PDA

View Full Version : Flocking particles?



Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 02:09 AM
Anyone have a thought on how to get flocking particle behavior into LW? PFX effectors just dont cut it since they are really just displacement. Its frustrating when even old Particle Storm did it. Flocking is more rudimentary A.I. that allows each particle to take on its own velocity and semi- do it's own thing, while swarming.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNl49-BYyXo

RealFlow is for liquids and does not flock. I have seen flocking in ICE, Maya, Max plugins, and Blender Boids, but I dont know of a way to get those sims into LW to work with something like HD Instance(?).

Another LW limitation is you have to use a wind path to make particles follow a path, but it overrides all other wind effectors unless they are set to Heavy Wind, but then that makes for abrupt, jagged motions.

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 02:59 AM
Anyone have a clue how to get this working easily?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt5Nt5ccAJk

Cageman
10-12-2009, 03:12 AM
I've been working on this type of things here, but for spaceships (which makes it alot easier). Since the ships all fly towards the same thing, I ended up using ALOT of windeffectors to make them avoid explosions and whatnot. The only problem was that in the end of the simulation, all ships have been avoiding things and ended up in lines instead of returning to their flock poisiton. Another issue would be that they got too spread out in the end.

One thing you coud try is to use a pointcloud and then use Worleys Poke tool (part of Polk) to make the points avoid specific places and then also make them go back to their flocking position.

Anyhow, so far, all my tests have been so-so... they are startingpoints in most cases, for some things it works, for most of the time, you better handanimate the individual.

However: http://vimeo.com/6573182

Look for the ident that shows a girl balancing on a rope with butterflies flocking around her hands. They used LW as far as I know... my guess is that they used a target for the particles and a turbulence wind to force them to flock around, but again, a fairly simple shot compared to working with things that has to move on a non-flat ground.

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 03:34 AM
Effectors just dont provide the degree of individual variation in velocity I am looking for. Effectors are a general motion displacement that cause particles to clump and move in too similar, and unnatural a way. If you study the examples I posted, each bird is moving more independently. And LW path wind overrides other effectors.

SplineGod
10-12-2009, 03:50 AM
You might give this a try...
http://www.kolve.com/thesis/thesis.htm

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 04:16 AM
You might give this a try...
http://www.kolve.com/thesis/thesis.htm

I've messed with that before but you cant import anything into it (and yes, I've seen Erikals overlay gag). I really wish a plugin person would pick up the ball on that.

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 04:39 AM
I can jury rig pseudo-swarmy behavior but I cant get the swarm to follow a general path unless an animation path wind is used... which then overrides the other winds that are breaking up the motion. Typical LW game.
78278

And I wish the point Gravity worked better. It affects only a small fixed radius, no matter what the radius is set to.

Matt
10-12-2009, 06:25 AM
Excuse my ignorance, I'm sure you know how to do this and need something more, but on the off-chance ...

http://www.blochi.com/files/flocking_birds.pdf

http://www.blochi.com/files/flocking_birds.zip

Courtesy of Christian Bloch

Hieron
10-12-2009, 01:38 PM
Dunno about your ignorance Matt, but that flock by Blochi sure looks as nice to me as the examples given. (or better)

So I guess the ignorance ain't that bad :P

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 03:45 PM
Excuse my ignorance, I'm sure you know how to do this and need something more, but on the off-chance ...

http://www.blochi.com/files/flocking_birds.pdf

http://www.blochi.com/files/flocking_birds.zip

Courtesy of Christian Bloch

Thanks. The zip link is "not found"(?). Although I dont see any tips for getting the control I am looking for.

Matt
10-12-2009, 03:52 PM
Luckily I have a massive archive of stuff that was given away free!

Hope Blochi doesn't mind!

Hieron
10-12-2009, 03:56 PM
Just edit those urls to get directly into the files folder

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 05:32 PM
Every time I come up with a possible solution, LW throws up another roadblock.

Trying to use an object as an attractor, since point gravity is too restricted, but... where the hell are the particles going when I click calculate? There is nothing but one sphere object and one emitter in an otherwise default scene-

78295

Cageman
10-12-2009, 05:55 PM
Yeah... I never got attractor to work either..

