Making Giants Part 6: The Vines

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.
If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we'll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP.

Download Project File

X-Particles: Grab a copy of X-Particles so you can follow along with making the vines.

    00:00:00,723(bright synthesized music)
    00:00:13,360- [Instructor] Welcome back.
    00:00:14,601Here comes the part of this series
    00:00:16,043where I show you something kinda cool and geeky,
    00:00:18,480something that normally would just be its own tutorial
    00:00:20,987with a title like Growing Low-Poly Vines
    00:00:24,459with X-Particles in Cinema 4D.
    00:00:26,859Now when I have to figure out some complex effect,
    00:00:30,699it's usually way easier to approach the problem
    00:00:33,240when I know exactly how the effect
    00:00:34,779will be seen in the context of the piece.
    00:00:37,632For example, in this shot, we're just seeing a few vines
    00:00:41,140start to grow and it's such a short and simple shot,
    00:00:44,523I'll probably do this one by hand
    00:00:46,603or with a really simple vine rig.
    00:00:49,478Now this shot is farther away and we're gonna need
    00:00:53,760a lot more leaves and so it's probably gonna need
    00:00:58,603some particles to help us start to fill this out
    00:01:02,080a little bit, so there's not so much manual labor
    00:01:04,582and we're not hand placing dozens and dozens of pieces.
    00:01:08,603Now in this shot we're very close to some of the vines
    00:01:11,700and the leaves so the detail's gonna need to reflect that.
    00:01:14,816This is also the first shot where we really see
    00:01:16,736that the building is getting swarmed by the vines.
    00:01:20,298And I don't really want to have to manually draw
    00:01:23,42450 to 100 splines by hand all over this building
    00:01:26,438so my plan is to use X-Particles, beginning with this shot.
    00:01:30,492(dramatic ambient music)
    00:01:32,096The last couple of shots will definitely be done
    00:01:34,183with X-Particles, due to the just sheer number of vines
    00:01:38,014and leaves that are gonna be on screen at the same time.
    00:01:40,475I may have to tone the detail down a little bit
    00:01:43,174in these shots since there's gonna be
    00:01:44,635a pretty insane amount of geometry
    00:01:47,136and I wanna make sure I don't break my computer.
    00:01:50,075So let's start by rigging a simple vine setup.
    00:01:56,472So the first technique I'm gonna show you
    00:01:58,153is what we use on the easier shots,
    00:01:59,601and it's a lot simpler and you have a lot more control,
    00:02:03,552so we're gonna start by just drawing a spline shape
    00:02:06,976like this and then I'm gonna grab an n-sided spline
    00:02:11,136and we're just gonna use a sweep nurbs,
    00:02:12,646a standard Cinema 4D sweep NURBS so let me grab a sweep
    00:02:16,987and I wanna sweep this spline through this one.
    00:02:21,707And here we go, alright, and this can be our vine,
    00:02:23,923and now we can animate the vine really easily
    00:02:26,390just using the end growth, alright,
    00:02:29,030I can just animate it on like that.
    00:02:31,007Now I want to get rid of the Phong tag
    00:02:33,825so we have that nice low poly look.
    00:02:36,527Let me turn on lines so I can see our geometry here.
    00:02:39,645I do wanna add a fillet cap to the end
    00:02:43,568so that I can have a little bit of a point
    00:02:46,006on the end of my vine and maybe I'll add another step
    00:02:50,107and expand the radius and what you'll notice is by default,
    00:02:53,926when you add a fillet cap
    00:02:55,648it expands and makes the end bigger.
    00:03:00,187If you hit constrain, now I have to make sure
    00:03:03,122I don't make this too big, if you hit constrain,
    00:03:05,729it actually makes sure that your spline doesn't get
    00:03:08,848any bigger at the end, so I usually check that on.
    00:03:11,830And you'll also notice here that even though
    00:03:14,766we don't have a Phong tag we're still getting
    00:03:16,694that smoothing happening on the end here.
    00:03:19,170And so I need to make sure that my Phong angle
    00:03:22,230is set all the way down to zero, there we go.
    00:03:26,667Or sorry, not zero, it has to be at least one degree.
    00:03:29,005And now I get that nice low poly look on the end, okay?
    00:03:32,150Cool, okay so here's our spline
    00:03:33,646and we can easily animate it using end growth,
    00:03:37,547so I wanna do a couple of things really quickly
    00:03:40,790just to make this look a little nicer.
    00:03:42,587I'm gonna go into my details here and for the scale,
    00:03:49,122I'm gonna want the scale to taper off a little bit at
    00:03:53,323the end so I'm just holding command clicking to add a point,
    00:03:55,761and then I'm gonna basically taper
    00:03:58,144the shape of this using this little graph.
    00:04:01,448Okay, so I'm just getting a little bit of a taper
    00:04:02,763and you can control how much it tapers and when it tapers.
    00:04:08,382And I also want some rotation on this.
    00:04:11,046So I'm gonna turn up the end rotation
    00:04:14,166and it's basically just gonna twist
    00:04:15,803this thing along the length of it.
    00:04:18,102Alright so as it's growing on, this is the wrong one,
    00:04:21,504as it's growing on, it's gonna have this nice twisting feel
    00:04:24,481to it and maybe I wanna little bit more there.
    00:04:27,462Cool, alright, so that feels pretty good, I'm digging that.
    00:04:30,822Alright, cool so now I want to have this thing animate on
    00:04:37,643and I also want leaves to be popping up along it.
    00:04:42,203Alright, so this is where it gets a little bit tricker.
    00:04:44,783And so the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna
    00:04:48,784group this underneath into all, we're gonna call this Vine.
    00:04:52,224And I'm gonna put some user data
    00:04:54,530on here and we're gonna call this VineGrowth.
    00:04:58,480Alright, and I'm just gonna leave the default,
    00:05:00,477so it's just a percentage from zero to 100.
    00:05:03,120And what I wanna do is put an expressive tag on here.
    00:05:08,602And you'll see why I'm doing this in a minute
    00:05:10,619but basically what I wanna do is grab that VineGrowth as
    00:05:14,268an output and pipe it to that sweep NURB end growth input.
    00:05:22,339Alright so all I'm doing right here is just being able
    00:05:25,520to control this sweep NURB using this control.
    00:05:28,720Now the reason I'm going to the trouble of doing this
    00:05:31,259is because in a second I'm gonna have other things that
    00:05:34,555I'm gonna wanna control from this same slider
    00:05:36,859and it's easier to just have everything controlled
    00:05:38,754by one slider as opposed to having to
    00:05:40,816key frame five or six different things.
    00:05:43,456So what I want to do is basically create a particle emitter
    00:05:47,995that follows the sweep NURB and follows the growth of it
    00:05:52,214exactly and emits particles along the way.
    00:05:55,776Alright so here's what I mean.
    00:05:57,179I'm gonna go to my Simulate menu and grab
    00:05:58,995just a standard particle emitter
    00:06:00,515and I'm gonna call this emitter Leave.
    00:06:04,875Leave, good Lord, Joseph, you gotta put an S on that,
    00:06:08,315otherwise it makes no sense, Emitter Leaves, there you go.
    00:06:11,195Alright and on this emitter, if I just hit play,
    00:06:15,200you'll see the default thing an emitter does
    00:06:17,142is just spit out particles, just like that.
    00:06:19,280So what I want it to do is to actually move along this path,
    00:06:24,299emitting particles all along the way,
    00:06:26,363so I'm gonna put an align to spline tag on my emitter
    00:06:30,102and I'm gonna tell it to align to this spline.
    00:06:33,140And the position, right, goes from zero to 100%,
    00:06:36,939which is really handy, so I'm gonna grab that position
    00:06:41,060as an input on this node and I'm gonna pipe it to this.
    00:06:44,822And so now if I animate this really quickly,
    00:06:48,139so let me just add a few more frames here.
    00:06:49,803So I'm gonna go from frame zero,
    00:06:52,443vine growth should be at zero,
    00:06:55,563and then let's say frame 72, vine growth should be 100%.
    00:07:01,639Alright so there's gonna be a couple things wrong here.
    00:07:04,678So one, these particles are firing out and moving,
    00:07:08,856so we don't want that, okay?
    00:07:10,459So I need to go to the emitter and set the speed to zero.
    00:07:14,759Also, the emitter is not lining up perfectly to this,
    00:07:17,803and that is because my spline,
    00:07:19,920the intermediate points have to be set to uniform.
    00:07:23,099Alright so if you ever have to do anything like this,
    00:07:25,723like if you want an arrowhead to follow a spline,
    00:07:28,800the spline needs to be set to uniform intermediate points
    00:07:32,240and now everything should line up perfectly.
    00:07:34,539I also wanna go to the align the spline tag
    00:07:37,003and turn on Tangental so that that emitter
    00:07:40,636will actually trace and follow like that.
    00:07:44,901Alright, so now I've got the speed set down to zero
    00:07:47,702on the emitter, can actually close this now,
    00:07:50,141and you can see that there's now
    00:07:52,182particles being left behind, right?
    00:07:54,603That's what these little tiny white dots are.
    00:07:56,603And what's awesome about that is that now I can grab
    00:08:00,582a cloner and I'm just gonna grab a cube,
    00:08:03,678let me just make a bunch of tiny little cubes here.
    00:08:07,157I'm gonna put that cube in the cloner
    00:08:09,118and I'm gonna set the cloner to object mode
    00:08:11,379and the object I want it to clone onto is this emitter.
    00:08:14,899So now what's happening is as this emitter moves, right,
    00:08:20,602along this vine, it's leaving little cubes in its wake.
    00:08:24,499Now it's leaving them randomly around the vine.
    00:08:28,521And that's because this emitter has some size to it.
    00:08:31,822If I look at the Emitter tab,
    00:08:33,118it's 100 centimeters by 100 centimeters.
    00:08:35,896If I set that to zero by zero, now you actually can't see
    00:08:42,003because the vine's covering them up,
    00:08:43,279but now it's emitting these little cubes
    00:08:45,891and it's keeping them perfectly aligned
    00:08:49,310in that spline there, alright?
    00:08:53,731So now instead of cubes, I don't want cubes,
    00:08:58,531I actually want little leaves to pop out, okay?
    00:09:00,629And here's some other settings that we need to think about.
    00:09:03,930This emitter, the default Cinema 4D emitter,
    00:09:07,630it never stops emitting, you have to manually tell it
    00:09:11,571when to stop emissions, so I want it to stop.
    00:09:14,814First of all, I don't want it to start on frame zero,
    00:09:17,070I want it to start maybe on frame 10.
    00:09:19,530And then I want it to stop,
    00:09:20,894basically when the vine stops growing which is frame 72.
    00:09:26,254So I'll go to emitter and I'll set the stop to,
    00:09:28,629I dunno, a few frames before, maybe frame 65.
