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scheme_a
11-05-2012, 10:26 AM
Hi guys,

I feel like there must be a very easy solution for this, but I cannot seem to find it.
Here is the situation:

I want bricks to fall one after another from the top and build a brick wall.
I thought about using DP Instancer to stagger the timing of the bricks. So I have a brick with simple vertical animation
that goes from top to bottom, and I've instanced it to form a wall.
However, I cannot seem to find a way to offset the timing of the animation for each instance.
I thought it would be as simple as changing the Min and Max Frame Offset under the Motion tab, but changing the value of them changes nothing. They still fall in perfect unison. What is the motion tab for then??

I suppose I could use HD instance, but then I don't know why I even bothered to upgrade to LW11, so I just wanted to learn to control it better.
If any of you guys can help me out, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Celshader
11-05-2012, 11:39 AM
I'm not sure about DP_Instancer, but the native Instance Generator plug-in allows for time scales and time offsets in its Node Editor. Experiment with using a black-to-white Y-Gradient texture to make the bricks at the top fall at a later point than the bricks at the bottom. A value of 0 (black) should mean no offset, while higher values should increase the time offset.

jeric_synergy
11-05-2012, 11:54 AM
I think you're better off with standard dynamics, and run the animation backwards. Take a look at these:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdkAFxM2HUQ&list=UU0tBW-b_kzdk-k08Sny1k2w&index=38&feature=plcp

Same, plus ping-pong animation+volumetric lights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfB8URn24k4&list=UU0tBW-b_kzdk-k08Sny1k2w&index=35&feature=plcp

While this was ClothFX, the same principle applies: build your wall in Modeler, apply dynamics in Layout, render backwards to assemble wall. You control which brick goes when by using an animated Null Object to trigger the dynamics ('trigger by collision').

Oh, and make Gravity negative, of course.

If you need forward motion blur, save the MDD file of the wall, and apply/animate it backwards-- then motion blur will be correct.

dpont
11-05-2012, 12:05 PM
..I thought it would be as simple as changing the Min and Max Frame Offset under the Motion tab, but changing the value of them changes nothing. They still fall in perfect unison. What is the motion tab for then??
...

In DPInstancer Motion Timing works if you check "Timing World"
for Reference Coordinates.

Denis.

scheme_a
11-05-2012, 12:23 PM
In DPInstancer Motion Timing works if you check "Timing World"
for Reference Coordinates.

Denis.

Thanks Denis! It worked.
And all of you guys thank you so much for the input. I will try to see which method works the best.
You guys rock!

jeric_synergy
11-05-2012, 01:26 PM
Is it really easy to build the wall in DP_Instancer???

scheme_a
11-06-2012, 06:59 AM
Is it really easy to build the wall in DP_Instancer???

Well, I can't make it exactly build it up from bottom to top. The order is random at the moment, and I'm not sure if there is a way to make them come down in a certain order, but it's definitely better than anything I had so far.

wyattharris
11-06-2012, 10:31 AM
This is similar to Jeric's idea. Just thinking out loud, haven't tried it, but I wonder if some old school FX would work digitally. Build the scene upside down including the camera and just let gravity pull the blocks down after they are timed to fall. Then just play the animation backwards.

scheme_a
11-06-2012, 11:24 AM
Celshader's suggestion worked with DP Instancer as well.
So by combining what he suggested and what Denis said, I more or less achieved what I wanted.
I will post the images once I get home.

Seriously, thank you guys so much for the help!

jeric_synergy
11-06-2012, 01:11 PM
This is similar to Jeric's idea. Just thinking out loud, haven't tried it, but I wonder if some old school FX would work digitally. Build the scene upside down including the camera and just let gravity pull the blocks down after they are timed to fall. Then just play the animation backwards.
LOL, that would literally be required in the RW, but in LW we can just set the Gravity to go UP instead.

In OUR workshop, gravity is our b**ch.

Cryonic
11-06-2012, 05:19 PM
The problem with using gravity is that they will slow down as they approach the wall when the frames are put back together in reverse order, which will look unnatural. A way around that would be to give them an initial velocity up and let gravity pull against that so that the bricks slow down as they go off the camera. That way they appear to accelerate down as the video is played back.

jeric_synergy
11-06-2012, 06:37 PM
Cryonic, I had to read that, like, five times before I understood it! LOL :ohmy:

You're absolutely right, of course, and excellent solution! (Of course, 'unnatural' is a slippery concept in this situation....)

I'm still wondering how the OP got the bricks in anything resembling a wall in the first case: I haven't lately looked at the instancing options in DP_Instance. A still would probably tell me.

Cryonic
11-06-2012, 08:43 PM
Cryonic, I had to read that, like, five times before I understood it! LOL :ohmy:

You're absolutely right, of course, and excellent solution! (Of course, 'unnatural' is a slippery concept in this situation....)

I'm still wondering how the OP got the bricks in anything resembling a wall in the first case: I haven't lately looked at the instancing options in DP_Instance. A still would probably tell me.

Create a subdivided plane. Delete every other point on each row (so that the points alternate from one column to another as they go "down"), then use those points as the loading places for the instances. Create a greyscale map with white at the top and black at the bottom. This gradient could have shapes in it, like a contour map does, but lighter pixels need to be above darker pixels. Use this image as the offset for the animation of the instances in the TimeOffset channel (check the "content\Instancing\Instances_Offset\Scenes\Instanc es_Offset_002.lws" scene from the downloadable content).

wyattharris
11-07-2012, 08:22 AM
Create a subdivided plane...I gotcha. Will have to experiment with that.

jeric_synergy
11-07-2012, 02:18 PM
So, instance-by-point, gotcha.

BTW, this is a good time to use "Select Every Nth"! Opportunity doesn't come 'round often. ;)

Cryonic
11-07-2012, 03:19 PM
Or create a smaller plane, then after you get the pattern right, Array Clone it.