Post Production

XParticles Custom Branch Generator

Build an organic looking custom branching system

XParticles Custom Branch Generator

XParticles Custom Branch Generator

XParticles is a very powerful particle system for Cinema4D. You can create a variety of things with this tool. I have a tendency to tinker with XParticles quite often and take some different approaches to building things sometimes. As my Vimeo experimental posts can show. Taking time to play in this sandbox can be quite fun.

Today, I will show you how to make a custom branching system. I know, I know… XParticles already has a branching object built in. I’ve tried it and was not liking it personally. I’m sure it is quite powerful, but I like to create my own custom systems that I can control and assemble in a way I like for my workflows.

xparticles custom branch generator  

Building something from the ground up, can really teach you a lot about the fine details of a process. Once you know the base “ingredients” as it were, you can rebuild it in other places. If you don’t have access to the exact same tools while working somewhere that knowledge can allow for faster troubleshooting to find alternative methods. I am constantly translating Houdini, Cinema4D, X-Particles, and Python concepts between each other just for my own personal knowledge gain. Being diverse helps a lot in the visual effects industry.

In the following video tutorial I am using X-Particles 4, and Cinema4D R19. The concepts shown here however should still be reproducible in earlier versions of XParticles as well. I’ve tried my best to make sure I was not using anything specific to one version.

For those who really just want to bypass the video and dive right into a project file already built. I am making it available for a small donation at GUMROAD. As a bonus I have made a custom interface to control the top parameters of the build. Also included is a button to easily bake your resulting geometry as you build variations. I do recommend watching the video however, as it does serve as a user manual of sorts too.

The texture I used in the image graphic above is available for free from this tree model asset on TurboSquid. XfrogPlants Blue-GUm Eucalyptus I had used the bump and diffuse for OCT12brk1.


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David Torno is a Visual Effects professional based in Los Angeles, California. His work over the years has included commercials, feature films, music videos, and multimedia projects. During his free time, David enjoys expanding his…

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