How are layers blended?
For other areas of use, simply imagine simple masked object points (e.g., Deformers) or point weighting (e.g., Vertex Maps) instead of offset clones.
Blending colors and vectors is done analogously.
Since several Fields can be implemented simultaneously, they have to be combined with one another. This is done as follows in the respective Field list:
Pictured is a Matrix object that is affected by 4 Fields (the Fields are in a Plain Effector that raises the clones by 100cm, the value trim for the Field list from 0%-100% is disabled; Icon bottom right). Note the various Blending modes (strength always set to 100%).
What exactly do the Blending modes calculate?
Example: 2 intersecting Spherical Fields:
The red position lies within both Fields. A value can be ascertained (sampled) for each Field. The Spherical Field a ascertains a value of 0.1 and the Spherical Field b a value of 0.6. Both of these values will - depending on the Blending mode defined - be added, subtracted, multiplied, etc. Imagine many clone or point positions to be sampled for the red position, to which a corresponding effect will be added.
Of course, there are not only geometric Fields. There are also others such as the Step Field, which does not ascertain values from the center to an outer radius but does so based on the numbering of object points or clone numbers. Other Fields ascertain a value from animation times and the Random Field calculates random values.
All of these Fields’ values are combined to an overall result to create a final effect.
Sometimes you will find drop-down sub-folders for certain Fields or Layers (e.g., Radial Field or Time Layer), as in the example below for the Time Field Layer:
This sub-folder can even be made a subordinate of a sub-field. Explicitly for this value (and not for the entire layer), separate Fields can be defined that only affect the distribution of values for this setting.
If the Field objects in the Object Manager are selected, these will have an additional tab with the name of the sub-field setting to be affected. This does not apply to Field and Modifier Layers because these are not listed as separate objects in the Object Manager and only exist in the Fields list. It doesn’t make a difference if you generate sub-fields for Field objects via this tab or directly in the Fields list - both lists are identical/synchronized and only look differently.
Shift + clicking on a sub-folder will make newly created Fields and Layers subordinate to this folder.
Compared to Cinema 4D R20, you have a much better overview of the sub-fields being used.
General Tips and Tricks
’Reading’ a Field scene
If you open a scene that contains multiple Fields, it can be difficult to understand because of the many dependencies that cannot be sorted out in the Object Manager. In this case you can do the following:
Fields and MoGraph Effectors
Fields are a further development of the falloff function, e.g., for Effectors, from previous Cinema 4D versions (<R20): By moving the falloff, position, expansion and other new functions to Fields, these can in turn be linked with any Effector:
New workflow for falloff
The Plain Effector can now be used to create multiple effects. All you have to do is feed it with the respective Fields or layer effects. The following Effectors can be replaced by a Plain Effector with the corresponding Field:
All other Effectors offer functions that - currently - cannot be entirely generated by such combinations. The Random Effector, for example, appears to be able to be replaced by the Random Field at first glance. However, contrary to the Random Effector, the Random Field cannot create separate random values for X, Y and Z (the X, Y and Z coordinates would, for example, be 354, 354, 354 or 23, 23, 23 and so on (i.e., identical)).
It’s basically easier to understand working with Fields and Plain Effectors than with Fields and old Effectors (e.g., Random Effector with a Random Field) even though such combinations will also work.
Loading old MoGraph scenes (< Cinema 4D R20)
Old MoGraph scenes will be loaded with unmodified Effectors - with the old Falloff tab - so that they work as usual (the description for the old Falloff tab is, however, no longer present in the documentation).
A Switch to Field button will be displayed in the Falloff tab with which the Effector will be switched to Fields (cannot be undone). However, old Falloff settings will not automatically be assumed. These must be recreated using Fields, which can be done quite easily (see New Falloff workflow) since the shape Fields have the same names.
When an old scene is loaded: old Falloff tab
When a new Effector is created: new tab with Field list
If coloring using Effectors was not so clear in previous versions of Cinema 4D, it is now. Now, Fields are used to define the colors and do the coloring. In the Effector itself, make sure that Fields Color is selected in the Parameter tab’ Color menu.
How do Fields create colors? Most fields apply spatial effect fields with which an effect is controlled. Imagine the distribution of the effect as a grayscale Gradient. These levels of gray can now be converted to colors using remapping. All Fields have a Color Remap tab with settings that can be used to control coloring. The levels of gray can then be replaced with an individual color or a color range (similar to the Colorizer shader) and passed on to the Effector.
A few special Fields also exist that do not create colors based on their effect strength but do so in a different way. These are, for example, the Shader, Sound and Random Fields as well as tags that have their own colors (e.g., Vertex Color tag). These can pass on colors directly to the Effector - without having to use color remapping.
In the Effector’s Field list, the colors of multiple Fields can be combined with different blend modes.
On the following pages you will find descriptions of all elements that can be added to the Field list.
The term Values on the following pages refers to the 3 channels Values, Colors and Direction, which can be used to affect Fields and layers.