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PressureDrop
01-07-2014, 11:02 AM
Hi guys, Sorry if this kind of question has been asked before - I haven't found it if it has.

I'm trying to build a scene that has a few hundred/thousand balloons in it. The balloons must conform to different shapes as a collective mass.
I have attempted this using this using Fill Solid and then instance the balloons but of course the balloons intersect.
Is there any way I can make them aware of each others proximity? I did try raycast node but to no effect.

Must i go down the bullet route? it's for a number of still images, no animation.

Any ideas greatly appreciated :)

Chris

P.S. Is there a better way to search the forums, the current search tool seems a bit hit and miss? Thanks again.

vector
01-07-2014, 01:53 PM
Not sure if it could help you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzdh1fHzqLc

PressureDrop
01-07-2014, 02:52 PM
Thanks, I did consider flocking, but not in this way. I'll give it a go and see what happens. :)

raw-m
01-07-2014, 03:56 PM
I've had something similar on a recent project. The best solution I found was to get the instances how you like them, use Bake Instances to turn them into real geometry and then run Bullet on them - this will separate them but may give you unexpected results. May not help if you have animation applied or thousands if instances, but something to try!

pinkmouse
01-07-2014, 05:01 PM
Hmm. Could you run Bullet on single point polys with a suitably large collision radius to simulate the size of the balloons, bake that motion to a MDD, then add your instances to the points? Just thinking, no time to test.

raw-m
01-08-2014, 12:45 AM
Nice thought pinkmouse, will have to give that a try myself. Got a feeling that Bullet worked better if all the objects where separate, not all as one item. Didn't try it with one point polys but it's certainly the case if instances have overlaps.

Thomas Leitner
01-08-2014, 12:58 AM
....I have attempted this using this using Fill Solid and then instance the balloons but of course the balloons intersect.....

Hi,
before doing some complicated stuff try this, maybe itīs works for you:
After using Fill Solid use Merge Points with a Fixed Value (the diameter of your balloons). The balloons shouldnīt intersect any more.

ciao
Thomas

PressureDrop
01-08-2014, 04:37 AM
Thanks for all your suggestions!
Vector - I tried to use flocking by conforming agents to a mesh but due to the shape of the balloons and the final configuration they were either too far apart or overlapping.
Thomas - Thanks, using merge points with a fixed value is getting close but of course the balloons aren't perfect sphere's so there are still awkward gaps.
Pinkmouse & Raw-m - Looks like bullet might be the way, will have a go, haven't baked motion to MDD before so will have to read up a bit.
Thanks again everyone, let's see how I get on...

PressureDrop
01-08-2014, 04:51 AM
FYI This is the kind of thing I'm having to do, but obviously better ...in 3D.
Thanks again folks!

119146

PressureDrop
01-08-2014, 08:04 AM
Aaagh, still struggling! Really don't want to have to do this balloon by balloon, there are too many variations to do.

Tried bullet, but can't seem to get the dynamics to register the single point ploys. I'm likely doing something wrong of course.

I'll likely use the fill solid with fixed value merge points and tweak the balloons/points that are visibly intersecting.
Thanks for all your suggestions. :)

raw-m
01-08-2014, 08:10 AM
Yes, it sounds like thats the problem I mentioned above - getting the items to separate out doesn't work very well if all the parts are in the same layer, works much better if all items are individual. Like the fixed value idea and you could get a nice gentle balloon-y movement on the instances, if you're animating.

Ma3rk
01-08-2014, 11:03 AM
With risk at being sacrilegious, does it have to be done in Lightwave? You might check into VidoCopilot's Element 3D. Of course that would be assuming you have After Effects and willing to make a purchase, but it is a pretty amazing tool.

As far as searching the forum, some folk have actually had better luck searching it via Google.

Thomas Leitner
01-08-2014, 12:04 PM
With risk at being sacrilegious, does it have to be done in Lightwave? You might check into VidoCopilot's Element 3D. Of course that would be assuming you have After Effects and willing to make a purchase, but it is a pretty amazing tool.