DrStrik9
10-12-2009, 05:57 PM
Back around 2005, there was Napalm, a third-party plug (expensive and constantly "in development") that did all sorts of particle behaviors, including flocking of various types. I don't think they support it any longer. :-/

It's not a good sign when you Google "Lightwave flocking particles," and the most relevant link brings you back to THIS DISCUSSION. :-(

Mr Rid
10-12-2009, 06:36 PM
Luckily I have a massive archive of stuff that was given away free!

Hope Blochi doesn't mind!

Thats a good tut.

I am using a swarm that is larger, longer and faster so the static Path Wind becomes apparent. I really need to undulate the swarm using Animation Path Wind, but it stupidly overrides other winds (Path Wind does not) unless they are set to Heavy Wind, which creates new problems. But it just occurred to me that I can parent the emitter and Path Wind to a null and move the whole thing around, which kinda helps.

I have been trying weird things like applying an image in the texture of a direction wind to direct the particles, or pushing them thru a collision tube, or aiming multiple direction winds at a target, and was about to try an IK chain of direction winds... but this is where it just turns into ridiculous workaround world where there ought to be a standard, functioning tool.

The speed presents another problem as Vortex Wind or a Direction Wind with procedural texture, result in jagged, unnatural turns.

Would all be solved by a simple damn flocking routine.

DrStrik9
10-12-2009, 09:26 PM
I think you should place a link to this thread in Feature Requests. Or copy your last post and paste it there. Sounds like it is sorely needed. And apparently there is no one in the plugin world covering it either right now.

SplineGod
10-13-2009, 01:28 AM
Sadly this has been requested for years. I doubt NT will implement so its either up to 3rd parties or in 2-4 years in Core maybe...

LightFreeze
10-13-2009, 12:41 PM
If your comfortable in Blender you can use this to export Particles from blender as a pfx file.

Blender has Boids or flocking particles.

The script should go in the X:\Blender\.blender\scripts folder.

Bake the particles before exporting.

It doesn`t handle dead particles, just places them at (0,0,0)

Only use one particle system per object.

Select the object with the Particle system on and in the export dialogue click on the particle system name so it is selected.

Mr Rid
10-13-2009, 04:21 PM
If your comfortable in Blender you can use this to export Particles from blender as a pfx file....

Thanks. I was looking for a way to import better particles simulations into LW, and am particularly interested in Boids.

SplineGod
10-13-2009, 05:01 PM
Also Dave,
You might find some of these nodes useful:
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/dpont/plugins/MDD_Pointer.html

Mr Rid
10-13-2009, 06:03 PM
Geeze... now LW groups are not working, again. I have items separated into 2 groups, but after saving and loading my scene, LW has mysteriously created a third group called "GROUP". Each time I reload my scene, LW switches all the items from my two groups, into the magic GROUP group. WTF?!

A few months ago in the heat of a deadline I needed 3 groups, but LW was completely ignoring any groups created after the first two.

... now I notice that if I load ANY scene, the three groups are still there. How do you delete groups BTW?

Mr Rid
10-13-2009, 06:57 PM
Ok, I just figured out that LW does not like group names with spaces in the name. Never ran into this before(?). If I make groups called "swarm one" and "swarm two", save scene, close LW, reload scene, and LW will have thrown out my groups and substituted a new group truncated to just "swarm" and lumped all items into it from the previous groups. The groups have to instead be named something with no spaces, "swarm_one", etc.

dwburman
10-13-2009, 08:30 PM
I believe Aurora (http://www.newtek.com/forums/member.php?u=55) was working on a flocking plug-in (named flock) but I don't think it was ever released.

I found an external app on flay that supposedly does flocking but I don't know if it still works or how you control it. http://3d.dreamlab.com/YMUT/ymut.asp

Cageman
10-13-2009, 11:27 PM
There is also a tool within Maya2LW2 that converts Maya-particles to PFX. It is really slow though, but just let it do its thing. :)

I managed to convert the particleflow seen in this video (ftp://FTP_Cod:[email protected]:21/Cod.avi) to PFX. (http://hangar18.gotdns.org/~cageman/codfish_emitter/Emitter.rar)

stevecullum
10-14-2009, 01:00 PM
I did some particle swarms for a film I've worked on recently and used Lightwave to do these. I've attached one of the test shots - it may be the kind of thing your after...

wildr3d
10-14-2009, 02:38 PM
There is also a tool within Maya2LW2 that converts Maya-particles to PFX. It is really slow though, but just let it do its thing. :)

I managed to convert the particleflow seen in this video (ftp://FTP_Cod:[email protected]:21/Cod.avi) to PFX. (http://hangar18.gotdns.org/~cageman/codfish_emitter/Emitter.rar)

Thanks for uploading your pfx, I will need to do this soon and I've been really impressed with Maya-particles. Do you know how long it took to make this sim?

