Let's learn how to create the vines for our project.
Last time we met, in Part 5, made a fully rigged, textured, and animated flower. If you thought that was complicated, wait to you get a load of this vine nonsense.Organic things that grow are notoriously tough to animate. One-size-fits-all solutions don't really work.In this video, Joey will do his best to show you a how each shot needs to be considered as a separate challenge. We can't just use a "grow vines" plugin...we need to think about simulation and render times, level of detail, how complex does each shot need to be in terms of animation, etc... There's a lot to think about.We get pretty deep into X-Particles in this episode. Check out the resources tab to download a free demo of the plugin to play around with if you're following along.
Tutorial Full Transcript Below 👇:
Joey Korenman (00:00:12):
Welcome back here comes the part of this series, where I show you something kind of cool and geeky, something that normally would just be its own tutorial with a title like growing low poly vines with X particles in cinema 4d. Now, when I have to figure out some complex effect, it's usually way easier to approach the problem when I know exactly how the effect will be seen in the context of the piece. For example, in this shot, we're just seeing a few vines start to grow, and it's such a short and simple shot. I'll probably do this one by hand or with a really simple vine rig. Now this shot is farther away and we're going to need a lot more leaves. And, uh, so it's probably gonna, you know, need some particles to help us start to fill this out a little bit. So there's not so much manual labor, and we're not hand placing dozens and dozens of pieces.
Joey Korenman (00:01:08):
Now in this shot, we're very close to some of the vines and the leads. So the detail's going to need to reflect that this is also the first shot where we really see that the building is getting swarmed by the vines. And I don't really want to have to manually draw, you know, 50 to a hundred splines by hand all over this building. So my plan is to use X particles beginning with this shot, the last couple of shots we'll definitely be done with X particles due to the just sheer number of vines and leaves that are going to be on screen. At the same time. I may have to tone the detailed down a little bit in these shots since there's going to be a pretty insane amount of geometry. And I want to make sure I don't break my computer. So let's start by rigging a simple vine setup.
Joey Korenman (00:01:56):
So the first technique I'm going to show you is what we'll use on the easier shots. Uh, and it's, it's a lot simpler and you have a lot more control. So we're going to start by just drawing a spline shape like this, and then I'm going to grab an incited spline, and we're just going to use a sweep nerves, your standard cinema, 4d sweep nerves. Um, so let me grab a sweep and I want to sweep this spline through this one. And here we go. All right. And this can be our vine, and now we can animate the vine really easily just using the end growth. All right. I can just animate it on like that. Um, now I want to get rid of the Fong tags. So we have that nice kind of low poly look, let me turn online so I can see our geometry here.
Joey Korenman (00:02:39):
Uh, I do want to add a filot cap to the end, um, so that I can have a little bit of a point on the end of my vine. And maybe I'll add another step and expand the radius in your, you know, what you'll notice is by default, when you add a fill it cap, uh, it expands and kind of makes the end bigger. If you hit constrain. Now I have to make sure I don't make this too big. If you hit constrain, it actually makes sure that your, uh, your spline doesn't get any bigger at the end. So I usually check that on. Um, and then you'll also notice here that even though we don't have a Fong tag, we're still getting that smoothing happening on the end here. Um, and so I need to make sure that my Fong angle is set all the way down to zero.
Joey Korenman (00:03:24):
There we go, or, sorry, not zero. It has to be at least one degree and now I get that nice low poly look on the end. Okay, cool. So here's our spline and we can easily animate it using and growth. Uh, so what I want to do a couple of things really quickly just to make this look a little nicer. Um, I'm going to go into my details here and for the scale, um, you know, I'm going to want the scale to kind of taper off a little bit at the end. So I'm just holding command and clicking to add a point, and then I'm going to basically taper the shape of this using this little graph. Okay. So I'm just getting a little bit of a taper and you can, you know, you can control how much, uh, you know, how much it tapers and when it tapers.
Joey Korenman (00:04:08):
And I also want some rotation on this. Um, so I'm going to turn up the end rotation and it's basically just going to twist this thing along the length of it. All right. So as it's growing on, it's the wrong one as it's growing on, it's going to have this nice kind of twisting feel to it. And maybe I want a little bit more there. Cool. All right. So that feels pretty good. I'm digging that. Um, all right, cool. So now I want to, uh, have this thing animate on and I also want leads to be popping up along it. All right. So this is where it gets a little bit trickier. Um, and so the first thing I'm going to do is, uh, I'm just going to group this underneath the, no, we're going to call this vine and I'm going to put some user data on here and we're going to call this vine growth.
Joey Korenman (00:04:58):
Right. And I'm just going to leave the default. So it's just a percentage from zero to 100. And what I want to do is put an espresso tag on here and you'll see why I'm doing this in a minute. But basically what I want to do is, uh, grab the, that vine growth as an output and pipe it to that sweep nerve and growth input. All right. So all I'm doing right here is just being able to control this sweetener, using this control. Now, the reason I'm going to the trouble of doing this is because in a second, I'm going to have other things that I'm going to want to control from this same slider. And it's easier to just have everything controlled by one slider, as opposed to, you know, having to key frame five or six different things. So what I want to do is basically create a particle, a manner that follows the sweetener and follows the growth of it exactly.
Joey Korenman (00:05:53):
And emits particles along the way. All right. So here's what I mean. I'm going to go to my simulate menu and grab just a standard particle emitter. And I'm going to call this emitter leave, leave. Good Lord, Joseph, you gotta put an S on that. Otherwise it makes no sense. Emitter leaves. There we go. All right. And on this submitter, um, you know, if I just hit play, you'll see the default thing in the mid or does is just spit out particles just like that. So what I want it to do is to, uh, actually move along this path, emitting particles all along the way. So I'm going to put on align to spline tag on my emitter, and I'm going to tell it to align to this spline and the position right. Goes from zero to 100%, which is really handy. So I'm going to grab that position as an input on this node, and I'm going to pipe it to this.
Joey Korenman (00:06:44):
And so now if I animate this really quickly, so let me just add a few more frames here. So I'm going to go, uh, from frame zero, vine growth should be at zero, and then let's say frame 72 vine growth should be 100%. All right. So there's going to be a couple things wrong here. So one, these particles are firing out and moving, so we don't want that. Okay. So I need to go to the emitter and set the speed to zero. Also the emitter is not lining up perfectly to this and that is because my spline, the intermediate points have to be set to uniform. All right. So if you ever have to do anything like this, like if you want like an Arrowhead to kind of follow a spline, the spline needs to be set to uniform, intermediate points, and now everything should line up perfectly.
Joey Korenman (00:07:34):
I also want to go to the aligned display and tag and turn on tangental so that, that, uh, that emitter will actually trace and follow like that. Cool. All right. So now I've got the speed set down to zero on the emitter can actually close this now, and you can see that there's now particles kind of being left behind, right? That's what these little tiny white dots are. And what's awesome about that is that now I can grab a cloner and I'm just going to grab a cube. Let me just make like a bunch of tiny little cubes here. I'm going to put that cube in the cloner, and I'm going to set the cloner to object mode and the object I want it to clone on is this emitter. So now what's happening is as the submitter moves right along this vine, it's leaving little cubes in its wake.
Joey Korenman (00:08:24):
Now it's leaving them kind of randomly around the vine. And that's because this emitter has some size to it. If I look at the emitter tab, it's a hundred centimeters by a hundred centimeters. If I set that to zero by zero, now you actually can't see, uh, because the vines covering them up. But now it's emitting these li these little cubes and it's keeping them perfectly aligned in that little, in that a spline there. All right. So now instead of cubes, I don't want cubes. I actually want little leaves to pop out. Okay. Um, and here's some other settings that we need to think about. Um, this emitter, the default cinema 4d, a Minter, it never stops emitting. Um, you have to manually tell it when to stop emission. So I want it to stop. First of all, I don't want it to start on frame zero.
