Reaction vs C4D Pyro and another things

Hi Jascha,

  • New Pyro C4D is fine, but this version is super slow on CPU, eat many RAM and VRAM on both CPU and GPU, lacking many important features, and looks not too good at detail and animation volume shape. I think you really should have focused on Reaction for window, to release it as soon as posible. then when people notice at it, then building for OSX. Too long time Reaction does not have new feature update and bug fix.

There is only two interesting thing about C4D pyro:

1, it works great with field force, where we can control anyshape we want about volume animation, this is also extremely important features that was requested manytime for Reaction but still not completed :frowning:

2, which is that it has an extremely minimalist and easy-to-understand workflow, which is much better than Reaction in terms of convenience and accessibility. And what’s funny is that it’s convenient that it follows Turbulencefd’s worflow

Reaction UI is really should be developed follow C4D Pyro’s

I know that you need to balance your life and this software but I still hope it will be in focus soon. Because spiritually this is a beautiful gift, a brainchild should be fully growing. In terms of profit, this is definitely a great product if invested properly. Because it is clear that its potential is better than Fumefx, Axiom, Phoenixfd or even Embergen

Here I would like to reiterate once again some of the Must-have feature requests that I believe will be like powerful wings for Reaction:

  • Working tightly with field force ( like C4D pyro do )
  • Fluid + Mandelbrot - in traditional math like you said
  • Import .VDB and keeping simulate from that .VDB follow field force vector
  • Fluid + Mandelbrot - in AI way in future ( from above v1 )

Thank you!


Totally agree with Sup.

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I fear it might be too late. The general reaction from motion designers I hear online is “finally we can ditch tfd, this has fields and native vdb support”.

Reactions looks very complicated to use, as opposed to pyro which can bang out results in seconds. Tfd’s strength was simplicity of use and speed. Seeing how loooong reactions has been in development, by the time it’s done pyro will be on v3 or 4. I love tfd, but between pyro, axiom and embergen, the world has moved on.

Not that simple, speed and simplicity are interesting. But the condition to be able to apply it to production are stability and optimization. As I mention above, Jascha completely can adjust UI further. He spent 10 years developing optimization algorithms for TFD and Reaction. That’s why I think C4D pyro cannot be optimized very soon. C4D pyro now just can make some burning, not a serious explosion. Always out of RAM, VRAM too soon. Even with 64GB or 4090

Plus, The advantage of an independent software developer is that he can implement special features requested by the user, without going through a cumbersome apparatus. Like Fstorm vs Octane, Rombo tool vs native Arnold

It also seems that you can only use your display card to sim and not a headless card as TFD does.

actually the VRAM and RAM issue are very popular in twitter, not just me. It play well with some burning/ fire but not for real explosion.

I have to jump in as a real fanboi of TFD and I must say, I agree.

Mostly business wise: TFD had a great edge when it came out, years ahead of its time imo. Its the first plugin i bought in c4d that unlocked me as an artist without knowing anything about smoke/fire sims.
First off I believe that Jascha should have charged some small fee after updating tfd all those years. Now its late for that. Motion designers get impressed by a sphere emitting smoke. And that is probably 70% of the people that were using TFD in the first place. As in heavy vfx work someone goes to Houdini its a no brainer.
Reactions: I tried install it 2 times it was crashing etc I never bothered again as much as i love smoke. Industry has moved forward with other tools and people are willing to go outside c4d way easier these days. Reactions dev has taken way too long and everyone forgot about it. If/when it gets released, it should at least be exactly as pyro ease/features (which has some amazing things tbh and is unified with everything without even caching velocities etc etc) but way faster. I feel if it cannot reach that level of parity and superiority same time, it wont sell.

Personally I will support it, as I always have, cause I understand the effort and all + for sentimental reasons believe it or not lol. My artworks are on TFDs website.
Just had to let this out, not as judgement by any means, but just my pov as I know a lot of whats up in the industry/market at the moment.

Have a great weekend!

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Thanks Thanos for agreeing with me. I have strong sentimental reasons like you. and I also agree that every time some new features is updated, a small fee should be requiredfor Tfd. With Reaction, when Reaction returns to the market and attracts everyone’s attention, the subscription policy should not be applied yet, but still fee for update also apply. Jascha shouldn’t be afraid of antagonizing the client. Because there are always fall-in-love fanboy like you and me support in our ability as much as we can. And this is also the general trend of software development companies

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and feedback. You bring up the ease-of-use aspect. Let me give you my TLDR version of that :slight_smile:

The main goal of Reactions is to allow for both complex custom setups (nodes and code) as well as asset-based workflows (templates and presets) and doing that efficiently on GPUs (i.e. no slow scripting). So far, i haven’t seen this balancing act implemented successfully.

Reactions is still light on the simple workflows because development progresses from complex setups to simple workflows. Progress is in that order because the simple, preset-driven workflows are a wrapper around complex setups. Reactions is mainly about this: programmable setups with multiple workflow wrappers. Fire&Smoke was the obvious choice for a first test-case of that system. But it’s not the only possible application and may not be the most important one in the long term.

