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jaxtone
01-18-2014, 09:48 AM
I was looking for a basic Instancer and Flocking tutorial that shows me how I replace the particles with my own fish object.

Didnīt thought this was almost impossible and that the creators of tutorials at Newtek would hide such a basic but important
part of their tutorials. When I at last found one that almost showed me how to do it the Tutorial Producer chose to hide the
action window under another window so its impossible to see what he does!

If anyone have a link or example of how to replace the particles with my own objects I would be pleased!

0:56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQiHNouiAhc#t=86

jeric_synergy
01-18-2014, 10:23 AM
W/o looking at the previous vids in that series, it looks like at 0:56 a NEW instancer is applied to an existing null, and Matt (?) simply loads an object in the normal way. The object is then selected in the instancer panel, nothing is hidden.

Watching the other vids will clear this up for me, but at that point the presenting hasn't really replaced anything, everything is NEW. What happens if you RIGHT click on the object in the instancer?

erikals
01-18-2014, 10:56 AM
don't worry, be happy!

prometheus
01-18-2014, 09:11 PM
Jaxtone...
just select your flock generator, but go to the instance tab in the flock generator properties, add instancer, from double click on that to bring upp the instancer UI, thereyou can add your object, and then choose generation type particles...
thatīs it.

Edited...that was for setting it up, for replacing it..in the instancer UI, Edit/replace object.
Or simply clear the instancer and add a new one, wont change flocking particles.

Michael

jaxtone
01-19-2014, 09:48 AM
Promotheus!

Thankīs but can you advice of where the instant tab is located? Canīt find it anywhere!

jaxtone
01-19-2014, 09:52 AM
I add another image of the Generator as well! But still no sign of the instant tab!

Could I possibly have a version without an instant tab?

Thomas Leitner
01-19-2014, 10:33 AM
Promotheus!

Thankīs but can you advice of where the instant tab is located? Canīt find it anywhere!

Hi,
you find the the Instancer tab in the Properties panel from your flock generator object:
select your flock generator (itīs default name is new_flock) hit p for properties and go to the Instancer tab and add a Instancer.

ciao
thomas

torturebori007
01-19-2014, 10:34 AM
119425
I add another image of the Generator as well! But still no sign of the instant tab!

Could I possibly have a version without an instant tab?

You need to select your object in layout, and then go into the object properties, there you will see the instance tab all the way to the right. See attached image.

Hope that helps.

Also this tutorial clears that up within the first few minutes...

http://youtu.be/ajYZC-RVk-0

prometheus
01-19-2014, 11:51 AM
as torturebori007 says, you canīt find the instancer tab in the flocking UI, it is all in the object tab, where you can either add hardfx,clothfx,particlefx,instancefx, etc...so you can for example just add a null and add instance generator on that or
collision objects etc, or voxels.
hit p for properties on the flockin generator and go to the instance tab..and add the instancer from there.

jaxtone
01-20-2014, 12:31 AM
I am so pleased by all the help you give guys but it seems like I have misunderstood some basic things in the workflow. If someone with more skills than me could give a basic guideline from scratch I guess I am willing to lick feet :)

"Maybe Iīve misunderstood this but how come there are two different Flocking Generator engines in Lightwave, one if you gonna use the "basic virtual generator" for Hypervoxels and such, and one if you are going to use objects?"

I send a couple of images of my workflow for you to look at! And please donīt judge my lack of knowledge to hard!

(Personally I donīt understand why the designers of Lightwaveīs interface just didnīt design more user friendly actions in a case like Flocking or any other part in the software where you are supposed to or given a chance to change from a virtual part to an object or anything else. A role model must be the "Replace with object" function thatīs already been in Lightwave for decades. Why mess things up and force the user to go through a bible when he/she or it just wanīt to replace one thing with another! All extra options could be added as an extra choice when you really need them, not else! But these are my personal reflections because it seems like an amount of Newtekīs competitors strive for simplicity out of all aspects and not without a reason.)

Thomas Leitner
01-20-2014, 02:38 AM
Hi,
I think you're confusing a few things.
The Flocking Generator isnīt the same as the Instance Generator.
Flocking is a special particle system with special control of the behavior of the particles. You can use the particles in different ways: Replace with objects or render as HyperVoxels (a kind of volumetric clumps).
The Flocking Generator is the emitter of the particles (there are also other items to control the particles in the flocking system available).

