Missed The Season 3 Premiere of AskGSG? Get the Full Schedule Here!

Tutorial Preview: Animating Dynamics 91 Comments

Based on This excellent piece by Korb for MTV.

Watch The tutorial

As always, I want to encourage you guys to give it a try on your own before watching the tutorial. It’s a great way to learn. Post your results!

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


  1. Sound effectors on just the rotation of the objects using xpresso then attractor for movement?

    Looks like a fun one for sure!

  2. Richard Williams

    Say, “WHAAT?!” That’s crazy cool. Looking forward to the tut!

  3. Nice! I’m looking forward to it.

    I’m guessing your using dynamics tags on the objects and then using an attractor and keyframing the strength to get the movement? Then of course rendering out with awesome looking GI

    • when i saw the image earlier, i immediately thought of the target effector, now that i’ve seen it in motion, i totally agree with this assessment, it’s exactly how i’d do it

    • Wow! I’m suprised I was actually pretty close. I have only been working with C4D and dynamics/mograph for about 6 months now. I’m looking forward to see how you did the lights and glowing part.

  4. Atish

    Preview looks amazing. Cant wait to see the tutorial.

  5. Sick! I can’t wait. And whats odd, I just got the urge to go learn something new in cinema. I wish it was the full tutorial because that would have been perfect timing. >.<

  6. NIck that is SICK! πŸ˜€ haha Going with time!

    And xpresso huh? πŸ™‚ Gotta love that handy tool!

    I’ve used it so much lately and i’m completely addicted!

  7. benjamin

    novel idea nick: you should have everyone try to do this without showing the tutorial, explain their approach, then compare different methods/approaches that work…

    might be a bit more meaty than just another tutorial…

    • Oh, I almost forgot to add that. Thanks for the reminder. I always try to encourage that for every tutorial. Can’t wait to see yours!

    • benjamin

      ohhh man usually i just take the bits and pieces and use them in stuff i do for work, but hell i might have to bust out c4d and do a render…

  8. Stephane

    Je suis Impatient de voir ce Tutorial!Merci Nick Tu es Le meilleur!!!(can’t wait to see that tutorial!Thanks Nick You’are the Best!!!)

    • ah yes. I knew I recognized it, but haven’t listened to it in a long time. Thx. I’ll have to go dig up that disc.

  9. Ashcat

    Looks very cool, will it be achievable in r11.5 ? (newbie alert) :-p

  10. 1. Attractor + keyframing lightning…
    2. Sound Effector for both movement and lights
    3. just Keyframe – but you don;t want to get there πŸ˜€

  11. awsome, as usual…

    im also working with sound on a personal per week deadline project, i would love to have some feedback, is it cool to post the link? this is the preview i have made

    its AFTER EFFECTS though

    if its not cool to post the link just say so, i’ll never do it again

    THANKS πŸ˜€

  12. I love that you post your plans ahead of time and encourage us to try it out before the tutorial. Thanks for creating such a vibrant community; this place never fails to educate and inspire me.

  13. modi0419

    Always surprise me

    Can’t Wait For The Tutorial

  14. konrad

    Gorilla πŸ˜€ very nice πŸ™‚ Im waiting for tutorial !

  15. Classicgamer

    That’s an interesting one, especially getting the objects to react to the sound, the only other thing i’ve seen recently regarding sound movement is a plugin called animidi, so this’ll be an interesting one to watch, lookking forward to the tutorial Nick!

  16. benjamin

    well i gave it a whirl and i got almost to the point where the bulbs were being pulled up and couldn’t get it going quite the way i wanted to…still working on it

  17. MoyGR

    Genial!!! simplemente increible, Gracias por todo Nick!!!

    Thx for All Nick!!

    Saludos desde PERU!!!