As far as searching the forum, some folk have actually had better luck searching it via Google.

Can you please explain whatīs the advantage of Element 3D to solve Chris problem?

ciao
Thomas

Ma3rk
01-08-2014, 03:06 PM
It's extremely fast for one thing. For each instance of Element you can have 5 separate groups, but you could use the Multi-object feature to make differing balloon shapes by simply giving them different material names. Pretty easy to generate thousands of balloons if desired.

For where they need to coalesce into a particular pattern, you can use a custom made obj (easily done in Modeler) as your replicator array.

Here are some tutorial links. The 3D Replicator vid might be the one to watch in this case.

http://www.videocopilot.net/help/element/

spherical
01-08-2014, 04:02 PM
I'd suggest Steve Hurley's Advanced Placement (http://hurleyworks.com/portfolio/advanced-placement-2/). Don't know if it's released, though, but you may be able to work something out.

speismonqui
01-08-2014, 07:11 PM
or if you have access to cinema4D...

http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/tutorials/how-to-make-the-cherry-7up-look-with-cinema-4d/

adk
01-08-2014, 10:32 PM
I mucked about with instancing for a bit and this is the result.
Unfortunately as soon as you displace the grid (where the instancing happens) you start to get overlaps without any real way of fixing it I think.

spherical
01-08-2014, 10:48 PM
That looks pretty cool, just the same.

dpont
01-09-2014, 12:08 AM
I remember a test of this kind of effect,
the idea was a based on a cubic volume of instances
for an uniform distribution in free space, poisson is better
like 'Block Distanced' of DP Instancer,
119166
than a mask should be input for the 'customized shape'
an extruded shape like a letter or digit
is easy to do with an Image node,
or a procedural like the spiral above,
for a complex 3D shape, Boolean node
may work but slowly,
the other way is to use particles of course.

Denis.

Thomas Leitner
01-09-2014, 12:39 AM
It's extremely fast for one thing. For each instance of Element you can have 5 separate groups, but you could use the Multi-object feature to make differing balloon shapes by simply giving them different material names. Pretty easy to generate thousands of balloons if desired.

For where they need to coalesce into a particular pattern, you can use a custom made obj (easily done in Modeler) as your replicator array.

Here are some tutorial links. The 3D Replicator vid might be the one to watch in this case.

http://www.videocopilot.net/help/element/

Element 3D is a nice Motion graphics tool (if you donīt need raytracing, GI or advanced shading) and I always like listen to Andrew Kramer.
But I donīt see anything that the 3D Replicator do that you canīt do with instancing in Lightwave. If you use a object shape for placing the instances LW offers a lot more opitions than Element 3D. The particular problem of Chris is the overlapping of the balloons and I donīt see any help from Element 3D for this.

ciao
Thomas

raw-m
01-09-2014, 01:10 AM
I remember a test of this kind of effect,
the idea was a based on a cubic volume of instances
for an uniform distribution in free space, poisson is better
like 'Block Distanced' of DP Instancer,
119166
than a mask should be input for the 'customized shape'
an extruded shape like a letter or digit
is easy to do with an Image node,
or a procedural like the spiral above,
for a complex 3D shape, Boolean node
may work but slowly,
the other way is to use particles of course.

Denis.

Hi Denis, do you have a demo scene showing this?

adk
01-09-2014, 08:54 AM
I did try DP Instancer with block distance option but could not get the results that you attached Denis. Most likely my miss-understanding somewhere of functionality.
Tried a two step process to try and fix what I had previously. Firstly the balloons are instanced to a grid, with a little bit of spacing, then simmed using bullet. I've not done much in terms of bullet simms hence the crazy jitter I guess.
I really like the one stray towards the very end...just don't ask me how to handle the balloon strings as well :)
One issue I see is the tendency for the balloons to rotate, not ideal I realise, but I have no idea where to begin to fix that?

raw-m
01-09-2014, 08:57 AM
I'd suggest Steve Hurley's Advanced Placement (http://hurleyworks.com/portfolio/advanced-placement-2/). Don't know if it's released, though, but you may be able to work something out.