Joey Korenman (00:09:16):
I want it to start maybe on frame 10 and then I want it to stop basically, you know, when the vine stops growing, which is frame 72. So I'll go to a Mitter and I'll set the stop to, I don't know, a few frames before, maybe frame 65. All right. So now we get those cubes along that, you know, along that vine. Um, and we can also, uh, we can also change the rate. So there's two birth rates here. There's the editor and the render, and I generally keep them in sync. Uh, if you don't keep them in sync, then when you render you're going to get a totally different result. And I want less leaves than this. Let's let's cut that to three.
Joey Korenman (00:09:57):
All right. So now you just get less leaves. Cool. Um, excellent. So now what we need to do is, uh, actually get rid of this cube and put some leaves in there. So let me open up that plant that we created, and I'm just going to grab one of these leaf NOLs, and I'm going to paste it in here. And the, uh, let me go to my animation view here. Cause I know the key frames are probably offset and time a little bit. All right. And this leaf is almost certainly not the right scale for this scene. So I'm going to scale this up, right. Okay, cool. So let's, let's say that that's a good scale. Um, and I want to zero out this leaf to zero, everything out rotation and position and all that stuff. So that I just have like a nice centered leaf that can now be emitted as a particle. So I'm just going to replace this cube with this whole leaf setup. All right. And here's, what's cool because that leaf has animation on it. That animation gets triggered when the particle is born. Okay. So as that particle gets born, we get to see that entire leaf animation. So if I turn my suite back on, you can see as this grows leaves start to grow along it. All right. So we're starting to get, let me add a bunch more frames here so we can kind of let this play out. Right.
Joey Korenman (00:11:24):
Let's do one 20. Here we go. So now we've got this great little setup where you've got, um, you know, a vine and you've got leaves kind of, you know, being emitted along it and everything's working out fantastic, but the leaves are all aligned exactly the same way. Right? So this isn't a, this isn't going to make it look very natural. So what's cool about using a cloner on the particles as opposed to cause what I could do to, I could actually have this submitter emit leaves rather than have the cloner put the leaves on the particles. But the reason I do it this way is because now I get to use all of these great MoGraph tools like the random effector, right. And on that random effector, um, I can go to my parameter, turn off position and just turn on rotation and I could maybe, you know, mess with the pitch and the bank a little bit.
Joey Korenman (00:12:19):
Um, you know, you've gotta be careful because you could very easily create a situation where the, uh, where the leaves are intersecting, the, the vine geometry, um, which that might be a problem. Um, and I'm also going to go to effector and I'm going to turn on synchronized and indexed in that way. It'll make sure that, um, there's not like a continuous noise pattern happening. Um, it'll, it'll make it look more random basically without getting too technical with what it's doing. Um, and so now I can kind of tweak the settings a little bit until, till I like the way it looks. And there you go. I could also use the same random effector to affect the scale so I could do a uniform scale and I'll set it to absolute scale too, so that if I move this down, these can only get smaller.
Joey Korenman (00:13:05):
If I leave absolute scale off, they can actually get bigger too. And I only want them to able to get smaller. Okay. So there we go. So now we've got this great little vine with these leaves that are all a little bit different size and orientation, and they open up along the vine just like that. And, uh, you know, I could, I could then just copy this cloner into here, copy the random effector into there. Um, and I basically got this little vine set up that, you know, with this one, slider is controlling pretty much everything, and I could add some more controls if I needed and then clone this and, you know, take this spline and tweak it right. And make it a different shape. So if I grabbed, you know, this point and pushed it out like this and grabbed this point and pushed it out like this, now I've got two different looking splines, right.
Joey Korenman (00:13:56):
And they'll both have leaves growing on them. So I could, you know, and I could go in and tweak other settings. And you know, what I should probably do is, um, you know, on each of these vines, I probably want a different random seed so that the leaves are in different positions. Uh, and so, you know, all, I'll probably need to add a little seed control down here to make that easier to get to, um, you know, and, and I may want to, I may want to have some vines have more or less leaves on them. So I may want to maybe, you know, maybe on this one, I'll change the birth rate to four. So there's more leaves on this one, just so it looks a little bit different, right? If we have a whole bunch of vines, um, we want them all to look a little different.
Joey Korenman (00:14:37):
So this is pretty much the setup. Um, and now let me show you, um, let me show you another, uh, let me, let me go ahead and delete this one. I'm me go to the random effector and, uh, and get a little bit more variation out of this too. And I want to show you another cool thing you can do using some of these MoGraph tools. So, uh, let me add some more leaves here. Let me just crank this up. I'll just double this for a minute so we can see more leaves. Cool. All right. So, uh, so now we've got all these beautiful leaves on this vine and the texture on those leaves. If we look here, let me actually, I can just go back to my start-up view. So here's the texture. Okay. And the way it's getting that color is I've got a base color in the color channel, and then I've got this texture being built out of these two layers that's being added on top.
Joey Korenman (00:15:29):
So I'm going to set this up a little differently. I'm going to set mixed mode to normal. I'm going to go into my layer shader here. And I talked about the layer shader a little bit in the last video. So if you haven't watched that, make sure you go watch that. And I'm going to add a color shader in here and set the color to this color and set the mode to add, okay, so this is going to give us, we've now basically got the exact same result. Okay. And the only difference is now it doesn't matter what this color is anymore. This color is being ignored. Okay. And the reason I want to do it this way is because now, instead of this color shader, I'm actually going to turn this off and I'm going to use a MoGraph multi shader. All right. So the multi shader, I can delete that.
Joey Korenman (00:16:12):
Now what the multi shader does is it lets you share set up a whole bunch of different shaders. So I'm just going to use the standard color shader with that color. And then let me, uh, let me then set up another one and I'm gonna pick that color, but then I'm gonna change it. Let me add a little more blue to it and darken it a little bit. So now I've got two colors here in this MoGraph multi shader. Okay. And if I hit render, you'll see nothing's happening. But if I go up to my random effector now and I say color mode on, and then I go into, let me go back to my multi shader and I set the, make sure the mode is set to color brightness. Now I'm going to start getting variation. And essentially I don't want to spend too much time on this, but essentially what's happening is the random effector.
Joey Korenman (00:16:58):
When you turn color mode on, it's assigning a random color to these clones that you don't see, this is, this is not a real color. This is a color. You do not see that somewhere between black and white, then this MoGraph multi shader looks at that color, right between black and white and based on the brightness, assigns it one of these two shaders and I can add more shaders, right. So I could then just add another, another color shader, set it to that color, but then maybe push more green into it and make it a little brighter, but less saturated. Right? So now I've got three colors and it's going to randomly pick between all three and you can really see this, you know, if I let's set this to like 20 or something, so we get a whole bunch of leaves here.
Joey Korenman (00:17:44):
Right. And you can see how cool, I mean, it's just, it's like instant cool animation. And you get all this variation in the leaves, um, with almost no work, which is, which is why I love MoGraph and why I love cinema 4d. Um, cool. All right. And uh, because you know, the way we modeled the leaf, um, uh, you know, it's, it's not perfect, but it does look like it's coming out of the vine and it's growing along it and everything seems to be working pretty much the way we need it to. And one last thing I want to do, uh, is be able to have a little bit more variation along the vine. It's, you know, it's very smooth right now and I kind of want it to feel a little bit more, you know, irregular. So what I'm going to do is a nifty little trick.
