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jericsynrgy

Whirling Leaves

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(R17)  Looking for some guidance, maybe a list of search terms and pointers to tutorials for:

 

I'm working on a personal project, mostly to exercise my c4d chops.  What I'm trying to accomplish is some whirling, scattering autumn leaves.  They should collide with a pumpkin object, and some other props as the project develops.  Maybe a hay bale or a broom.

Now, I imagine that "particle systems" might be a fruitful area to search, but w/C4D (R17) it seems that MoGraph might also be useful, and I can see where Simulation might also be good.  The main problem here is there are TOO MANY options to look at in a reasonable time, so I'm asking for some veteran guidance as to where to spend the next couple days of learning.  (And, of course, there's probably a dozen approache that would give something acceptable.)

And purchasing anything is out of the question. Thanks for any guidance. 

Edited by Cerbera
Removed unnecessary title information

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I've just made a whole load of these for my own personal project !

I did it with simple planes, bend deformers, mographaerodynamics, and wind forces.

 

The stages involved are fairly simple, being something similar to the following:

 

1. Get leaf photos - I literally went outside with a camera and collected 8 'reference' Autumn leaves in various colours and shapes of the season. Maples look most attractive on the whole. Or if you can't be bothered to do that you can find some online.

2. Scan or photo the leaves (on a white background), separate into individual images, then remove the white BG in Photoshop etc and save out as png or any format that supports Alpha.

3. Create a plane for each leaf type in Cinema, and give it 1 segment down the spine, and perhaps 4 or 5 down its length. You don't need any thickness. Then each one of those gets a bend deformer (fix Y length) which allows you quickly set the degree of leaf curl per model.

4. You can load your image into the colour and Alpha channels of the material to get very low poly yet realistic leaves.

 

image.thumb.png.79ec6bfd8b399232f33e08220b9770ff.png

 

5. Next stage is to place those leaves under a cloner, but the mode you choose there will be defined by the initial arrangement of leaves you want in your scene. I started with a Grid Array of them off-camera, and used dynamics, gravity and wind to make them fall and flutter down past the camera. Doesn't have to be a cloner though. An emitter might work better for you if you need to generate a constant stream of them for example...

 

6. My Rigid Body (leaves pretty much ARE rigid bodies in this context) tag went on the Parent Cloner, but was set to apply to children / Top Level etc so it affects the leaves individually. Then it's just a question of making sure Aerodynamics and 2 Sided are turned on in the Forces section of that tag, and giving it some suitable Lift and Drag (I found you want roughly half as much drag as the Lift value). I then Added a Particle Wind Force, and added it to the list in the Rigid Body tag's Forces Tab, making sure that is set to Include and that the force type is Aerodynamic Wind.

 

7. Then you just need to experiment with different wind / turbulence parameters to get the type of movement you want. Everything else in your scene  that the leaves might have to interact with will need a Collider Tag. I suggest you set friction very high, and bounce very low both on the leaves and the colliders. Also make sure your Dynamic Scale is set to something appropriate relating to the LEAF SIZE in Project settings / Dynamics / Advanced. No good will come of having leaves that are 3 cm long, and then having the default of 100 cm there. I set mine to 10 cm (average length of my leaf objects), which gave much better results.

 

If you want consistently whirling leaves that don't settle much, then I'd also make a large 'container cube' with a collider tag on it so none of the leaves escape the scene area and continue to get blown about without getting blown away ! Put a display tag on that in Lines Mode so you can see what's going on inside it...

 

CBR

 

 

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If you wanted to make a massive pile of leaves to cover something up, and then blow them away, like a logo reveal, how would you do that?

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1 hour ago, Freemorpheme said:

If you wanted to make a massive pile of leaves to cover something up, and then blow them away, like a logo reveal, how would you do that?

 

I'd lay the logo flat on the 'ground', start with a grid array of leaves just above that, and use dynamics to just drop them all on the logo. Once I was happy with the way that was happening I would set the pile as the initial state in the dynamics tag, and then it would just be a question of adding Wind to blow them in the right direction, and animating it on and off as you need.

 

CBR

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