C4d and VDB


Trying to get my head around all the ways to use VDB’s and the ways to get them into and out of c4d.

It seems like most of the times artists work with Volumes they are doing so with the default “Signed Distance Fields” The alternative “Fog” seems easy to neglect. I sure hadn’t played with it yet.

This thread will be an exploration of “Fog” Volumes. How they can be used for motion graphics. Plus I want to see if/how I can get “Fog” style Volumes into play via XP, TurbulenceFD, etc.

I will also explore ways to use Volumes with Octane.

I’m all ears if anyone has played with this. In either case I will chronicle my exploration.


This thread will be a brain dump to help me record and better remember. And perhaps useful to anyone playing along.

First off…the primary difference between ‘Signed Distance Field’ and ‘Fog’ is that SDF is only generating the exterior shell. ‘Fog’ on the other hand creates volume data.

This video is a great overview of Volumes…and at 23:50 the speaker explains the differences.



R20 introduced “Volume Loader”.

Operation is straight-forward. Here is the help description:

The Volume Loader is used to load Volume sequences. Volume sequences are animated OpenVDB Volumes and consist of numerous individual and sequentially numbered *.vdb files. If such a file is loaded, the Volume Import will open automatically. In Cinema 4D, Volume sequences are arranged in the Volume Loader object. As soon as you click on Play in Cinema 4D, the individual files will be streamed from the respective storage device/location. The scene file itself will barely increase when the Volume Loader is implemented. When the scene is passed on to other users you have to make sure that the individual files are also included - as the case is with textures or sound files, for example.

The Volume Loader object can be made a Child object of the Volume Mesher in order to generate a polygon object. If the Volume Loader object is made editable, it will be converted to a single non-animated Volume object in its current state.


You would never know it, but TurbulenceFD comes with it’s own little converter program to convert it’s native cache files to VDB.



So why is this cool?

Volume Loader gives us a fog volume…and fog volumes can be used with FIELDS and many other parts of c4d.


Octane meanwhile can generate a VDB from c4d noises. I’ll be eager to try this out today. I’ll be curious if this can output animated noise sequences.


Speaking of c4d’s noise and Fog Volumes.

The mere addition of a random field (even alone) inside a Volume Builder can be used to create or subtract noise shapes.


just in case you missed it, I have a few videos explaining what SDFs and Fog Volumes are…


I use fog volumes quite often to do clouds and rolling ground fog


Had some fun last night with Turbul.FD derived VDB…fed into mograph setup. Lots of possibilities.


screenshot request! :slight_smile:


Sure thing. I’ll post a screen grab or little video tonight or tomorrow. I want to work with a better sim than I was testing with last night.

This is the setup I had last night. It’s similar to the Maxon guy’s tutorial linked above. I’m just using a Cloner instead of a Matrix, and have a couple extra Effectors.


Thanks willl look forward to the video, do you have the time that M. Niedoba project starts?

Btw do not forget the Andrew Brown NAB 2019 volumes i posted while ago.


We use VDBs for smoke/clouds and such. Load in redshift and Arnold for quick rendering.


Forum posting was buggy when I tried today. I’ll get something up this weekend or sooner.


Bullit2–You might be referring to Thomas Brown of Vessel? (Though his examples were about generatig geo–not vdb smoke/cloud/fog)


Correct, he does VDB geometry in that


Yes I previously watched Thomas’s presentation and was super impressed.

As Joel suggests, this thread is more about using the Volumes in Cloud mode…and in the interplay of VDB between different programs and plugins.


Ok wasn’t aware of that.