Reactions Feedback

Just curious, will the learning curve of Reactions become any easier? From the little that I was able to do, I found it quite difficult and over my head. I think the major benefit of the original TFD is its ease of use. Something that is quite art-directable out of the box.

I’m having a difficult time seeing where Reactions is going and what the future holds. Just my 2 cents.


I share this concern. Navié Effex had a suite of advanced simulation tools that were impregnable to use and thus died. TFD’s strength is it’s ease of use. Don’t lose sight of this, as you’ll never compete with Houdini on features alone.


I totally agree.
Frankly I think Reactions is entirely the wrong tool for what I was expecting and wanted out of a TFD 2.0 considering the time we have waited for it.
At this point I would have rather just had the few things fixed that needed to be fixed including the wrong handed Euler export problem with the openVDB command tool, the disconnected, malfunctioning gradient tool in the LW version, a fix for multiple container rendering in the same scene (used to work, totally broken now), update from Legacy Volumetric to new Volumetric system in LightWave and support for assignable GPUs for simulation (1 gpu does X container, gpu 2 does Y, etc etc). Having world support for containers and emitters would have also been nice. Actually that would have completely solved a whole bunch of problems and limitations honestly.

I also really don’t care about a stand alone tool. Might be fine for development reasons but unless its in my host application or otherwise directly connected to it for FX send and return kind of work… It’s pointless as far as I’m concerned. Sorry Jascha, but… this is what happens when you do black box development. What you think users want and what you can do, is not typically what lines up to what users actually need and can get, faster, better and most importantly - familiar to them that is rock solid.
I am really sorry, I love TFD 1.x, pending the stuff I wanted fixed for years being forgiven because I felt you had your thumb on the pulse of what users wanted - but this was an error in judgement on my part I guess.
Not sure what I will do now for fire and smoke. I can get by with TFD 1.x, but it would have been a lot more quickly to the point had those problems been fixed and then user input on what to have happen next been done in proper consideration of the user base comfort zone. I love nodes too, but sometimes its just as easy if not simpler to put a few envelops and sliders in the right place that when interacted with are solid, stable, provide accurate and useful feed back… and let the artist be the artist.


Okay I’m glad some other folks are on the same page haha. Always makes me a bit nervous to express my opinion. I just think it’s good to be honest.

It definitely seems like Reactions is competing with Houdini, and I don’t think this is the way to go. I think it will lose a lot of users going this route.

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I think Reactions is a response to EmberGen coming on to the market, rather than Houdini…

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Regardless of what its being done in response to on the market, its missing the target for existing users of TFD 1.x.

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Yes, the workflow will get easier. It is a definitive goal to make it as straight forward as TFD - or easier where possible - but also allow for more options and presets.
The last few updates have been light on workflow changes, still focusing mostly on the backend. Workflow features will come into focus more during the next updates.

For example, the basic TFD setup is

  1. Create TFD Container
  2. Create some emitter geometry
  3. Add a tag to the emitter object
  4. Set emission parameters
  5. Then adjust the default settings to get to the basic effect your are looking to create like Smoke Plume, Explosion, Cloud, etc.

The workflow goal for Reactions to get to the same point is

  1. Select a Template like Smoke Plume, Explosion, etc.
  2. Replace the dummy emitter object with yours if necessary
  3. Adjust the settings customize the basic effect

Unlike the TFD Container and Tag, the Template already came with basic settings for a specific effect. You thus get a head start in tweaking the sim.
If you prefer a generic default setup like in TFD, there will be a Template that creates a generic setup like in TFD.

One thing to note is that you will never have to open the node editor to do anything that you could do in TFD.

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Don’t be, i value your feedback. Everybody likes praise, but constructive criticism is what’s actually valuable.

Reactions is not intended to compete with Houdini as an app. That would be silly :slight_smile:
It aims to deliver several long standing and often requested features that TFD couldn’t. Chief among them are what most users think of as presets. The trick is to create a preset for an overall effect that is a combination of settings for emitters, simulation and shading. That’s what Templates are. They create one or several objects, tags and materials in one click.

Great to know Jascha :slight_smile: Thanks so much for your response to this. Looking forward to how this all turns out.

The sim video included in the last beta update was very impressive by the way!


I’ll piggy back off what alot of you are saying. TFD out of the box is SOOO nice with Cinema. Userfriendliness is HUGE with everything else already being so difficult, but I understand with great power comes great… learning curve sometimes.

