Microfloaties Rig for Cinema 4D

Posted in Cinema 4D, Tips/Tutorials, Tools and Rigs by Joel Dubin on June 1, 2012

Microfloaties is a FREE* tool for Cinema 4D that lets you quickly add floating dust particles to your scene. It’s a rig fashioned from some of the mograph tools (cloners and effectors), some xpresso, and given specific user data to control the amount, size and speed of the dust particles, as well as the scale of the area they occupy in your scene file. Microfloaties requires Cinema 4D R12 Studio. You will need to have the mograph module and dynamics for Microfloaties to work properly. Special thanks to C4D-ers Dominic Faraway and Brett Morris for their feedback and assistance.

You can grab it here: MICROFLOATIES This zip file contains the Microfloaties C4D project file as well as a library file for use with your Content Browser in Cinema. If you wish to keep Microfloaties handy in your Content Browser, just drag the microfloaties.lib4d file into your Browser folder found within Maxon>Preferences>Library folders. Here is a tutorial to help get you started. Enjoy!

(*By FREE I mean feel FREE to make a donation if you have found Microfloaties to be useful to your work. Thank You :) )

To all who have been asking about adding functionality to allow the change of materials and cloner objects… Yes, I do intend to look into adding these functions to a future version of Microfloaties. For now, it is what it is :)

77 Responses

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  1. Selçuk Can Güven said, on June 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Can’t think of medical animation without microfloaties. =)

    Congrats and thank you Joel!

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you Selçuk

  2. Christian Zuppinger said, on June 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing, it is a very useful tool !

  3. mosterd said, on June 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    thanks 4 da plug!

  4. motionworks said, on June 28, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Very useful thanks Joel. If you ever consider selling your products ping me. Best wishes, John.

    • Joel Dubin said, on June 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Hey thanks John–got some help from a friend of yours ;)

  5. Mario Blanco said, on June 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    thanks very much! I really apreciated!
    thanks for share

  6. Ryan Ragle said, on June 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Awesome rig! I hate dealing with the Z axis issues in AE with trapcode particular for adding quick dust for visual interest. This will be a welcome collection to my bag of tricks. Thank You!

  7. said, on June 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Joel great tool! 2 little things that i would love to see.

    1. non-uniform volume. I have a camera travailing down a vain. in order to get the MICROFLOATIES all the way down the vain, i need a volume 4-5 times the size of my vain.

    2. I cant render MICROFLOATIES in vray

    • Joel Dubin said, on June 28, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      Hi Ryan

      1. Since microfloaties is basically a mograph cloner setup, these features should be easy to add. I can fix this in 2 ways–either have the cloner target a spline within the blood vessel, or use a volume effector to keep the clones within the vessel (would need an enclosed object for this to work).

      2. I don’t have VRAY but I bet its due to the floaties being render instances.

      You can get under the hood and switch that off by enabling your layer browser, and making the blue layer visible in the OM and unlocked as well. I wouldnt recommend tweaking too much, or else userdata and expresso might break, but you can turn off render instances in the cloner.

      We will eventually add more features and refinements when time allows.


  8. Shalom Ormsby said, on June 28, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Wow. Thanks for this useful and well designed gift! Much appreciated…

  9. Vince Maranta said, on June 29, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Thank you, a very useful tool indeed.

  10. […] Microfloaties es un nuevo recurso gratuito desarrollado por Joel Dubin que permite añadir automáticamente partículas de polvo en suspensión y hacerlas evolucionar. Se trata de una mezcla de herramientas MoGraph y Xpresso que proporcionan al usuario varios sliders para controlar la cantidad, el tamaño, la velocidad y otros parámetros de las partículas. Eso sí: es necesario usar Cinema 4D R12 Studio. […]

  11. Henry Birdseye said, on June 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Microfloaties are great, but I get this error popping up every now and then.

    I installed it as the lib, if that helps.

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Henry

      I’ll have to take a look on my end. Haven’t tested the lib4d file–might have not saved it properly. In the meantime–have you tried the .c4d file?

  12. mastajappa said, on June 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for the share great stuff!

  13. Stofe said, on June 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    super cool tool, thanks for making this!

  14. tbubb said, on June 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Super, super cool! Is there a way to assign the microfloaties to an object buffer?
    Thanks for the great tool!

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      You should be able to add a comp tag to either the floater rig parent or the micrfloaties object and assign it to a buffer, as you would normally do. If that doesn’t work let me know.


      • Phill said, on January 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

        I am having issues getting the object buffer to work as well. I have put a comp tag on both the parent rig and tested, and then the floatie object and tested. Neither worked as my render came out completely black.

        This is a great tool and appreciate your contributions to the community! Any help with this issue would be great.


      • Joel Dubin said, on January 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

        Go to your layer browser and make MF visible and unlocked. Then you will see the full heirarchy. There are hidden comp tags in there that may have been over-riding the one you were adding to the main objects.

  15. jessi said, on June 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Joel!

