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PhyTools is a plugin for Maxon's Cinema 4D enabling the modelling of Physics-based Simulations. It provides a basis for easy to use Physics simulation within the Cinema 4D environment. Providing accurate, visually responsive, stable and fast approximations of possible behaviours within a synthetic environment. Its usage is broad in scope from Engineering application to the Visual arts. There are many different mathematical models within Phytools which help to describe the behaviour of objects and their interactions with each other, one example of this would be the RIS which we will talk about later. Phystools includes various simulation methods from Rigid Body Dynamics through Soft Body Dynamics and Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics. There are many adjustable variables available in order to achieve the look you desire providing the user with advanced control over his/her simulation. The word Physics comes from the Greek words for nature and natural with Phytools we have tried to make some of these underlying principles of the natural world available within Cinema 4D. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do and hope they become second nature to you and part of your natural ways of working.


The basis for Phytools as been around for quite awhile. A few years back now Remotion started work on a 2D Fluid simulation called Refluid and some N-Gon (n-sided polygon support) tools called Helena. The majority of his time has been focused on the Ditools set of plugins for C4D, this is set to change with the release of Phytools. Since 2001 where Maxon released its Dynamics module there has been a need for quick and easy to use dynamics simulation hopefully in part Phytools helps with this. In 2004 Maxon released version 9 of C4D which included N-GON support which eliminated the need for the Helena implementation and development. Helena was Remotions soon to be version of N-Gons but given the effort involved in its development elements have been retained and implemented into Phytools. Refluid development has since been ceased unless there is renewed interest in it. Refluid is freely available from Remotions website for you to try. When Remotion initially wanted to work on a purely Physics or Physical simulations we tested various solutions like Open Dynamics Engine (ODE), Novodex engines and others. Some were good, some were bad and others ugly..or in the case of Novodex, good but far to expensive. So Why Phytools? Phytools is the recreation of Physics Simulation in the Cinema 4D environment it hasn't been done before. It allows you to visualise very complex processes in a timely fashion, Whilst accurately reproducing fundamental physics processes. Artists do not want to be dealing with complex formula or slowly trawling through scenes trying to recreate something Phytools can do in seconds. The results replicate real life scenarios which without Phytools would be impossible to do. Out of this continued development, testing and user need Phytools was borne.


This document/wiki was/is written out of the continued screams for documentation by our Siren-eque users…we love you really…keep screaming people. The principle behind it is to help in Phytools usage, providing you with more information of how to use the toolset. Phytools is very complex there is no hiding that fact, we will endeavour to provide user friendly terminology wherever possible. We will give examples of usage so you can experiment in your own time but hopefully with more understanding of the various tools and their settings. You need to familiarize yourself with some of the terminology and concepts involved e.g. Rigid Body Dynamics, Particle Dynamics, Soft Body Dynamics. Dynamics is the branch of classical mechanics that is concerned with the effects of forces on the motion of objects according to Wiki and that's a good place to start researching any terms you are not familiar with. Good luck.8-)

Getting Phystools

Phytools can be downloaded from Remotion's website at the following web address:

There is an up to date demo available and the full version can be bought from here also. Flip through the main page of news to see the latest additions and versions. We continue to develop Phytools and these pages will keep you abreast of what is happening in the world of Phytools and Remotions plugins. You can buy the plugin you require from the plugin section of the site and just follow the link the to appropriate payment site eg Paypal.

Full Version


You can test PhyTools 1.15 and PhyRIS for 20 Days.

Download Demo from 16.May.2007 (ZIP | 6.2 MB)

Download Example Scenes from 16.Mai.2007 (ZIP | 10.2 MB)

Nb. Be sure to remove any previous versions before installing new versions. RIS and Phytools currently are two separate components and require two serial numbers.

Serial Numbers & Registration

Note of caution you need to select the correct operating system version and input the correct C4D serial number as your Phytools serial number will be locked to your individual version of Cinema 4D. This is standard procedure for all serial based plugins used within C4D. Once this Phytools serial number has been issued it cannot be changed. In order for the full version to function it requires a serial number to work initially input at start-up. You must send only first 11 digits of your C4D SN (1***********) not the whole thing and NOT C4D 9.5 Update code. If in doubt refer to your Maxon Final Serial Numbers document, do not use temporary C4D serial numbers to register for Phytools. Make sure no other person has access to your serial numbers be they C4D or Phytools. After receiving your payment and the 11 first digits of your Cinema 4D serial number, PhyTools, including its personal serial number, will be sent to you through e-mail. The delivery can take up to 7 days so please be patient, but usually it needs only one day. If you have not yet received the software and serial please check your firewalls/virus checker spam folder just in case its been eaten by mistake. Remotion is the only person that can issue serial numbers if there are any problems then you should contact Remotion directly or through his user forum. Please support continued development of Phytools by purchasing as copy, Remotion is ultimately one man who develops these tools in his spare time and at expense he needs your support. thank you.:-)

Updates & Upgrading

New PhyTools + PhyRIS version 1.14 from 15.May.2007 can be downloaded now!