Joey Korenman (00:18:27):
Um, I'm going to first, I'm going to group the, uh, I'm going to go ahead and group this, uh, the sweep right here, and I'm just going to call this sweep. And the reason I'm doing this is so that then I can take a displacer deformer and put it in this group. So it will, if it will affect the sweep. And so then I'm going to go into my shading tab for the displacer and set up a noise and jeez, right off the bat pretty much works the way I needed to. Um, so let's take a look here, not bad, all right. It adds a whole bunch of randomness to it. And you know, I can adjust the height of that. Um, if I want to, I can, so I can have more or less, but I mean, that actually is pretty good. That's really all I needed.
Joey Korenman (00:19:11):
Now it's getting a little funky here at the tip. So I want to restrict, I basically don't want this displacer to affect the tip. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to add fall off to this. I'm going to make it a spherical fall off and I'm going to put the displacer. Hmm. Actually all I'm going to do is copy this, uh, align to spline tag to the displacer. And let me go into my, uh, into my expressive tag here and make sure that this Alliance, a spline tag also follows my, uh, my user data that I set up. And then what I can do is, uh, go into my displace or go to the fall off tab and let me make my, uh, fall off, actually go all the way to 100% and then I'm going to invert it. And then I can basically just shrink and I can shrink and grow this thing and you'll see what it's doing.
Joey Korenman (00:20:09):
Sorry. That's what I need to do my bad. What I need to do is just the scale of it. Here we go. Okay. And you can see that basically inside this sphere, it's not allowing any displacing to happen because I've inverted the fall off. So it's basically saying fall off, uh, displacing only happens outside of this, not inside of it. And if I scale it way up, then I can have a more gradual transition. Um, but I really only need it to start kind of towards the end there. And so this is cool because now it's aligned to the spline. So it's always going to follow the end of my vine, just like that. And so it's going to basically bring that it's going to allow the displacement to happen as the vine grows on. Right. And I can go into displacer fall off and turn off the visibility, uh, on the fall off so that I don't see it anymore.
Joey Korenman (00:21:02):
And there we go. And now we have a little bit more irregularity to the whole thing. So with this setup, uh, and I'll probably tweak a few things before I use it in the final scene, but this is essentially how I'm going to use, how I'm going to do the vines and the leaf growth on the simpler shots. Now I'm sort of glossing over this part, but after this, I copied the scene, the building and the plant into all of the shots that we created back in episode two, the camera moves in the timing are already worked out. So this way I can see everything I've made in context. And I start rendering out my hardware renders. I used my simple vine rig on these shots. And, uh, after doing my hardware renders, this is where we end up Giants or not think they are The same qualities that appear to give them strength Are often the sources of great.
Joey Korenman (00:22:10):
But now we have these shots, the last couple where we really need to see that the vines are overtaking the building, just swarming it. And there's no way I'm going to do this by hand. So I'm going to use X particles to do the heavy lifting. And as you'll see in a second, you know, there's never an easy button for anything. So the first thing I want to do is try to give you a little bit of insight into how I even figured out the approach I was going to take to do this effect because, you know, step one, when you have an idea in your head, uh, it's not to then go do that effect. It's actually to figure out what's the best way to do that effect, right? And so, you know, earlier in this episode, I showed you a technique of making vines grow on and have leaves grow out of them.
Joey Korenman (00:22:54):
That allows me a lot of control. However, if I'm going to wrap vines all the way around this building and have those vines be somewhat to scale, there's going to be hundreds or thousands of them. And there's no way I'm going to spend the time to manually draw splines all over this building and set up the particles and all that stuff it would take forever. So I figured a particle system that generated everything might be a better way to do it. And I had seen a very nifty little tutorial somewhere along the lines, uh, in X particles. And I'll link to that in the show notes for this episode, um, where I, I found out that X particles has this amazing ability to have particles move over the surface of something. All right. So I started out just doing some rough tests like this, right?
Joey Korenman (00:23:40):
So if you take a spear and we go to X particles and add a system, by the way, you can go and download a free version of X particles, like a demo version. Um, and that will let you play with the entire plugin. It will render with a watermark, but if you're following along and you just want to play around with it, um, it's definitely worth it. Uh, let me make sure I set the frame rate to 24. So we get kind of a similar results. All right, cool. And once you add an X particle system, you can then add an emitter. Alright. And so your, your X particles a matter, it just starts emitting particles. I'm gonna add a whole bunch of frames here so we can see what's going on. All right. And you've got all the same kind of settings that you do, you know, for any particle system, you've got speed and you can have variation on that speed.
Joey Korenman (00:24:28):
Um, you can vary the life span and all other, you know, the amount of particles, but what's really nifty about X particles, uh, is there's these great modifiers that come with it. And there's a whole bunch of them. And one of them is move over surface. So I can tell these particles to move over any surface that I want, and I want the sphere. So now if I hit play, they move all around the surface and some of them are going so fast that they actually escape the surface. Right. Um, and you can adjust the settings to kind of keep everything, um, attached. You can add friction if you want them to sort of slow down. Once they hit the surface, there's a whole bunch of nifty things you can do. You can turn on accurate, which is going to give you a more accurate result here.
Joey Korenman (00:25:13):
Right. And see, now it's capturing all these particles and you're getting it's really nifty. Right. You can do all this cool stuff. So I figured that I was going to do something like this, have particles emit, crawl over the surface. Right. Um, and you know, for example, like if we were, if we wanted to get an even better idea of what we're going to do for these vines, I would change the emission mode to pulse. Uh, and why don't we just do a one frame pulse? We'll tell it not to admit on all frames. Right. And these what's cool about X particles too, is that all the options are labeled pretty clearly. It's pretty easy to figure out what's going on. Uh, and I only want it to Mitt emit, um, on the first two frames. So I'm gonna say frame zero frame one. So now when I hit play, it's just gonna shoot a burst of particles out and that's it.
Joey Korenman (00:26:00):
Okay. Now watch what happens if I add another generator called a trails mochila trails generator, and the trails generator is going to generate basically a spline on every particle. Right. And I can, you know, there's different settings for that spline. I can make the trail length really, really long. So it never shrinks. Right. It never, never dies out. And you can see all the sudden, now I could add another modifier, like for example, turbulence. Right. All right. And the turbulence, I probably need to, um, I probably need to crank up some of the settings there. So the scale is 100, the strength is five. Why don't we turn the strength way up, just so you can see what's going on. Wow. That's really awesome. Looking. Um, let me see what happens if I have the turbulence happened before the move on surface and it turned the strength down.
Joey Korenman (00:26:49):
Cool. Look at that. All right. Let's try it the other way, actually turbulence. Right. So I have it, I'm going to have the move on surf, move on surface happen first. And I probably need to turn this down. Here we go. Right. And so you basically have to keep tweaking settings, right? Like some of these particles are kind of flying off to the side here, so I may need to, um, you know, make the submitter a little smaller. And I mean, I could even make it really small, like 10 by 10, and I could move it closer to the sphere. And so now all those particles are going to have turbulence on them and they're going to be moving kind of in this interesting way, all over the sphere. And then if I wanted to, I could just use, you know, um, a sweetener, right.
Joey Korenman (00:27:33):
I could take a sweetener and like an incited spline, um, and go like this. Right. I could say, sweep this spline through the trail. Right. And I'll make the incited spline a lot smaller. Right. And then let me just turn the Spears visibility off for a minute. Um, and you can see, I mean, this is a ton of geometry we have right now, let me make this a foresighted spline. Um, and let me go ahead and make the trail, uh, what actually it's already like a linear spline. So there's not a lot of, um, you know, there's not a lot of like extra points to it. So this is actually a pretty optimized geometry, but it's still, you can see how dense everything's getting, because there's so many particles. Right. Um, and if I go back in here and I go to the emitter and I say, the max number of particles is only, let's say 500 and then I hit play.
