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  • Writer's pictureToby Petyt

Caustic Topologies (C4D + XP)

Inspired by light caustics in the sea and undulating sand dunes, for my first Generative Hut tutorial is a relatively simple rig in C4D using in conjunction the layered Noise in the Displacer Deformer and X Particles, rendered with Sketch and Toon, to create what I have called "Caustic Topologies" (I will also include a way to create a similar rig that doesn't use XP).

(here I have collaged the image of a photo a friend took at the beach as a reference with the artwork)

I will assume that you have C4D installed as well as X Particles. If you don't already have X Particles, you can buy from the website on this link, and the install is very easy, just follow the steps provided (the most important part is the paste the xparticles folder into your cinema plugins folder).

Building the X Particles System

Open X Particles from the drop down menu and click on "XP System" and an organised X Particles work tree should appear.

1. Setting Up X Particle system part 1 (Emission)

2. Setting Up X Particle system part 2 (Displacing trails)

3. Caching, Sketch and Toon, Post-Production and Export

As easy as that! And to wrap it up and conclude with the major parts of the C4D rig we learnt today

  1. Setting up X Particles and Initial X Particles Rig, particularly editing the emitter

  2. Understanding groups in XP and creating trails/splines

  3. Using the C4D deformer "displacer" with XP

  4. Using and layering noise patterns within the displacer

  5. Caching (why and how)

  6. Rendering (quick octane render but primarily sketch and toon)

  7. Export and Post in After Effects to achieve signature Generative Hut aesthetic.

I hope you enjoyed the video and get to make some funky distorted x particle spline artworks and animations using this very simple rig. I've used it to create this undulating landscape but as you saw you can start creating sound wave animations, maybe bring in other XP Modifiers to create some that works in different dimensions, bring in some dynamics like FluidFlip to increase the sense of water etc etc etc. There are plenty of great tutorials online you can disappear into to start making your own pieces.

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