Mr Rid
10-14-2009, 04:29 PM
There is also a tool within Maya2LW2 that converts Maya-particles to PFX. It is really slow though, but just let it do its thing. :)

I managed to convert the particleflow seen...

Thats good to know.

The particular PFX example has a static noise pattern moving thru it, and looks like what can be done in LW. Someone did some flocking birds in Maya for me a few years ago, but I dont know if Maya particles has a specific flocking tool (?) or if they used a plugin or script.


I did some particle swarms for a film I've worked on recently and used Lightwave to do these. I've attached one of the test shots - it may be the kind of thing your after...

Pretty butterflies.

I want rather specific control to make parts of the swarm break off in different directions, while each particle has its own velocity. The swarm might be smooth at moments and wildy erratic at other moments. Because effectors are just procedural displacement, no matter what I apply to break up the motion, I wind up with motions that are too jagged in some areas while not enough variation in other areas.

I just hit another bug when I use ClothFX to apply two different MDDs to two different objects, the two objects are insisting on deforming with the same MDD. Each mesh shows two different MDD filepaths correctly, yet they render as if they share the same MDD. I dont know yet what is causing this, but the problem does not occur if I instead use MDplug on one or both. I suspect it has something to do with having started with one object, cloning it, then replacing the second object with a different object, then applying a different MDD to each under ClothFX. I guess somewhere, some info is stuck in the clone.

Why does it seem like I am the only person that runs into this stuff every hour of the day?

wildr3d
10-14-2009, 04:55 PM
Why does it seem like I am the only person that ever urns into this stuff every hour of the day?

Ahh, because your a maniac and Lightwave enjoys tasking you:D

Mr Rid
10-14-2009, 05:00 PM
Ahh, because your a maniac and Lightwave enjoys tasking you:D

Ugh, I dont like that- so I am Kahn, and LW is Captain Kirk? "He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Newtek, and 'round the Autodesk maelstrom, and 'round Houdini's flames, before I give him up!"

stevecullum
10-14-2009, 05:02 PM
I only use cloth FX to scan my MDD's. Then I use Dponts nodes to control them - far more flexible and reliable.

VirtualFM
10-15-2009, 09:53 PM
Hello!

This is a recurring problem! I once stumbled upon a possible solution and keep that scene since then! Don't know if you still need it or if it helps in your particular situation, but I am attaching it anyway.

In short, what I found was that:
-the attractor radius has to be big enough to include all the particles. If it's too small, any particle that leaves the collision radius will be left behind
-the boundiness factor (?) is the key in here, going over 100%... but 102% is already too much! I liked 101%, but you can increase the influence to 101.5% or something like that. The best is to control with the other parameters and the emitter motion path itself.

Hope it helps!

PS: You have to Calculate it, or you will not see anything special :-)

Cageman
10-16-2009, 06:00 AM
Thats good to know.

The particular PFX example has a static noise pattern moving thru it, and looks like what can be done in LW.

Ah..yes... the intention with the pfx was just to show that it is possible to transfer Maya particles to LW, because the rendered version (the fish) is all rendered in Maya mr and the particleanimation was created by Radek.

:)

Cageman
10-16-2009, 06:03 AM
Thanks for uploading your pfx, I will need to do this soon and I've been really impressed with Maya-particles. Do you know how long it took to make this sim?

Well... a couple of hours, maybe... I can track down the content I have and do another conversion and clock it this time. I hope to get back with the info sometime during this weekend.

:)

EDIT: I will point Lernie Ang to this thread as well. He is the author of Maya2LW2, and he may be able to find another way of converting Maya particles to PFX-files that are alot faster (the current tool is a MEL-script, if I remember correctly).

wildr3d
10-16-2009, 07:48 AM
Hello!