Joey Korenman (00:28:33):
Right. Then we're going to have a lot less geometry this time, and it'll be a little bit easier to see what's going on. So anyway, um, so you've got a whole bunch of options here with X particles and it's all pretty intuitive. All right. So I'm going to go in, and I'm going to set up the basic system here. All right, let me close this out. I'm going to set up a basic system here. That's going to enable us to grow vines all along this building. Now, the first thing is this building has tons and tons and tons and tons of geometry, right? Just all kinds of geometry. So if I tell X particles to move particles over the surface of this, it's going to bog down my machine. It's probably going to get really funky cause there's all these 90 degree angles. And so what I really want is a proxy geometry, basically just a low res version of this building.
Joey Korenman (00:29:23):
That's kind of rounded that the particles can move over and then I can make that thing invisible. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to make a cube and I'm going to select it and make it in the basic tab x-ray, which is just gonna let me see through it. Um, and then I just want to go in and I want to this thing, so it's centered right on the building. Here we go. And I want to shrink this down. So it's pretty close to the same size as that building. I want to make sure that the building is totally encompassed in it. Right. I can zoom in to make this easier. I want to make sure that the building doesn't stick out of the sides of this thing at all. All right. Um, and then I need to make sure that the height is, is what we need.
Joey Korenman (00:30:09):
All right. Needs to be a little bit shorter. Okay. That's pretty good. Cool. And then, all right. So then I want to take that and make that editable. And I'm going to come up here and grab this polygon face, and I'm just going to just shrink it just a little bit, right. Just so we can kind of mimic the way that the building gets a little thinner up at the top. Um, and then I'm going to put this into a subdivision surface, which I still tend to call these things, uh, hyper nerves. Cause that's what they used to be called. And we turn x-ray off for a minute and you can see that it, you know, if you put a cube inside of a subdivision surface, it gets really silly looking. It looks like an egg. So what I need to do is, um, select all of the polygons here, hit M R and that's going to bring up my weight subdivision surface tool, and I can interactively then drag the weight back to zero.
Joey Korenman (00:31:04):
Right. Let me turn this back on. X-ray cool. Uh, let's see. There we go. And now what I can do is I can select one at a time. I could select like this face here, hit Mr. And wait that face just a little bit. And actually what I probably want to do is select these edges. Like all of these edges here, I basically don't want, I want this part of that shape to stay pretty flat, but I want the rest to get a little bit more rounded. So I'm gonna use my weight Hyperb tool. Right. And I'm just trying to round this out a little bit and you see how we're getting these weird points here. Right. They look terrible. Um, I actually want this to be a little bit rounder at the top. Um, so what I'm going to do is grab a knife tool.
Joey Korenman (00:31:54):
M K, I'm going to come in here and I'm going to set my knife tool to plan mode. Right. And I want the X, Z plane. So I can basically make a cut up here like this. And then I can use a loop selection tool and grab that loop and I can move it around. Right. And then I have a little bit more control over my model to let me grab these, um, these vertices too, and make sure these are weighted properly. There we go. All right. So th those weren't being weighted correctly, I guess that's why they were kind of pointing like that. Um, so when you, uh, when you wait, um, when you use your, your subdivision waiting tool, uh, what you're going to see is you can wait the edges or you can wait the polygons, or you can wait the points and I was waiting the edges, but not these points somehow.
Joey Korenman (00:32:50):
Cool. All right. So now what I can do is come back in here and I can probably now grab all these edges that I want and weight them. Yeah. Now they'll get a little bit more round and they'll work the way I want. There we go. All right. And so what I'm trying to do is just round this shape out a little bit. Um, and I want to make sure also that these edges are a little bit rounded, which they are, and I can also, um, I could up the subdivision a little bit. I could make the, uh, the editor subdivision three, and now I get this nice rounded piece of geometry. All right. And I'm going to need to, uh, you know, just, just change it up a little bit. Let me grab, by the way what I'm doing is I have the subdivision surface turned on, but I'm selecting the cube that's in it.
Joey Korenman (00:33:37):
And so it's showing me the faces that I'm selecting, but it's showing me the sort of manipulated subdivided versions of that. So I can take, take that face and just pull it out a little bit, right. Just to make sure that I'm getting the contour of that building accurate. All right. And I'm going to do the same thing with the bottom. I want a pretty accurate mesh here. I want this to, to really mimic the contour of the building as much as possible. Right. And then I can go in and grab this edge, push it back in a little bit. Okay. And really the only parts of the building I'm concerned with is the front and this side. Cause that's really all we look at. Um, we never really come around to this side or the back so I can ignore those. We do see the top, but we only see the top with vines on it at the very end.
Joey Korenman (00:34:30):
Right. We see it. There's a shot where we're back far like this and there's vines growing up. And then at the end we kind of spin around like this and come up over the top. Okay. Um, so when we come over the top, I probably do need to make sure that this face and this face are actually in the right spot. So let me go back to edge mode and fix this edge and there we go. Cool. All right. So now I've got this low poly version of the building and I can shoot the particles over that. So I'm just going to go ahead and make this editable, and I'm going to call this low Rez mesh. All right. And I can just go ahead and make it invisible. I don't even need it anymore. Okay. So now what we've got to do is add an X particle system, and I'm going to add an emitter and I want to make sure I'm in 24 frames, a second here, 24 frames, a second, uh, in my project and 24 frames, a second in X particles.
Joey Korenman (00:35:29):
So three places I have to make sure. All right. So I have an emitter and what I want is I want that to actually not be just like a big default emitter like this, right? The default emitter. Let me go back to model mode. Here is this big square. Okay. And it emits, um, you know, like basically from the surface area of the emitter. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab, I'm actually going to kind of cheat here. I'm going to let me turn off the building and turn on the lower end mesh for a minute. And I am going to select, let me see if I can grab a loop selection down here. I don't think it's going to let me, um, so what I want to grab, ah, there we go. I want that edge and I want to turn it into a spline.
Joey Korenman (00:36:16):
So with that edge selected, I can go up to mesh conversion, uh, sorry, command and say, um, edge to spline. And what that does is it gives me a little spline. That is exactly that shape. And what's cool about that is I can go into my ex particle emitter and say, my emitter shape is now an object. And that object is this spline. All right. And I'm going to call this emitter spline, and I'm just going to move this up into the emitters group here. So now what's going to happen. If I back off and hit play, well, nothing's going to happen. I need to, uh, I need to tell the emitter to emit from the edges. There we go. All right. So now it's emitting particles from the edge of this spline, but it's emitting them kind of inward. And I don't want them to emit inward.
Joey Korenman (00:37:06):
It's emitting. Um, basically from the Fong normal, that's the particle direction. It basically means that, uh, it's looking at each edge and each edge actually has something called a normal, it's basically the direction it's facing and they're all facing inward. So I'm actually gonna say why plus access. So it fires straight up like that. Cool. So now I don't have all these wasted particles that are underneath the building. I'm just shooting particles from, you know, from here. Cool. So then what I can do, let me turn my lower as mesh back on. Uh, so then what I want to do is add my, um, let me add my move across surface modifier. So I go back to the system, go to modifiers and say, move over surface. And the surface I want is this low Rez mesh. Okay. Uh, the distance, uh, I'm going to set this to zero.