    00:09:31,209Alright so now we get those cubes along that vine.
    00:09:37,352And we can also change the rate,
    00:09:41,891so there's two birth rates here, there's the editor
    00:09:44,750and the renderer and I generally keep them in sync.
    00:09:47,747If you don't keep them in sync, then when you render,
    00:09:50,408you're gonna get a totally different result,
    00:09:51,969and I want less leaves than this.
    00:09:53,710So let's cut that to three.
    00:09:57,368Alright so now you just get less leaves.
    00:09:59,768Cool, excellent, so now what we need to do is actually
    00:10:05,347get rid of this cube and put some leaves in there.
    00:10:08,147So let me open up that plant that we created
    00:10:13,448and I'm just gonna grab one of these LeafNulls
    00:10:16,328and I'm gonna paste it in here and the,
    00:10:21,006let me go to my animation view here
    00:10:22,670'cause I know the key frames are probably
    00:10:25,001offset in time a little bit, alright.
    00:10:27,726And this leaf is almost certainly not the right scale
    00:10:31,929for this scene so I'm gonna scale this up, alright,
    00:10:35,486okay cool, so let's say that that's a good scale,
    00:10:38,387and I want to zero out this leaf too, zero everything out.
    00:10:42,206Rotation and position and all that stuff
    00:10:44,986so that I just have a nice centered leaf
    00:10:47,827that can now be emitted as a particle.
    00:10:51,086So I'm just gonna replace this cube
    00:10:52,707with this whole leaf setup, alright?
    00:10:55,286And here's what's cool.
    00:10:58,686Because that leaf has animation on it,
    00:11:01,687that animation gets triggered when the particle is born,
    00:11:05,927okay, so as that particle gets born,
    00:11:08,467we get to see that entire leaf animation,
    00:11:10,888so if I turn my sweep back on,
    00:11:14,206you can see as this grows, leaves start to grow along it.
    00:11:18,089Alright, so we're starting to get,
    00:11:19,566let me add a bunch more frames here
    00:11:20,686so we can let this play out, right?
    00:11:25,367Let's do 120, here we go.
    00:11:27,129So now we've got this great little setup
    00:11:30,067where you've got a vine and you've got leaves
    00:11:34,905being emitted along it, everything's working out fantastic.
    00:11:38,665But the leaves are all aligned exactly the same way,
    00:11:41,403right, so this isn't gonna make it look very natural.
    00:11:47,107So what's cool about using a cloner on the particle
    00:11:52,003as opposed to, 'cause what I could do too,
    00:11:54,569I could actually have this emitter emit leaves
    00:11:57,385rather than have the cloner put the leaves on the particles.
    00:12:00,845But the reason I do it this way is because now I get to use
    00:12:03,267all of these great MoGraph tools like the random effector,
    00:12:07,305right, and on that random effector,
    00:12:09,644I can go to my parameter, turn off position,
    00:12:13,283and just turn on rotation.
    00:12:14,825And I can maybe mess with the pitch
    00:12:16,926and the bank a little bit, you gotta be careful
    00:12:20,403because you could very easily create a situation where
    00:12:23,545the leaves are intersecting the vine geometry,
    00:12:27,663which that might be a problem.
    00:12:30,943And I'm also going to go to Effector
    00:12:32,761and I'm gonna turn on Synchronized and Indexed
    00:12:35,060and that way it'll make sure that there's not
    00:12:38,020a continuous noise pattern happening.
    00:12:40,879It'll make it look more random basically,
    00:12:43,460without getting too technical with what it's doing.
    00:12:46,260And so now I can tweak these settings a little bit
    00:12:49,481until I like the way it looks, and there you go.
    00:12:53,024And I could also use this same random effector
    00:12:55,776to affect the scale, so I could do a uniform scale,
    00:12:59,481and I'll set it to absolute scale too
    00:13:01,924so that if I move this down, these can only get smaller.
    00:13:06,084If I leave absolute scale off, they can actually get bigger
    00:13:08,564too and I only want them to be able to get smaller.
    00:13:11,021Okay, so there we go, so now we've got this
    00:13:14,420great little vine with these leaves that are all
    00:13:17,041a little bit different size and orientation
    00:13:19,044and they open up along the vine just like that.
    00:13:22,223And I could then just copy this cloner into here,
    00:13:27,721copy the random effector into there,
    00:13:30,041and I basically got this little vine setup
    00:13:32,943that with this one slider is controlling
    00:13:36,340pretty much everything and I could add some more controls
    00:13:39,161if I needed and then clone this and take this spline
    00:13:43,581and tweak it, right, and make it a different shape.
    00:13:47,321So if I grab this point and pushed it out like this
    00:13:50,404and grabbed this point and pushed it out like this,
    00:13:52,884now I've got two different looking splines, right,
    00:13:57,140and they'll both have leaves growing on them.
    00:13:59,425So I could go in and tweak other settings
    00:14:02,180and what I should probably do is on each of these vines,
    00:14:07,561I probably want a different random seed
    00:14:09,684so that the leaves are in different positions.
    00:14:12,160And so I'll probably need to add a little seed control
    00:14:16,621down here to make that easier to get to.
    00:14:19,961And I may wanna have some vines
    00:14:23,633have more or less leaves on them,
    00:14:25,519so I may wanna maybe on this one, I'll change the birth rate
    00:14:28,239to four so there's more leaves on this one,
    00:14:30,777just so it looks a little bit different, right?
    00:14:33,476If we have a whole bunch of vines,
    00:14:34,959we want them all to look a little different.
    00:14:37,636So this is pretty much the setup and now,
    00:14:41,215let me show you another,
    00:14:44,916let me go ahead and delete this one.
    00:14:49,056Let me go to the random effector
    00:14:50,356and get a little bit more variation out of this too.
    00:14:54,420And I wanna show you another cool thing you can do
    00:14:56,500using some of these MoGraph tools.
    00:14:59,199So let me add some more leaves here,
    00:15:01,441let me just crank this up, I'll just double this
    00:15:03,257for a minute so we can see more leaves.
    00:15:06,896Cool alright so, now I've got all these beautiful leaves
    00:15:10,320on this vine and the texture on those leaves,
    00:15:14,676if we look here, I can just go back to my startup view.
    00:15:18,180So here's the texture, okay, and the way it's getting
    00:15:20,964that color is I've got a base color in the color channel
    00:15:24,036and then I've got this texture being built out of
    00:15:26,377these two layers that's being added on top
    00:15:29,316so I'm gonna set this up a little differently,
    00:15:31,604I'm gonna set mix mode to normal,
    00:15:33,236I'm gonna go into my layer shader here,
    00:15:36,876and I talked a little bit about the layer shader
    00:15:38,557a little bit in the last video,
    00:15:39,657so if you haven't watched that, make sure you go watch that.
    00:15:41,300And I'm gonna add a color shader in here
    00:15:43,860and set the color to this color and set the mode to add.
    00:15:48,297Okay, so this is gonna give us,
    00:15:49,817we've now basically got the exact same result,
    00:15:52,096okay, and the only difference is now,
    00:15:54,900it doesn't matter what this color is anymore,
    00:15:56,537this color is being ignored, okay?
    00:15:58,718And the reason I wanna do it this way
    00:16:00,596is because now instead of this color shader,
    00:16:03,882I'm actually gonna turn this off
    00:16:05,183and I'm gonna use a MoGraph multi shader, alright,
    00:16:10,840so the multi shader, and I can delete that now,
    00:16:13,237what the multi shader does is it lets you
    00:16:15,220set up a whole bunch of different shaders.
    00:16:18,143So I'm just gonna use this standard color shader,
    00:16:20,280effect color, and then let me then set up another one.
    00:16:27,727And I'm gonna pick that color but then I'm gonna change it.
    00:16:29,721Let me add a little bit more blue
    00:16:30,943to it and darken it a little bit.
    00:16:33,081So now I've got two colors here
    00:16:35,023in this MoGraph multi shader, okay?
    00:16:37,202And if I hit Render, you'll see nothing's happening.
    00:16:39,481But if I go up to my random effector now
    00:16:41,145and I say color mode on, and then I go into,
    00:16:45,241let me go back to my multi shader and I set them,
    00:16:48,263make sure the mode is set to color brightness,
    00:16:50,425now I'm gonna start getting variation.
    00:16:54,105And essentially, I don't wanna spend too much time on this,
    00:16:56,503but essentially what's happening is the random effector,
    00:16:58,783when you turn color mode on, it's assigning a random color
    00:17:02,101to these clones that you don't see.
    00:17:04,201This is not a real color, this is a color you do not see
    00:17:06,639that's somewhere between black and white.
    00:17:09,785Then this MoGraph multi shader looks at that color, right,
    00:17:13,983between black and white, and based on the brightness,
    00:17:16,745assigns it one of these two shaders,
    00:17:19,204and I can add more shaders, alright,
    00:17:21,081so I could then just add another color shader,
    00:17:23,369set it to that color, but then maybe push more green into it
    00:17:27,140and make it a little brighter but less saturated, right?
    00:17:31,423So now I've got there colors and it's gonna randomly pick
    00:17:34,642between all three and you can really see this if I,
    00:17:37,945let's set this to 20 or something
    00:17:39,641so we get a whole bunch of leaves here.
    00:17:44,580Alright, and you can see how cool,
    00:17:45,663it's like instant cool animation,
    00:17:47,599and you get all this beautiful variation in the leaves,
    00:17:52,025with almost no work, which is why I love
    00:17:54,767MoGraph and why I love Cinema 4D.
    00:17:56,926Cool alright, and because the way we modeled the leaf,
    00:18:01,444it's not perfect but it does look like it's coming out
    00:18:05,428of the vine and it's growing along it
    00:18:07,444and everything seems to be working pretty much
    00:18:10,425the way we need it to and one last thing I wanna do is
    00:18:14,708be able to have a little bit more variation along the vine.
    00:18:18,068It's very smooth right now and I want it to feel
    00:18:21,385a little bit more irregular so what I'm gonna do
    00:18:25,565is a nifty little trick, first I'm gonna group,
    00:18:31,305I'm gonna go ahead and group this sweep right here.
    00:18:34,305And I'm just gonna call this Sweep
    00:18:36,764and the reason I'm doing this is so that then I can take
    00:18:39,764a displacer deformer and put it
    00:18:42,708in this group so it will affect the sweep.
    00:18:46,425And so then I'm going to go into my Shading tab
    00:18:48,244for the displacer and set up a noise and geeze,
    00:18:53,067right off the bat, pretty much works the way I need it to.
    00:18:55,463So let's take a look here.
    00:18:58,790Not bad, alright, it adds a whole bunch of randomness to it.
    00:19:02,646And I can adjust the height of that if I want to,
    00:19:07,323so I can have more or less,
    00:19:08,667but that actually is pretty good,
    00:19:10,625that's really all I needed.