The edge of TFD is long gone. Today fire&smoke is one of many features a DCC app is expected to provide. All tech development goes through these cycles. In 2008 it was relatively rare and new. Today, building a fire&smoke tool is much less venturous. There is plenty of literature available and much less change in the used methods to keep up with. Development of any specific tech will eventually saturate. That is, everyone will have a good enough version at some point. My mission is not to fight the commoditization of fire&smoke. Instead, I’m curious about what comes next.

Try to imagine what the content creation process could look like in, say, 50 years. Then compare it to what we have today. What’s the most distinct difference?
When i do that, i come up with: user interface and workflow. When all tech has saturated, what is left? There are creative humans communicating a visual vision to a machine that generates it.

Until today CG software has mostly added features to allow to create all kinds of visual phenomena and increase their realism. And software has become more and more complex and technical in the process. One approach to fight complexity is to implement simple versions of all that tech and hope to stay behind the curve of growing complexity. But of course in the long term we want both simplicity and fidelity.

One relatively recent development that goes into that direction are unbiased render engines. As we have more compute power available, we can invest it to reduce the complexity of the tool. Another approach are the layered workflows that Reactions aims to deliver. And yet another one is Generative AI that may soon allow you to do your art direction using high level commands rather than many very specific clicks.
This all points to progress on the usability front that will eventually allow us to provide even more complex content creation methods that are at the same time simpler to use.


Thanks for your thoughts Jascha.

What most people want to say is that, when is Reactions coming out eventually? Is it gonna be as easy and as unified with everything else in c4d as pyro is?
We still care about simplistic tools as fire/smoke cause we work in commercials and motion design. Anything more complex is more than welcome, but atm we have specific and simple needs.


Ahh the future…I still do a lot of my work on a Hard Disk Drive and I still have a landline.

I agree with Thanos and Paul. I know the vision is nice but not all of us can live in next 50 years? The target is important, but the moments are more important. Life is a collection of precious moments, not just a singer target. So, we need beautiful power of Reaction on our hand in the present, to love it, to enjoy it, to use it, make money with it, make fun with it, support to build it with you and together when we can, rather than waiting for it too long in the distant future when everything is saturated

Now, come back to the main detail. One important purpsose of personal me and many other 3D movie Artist is creating UNIQUE EPIC Nuclear or explosion ( combine with special effect like Mandebrot or something else ) in my Music video, movies, products. So if Reaction can do that effeciently, happiness will make me not strict with the interface.

But if you stand from the perspective of most of the artists out there,in commercial and motion design, like Thanos, you can see that preset is fine, but not good as a simple UI that everyone can understand and change parameter follow what they want. ACTUALLY, current Reaction UI in Cinema 4D is quite simple. I think Jascha just need do 2 things:

  1. Throw all that icon ( Advect, Decay, Combusion, Buoyancy, Turbulence, Velocity ) in one single Panel like C4D Pyro, that will help us seeing all the parameters in a unified panel without clicking on each single icon, to find wich paramter in which section/ which icon… very inconvenient

  2. A general simulation object to define CPU or GPU join the party, substep, interations, time scale…etc…

I think 2 things above can change easily with Jascha hand ( without changing anything in source method ) right? And we’re all happy.


Well put, Sup. I agree of course with the here-and-now aspect. This is not mutually exclusive with the future vision, though. Software must solve today’s problems. At the same time, software development must work on solving tomorrow’s problems. My post was mostly aimed at the worries that Reactions might be too complex UI-wise. So i described my motivation behind that and plans to make it much easier to use.

Those 2 steps you describe are exactly what Smart Assets will do in Reactions soon. This is what i mean when i write “multiple workflow tiers” or “asset-driven” workflows. There will be a TFD-like object (or very similarly a C4D Pyro object). But beyond that, any number of more specific objects like for example a camp-fire, explosion, candle-flame, cumulus cloud, etc. Each of these specific objects give you only a small set of art-directable parameters on the outside, like Flame Height, Smoke Thickness, Turbulence Intensity, etc. But unlike TFD or Pyro, Reactions will allow you to pop open these objects, change the underlying simulation setup and create new objects.

Apropos epic explosions: ATM Reactions can do sims starting at 32B/voxel (this could become less by sacrificing some accuracy). That means 16GB of available GPU memory give you up to 500M voxels. An Apple M1 Ultra with its 128GB could run sims up to 4G voxels. This would likely be the largest sim ever run on a single GPU - working on it…


ATM I can get around 200 MV from a 12 GB Titan on TFD. Where can I find the info on the number of voxels produced in a Reactions sim ?

In the Reactions UI, Data & Stats, Volume Grid shows various statistics for each volume channel. The velocity channel is the one that shows you the total voxel count. Other channels are often smaller because they are decayed and clipped differently.

Note that none of the templates are setup for minimal memory footprint since they use multiple volume channels (burn, density, temperature, divergence, etc.). The 32B/voxel minimum is for velocity and one tracer channel (typically temperature). Each additional channel needs up to 4B/voxel - depending on the actual size of the channel’s content.

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Just checked Pyro during the last two days. And if I have to do vdb stuff in c4d I wouldn’t use it jet. It’s seems that it’s just not ready and need still alot of work. Tfd is defently better if you ask me and I am looking forward for reaction. So keep it up:)