DAY 043 – Concave Dynamics Chain

While doing my usual scouring of the internet for tutorials, one issue that seemed to come up more than many others, was one on the discussion of “Concave Object Dynamics” in Cinema 4D or a “Concave Dynamics Chain.” It seems that in order for Cinema 4D to calculate dynamics quickly and easily, any non-editable object, such as a chain link, is shrink-wrapped in an invisible layer when the calculations take place to keep things moving along quickly.

That means if anything other than keyframed animation is needed for something such as a chain, Cinema 4D doesn’t see those links as hollow links. It sees them as a series of thick, rounded rectangles. So, using the analogy above, imagine that each chain link is wrapped in shrink-wrap. The chain links would now be intersecting solids and not hollow links that could attach to each other.

So, the moment a Dynamics Tag is attached to them, they will explode apart from each other the moment Play is pressed. This is because, in C4D’s calculation engine, it sees a number of thick rectangles intersecting with each other, and the Dynamics Engine reacts accordingly.

I walked myself through several different tutorials on how to get around this problem, and all of them seemed confusing or overly complicated. So, armed with my newbie-hacker skills, i decided to take a stab at Concave Dynamics in Cinema 4D myself. It seems that the most-used example is of a chain, so I decided to stick with the common example.

After way too many hours of trial and error (mostly error), I came up with a result that I haven’t seen elsewhere.  I may be completely missing the point and doing it completely wrong, but I’m proud of the final result.  The only thing I still don’t understand, though, is why things need to remain as primitive objects.  In my marbles simulation, the dynamics engine had no problem with my bowl; I have an non-editable version as a backup, and then I have the editable version I use for the simulations and scenes.

Anyway, project file and tutorial will be posted here shortly…


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