Updates and Upgrades can be downloaded from the logdown URL:

You need to input your serial numbers and email address as per your initial order details. For Upgrades and Updates that require a cost, then they will be available from the main Remotion website.

Obtaining Help

Help can be obtained from website, or from within the users forum which is linked from the main site. There are usually users available on C4D forums like Terraforming which has German language and English sections, CGtalk, 3Dattack or c4dportal who can help with questions: has its own Remotion Support Section.

Aside from Phytools these are great places to hang out and get help on all things C4D related.

Remotion does not have enough time to provide individual technical help, HOWEVER this does not mean its not supported. He provides answers on the forum, and fixes to any bugs we know about it. If you know of any bugs, problems with Phytools then please don't hesitate to post them on the main user forum. We will endeavour to fix all bugs we know about, when reporting them please let us know as much information as possible. We need to know what version of the plugin you are using, what version of C4D you are using and on what operating system. If you have an example scene or a method of reproducing the problem then please let us know. We need to know the effect/end result and any console messages if there are any.

Lastly please as users you can also help by contributing to this Wiki.

System Requirements

Maxon Cinema 4D 9.6 or higher on Windows or Mac. CPU with SSE2 or Altivec support.

The latest version will work only with C4D 9.6 on Windows and Mac.

There are no differences between Windows and Mac versions.

Supported Platforms:

  • Windows 32: PhyTools06.cdl
  • Windows 64: PhyTools06.cdl64
  • Mac OS UB : PhyTools06.dylib
  • Mac OS PPC: PhyTools06.xdl

MAXON Cinema 4D 9.6 or higher on Windows or Macintosh.

The new version 1.0 will be available for, Win32, PPC Mac and Intel Mac. Win64 will be partially suported too and is in development.

Regarding SSE support: SSE2 (2001) and SSE3 instruction set is supported by Intels Pentium 4 Prescott core (2004) and AMDs Athlon 64 Venice/San Diego cores (2005). Only SSE1 is supported on older Athlons.

For more details about SSE: Wikipedia SSE Wikipedia SSE2 Wikipedia SSE3

For more details on various chipset support see:


You will receive an email with Phytools and a Phytools serial number.

  1. Please remove all old or demo versions of PhyTools, if you have any before Unzipping/Unpacking.
  2. Make sure C4D is closed
  3. Unzip/Unpack the package and all its contents into your default Cinema 4D plugins folder (MAXON → CINEMA4D → PLUGINS folder).

The hierarchy should look something like the following once unpacked:

  • MAXON\CINEMA_4D\Plugins\Phytools

and the RIS sim will sit below that like so:

  • MAXON\CINEMA_4D\Plugins\PhyTools\PhyRIS

So for example at time of writing this document mine under Windows XP looks like the following:

  • P:\Program Files\Design\MAXON\CINEMA 4D R9\plugins\PhyTools098
  • P:\Program Files\Design\MAXON\CINEMA 4D R9\plugins\PhyTools098\PhyTools\PhyRIS095

Once this has been completed you are ready to start C4D up. You will get the splash screen for C4D and as the plugins load you will be prompted to input your serial number(s). See section above about serial number precautions. Once this is completed C4D should start up normally and you will be ready to go!

Phytools Components

New components are being added to Phystools all the time by Remotion so this list will change over the coming months. For now:

There are the following elements to Phytools:

  • oFlex
  • Helena
  • RIS
  • XSPH
  • SSR

Each element allows you to get the simulation and look you require. They each have different approaches to the way you accomplish what you want and therefore different results. oFlex will allow you to work this splines in many ways to achieve rope type qualities but also Soft body type simulation. Helena is a surface/modelling type tool and something like RIS deals with Rigid body simulation. They each have their limitations and to get the most out of Phytools you need to choose the right tool for the job.

These tools are accessed via the plugins menu in C4D and from the Object Manager dialogue: File → Phytools tags. RIS and oFlex tags can also be accessed by right clicking on an object from the Phytools tag menu.

