Realistic dynamic simulations in C4d

Here we show how we achieved realistic dynamic simulations for a project with Cinema4D.

For this project we have two simulations; A football striking the back of the net, and a cricket ball hitting the stumps and sending the bails flying. 

A lot of the time a setup you may think will work for one scene, often won’t work for another, so it’s important to breakdown exactly what you want the viewer to see and analyse the most efficient method for achieving the effect.

For the goal the original idea was to use cloth simulation – after all, the netting material behaves like cloth. However, as we got in to it it became apparent the cloth sim was not going to give us the results we wanted.  The next best option, and not used often enough – soft body dynamics – a way to create soft deformations on the surface of rigid bodies. 

The benefit to this method was being able to define a weight map to control the impact and simulation of the netting more precisely. We need all edges of the goal net to stay in place, with only the area where the ball hits it to react. 

Once we were happy with our sim, we baked it as an Alembic animation, allowing us to optimise our scene for faster rendering and play the sim back frame by frame. 

Moving on to the Cricket Stumps. The original idea was to create a set of rigid bodies that would react to the impact of a dynamic cricket ball – but we weren’t pleased with the outcome. Any time you rely solely on a simulation, you have to give up a little of the art direction – and in this case it just wasn’t giving us the result we wanted.

So instead of making everything a dynamic simulation, we animated the cricket stumps and ball manually, then used a hidden object (in this case a good old box) to strike the bails from a low angle, propelling them dynamically into the air. All that was left was to make the floor dynamic so the bails would bounce on them and roll to a stop. 

Lastly, because we animated our cricket ball hitting the stumps, and to save on manual animation, we triggered the dynamics on the cricket ball to switch on once the ball had moved past the stumps – allowing the ball to bounce realistically on the floor object and roll away.