This is a recurring problem! I once stumbled upon a possible solution and keep that scene since then! Don't know if you still need it or if it helps in your particular situation, but I am attaching it anyway.

In short, what I found was that:
-the attractor radius has to be big enough to include all the particles. If it's too small, any particle that leaves the collision radius will be left behind
-the boundiness factor (?) is the key in here, going over 100%... but 102% is already too much! I liked 101%, but you can increase the influence to 101.5% or something like that. The best is to control with the other parameters and the emitter motion path itself.

This seems to work the way you would expect an attractor to work. The problem is that it's such a non-standard way of doing it, the documentation says nothing about keeping the radius large enough to include the particles you want to swarm, maybe this was explained at one time but this is what's so frustrating about the current particle system. At one point there was a very useful set of scenes (v5.0?) on a content cd that showed just about every type of effect you could do with particles, but never made it to current versions of Lightwave content. Anyway, thanks for keeping that scene!

wildr3d
10-16-2009, 07:53 AM
Ugh, I dont like that- so I am Kahn, and LW is Captain Kirk? "

Ok, that was a bad reference, no offense.

"He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Newtek, and 'round the Autodesk maelstrom, and 'round Houdini's flames, before I give him up!"

Priceless.

Cageman
10-16-2009, 01:37 PM
Do you know how long it took to make this sim?

The actual simulation in Maya was pretty much realtime (I just asked Radek about it). It is the conversion from Mayas particlecache to pfx that is timeconsuming (not for you, but for the computer). :D

But, alas, being able to use Maya for the sim and LW for rendering can become a timesaver. Just the fact that you have to write a somewhat complex expression to randomize the size of the sprites attached to the particles is just ridicilous. I havn't even dared to get my head around doing something like having randomized sizes as well as being able to controll the overall size depending on the distance from an item. I just see tons of code... :/

There ARE things with hypervoxels that is damn neat and easy to do, compared to how Maya handles it.

Oh well...

:)

jwiede
10-16-2009, 01:59 PM
Why does it seem like I am the only person that runs into this stuff every hour of the day?
If you asked around and could get honest answers, I suspect you'd discover that your "problem incidence" is not unusual, but most others stop trying to make it work in LW much sooner, and instead switch to a different tool/platform.

Personally, if I start in LW, I'll usually give it three or four "cascade" failures (e.g. run into a different major problem working around a major problem), then switch to C4D or Modo. Over time, I've found the kinds of tasks I do which are prone to such "cascades", and don't even attempt them in LW anymore.

wildr3d
10-16-2009, 03:20 PM
The actual simulation in Maya was pretty much realtime (I just asked Radek about it). It is the conversion from Mayas particlecache to pfx that is timeconsuming (not for you, but for the computer). :D

But, alas, being able to use Maya for the sim and LW for rendering can become a timesaver. Just the fact that you have to write a somewhat complex expression to randomize the size of the sprites attached to the particles is just ridicilous. I havn't even dared to get my head around doing something like having randomized sizes as well as being able to controll the overall size depending on the distance from an item. I just see tons of code... :/

There ARE things with hypervoxels that is damn neat and easy to do, compared to how Maya handles it.

Oh well...

:)

I meant the conversion to pfx, which I believe you said took a couple hours. That time for me at least would be offset with creating the particles in Maya in the first place. I know what you mean about Maya though, N particles automate some things but having so many ways to control them is intimidating. For me the thing I like most are the forces, collision detection and the interactive playback. You're right Maya does not have a good solution for rendering like hypervoxels though.

Glendalough
10-18-2009, 10:33 AM
If your comfortable in Blender you can use this to export Particles from blender as a pfx file.

Blender has Boids or flocking particles.

The script should go in the X:\Blender\.blender\scripts folder.

Bake the particles before exporting.

It doesn`t handle dead particles, just places them at (0,0,0)

Only use one particle system per object.

Select the object with the Particle system on and in the export dialogue click on the particle system name so it is selected.

This is great, all the way from Sunny Scotland!

Worked first time here, no bother, now one can really get into particles in Blender. Thanks again for this wonderful script.

LightFreeze
10-19-2009, 11:17 AM
your welcome but its not ideal due to the dead particle limitation

Stooch
10-19-2009, 03:04 PM
RealFlow is for liquids and does not flock.

with a little bit of python you can make them flock. you have full per particle control in realflow.

