Instancing Objects onto Hair in Cinema 4D.

There is a lot that you can do with this effect. Anything that you can do with Cinema 4D’s hair you can do with objects instanced onto it. This works very well with plants or objects that wave dynamically, much like hair would.

Tutorial

 

 

Setup

This is actually very easy to setup, all are you need are three things – An object to instance, an object to instance onto, and some c4d hair.

First off: Lets add some hair onto our ground plane (or wherever you want to add your instanced objects). A bunch of guide hairs are going to pop up – way to many actually. What you’re going to need to do now is in the object manager click on “Guides” scroll down to “Count” and then lower this down a bit.
After this lets click on the “Generate” tab. Under “Type” choose “Instance” and then an instance tab will appear in the attribute editor. Drag the object that you want instanced into the “Object” slot. Right at the top of this tab make sure to turn “Render Hairs” off.
If you were to render right now you’ll notice two big problems – Your instanced objects are incredibly skinny and the color of your objects aren’t showing up. To fix the skinniness of you’re objects what we’ll have to do is go into the Hair Material that is created with our hair – this is what’s telling C4D to make our objects really thin. In the Hair Material click on the “Thickness” option and chance the Root and Tip thickness to whatever looks best for your object. To get the materials of your instances to show up go back into your hair objects attributes and under the “Generate” tab click on “Keep Textures”
After this the only thing left is to is go into the “Dynamics” attributes of your hair object and change it to get your desired results.

 

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  • http://www.dmartin3d.com David Martin

    Hi Glen,

    Thought I’d ask while I’m trouble shooting…but my object keeps instancing upside down. I’ve attempted to toggle on the invert in the Generate–>Alignment but nothing. I’ve scaled the object -1 in Y and nothing. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    David

    • http://www.glenfaught.com Glen Faught

      Hey David,
      I might be wrong on this, but I think if you go into axis mode and just rotate the axis of your object you might be able to do it.

  • http://www.dmartin3d.com David Martin

    Hi Glen,
    I figured it out. You have to change the Object(Abs) value to -1 and apply. This flips the object to orient correctly in the instancing. I tried a million other things, including rotating the axis to align with correct up down for my scene, but nothing worked except for the Obj (Abs) scale setting. Thanks for the tut and the feedback.
    Cheers!

    • http://www.glenfaught.com Glen Faught

      I never would’ve thought it would be so difficult to figure out, thanks for sharing the solution David!

  • http://www.cassiewellendorf.com Cassie

    Hi Glen,

    Will Motext work with this technique? I have a Motext object with lots of subdivisions but it won’t show up. Any suggestions?

  • Matt

    Hey Glen,

    I’m curious: how might one go about using multiple instances? What if I’d like Cinema to choose between 3 or 4 possible meshes at random for each hair rather than use just one? Is that possible?

    • GFaught

      Defiantly. What you have to do is drop your multiple objects into a hierarchy and then in the Hair’s “Generate” tab you change the “Hierarchy” option to random. Here is a screenshot of the setup.

      • Matt

        That’s interesting that they need to be put in that particular hierarchy and simply putting them under a null doesn’t do the trick (and then setting the Instance object to the null). Thanks for the tip though, it does the trick. :)

        • GFaught

          I tried doing it with a null at first, I was surprised that didn’t work too. Not sure why it likes doing it this way, but as long as it works!