  16. Gary said, on July 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Camera repel is very helpful…nice job!

  17. stef said, on July 1, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    In my c4d content browser AT once !
    Joel these microfloaties are a master piece and will for sure become a mega hit.
    It is just one of a brilliant idea !
    Thanx a lot for sharing this with the C4D community
    Your blog is definitely the kinda place you gotta take some time hangin around grabbin some precious knowledge
    a big huge mega and, you got it, macro thanx for these sweeties micro floaties ;-)
    btw, i would have bet there wil be some pyrocluster involved, but you did simpler and a lot more straightforward without…

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 6, 2011 at 3:25 am

      Thanks–glad you like it :)

  18. Johnny said, on July 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Thank you very much for a great rig! This might be a stupid question, but how do i switch the materials?

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

      At the moment, the easiest way to change the materials is to go into each material and change them manually to your liking. I will make texture swapping easier in the next release.

  19. Thomas Nordén said, on July 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Pretty cool. It will come in handy. I think I might use it in daylight scenes to simulate what happens when I don’t vacuum as my fiancee tells me to.

  20. seru said, on July 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    just wanted to know if this works for c4d 11.5. The file is giving me “unknown file format”…

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Sorry, the file is R12 only.

      • Matt said, on July 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        Any chance of it being able to be crossed over for R11.5? From what I could gather, this isn’t TP but a Mograph Cloner right? Not sure if the Xpresso is specific to R12… maybe could do it without the Dynamics?

        I’m sure someone would gladly take the time to rebuild the code but still give you the credit if you’re super busy.

  21. jeffw0w said, on July 11, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Awesome, anyway you could choose to enable/disable different particles specifically, I tried changing that materials of the particles which didnt fit in the scene to invisible, but it doesn’t seem to be working :(!

  22. gubenhindenf said, on July 16, 2011 at 11:09 am

    thanks for sharing this!! very nice. there is only one thing, how can i chance the particle objects if i wanna use my own?

    keep up the good stuff!

  23. Marti Romances said, on July 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Good one Joel! :) I just wondering if it’s any chance to export the floaties system without any background on it… I need to export with alpha ch but can’t figure out how… when I deselect the Gradient on the light options the bg still white…

    • Joel Dubin said, on July 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Simply switch the Visible Light option in the GEneral tab of the light to none. Or just switch it off altogether.

  24. stfor said, on August 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    That’s some good stuff! :)

  25. ade said, on August 9, 2011 at 6:12 am

    just wanna say some apreciate. great tools

  26. verydiscreet said, on August 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Will it work in R12?

  27. rbpratt said, on September 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    yes it will work in crd v12. just wanted to say thank you.

  28. dddddd said, on September 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm


    • Joel Dubin said, on September 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      The correct spelling is MicroFloatiesffffffffffffffffffffff (you added a few to many lowercase f’s)

  29. Pulse | Cinema 4D tutorial | pariah studios said, on September 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    […] also look at including microfloppies, a cool little setup from Joel Dubin which you can find at his site. Grab it and have a good look. It’s a simple but effective […]

  30. Craig Zuckerman said, on October 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Hey Joel, thanks for the Microfloatie tutorial, very clear to understand the parameters !:)-also, someone above mentioned something about uniform volume of the floatie content-how about, as in your tutorial, keyframe a sphere, or any object, moving through the “floatie environment”, as an invisible object?-this way, when the floaties encounter the “invisible” sphere, they move out of the way, kind if like a current, underwater?, although I am sure that you have employed this idea already-this would help to “breakup” the evenness of the volume. Also, if you do not mind, and I hae not thoroughly explored this, can we add/subtract “floatie” objects in this rig?-is is just a matter of opening up TP and adding objects?-thanks, Craig

    • Joel Dubin said, on October 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Craig

      I believe the functionality you mention does exist. Watch my video tute–I explain (I think!) how to add a dynamic sphere (or oher object) which can repel the floaties as it moves through. I think it was towards the end of the tute.

      The rig is not TP–its mograph. There are controls to turn on and off the “hair” threads. If you want to edit whats in there (though I wouldn’t advise as you may break the xpresso) you can make the hidden layers visible in your layer browser and then replace the sphere objects with whatever you choose.

      Sometime in the future (hopefully this decade!) I will get some more functionality in there to address the need for swapping out “floatie” objects.

      • Craig Zuckerman said, on October 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

        H Joel ,yes I did watch the entire video-I was merely thinking, that, if the sphere was invisible, it’s movement would suggest ” water or air currents”, that’s all, but yes, very cool on your part.-I do not understand your comment about replacing some of the floaties with other objects, would you be able to elaborate when you have a second?-thx-CZ

  31. Joel Dubin said, on October 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Yes of course–you could turn the objects visibility off if you wish. I do this all the time to achieve the affect you mention. There is also turbulence controls.

    You asked how to add and subtract floatie objects. I have hidden all the components via the layer manager. Just open your layer manager and activate the hidden layers and then the full mograph/cloner rig will be accessible in your objects manager. From there you just alter the object as you would when dealing with any other mograph cloner.

