How To Use Dynamics, Particle Emitters, and Different Camera Angles in Cinema 4D

July 21, 2011

In this tutorial, I show you how to make this fun eyeball animation shown below. First, we will build the dynamics system using Cinema 4D’s dynamics system and particle emitters. Then I show you how to texture the spheres to look like an eyeball using procedural materials. Finally, I show you how to light the scene and set up multiple camera angles to render out for compositing. I use Cinema’s new Batch Render feature to render all the camera angles at once. Stay tuned for part two of this tutorial where we will composite the scene using Adobe After Effects.

UPDATE: Many of you have mentioned using the Stage Object to cut between cameras instead of rendering out different angles separately. I didn’t use the stage object because I like having the freedom to move the cut around in post. It’s WAY easier and more flexible for me to edit a scene when it’s finally rendered. But, if you just need a simple cut, the stage object may be just what you need.

UPDATE 2: The rigid body tag has now moved in new version of Cinema 4D. you can find it at tags > simulation tags > rigid body.


Based on Adobe Eyeballs by by Seagulls Fly

Watch Part 2

Tutorial Focus:  , , , , , , ,
Software:  ,

  • How do you get the emitter to act this way in R 11.5?

  • Rocco Bombardieri August 12, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I can’t seem to add the rigid body tag to the sphere. When adding the rigid body tag. The sphere inherits a collider tag instead. Any idea of how to fix this?

  • Rocco Bombardieri August 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I got it. I made the sphere the child of a cloner object and set the count to “one” so I could add the rigid body tag to the sphere 😀

  • Great tutorial, thank you. I had a thought that I think would work quite well, but I am fairly new to C4D. Is there any way of getting the MoText to explode/break apart and the contents (eyeballs) fall out of their MoText frame and fall all over the floor?
    Any suggestions…

  • Nice tutorial, Nick.
    I’ve made a video following it.


  • I’m having trouble with the Rigid Body Dynamics tag at the beginning of the video. I’m using R11.5. I don’t have the ‘Simulation’ drop down menu at the top either..

  • I’m pretty confident that the original font is Futura, or at least based on futura (Not that it matters). Nice tut!

  • if i have 11.5 can i not do this tutorial?

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

  • Hey Nick, I’m having the same problem as some of the other guys… when i add the rigid body tag, it seem to go in as a collider tag… the white sphere turns purple. Am i missing a step? thank you, ian

      • No really Nick, i have been working on the very latest release of V12, and my v13 email arrived today. I’ve started the project many times and each time, even though i apply the rigid body tag, it goes on as a collider tag… i did notice Rocco above describing exactly the same issue and they solved it by adding a cloner object with a count of 1, but it shouldn’t require a workaround like that??? Ian

        • I’ll just add that the guy who added the vimeo link below for 11.5 also adds an object (fracture) to allow the rigid body tag to be available… but I’m absolutely using V12…

        • This tutorial was made with the Studio version. If you aren’t using that, then your dynamics will have to go on the cloner object.

          • Thank you Nick… I’m on the broadcast version, didn’t realize there would be differences on a granular level like that… great to know… so a cloner object set to 1 iteration is the best choice

      • Thanks so much u are the biggest help as i just start c4d learning , i have tried the same things what u have telling in this tutorial. I want to share with you please tell me how can upload it….!

  • Was wondering if you could expand on this tutorial, and show us how to “delete” the “5” mesh shape towards the end of the animation so the the eyeballs all suddenly fall to the ground and roll out of frame? Thanks.

  • Hey Nick! Great tut.

    Not at a place where I can verify this right now (but if I don’t post I’ll forget later ^^), but for anyone watching this later, I think you just need to copy (or make a new one from scratch, if you want) the Render Setting there under the render settings window to change the frames you want rendered. Then that dropdown there will have a different option available.

    Does that make sense? HTH 🙂

  • I know this may sound stupid, but in my version of cinema4D, I don;t have the cache tab under the dynamics, in attributes….

  • hey Nick, you don’t actually need to render them all out individually just add a stage object to your seen then keyframe your cameras in the cameras option of the object. BTW, you rock and I really enjoy your tuts!!

  • could someone tell me pls, why when I render it, the spheres look blurred and they loose some color?


  • This was great. I used the “S” from the SUBWAY® Logo and used tomatoes to fill the “S”! Fun!!! Thanks Nick!