  18. Japes

    Cool a little Xpresso on the mix! πŸ™‚

  19. Zachary O'Connor

    I did something similar quiet a while back, using an attractor and animating the strength of it to make some balls jump from point to point. Here it is:

  20. Hey, does anybody know what song/sound is the one used on this video? I’m looking for similar songs for a project πŸ™

    • As it was already said it is Squarepusher – Do You Know Squarepusher

  21. That looks fantastic, Nick!
    Will give it a try! I think I might be able to figure this one out!
    The funny thing is, I experimented with Xpresso 2 weeks ago, so I kind of see where the action is going on!
    Stoked to see how you did it.

    • As it turns out I wasn’t able to figure out how to only make one side of the tube react to the attractor. Got everything else worked out. Kind of bummed out I didn’t figure out that last part! Looking forward to your magic trick!

  22. Tedris

    Looks like you linked the strength of the attractor with the luminance part of the material?

  23. cool, i’ve been looking for a good attractor and audio tut.

  24. Patrick S.

    Wow that looks great and I was going to try something just like that cant wait for the tut so i can learn a few things.

  25. Lyndon

    Looks awesome πŸ™‚

    I like the beat too, it’s pretty sick. Who is it from?

  26. ahhhh nooo this is exactly what I’m trying to figure out right now! How to dynamically illuminate florescent tubes =(

  27. The tubes are pretty easy to do or well “borrow”, if that’s so. Also the basic setup for the light and environment is not not too much of a deal. The badger in the hole, is to get the tubes to react to the music without touching each other. I guess it could be done with as mentioned xpresso, mograph and some dynamics. (Pretty much selfexplaning but nice to brainstorm). Sound reactor yes. Okay let’s give this a try πŸ™‚ This got me going wild!

    • Mattski

      Once you added your Dynamics tag to your cloner (with tubes), go to the Collision tab and set the Individual Elements to: “ALL” and the tubes will bump off each other – make sure you dial down the Bounce/Friction & Collision Noise or else your tubes will be flying everywhere in the scene! πŸ˜‰

    • Mattski: Thanks for the tip! That really did help me in the process. Now I have a nice and quite realistic fall/bounce. Working on that soundreactor thingy. Heh, this is starting to get really sexy now. I will try and show some previews, when I get a happy result. πŸ™‚

    • Mattski

      Nice one Cris! I am going to just upload my C4D render, as I did not have time to sex it up in AE. So its without sound…. πŸ™‚

    • Mattski: If all is going as planed I have a working model by tomorrow. Heh, this project really got me going I had some time at the pool to think about the physic works πŸ˜‰ and Out of the blue I got a crazy idea to use an attractor and make the light more interesting. Hope to get more time! Same here I will do a clean render straight from C4D. The sexy stuff will come πŸ˜›

  28. nasser ali

    wow i realy want to learn how to do this

  29. TBone

    Cheers Nick

    I gave it a try but failed..

    but it made me feel great just to try!

    Stay Gold

  30. It looks like Korb used Vray. The wood floor and glass tubes look dope.

  31. i’d liek to see how this could interact with sound, maybe another tut for you or that wise monkey?


  32. muhammad

    hey nick! i am a max user, i love motion graphics.
    i want to ask why dont you go to max for 3d graphics?
    and what is the advantage of c4d?

    • i find that c4d is built for designers and visual thinkers. 3dsmax is too technical as is maya.

  33. Mattski

    I just finished designing & rendering mine out last night! Its not that hard to do actually…I designed the tube, used 2 cloners (with random effectors), floor, wall, gravity & attractor and one GSG HDRI Soft Box. No need for GI, just switch on your AO! (o, and I found a kick ass site where you can download for free hi-res textures for wood! – enjoy!)

    Will colour grade my finished render and post it tonight! πŸ™‚

    • Now that was cool. Yes a lot of times we forget about the AO. I started to play around with that as well. πŸ™‚

  34. Cool stuff Nick!
    Attractor-Object with sound effector nice idea!
    But which part i don’t understand is that one with the light switching

    • Ugibugi

      I think its more like backlight material and area light inside light tube.

  35. nice done.
    my thougts on the making:

    You used Cloner radial with Random Eff. and Attractor on the lamps.

    I think you changed the mass point of the lamps for the specific behaviour going up one side first.

