Particle help


Wondering if anybody can help shed some light on this problem.
My right brain is not coordinating with the left today to solve what should be a simple problem.

I would like a single particle, that follows an attractor around some empty space. The attractor’s movement is captured via live PRS - Cappucino.
I would then like it to generate its own tail, that starts off very narrow but branches out to become wide and quite turbulent towards the rear.

I’ve tried a number of workflows, but can’t get that first particle to adhere to the start point without losing the stream of particles at the back.

This illustration should help define the issues. Which is for an expert in X-Particles, probably quite simple.


I’m wondering if something could be done with Mograph - a primary null object maneuvered by the mouse/user, then a collection of clones with “Follow position” at ~10 & delay effector at 98-99%, trail objects to link the two up, and spline dynamics added for effect.


Hmm. Not a bad solution, I’ll have to give that a shot real quick.
Can spline dynamics be used with a tracer object? I though they were limited to regular splines.
Something to give a bit of a cheated turbulence would certainly help though.

Thanks man, for jumping in so quickly!


If you want to cheat some turbulence to the splines, you could put a Displace deformer on the trail object.


Yeah! A displace deformer would work a whole lot better.


If you are using XParticles, use the XP trail deformer as a child of your xpTrail object. you have all sorts of control over exactly what you are trying to do. Deformation can be based on formulas, shaders, etc… Use the spline control over spline length to adjust the falloff of the deformation over the length of the trail.

{edit} I just realized this addresses only half your question (deforming the trails).

Try this: have your emitter emit a single particle which follows your motion rules. now add an xptrail object and assign a trail deformer with a noise shader on X and Y (you’ll have to adjust the noise scale to suit your desired results). Use different seeds for the noise shader on each axis. To get multiple trails, duplicate the trail object and change the seed values of the noise shaders on the deformers of each.

you can assign an X-particles material to each trail object to get color variations

hopefully this is useful!



Thanks guys for all of your tips.
I stuck with the single emitter plan, using an attractor to create 7 variations on the theme.

The rest of the setup is actually driven by MoSpline and 2 regular C4D displacers - 1 on the +Z Axis, one on the +X.
Using the XPTrail deformer got really slow when applied to more than one trail. My technique here gives almost real time feedback.

I’m also using WhiteLights (plugin) for the lead trail, which has it’s length controlled by MoSpline.

Boring result for now, will add some DOF, cached particles later.