  • The font is called ADOBE CLEAN and it’s their exclusive corporate font.. Not available.

  • Hey one little question..

    wouldn’t it be waay easier to just affect the size of the spheres in the emitter settings???
    (Emitter-object/particles/endsize* -> variation)

    *I don’t know if it’s called like that in the english version because I’m from Switzerland and i work with the German version..

    Great tutorials btw..

    Greez Freddy

  • From render settings I used the New Child option for each of my camera, in my render queue I set every render setting for each camera but when I render it out, it only renders my main camera.

    Can anyone help me out, pls???

    I don’t know if it has anything to do whit batching the scene, but I haven’t found that option so maybe thats why it renders me out one only camera….

  • Hello guys, please help me… i have created the render queue.. but .. i have to this render my mac take 6 hours and when he have finished i have lot of .TIFF.. but where is my movie? this is the screenshot

  • Just add another sphere into the emitter with a different size. Add as many as you want the emitter will combine them all.

  • I was wondering if someone could help with a puzzling issue. I’ve created a similar animation but using a full word an several emittors.

    On a couple of my camera shots towards the end of the animation not all of the spheres are rendering in the final animation. the weirdest thing is, when I render the same shot as a single frame preview, all the spheres do show up. It’s only when I save out the file that they are not showing.

    Any ideas?

  • Hi, this is the first tut i did for c4d, and you are a very good teacher, thanks a lot and keep tuts coming!!

  • Nice tutorial this was fun. I used the SUBWAY® “S” and filled it with tomatoes. Feel free to check it out.


  • A simple and ientlligent point, well made. Thanks!

  • Create ridig body? does nothing for me in r12 and I don’t have all the other options you have when you press dynamics button. Have I not installed everything?

  • Great work Nick, my follow :

  • The guys from sweden January 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    The two last months, I learn so much out of your tutorials. Many thanks Nick
    The guys from Sweden

  • I was suggested this website via my cousin. I am not certain whether or not this publish is written through him as no one else recognize such targeted approximately my difficulty. You’re wonderful! Thank you!

  • Hey Nick,

    I know this is quite the old tutorial but I was trying to do something like this but with smoke in cinema4d r13, but where the smoke fills up the letters…. I cant seem to figure out how to use each simulation tag in the correct way to make this happen? can this happen even? hopefully you get this, much respect!


  • Hi guys.

    I have a problem That it´s making me get crazy.

    All the tutorial it´s done. I looks to work perfectly but when I want to do the render… the final render doesn´t match with the editor view.

    I´ve tried 100 things and nothing.


  • thX for makinG those tutorials!
    my follow:

  • thX for making thesE*
    my follow:

  • Very nice tut but I can’t follow because I don’t have C4d. I’m a beginner and I tried to follow you with 3ds Max Particle Flow.
    Can someone please help me with those ugly lines in my video?? Please!!!!

  • Great tutorial, why not add your cameras to a stage object and keyframe the changes.
    Love your inspiration and drive.


  • Hi Nick/other C4D users….

    Can anyone explain how Nick is seeing an animated render of the ‘grey’ particle emmissions?
    Whenever I press play I just see the wire mesh versions of the spheres.
    What do I need to do to preview the spheres movements in their grey/material state like in the tut)?

    thanks a bunch!


  • In the beginning of the tutorial where I “Create Rigid Body”, my balls do not change to falling, they just keep going straight out.

    My best guess in trying to figure out why, I noticed in his video, under the dynamics tab on the right panel that Dynamic is set to On. Whereas the only options I have are: Off or Ghost.

    Is this my problem? If yes, then how do I get the On option to show?

  • There are no less than 4 people who have had the same damn problem with the Create Rigid Body NOT working correctly. Why have a damn tutorial if it won’t work for half the people!!!!!

  • Hey, I’m using R13 broadcast version and I was wondering when using a rigid body tag, how would I make it so the object would fall at a certain frame. If this only works with Studio could you tell me??? I’m installing that now.


  • A bit late to see this. Awesome, as usual. But i might do the different angles thing by setting four different keyframes for one camera, and setting the curves so that they just snap to the new view instead of animating between them, and render the timeline out once normally, just to avoid the need to save different files for each scene in case something has to be changed later on.