What is oFlex?

oFlex is a FLEXIBLE simulator designed for use where objects need to be flexible in look. This includes flexible splines but also flexible bodies or better known as soft body dynamics. It allows you to use Free Form Deformer as a soft body type cage for your object. Wrap a spline around an object of unusual shape and use the spline as the collision surface for the object. It makes splines dance instead of being dull lifeless things that they currently are in C4D. You can use it to hang ropes and wires from your object and get them to move realistically, anything where you want your spline to move realistically within its environment then oFlex is the sim for you. Since initial development on Flex has taken place and various improvements added the “o” prefix was added to distinguish from the original flex. All oFlex objects/tags are prefixed with oFlex.


oFlex Simulator:flexmaster.jpg


oFlex FFD:softffd.jpg
oFlex Poly:softypoly.jpg
oFlex Rigid Object:rigobtag.jpg
oFlex Spline:flexsplinetag.jpg

Using oFlex

What is Helena?

Helena comes on the back of Remotion's search for an NGONs solution for Cinema4D. An NGON is an N sided polygon and is available in C4D natively now which resulted in a halt in its development. However some of this research and capability lives on in Phytools with its addition to the suite. The current incarnation makes it possible to extrude polygons with or without a spline as a guide. I asked Remotion “Why the name Helena, what does it mean”? and his response was “Helena because it is based on HalfEdge structure and sounds good :-)”. According to Remotion you can actually do a lot of things with this system, mesh manipulations, poly reductions, mesh generation and subdivision we will have to see what the future holds for this part of Phytools. All Helena objects are prefixed with the He.



Using Helena

What is RIS?

RIS is a Rigid-Body simulator designed for use where objects need to be rigid in look, this is also known as a Rigid body dynamics. There are many elements to RIS and these are detailed later for each expression individually. All expression component of the RIS simulator are prefixed with RIS.


.RIS Simulator:ristag.jpg
RIS Joint:risjoin.jpg
RIS Material:rismaterial.jpg
RIS Mesh Calc:riscalc.jpg
RIS Motor:rismotor.jpg
RIS Convex Creator:convexcreator.jpg

Objects in the simulation system can interact in a physically realistic manner, much like billiard balls or a bowling ball and bowling pins.

ris_supportedshapes.jpg.RIS supports the following shapes:

  • Sphere (primitive)
  • Cube (primitive)
  • Capsule (primitive)
  • Cylinder (primitive)
  • Plane (primitive)
  • Spline
  • Sweep-NURBS (Spline)

It also supports polygonal meshes, using the following methods:

  • Static-polymesh: a polygonal mesh can be used as a non-moving (static) part of a simulation.
  • Convex hull: this is automatically generated collision geometry that surrounds a whole polygonal object, without allowing for holes or interior detail. The convex hull becomes a child object of the polygon mesh, and allows for dynamic simulation of polygon mesh collision.
  • Convex-Set: this is a set of polygon objects created by the convex creator tag that act as collision geometry for a polygon mesh. Convex-set allows for very complex geometry collision to be simulated realistically. The convex set become child objects of the polygon mesh, and allows for dynamic simulation of polygon mesh collision.

Note: When possible, use the supported primitives (cubes, spheres, etc.) rather than primitives converted to polymeshes. The supported primitives are much faster, and can be more stable and predictable than polymesh simulation.

Using PhyRIS

What is XSPH?

XSPH is a Viscous fluid simulator designed around a particle system. XSPH stands for eXtended Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics we thought XSPH was so much easier to pronounce! It uses the a Lagrangian method (Particle based) and is not limited by a Eulerian like grid system which usually makes it faster. Use XSPH for viscous fluids and not for inviscid fluids like water…things like smoke are best suited to grid based systems like Eulerian so not suited to XSPH sims. All XSPH objects/tags are prefixed with XSPH.



XSPH SimulatorXSPH icon image

Using XSPH

What is SSR?

.SSR Simulator is another new experimental system and does not support polygonal meshes at this time. But it supports C4D's classic particle system and is faster than PhyRIS. It was developed to simulate a great number of dynamic particles.



SSR SimulatorSSR Simulator

It supports the following geometry:

  • Sphere (primitive)
  • Cube (primitive)
  • Capsule (primitive)
  • Spline
  • The particle emitter can also be used to emit spheres, cubes or capsule parametric primitives.

Using SSR

Release Versioning

Version 1.14

Some bug fixes, improved memory management. New Surface Emitter for ViFluid.

Version 1.13

oFlex simulator was improved and PLA problem was fixed! MDD file import and export for oFlex was added.

