Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Insydium releases X-Particles 4 for Cinema 4D

Originally posted on 14 September 2017. Scroll down for news of the commercial release.

Insydium has unveiled X-Particles 4, the next update to its popular Cinema 4D particle simulation tool.

The release, which is due to ship in December, adds a new liquid and granular fluid solver, a new cloth dynamics system, and integrates Blackcore’s ExplosiaFX technology for smoke and fire simulation.

A genuine VFX-capable multiphysics system for Cinema 4D?
In its newsletter, Insydium describes the release as “the next chapter in our ongoing journey to bring our users a full unified dynamics system right inside Cinema 4D”.

Although X-Particles has had the capacity to simulate liquids, smoke and fire, and granular materials like sand since version 3, the old toolsets were geared to more stylised motion-graphics-type effects.

The new toolsets in version 4 look to scale to VFX as well, with suggested use cases for the new liquid and grain solver ranging from “ocean beaches made with 50 million particles to beautiful milk pouring shots”.

The update will also introduce a proper system for meshing particle simulations into liquid surfaces, in the shape of support for the industry-standard OpenVDB framework.

(According to Insydium, it isn’t just for particles: it can also be used as a remesher for polygon objects.)

The release also integrates a technology specifically designed for VFX work: Blackcore’s gaseous fluid simulation system ExplosiaFX (above), originally a Softimage add-on before Insydium bought it last year.

Finally, there is a new cloth dynamics system, xpCloth, which enables cloth simulations to be driven by any X-Particles modifier, for both motion graphics work and “destruction VFX shots”.

Assuming that the new toolsets hold up in production, X-Particles looks set to evolve from a particle tool with extras to a genuine Cinema 4D multiphysics system.

Insydium says that it will provide more detailed sneak peeks at the tools over the next few months, so we’ll update if demo videos become available.

Updated 11 October 2017: Insydium has begun posting videos of the individual features in X-Particles 4.

The latest shows a feature not included in the original product announcement: xpFlowField (shown above), a new velocity field generator for driving particles with splines, object tangents or normals.

The resulting effects can be further directed with Cinema 4D’s native noise functionality.

Updated 31 October 2017: Insydium has released two new feature videos.

The first covers xpCirclePacker, which emits particles from a given region, automatically positioning and scaling them to avoid overlap; and xpCellAuto, which generates cellular automata patterns.

The video above shows the xpStrangeAttractors, which generates complex – and surfaceable – 3D fractal forms; and xpNewtonGravity, which enables any object in a scene to exert its own gravitational pull.

Updated 5 December 2017: X-Particles 4 is now shipping. You can find a full list of features here.

As well as those listed above, the update adds xpVertexMap Maker: a new tool for creating procedural vertex maps, including the option to generate them from ExplosiaFX fire and smoke simulations.

Pricing and availability
X-Particles 4 is available for any 64-bit edition of Cinema 4D R13 R14 and above, on Windows and OS X. A floating licence now costs £540 (around $730), up £140 from the previous release.

Read a full list of new features in X-Particles 4 on Insydium’s website

Read Insydium’s FAQs document on the new features in X-Particles 4