Cageman
10-19-2009, 11:11 PM
I meant the conversion to pfx, which I believe you said took a couple hours. That time for me at least would be offset with creating the particles in Maya in the first place. I know what you mean about Maya though, N particles automate some things but having so many ways to control them is intimidating. For me the thing I like most are the forces, collision detection and the interactive playback. You're right Maya does not have a good solution for rendering like hypervoxels though.

And this reminds me about the conversion I forgot to clock this weekend! *sigh* Total slipped my mind. I should be able to do it at work... *fingers crossed*

:)

Cageman
10-21-2009, 11:59 PM
So... I've run the conversion and it has been cooking now for about an hour and it has reached 74 frames. :D So... not at all the fastest thing on the planet. But it is understandable, since that it, for each frame, exports information about every single particle, and there are a bunch of particles in this flow. :D

My suggestion is that you fire up the conversion over night or get hold of a baking computer that can do this type of thing. The good thing is that it is dead easy and requires just a couple of mouseclicks to get the exporter running.

:)

e2_
10-22-2009, 01:18 AM
Man this thread has been so helpfull!!

I have been working on this exact problem for a long time. Creating convincing flocking particles in LW is very very hard. The last project I did I had to create two flocks of butterflies that followed the handz of a girl dancing on a line. I managed to get the flocks looking ok in LW, but not superb. (http://spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26597)

I did this using path wind, vortex and eplotion to eplode and implode (enveloped the flock to -100 - 200%) the flock to get contract and expand.

The project I'm working on now demands a flock of thousand of particles flocking and playing in the sky. I have spent many days now getting something that looks decent in LW, but no luck until I found this thread.

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours to learn the basics of Blender to get my head around the super excelent Boids particles. Importing objects to and from Lightwave and exporting the baked particles from Blender to Lightwave using the excelent pfx exporting script posted earlier (Thanks a bunch to the programmer!). It works like blody h***! :)

I'm really impressed by Blenders particles, they are very fast to work with, easy to get to grips with, predictable. And I can get results in to time at all. I will shurely use this workflow for a lot of particle jobs in the future.

I made this quick OpenGL test using the butterflies from the mentioned project. 150 boid particles from boids, pfx exported to lightwave. Butterflies animated using FXLink and Relativity expressions.

Thanks guys :) :thumbsup:

stevecullum
10-22-2009, 12:19 PM
I tried to get the PFX export script to work with Blender 2.5, but I don't see any extra options in the menu. Is it 2.49 only? Would love to export some of the new particle engine stuff to LW!

LightFreeze
10-22-2009, 03:42 PM
its not tested on 2.5 but it should appear in file/export

stevecullum
10-22-2009, 05:26 PM
its not tested on 2.5 but it should appear in file/export

Sadly there's nothing in that menu, so not working :(

But hopefully it can be made to work soon:)

wildr3d
10-22-2009, 05:44 PM
So... I've run the conversion and it has been cooking now for about an hour and it has reached 74 frames. :D So... not at all the fastest thing on the planet. But it is understandable, since that it, for each frame, exports information about every single particle, and there are a bunch of particles in this flow. :D

My suggestion is that you fire up the conversion over night or get hold of a baking computer that can do this type of thing. The good thing is that it is dead easy and requires just a couple of mouseclicks to get the exporter running.

:)

Thanks for going through the trouble, some test renders I've done with what you uploaded look very promising.

Glendalough
10-23-2009, 06:27 AM
its not tested on 2.5 but it should appear in file/export

I'm not getting anything at all in the File Export, using a mac version probably explains it. But am getting this error:

(BTW, just wondering what the limitation of the 'dead particles' scenario means, is there a work around? Does Lightwave not register particle life?)

LightFreeze
10-23-2009, 10:34 AM
where did you download 2.5 from?

The script was written for testing.I knew I would be using boids which would have all particles active throughout the scene.

but in the real world...

If a particle system creates a new particle at frame 5 then for frames 1 to 4 it is considered dead. I just moved dead ones to (0,0,0) rather than doing it properly and marking them as dead.

This means the pfx file will show all particles active through all frames with the dead ones at (0,0,0) until they are "born" when they will jump to the correct position.