Blimey, how good does that look!? Its says soon to be released but that was june...

dpont
01-09-2014, 09:13 AM
I did try DP Instancer with block distance option but could not get the results that you attached Denis. Most likely my miss-understanding somewhere of functionality...

Sorry I haven't this setup under my hand yet,
my computer is busy and me too,
one thing to know is that instance number must be still set
in the node panel and great enough to fill a box volume
to start with the Distribution node and 'Block Distanced' mode,
considering the distance (diameter of the sphere/balloon)
and the 3D size of the block,
then you have these mask inputs to play.

Denis.

spherical
01-09-2014, 06:34 PM
One issue I see is the tendency for the balloons to rotate, not ideal I realise, but I have no idea where to begin to fix that?

This post (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139010-LWCAD-Railclone-issue-trying-to-clone-stadium-seats-along-a-path&p=1357098&viewfull=1#post1357098), perhaps?

adk
01-09-2014, 09:10 PM
Sorry I haven't this setup under my hand yet,
my computer is busy and me too,
one thing to know is that instance number must be still set
in the node panel and great enough to fill a box volume
to start with the Distribution node and 'Block Distanced' mode,
considering the distance (diameter of the sphere/balloon)
and the 3D size of the block,
then you have these mask inputs to play.

Denis.

Hi there Denis,

Here's a really basic scene in which I try to replicate your ball with the spiral mask, text fill, as well as a simple volume fill.
I simply can not get the really nice looking spiral masking as per your attachment. The text works okay'ish but there are issues with overlapping instances.
The simple volume I had a bit more success with the masking but still not entirely sure how you set that up.

On a bigger note - these scenes instantly crash my LW (11.6.1 x64 - latest version) whenever I use VPR or F9 ? Anyone else have these issues ? It's a pretty clean install.

More often than not I actually turn to your tools first and foremost, and I did it in this case as well. Just a shame my technical ability / understanding isn't so sharp at times.

Cheers a bunch for chiming in.


spherical ... I meant they rotate in the bullet simulation, not while instancing, sorry for the misunderstanding. Been using the shortest edge alignment ever since using HD instance ;)

dpont
01-10-2014, 12:58 AM
I tried to setup a scene similar to my previous attachment,
119190

basic nodal setup to get a box filled with 50x50x50
125000 sphčres, 0.1m diameter, 'block distanced'
distance 0.1m, box of 5m for x,y & z.

if you input the Dot procedural you get a full sphere,

since spiral is a 2D procedural,
I first added a gradient in mask1, for erasing the center
of the shape and added the Spiral in mask2,

with the Boolean node in mask1, Inside mode
with toroid as target you get directly a toroid.

With displace input you may experiment
some distorsion too.

Denis.

adk
01-10-2014, 04:17 AM
Denis... Thank you so much for this example !
Now I see a lot of possibilities and how some of my past scenes with these sorts of setups could have been so much easier to manage.
I will definitely need to revisit & rethink some of those. Thank you again.

adk
01-10-2014, 04:57 AM
Me again Denis.
Hate to ask, especially since you mentioned you were busy, but would it be possible to add two additional block grids into the distribution type?
I don't know their technical names but for my sake I called them Block Offset & Offset Packed. Mostly to do with packing spheres of course, but might be handy for other things as well. Gif & Object attached.
Or is this already achievable somehow with the existing setup?

PS: Your node setup doesn't crash VPR nor F9 so must be something to do with the way I hooked up the previous example. Problem solved.

Ma3rk
01-10-2014, 05:26 AM
Element 3D is a nice Motion graphics tool (if you donīt need raytracing, GI or advanced shading) and I always like listen to Andrew Kramer.
But I donīt see anything that the 3D Replicator do that you canīt do with instancing in Lightwave. If you use a object shape for placing the instances LW offers a lot more opitions than Element 3D. The particular problem of Chris is the overlapping of the balloons and I donīt see any help from Element 3D for this.

ciao
Thomas

Maybe I can whang something together this weekend.

M.

