As PBlurp from the Thinking Particles toolset doesn't morph objects in a volumetric fashion and the Inheritance Effector doesn't have an option to inherit positions along a spline, I tried to built my own mix of PBlurp and the Inheritance Effector.
Here is me tinkering with what I came up with. As xpressopresets.net will have a relaunch soon, I am thinking about making this as a xpresso preset. It needs a little refinement for handling, but the basic effect is pretty much there.
This is a workflow that uses a specialized point position shader to create a perfect point cloud of your 3D scene in After Effects. You will need Trapcode Form for this to work. I am using Cinema4D, but any 3D application should be able to create a shader like this.
Xpresso is extremely useful in helping you create more personal and complicated setups. Even though it's nowhere as vague as starting with a scripting language, it can be a little intimidating at first glance.
In this tutorial we will look on an xpresso basic setup:
How to make an If - Else operation in Xpresso using a few different ways.
You can download the project file here:
TP Partio is a plugin for Cinema 4D that will let you cache Thinking Particle particles, write them to disk, share them with other applications and read them back. It will let you take a snapshot of a current frame of your simulation and let it continue from there. It'll let you play your sims backwards, while you can scrub through them on your timeline.*
This functionality has been missing from Cinema 4D for some time now and it has been bugging me for a while. You can now finally scrub through your sims without having to re-simulate from frame zero. You could even cache cloner positions this way by way of a Matrix object. Or, the other way around, feed the cached particles into a cloner.
The video is a short demonstration - please keep in mind that this is still an early version... you can now find it at http://aescripts.com/tp-partio/
TP Partio incorporates the partio library written and released by Disney Animation (http://www.disneyanimation.com/technology/partio.html), adapted to work within Cinema 4D.
*It is also an early release, so as a bonus feature, it will ocassionally crash too.