Not ideal but usable, if I get the time I will try to do it properly

Glendalough
10-23-2009, 10:49 AM
where did you download 2.5 from?

The script was written for testing.I knew I would be using boids which would have all particles active throughout the scene.

but in the real world...

If a particle system creates a new particle at frame 5 then for frames 1 to 4 it is considered dead. I just moved dead ones to (0,0,0) rather than doing it properly and marking them as dead.

This means the pfx file will show all particles active through all frames with the dead ones at (0,0,0) until they are "born" when they will jump to the correct position.

Not ideal but usable, if I get the time I will try to do it properly

I got the latest OSX build from graphicall.org, this a few weeks ago, so could be superseded by now.

Thanks for the explanation of the dead particles. Sounds workable. Hope you can find the time to finish this. Great work so far!

Stooch
10-23-2009, 03:00 PM
But, alas, being able to use Maya for the sim and LW for rendering can become a timesaver. Just the fact that you have to write a somewhat complex expression to randomize the size of the sprites attached to the particles is just ridicilous. I havn't even dared to get my head around doing something like having randomized sizes as well as being able to controll the overall size depending on the distance from an item. I just see tons of code... :/

There ARE things with hypervoxels that is damn neat and easy to do, compared to how Maya handles it.

Oh well...

:)

actually its super easy with nParticles. they have built in size ramps and random scale attributes.

Cageman
10-23-2009, 03:21 PM
actually its super easy with nParticles. they have built in size ramps and random scale attributes.

Thats great! I havn't got around playing that much with particles in Maya. Always good to hear that things does improve on the userfriendlyness.

On that note... I made a pointcloud in LW wich I animated with displacements and then transfered over to Maya. In Maya I converted the vertex cached pointcloud to a SoftBody so that I could attach sprites to each vertex (more or less making each animated vertex a particle). That was where I ended up having to ask our maya-gurus to help out, because again, there was a fairly complex expression to randomize the sizes of the sprites. Is it possible to use nParticles in such cases as well?

Mr Rid
10-23-2009, 03:32 PM
with a little bit of python you can make them flock. you have full per particle control in realflow.

Am allergic to scripting/code/expressions/algebra... when the interface has a big brightly colored "FLOCK" button, I'll be set. Basic flocking was in farckin' Particle Storm 1 over a decade ago. I should not have to script anything.

SplineGod
10-23-2009, 04:12 PM
I agree..
There seems to be a mindset that robust tools have to be overly technical as opposed to artist friendly. :)

stevecullum
10-23-2009, 04:14 PM
where did you download 2.5 from?

Get the latest 2.5 build from here : www.graphicall.org

Mr Rid
10-23-2009, 04:56 PM
I agree..
There seems to be a mindset that robust tools have to be overly technical as opposed to artist friendly. :)

My special visual effects dream began as it did for many Harryhausen/Star Wars babys, in the 70s, pre-digital era. Am already disappointed I just missed out on the chance to get up every day to concoct special equipment and techniques for putting practical things in front of an actual camera to create movie magic. CG allowed any bozo like me with an Amiga to jump into VFX, and it was still fun concocting techniques for arranging CG things in front of a CG camera, I just got a lot less exercise. What little old school stuff I got to do with stop-motion and shooting practical elements and miniatures is still the most rewarding stuff I worked on, over any amount of mouse-pushing.

But now, most big time digital FX are so technically complicated and about scripting and proprietary code. Entering code is an abstract galaxy far, far away from what I got into this for. Its like dreaming of being a race car driver, but by the time you are old enough to do it professionally the industry had become pudgy nerds sitting in dark booths with a joystick and a monitor, remote steering an empty car on a track. And then winning races became about which 'player' can afford a team of programmers writing the best driving code. Just not my idea of fun.

Larry_g1s
10-23-2009, 05:44 PM
Great thread. Just posting so I can subscribe and keep up/re-read. :)

LightFreeze
10-24-2009, 01:44 AM
I tried to get the PFX export script to work with Blender 2.5, but I don't see any extra options in the menu. Is it 2.49 only? Would love to export some of the new particle engine stuff to LW!

Do you mean there is a change in the particle engine from 2.49 to 2.5?