    • Craig Zuckerman said, on October 7, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      thanks Joel, you are a slick one;)-will investigate these very nifty tool even further-thank you for your attention to this, enjoy your week!!-CZ

  32. […] to get back in the saddle, and first on the list is this free dust simulator I’ve found for Cinema 4D. A great little preset and well worth a […]

  33. Micro Organism said, on November 4, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    […] made a quick test with Microfloaties that is micro organic debris xpresso setup for Cinema 4D. I think it´s great for animation […]

  34. Jose Filiau said, on December 1, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks a lot man. But Can you make a simple tutorial about Translucent Pro? :)

  35. lxrkan said, on December 22, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I had to get Particular for a project of mine, but thanks to this ill have one less step in my workflow!

  36. Free C4D Tools | MGS said, on January 1, 2012 at 1:37 am

    […] Microfloaties Rig […]

  37. jayse said, on January 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Used in Rise of the Planet of the Apes Neuron scenes –

    Mega thx for all the help on that one Joel!

    • Joel Dubin said, on January 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      That reel blew my mind! Really fantastic stuff their Jayse. Our email conversation a while back was actually what got me building the rig to begin with.

  38. 19primus said, on February 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hi Joel

    Great stuff ! Thank you … I´ve one question . All the time microfloppies is shown as HUD in the editor window. Even its not in use , i can´t switch the HUD off. There are also no settings in the projects-preferences.

    Any tipp ?


    • Joel Dubin said, on February 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Sorry about that. Looks like the HUD display doesn’t show up automatially in 12 but it does in 13. All you need to do is to go into your LAYER BROWSER and then SHOW and UNLOCK the microfloaties layer. This will reveal the entire hidden hierarchy in your OM. Look for a null called “info” and delete it. That should do it. Make sure you hide and lock the layer again to prevent from accidentally breaking anything.

      • 19primus said, on February 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm

        Thank you Joel, your help did the trick !

  39. Joseph Cyr said, on May 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I tried to download the Microfloaties rig today, but the link does not work. Is it still available? Does it work with R13?

    Joseph Cyr

    • Joel Dubin said, on May 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Link works fine here. It should work find in R13.

  40. enzorocket said, on July 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    __hey Joel – tried to download the file Microfloaties today but have a mobile me error saying the account is closed. Do you have it up anywhere else? thanks – Enzo.

  41. Morrigan said, on July 6, 2012 at 7:18 am

    mobile me link down (Apple is off mobile me starting in July) Can you repost to another host?

  42. Morrigan said, on July 6, 2012 at 7:21 am

    sorry about that. I meant to ask “please..” first but my typing was faster than my courtesy

  43. jojopuppepuppe said, on July 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    do i need an account to download? -_-

  44. Xander said, on July 7, 2012 at 12:23 am

    The service where you upload the file has close. Only account owners can dowlad their files for limited tme only. Can you upload please in another locaton?

  45. Joel Dubin said, on July 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hey Guys–sorry about the disruption in download availability. I was hosting on MobileMe which as Mac users know, is no longer in service. I’ve moved the link to dropbox. Please try again (above).

    • Enzo Rocket said, on July 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      many thanks for re-establishing – its awesome. THANK YOU!

  46. Juan Carreras said, on August 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Joel,
    Awesome tool. Thank you ! I’ve been experimenting with C4D trying to create dust and turbulences being generated when a helicopter takes off in my scene without much success (I’m not very experienced with C4D yet …). I wonder whether your script could do somehow the trick.
    Trying t create something similar to
    but way less dramatic since the helo would take off from a ship’s helideck instead of the desert.
    Any suggestions ?

  47. cleahy43 said, on February 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Hey the the link is broken….

  48. Barry W. said, on April 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Great and useful.. thanks

  49. Kevin said, on May 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hey, I tried downloading the file and there’s an SSL connection error? Tried downloading it in both Firefox and Chrome. I’ve heard good things about this, would love to try it!

  50. […] They’re easy to work with. Simple logo reveal. Built in Cinema 4D and After Effects. I used Joel Otron’s microfloaties for the particles. The rest is basic C4D […]

  51. Tim said, on May 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Hey Joel,

    Thanks so much for this kick ass rig!! I am a forensic/medical animator out of Denver Colorado mostly using MAYA in our production pipeline. I just recently started playing in C4D, and I gotta say..WOW.. This software is really easy to operate and generates some nice looking renders with dynamics fast!! (nothing like MAYA where i find myself fixing more things than creating) Well anyway, I’ve been following your work for a few years now and am always impressed as well as inspired by your art. Thanks for having this awesome blog with so many tips and tricks you have found on your journey :)



    • Joel Dubin said, on May 31, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Tim

      Sorry for the delay in my response–I’m really bad with following up with the comments here.
      Thanks for checking out my blog and for the kind words. :)

  52. MicroFloaties | Dominik Moser said, on July 9, 2013 at 8:22 am

    […] MicroFloaties. Schönes Tool für Cinema4D, das Kay Tennemann auf dem Münchner Maxon Usermeeting am Rande erwähnt hat. MicroFloaties fügt der Cinema Szene klitzekleine, schwebende Staubpartikel hinzu, was ein wenig Atmosphäre schafft und einfach nett aussieht. […]

  53. Rory said, on September 28, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing this with us Joel its really useful !

  54. bobo said, on February 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    this is awesome, too bad it took me 4 years to find this!

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