View Full Version : Flocking insects on a non-displacement map ground

08-17-2013, 05:54 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm just playing around with Lightwave 11.6, haven't used Lightwave since 9, so a lot of new things. One thing I want to use it for is the flocking system as it seems really easy to use. I've looked at the available tutorials but can't find any great ones on using imported meshes the use cached geo from Maya.

However I've figured out how to create my flock and attach my imported mesh as an instance to the flock and also how to add multiple versions of the geo cache so that the animations can be varied.

The one area that sill confuses me is how to get them to walk across a poly mesh that isn't flat. I've seen a tutorial where he uses ray trace to get the flock to go over a mesh that's been deformed via a displacement map. I can replicate this fine. But when I go to use an actual mesh that isn't flat, for example one generated using the sculpt brush in Maya or Zbrush or even Lightwave. I find that the flock just to seem to go shooing up in the air and perform their actions well above the actual mesh, that's if Lightwave doesn't crash while trying to perform this.

So how do I get the flock to march across a pre made rough landscape. Also how do I make sure that the legs of the creatures don't penetrate the ground? How is Lightwave placing the instances to the particles, does it base the mesh by it's centre point to the particle.? If so do I need to move my pivot to the foot of the mesh?

Hope you can help.

Pete B

01-11-2014, 04:29 PM
Sounds like you want to use the RAYCAST node. Page 36 of the LW 11.6 manual addendum. I haven't used it , but recently read it.