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Maxon Announces Physics System for Cinema 4D

Plugin slated for September release By Dave Nagel
Maxon Computer has announced a forthcoming physics module for Cinema 4D XL 7, its 3D modeling and animation package. The module comes in the form of a plugin called Cinema 4D Dynamics, which is designed for recreating natural forces. The product, which is expected to ship in Spetember, is being demonstrated at the SIGGRAPH convention being held this week in Los Angeles.

Cinema 4D Dynamics can apply physics to existing objects or the points of an object as modifiers. Solver objects complete the calculation. In addition, baking can be used to bring dynamics projects over to machines that don't have the plugin but need to render it (such as NET clients). Feature highlights include:

  • Real-time dynamic behavior previews
  • Fully integrated in Cinema 4D XL R7.
  • Flexible baking methods for real-time forward and backward playback, as well as keyframed export to rendering nodes.
  • HyperNURBs for smoothing of coarse meshes for faster previews in the editor.
  • Generate natural forces like gravity and wind.
  • Static and dynamic friction.
  • Collision detection and reaction.
  • Display proxies can be used to simplify the geometry used in simulation.
  • Collision detection settings on a per-object basis.
  • Keyframed objects can interact with dynamically controlled objects.
  • Select from multiple ODE solvers (Midpoint, Runge-Kutta, Adaptive).
  • Create soft bodies from any mesh
  • Any polygon object can be identified as soft with full control over its mass, friction and deformation properties. Selected vertices can be tagged as non-soft.
  • Stiffness, damping and friction parameters for fine-tuning the soft body behavior.
  • Generation of secondary motion with soft bodies.
  • Two core methods for simulating soft objects—SBD modifiers and FFD modifiers.
  • Soft Body Dynamics modifiers work directly on the object’s geometry with full polygon accurate collision detection.
  • FFD modifiers use bounding soft cubes, which act as modifiers using mesh deformation techniques.
  • Any spline can behave like rope to create effects such as hair, ribbon or tassels.
  • Spring system with stiffness, damping and plastic (more then 40 individual parameters per spring)
  • Angular springs.
  • Springs can break under stress.
  • Visual tools for drawing, selecting and deleting springs.
  • Visual manager for organizing springs.
  • Mix any keyframed object with simulated objects for physically realistic and controllable effects.
  • Constrain cloth, soft bodies or rope to other simulated bodies or keyframed objects.
  • Objects in the system can be attached to one another, to fixed points or even follow paths in space.
  • Connect objects via springs, with full control over the spring’s rest length, compression / extension and damping.
  • A motor with arbitrary rotation can be attached to an object, allowing the creation of automated machinery.
  • Create cloth from any mesh.
  • Choose stiffness and damping parameters to simulate anything from wool to plastic.
  • Wind can be applied with control over speed, magnitude, and variance as well as specific ripple parameters. Cloth fully interacts with wind dynamics including cloth air impact, drag and lift resistance for floating effects.
  • Access the individual settings of each spring of a cloth object or edit as a complete set.
  • Unlimited number of cloth layers for organizing seams, pockets, etc.
  • Control the mass of object points with vertex maps and restriction tags.
  • Visual manager for organizing spring sets (layers) and changing them easily.
  • Physically correct interaction with all other Dynamics objects in the environment.
  • Complete self-intersection avoidance.
  • Cloth object can be applied to arbitrary geometry, or even a subset of faces using the vertex selection methods.
  • Full control over common cloth parameters to control stretchiness, bend flexibility, shear flexibility, cloth motion damping, friction, mass and density.
  • Cloth can be attached via constraints to any object in the scene.

Cinema 4D XL 7 is available for Macintosh, Mac OS X and Windows systems. Cinema 4D Dynamics is slated for a September 2001 release and will retail for $495. For more information, visit

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Related Keywords:3d, maxon, cinema 4d xl, cinema4d, physics, dynamics

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