome, and that also has the Volume Contribution Scale all the way up to one, or all the way to the max – whatever the number is.

That’s about it, I think I used like a three centimeter voxel size to have the simulation
cached quickly so I can quickly preview it and then I use the new Upres feature with which is in the latest X-Particles which is just a great way to – well yeah, like I said – quickly have your simulations cached with a large voxel size. And then through Upres you can increase the detail. I made sure that the Upres scale was set to one centimeter,
that took a long time to cache, I think it was was a cache of like – I’m not sure – maybe 20 hours, 24 hours. It was quite long. The cache is over 130 gigabytes, it’s giant, but I think the result is a quite detailed and sharp smoke – because my problem with with X-Particles is anything over maybe one and a half centimeters – it starts to look blocky and choppy. You can see the the voxels which I don’t like and you definitely don’t want that in a hero image for a website – so yeah – 130 gigs for the cache but it was definitely worth it! So Upres, use that feature alright?!


This was the video, I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you learned something. If you have any questions drop them in the comments here below and I’ll make sure to answer them. Don’t forget to subscribe and like the video, share it if you can, it really helps me out and i’ll see you in the next video. Take care!

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