Joey Korenman (00:37:55):
This is, or, sorry, not the distance. The offset is set to zero. That's the important thing. If the offset is set to like 50, then these particles are going to be offset from the surface by 50. Now we may have to adjust that because the vines that grow along, this are gonna have thickness. So I may have to offset this by that thickness, but I'm going to leave it at zero. Right. And you'll see that now these particles are flying over the surface. Now they're flying up very, very fast. So let me go to my emission. Um, uh, change the speed down quite a bit. There we go. Right. Imagine that these are vines growing up the surface, right? How fast do we want them to go? Let me add a whole bunch more frames here too. Um, I also do not want, uh, a whole lot of particles just being born forever.
Joey Korenman (00:38:42):
All right. I want an initial burst of particles because after that initial burst, I just want to trace the path of those particles. That's all I want. So I'm gonna say emission mode, uh, pulse, uh, the pulse length is one frame. And I don't want to admit on all frames, just frame zero and frame one. Uh, and then the birth rate is a thousand. Let me see if I set that down to 500. Cool. So I basically get one emission of particles, right. And they're all going the same speed. So let me add some variation to them. Cool. And now we have particles kind of traveling up and you see when they get to the top, they kind of criss cross over like that. And they start coming back down, which is fine because once they get to the top, we're going to kind of fly the camera up over the top of the building and away we go.
Joey Korenman (00:39:28):
And just to test this out, you know, one, one level further, why don't we go ahead and add the, um, the trails and I'll set the trail length to 500 frames, boom. And there go our vines growing all over the side of the building and they get to the top and they crisscross and it's fantastic. Okay. So let me turn the trail off for a minute. So the, the particles right now, they're doing what I want, but they're just going straight up. And so that doesn't look very realistic. So I do want to add some turbulence. So I'm going to add another modifier. I'm going to add the turbulence modifier, the order that these are placed in does matter. So I want the move over surface first to kind of stick those particles to the surface. And then once they're on the surface, I want some turbulence, right?
Joey Korenman (00:40:13):
So now if I look at this, you can see that now they're flying all over the place and they're going kind of crazy actually. Um, and I think the scale is probably too big. So let me take the scale down to like 10%. That's a little bit better. And then the, uh, you know, basically if you, you have to understand the way, um, noise works, right? So the scale, and actually, it might be easier to show you like in a texture, cause it's, it kind of works the same way. So if I add a noise shader to a texture like this, right. If I, if I bring the scale and let me pick a noise that has a little bit, it's a little bit easier to see. So here's cell noise. If I bring the scale down to like 10%, then there's more noise. Right.
Joey Korenman (00:40:57):
Um, and then the other, uh, the other, uh, the frequency property here, um, you know, that's basically referring to like the detail. So these are kind of related, but the strength is super important too. So if the strength goes down a little bit, right now, there's some turbulence, but they're not flying all over the place like they were. And if I turn my trails back on, I should be able to get a pretty good sense of how well this is working. All right. And this is, this is kind of cool now, you know, what, what I, what I like about this, and I'm gonna kind of like place the camera and just kind of mimic, there's a shot where we kind of come up the side of the building like this. Right. And I want to see what that looks like now. I want them to be twisting and turning a little bit more.
Joey Korenman (00:41:43):
So I'm going to turn the frequency up to two 50 and see if that gets me any more sort of curvature and stuff like that. Um, or maybe if I turn the strength up a little bit too. Yeah. Now they're sort of crisscrossing a little bit more, which I like, right. It just looks a little bit more like a living thing, sort of doing this. Right. Cool. Um, and I could even, and I could bring the scale down even more and see if that gets even more kind of fine detail. Um, let me turn that strength way up and see what happens. Like the problem with too much strength is that you start to get particles that curve and go all the way down. There's also different noise types. I could try a different noise type. Wow. Like turbulent that's, that's a little insane. Um, so let's bring the scale back up and see what that looks like.
Joey Korenman (00:42:33):
All right. So, oh, that's actually pretty sweet. Okay. I'm digging that. That's closer to what I was kind of thinking actually. Okay, cool. Well, there you go. Um, there's also some interesting ones. There's one called curl, which I haven't really figured out yet, but it's very strong and it creates these crazy curls, but I liked that turbulence. Um, and I'll probably play with this more. Um, when I get to the, you know, like me doing voiceover and speeding this up 500% section of the video. Cool. So now we've got this and then the next thing we could do is add geometry to it. Okay. And just to show you what this is going to look like too, let me turn off my low res mesh and turn my final building back on. And this will show you how this is going to kind of look in context, right?
Joey Korenman (00:43:18):
So it's kind of building a little bit of a cage around the building. And so, you know, if I wanted the, the vines to kind of fit the contours of this building a little bit more, um, then I would need to do a little bit more work on this low Rez mesh and kind of push some of these points in and, and do all that kind of stuff. I don't really, I'm not too concerned with that because by the time we are seeing the top of the building, I, I imagine we're going to have so many vines it's gonna be completely covered. You won't even be able to see the building anymore. All right. So it's gonna look like, um, you know, if any of you guys have seen the eighties movie troll, it's going to look like the end of troll. Gosh, I hope someone gets that reference.
Joey Korenman (00:44:02):
All right. So here we are. We've got all these vines now. Let's um, let me go ahead and put some geometry on this for a minute and show you, uh, one of the problems we are going to run into. All right. So here are some vines and what I'm going to do is grab my trail object. I can just leave it in there actually. And I'm going to add a sweetener to it. I'm going to add an incited spline, and I'm going to say sweep that insight is flying through the trail and we'll make this, uh, we'll make this really small insight explain. Okay. So let's say we'll probably even want thinner than that. Um, and I do want to get rid of the Fong tag. There we go. Okay, cool. So, uh, one problem is there's a lot of intersections going on. All right.
Joey Korenman (00:44:44):
So we can, we can help that a little bit. Um, if we go into the move over surface and you've got this offset of zero, we can add some variation to that. All right. And what that's going to do is it's going to let some of those particles and I just hit play. It's just going to take a little bit longer, um, because I have the, uh, the sweet nerve creating geometry at the same time. Um, it's going to let some of those particles be closer and further away. Um, and I probably have to actually add a little bit of offset to this here. Let me turn off my sweetener for a second. Let me turn that guy off so we can just see the splines and let me crank this variation up too. Right. And let's see if we're getting any more variation. So we should, it's doing a little bit, you get a little bit of variation in the distance from the building, right.
Joey Korenman (00:45:37):
Not, not a ton. Um, I can make this even more and see what that gives us. Yeah. So now we're getting a lot more variation, right? So maybe I'll set that offset to like three, um, and we'll check that out. Cool. So now we're getting a lot more different sort of depths of these vines. And so now if I turn my suite back on, you'll see that you're getting some overlap, which is cool. All right. Um, now the detail that we're getting here is a little bit much, so I'm going to actually go to my trail object and the trail object generates a spline. So you can tell it, you know, all of the options you want for that spline. So I'm going to do a, I'm going to do a cubic spline, natural intermediate points, and I'm gonna set that to zero. Right. Um, and so you can play with this and get sort of different, um, different amounts of detail.
Joey Korenman (00:46:33):
If I set this to one, you get way more detail set to zero, you get less detail. Um, and there's a ton of like, there's a ton of jaggedness to this, right? So another thing I could do is turn the frame sampling up. So it's only going to draw a spline based on the position, every second frame. Right. So now you're going to have less points along your spline, uh, which is something that I might actually like better. Okay. Now you notice that there's this twisting happening with those, you know, with those sweeteners, they're sort of twisting as the spline moves. All right. Um, and that's something I tried to figure out how to get rid of it and I wasn't able to, but you can minimize it by going in and changing some of the settings on the sweep itself. Right. So for example, I know that I'm going to want the, uh, the end of the sweep to have a little bit of a, of a smaller cap to it.