    00:19:11,905Now it's getting a little funky here at the tip.
    00:19:15,025So I wanna restrict, I basically don't want this displacer
    00:19:19,302to affect the tip so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add
    00:19:24,587falloff to this and I'm gonna make it spherical falloff.
    00:19:28,827And I'm gonna put the displacer, hmm,
    00:19:32,043actually all I'm gonna do is copy this,
    00:19:33,922I wanted the spline tag to the displacer.
    00:19:36,246And let me go into my Xpresso tag here
    00:19:41,220and make sure that this aligns to spline tag.
    00:19:44,823Also follows
    00:19:49,879my user data that I set up.
    00:19:51,918And then what I can do is go into my displacer,
    00:19:55,863go to the Falloff tab and let me make my falloff actually go
    00:20:00,343all the way to 100% and then I'm gonna invert it.
    00:20:03,463And then I can basically just shrink and grow this thing,
    00:20:07,740and you'll see what it's doing, sorry,
    00:20:09,623that's not what I need to do, my bad.
    00:20:12,039What I need to do is adjust the scale of it, here we go.
    00:20:14,540Okay, and you can see that basically inside this sphere,
    00:20:18,743it's not allowing any displacing to happen
    00:20:22,263because I've inverted the falloff
    00:20:23,940so it's basically saying falloff displacing
    00:20:26,400only happens outside of this, not inside of it.
    00:20:29,380And if I scale it way up then I can
    00:20:31,299have a more gradual transition,
    00:20:33,319but I really only need it to start towards the end there.
    00:20:38,263And so this is cool because now it's aligned to the spline,
    00:20:42,040so it's always gonna follow the end of my vine,
    00:20:46,256just like that, and so it's gonna basically bring that,
    00:20:49,379it's gonna allow the displacement
    00:20:51,918to happen as the vine grows on.
    00:20:55,160Alright, and I can go into Displacer, Falloff,
    00:20:57,656and turn off the visibility on the falloff
    00:21:00,737so that I don't see it anymore.
    00:21:02,279And there we go, and now we have a little bit more
    00:21:05,620irregularity to the whole thing.
    00:21:07,221So with this setup, and I'll probably tweak a few things
    00:21:10,760before I use it in the final scene,
    00:21:12,718but this is essentially how I'm gonna do the vines
    00:21:16,456and the leaf growth on the simpler shots.
    00:21:19,539Now I'm glossing over this part but after this,
    00:21:23,080I copied the scene, the building, and the plant,
    00:21:26,018into all of the shots that we created back in episode two.
    00:21:29,496The camera moves and the timing are already worked out
    00:21:32,259so this way I can see everything I've made in context.
    00:21:34,897And I start rendering out my hardware renders.
    00:21:37,438I used my simple vine rig on these shots
    00:21:39,619and after doing my hardware renders,
    00:21:42,264this is where we end up.
    00:21:44,900(dramatic piano music)
    00:21:49,656Giants are not what we think they are.
    00:21:55,038The same qualities that appear to give them strength
    00:22:02,899are often the sources of great weakness.
    00:22:10,659But now we have these shots, the last couple,
    00:22:13,545where we really need to see that
    00:22:15,059the vines are overtaking the building, just swarming it,
    00:22:18,056and there's no way I'm gonna do this by hand,
    00:22:20,456so I'm gonna use X-Particles to do the heavy lifting.
    00:22:23,214And as you'll see in a second,
    00:22:24,995there's never an easy button for anything.
    00:22:28,307(dramatic ambient music)
    00:22:31,315So the first thing I wanna do is try to give you
    00:22:33,192a little bit of insight into how I even figured out
    00:22:35,454the approach I was gonna take to do this effect
    00:22:38,078because step one, when you have an idea in your head,
    00:22:41,278it's not to then go do that effect,
    00:22:44,534it's actually to figure out what's
    00:22:46,355the best way to do that effect, right?
    00:22:48,638And so earlier in this episode I showed you a technique
    00:22:51,897of making vines grow on and having leaves grow
    00:22:54,094out of them that allows me a lot of control.
    00:22:56,393However if I'm gonna wrap vines all the way around
    00:22:58,854this building and have those vines be somewhat to scale,
    00:23:01,838there's gonna be hundreds or thousands of them
    00:23:03,907and there's no way I'm gonna spend the time to manually draw
    00:23:06,595splines all over this building and set up
    00:23:09,335the particles and all that stuff, it would take forever.
    00:23:11,715So I figured a particle system that generated everything
    00:23:16,195might be a better way to do it
    00:23:17,918and I had seen a very nifty little tutorial
    00:23:22,355somewhere along the lines in X-Particles,
    00:23:25,335and I'll link to that in the show notes for this episode,
    00:23:27,694where I found out that X-Particles has this amazing ability
    00:23:31,854to have particles move over the surface of something.
    00:23:36,355Alright, so I started out just doing
    00:23:38,958some rough tests like this, right,
    00:23:40,798so if you take a sphere and we go to X-Particles
    00:23:43,813and add a system, by the way, you can go and download
    00:23:46,558a free version of X-Particles, a demo version,
    00:23:49,413and that will let you play with the entire plugin.
    00:23:53,593It will render with a watermark but if you're following
    00:23:55,934along and you just wanna play around with it,
    00:23:57,475it's definitely worth it.
    00:23:59,812Let me make sure I set the frame rate
    00:24:01,178to 24 so we get a similar result.
    00:24:05,774Alright cool, and once you add an X-Particles system,
    00:24:09,438you can then add an emitter.
    00:24:11,998Alright, and so your X-Particles emitter,
    00:24:14,654it just starts emitting particles.
    00:24:16,374I'm gonna add a whole bunch of frames
    00:24:17,715here so we can see what's going on.
    00:24:19,134Alright and you've got all the same settings
    00:24:21,753that you do for any particle system,
    00:24:24,238you've got speed and you can have variation on that speed.
    00:24:29,075You can vary the lifespan and the amount of particles,
    00:24:32,934but what's really nifty about X-Particles
    00:24:35,514is there's these great modifiers that come with it
    00:24:39,854and there's a whole bunch of them
    00:24:41,235and one of them is Move Over Surface.
    00:24:43,214So I can tell these particles to move over
    00:24:45,395any surface that I want and I want the sphere.
    00:24:48,912So now if I hit Play, they move all around the surface
    00:24:52,238and some of them are going so fast
    00:24:53,961that they actually escape the surface, right?
    00:24:56,937And you can adjust the settings to keep everything attached,
    00:25:02,206you can add friction, if you want them to slow down
    00:25:05,257once they hit the surface,
    00:25:07,038there's a whole bunch of nifty things you can do.
    00:25:09,219You can turn on Accurate which is gonna give you
    00:25:11,278a more accurate result here, right,
    00:25:14,238and see now it's capturing all these particles
    00:25:15,881and you're getting it, it's just really nifty, right?
    00:25:18,078You can do all this cool stuff.
    00:25:19,217So I figured that I was gonna do something like this,
    00:25:23,401have particles emit, crawl over the surface, right,
    00:25:27,555and for example, if we wanted to get an even better idea
    00:25:32,217of what we're gonna do for these vines,
    00:25:33,872I would change the emission mode to pulse
    00:25:36,137and why don't we just do a one frame pulse,
    00:25:40,297we'll tell it not to emit on all frames, right,
    00:25:43,337and these, what's cool about X-Particles too
    00:25:45,614is all of the options are labeled pretty clearly.
    00:25:48,052It's pretty easy to figure out what's going on,
    00:25:49,977and I only want it to emit on the first two frames,
    00:25:53,593so I'm gonna say frame zero, frame one,
    00:25:55,713so now when I hit Play, it's just gonna shoot
    00:25:58,112a burst of particles out and that's it.
    00:26:00,537Okay now watch what happens if I add another generator
    00:26:04,153called a Trails, a trails generator.
    00:26:08,435And the trails generator is going to generate
    00:26:10,835basically a spline on every particle.
    00:26:14,034Alright, and there's different settings for that spline.
    00:26:18,133I can make the trail length really, really long,
    00:26:20,035so it never shrinks, right, it never dies out.
    00:26:22,913And you can see all of a sudden now I could add
    00:26:25,635another modifier like for example, turbulence, right?
    00:26:30,352Alright and the turbulence I probably need
    00:26:32,096to crank up some of the settings there so the scale is 100,
    00:26:36,314the strength is five, why don't we turn the strength way up
    00:26:38,672just so you can see what's going on,
    00:26:40,394wow, that's really awesome looking.
    00:26:42,832Let me see what happens if I have the turbulence happen
    00:26:45,392before the move on surface and I turn the strength down.
    00:26:49,573Cool, look at that.
    00:26:51,035Alright, let's try it the other way actually.
    00:26:53,792Turbulence, alright, so I'm gonna have
    00:26:56,256the move on surface happen first,
    00:27:00,176and I probably need to turn this down, here we go.
    00:27:02,512Right, and so you basically have to keep tweaking settings,
    00:27:06,272right, like some of these particles are flying off
    00:27:08,013to the side here so I may need to make this emitter
    00:27:12,492a little smaller and I could even
    00:27:15,515make it really small, like 10 by 10.
    00:27:18,053And I can move it closer to the sphere and so now
    00:27:21,056all those particles are gonna have turbulence on them
    00:27:23,312and they're gonna be moving in this
    00:27:25,052interesting way all over the sphere.
    00:27:28,573And then if I wanted to I could just use a sweep NURB,
    00:27:33,113I could take a sweep NURB and an n-sided spline,
    00:27:39,893and go like this, right, I could say
    00:27:41,413sweep this spline through the trail.
    00:27:46,773Right, and I'll make the n-sided spline a lot smaller.
    00:27:51,915Right, and then let me just turn the sphere's visibility
    00:27:53,797off for a minute and you can see it,
    00:27:56,977this is a ton of geometry we have right now,
    00:27:59,115let me make this a four sided spline.
    00:28:02,293And let me go ahead and make the trail,
    00:28:05,115but actually it's already a linear spline,
    00:28:09,298so there's not a lot of extra points to it.
    00:28:13,717So this is actually pretty optimized geometry
    00:28:17,413but it's still, you can see how dense everything's getting
    00:28:20,315because there's so many particles, right?
    00:28:22,693And if I go back in here and I go to the emitter
    00:28:25,435and I say the max number of particles is only,
    00:28:29,237let's say 500, and then I hit play,
    00:28:34,155right, then we're gonna have a lot less geometry this time
    00:28:37,057and it'll be a little bit easier to see what's going on.
    00:28:40,395So anyway, so you've got a whole bunch of options
    00:28:43,835here with X-Particles and it's all pretty intuitive.
    00:28:46,597Alright so I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna set up
    00:28:48,993the basic system here, alright, let me close this out.
    00:28:52,658I'm gonna set up a basic system here that's gonna enable us
    00:28:55,237to grow vines all along this building.
