Sorry guys, this will be without audio again, I spent a whole day recording a spoken quick tip tutorial – the outcome of this you'll be watching in the days to come on a very well known c4d blog. But compared to the silent ones this is too much hassle to spit out some quick tips. So the future ones will also be without sound. But this is about learning new techniques, not listening to my voice, so get going :-)
Wouldn't it be nice to have Falloff Gizmo/Object which drives a vertex map? As the usage of such Falloff Gizmo's is a standard concept in c4d and used on many of the deformers, I thought about how I can get it to influence a given vertex map.
There's a mograph xpresso node called Falloff which can help you exactly with that.
The concept here is to iterate through the points of a given polygon object, use the resulting array of point positions as sample position on our falloff node and feed the falloff value into a weightmap node which has an iterator connected to.
The resulting vertex map can be used for example on deformers which doesn't have a falloff option or to use it in the displacement channel of a material.
Update 20. July 2011:
After a little research I found a way to use an effectors falloff function instead of creating one from scratch. The advantages are obvious, no need to select the falloff node in the xpresso window and you can utilize the effector strength of every effector in mograph. Which means, well, you can go f… crazy with all the effectors on your vertex maps.
One important note, though. As soon as you'll use the shader effector with a noise for example, your screen redraw will be very slow. So use a Random Effector instead if speed is your goal.
The xpresso is provided with remarks, here's the scenefile: db.tt/5CFiOaD
This video builds onto an xpresso tutorial by my buddy Balazs, about using a FallOff Node with Deformers on Objects in a Hierarchy. ( http://motioneers.net/xl9-task/ + http://motioneers.net/xl9-result/ )
I left a number of suggestions in the comments and was asked to do a quick demonstration, so in this video I present a way to use this Custom Deformer FallOff technique with Objects generated and controlled by Mograph Cloners.
It features a classic COFFEE Script by Per-Anders Edwards, named "Generate Nulls on Mograph". ( http://www.peranders.com/w/index.php?title=Generate_nulls_on_Mograph ), that allows for automagically creating copies of Objects referencing Mograph clones.
We use it to position and animate the Objects in the Hierarchy with MoGraph and make them respond to Dynamics, while the Custom Falloff functionality still works perfectly fine.
It's a very powerful technique, and it has a lot of uses.
Although many a seasoned c4d'er knows how to use this script for its original purpose (generating Nulls with Comp Tags for export to AE) or in a popular set up for Baking purposes, it often surprises me that most are not aware of its potential for different applications.
Definitely a "need-to-know" technique for anybody doing Motion Graphics with c4d, if you ask me.
If you happen to know an alternative way of doing this, please let me know.
Have fun. hope this video is useful to you.
Any questions ? Let me know.
//don't mind my concentration slipping away in the last few minutes.
//EDIT : To avoid any confusion : Mart Kay reminded me to mention that it's not hard to set up functionality similar to the straightforward examples in this video with "just" a Cloner in Blend Mode and an Effector with Modify Clone set to 100%, as in this file :
( http://www.mediafire.com/file/ee46dwbtwdth3v2/douwe-simply-mograph.c4d )
The effort of setting up this rig only starts paying off as soon as you use it to go beyond the limits of what's already possible with basic MoGraph, of course.
//EDIT 16/03/2k12 : since I got some questions from people who are still confused about the concept, here's a file that uses this technique with 3 Deformers : FFD controlled by a Pose Morph Tag / a Bend / a Twist.
They are all controlled by the FallOff of a Plain Effector through the Sample Effector Node. That is more convenient than using a FallOff Node.