Joey Korenman (00:47:27):
Um, here, let me just hit preview so we can, we can get, right. So now you get these nice little tips growing up like that. Uh, I also, I'm going to want some sort of like a little bit random feeling rotation along this thing, right. Just so that it feels a little bit more vine like, and has a little bit more variation to it. I can also, um, adjust the end rotation to add even more of that. And so now, because this thing is going to be sort of twisting as it grows. You're not going to notice that twisting as much that's being caused by the splines growing from X particles. Okay, cool. So you can already see, this is starting to look pretty interesting. Um, and if I turn the low Rez mesh off, uh, you can see that this is going to start looking pretty cool.
Joey Korenman (00:48:10):
So, so, uh, and we're getting less intersections now. Um, but there's no variation in thickness on these vines. Okay. So that is going to be a problem. And I kind of want this to feel a little bit more layered and more interesting. So I'm going to show you a very cool, amazing feature of X particles now. So, uh, I'm going to rename this sweep. Oh one and I'm just going to hide it, and I'm going to turn off the trail object, and we're just going to back out for a minute and look at just the, uh, the submitter here. All right. So we've got our emitter now, right now, all of the particles are green, which means they're basically all in the same particle group. Okay. But what I can do is go to the emitter and I can go over to, let's see here a mission and come down here to groups.
Joey Korenman (00:49:06):
And there's a button that says, create an ad group. So I click that. And then up here in our groups, we have particle group one and they're assigned to this green color. So right now, every particle that's submitted from that emitter is in particle group one. So what if I come to the emitter, I say, create another group. And now I've got particle group two, and let's make those, um, like bright pink or something now. And it's a little bit hard to see, let me try to make those a little bit of a easier color to, to actually see in cinema 4d. Yeah. That Blue's a little bit easier. So you can see that now some of those, and let me make it like really bright blue. Maybe that'll make it easier. Some of the particles are green and some are blue. All right. Uh, and if, if that's not clear enough, I'm like, I'm going to make another group here.
Joey Korenman (00:49:51):
All right. So now I'll make another one. Why don't we make this like bright orange or something? Right. So now you've got green, orange and blue particles. Okay. And it's, I hope it's not too hard to see. Hopefully you can see this. So it's basically just randomly taking some particles and putting them in group one, some in group two and some in group three. Now what's cool about that is that then my modifiers can affect different groups. Okay. So for example, move over surface. I'm going to call this move over surface one, and I only want this to affect group one. Okay. So now let me turn off my final building for a minute. Okay. So now group one, my green particles are the only group being affected by this modifier. Okay. The blue and the orange groups are not being affected. So what's cool about that is that, you know, I've got this, uh, I've got some settings here offset of three centimeters variation, 100% distance, zero centimeters.
Joey Korenman (00:50:52):
Well, I could copy this modifier and call this MOS dot two, and this can affect group two and this one can have different settings. So the offset on this could maybe be, you know, well, let's, I got a better idea. Let's make this one offset of three centimeters. The first one can be an offset of zero, and then we'll do one more. Okay. MOS dot three. That's going to affect particle group three and we'll have an offset of five centimeters. Okay. Now what's cool about this. All right. And let me actually turn the trails on, cause this might make it easier to see.
Joey Korenman (00:51:36):
All right. It's probably, isn't gonna be easier to see until it gets to the next step, but I'm basically taking some of these particles and moving them closer to the building. And some of them farther and farther away. What's great about this is that now this trail object, right? The trail object. Um, I can say only, only make trails on group one. Okay. And so then I can duplicate this sweep and called sweep. Oh two and tell this trail object only make trails on group two. And then I could duplicate this and say, sweep oh three. And this trail object only make trails on group three. And now let me fire this up. Okay. So now we've got three different sets of splines and three different sets of sweeteners. And what's great about doing it this way. Okay. A you can see now we have a lot more variation in the depth, right?
Joey Korenman (00:52:29):
Because I tweaked the settings on these move over surface modifiers. What's great though. All right. If you remember move over surface one, which affects group one, that's the one closest to the building. So what if I made those vines a little bit thicker, right. And then sweep three though, that trail object is working on group three and group three is the furthest from the building. So why don't we make those vines a little bit thinner now, maybe 0.3. So now we've got more variation just visually, because you've got some thin vines, you've got some thick vines, you've got some medium vines, right? Okay. This is also going to make it a lot easier to deal with textures. Because for example, if I, you know, let me, let me delete this noise texture here. Right. If we had one, one vine that was kind of green and then another one that was like, kind of blue and then another one that was like a bit maybe kind of yellowish or something I'm picking these colors at random, but you can now really easily have different layers of vines and get really interesting, um, kind of layering like that.
Joey Korenman (00:53:38):
Okay. Um, cool. So now, and just take a minute and look at how visually complex this is already getting to do this manually would have been a nightmare. And this is why using a particle system is such a smart idea. Okay. Um, so let's just, let's just take a minute and let this preview, um, and I'm going to turn off just for a minute. I'm going to turn off the, um, the sweeps so that it's not calculating those as it's calculating the trails and everything else. Right. And we can let this just totally wrap the building up for a minute and then we can turn on the sweeps and see what we're getting. Okay. And this is going to let us know if we're, if we're shooting enough particles out now, we're also going to have some, um, some leaves coming out of these things too.
Joey Korenman (00:54:27):
So that's going to cover up some of those holes, but I think overall, we probably don't have enough particles coming out. The beauty is, this is all based off of one emitter. So all I have to do down here is change the birth rate. Right. And now we get twice as many particles shooting out. Okay. And I may tweak the turbulence settings too, because we're getting a lot of turbulence down here and not as much up here because not as many particles make it to the top. Right. But now if I turn those sweetener ribs on that building is almost completely covered. Okay. And with ambient occlusion turned on, I mean, it's going to look like it's completely enveloped. Right. And if we come back, let me go back to an earlier frame when these things are sort of creeping up the side of the building, right?
Joey Korenman (00:55:15):
Yeah. I mean, look how just organic and creepy and Viney that's looking right. Even with these terrible colors. Cool. So I think this is, uh, this is going to start working. Okay. So now the next thing we need to talk about is how are we going to make leaves grow all over this thing? Right. Cause I want these vines to him. It leaves too. All right. So this is going to get a little bit trickier. So what we're going to do, uh, let me turn all of these sweeteners off for a minute. Let me hide the final building when you come back here. And actually I'm going to just turn off a couple of these particle groups for a minute. So we only have one particle group. Okay. Let me turn the trails off too. Here we go. Okay. So we've got, um, we've got these three particle groups and I guess I'm still seeing the ones that I turned off, but that's okay.
Joey Korenman (00:56:01):
Um, and what I need to happen is I need these particles as they are traveling. I need them to occasionally leave behind other particles. Those other particles are going to turn into leaves. So it's going to be kind of the same technique that we used on the simplified version of this. All right. So what I'm going to do here, and this is going to be a little tricky, but what I'm gonna do is, uh, I'm going to add a new emitter. All right. So I'm going to grab a generator object, an emitter, and I'm going to rename this emitter dot leaves. All right. So on the original emitter, which I'm going to rename emitter dot vines, I need to add a modifier called spawn. And look, I know this is getting a little crazy, uh, don't worry. You're gonna be able to download this project file, um, and, and pick it apart and watch this video over and over again.
Joey Korenman (00:56:51):
Um, but yes, X particles, when you just start using it, it can be kind of a rabbit hole. So what I need, as I said is a spawn modifier, boom like that. And what the spawn modifier does is it lets particles emit other particles. So the spawning emitter is the emitter that I want to use to control the particles that are being spawned, which will be the leaves. So the leaves emitter is the spawning emitter. Now, as soon as I drag spawning emitter, emitter leaves. As soon as I drag that there, what happens is the emitter for the leaves has this spawn only check box automatically checked. So now this submitter does not emit unless it, you know, basically some rules are followed and those rules are dictated by the spawn modifier. Okay. Oh boy. I hope, I hope you understood that. So basically what happens is, let me just hit play.
