Windwalker | X-Particles Animation
You will find around 8 million particles in this X-Particles animation created in C4D.
I was asked to create cut scenes for a game concept called Windwalker. The game is based on lead character; Seren, who floats endlessly down the screen using his trusty umbrella. The user directs Seren away from danger by tilting their phone side to side. Real life wind data, geo tagged from the user’s location, plugs into the game engine to affect Seren’s movement. Sadly, the game did not get built.
I used X-Particles for the particle simulation because of its sheer versatility. Whilst I do like a technical challenge I also shudder at the thought of trying to create this using C4D’s in built particle system. With X-Particles it’s so much easier to plug simulations together. Turbulence FD is driving the movement of the particles that fly up around the moon. This was the initial reason I decided to use XP. Here’s a great tutorial on that workflow. Without the turbulence FD effect the movement of the particles does not look half as good.
The final simulation has two main systems. The particles around the moon is around 5 or 6 million particles. I needed slightly less for the system that forms into the character’s body, above the moon – around 2 or 3 million.
3D Character Animation
I’m not a great character modeller so I was not looking forward to this part. Luckily myself and game designer Harvey Dormer came up with a novel plan.
Harvey came into the studio and we asked him to make the character out of white-tac. We took photos of the little guy (not harvey – the character), using a regular DSLR covering as many angles as we could – like this:
We uploaded the images into AutoDesk’s amazing free software; 123-D Catch which creates a 3D mesh. The black dots over the white-tac character to help the software interpolate between the images to create the mesh.
The mesh that 123-D Catch generates needed a lot of work & inside of Cinema4D. I ended up completely re-modelling Seren’s mesh . Whilst creating a mesh that needs immediate remodelling seems counter intuitive, we have found the workflow to be superior. Harvey, the illustrator was able to mould the finer details of the character himself before we had to try and interpret his musings. It all but eliminates any of the usual painful rounds of feedback. We gained instant approval from the first round of images we sent to Harvey and client.