    00:28:57,733Now the first thing is this building has tons and tons
    00:29:00,495and tons and tons of geometry, right,
    00:29:03,333just all kinds of geometry so if I tell X-Particles
    00:29:07,035to move particles over the surface of this,
    00:29:09,973it's gonna bog down my machine,
    00:29:11,915it's probably gonna get really funky
    00:29:13,797'cause there's all these 90 degree angles.
    00:29:15,867And so what I really want is a proxy geometry,
    00:29:19,333basically just a low-res version of this building
    00:29:23,115that's rounded that the particles can move over,
    00:29:26,315and then I can make that thing invisible.
    00:29:28,675So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make a cube and I'm going
    00:29:31,637to select it and make it in the Basic tab X-Ray,
    00:29:35,559which is just gonna let me see through it.
    00:29:37,535And then I just wanna go in and I wanna position this thing
    00:29:41,835so it's centered right on the building.
    00:29:45,614Here we go, and I wanna shrink this down
    00:29:48,113so it's pretty close to the same size as that building.
    00:29:52,413I wanna make sure that the building
    00:29:53,755is totally encompassed in it, alright,
    00:29:57,058I can zoom in to make this easier.
    00:29:59,115I wanna make sure that the building doesn't
    00:30:00,677stick out of the sides of this thing at all.
    00:30:02,277Alright, and then I need to make sure
    00:30:05,873that the height is what we need.
    00:30:09,938Alright, needs to be a little bit shorter,
    00:30:11,618okay, that's pretty good, cool.
    00:30:13,862And then, alright, so then I wanna take that
    00:30:17,698and make that editable and I'm gonna come up here
    00:30:21,212and grab this polygon face and I'm just gonna,
    00:30:24,759just shrink it just a little bit, right?
    00:30:27,536Just so we can mimic the way that the building
    00:30:31,157gets a little thinner up at the top.
    00:30:33,373And then I'm going to put this into a subdivision surface,
    00:30:37,637which I still tend to call these things HyperNURBS
    00:30:41,173'cause that's what they used to be called,
    00:30:42,677let me turn X-Ray off for a minute.
    00:30:44,336And you can see that it, if you put a cube inside of
    00:30:47,775a subdivision surface it gets really silly looking,
    00:30:49,835it looks like an egg, so what I need to do is select
    00:30:53,317all of the polygons here, hit M, R,
    00:30:57,275and that's gonna bring up my weight subdivision surface tool
    00:31:00,597and I can interactively then drag
    00:31:02,033the weight back to zero, right?
    00:31:05,435Let me turn this back on X-Ray, cool.
    00:31:08,517Let's see, there we go.
    00:31:10,277And now what I can do is I can select one at a time,
    00:31:14,256I could select this face here, hit M, R,
    00:31:18,094and weight that face just a little bit.
    00:31:20,578And actually what I probably wanna do
    00:31:22,315is select these edges, all of these edges here.
    00:31:27,477I basically don't want, I want this part of that shape
    00:31:31,392to stay pretty flat but I want the rest
    00:31:32,815to get a little bit more rounded.
    00:31:34,495So I'm gonna use my weight HyperNURB tool, right?
    00:31:37,915And I'm just trying to round this out a little bit.
    00:31:40,533And you see how we're getting these weird points here,
    00:31:44,252right, they look terrible.
    00:31:45,973I actually want this to be a little bit rounder at the top.
    00:31:50,373So what I'm gonna do is grab a knife tool, M, K,
    00:31:55,956I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna set my knife tool
    00:32:00,182to plane mode, right, and I want the XZ plane,
    00:32:04,315so I can basically make a cut up here like this.
    00:32:08,655And then I can use a loop selection tool
    00:32:10,875and grab that loop and I can move it around, right?
    00:32:17,052And then I have a little bit more
    00:32:19,016control over my model tool, let me grab these vertices too
    00:32:22,955and make sure these are weighted properly.
    00:32:26,536There we go.
    00:32:28,256Alright, so those weren't being weighted correctly,
    00:32:30,076I guess that's why they were pointing like that.
    00:32:32,517So when you weight,
    00:32:36,459when you use your subdivision weighting tool,
    00:32:39,356what you're gonna see is you can weight the edges
    00:32:43,258or you can weight the polygons or you can weight the points
    00:32:45,979and I was weighting the edges but not these points,
    00:32:49,016so now, cool, alright so now I what I can do
    00:32:52,016is come back in here and I can probably now
    00:32:54,112grab all these edges that I want and weight them.
    00:32:58,533Yeah, and now they'll get a little bit more round,
    00:33:00,091and they'll work the way I want, there we go.
    00:33:02,872Alright and so what I'm trying to do is just
    00:33:05,797round this shape out a little bit.
    00:33:07,557And I wanna make sure also that these edges
    00:33:12,213are a little bit rounded, which they are, and I can also,
    00:33:15,313I can up the subdivision a little bit,
    00:33:17,957I can make the editor subdivision three
    00:33:20,837and now I get this nice rounded piece of geometry.
    00:33:24,053Alright, and I'm gonna need to just
    00:33:28,789change it up a little bit, let me grab,
    00:33:33,024by the way what I'm doing is I have the subdivision surface
    00:33:35,309turned on but I'm selecting the cube that's in it
    00:33:37,371and so it's showing me the faces that I'm selecting but
    00:33:40,429it's showing me the manipulated subdivided versions of that.
    00:33:45,211So I can take that face and just pull it out a little bit,
    00:33:49,291right, just to make sure that I'm getting
    00:33:54,187the contour of that building accurate.
    00:33:56,171Alright, and I'm gonna do this same thing with the bottom.
    00:33:59,931I want a pretty accurate mesh here.
    00:34:03,088I want this to really mimic the contour
    00:34:06,128of the building as much as possible.
    00:34:08,148Alright, and then I can go in and grab this edge
    00:34:11,807and push it back in a little bit.
    00:34:15,205Okay, and really the only parts of the building
    00:34:17,787I'm concerned with is the front and this side
    00:34:20,135'cause that's really all we look at.
    00:34:21,445We never really come around to this side or the back,
    00:34:24,507so I can ignore those, we do see the top,
    00:34:26,389but we only see the top with vines on it
    00:34:29,255at the very end, right?
    00:34:30,645We see it, there's a shot where we're back far like this
    00:34:33,067and there's vines growing up it.
    00:34:34,225And then at the end, we spin around like this
    00:34:37,485and come up over the top, okay?
    00:34:39,147So when we come over the top, I probably do need
    00:34:42,145to make sure that this face and this face
    00:34:48,203are actually in the right spots.
    00:34:49,584So let me go back to edge mode and fix this edge
    00:34:51,243and there we go, cool, alright.
    00:34:55,387So now I've got this low poly version of the building
    00:34:59,605and I can shoot the particles over that.
    00:35:01,387So I'm just gonna go ahead and make this editable
    00:35:03,403and I'm gonna call this LowResMesh.
    00:35:07,922Alright, and I can just go ahead and make it invisible,
    00:35:10,267I don't even need it anymore.
    00:35:11,542Okay so now what we've gotta do is add an X-Particles system
    00:35:15,963and I'm gonna add an emitter and I wanna make sure
    00:35:19,787I'm in 24 frames a second here,
    00:35:21,30724 frames a second in my project,
    00:35:24,484and 24 frames a second in X-Particles,
    00:35:29,323so three places I have to make sure.
    00:35:31,685Alright so I have an emitter and what I want
    00:35:35,842is I want that emitter to actually not be
    00:35:39,873just a big default emitter, like this, right?
    00:35:43,147The default emitter, let me go back to model mode here,
    00:35:48,165is this big square, okay, and it emits basically
    00:35:52,128from the surface area of the emitter.
    00:35:54,763So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna grab,
    00:35:58,144I'm actually gonna cheat here, let me turn off the building
    00:36:01,638and turn on the LowResMesh for a minute.
    00:36:03,786And I am going to select, let me see if I can grab
    00:36:07,154a loop selection down here, I don't think it's gonna let me.
    00:36:10,834So what I wanna grab, ah, there we go.
    00:36:12,986I want that edge and I wanna turn it into a spline.
    00:36:16,725So with that edge selected and I can go up to Mesh,
    00:36:19,184Conversion, sorry, Command, and say Edge to Spline.
    00:36:24,524And what that does is it gives me a little spline
    00:36:26,965that is exactly that shape and what's cool about that
    00:36:31,605is I can go into my X-Particle emitter
    00:36:33,365and say my emitter shape is now an object
    00:36:35,984and that object is this spline.
    00:36:40,667Alright, and I'm gonna call this EmitterSpline.
    00:36:44,485And I'm just gonna move this up
    00:36:45,765into the emitters group here.
    00:36:48,048So now what's gonna happen if I back off and hit play,
    00:36:50,848well, nothing's gonna happen, I need to tell the emitter
    00:36:55,349to emit from the edges, there we go.
    00:36:59,648Alright, so now it's emitting particles from the edge
    00:37:01,707of this spline but it's emitting them inward
    00:37:04,774and I don't want them to emit inward.
    00:37:06,534It's emitting basically from the Phong normal,
    00:37:11,010that's the particle direction.
    00:37:12,245It basically means that it's looking at each edge
    00:37:14,747and each edge actually has something called a normal,
    00:37:17,525it's basically the direction it's facing
    00:37:19,090and they're all facing inward.
    00:37:20,405So I'm actually gonna say Y plus axis
    00:37:22,805so it fires straight up like that, cool.
    00:37:24,686So now I don't have all these wasted particles
    00:37:26,565that are underneath the building,
    00:37:27,985I'm just shooting particles from here.
    00:37:30,765Cool, so then what I can do,
    00:37:32,629let me turn my LowResMesh back on.
    00:37:35,685So then what I wanna do is add my,
    00:37:39,649let me add my move across surface modifier.
    00:37:42,987So I go back to the system, go to Modifiers,
    00:37:45,445and say Move Over Surface and the surface
    00:37:48,229I want is this LowResmesh, okay?
    00:37:53,067The distance, I'm gonna set this to zero,
    00:37:55,605or sorry, not the distance, the offset is set to zero,
    00:37:59,003that's the important thing, if the offset is set to 50,
    00:38:01,947then these particles are going to be
    00:38:04,224offset from the surface by 50.
    00:38:07,003Now we may have to adjust that because the vines
    00:38:09,307that grow along this are gonna have thickness,
    00:38:11,483so I may have to offset this by that thickness.
    00:38:13,942But I'm gonna leave it at zero, right?
    00:38:16,843And you'll see that now these particles
    00:38:18,742are flying over the surface.
    00:38:20,187Now they're flying up very, very fast.
    00:38:22,043So let me go to my emission,
    00:38:23,787I'm gonna change the speed down quite a bit, there we go.
