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Krakatoa for CINEMA 4D

Krakatoa for MAXON CINEMA 4D (also known as Krakatoa C4D or KC4D for short) is a volumetric particle rendering plugin for Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Krakatoa C4D is fully integrated in the CINEMA 4D User Interface. It implements various dedicated scene objects like a PRT Loader for loading particles from external file sequences, PRT Volume and PRT Surface for converting geometry volumes and surfaces to point clouds. Both native CINEMA 4D Emitter and TP particles, as well as 3rd party X-Particles and Turbulence FD systems are supported natively via dedicated intermediate objects. 

Krakatoa C4D requires its own separate workstation license when used interactively inside the CINEMA 4D User Interface. This includes rendering and saving particles from inside of CINEMA 4D.

When rendering on the network, a "krakatoa-render" license is required for each render node. All Krakatoa implementations use the same "krakatoa-render" licenses.  This means you can network render with Krakatoa C4DKrakatoa MXKrakatoa MY or Krakatoa SR as needed without the need to purchase separate render licenses for each.

Note that Krakatoa C4D running in network rendering mode will also check for the existence of a workstation license, but will not check it out. In other words, at least one Krakatoa C4D workstation license must be purchased for network render licenses to operate correctly.

When saving particles on the network, only the existence of a workstation license will be checked for, but no render license will be checked out. This means that an unlimited number of network render nodes can save particles in parallel without the need for additional render licenses.

Major Features Overview


The Krakatoa renderer is CPU-basedhighly optimized and heavily multi-threaded. It does not require the presence of a GPU and can be used successfully on any hardware running Windows or OSX including laptops and render nodes without dedicated high-end graphics accelerators.

Krakatoa's memory footprint adapts dynamically to the requested features, with a minimum memory usage of 26 bytes per particle.

Krakatoa supports volumetric and additive particle shading and allows the mixing of the two modes. The volumetric shading includes per-particle control over Color, Density, Emission and Absorption. The Density controls for the lighting and shading calculations can be decoupled to provide higher control over the final results.

Krakatoa features both Particle (aka Point) rendering and Voxel rendering modes. 

Self-shadowing and shadow casting from matte (holdout) geometry objects are supported. The basic CINEMA 4D light sources (Omni, Spot, Infinite/Parallel) are supported.

Krakatoa features integrated Motion Blur and Depth Of Field camera effects.

Render-time particle Repopulation allows the creation of more particles than the original source provided.

The interactive lighting can be baked to PRT files as a dedicated Lighting channel and allows for fast re-rendering of pre-lit particle assets, as well as for basic relighting techniques.

Particle Sources

Krakatoa C4D supports both native CINEMA 4D Emitter Particles and Thinking Particles; external particle sources loaded from disk via the PRT Loader object; procedurally generated particles from geometry volumes and surfaces via the PRT Volume and PRT Surface objects; and fractal-based distributions via the PRT Fractal object. 

Currently supported external particle file formats are Thinkbox' PRT file sequences, RealFlow BIN file sequences, and ASCII Comma-Separated Values CSV sequences.

Krakatoa C4D includes the ability to save particle data to PRT files. It ships with an integrated option for PRT Saving/Partitioning for generating multiple wedges of the same particle system to increase the final particle count or for sharing data with the other implementations of Krakatoa.

PRT Objects

Krakatoa C4D provides several dedicated scene objects:

PRT Loader

The PRT Loader object can be used to load one or more external file sequences. It exposes controls to define which sequences will be used at render time and which will be shown in the viewports, as well as particle percentage and particle limit controls, various loading and display methods.

The PRT Loader allows for particle retiming using offset and animation curve controls. It can clamp the frame range using custom start and end frame and edge behaviors. The position interpolation can be performed either linearly using the current frame's velocity, or using cubic interpolation from the two nearest surrounding frames.

PRT Volume

The PRT Volume object can be used to fill the volume of a polygon mesh with particles. This happens dynamically at render time and can also be previewed interactively in the viewports.

The PRT Volume provides the option to distribute particles within a range from the geometry surface.

Normal vectors are automatically generated for all particles from the nearest geometry surface. Mapping coordinates and Velocity from animated geometry will also be calculated automatically.

PRT Surface

The PRT Surface object can be used to quickly distribute random particles on the surface of a polygon mesh. This happens dynamically at render time and can also be previewed interactively in the viewports.

PRT Fractal

The PRT Fractal object can be used to create procedural fractal particle distributions based on a random seed, iterations control and several animatable parameters. 

Particle Channel Operator Tags

Using dedicated CINEMA 4D tags, Krakatoa exposes several channel data operations that can be used on any valid particle source usable by the renderer.

These operations include the setting of a Float or Vector Channel to a new value, the Scaling of an existing Channel by a Scalar factor, the Copying of one Channel into another, the assigning of a custom channel as UV coordinates to be used by a Texture tag for advanced mapping effects, and the Repopulation of a particle system using Krakatoa's render-time particle multiplication algorithm.