I would be waiting until 2.5 is official before scripting for it anyway

stevecullum
10-24-2009, 02:58 AM
Do you mean there is a change in the particle engine from 2.49 to 2.5?

I believe its being changed...

http://jahkaparticles.blogspot.com/

This is the guy thats coding this part of 2.5. From what I've read, every system in 2.5 has had some form of re-write.

erikals
10-26-2009, 02:39 PM
pretty birdie....
was thinking dynamics might work, but nah,...

not with my skills at least...

Stooch
10-26-2009, 03:39 PM
Am allergic to scripting/code/expressions/algebra... when the interface has a big brightly colored "FLOCK" button, I'll be set. Basic flocking was in farckin' Particle Storm 1 over a decade ago. I should not have to script anything.

Next time im messing around with realflow ill see if i can write a flocking script :) ill pick a nice bright color of the icon just for you lol.

I LOVE simplifying overly complicated technical stuff.

Stooch
10-26-2009, 03:40 PM
Thats great! I havn't got around playing that much with particles in Maya. Always good to hear that things does improve on the userfriendlyness.

On that note... I made a pointcloud in LW wich I animated with displacements and then transfered over to Maya. In Maya I converted the vertex cached pointcloud to a SoftBody so that I could attach sprites to each vertex (more or less making each animated vertex a particle). That was where I ended up having to ask our maya-gurus to help out, because again, there was a fairly complex expression to randomize the sizes of the sprites. Is it possible to use nParticles in such cases as well?

of course. nparticles are just normal maya particles with built in goodies that you normally had to do with mel script. Also they have a really nice caching system that lets you over/under sample it, change its speed, etc. its really nice. Basically, nparticles are now as easy to adjust as LW particles... one thing they still have to figure out is making a particle texturing toolset like the one in hypervoxels. (still some of the best sprite rendering tools out there, IMO)

actually... wait a second im pretty sure there is enough in maya toolset to make my own sprite based engine... hmmm.... mmm... I know what im doing this weekend!

Cageman
10-26-2009, 04:52 PM
of course. nparticles are just normal maya particles with built in goodies that you normally had to do with mel script. Also they have a really nice caching system that lets you over/under sample it, change its speed, etc. its really nice. Basically, nparticles are now as easy to adjust as LW particles... one thing they still have to figure out is making a particle texturing toolset like the one in hypervoxels. (still some of the best sprite rendering tools out there, IMO)

actually... wait a second im pretty sure there is enough in maya toolset to make my own sprite based engine... hmmm.... mmm... I know what im doing this weekend!

Great!! Thanks! I'll have to check that out then! :)

Oh..and..well... our inhouse spritebased toolset for Maya Hardware is probably on par with HV, except that it may be somewhat complicated, but rendertimes are... oh.. there ARE NO rendertimes... it's almost realtime...

Check this one out to see it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOK7r1pa74M&feature=fvsr

(the endshot in particlular).

:)

Stooch
10-26-2009, 05:12 PM
Great!! Thanks! I'll have to check that out then! :)

Oh..and..well... our inhouse spritebased toolset for Maya Hardware is probably on par with HV, except that it may be somewhat complicated, but rendertimes are... oh.. there ARE NO rendertimes... it's almost realtime...

Check this one out to see it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOK7r1pa74M&feature=fvsr

(the endshot in particlular).

:)

looks good. I have some ideas for sprite texture generation :) so im pretty excited to take a crack at it (and make it easy to use heh).

so i take a look at the comments... and guess what... there is a raging debate about russian/american military conflict in that vid LOL (and i think someone is wrong on the internets).

Mr Rid
10-28-2009, 05:58 PM
GL shows the partigons displacing over to the right... but not displacing at the same time, over on the left. Voxels choose the non-displaced variety.
78792

SplineGod
10-28-2009, 11:01 PM
Try changing the order of what appears first in the custom object list. Make sure the HVs are last.

Mr Rid
10-28-2009, 11:33 PM
Is not affecting anything here. One thing I forgot that happens with partigons when I save and reload the scene, the 'FX Emitter' is no longer listed under custom objects. I dont know what that means.