    00:38:28,322Right, imagine that these are vines growing up the surface.
    00:38:31,243Alright, how fast do we want them to go?
    00:38:33,403Let me add a whole bunch more frames here too.
    00:38:36,267I also do not want a whole lot of particles
    00:38:40,587just being born forever, alright?
    00:38:42,763I want an initial burst of particles
    00:38:45,045because after that initial burst,
    00:38:47,683I just wanna trace the path of those particles,
    00:38:49,904that's all I want, so I'm gonna say emission mode, pulse.
    00:38:55,014The pulse length is one frame.
    00:38:57,636And I don't wanna emit on all frames,
    00:38:59,334just frames zero and frame one,
    00:39:01,956and then the birth rate is 1,000.
    00:39:04,757Let me see if I set that down to 500.
    00:39:06,930Cool, so I basically get one emission of particles, right?
    00:39:10,016And they're all going the same speed,
    00:39:11,456so let me add some variation to them.
    00:39:14,219Cool, now we have particles traveling up,
    00:39:17,014and you see when they get to the top,
    00:39:18,296they crisscross over like that and they start coming
    00:39:20,997back down which is fine because once they get to the top,
    00:39:23,890we're gonna fly the camera up over the top of the building
    00:39:27,077and away we go and just to test this out one level further,
    00:39:31,696why don't we go ahead and add the trails,
    00:39:34,774and I'll set the trail length to 500 frames.
    00:39:37,873Boom, and there go our vines growing all over the side
    00:39:42,677of the building and they get to the top
    00:39:44,379and they crisscross and it's fantastic, okay?
    00:39:47,275So let me turn the trail off for a minute.
    00:39:49,317So the particles, right now they're doing what I want,
    00:39:53,216but they're just going straight up.
    00:39:54,854And so that doesn't look very realistic.
    00:39:56,875So I do wanna add some turbulence.
    00:39:59,184So I'm gonna add another modifier,
    00:40:00,896I'm gonna add the turbulence modifier.
    00:40:03,115The order that these are placed in does matter.
    00:40:06,059So I want the Move Over Surface first to stick
    00:40:09,014those particles to the surface and then once
    00:40:11,272they're on the surface, I want some turbulence, right?
    00:40:13,555So now if I look at this, you can see that now
    00:40:15,835they're flying all over the place
    00:40:17,569and they're going kinda crazy actually.
    00:40:19,419And I think the scale is probably too big,
    00:40:22,459so let me take the scale down to like 10%.
    00:40:26,635That's a little bit better.
    00:40:28,715And then the, basically, you have to understand
    00:40:32,859the way noise works, right, so the scale,
    00:40:36,592and actually it might be easier to show you in a texture,
    00:40:39,333'cause it kinda works the same way.
    00:40:40,992So if I add a noise shader to a texture like this, right?
    00:40:44,550If I bring the scale, let me pick a noise that has
    00:40:47,691a little bit, it's a little bit easier to see.
    00:40:49,586So here's cell noise, if I bring the scale down to 10%,
    00:40:54,075then there's more noise, right?
    00:40:56,691And then the other, the frequency property here,
    00:41:03,948that's basically referring to the details.
    00:41:06,828So these are related but the strength
    00:41:09,148is super important too,
    00:41:10,228so if the strength goes down a little bit,
    00:41:14,010right now there's some turbulence
    00:41:15,242but they're not flying all over the place like they were.
    00:41:18,403And if I turn my trails back on,
    00:41:20,143I should be able to get a pretty good sense
    00:41:22,762of how well this is working, alright?
    00:41:25,183And this is kinda cool.
    00:41:27,423Now what I like about this, and I'm gonna place the camera
    00:41:32,986here and just mimic, there's a shot where we come up
    00:41:36,202the side of the building like this, right?
    00:41:38,326And I wanna see what that looks like.
    00:41:40,058Now I want them to be twisting and turning a little bit more
    00:41:42,863so I'm gonna turn the frequency up to 250 and see
    00:41:46,801if that gets me any more curvature and stuff like that.
    00:41:50,186Or maybe if I turn the strength up a little bit too.
    00:41:55,002Yeah, now they're crisscrossing
    00:41:56,166a little bit more, which I like.
    00:42:00,122Alright it just looks a little bit more like
    00:42:02,383a living thing doing this, right?
    00:42:06,543Cool, and I could even, I could bring the scale down
    00:42:09,641even more and see if that gets even more fine detail.
    00:42:13,402Let me turn that strength way up and see what happens.
    00:42:16,463The problem with too much strength is that you start
    00:42:19,023to get particles that curve and go all the way down.
    00:42:21,220There's also different noise types,
    00:42:22,359I could try a different noise type.
    00:42:23,893Wow, like turbulent, that's a little insane.
    00:42:28,580So let's bring the scale back up
    00:42:30,063and see what that looks like.
    00:42:33,359Alright so, that's actually pretty sweet.
    00:42:35,903Okay, I'm digging that, that's closer to what
    00:42:38,879I was thinking actually, okay, cool.
    00:42:41,540Well there you go.
    00:42:43,140There's also some interesting ones,
    00:42:44,783there's one called Curl which I haven't really figured out
    00:42:47,008yet but it's very strong and it creates these crazy curls.
    00:42:50,020But I like that turbulence.
    00:42:51,855And I'll probably play with this more when I get to me doing
    00:42:57,983voiceover and speeding this up 500% section of the video.
    00:43:01,460Cool, so now we've got this and then the next thing
    00:43:05,060we could do is add geometry too.
    00:43:07,524Okay, and just to show you what this is gonna look like too,
    00:43:09,722let me turn off my LowResMesh
    00:43:11,674and turn my final building back on.
    00:43:13,700And this'll show you how this
    00:43:15,999is gonna look in context, right?
    00:43:18,484So it's building a little bit of a cage around the building
    00:43:23,343and so if I wanted the vines to fit the contours
    00:43:28,401of this building a little bit more,
    00:43:30,486then I would need to a little bit more work
    00:43:33,684on this LowResMesh and push some of
    00:43:35,882these points in and do all that stuff.
    00:43:40,101I'm not too concerned with that because by the time
    00:43:43,455we are seeing the top of the building,
    00:43:46,522I imagine we're gonna have so many vines,
    00:43:49,082it's gonna be completely covered,
    00:43:50,522you won't even be able to see the building anymore.
    00:43:52,223Alright, so it's gonna look like,
    00:43:55,679if any of you guys have seen the '80s movie Troll,
    00:43:57,802it's gonna look like the end of Troll.
    00:44:00,362Gosh, I hope someone gets that reference.
    00:44:02,042Alright so, here we are, we've got all these vines.
    00:44:05,119Now let me go ahead and put some geometry
    00:44:07,359on this for a minute and show you
    00:44:08,879one of the problems we're going to run into.
    00:44:11,621Alright, so here are some vines and what I'm gonna do
    00:44:14,639is grab my trail object, I can just leave it in there
    00:44:18,399actually and I'm gonna add a sweep NURB to it.
    00:44:20,458I'm gonna add an n-sided spline, and I'm gonna say sweep
    00:44:25,679that n-sided spline through the trail
    00:44:27,699and we'll make this really small n-sided spline, okay.
    00:44:33,382So let's say, we'll probably even want thinner than that,
    00:44:35,700and I do want to get rid of the Phong tag, okay, cool.
    00:44:39,242So one problem is there's a lot of intersections going on,
    00:44:44,319alright, so we can help that a little bit.
    00:44:48,978If we go into the Move Over Surface
    00:44:50,538and you've got this offset of zero,
    00:44:53,658we can add some variation to that.
    00:44:55,658Alright, and what that's gonna do is it's gonna let
    00:44:57,999some of those particles, and I just hit play,
    00:45:00,437it's just gonna take a little bit longer because I have
    00:45:04,079the sweep NURB creating geometry at the same time.
    00:45:08,378It's gonna let some of those particles
    00:45:11,679be closer and further away, and I probably have to actually
    00:45:15,258add a little bit of offset to this here.
    00:45:17,300Let me turn off my sweep NURB for a second.
    00:45:20,895Let me turn that guy off so we can just see the splines.
    00:45:24,218And let me crank this variation up too, right?
    00:45:26,975And let's see if we're getting any more variation.
    00:45:30,799So we should, it's doing a little bit.
    00:45:32,959You get a little bit of variation
    00:45:34,775in the distance from the building, right?
    00:45:37,919Not a ton.
    00:45:39,177I can make this even more
    00:45:44,154and see what that gives us.
    00:45:46,356Yeah, so now we're getting a lot more variation, right?
    00:45:48,452So maybe I'll set that offset to like three.
    00:45:52,657And we'll check that out, cool.
    00:45:54,437So now we're getting a lot more different depths
    00:45:57,082of these vines and so now if I turn my sweep back on,
    00:46:00,282you'll see that you're getting some overlap,
    00:46:02,426which is cool, alright, now the detail that
    00:46:05,722we're getting here is a little bit much.
    00:46:08,202So I'm gonna actually go to my trail object
    00:46:10,824and the trail object generates a spline
    00:46:12,922so you can tell it all the options you want for that spline.
    00:46:17,224So I'm gonna do a cubic spline, natural intermediate points,
    00:46:22,984and I'm gonna set that to zero.
    00:46:25,864Right, and so you can play with this
    00:46:29,163and get different amounts of detail.
    00:46:33,503If I set this to one, you get way more detail,
    00:46:36,207set it to zero, you get less detail.
    00:46:38,264And there's a ton of jaggedness to this, right?
    00:46:43,785So another thing I could do is turn the frame sampling up
    00:46:46,703so it's only gonna draw a spline based on
    00:46:49,226the position every second frame, right?
    00:46:52,143So now you're gonna have less points along your spline,
    00:46:54,699which is something that I might actually like better.
    00:46:58,847Okay, now you notice that there's this twisting
    00:47:01,542happening with those sweep NURBS,
    00:47:04,964they're twisting as the spline moves, alright?
    00:47:09,524And that's something I've tried to figure out
    00:47:11,145how to get rid of it and I wasn't able to,
    00:47:13,462but you can minimize it by going in and changing
    00:47:16,823some of the settings on the sweep itself, right?
    00:47:19,224So for example, I know that I'm gonna want the end
    00:47:22,264of the sweep to have a little bit of a smaller cap to it.
    00:47:26,505Here, let me just hit Preview so we can get, right,
    00:47:30,687so now you get these nice little tips growing up like that.
    00:47:34,127I also, I'm gonna want some, sort of like,
    00:47:37,327a little bit random feeling rotation along this thing,
    00:47:41,204right, just so that it feels a little bit more vine like
    00:47:44,422and has a little bit more variation to it.
    00:47:46,804I can also adjust the end rotation to add even more of that.
