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Smoke Projection mapping within Cinema 4D

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Jordy Veenstra
Smoke Projection mapping within Cinema 4D
on Apr 9, 2018 at 12:05:09 pm

Hi friends!

Thanks a lot for your help in the previous thread. I would really appreciate it if you can help me out one more time. For my graduation film a large part of the movie is based on projection mapping and I wanted to combine real life projection mapping with mapping within Cinema 4D. I found a way to project my visuals through transparant planes containing the videofile and a spotlight behind it within Cinema. Through the compositing settings I made the plane invisible for the camera to pick up, resulting into a idea of projection:

An example I made can be found here: https://static.wixstatic.com/media/8818b6_bad9decdeaf040a788f405d431f98230~...

Now I want to create a set in Cinema 4D where I am "projecting" the end credits onto thick smoke.

Think of it as a wink towards the influence machine video installation from tony oursler: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/oursler-the-influence-machine-t13860. I want to project a white photoshop title onto the smoke, and place a different camera angle for every different title. I am currently embracing this way of making the final credits as I barely have any budget to realise my film. If the job will turn out to become too intensive, costly for render farming or unrealistic then I will still try to film it using real smoke, projectors and camera's.

My questions are:

1. What is the easiest and CPU/GPU friendly way to create a lot of thick, slow moving smoke throughout a small set in Cinema 4D. I am not planning to use GI within the set, as most of my lighting im planning to use won't need it to look good. Can it be made without plugins or is turbulence FD still the best way to do this job?

2. Can the projection be influenced by the smoke? Normally when you project onto smoke with a projector in real life you see some refraction from the projection in the process. I really would like to recreate this kind of effect.


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Brian Jones
Re: Smoke Projection mapping within Cinema 4D
on Apr 10, 2018 at 1:09:28 am

you can use a gobo ( a spot light with an image in the Transparency channel in a material added to the light - well any light really but it makes the most sense on a spot light) on Pyrocluster 'puffs' or on xparticles (at least with a standard xparticles gaseous material. What sort of look are you looking for for your smoke?


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Steve Bentley
Re: Smoke Projection mapping within Cinema 4D
on Apr 10, 2018 at 2:26:36 am

While TurbFD will be the best (or even Blender if you want to wrap your head around that - but it fits your budget) you could also do this in AE with particular and use a displacement to give you that "refractive" effect. Its not actually refraction in the real world, its that the text is constantly changing depth as it rides over the changing geometry of the smoke. Add to that the depth that it penetrates: you can achieve this with multiple versions of your text element set back slightly and with different displaces.

Brian is bang on with the advice for lights and smoke in C4D but I worry that C4Ds volumetrics will be too large scale and fluffy for the kind of smoke "screen" you want. Pyrocluster tends to be best for volcano type eruptions (hence the name) but doesn't do gauzy smoky stuff so well (as any volumetric puff will have trouble with).

Even with Turb FD for this kind of thing we usually have to add in Krakatoa to get the number of particle instances up into the billions to smooth out the smoke. But that would really kill your budget.

What about filming it? Dry ice in a trough of water works great!



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Jordy Veenstra
Re: Smoke Projection mapping within Cinema 4D
on Apr 18, 2018 at 12:12:39 am

Hey Brian

Thank you for the advice on the gobo, i managed to get it to work! I bought Turbulence FD but I am afraid I have too less time to learn all the features before my deadline as i seem to have a lot of trouble to get all the different emitter features working the way I want them to. I am looking for a semi-thick (almost some sort of a fog, but you can see still a bit through it) layer of smoke that moves very slowly but fills up a small container. Current container I am using in TBFD is 400x400x400. On the smoke I will be placing a spotlight with the gobo with the end credit title.

Do you have experience with TFD? Do you maybe have some proper settings I can try to put into the plugin to help me started?


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Steve Bentley
Re: Smoke Projection mapping within Cinema 4D
on Apr 18, 2018 at 12:18:10 am

For slow moving particles often its tough to keep them from building up, so if you have a look you like that moves quicker but you want it slower, just set the frames per second in the render dialogue higher and then interpret the footage back to your standard frame rate in AE. So if you set it to 60fps you will get twice as many frames when interpreted to 30fps and at half the moving speed.
This also lets you turn up the particle count because they are on screen for half the time (or less, and that means you can max out that much sooner) and that usually helps with the smoothness too.



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