First look at the C4D plugin

Look ma, no bounding box!


Use build 6787 or later. The intended installation procedure is simply running the installer and restarting C4D if necessary. The installer should register the plugins with R20, R21 and/or R22, whichever is installed. That is, after restarting C4D, the path C:\Program Files\Jawset Reactions\bin should show up in C4D’s Preferences/Plugins/Search Path. If it does not, please let me know. You can also add the path manually and restart C4D to load the plugin.

Kicking the tires

After loading the plugin, you should have a main menu entry Reactions. Select Reactions/Presets/Volume Grids/Explosion to get started. Open the Graph Editor via Reactions/Graph Editor. Select for example the node Box01 iot. transform the box in the viewport.

TFD Legacy Render Bridge

The Reactions C4D plugin comes with a compatibility layer for the TFD render API. This allows all renderers that currently support TFD to render Reactions volumes. To make this possible, proxy objects are created in C4D that pretend to be TFD containers to the renderers and bridge the voxel and shader data to them. For each Volume Grid node in Reactions, one such proxy object is created in C4D.

This compatibility mode cannot take advantage of the performance improvements, lower memory footprint and new shading features in Reactions though. It has to convert grids to dense, single-box grids which takes time, uses more memory and causes the render to process more empty space. And it can only use the TFD shading features.

The upcoming Reactions API will bring the benefits of sparse grids, more flexible shaders and also support direct particle rendering. This will reduce frame setup times, render times and memory footprint, allowing to scrub through the timeline faster with IPR active and render larger grids in general.

In order for the Legacy Render Bridge to work, TFD must either be the new build v1.0 1461 or not installed at all.

What’s missing?

mind_your_head This is an incomplete list. It’s just intended to give you a better idea of what to expect from the next updates.

Objects, Tags and Parameters

At this point, all REA parameters have to be edited in the Graph Editor. The next step is to map some REA nodes to C4D objects. This will yield a scene structure similar to TFD. That is:

  • A Grid object with configurable channels (mapping the VolumeGrid node to a C4D object)
  • Any number of emitter tags on C4D objects
  • A simulation control object that makes the simulation parameters accessible from C4D’s object manager.
    The main difference to TFD is the splitting of Grid objects from the Simulation node. This allows for more flexible use of grids generated by a fluid simulation, use of grids without a fluid simulation as well as exchange with C4D’s Volumes.


  • Several actions will be mapped to toolbar buttons both in the Graph Editor and C4D.
  • The Graph Editor will gain a toolbar shelve to create nodes and presets as a fancier alternative to the current menus.
  • Node connections will get a collapsed mode, where only one wire exists between each pair of nodes. This will simplify graphs for typical simulations where ATM you need one wire for each Volume channel passing through a chain of nodes.


Particles cannot be rendered or bridged to/from C4D’s native particle systems yet.

Compute backend

A few nodes don’t support CPU simulation yet, preventing the entire pipeline from running on the CPU.


Voxel sim performance is not final.
Esp. advection uses an expensive conservative method you would only use for sims that have a high quality requirement.

Nodes and Presets

Nodes and Presets are in the same category because one core aspect of Reactions is to provide a framework that allows building both inside the app in a creative workflow. Features that are hard-wired in TFD and most other DCC apps can be built in Reactions live and stored/shared as nodes and presets.

For the presets you can expect explosion, fire, cloud, dust, vapour, etc. setups.
Among the nodes are several grid modifiers and generators, e.g. for velocity field generation, grid post processing (like looping), particle advection and iso-surface extraction to name a few.

What’s next?

The next milestone includes the C4D workflow features (see Objects, Tags and Parameters) and one round of Nodes and Presets. At that point we’ll invite a larger group to the closed beta.
The milestone after that will lead to a Public Beta. The required features for this one are most of the “What’s missing?” section, less exciting things like crash handler, update check, etc. as well as a first round of documentation.

Wow !! Will have a look later today when I have rendered out a test. I have been spending so much time learning RS Arnold and a bit of Octane to decide which render engine to go with I have not ben looking at Reactions.

hopefully a better in viewport preview of the fluids as in FumeFX

This is incredibly exciting Jascha.

I just downloaded it and am installing it in S22 and R21 now.

Just to let you know I had to add the plugin path myself.

WIndows 10 Pro
10.0.18362 Build 18362

HP Z8 G4 Workstation
Nvidia RTX4000

The plugin path was added correctly and the plugin menu shows up. Selecting any of the particle presets creates the objects in the object manager (and I can see the graph in the graph editor) but nothing in the viewport. Selecting any of the volume presets creates the legacy TFD connector, but upon pressing play, Cinema R22 just hangs forever.

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I see the objects in OM and can play the timeline but see nothing in the viewport