    00:47:50,644And so now because this thing is gonna be
    00:47:52,964twisting as it grows, you're not gonna notice that twisting
    00:47:57,204as much that's being caused by the splines
    00:47:59,364growing from X-Particles, okay?
    00:48:01,167Cool, so you can already see this is starting
    00:48:03,743to look pretty interesting and if I turn the LowResMesh off,
    00:48:07,740you can see it, this is gonna start looking pretty cool.
    00:48:10,844So, and we're getting less intersections now.
    00:48:14,044But there's no variation in thickness on these vines, okay?
    00:48:19,303So that is gonna be a problem.
    00:48:21,282And I want this to feel a little bit more layered
    00:48:23,762and more interesting so I'm gonna show you
    00:48:26,764a very cool, amazing feature of X-Particles now.
    00:48:30,284So I'm gonna rename this Sweep01 and I'm just gonna hide it
    00:48:35,063and I'm gonna turn off the trail object.
    00:48:38,200And we're just gonna back out for a minute
    00:48:39,817and look at just this emitter here.
    00:48:43,881Alright, so we've got our emitter.
    00:48:46,722Now right now all of the particles are green,
    00:48:50,162which means they're basically all
    00:48:51,324in the same particle group, okay?
    00:48:54,441But what I can do is go to the emitter and I can go over to,
    00:48:59,304let's see here, Emission, and come down here to Groups.
    00:49:05,340And there's a button that says Create and Add Group.
    00:49:08,428So I click that and then up here in our groups,
    00:49:10,444we have Particle Group 1 and they're assigned
    00:49:12,585this green color, so right now every particle that's emitted
    00:49:15,500from that emitter is in Particle Group 1.
    00:49:17,865So if I come to the emitter, I say create another group,
    00:49:22,860and now I've got Particle Group 2,
    00:49:24,220and let's make those bright pink or something.
    00:49:27,783Now, and it's a little bit hard to see,
    00:49:30,721let me try to make those a little bit
    00:49:32,339of an easier color to actually see in Cinema 4D.
    00:49:36,823Yeah, that blue's a a little bit easier.
    00:49:38,023So you can see that now some of those,
    00:49:40,887and let me make it really bright blue,
    00:49:42,658maybe that'll make it easier.
    00:49:43,799Some of the particles are green and some are blue.
    00:49:47,058Alright, and if that's not clear enough,
    00:49:49,479I'm gonna make another group here.
    00:49:52,162Alright, so now I'll make another one,
    00:49:53,479why don't we make this one bright orange or something?
    00:49:55,680Right, so now you've got green, orange, and blue particles.
    00:50:00,300Okay and I hope it's not too hard to see,
    00:50:03,063hopefully you can see those.
    00:50:04,563So it's basically just randomly taking
    00:50:07,143some particles and putting them in group one,
    00:50:09,698some in group two, and some in group three.
    00:50:11,415Now what's cool about that is that then my modifiers
    00:50:15,660can affect different groups, okay,
    00:50:18,236so for example, Move Over Surface,
    00:50:20,818I'm gonna call this Move Over Surface 1,
    00:50:23,257and I only want this to affect group one, okay?
    00:50:27,698So now let me turn off my final building for a minute.
    00:50:31,362Okay so now group one, my green particles,
    00:50:35,479are the only group being affected by this modifier.
    00:50:39,378Okay, the blue and the orange groups are not being affected.
    00:50:42,162So what's cool about that is that I've got
    00:50:46,919some settings here offset of three centimeters,
    00:50:49,359variation 100%, distance, zero centimeters.
    00:50:52,480Well I could copy this modifier and call this MOS.2
    00:50:57,358and this can affect group two and this one can have
    00:51:01,479different settings so the offset on this could maybe be,
    00:51:06,482well I got a better idea, let's make this one
    00:51:08,263the offset of three centimeters.
    00:51:09,943The first one can be an offset of zero,
    00:51:12,802and then we'll do one more, okay.
    00:51:17,602MOS.3, that's gonna affect Particle Group 3
    00:51:21,543and it'll have an offset of five centimeters, okay?
    00:51:23,922Now what's cool about this, alright,
    00:51:28,900and let me actually turn the trails on
    00:51:30,398'cause this might make it easier to see.
    00:51:36,999Alright, this probably isn't gonna be easier
    00:51:38,220to see until I get to the next step
    00:51:39,420but I'm basically taking some of these particles
    00:51:41,920and moving them closer to the building,
    00:51:43,559and some of them farther and farther away.
    00:51:45,319What's great about this is that now this trail object,
    00:51:48,159right, the trail object I can say
    00:51:52,018only make trails on group one, okay?
    00:51:56,839And so then I can duplicate this sweep and call it Sweep02
    00:52:00,481and tell this trail object only make trails on group two.
    00:52:04,819And then I can duplicate this and say Sweep03,
    00:52:08,318and this trail object, only make trails on group three.
    00:52:12,403And now let me fire this up, okay,
    00:52:18,319so now we've got three different sets of splines
    00:52:20,860and three different sets of sweep NURBS
    00:52:23,699and what's great about doing it this way, okay,
    00:52:26,012A, you can see we have a lot more variation in the depth,
    00:52:29,303right, because I tweaked the settings
    00:52:31,119on these Move Over Surface modifiers.
    00:52:32,919What's great though, alright if you remember,
    00:52:35,820Move Over Surface 1, which affects group one,
    00:52:37,863that's the one closest to the building.
    00:52:39,443So what if I made those vines a little bit thicker?
    00:52:43,559Right, and then sweep three, that trail object is working
    00:52:48,080on group three and group three is the furthest
    00:52:50,882from the building so why don't we make
    00:52:52,604those vines a little bit thinner?
    00:52:56,082Now, maybe .3, so now we've got more variation
    00:53:00,482just visually because you've got some thin vines,
    00:53:02,780you've got some thick vines,
    00:53:03,776you got some medium vines, right?
    00:53:06,293Okay, this is also gonna make it a lot easier to deal
    00:53:09,454with textures because for example, if I,
    00:53:13,114let me delete this noise texture here, right,
    00:53:16,533if we had one vine that was green and then another one
    00:53:21,413that was blue and then another one that was
    00:53:24,037a little bit maybe yellowish or something,
    00:53:27,477I'm picking these colors at random,
    00:53:29,292but you can now really easily have different layers of vines
    00:53:34,491and get really interesting layering like that, okay?
    00:53:39,907Cool, so now, and just take a minute and look
    00:53:43,891at how visually complex this is already getting.
    00:53:47,592To do this manually would have been a nightmare and this
    00:53:51,150is why using a particle system is such a smart idea, okay?
    00:53:55,432So let's just take a minute and let this preview.
    00:53:59,470And I'm gonna turn off, just for a minute,
    00:54:02,552I'm gonna turn off the sweeps so that it's not calculating
    00:54:06,990those as it's calculating the trails and everything else.
    00:54:09,928Right, and we can let this just totally
    00:54:12,484wrap the building up for a minute and then we can
    00:54:15,710turn on the sweeps and see what we're getting.
    00:54:17,550Okay, and this is gonna let us know
    00:54:18,872if we're shooting enough particles out.
    00:54:21,492Now we're also going to have some leaves
    00:54:25,950coming out of these things too.
    00:54:27,208So that's gonna cover up some of those holes
    00:54:29,688but I think overall we probably don't
    00:54:31,448have enough particles coming out.
    00:54:33,208The beauty is this is all based off of one emitter,
    00:54:36,590so all I have to do down here is change the birth rate,
    00:54:39,730right, and now we get twice as many particles shooting out.
    00:54:43,528Okay, and I may tweak the turbulence settings too
    00:54:47,249because we're getting a lot of turbulence down here
    00:54:49,646and not as much up here because
    00:54:50,947not as many particles make it to the top, right?
    00:54:54,366But now if I turn those sweep NURBS on,
    00:54:56,825that building is almost completely covered.
    00:54:59,827Okay, and with ambient occlusion turned on,
    00:55:02,366it's gonna look like it's completely enveloped, right?
    00:55:05,827And if we come back, let me go back to an earlier frame,
    00:55:09,267when these things are creeping up
    00:55:11,045the side of the building, right?
    00:55:15,747Yeah, look how organic and creepy and viney that's looking,
    00:55:19,187right, even with these terrible colors.
    00:55:21,208Cool, so I think this is going to start working.
    00:55:25,048Okay so now the next thing we need to talk about
    00:55:28,446is how are we gonna make leaves crawl all over this thing,
    00:55:31,667right, 'cause I want these vines to emit leaves too.
    00:55:34,286Alright, so this is gonna get a little bit trickier.
    00:55:36,968So what we're gonna do,
    00:55:38,446let me turn all of these sweep NURBS off for a minute,
    00:55:41,726let me hide the final building and come back here
    00:55:44,526and actually, I'm gonna just turn off a couple of
    00:55:46,846these particle groups for a minute,
    00:55:48,184so we only have one particle group.
    00:55:49,445Okay, and let me turn the trails off too, here we go.
    00:55:53,204Okay, so we've got these three particle groups
    00:55:57,666and I guess I'm still seeing the ones that I turned off,
    00:55:59,678but that's okay, and what I need to happen
    00:56:03,379is I need these particles, as they are traveling,
    00:56:07,288I need them to occasionally leave behind other particles.
    00:56:10,467Those other particles are going to turn into leaves.
    00:56:12,787So it's gonna be kinda the same technique
    00:56:14,328that we used on the simplified version of this.
    00:56:16,408Alright, so what I'm going to do here,
    00:56:20,945and this is gonna be a little tricky,
    00:56:22,105but what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add a new emitter,
    00:56:24,867alright, so I'm gonna grab a generator object,
    00:56:27,470an emitter, and I'm gonna rename this Emitter.LEAVES.
    00:56:32,086Alright, so on the original emitter,
    00:56:35,806which I'm going to rename Emitter.VINES,
    00:56:38,726I need to add a modifier called spawn.
    00:56:42,126And look, I know this is getting a little crazy,
    00:56:44,095don't worry, you're going to be able to download
    00:56:45,847this project file and pick it apart
    00:56:49,406and watch this video over and over again.
    00:56:51,027But yes, X-Particles, when you just start using it,
    00:56:53,870it can be kind of a rabbit hole.
    00:56:55,150So what I need, as I said, is a spawn modifier.
    00:56:59,789Boom, like that, and what the spawn modifier does
    00:57:03,790is it lets particles emit other particles.
    00:57:07,310So the spawning emitter is the emitter
    00:57:09,667that I want to use to control the particles
    00:57:12,659that are being spawned which will be the leaves,
    00:57:15,127so the leaves emitter is the spawning emitter.
    00:57:17,607Now as soon as I drag spawning emitter, Emitter Leaves,
    00:57:21,646as soon as I drag that there, what happens is the emitter
    00:57:23,926for the leaves has this Spawn Only checkbox
    00:57:28,086automatically checked so now this emitter
    00:57:30,486does not emit unless it, basically some rules are followed,
    00:57:34,686and those rules are dictated by the spawn modifier, okay?
