Microfloaties Rig for Cinema 4D

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 thoughts on “Microfloaties Rig for Cinema 4D

  • 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!

  • 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

    • 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.


    • 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?

    • 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.


      • 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.


      • 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.

  • 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…

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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 :(!

  • 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…

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

  • 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

    • 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.

      • 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

  • 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.

  • Pingback: Micro Organism
    • 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.

  • 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 ?


    • 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.

  • 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

  • __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.

  • 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?

  • 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).

  • 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEpIga8ougo
    but way less dramatic since the helo would take off from a ship’s helideck instead of the desert.
    Any suggestions ?

  • 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!

  • 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🙂



    • 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.🙂

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