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Glass animation problem

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Max AmannGlass animation problem
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 1:46:19 pm

Dear Creative Cow Team!

I need help regarding a glass animation in Cinema 4D. Any support would be greatly appreciated
It's an animation for a customer who produces a special kind of glass or rather tile.
I had no problems modeling the tile, and so far it looks great but there's one problem:

I can't get the light to move "within" the glass as it would do in real life if the tile is illuminated by a light source.
I tried editing refraction settings within the glass shader and what not but nothing seemed to work.
If I move a spotlight across the glass-tile it just illuminates the surface of the upper glass but not the "inner life".

Here's a picture of the original tile. The "light bar" moves within the tile if I rotate the cube
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4810603/IMG_1062.jpg

and here's the cgi counterpart, which is just "dead inside"

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4810603/Screen%20shot%202011-07-11%20at%2015.18.56....

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Best regards


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:17:15 pm

It looks like you may have transparency turned to 100%. If so, try setting it at something lower, like 95%. That's not technically going to light up the inside, but should help. Also, if you haven't already, set the IOR to around 1.5, and assign a noise as a bump map. That will all help create the illusion.

To get a physical representation of the light inside you would have to use subsurface scattering (tricky) fill the volume with a volumetric effect, light pyrocluster (also tricky).


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Max AmannRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:29:54 pm

Dear Adam!

First off thank you very much for your support and quick reply.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
I lowered transparency to 95% and the refraction (is that what you mean by IOR? Please forgive me ignorance) and assigned a bump map.

I'm an advanced user but not a pro at all so could you please tell me how to use subsurface scattering and light pyrocluster? I can't find it anywhere within the program. Is there a good tutorial around?

Also would I need to toggle the "Caustics" checkbox in the light source preferences on?

Thank you for your help and support!

Best regards


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 4:01:46 pm

[Max Amann] "I lowered transparency to 95% and the refraction (is that what you mean by IOR? Please forgive me ignorance) and assigned a bump map.

I'm an advanced user but not a pro at all so could you please tell me how to use subsurface scattering and light pyrocluster? I can't find it anywhere within the program. Is there a good tutorial around?

Also would I need to toggle the "Caustics" checkbox in the light source preferences on?"


Yes, refraction is IOR (stands for index of refraction).

It's possible that you don't have subsurface scattering (SSS) or pyrocluster, depending on which version of the program you have. SSS is found in the effects shaders and it's generally loaded in the luminance channel of a material. If you have it I suggest you check the included help documentation as it's a bit too involved for a forum post.

Pyrocluster can be found in Material Manager>File>Shader.

That's another one that you'd really need to read up on. It's fairly complex and it also needs to be applied to particles, which is a whole 'nother subject.


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Max AmannRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:30:14 am

Dear Adam!

I'll have a look at them! Thank you for your support!

Best regards


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Max AmannRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 10:25:28 am

Dear Adam!

I have SSS and it works like a charm!
Here's what I have been able to achieve so far:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4810603/Screen%20shot%202011-07-12%20at%2012.13.30....

I really like the realistic look. But struggle to get the "Light bar" or "Light cube" that the original glass object creates if illuminated by a light source.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4810603/Screen%20shot%202011-07-12%20at%2012.23.39....

Is there a simple way to achieve a similar result?

I can not get my head around Pyrocluster though. I read the documentation but it is immensely complex.
Could you tell me what it exactly does?

Many thanks for your support and please forgive my ignorance.

Best regards


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 2:58:37 pm

Aha, that last pic you posted turned the light on for me, so to speak. I wasn't sure what you were trying to achieve from the previous pic.

So it looks like what you need is actually surface caustics. Caustics are a rendering effect that simulate the reflection of light and concentration of light through refractive objects. In order to use them you have to have do three things:

1. Enable the caustics effect in render settings;
2. Enable caustics in your material's Illumination tab; and
3. Enable caustics in at least on light's Caustics tab.

As a general rule it's best to use them with a spot light that's tightly focused on the caustics generating object. That concentrates the samples where they're needed. You can check the documentation regarding all the other settings and their effects.

Here's a sample render: 2570_tilecaustics.mp4.zip

And the scene file: 2571_tilecaustics.c4d.zip


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Max AmannRe: Glass animation problem
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 3:22:25 pm

Dear Adam!

That's it! Thank you so much that's the effect I wanted to achieve!

Thank you so much for your help and support!
You are the best!

Best regards


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