  • Thanks Nick for this wonderful explanation
    I need the files (studiol.c4d , softbox.c4d , linearskylight.c4d that you used explanation
    Can you so

  • Brilliant Tutorial! It was easy to follow and I was blown away with my results.

  • hey I liked the tutorial very interesting , the key for the render Queue is go and make different copys of the render setting and then , the render queue is going to see that right there ,where you said the key will be sorry for my English ,I am from Cuba.

  • Hello! i have one question, where i can get the ” StudioL.c4d”? i browse in the folder but i dont find it. Thanks!

  • What version of Cinema are you using Nick? I have r11.5 but I am unsure as to which is the best version. If anyone knows please fill me in because I’d like to be up to date with all of the latest software.

    Thanks, Eric

  • Great tutorial Nick, I can’t thank you enough
    if you want to see how i ruined this, take i look at this:

  • Hi Nick,
    Really new to C4D and have been trying to use an animated object with c4d particle emitter but am having problems in that the object is replicated but does not animate (in the particle objects I mean). I’m basically trying to create a flock of birds. Is there a way to do this, or can you provide a link to a tutorial that has an example of this being done. Thanks for all the help you provide the 3d community.

  • Amazing tutorial, started using more of Cinema4D because of you man, going great. I am just beginner for Cinema4D, but all the tutorials from GRESCALE GORILA inspires a lot..thanks

  • When adding the rigid body tag to the sphere it loses its uniform spherical shape? Thoughts?

  • Hi Nick, or anyone who thinks they can help me been doing this tutorial works really well…however instead of using spheres or any shape object is there not a way of using small type (using emitter) to form the number…just got an idea which small text builds up big text -(which be the number), when I change the sphere and replace it to an editable mograph object it just doesn’t work, seems to start well then sort of goes and explodes everywhere if makes sense! If anyone can help that would help me massively!


    Lee Gregory

  • hey nick, i just watched this video based on what you posted on FB, your 20 fav tuts. well what i’ve seen is you bumped in to the problem where you went to the render queue and make different scene files to render for each camera.. i think by using a “stage”, then key frame you what camera needs to be rendered… i think its a late post but i haven’t read all the comments, maybe someone said something about this

  • Really like your tutorials. They are really helping me getting to know Cinema 4D and the possibilities. I have recreated the tutorial and I have learned a lot already, thank you! Just one angle and camera.

    My result:

  • hey Nick, Trying this technic in a different way with an intro. basically it’s doing this but instead of balls, in the tutorial instance,it would be 5’s shooting out of the emitter to fill up the five. I keep having these objects boing and bounce right outta the object, so i takes longer to fill it up. I tried the help you gave about the Dynamics Project settings, but it didn’t effect it at all. Do you have any other advice to keep my shapes inside of the shape I’m emmiting into. Also the emitters are inside of the object for sure. So it’s not that either. Thanks ahead for help from you and the GSG community. cheers

  • Hey Nick, I was wondering if this tutorial worked the same when filling an object instead of motext. Also when filling the motext some of the particles fell from the shape, do you know what went wrong?


  • Hi Nick!

    Thanks for the tutorial, pretty awesome! In regards to switching between cameras, i think stage object does the job. Check it out!

    Let me know if its possible 🙂

  • Great tutorial just like the others.
    Im struggling get a nice and smooth leaves falling effect when using the emitter. Ive tried modifying mass and even project geometry but this last one seems to be bad practice as it effects everything else in the projects. i cant get the emitter particles to slow down. any ideas?

  • hello! first of all I would like to thank for the best tutorials out there on the web about cinema 4d. As soon as my pc is not the best for these things I am giving the fight from a while ago.
    I write because doing the tutorial dynamics and particle emitter. and my problem was that my particles deform and I want it perfect spheres. they deform as they hit the walls of the container letter deform and some particles in free fall.
    I use cinema 4d r12 and soft body option in the dynamics is not enabled. I do not understand it could be. try doing the body editable areas but nothing changes.
    from already thank you, I really learned a lot from you.
    From Uruguay, Montevideo Juan Pablo Abalde

  • hello! first of all I would like to thank for the best tutorials out there on the web about cinema 4d. As soon as my pc is not the best for these things I am giving the fight from a while ago.
    I write because doing the tutorial dynamics and particle emitter. and my problem was that my particles deform and I want it perfect spheres. they deform as they hit the walls of the container letter deform and some particles in free fall.
    I use cinema 4d r12 and soft body option in the dynamics is not enabled. I do not understand it could be. try doing the body editable areas but nothing changes.
    from already thank you, I really learned a lot from you.

