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How to Use Field Forces in Cinema 4D R21

By EJ Hassenfratz and Ryan Plummer
Cinema 4D

A New Experience with Field Forces in Cinema 4D R21

Release 21 of Cinema 4D has attracted immense attention, and we've honored our role as motion design experts and educators by offering in-depth analyses and video tutorials from our 3D Creative Director and Cinema 4D Basecamp instructor EJ Hassenfratz on many of the new and enhanced features, including caps and bevels and Mixamo character animation.
One of the most powerful components of C4D often flies under the radar, however; so, in our latest tutorial we highlight and break down Field Forces, which, according to EJ, "everyone's going to be raving about!"
With Field Forces in Cinema 4D R21, expect an entirely new experience working with dynamics, cloth, hair, and particles.

The Cinema 4D R21 Field Forces Tutorial

The Cinema 4D R21 Field Forces Tutorial Project Files

To follow along, download the project files used in EJ's tutorial video.

Free Field Forces Project Files

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What are Field Forces and How Do They Work?

Ideal for art directing your animations and scenes, and delivering on Maxon's promise to deliver a 3D motion design program for all, Field Forces in Release 21 serve as a powerful way to control particles, dynamics, hair and even clothing in Cinema 4D.
Field Forces Image Breakdown of all the buttons.jpg
The new Field Forces feature allows you to blend Field Objects and Forces by utilizing recognizable and traditional tools to complete tasks such as changing the blending mode or strength of an effect and creating masks and sub-fields.

Using Fields in Field Forces

By combining, mixing and setting different objects and parameters, you can create new forces and field shapes.
In his tutorial, EJ demonstrates how, for example, adding noise to a particle emitter can create a turbulent displacement of the particles leaving the emitter.
Random particles Turbulance emitter field forces cinema 4D-optimized.gif
EJ then adds a spherical field and sets the blending mode to Add. With a simple setup and a few button clicks, you can start pulling the particles into the spherical field.
Attracted Random particles Turbulance emitter field forces cinema 4D.gif

Using Objects and Volumes in Field Forces

Field Forces aren't limited to using fields to attract, repel and manipulate. You can now have objects react to the actual surface area of an object and not the anchor point of the main object, allowing secondary objects to roll, bounce and attract to the geometry of your 3D object.
Volume and object attraction using field forces EJ Hassenfratz-optimized.gif

Using Splines in Field Forces

Looking to add in another level of art direction? Splines allow you to control the direction and path of particle emissions and other objects.
In his tutorial, EJ uses a helix spline and spherical field to trigger a repelling vortex that dynamically reacts to a Voronoi-fractured object, causing pieces to fly everywhere and even bounce off the floor.
Helix Voronoi Trigger with Cinema 4D Field Forces EJ Hassenfratz-optimized.gif
Plus, splines are editable and can even be keyframed, for greater flexibility.

Become a Cinema 4D Expert

In EJ's tutorial, we only scratch the surface of what's possible with Field Forces in Cinema 4D R21. If you want to master Maxon's 3D software, and learn from EJ himself, enroll in Cinema 4D Basecamp.
Adding 3D to your toolkit is one of the best ways to up your value and expand your capabilities as a motion designer — and there's no better way to learn motion design than with School of Motion (our approval rating is higher than 99%!).
Plus, when you sign up for a session of Cinema 4D Basecamp, Maxon will provide you with a short-term license of Cinema 4D for use in this course!