    And you syncronized the strength of the attractor and the light material to the sound with the sound effector and used therefore expresso.

  36. I got the tubes to lift from only one side and attract toward the center but couldn’t figure out how to get the music to drive the animation. Can’t wait for the tutorial!

    • Wo Rilla

      thats where i got stuck. how did u change the mass point of the lamps?

    • I’m using an attractor to move everything to the center. I have the lamp tubes in a cloner object with a Rigid Body tag. From here I’m trying to use a target effect to lift the tubes from one side. It works once but can’t figure out how to repeat the lift. I’m on 11.5, so I’m guessing in the animation they may be using the new spring effector to lift the tubes somehow?

    • campa

      i used R12, attractor, a tube and a sphere (+ cloner object). placed the tube on the floor along the Z axis and and connected with the sphere under the floor with Connector.
      but i guess its not the right way

    • campa

      dynamics tag – Mass – Center

  37. Heh I also hope that Nick will wait just a little bit more before he will release the tutorial. I really like this challange! and At the moment I am pretty close to a nice first stage solution!

    • nice one, but you haven’t adjusted the masspoint of the tubes. Click on the dynamics tag and then there should one point with masses or so. Don’t know it exactly, cause I didn’t have the english version. There you can change the mass point of the lamps, try it.

    • Not bad. I like what you’ve come up with so far πŸ™‚

    • Mattski

      @Chris: yeah I see what you mean…its called the “Custom Center” under the MASS tab. Only problem is you cannot see the point when you edit the object. Unless I am missing something, a possible wish-list option for Maxon to come up with? πŸ˜›

    • no, thats right, haven’t seen the point either. So put it on the list πŸ˜‰

  38. hi, thanks for all your c4d etc tutorials! some of the best i can find. looking forward to more

    any plans to venture into vray for c4d????

  39. Roberto Carbonell

    Hi I was thinking about the lights. I think that in the expreso setup is this: For me works fine.

    1. create a cylinder and then create an area light. (put the cilynder in rotaion H=-90ΒΊ
    2. In the light details, select and object. Put the cylinder as the object.
    3. Put the light as visible.
    4. Create an xpresso tag.
    5. Put the cylinder object as the fisrts object and select global rotation , H rotation in the output.
    6. Creates a range mapper. connect with the cylinder output.
    7. In the properties of the mapper put input units: degrees output units user defined.
    input lower -90ΒΊ
    input upper: 0ΒΊ
    output lower 0%
    output upper 100% (or whatever you want, this is gonna be thee intensity for the light)
    8. finally, put the light in the expresso manager, and then in the input select general>intensity. Connect with the range mapper.

    That works for me… When you rotate the cylinder up, its gonna be more intense until reach the 0ΒΊ.

    Of course you need the setup for the attactor to automate the the rotation…

    I just hope this could be helpful… and of course lets see if I come close to a solution. I could post the file if someone need it.


  40. Martyn

    Does any one know how to stop intersecting?

    • Mattski

      If you mean by the tubes intersecting….see my reply to Cris about Dynamics above in the discussion πŸ™‚

  41. RoVino

    Uggh well I cant wait for this tutorial to come out. cuz Ive tried 2 different times to give it a shot with limited success. then I went off on different tangents, have a look at my tests.. (though not failures because I did learn somethings about how mass works in c4D) first attempt 2nd try

    still not close.. but closer.. 8)

  42. When I try and use rigid body typed it doesn’t work. I think it may have something to do with the version of Cinema 4D I have… I have R12 Broadcast. I was wondering, what version do you have?

  43. aligoss

    Hi nick, thxxxx 4 all tutorials, I’m reallyyyy addictid to ur blog
    i found this video
    plzzz can you healp me, I like to know how to do it.

    • This is probably a basic particle emitter facing upwards, positioned just below the seamless backdrop.

      For a jump start on particle emition go ahead and download CS Tools and try out the CS_Particles. For a finished look add a couple of lights at each side of the camera with a red and green tint.