  • Has anyone else had the issue in Cinema 14 that when you scale an emitter in x or y only that the objects they emit end up deforming in x or y only or end up transforming in scale as they are being emitted?

  • Awesome tutorial. I included my piece that I made in my demo reel.

    Here is a link to the just the animation:

    Thanks again.

  • Very nice tut! Great job Nick!
    I don’t know if you know this, but there is some of your creations shown in this Cinema 4D promotion video thing by Maxon:
    //Simon M

  • I have been trying to figure this out for a while in either R12 Studio or in R14 broadcast.

    In R12S I can’t seem to get the spheres to collect as if they are slowly disappearing? any help?

    In R14B I can not get the rigid body tag to work even with the cloner trick, and objects wont be contained? or help with this?


  • finally i made one!!
    – i try to use other sound! but i don’t have fx sound’s! just i use the same audio.

    thanks again mr.gorilla! lot’s of new stuff i learn!

  • Hello Nick!
    Thank you for the awesome tutorial! Learned alot of stuff. I was wondering as I seen it in one of the posting’s on this tutorial, how to make the Spheres drop to the floor with this particular set up, after lets say they have filled up the text objects? Also using the turbulence effect, to manipulate the shapes so they move in an organic way, I have not been able to find a lot of info with out having to use a plugin. I am using R13 Studio version. Any suggestions would help.

  • Hey Nick,
    Thanks for all the great tutorial ….
    I’m a huge fan …..
    If you want,
    Here’s what I designed from your method:
    I glad to know what you think?!?!
    Thanks again for all the “hard work” that you are doing!!!!

  • hello sir, i did everything perfectly but i cannot find the render queue in r13… please help me sir

  • Hi Nick,

    great TuT! :))
    THX a lot!!!

    My question does not directly refer to that TuT but:

    How can I simply add some random colors to the balls, taking different colors out of a fixed palette? I´d like to fill the “5” with different colored balls!!! :))

  • Hey! I think Myriad Pro font may work perfectly on the “5”

  • Nick, for the diferent cams angles, can use the stage tool to animate and render in one step? Sorry for my english, Thanks for all the tutorials.

  • How would you go about making that “5” explode after filling up using something like Transform? I tried to do this, but it causes the “5” to be solid and a few other weird things. I’ve tried doing a few other things similar (making them explode at the end of an animation) and I always get the same results… nothing. Would this be a job for Xpresso maybe?

    D. Walters

  • Hey Nick,

    Where do you usually get your music and sound effects from? Sound guy? Or purchased? SFX go along way to emotional aspect of the videos.

  • For different camera angles, use a stage object and keyframe each different camera (Camera A, Camera B, Camera C, Camera D)

    You can turn on and off the bullseye on the stage object to get in and out of it.

  • I love you!!!!!!

  • Hi all, i’m asking for how to slow the emitter??
    In my case i think that the balls jumps too fast and i wanna slow it a bit
    (sorry if my english is not correct… i’m latin)

  • Hi Nick,
    I’m trying to create a still image with this technique. However, instead of simple spheres I’m using a modeled eyeball, for more detail. I want most of the eyes looking towards the camera or at least make the iris visible. Is there a way to rotate individual particles?


  • “Thats kinda disease” 😀 you made me laugh, awesome tutorial.

  • The effect I am trying to create is a root-like vine thing. I got the roots to grow and sprout out of an emitter. The problem that I having is trying to apply dynamics to the roots to confine their growth in a box shape (like a room).
    I have tried this tutorial and doing exactly what he does to try to give the emitter barriers or apply a rigid or soft body to the vines is not working on my project.
    If you have any helpful suggestions or need more information about the project please let me know if it isn’t too much trouble for you

  • can u add dynamics to editable objects?

  • When press right click and then Simulation Tags and then Rigid body it doesn’t make Rigid body but it makes Collider body. I am using Cinema 4d r13 Broadcast.

  • how can i ‘bake’ down all the emitted spheres to one single object without losing the shape of the number ?

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