Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Get XParticles: XPresso-free particle sims for Cinema 4D

X-Particles in action, simulating everything from growing plants to fluids.

Developers Steve Pedler and Mike Batchelor have released X-Particles, a new particles add-on for Cinema 4D.

The plug-in, which is intended as an alternative to either Cinema’s vanilla particles system or Thinking Particles, uses a ‘Question and Action’ system to achieve fine control of a simulation without XPresso scripting.

X-Particles is currently available for Cinema 4D 11.5 and above, price €99 (around $130). Full details below.

X-Particles is a plugin for Cinema 4D, designed as a replacement for Cinema’s inbuilt basic particle system. It is a completely new particle system which does not need the standard Cinema 4D emitter or Thinking Particles. It has a number of components:

  • Four generator objects – Emitter, Object Generator, Sprite Generator, and Trail Generator
  • Three control objects – System, Question, and Action
  • Two new primitive objects (Cross and 3-Plane) which can be used independently of other X-Particles objects
  • Seventeen particle modifiers, including some new modifiers not provided with C4D as standard
  • Two tags
  • A volume shader
  • A sprite channel shader

Control system
X-Particles contains a system of close control over almost all parameters using Questions and Actions. No Xpresso is required and everything is done through Cinema’s Object and Attribute Managers in the same way as for other objects. The system works by asking a ’Question’ of each particle – for example, does the particle age exceed a specified value? If the particle ‘passes’ the Question, an Action is called which has an effect on the particle. Most Actions work through the particle modifiers but others are independent of them.

Questions and Actions are not dependent on keyframes, so although most aspects of the X-Particles system can be keyframed, this is not essential to its operation.

Compatibility with other Cinema 4D components
X-Particles is compatible with the existing particle modifiers in Cinema 4D. It can be used with object deformers and MoGraph effectors, and works with the new dynamics system in R12 or later. For users of R11.5, it contains its own basic collision system for handling collisions with scene objects. Splines generated by the Trail object can be rendered with the Hair renderer. X-Particles can also emit Thinking Particles and particles can then be rendered with Pyrocluster or with the C4D Hair renderer.

X-Particles will be on sale via the dedicated web site from Tuesday, February 21st. It is available for Cinema 4D versions R11.5, R12, and R13.

Demo version
A 14-day unrestricted demo can be downloaded from the X-Particles web site.

The plugin will be available at the introductory price of €99 until the end of March 2012, when it will revert to the standard price of €149.

About the creators
X-Particles is produced by Steve Pedler and Mike Batchelor.

Steve is a freelance software developer specialising in plugin development for Cinema 4D. Since 2008, he has written eight plugins for Cinema 4D, both commercial and freeware. His personal web site is at

Mike is a MoGraph artist with 13 years’ experience, working from Shepperton Studios in the UK. His personal web site is

Steve and Mike can be contacted via the dedicated web site or by email to

Visit the X-Particles website

Download a 14-day trial version of X-Particles