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Feel It in Your Spline

Creating a frost effect in Maxon Cinema 4D and Greenworks XFrog By Ko Maruyama
While most people think of Greenworks' XFrog for the creation of 3D Trees, at its heart is a branching animation system based on splines that can be used for any type of self-spawning spine objects. What with winter nigh upon us--and you in need of creating graphics representative of the season--it seems a good time to explore this software's capability to create animated ice crystals for frost and snow effects.

There's a number of ways to produce snowflake and frost effects, from simple custom brushes in Adobe Photoshop all the way to Particle Playground in Adobe After Effects (see tutorial here). But for animating the actual growth of delicate ice crystals, XFrog's branching splines provide an excellent starting point. We'll take a look at one method using XFrog inside Maxon's CInema 4D XL 8.1.

There are several other XFrog objects in the standard XFrog toolbar, including Phyllotaxis, Hydra, Variation, Curvature and Tropism. If you remember anything from Mrs. Charpentier's Biology course, you know that these terms relate to the characteristics of plant growth (and a little pond monster).

Each object, except Variation, carries a series of attributes defined by curves.

These curves can be edited through custom points placed along its path. Although you can make the interpolation of each control point "linear" or "classic", there is no control over the handles, bezier or otherwise, over these points.

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Related Keywords:Greenworks XFrog , 3D Trees

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