Joey Korenman (00:57:44):
Whoa, my God. It's insane. So what's happening is as the vine emitter, let me turn off the leaves went for a minute. As these particles fly through the air, they are constantly emitting other particles. Now based on the settings of a Mitter leaves. Now let me turn the speed to zero on the leaves, emitter, head back here, turn this on and hit play. And now you can see this trail of particles being left behind, which is kind of neat, but I don't want a constant stream of particles. I want sort of intermittent particles. So if I go to the spawn modifier, um, I can say the number to spawn, right? Each time that particles respond, just spawn one particle and down here, these two settings are very important. The minimum and maximum interval between spawns and this is in frames. So let's say the maximum interval could be, I don't know, a hundred frames, but the minimum interval has to be at least 15 frames.
Joey Korenman (00:58:41):
So when I hit play, now there's an initial burst of spawn particles down here. But then you can see as the, as the main particles climb up, the building, these other green ones are kind of left behind and they're not moving, which is great because the leaves are not supposed to move. They're supposed to stay in place on the vines. Okay. So now we've got this setup. So what I need to happen now is I need the, uh, emitter leaves particle to basically leave behind those nice animated leaves. All right. So let's go back and open up our leaves. All right. So let me grab one of the leaves and paste it into my scene. And I'm going to zero out the position. I'm going to zero out the rotation. I'm going to delete this express. So tag, um, and let me see the scale of this leaf.
Joey Korenman (00:59:35):
It's probably very small right now, maybe too small. Um, so I'm just gonna grab it and scale it up. Just, just, just so I can see what's going on. And I also, I'm going to go into animation layout cause I, I know my key frames for that leaf are offset. So there we go. Okay. So if I want each of these little green spawned particles to become a leaf, then what I need to do, let me hide this emitter. So we don't see it. There we go. Um, then what I need to do is, uh, is at another generator object. All right. Um, so basically these particles, if I hit render, they don't show up as anything by default. What you need to do is go into your system and add a generator, okay. It's just called a generator. And then the emitter that I'm looking at is going to be the leaves emitter.
Joey Korenman (01:00:31):
And it's basically going to put whatever geometry I parent underneath this generator is what's going to show up. So I'm going to take this leaf parenthood under there. Now I want to make sure animate is turned on. And that means that when those particles are born, they will animate. Okay. So if I just hit play, it's going to start to go very slowly now because right as we start off, we've got this burst of particles, these burst of leaves down here, um, which I don't want. Um, I, I wish there was a way, and maybe there is, and maybe someone can comment on this and let me know. But what I'd love is to basically say, please don't emit at first, wait a little bit. Right. Um, but I couldn't figure out how to do that. So this is my workaround. Let me turn off my generator for a second.
Joey Korenman (01:01:19):
Um, I basically want to avoid this burst of leaf particles down here. So what I'm going to do is add another modifier. And this modifier is a kill modifier and this kills particles it's violent. And the V. And so if I look this kill modifier has a volume to it. And if I say kill anything outside the bounds, then any particles that leave the bounds of this will be killed, or I could say inside the bounds be killed. And so then what I'm going to do, let me shrink this and zoom back in. And what I basically want to do is just make sure that this kill modifier, right? Let me, uh, I can't scale it. I'm going to have to use these controls here. All I want is to make sure that I'm killing the particles at the very bottom down here. Okay. And I only want to kill, I don't want to kill the vine ones.
Joey Korenman (01:02:15):
I just want to kill the leaves. Which means that what I'm gonna have to do is go into my vines. My vines emitter, go to the modifiers tab and say, exclude the, kill, the kill modifier. So that, that kill modifier, doesn't kill the vines. It just kills those leaves down there at the bottom because I have it set to inside bounds. Now, in theory, there we go. So now we still get leaves emitted up here, but that big bunch of leaves down there gets killed right off the bat. So now if I turn my generator on, we should see leaves starting to sprout all along this thing. Right. And because we're also going to have, you know, the trail object turned on and the sweep turned on, we're actually going to get vines growing with leaves at growing out of the side of them. So now I'm going to do a quick hardware preview of this.
Joey Korenman (01:03:08):
Um, and we are going to see what this ends up looking like. So I'm going to do a nine 60 by five 40 hardware render. I'm going to turn on my anti-aliasing enhance open GL, and I want to do, I'll just tell it to render all frames. Um, and let's just see what that looks like. Okay. And this is this isn't going to preview as fast as we're used to because it has to simulate so much geometry. All right. So, uh, I'm going to pause, um, and come back when this thing is done. All right. So I rendered a little piece of this. You can see it. Um, and really it's like, so visually dense, it tells you almost nothing. So, um, but I did realize something looking at this. Um, so first of all, it's going to be very hard to see the leaves right now, because they're the same color as the vine.
Joey Korenman (01:03:54):
So I'm just temporarily, I'm going to go ahead and just make these like a much different color than everything else. Um, I don't, I like make them right. Pink or something just so they really stand out and it's easy to see them. All right, here we go. That's going to make it a little easier. Okay, cool. Um, I also realized, I don't think there's enough of them and even more importantly, let me turn these sweeps off for a minute. They're all oriented exactly the same way. The reason that's happening is because, um, basically they're taking their orientation from the particle orientation. Okay. So particles can spin and orient just like objects can. So what I need to do is go into my leaves emitter and go to a mission. And there's a particle orientation setting here where I can say use orientation random. All right.
Joey Korenman (01:04:40):
And, uh, and that's going to basically take care of it. And then if I go to generator, um, here we go. And just make sure that, uh, the object let's see here, make sure there's no settings that I'm missing. You know, basically this should, this should work now. Um, and I'm just gonna hit play and see if the leaves now have random rotation, which they do, which is great. Um, now I feel like they're probably let's see if the size of these makes sense. Let me turn on my sweeps for a minute. Okay, cool. So the size of the leaves sort of make sense. They might be little big actually. So let me just go in, um, let me turn off my sweeps and go ahead and scale down my leaves a little bit. Whoa boy. Okay. That was not a good idea. Let me go back to frame one, um, and just kind of zoom way in here and just scale down my leaf just a little bit.
Joey Korenman (01:05:38):
Okay. And then I'll hit play and get some leaves to pop out, um, and see if those look any better. Once the animate on, uh, I might've scaled it down too much cause now I'm not seeing any leaves. So let me hit undo. You can see the rabbit hole, hopefully you can. Um, but one thing I'm definitely seeing is that there's not enough leaves. They're there. They need to be a little bit smaller. Um, I could probably just, just do it in here too. Um, and there's not enough of them. So I'm going to go into the modifiers and grab that spawn modifier, and I'm going to mess with these two values. So I'm gonna say the minimum interval could actually just be five frames. Um, and then the maximum is going to be no more than like 30 frames. All right. And so now we should get a lot more of these leaves, spawning.
Joey Korenman (01:06:31):
Excellent. There we go. And you can see, uh, how long this is going to take to simulate, by the way, just as a quick note, which I'll, I'll mention again, but once I'm happy with sort of where this is going, I'm going to bake the simulation in X particles, I'm going to cash it, right? So I'm basically going to save the result of all of this, because if I don't a, I'm not going to be able to use a render farm and B I'm going to, um, you know, I'm basically every time I want to try and open this project, it's going to have to re simulate, which is not good. So look at the visual density of this. This is insane, but I feel like now I like the amount of leaves I can see them better. Um, and it's just going to look a lot nicer.
