09 April 2015

X Particles 3 for Cinema 4D

What is it?
It’s a particle generator that goes far beyond the native systems in C4d allowing more control, more options and (with version 3) liquid, smoke and fire effects.

How good is it?
In brief, very good. Fairly easy to use and learn for something that has an infinite number of variations and options. While is clearly states it’s liquids and smoke effects are not cinema quality, they certainly can be used for cinematic projects. Rendering of the particles is very fast in the viewport and many things can be altered on the fly saving time and allowing you to play around before committing to anything. This plugin has great flocking controls and allows particles to collide with other particles, spawn new particles on collision… pretty much anything you would need to do… it does. Mograph and other native Cinema 4 functions and modifiers will work seamlessly with it as well which really gives it more power even professional users will ever need.

What are the limitation?
Like most particle simulators, looking at the particles in the viewport isn’t a problem… rendering them out is. Version 3 was released with a lot of very simple helpful tutorials for registered users but they were lacking in some very basic areas… in my opinion. The biggest issue for me is the smoke and fire rendering. For some reason, if you set up their automatic system heir achy, the gaseous shader they provide won't always render. More to the point - getting a decent looking and fast render is really difficult to accomplish. There needs to be a fire, smoke preset of something that gets you up and running quickly and I would prefer some feature that automatically helps sets up render settings, maybe a low-medium-high systems like Maxon’s physical render engine has for motion blur to help you simplify the stupefying amount of factors you need to navigate to get a final result that looks good but renders quickly enough to actually be useful in project. The gaseous shader is a brand new feature, so I expect it will be greatly improved on as X particles is not noted for sitting on hands for very long when it comes to improving the product. 

In summary

is it worth it? Yes it is despite any problems it may have at present. It is light years above the horrible pyrocluster feature in C4D which even deleted the one feature that made it usable (the ability to post render which was very fast) and it has so many useful features from simple to complex that the normal emitter is pretty much useless.

x particles tests from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

1 comment:

T' said...

Hmm, again, I don't totally understand this, but I can see why the effects wouldn't be considered cinema-worthy. That being said, I can totally see these being used for educational purposes or small productions. I can't even begin to think about how I'd produce smoke or water digitally!