    00:57:38,627Oh boy, I hope you understood that.
    00:57:41,447So basically what happens is, let me just hit play.
    00:57:44,003Whoa, my God, it's insane,
    00:57:46,168so what's happening is as the vine emitter,
    00:57:50,067let me turn off the leaves one for a minute,
    00:57:51,607as these particles fly through the air,
    00:57:53,310they are constantly emitting other particles now,
    00:57:56,008based on the settings of Emitter Leaves.
    00:57:57,987Now let me turn the speed to zero on the leaves emitter,
    00:58:01,566head back here, turn this on, and hit Play.
    00:58:06,030And now you can see this trail of particles
    00:58:07,856being left behind which is kinda neat.
    00:58:09,987But I don't want a constant stream of particles,
    00:58:13,390I want intermittent particles.
    00:58:15,946So if I go to the spawn modifier,
    00:58:18,105I can say the number to spawn, right,
    00:58:21,366each time that particles are spawned,
    00:58:23,619just spawn one particle, and down here,
    00:58:26,905these two settings are very important,
    00:58:28,895the minimum and maximum interval
    00:58:30,613between spawns, and this is in frames.
    00:58:33,550So let's say the maximum interval could be,
    00:58:35,886I dunno, 100 frames, but the minimum interval
    00:58:38,510has to be at least 15 frames.
    00:58:40,985So when I hit Play now, there's an initial burst
    00:58:43,608of spawn particles down here but then you can see
    00:58:47,926as the main particles climb up the building,
    00:58:50,590these other green ones are kinda left behind,
    00:58:54,286and they're not moving, which is great,
    00:58:56,526because the leaves are not supposed to move,
    00:58:58,248they're supposed to stay in place on the vines.
    00:59:00,526Okay, so now we've got this set up.
    00:59:03,747So what I need to happen now is I need
    00:59:06,488the Emitter Leaves particle to basically
    00:59:11,624leave behind those nice animated leaves.
    00:59:14,384Alright, so let's go back and open up our leaves.
    00:59:19,428Alright, so let me grab one of the leaves
    00:59:22,904and paste it into my scene and I'm gonna
    00:59:25,928zero out the position, I'm gonna zero out the rotation,
    00:59:30,286I'm gonna delete this XPresso tag and let me see,
    00:59:34,846the scale of this leaf, it's probably very small right now,
    00:59:37,566maybe too small, so I'm just gonna grab it and scale it up,
    00:59:41,886just so I can see what's going on.
    00:59:45,424And I also, I'm gonna go into Animation Layout
    00:59:47,166because I know my key frames for that leaf are offset,
    00:59:50,308so there we go, okay.
    00:59:52,088So if I want each of these little green spawn particles
    00:59:58,709to become a leaf then what I need to do,
    01:00:02,328let me hide this emitter so we don't see it, there we go,
    01:00:06,706then what I need to do is add another generator object,
    01:00:13,208alright, so basically these particles,
    01:00:16,264if I hit Render, they don't show up as anything by default.
    01:00:18,664What you need to do is go into
    01:00:20,145your system and add a generator,
    01:00:24,371okay, it's just called a generator.
    01:00:25,651And then the emitter that I'm looking at is gonna be
    01:00:28,573the leaves emitter and it's basically
    01:00:32,408going to put whatever geometry I parent
    01:00:36,925underneath this generator, is what's gonna show up,
    01:00:39,363so I'm gonna take this leaf, parent it under there.
    01:00:41,903Now I wanna make sure Animate is turned on
    01:00:44,403and that means that when those particles are born,
    01:00:46,727they will animate, okay, so if I just hit Play,
    01:00:50,525it's going to start to go very slowly now
    01:00:52,685because right as we start off,
    01:00:55,784we've got this burst of particles,
    01:00:57,688this burst of leaves down here, which I don't want.
    01:01:01,208I wish there was a way, and maybe there is,
    01:01:03,752and maybe someone can comment on this and let me know,
    01:01:06,029but what I'd love is to basically just say
    01:01:08,312please don't emit at first, wait a little bit, right?
    01:01:12,429But I couldn't figure out how to do that,
    01:01:15,629so this is my workaround,
    01:01:16,808let me turn off my generator for a second.
    01:01:18,968I basically want to avoid this burst of leaf particles
    01:01:22,248down here so what I'm gonna do is add another modifier,
    01:01:25,032and this modifier is a kill modifier,
    01:01:29,428and this kills particles, it's violent.
    01:01:31,989And so if I look, this kill modifier has a volume to it
    01:01:36,888and if I say kill anything outside the bounds,
    01:01:39,891then any particles that leave the bounds of this
    01:01:42,029will be killed or I could say inside the bounds be killed.
    01:01:46,269And so then what I'm gonna do, let me shrink this
    01:01:49,352and zoom back in, and what I basically wanna do
    01:01:52,712is just make sure that this kill modifier,
    01:01:58,109right, let me, I can't scale it,
    01:02:00,349I'm gonna have to use these controls here.
    01:02:03,549All I want is to make sure that I'm killing the particles
    01:02:07,933at the very bottom down here, okay?
    01:02:10,644And I only want to kill, I don't wanna kill the vine ones,
    01:02:15,533I just wanna kill the leaves which means that what
    01:02:18,813I'm gonna have to do is go into my vines, my vines emitter,
    01:02:21,868go to the Modifiers tab and say exclude the kill modifier.
    01:02:25,613So that that kill modifier doesn't kill the vines,
    01:02:27,949it just kills those leaves down there at the bottom
    01:02:29,930because I have it set to inside bounds.
    01:02:32,333Now in theory, there we go, so now we still get leaves
    01:02:35,933emitted up here but that big bunch of leaves
    01:02:38,973down there gets killed right off the bat.
    01:02:40,573So now if I turn my generator on,
    01:02:45,389we should see leaves starting
    01:02:47,171to sprout all along this thing, right?
    01:02:52,007And because we're also going to have the trail object
    01:02:56,947turned on and the sweep turned on,
    01:02:59,407we're actually going to get vines growing
    01:03:01,608with leaves growing out of the side of them.
    01:03:04,088So now I'm gonna do a quick hardware preview of this.
    01:03:07,331And we are gonna see what this ends up looking like.
    01:03:11,427So I'm gonna do a 960 by 540 hardware render.
    01:03:14,611I'm gonna turn on my anti-aliasing and Enhanced OpenGL.
    01:03:17,965And I wanna do, I'll just tell it to render all frames,
    01:03:22,211and let's just see what that looks like, okay?
    01:03:25,646And this isn't gonna preview as fast as we're used to
    01:03:29,171because it has to simulate so much geometry, alright?
    01:03:32,691So I'm gonna pause and come back when this thing is done.
    01:03:38,307Alright so I rendered a little piece of this,
    01:03:41,005you can see it, and really it's so visually dense
    01:03:44,568it tells you almost nothing, so.
    01:03:46,365But I did realize something looking at this.
    01:03:49,226So first of all, it's going to be very hard to see
    01:03:51,629the leaves right now because they're the same color
    01:03:53,767as the vines so I'm just temporarily,
    01:03:56,105I'm gonna go ahead and just make these
    01:03:57,485a much different color than everything else.
    01:04:01,524Why don't I make them bright pink or something
    01:04:03,667just so they really stand out and it's easy to see them.
    01:04:07,107Alright, there we go, that's gonna make it
    01:04:09,045a little bit easier, okay cool.
    01:04:10,345I also realized I don't think there's enough
    01:04:12,089of them and even more importantly,
    01:04:14,329let me turn these sweeps off for a minute,
    01:04:16,245they're all oriented exactly the same way.
    01:04:19,763The reason that's happening is because,
    01:04:23,049basically they're taking their orientation
    01:04:24,633from the particle orientation, okay?
    01:04:26,788So particles can spin and orient just like objects can,
    01:04:29,609so what I need to go is go into my leaves emitter
    01:04:31,668and go to Emission and there's a particle orientation
    01:04:36,930setting here where I can say Use Orientation, Random.
    01:04:40,073Alright, and that's gonna basically take care of it
    01:04:43,609and then if I go to generator, here we go,
    01:04:47,010and just make sure that the object, let's see here,
    01:04:53,070make sure that there's no settings that I'm missing.
    01:04:54,910Basically this should work now.
    01:04:56,949And I'm just gonna hit Play and see if the leaves
    01:04:59,193now have random rotation, which they do, which is great.
    01:05:02,870Now I feel like they're probably, let's see if the size
    01:05:07,592of these makes sense, let me turn on my sweeps for a minute.
    01:05:12,853Okay cool, so the size of the leaves sort of makes sense.
    01:05:16,431They might be a little big actually.
    01:05:18,064So let me just go in, let me turn off my sweeps.
    01:05:21,889And go ahead and scale down my leaves a little bit,
    01:05:27,829whoa boy, okay, that was not a good idea.
    01:05:31,013Let me go back to frame one and just zoom way in here
    01:05:35,870and just scale down my leaf just a little bit, okay?
    01:05:39,088And then I'll hit play.
    01:05:43,088And get some leaves to pop out and see if those look
    01:05:45,808any better once they animate on.
    01:05:50,351I might have scaled it down too much
    01:05:51,951'cause now I'm not seeing any leaves, so let me hit Undo.
    01:05:54,954You can see the rabbit hole, hopefully you can.
    01:05:58,575But one thing I'm definitely seeing
    01:05:59,951is that there's not enough leaves.
    01:06:01,471They need to be a little bit smaller.
    01:06:04,251I could probably just do it in here too.
    01:06:06,934And there's not enough of them.
    01:06:08,975So I'm gonna go into the Modifiers and grab that
    01:06:13,834Spawn modifier and I'm gonna mess with these two values.
    01:06:17,674So I'm gonna say the minimum interval
    01:06:18,954could actually just be five frames
    01:06:20,369and then the maximum is gonna be more than 30 frames.
    01:06:24,874Alright, and so now we should get
    01:06:26,596a lot more of these leaves spawning.
    01:06:31,274Excellent, there we go.
    01:06:35,759And you can see how long this is gonna take to simulate.
    01:06:39,199By the way, just a quick note which I'll mention again
    01:06:42,314but once I'm happy with where this is going,
    01:06:46,255I'm going to bake the simulation in X-Particles.
    01:06:49,935I'm gonna cache it, right?
    01:06:51,055So I'm basically gonna save the result of all of this
    01:06:53,679because if I don't, A, I'm not gonna be able to use
    01:06:56,879the render farm and B, I'm going to,
    01:06:59,157I'm basically, every time I wanna try and open this project,
    01:07:03,199it's gonna have to resimulate which is not good.