Joey Korenman (01:07:15):
And this is with like absolutely no lights, no ambient occlusion, no global lumination none of that stuff. These are going to be long renders. This is going to be a long simulation. Um, but now this, this system, at least this is set up in a way where I'm pretty confident that with just enough, tweaking enough messing with the settings, I'm going to be able to get this to work the way I want. And so now what I'm going to do is I'm going to play around with the settings. I'm going to tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak. Um, I'm going to turn the vine emitter, uh, the birth rate down to like 25, just so that I can very quickly get a sense of what these individual vines are looking like. You can see there's going to be a lot of, kind of going back and forth, um, you know, with different, uh, you know, different settings and then switching back to more particles.
Joey Korenman (01:08:11):
Um, but this, I mean, even this looks kind of neat and then I can turn my final building every once in a while. I kind of see how it looks in context. Um, but I think that when this is all said and done, this is going to work so next step, and you should be familiar with this by now, if you've watched the rest of the series, tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, and more tweak. And now it's tweaking time. I'm telling you X particles was beating the crap out of my poor iMac. And I did a million test renders to figure out what the right settings were, how many particles I needed, how many leaves, et cetera. And after a bunch of false starts, I figured out what I needed to. And here's what I learned.
Joey Korenman (01:08:54):
Well, it took some doing to get to this point. Uh, so I just kind of wanted to quickly walk you through some of the tweaks that have been made with this setup. Um, so one of the things I did, um, was I went ahead and let me turn off this building for a minute. I messed with this low Rez mesh. Let me, um, let me do this for me. Let me turn off my vines and everything. Let me turn on my lines. So what I did was I just took this low-rise mesh and I used the brush tool to kind of mush it and make it a little more random feeling. Um, and I put these little dimples in and the goal with that was to make it conform more closely to the actual shape of the building. Um, as you could probably see from some of the test renders, it was starting to feel very, very, uh, I dunno, it was just too regular.
Joey Korenman (01:09:45):
Like the vines almost looked like gift wrapping or something. So, um, so I, I beat up the low-rise mesh a little bit and that helped a lot. Um, another thing I did was I turned this back on, I, uh, I took down the number of particles a little bit. So the birth rate is actually 500. Um, and then another thing I did was I added a, uh, I added another modifier, um, called the freeze modifier, which basically just keeps particles frozen in place. And I used that move the camera down here. There's a lot of geometry in this scene, so it's a, it's starting to bog down my system. And, um, plus I'm recording my screen at the same time, which never helps. But basically if I zoom out a little bit here, boy, this is going to be the most boring making of ever just lots of beach balls.
Joey Korenman (01:10:39):
Um, so basically what happens is some of the particles, uh, ended up because of the turbulence. They were kind of curving around and going underneath the building and it was looking really weird and I tried using a kill modifier on those. Um, and that didn't really work very well because when you kill a particle that has a trail attached to it, it kills the trail too. So you'd get these vines instantly turning off. All right. Um, another thing I did too now, I think one of the main reasons, let me turn off sprites for a minute cause sprites or something else I added. Um, one of the, that, um, I think, you know, the, the computer was getting bogged down and these rendered were taking so long was because each of my leaves and, you know, they're hundreds of them, each of those leaves were basically a full 3d mesh with a bend deformer on it bending.
Joey Korenman (01:11:32):
And that was just taking so long to calculate. So what I did was I made a decision that for the wide shots right there, there's, there's basically two ways that we see these vines. We see them kind of in a wide shot like this, you know, probably about this far away from the camera. Um, and, and we also see this, we see these vines up really close, right? Like kind of looking up the side of the building is they're growing up the side of it. And for this shot, we're, we're close to some of these vines. I do want those leaves to be 3d. All right. So that shot, I'm going to use the generator that I have set up with the actual leaf in there now for these far away shots though. I don't need that because that's just, it's just adding tons and tons of render time, tons and tons of simulation time.
Joey Korenman (01:12:19):
And it's not really gaining me that much. So instead of using a generator, I use sprites and the Sprite basically lets you map, um, just individual polygons onto a particle. Right. Um, and I have it set to a placard, right. It's basically just like a, a one polygon little plane. Um, and if I zoom in here, you should be able to see each of these planes has my leaf texture on it. Okay. I basically made, um, you know, I, I T I made a copy of my leaf material here and I added an alpha channel to it that I just quickly made in Photoshop. And what I did was I first put one material that has nothing in it, but transparency to kind of clear out and make the, make this placard invisible. And then I put my leaf texture on it and I set it to tile twice.
Joey Korenman (01:13:09):
Um, and I actually probably need to, uh, play with the offset a little bit here so that we can actually get, um, the leaf right in the middle. So I may need to offset this by like 25%. Um, and I could probably offset it on via a little bit to, um, maybe negative 10 so that the stem is coming out of the center of the vines. Okay. And basically, uh, all I'm doing here is just, um, I'm kind of cheating and using one texture on like a plain like this. Um, now I am, when I do that, I'm actually cutting off the top of the leaf. So I can't do that, but we're going to be so far away from this that we're not actually gonna really care that these aren't full 3d leaves and that they're just, you know, sort of 2d, um, sprites essentially.
Joey Korenman (01:13:58):
Right. So, um, in order to have them animate on, cause I did want them to animate on what I did was I told the Sprite, um, to take the scale from the particle radius. And I added one more modifier, which is a scale modifier. And I drew this little spline to kind of dictate how the scale of each particle is effected over time. And it basically grows from zero up to two, which is how big these these sprites are. Um, and that happens really quickly. Um, and if I turn off my, uh, my sweeps for a minute and I go back to frame one here, um, you can see sort of, and actually let me turn off my, uh, my trails here to make a little easier for you to see. You can see these particles actually growing on, right? And they grow on pretty quickly.
Joey Korenman (01:14:48):
There you go. And they each have that little leaf texture on there. And because there's so much less geometry, the renders are faster, the simulations are faster and it's gonna make life a whole lot easier. I'm on these wide shots where we were going to need, you know, really just a crazy amount of detail. Um, by the end of the shot, now I've already, um, I've already cashed this particle solution. So if I go to frame 300 and I wait a few seconds, you can see all of those leaves and all of those vines pop up, um, in place. And so this is going to allow me also to send this to a render farm, um, where each computer's basically gonna render, you know, a separate frame. So it's very important that I use that X particles, cache object, um, and cash, everything, uh, and the way you do, that's really easy.
Joey Korenman (01:15:39):
You basically just go up to X particles, go to other objects cash, right. And here's the cash that I added. And then you just say build cash and it's already built, use Cassius checked on and you're good to go. And in the end we now have, um, you know, after tweaking and tweaking and tweaking, we have this really nice Viney particle setup that grows up the side of the building. It conforms to it fairly accurately. Um, I kinda like how there's more vines at the bottom than at the top. It lets you kind of see through to the real building. Um, and I think we're in pretty good shape. Now. I know I'm still probably going to have to play with settings on a per shot basis. Um, you know, which is just sort of par for the course. Um, but I, you know, I basically set up a leaf system based on splines and ALIF system based on generators and I can pick which one I'm using. Um, and I think we're good to go. Whew. So hopefully, uh, you see the value of, uh, doing some R and D in which is research and development, by the way, and doing some experimenting when you're approaching something like this.
Joey Korenman (01:16:48):
And now after all of that check out where we stand with giants Giants or not, they are the same qualities that appear to give them strength Are often the sources of great weakness. The powerful are not as powerful as they seem nor the weak as weak. Next up. We need to tweak our shots, make sure everything is just the way we want. And then we'll send this thing out to render piece of cake.