I’m fully cool with it being advanced AF if it has the added power, BUT there would definitely need to be some sufficient presets and training added.

Embergen is doing great with adding over a hundred nice presets that get you in the ballpark to where you need to be with certain things not to mention it’s speed, and they’re pushing this year for a fully integrated C4D version as well. I would say stick to TFD roots make it more awesome, but the current functionality of TFD is awesome, so I wouldn’t want to lose that.

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I understand some parts of what Jascha go through. The balancing between node and parametric are really time consuming. All of this need more time. Plus, sometimes, there are always the complex effects that it only can be done with node. Cinema 4D is the most friendly 3D app I ever seen. Tt makes full use of the power of layers. But then finally, it still have to build its own Scene node system because it can not fulfill the need of The demand for sophisticated, complex effects in the market is increasing. That’s why Maxon try to balance both and I think Jascha 's doing this, too.

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so is there going to be a TFD version 2 as a big upgrade? Or is Reactions turning into what TFD 2 would be?

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I’m curious as well, but I feel like the answer is that Reactions is the next version. I see a lot of power and interesting additions but there will definitely need to be some learning applied. It would be awesome to see a TFD user course from TFD to REACTIONS processes and ins and outs so we could get a good outlook on what the shift entails and the updated functionality.

There will be no TFD 2 only Reactions.

I’ll be making a course for Reactions once 1. It is reached final release form 2. I finish this TFD v1 project I am on. As Jascha has marvellously stated that all TFD users will get a free upgrade to Reaction I have decided to follow that lead and will be offering a a 10% discount for all owners of my TFD1 series probably done by coupon which will be a word derived from one of the tutorials.
These tutorials are of course still valid and I think for 13 hours I am selling them at a fair price. I have a 45 min freebie so you can check if you can handle my cockney accent and style, I did not script these tutorials and simply did them live off the bat.

The new update v0.2.6 brings the workflow closer to its goal of being familiar to TFD users. Let me know what you think:

I did have a chance to play around with the new beta yesterday. It certainly felt better. The included demo video was quite nice. I played around with the two presets too (explosion/flamethrower). It’s awesome to see the shading in the viewport!

The tags are still a bit overwhelming, but I suppose there’s a learning curve that comes with it. A lot of different attributes to adjust. Will it be further simplified, or is this pretty much where it will be? I do think Paul’s training will help.

I also noticed that after I had cached out the simulation in the viewport and moved around, at a certain point, the viewport would go black. It would show just an outline of the sim, but everything else black. I’m using R21.

Just curious what else is planned for Reactions? I think you had mentioned there will be more presets? I think these will be quite helpful as a starting point. Starting from scratch is a bit overwhelming.

Thanks Jascha!

There are more simplifications coming that can bring the complexity down to “Asset” level. That is, theoretically this could be as little as a single object, no tags and a small number of parameters for art-direction.

The current templates provide all available controls. The tags may look like a lot at first, but they basically just add icons to attribute tabs. The complexity is comparable to TFD. TFD has 14 attribute groups for several different tasks lumped into the Simulation tab. In Reactions these groups are divided into 6 smaller tabs, each with a more specific concern. It basically puts stuff into several drawers instead of one big pile :slight_smile:

I wasn’t able to reproduce the black viewport issue on R21 yet. If you come across it again, please describe the steps that reproduce the issue. Thanks

There will be more Templates both with full controls as well as simplified asset-like setups. There are also going to be Presets on a per-object/tag/material basis. Presets may be particularly useful for the Volume Material to quickly switch between different looks.

Thanks Jascha, this is sounding very promising. I especially like that you’ve added your own particle emitter system that can be art directed (I think?) Unlike the standard particle emitter inside C4D. I’ve gotten into a bit of Thinking Particles, but it’s not the most user-friendly haha.

I’ve recorded a video showing what is happening with my black viewport. By the way I’m using a 2080TI with the latest NVIDIA studio driver.

Personally I don’t mind more tags and processes if it’s intuitive and functional. Learning curve will be the only area of concern and a handful of well developed scene files can help mitigate that for sure. The beauty of it is working within a scene structure you can suddenly generate fire smoke volumetrics to react at will without the hassle of a 3rd party Export import and without diving too deep into the weeds right now with traditional TFD. I love it, and if a few more tags are needed but reactions shares that same overall execution I can get behind it for sure. I haven’t really dove in to take much more than an initial look at this point would it be safe to say the current reactions beta is close to the first release in terms of functionality and tags/layout or is all of that still subject to change?