This week, I’m getting all the things that need dynamic simulation out.

I spent the better part of a day just figuring out the simulation for a hospital blanket that i’m happy with. This is the end result

It helped having first hand experience of the weight and texture of the blankets, so knowing precisely what I was aiming for helped. That doesn’t make the dynamics go any faster though, especially with fabrics with all the self-coliding, potential geometry getting snagged on each other, all the settings i had to pour through. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it took me a bit to get right and i want the world to know. I’ll save its use in the scene for the actual video, but here’s a single frame. 


There are a lot of things that went into this. Firstly, thank goodness Cinema 4D has options for fracturing. Secondly, getting the interior of the ball to not explode due to intersecting geometry from the cuts (bless the settings). Also getting the inner faces of the fragments to not just be flat cuts and look more akin to broken glass itself took some finessing. Another thing I was trying to go for was for the front and back ends to have tinier fragments when it fractures and thankfully there are settings to dial that look in. Bless the souls at Maxon for creating such technical finesse.

Also since this scene is going to be in slow mo, here’s a slow mo version at 100fps. I do worry for this scene as it’ll probably be one of the longer ones to render, considering the high frame rate and the glass material, so everything should be good to go before i hit render.

In the next few days I still need to get the alternative portion of the scene, the merging of the two balls (hah) to work out. And that’s using something called metaballs, which I haven’t figured out yet, but that’d be the next bridge to cross. As I might have mentioned in a previous post, I really should have all the scenes rendering by the end of next week. I’ve already started rendering some whenever I leave the house and I’m going to start with overnight renders too. Till next time!

Oh, I actually forgot i had more pictures. Getting the glass material right was also fun to do, its pretty rewarding to hit render and find a result that makes me think I might have actually got something here.

Getting the scene layout is one thing, but lighting the scene is another; and on top of that working the camera for the scene, its focal length and movement all are another aspect. Here’s an example of how Scene 4 has progressed over time.

Before any real work has been done, but a concept was there in where the light will propagate through the room.

My initial idea was that the light would be from the back of the room, shining into the audiences face. Shafts of light/God rays will stream past the objects and through fog to create this grand image.

However, that did not work out the way i planned. For one, the lights kept leaving these hard dark lines wherever they intersected with geometry, mainly the room. You can even see it in the image above. This made me venture into IES lights, which really removed that problem (surprisingly) but still I could not achieve the look i wanted. Also IES lights from this point on were my go to methods for lighting. In short IES lights use real world bulb/light falloffs to replicate specific lamps or bulbs. Mainly used in architectural renders for bulb specific accuracy, they’ve really gone on to help other CG artists achieve better realism in their images, plainly because the light falloff wasn’t as linear as default CG lights.

This lovely scene i tried to work for some time, camera angles weren’t exactly working, lighting wasn’t where i wish it were. Even the way the objects in the scene laid out I did not like. (especially those damn chairs). But this still had parts that i liked; for example the light that counces off the walls onto the middle bed looked good. Image composition was still rather poor however, it was sorely lacking a foreground element. Hence my next move was to slap another bed into the scene. I also had to relight the new portion of the room, but this time, i knew that i wanted a sort of rim light to catch the foot end of the bed frame; and by miracles of miracles, the scene just started to look better.

Additionally I started to explore other techniques such as focal drift. I wouldn’t set the focus exactly on the object, I’d push it a bit back or forward; trying to achieve that organic look. Though I’m still wondering how I’d do that with enough control in more static shots.

I also improved the lighting for a closeup shot for the beds behind. Going from this style below.

To this~ Which I’d say is a pretty good improvement. I’m also pretty proud of the visible material difference between the bed frame and the mattress fabric. Hopefully these material details are still textually noticeable after the post-processing of Red and Blue. Additionally, I sculpted better pillows using the cloth simulator in C4D and then smoothing it out with a brush.

Sometimes I worry that I’m spending too much time on superfluous details like these, but I do think they’re noticeable even if not completely conscious on the sort of quick viewing that happens during an FYP show.

Next up I’ll talk about the other dynamic simulations.

Sometimes concepts don’t work out. One of which was to have various objects suspended from the ceiling of the room, swaying gently, very minimal movement. Had a lot of trouble getting that right, either the simulation would stop abruptly, the movement would be way to over-pronounced. Additionally the dynamics simulator would over time slowly drift from each other (the string connector to the object)

As seen above, the object is connected by a red line to the string its connected to. After running the simulations a few times, I run into problems like these. Additional problems include the length of the string sometimes changing. But for me the biggest deal breaker was that I could not get the subtle swaying I really wanted; and considering I wanted a room full of these at varying lengths. This room didn’t seem like it was going to go great and would probably take more time than it was worth.

You can even see the slack in the line when it drops. The coiled spring around is just a visual representation of the constraint between the two dynamic objects.

So I scrapped that entire sequence (there were a few other things going on for the scene too). But perhaps, it was more of a rework, because the end result would be the same.

I ended up with this.

Just for a visual idea. The scalpels are floating in the air. I plan to include other objects like pills and IV drips (which i am in the process of cobbling together).

I also tried fogging it up, which takes a huge strain on render time so that still up in the air a bit, but it does look great.

16000 Samples to clean up the noise, this being the crux of adding nice atmospheric fog


Trying another method of fog, but with lower sample counts so its reaaaallly noisy

trying to get that glare/flare into the camera


Speaking of glares and flares, I came across this guys work, a short he made in Cinema 4D talking about his personal project ‘Keys’. One of this mindsets going into the project is that he wanted to do everything in camera as possible. I’m trying to do that too, 1. because I think its better than compositing in particles later (tho that can really work well) but also 2. on a more practical level, I can spend that time working on the other aspects of the project. (which is kind of counter productive, cause it’ll probably take more time to get it “right” in C4D; pros and cons, pros and cons)

As for a more current update of the project. This week is simulations week, getting things like fabric simulations out, modelling objects using simulations, the fracturing glass ball at the start and the alternative ball being absorbed into the fetus sphere. Next week is animations week (which i hope and think will go much faster as I’m not at the mercy of simulations). Till then!

Oh, I also have at least something in for every scene i want in the video. I’m also using my design in motion module to add additional animations on top of my video, all in the theme of hospital UIs. All the visual stuff I hope to be done with by the end of the first week of April. My acrylic order should be in sometime during next week as well. For my next post, I’ll show a frame of every scene I have at the moment. (OR MAYBE I think the work I’m doing each day)