- - - Updated - - -


Element 3D is a nice Motion graphics tool (if you donīt need raytracing, GI or advanced shading) and I always like listen to Andrew Kramer.
But I donīt see anything that the 3D Replicator do that you canīt do with instancing in Lightwave. If you use a object shape for placing the instances LW offers a lot more opitions than Element 3D. The particular problem of Chris is the overlapping of the balloons and I donīt see any help from Element 3D for this.

ciao
Thomas

Maybe I can whang something together this weekend.

M.

jeric_synergy
01-11-2014, 11:40 AM
If the balloons didn't need to be SO dense, they'd still read as text and any overlap/penetration would be less apparent.

I'm thinking "perfect" is the enemy of "good" in this situation, especially with ELASTIC objects.

medicalart
01-11-2014, 04:16 PM
William Vaughan made a Lightwave Modeling tutorial video years ago called "Cereal". (Creating a bowl of cereal with a little help from HardFx.) The technique could be used for positioning your balloons. Essentially, you'd create hollow containers for your balloons, and then drop a bunch of them into the hollow containers. Each balloon would have HardFx added to it, in "parts" mode, with gravity added, and the containers would be collision objects. Because the balloons are Hard objects, they don't intersect. After the balloons settle properly into their containers, you'd save the objects "SAVE TRANS OBJECT". Granted you'd end up with a lot of polys, but you could do small groups of balloons and then instance those groups.

ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/w3dw/Cereal.mov

medicalart
01-11-2014, 04:31 PM
I have attempted this using this using Fill Solid
.

What is "Fill Solid" refering to? Which panel? Thanks.

XswampyX
01-11-2014, 06:40 PM
What's wrong with using flocking, It's pretty much made for this?

http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr16/xXswampyXx/Balloon_Flocking_zps8eee0463.jpg (http://s465.photobucket.com/user/xXswampyXx/media/Balloon_Flocking_zps8eee0463.jpg.html)

Ma3rk
01-12-2014, 01:08 AM
Here's a quicky done with Element 3D. I kept the obj object flat, but could just as easily given it some depth.

119237

XswampyX
01-12-2014, 06:49 AM
Here's the animation :-


http://youtu.be/MBOi2vCGkWo

raw-m
01-12-2014, 07:17 AM
Thats really nice XswampyX. Would love to see how you keep your Agents so nicely behaved!

50one
01-12-2014, 02:30 PM
Thats really nice XswampyX. Would love to see how you keep your Agents so nicely behaved!


Me tooo.......:) pretty please!

XswampyX
01-12-2014, 02:49 PM
Thanks Guys, and because you asked so nicely! :D

Remember you have to go to FxTools (up the top) and then to Calculate Flocks (on the left) if you want to see the balloons.

Cheers!

50one
01-12-2014, 03:48 PM
Thanks Guys, and because you asked so nicely! :D

Remember you have to go to FxTools (up the top) and then to Calculate Flocks (on the left) if you want to see the balloons.

Cheers!

:thumbsup:

adk
01-12-2014, 04:23 PM
Cheers a bunch XswampyX ... will be my first foray into flocking :) It looks pretty spot on!

PressureDrop
01-13-2014, 04:57 AM
Blimey, I've been away for a few days and came back to LOADS of suggestions. Love it!
I really didn't think my post would have this much response! There are so many clever, friendly folk on here. :)

XSwampyX - Brilliant! I tried to do flocking but didn't get anywhere near what you have achieved.
Incredibly kind of you to supply the packaged scene for everyone to study.

Thanks again to everyone. :D :D

ianr
01-13-2014, 08:39 AM
Hey pressure Drop,
I thinks U owes Swampy

a couple of pints of 'Proper Job'

next time u's in Kernow?

lightscape
07-25-2014, 07:52 AM
Thanks Guys, and because you asked so nicely! :D

Remember you have to go to FxTools (up the top) and then to Calculate Flocks (on the left) if you want to see the balloons.

Cheers!

I get instance crash rendering this scene with lw 11.6.3
Is it because its using dp instance and not the native instancing?