SplineGod
10-28-2009, 11:45 PM
Hmm interesting.
The only time Ive had that happen when I created a point cloud in modeler then applied Hardfx to it in layout then used a collision object to knock the points around.
When I had those two things switched the HVs rendered where the points initially were.

prometheus
10-30-2009, 07:08 AM
GL shows the partigons displacing over to the right... but not displacing at the same time, over on the left. Voxels choose the non-displaced variety.
78792

what are you displacing your partigons with?

Michael

Mr Rid
10-30-2009, 12:33 PM
Textured displacement. Regular 'displacement map' textures do not do anything.

78864

erikals
10-31-2009, 03:43 AM
maybe bake, fxlink, or instancing could work...

prometheus
10-31-2009, 04:15 AM
No luck here either..
I thought there was something in there in the playback modes, after saving
the pfx.

when I was experimenting on applying hypervoxels on geometry displaced
by cloth fx, I used the order set to after displacement and after calculating
the cloth fx I then saved the motion out and used the playback mode set to local, that made it possible to get the hypervoxels to follow the cloth fx deformed vertices exactly as they are.

thereīs no such available option for playback mode in particles thou, and
itīs a different kind of uggly animal:(

I did some testīs with nodes and dp kit, but I really have no clue of what
Im doing..it actually helps you know:)

Michael

erikals
10-31-2009, 05:56 AM
i'm thinking maybe Animation Path could be combined with another technique of some sort...

http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials.php

ftp://ftp.newtek.com/products/LightWave/Trial/Videos/Animation_Path.mov
ftp://ftp.newtek.com/products/LightWave/Trial/Content/Wind_Loop.zip

serge
10-31-2009, 09:01 AM
Haven't seen Dpont's Particle Scan (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/dpont/plugins/MDD_Pointer.html#Particle_Scan) mentioned here. It can save the particles as PFX or MDD. So, make your particles move along a path and save that as an MDD. Load this in Nodal Displacement with Dpont's MDD-pointer node and use the power of nodal displacement to create random movements; lots of possibilities there. (And the result you scan again with ClothFX.)

Mr Rid
10-31-2009, 02:17 PM
maybe bake, fxlink, or instancing could work...

Yeah, I tried all that.


i'm thinking maybe Animation Path could be combined with another technique of some sort...


As mentioned, the problem with Animation Path is that it overrides all other winds for some dumb reason, unless they are set to Heavy Wind(?) but then weird motions occur.


...
I did some testīs with nodes and dp kit, but I really have no clue of what
Im doing..it actually helps you know:)

Michael

I have no clue either. I dont get nodes, and I am not getting the applied MDD to affect the partigons. DP's instructions leave a lot to be desired.

Mr Rid
10-31-2009, 03:14 PM
Docs like these that assume too much about what the user already understands are a big peeve.

For novices, it should first explain how to add the plugin to Layout and where to locate the Particle Scan plugin under the deform tab, and make it clear you must be using a Partigon Emitter and not the other type of emitter.

'Usage' should explain steps and what each thing in the interface is for.

What does 'Unique ID' do?

What is this about 'limb or dead' particles? ... how do you reset the particle size? where?

Do not seem to be able to apply the scanned MDD to the Partigon Emitter itself but to an LWO.

Metapointer does not seem to work, but I guess it is only for associating with a cage(?).

Pointer works and the poly points can be displaced, but Action Start, Replay & End Behavior speed have no effect(?).

HV grads like speed, age and size based on particle size will not work. FX link will not work. Applying HD Instance crashes my scene if I apply a Preview Type in HDI, or hit F9.

If you scan and save a PFX, where do you apply this in a DP node?

tonyrizo2003
11-01-2009, 06:37 PM
let's not stop with good documentation but let's get an actual work flow that describes how to use that particular tool in a real world VFX setting. NT really needs to step it up on the documentation, the videos are a good start but they do not all apply to the people that use it in a VFX pipeline. While I realize that their majority customer base may not need that type of documentation but who's to say that one day they won't need it?

Mr Rid
11-02-2009, 02:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7-2vBMP68s&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hslWpf3gaQc&feature=related

geo_n
11-16-2009, 08:09 AM
Did a small test in max. Path constraint where you can randomize motion path, speed, etc. A script can make it all automatic. Number of birds generated, distance between mesh, path variation, etc.
Maybe we can have something in lw to clone, randomize path constraint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG_sszalh_U