Version 1.09

Prerelease with new ViFlud(XSPH) Fluid Engine…

Version 1

A lot of improvements…

Version 0.991c

PhyRIS crashed with plane and sphere… its fixed. IsoSurfacer improvements…

Version 0.991b

Instance support for PhyRIS…

Version 0.991

IsoSurfacer Crash is fixed now. The problem with UB Version on PPC must be fixed!

Version 0.99

Rewrite and improvement of SPH sim which is now XSPH Addition of new icon set and renaming, tweaks to working. Bug fixes for UB/PPC versions.

Version 0.98

[RIS Convex Creator] This new tag creates a ConvexSet from any complex poly mesh. Add this tag to any poly mesh, adjust parameters and press “Start…” button. After some seconds you will get some convex shapes that will approximate the shape of your mesh. The shapes have naming convention is as follows: “Convex.” + number of shape + count of the vertices.

Here is a short description of the parameters: [Iterations] Specifies how many convex parts will be created to approximate the mesh shape. Beware large values, produce longer process times! Usually you can use values from 6 to 16.

[Merge Threshold] This parameter specifies how the created parts will be merged together to create less convex shapes and so make the simulation faster.

[Hull Offset] With negative values the created convex shapes will be a bit smaller than the mesh and will not collide with neighbours. Positive values make convex shapes larger.

[Max Vertices] This is not an important parameter, it specifies how many vertices a created convex shape will have.

[Colored Convexes] If enabled then the created convex shapes will be coloured with random colour for better visualization.

Polygonal meshes with less as 128 vertices and “Convex” in the name are used as convex shapes without any test!

Version 0.97

Universal Binary Version of PhyRIS.

RIS-Material Cache is saved now with the document. Some other internal changes and SSR Simulator Bug fixes.

The Movement and Rotation of any simulated object will be saved in RIS-Material Tag, now this information will be saved with document. It is also possible to calculate the whole simulation once and then use cache all the time, in the Net Renderer too.

Version 0.96

New SSR simulator for testing. This is new Rigid Body engine created for test purposes and support Spheres, Cubes, Capsules and static Sphere groups. Other primitives and support for polygonal meshes will probably added in the next version.

To use this you do not need any other Tags, only this tag. Here is a short description of the parameters: [Iterations] is the Solver Iterations count, larger values make the simulation more stable. [Delta Time] how much time elapses per every C4D Frame. How fast will the body fall. [Sub Steps] in how many sub steps every frame will be subdivided. Larger values mean better stability. [Collision Hardness] how hard|fast will be state if one object is a bit inside another resolved. [Friction] this is the usually fiction. 0.0→ No friction (Ice). [Density] material density of the all objects. mass = density * volume. [Gravity] the global gravitation force.

Objects with “St” in the name are static. Objects with “Nm” in the name can not move but rotate.

Version 0.95

Static Polygon Mesh collision with Sphere, Box, Capsule… The face normals of the mesh must be oriented to collision side.

Version 0.9

Added new plugins: RIS Toys RIS Joint RIS Motor

Version 0.89

Some Bug Fixes and improvements. Random Seed can now be controlled by the user. The same seed and the same start object position must be created near the same simulation. (look at RandomSeeds.c4d)

[RIS Toys Tag] is new tag for experiments. It is triangle mesh Collision demo, you can move them and if the mesh collide with another it will stop. (look at Toys_?.c4d)

Version 0.88

Some Bug Fixes. Cache should work properly now. The best way to render scene is to run it in Editor and if you like it then disable RIS-Simulator-Tag and render the scene in external renderer (the cache will be used). The RIS-Simulator-Tag will be disabled if all (standard 0..90) frames in the scene are cached.

Version 0.8-1

The second version of Spline Executor… NGon support added. PhyMaterial, Multiple Shapes and Splines support. Polygon Object support was disabled, due to instability. HeModifier was added. HeModifier will work only under HeSplexecutor in this version.

Version 0.7

IsoSurface: polygonize implicit surface. IsoProjector: project points to implicit surface.

Version 0.65

Improved FlexSPH Point Modify and FlexSPH Particle. Must work on Athlon CPU now :-)

Version 0.6

FlexSPH Point Modify: Experimental Point (PolygonObjext) Modifier. FlexSPH Particle: Experimental Particle Modifier for Old C4D Particle System.

Version 0.4

The animation can now be saved as PLA and used without Flex Master. Now it is much stabler, may be slower but stabler. Simple Object Dynamics. Save to PLA make it possible to Bake simulation to PLA and then render.

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phytools.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/30 11:37 by ramonturner