    01:07:05,535So look at the visual density of this, this is insane,
    01:07:08,415but I feel like now I like the amount of leaves,
    01:07:11,359I can see them better, and it's just gonna look
    01:07:14,397a lot nicer and this is with absolutely no lights,
    01:07:17,577no ambient occlusion, no global illumination,
    01:07:21,055none of that stuff, these are gonna be long renders,
    01:07:23,519this is gonna be a long simulation.
    01:07:25,119But now this system at least, this is set up in a way
    01:07:30,517where I'm pretty confident that with just enough tweaking,
    01:07:33,855enough messing with the settings,
    01:07:36,495I'm going to be able to get this to work the way I want.
    01:07:38,655And so now what I'm gonna do is
    01:07:40,719I'm gonna play around with the settings,
    01:07:42,775I'm gonna tweak and tweak and tweak
    01:07:44,276and tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak.
    01:07:46,126I'm gonna turn the vine emitter,
    01:07:49,330the birth rate down to like 25,
    01:07:53,527just so that I can very quickly get a sense
    01:07:57,486of what these individual vines are looking like,
    01:08:00,247you can see there's gonna be a lot
    01:08:01,706of going back and forth with different settings
    01:08:08,407and then switching back to more particles.
    01:08:11,687But even this looks kinda neat,
    01:08:13,447and then I can turn my final building on
    01:08:15,165every once in awhile and see how it looks in context.
    01:08:17,906But I think that when this is all said and done,
    01:08:20,946this is going to work, so next step.
    01:08:23,165And you should be familiar with this by now
    01:08:25,226if you've watched the rest of the series.
    01:08:26,666Tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, and more tweak.
    01:08:32,530And now it's tweaking time.
    01:08:34,770I'm telling you, X-Particles was beating the crap
    01:08:37,490out of my poor iMac and I did a million test renders
    01:08:40,407to figure out what the right settings were,
    01:08:42,045how many particles I needed, how many leaves, et cetera.
    01:08:45,746And after a bunch of false starts,
    01:08:47,666I figured out what I needed to, and here's what I learned.
    01:08:54,348Well it took some doing to get to this point,
    01:08:56,844so I just wanted to quickly walk you through
    01:08:59,288some of the tweaks that have been made with this setup.
    01:09:02,904So one of the things I did was I went ahead,
    01:09:09,686and let me turn off this building for a minute.
    01:09:11,524I messed with this LowResMesh, let me do this for a minute,
    01:09:16,226let me turn off my vines and everything.
    01:09:18,244Let me turn on my lines, so what I did was I just took
    01:09:22,684this LowResMesh and I used the brush tool
    01:09:25,527to mush it and make it a little more random feeling.
    01:09:30,246And I put these little dimples in and the goal with that
    01:09:34,178was to make it conform more closely
    01:09:36,466to the actual shape of the building.
    01:09:38,565As you could probably see from some of the test renders,
    01:09:41,468it was starting to feel very, very, I dunno,
    01:09:44,786it was just too regular, the vines almost looked
    01:09:47,447like gift wrapping or something, so I beat up the LowResMesh
    01:09:52,684a little bit and that helped a lot.
    01:09:54,588Another thing I did was, if I turn this back on,
    01:09:58,265I took down the number of particles a little bit
    01:10:02,466so the birth rate is actually 500.
    01:10:04,803And then another thing I did was I added another modifier
    01:10:10,967called the Freeze Modifier which basically just keeps
    01:10:14,106particles frozen in place and I used that,
    01:10:19,512let me move the camera down here,
    01:10:21,794there's a lot of geometry in this scene
    01:10:23,735so it's starting to bog down my system
    01:10:26,818and plus I'm recording my screen at the same time,
    01:10:29,575which never helps, but basically,
    01:10:31,714if I zoom out a little bit here,
    01:10:34,578boy, this is gonna be the most boring making of ever,
    01:10:37,378just lots of beach balls.
    01:10:39,394So basically what happens is some of the particles ended up,
    01:10:44,578because of the turbulence, they were curving around
    01:10:47,874and going underneath the building and it was looking
    01:10:49,815really weird and I tried using a kill modifier on those
    01:10:53,693and that didn't really work very well
    01:10:55,938because when you kill a particle
    01:10:58,338that has a trail attached to it, it kills the trail too,
    01:11:00,876so you'd get these vines instantly turning off.
    01:11:04,114Alright, another thing I did too,
    01:11:06,354now I think one of the main reasons, let me turn off sprites
    01:11:08,935for a minute 'cause sprites are something else I added.
    01:11:11,895One of the reasons that I think the computer
    01:11:17,534was getting bogged down and these renderings
    01:11:19,194were taking so long was because each of my leaves
    01:11:22,498and there are hundreds of them, each of those leaves were
    01:11:26,014basically a full 3D mesh with a bend deformer on it bending.
    01:11:32,258And that was just taking so long to calculate.
    01:11:35,353So what I did was I made a decision that for the wide shots,
    01:11:38,955right, there's basically two ways that we see these vines,
    01:11:42,775we see them in a wide shot, like this,
    01:11:45,755and probably about this far away from the camera.
    01:11:47,853And we also see these vines up really close, right,
    01:11:53,234like kind of looking up the side of the building
    01:11:56,018as they're growing up the side of it,
    01:11:57,735and for this shot where we're close to some of these vines,
    01:12:01,533I do want those leaves to be 3D, alright?
    01:12:04,315So that shot, I'm gonna use the generator that I have
    01:12:07,794set up with the actual leaf in there.
    01:12:10,055Now for these faraway shots though,
    01:12:12,556I don't need that because it's just
    01:12:14,796adding tons and tons of render time,
    01:12:17,575tons and tons of simulation time,
    01:12:19,378and it's not really gaining me that much.
    01:12:22,109So instead of using a generator, I used sprites.
    01:12:24,962And the sprite basically lets you map
    01:12:27,293just individual polygons onto a particle, right?
    01:12:32,014And I have it set to a placard, right,
    01:12:34,154basically just a one polygon little plane.
    01:12:37,698And if I zoom in here, you should be able to see,
    01:12:40,935each of these planes has my leaf texture on it, okay?
    01:12:45,378I basically made a copy of my leaf material here
    01:12:49,895and I added an alpha channel to it that I just quickly made
    01:12:52,814in Photoshop and what I did was I first put one material
    01:12:57,218that has nothing in it but transparency
    01:12:59,298to clear out and make this placard invisible.
    01:13:03,614And then I put my leaf texture on it
    01:13:05,458and I set it to tile twice and I actually probably need
    01:13:10,567to play with the offset a little bit here
    01:13:13,954so that we can actually get the leaf right in the middle.
    01:13:18,055So I may need to offset this by like 25%.
    01:13:21,474And I could probably offset it on V a little bit too,
    01:13:25,874maybe negative 10, so that the stem is coming out
    01:13:30,055of the center of the vines, okay?
    01:13:32,156And basically all I'm doing here is just,
    01:13:34,898I'm cheating and using one texture on a plane, like this.
    01:13:40,738Now I am, when I do that, I'm actually cutting off
    01:13:42,914the top of the leaf so I can't do that.
    01:13:45,215But we're gonna be so far away from this
    01:13:49,458that we're not actually gonna really care
    01:13:51,554that these aren't full 3D leaves and that they're just
    01:13:54,498sort of 2D sprites, essentially, right?
    01:13:59,309So in order to have them animate on,
    01:14:02,594'cause I did want them to animate on,
    01:14:04,076what I did was I told the sprite to take the scale
    01:14:07,938from the particle radius and I added one more modifier,
    01:14:11,714which is a scale modifier, and I drew this little spline
    01:14:15,694to dictate how the scale of each particle
    01:14:19,298is affected over time and it basically grows from zero
    01:14:22,733up to two, which is how big these sprites are,
    01:14:26,055and that happens really quickly.
    01:14:27,774And if I turn off my sweeps for a minute
    01:14:31,655and I go back to frame one here,
    01:14:33,995you can see sort of, and actually let me turn off
    01:14:37,676my trails here too, make it a little easier for you to see,
    01:14:41,314you can see these particles actually growing on, right?
    01:14:46,415And they grow on pretty quickly, there you go.
    01:14:48,946And they each have that little leaf texture on there.
    01:14:52,494And because there's so much less geometry,
    01:14:55,373the renders are faster, the simulations are faster,
    01:14:59,595and it's gonna make life a whole lot easier
    01:15:02,258on these wide shots where we're gonna need really
    01:15:05,255just a crazy amount of detail by the end of this shot.
    01:15:11,356Now I've already cached this particle solution,
    01:15:14,775so if I go to frame 300 and I wait a few seconds,
    01:15:17,858you can see all of those leaves and all of those vines
    01:15:21,618pop up in place and so this is gonna allow me also
    01:15:26,018to send this to a render farm where each computer's
    01:15:29,595basically gonna render a separate frame.
    01:15:32,375So it's very important that I use that
    01:15:34,510X-Particles cache object and cache everything.
    01:15:37,858And the way you do that's really easy,
    01:15:39,596you basically just go up to X-Particles,
    01:15:41,074go to Other Objects, Cache, right,
    01:15:44,375and here's the cache that I added,
    01:15:46,334and then you just save the old cache.
    01:15:48,274And it's already built, Use Cache is checked on,
    01:15:51,053and you're good to go and in the end,
    01:15:53,396we now have after tweaking and tweaking and tweaking,
    01:15:56,493we have this really nice, viney particle setup
    01:16:00,253that grows up the side of the building,
    01:16:02,114it conforms to it fairly accurately.
    01:16:04,044I like how there's more vines
    01:16:06,974at the bottom than at the top,
    01:16:08,414it lets you see through to the real building
    01:16:10,919and I think we're in pretty good shape now.
    01:16:14,299I know I'm still probably going to have to
    01:16:17,122play with settings on a per shot basis,
    01:16:21,922which is just par for the course.
    01:16:23,980But I basically set up a leaf system based on splines
    01:16:28,999and a leaf system based on generators,
    01:16:30,738and I can pick which one I'm using.
    01:16:32,279And I think we're good to go.
    01:16:36,371So hopefully you see the value of doing some R and D,
    01:16:40,681which is research and development,
    01:16:42,615by the way, and doing some experimenting
    01:16:44,202when you're approaching something like this.
    01:16:49,367And now after all of that,
    01:16:51,682check out where we stand with Giants.
    01:16:56,233(dramatic piano music)
    01:17:01,287Giants are not what we think they are.
    01:17:07,004The same qualities that appear to give them strength
    01:17:13,623are often the sources of great weakness.
    01:17:23,004The powerful are not as powerful as they seem.
    01:17:29,185Nor the weak as weak.
    01:17:43,847Next up, we need to tweak our shots,
    01:17:45,826make sure everything is just the way we want,
    01:17:47,964and then we'll send this thing out to render, piece of cake.
    01:18:00,659(bright synthesized music)