Cinema 4D Tutorial – Thinking Particles from Dynamic Collisions

This tutorial from demonstrates a method to create Thinking Particles from Dynamic Collisions using Cinema4D and some simple Xpresso.

Although the technique described is fairly basic, this will lay the foundation for much more complex effects that are possible by developing the principle further.

Download the scene file for this project here.

Cinema 4D Tutorial – Thinking Particles from Dynamic Collisions

Author: Tim


  1. Regis
    Regis On November 27, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Easy and clear as usual.
    However, I found out (with Dr.Sassi) that for detecting collisions between much more spheres in order to make them interact beetween each other requires the global matrix node and plain effectors but it is another story ;o)


  2. Deocliciano
    Deocliciano On November 28, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Lovely simple.

  3. Robin
    Robin On November 28, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    pretty cool, thx a lot Tim, really look foward to your trainnig, so pleasy hurry up TIM 🙂

  4. Gregg
    Gregg On November 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Thanks Tim this is very useful … and so simple at the time .. can wait for your training

  5. Fábio
    Fábio On November 29, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Thanks. Nice trick. Hope to see more soon.

  6. mike a
    mike a On November 29, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    If I could only purchase yours, Brian Maffit, John D and Redman’s brain. Group purchase?

  7. Austin
    Austin On November 30, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    I am a newbie to C4D and love this tutorial. One giant question I have is how do you make these particles appear when rendered? Right now nothing shows up.

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  9. Teb
    Teb On January 26, 2011 at 5:43 AM

    It’s wonderful to see how you get to implement old Thinking Particles along with Mograph. Thanks a lot for this tip.

  10. Hamid
    Hamid On March 1, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    Hello Tim,

    I have been trying to use PyroCluster to render my particles, but without success… I got results if I change the PStorm, with an Emitter… Do you have any suggestions ?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Tim
      Tim On March 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      @Hamid you need to apply the pyrocluster material to the particle geometry object for TP to work with Pyro.

  11. Hamid
    Hamid On March 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Thanks Tim for your prompt answer !! I got those lovely particles to render
    Only thing, they pass through the plan… but it’s ok for now

  12. Jake
    Jake On March 6, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    is it possible to change the couler of the particles so they look like sparks?

  13. Hamid
    Hamid On March 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    @Jake you need to play around the Pyrocluster material and the Particle geometry parameters… I did a test, reducing the size of the geometry, age, distance, etc… it gives acceptable results, depending on what you’re looking after… but I believe it’s triel and error… Maybe Tim have a better answer

  14. Blain
    Blain On December 9, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Thank you for great info and tips.

  15. Kim Petersen
    Kim Petersen On January 2, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Hello all,

    Tim, thanks for sharing this. Although I’m a bit late in joining the conversation, I hope that you or someone here can shed some light on my question.

    I’ve been trying to get this working with a Cloner object. I’ve tried to wire it up with MoGraph Data node to output the index data, I guess that is what I have to feed the Object A input port? So for it hasn’t worked. Anyone got any ideas?


  16. Daniel
    Daniel On September 7, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Hello! how can i do this witth clones. so every clone emits the particles as it collides.?!

    • Tim
      Tim On September 7, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      @Daniel You need to iterate through the clones and check if they are colliding or not. I’ll try and write a short tutorial on this in the future.

  17. Daniel
    Daniel On September 7, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    thanks for the quick response! unfortunately i got no idea what you mean… iterate trough the clones?. how do i do that. Could you please tell me a bit more exactly what i have to do? would be awesome! 😉

  18. Dylan
    Dylan On September 27, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    As a test, I tried to get it to emit geometry on collision, a cube. I added a PShape node, selected my cube as the object, and connected the Particle Birth from PStorm to the PShape node, but cubes still aren’t being emitted. Bounding radius in PShape, as well as Size in PStorm are both set to 100.

    Any ideas how to make this work?


  19. Dylan
    Dylan On September 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    @Tim, Ah, yes. Thanks! Just foraying into Thinking Particles now, so it’s greatly appreciated. How difficult is it to then add dynamics to the emitted geometry? i.e. make them bounce off of the floor as well.

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