Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Ash Thorp is a graphic designer, illustrator, artist, and creative director for a multitude of media, including feature films, commercial enterprises, and print. In early 2015 Ash was contacted by 3AM to co-direct a very unique viral spot for the upcoming film The Martian. Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the spot is an episode of StarTalk set in the future and highlights the upcoming Ares 3 mission to Mars. Ash brought Michael Rigley on to head the design and animation of all UI and hologram elements throughout the piece.
X-Particles was used for the suit holograms to generate really fine point clouds on the mesh with a gradient texture emission. The solar system shot used the most XP, it was used to generate particles that would follow the orbital path of the planets and displace those in proximity to them. For the planets themselves there are a few layers of XP. They generated point clouds, curl turbulence trails and trails with connections combined with hair spline dynamics.
There’s also a burst of particles at the beginning of the shot that was a simple setup with a sphere emitter and speed modifier – so the particles would explode from the center and slow down as they reached the end of their life.
We asked Michael “why use X-Particles?”
“XP makes it super easy to generate a lot of variations very quickly. During design I’ll do a ton of variations with one setup – changing emitter setting, swapping modifiers, altering trail parameters, etc, then doing current state to object and rendering out a bunch of passes. This allows me to not worry too much about the specifics of the system at the beginning stages and test various looks in comp.” Michael Rigley
I highly recommend anyone using X-Particles to use it in tandem with Cycles 4D. The bridge between the two allows for some amazing effects and control over the appearance of your particle systems. Being a regular Cinema 4D user also meant that Cycles 4D was fairly easy to pick up and integrate into our workflow. - Matthew Encina Blind.com
Cycles 4d is the render engine I’ve always wanted to have as a C4D artist. It’s a feature rich engine that doesn’t ask you to change the way you work to get the render you want. You can render entirely procedurally, or with image textures. It doesn’t feel like a plug-in at all, it feels like an update. - Casey Hupke
I find this is the absolute go-to anytime that I want to do anything with particles… There are so many possibilities and great looks you can achieve with even just some really simple setups - Mike “Beeple” Winkelman
Playing with TP and Xpresso is a thing of the past for me now. - Ash Thorp
Territory use X-Particles a lot when it comes to detailed simulations for feature film UI. The ease of use means we can turn work around quickly without sacrificing a demanding quality bar - David Sheldon-Hicks / Founder and creative director / Territory Studio
Designer-friendly and technically advanced, simply powerful and art direction-able, X-Particles is an integral tool of my workflow, always impressed how Insydium are constantly developing and refining the most important toolset for Cinema 4D. - Motion Designer; Director; Brett Morris
X-Particles is an essential tool in my creative workflow - whether it be for creating daily images or commercial client projects. It allows me to quickly and intuitively throw together visual concepts or drill down into more complex, technical setups. The integrated interactive and video manual are outstanding, and if you can’t get the answers there, the support team are personal and very quick to help out. - Joey Camacho, Raw & Rendered