The Instance Generator is a object that generates instances of chosen objects. This could be any object, not only a particle emitter. You could generate instances on the surface of an object, on its points, on its polygons and so on in many different ways.
And you can generate instances on the particles of an emitter, in your case on a flocking generator.

You use the Insance Generator if you want replace your particles with objects.
If you want to render your particles as volumetric or solid clumps you use Hypervoxels on it.

Since Instances and Hypervoxels can be different properties of any object (not only flocking emitters) they are added through the Object Properties.
I hope this explains the workflow.

ciao
Thomas

prometheus
01-20-2014, 02:44 AM
I am so pleased by all the help you give guys but it seems like I have misunderstood some basic things in the workflow. If someone with more skills than me could give a basic guideline from scratch I guess I am willing to lick feet :)

"Maybe Iīve misunderstood this but how come there are two different Flocking Generator engines in Lightwave, one if you gonna use the "basic virtual generator" for Hypervoxels and such, and one if you are going to use objects?"

I send a couple of images of my workflow for you to look at! And please donīt judge my lack of knowledge to hard!

(Personally I donīt understand why the designers of Lightwaveīs interface just didnīt design more user friendly actions in a case like Flocking or any other part in the software where you are supposed to or given a chance to change from a virtual part to an object or anything else. A role model must be the "Replace with object" function thatīs already been in Lightwave for decades. Why mess things up and force the user to go through a bible when he/she or it just wanīt to replace one thing with another! All extra options could be added as an extra choice when you really need them, not else! But these are my personal reflections because it seems like an amount of Newtekīs competitors strive for simplicity out of all aspects and not without a reason.)

dont have time to check the image and try to follow it now unfortunatly, but ...two flocking engines? I wasnīt aware of that, as I understand it ..it should only be one flocking engine, the other options is to what I know
of only different ways of applying it to some items.
and basic virtual generator for hypervoxels...donīt quite follow that, hypervoxels is either just applied on a usual particle emitter, or simply applied on the flocking generator...the flocking generator itself doesnīt do anything for or need a secondary generator for it to work.

Michael

prometheus
01-20-2014, 02:49 AM
Hi,
I think you're confusing a few things.
The Flocking Generator isnīt the same as the Instance Generator.
Flocking is a special particle system with special control of the behavior of the particles. You can use the particles in different ways: Replace with objects or render as HyperVoxels (a kind of volumetric clumps).
The Flocking Generator is the emitter of the particles (there are also other items to control the particles in the flocking system available).

The Instance Generator is a object that generates instances of chosen objects. This could be any object, not only a particle emitter. You could generate instances on the surface of an object, on its points, on its polygons and so on in many different ways.
And you can generate instances on the particles of an emitter, in your case on a flocking generator.

You use the Insance Generator if you want replace your particles with objects.
If you want to render your particles as volumetric or solid clumps you use Hypervoxels on it.

Since Instances and Hypervoxels can be different properties of any object (not only flocking emitters) they are added through the Object Properties.
I hope this explains the workflow.

ciao
Thomas

Hypervoxels is best acessed through the fx tab/hypervoxels....It is also still available in windows drop down.
And in the volumetrics tab where you add hypervoxels or pixie dust and ground fog, but you cant add it through properties panel.

A question might be valid here, a better properties panel including motion, and volumetric, not sure if that would enhance the workflow and make sense to be able
to acess almost anything through the properties panel, It just needs some better UI with expanding and collapsing menus, that way we can make room for it.

Thomas Leitner
01-20-2014, 03:18 AM
Hypervoxels is best acessed through the fx tab/hypervoxels....It is also still available in windows drop down.
And in the volumetrics tab where you add hypervoxels or pixie dust and ground fog, but you cant add it through properties panel.


You are right, I was a little inaccurate in my explanation. The heart of the matter is that Hypervoxels and Instancer can be properties of several objects and not only of flocking generators.

ciao
Thomas

jaxtone
01-20-2014, 11:17 AM
Hi guys! I am so glad for your effort in helping. But I still need some help since there are to many inputs. I probably need to be more focused and have one solution to start with if possible. I guess its very basic for some of you since you seem to have understood the whole production line! I need a very simple step by step guidance since the tutorials either miss parts or start at a level where important actions are missing to make the end result understandable, at least for me!

I have a fish!
I want the fish to be transformed into a school of fish by the flock generator in Lightwave!
I want this shool of fish to be ruled and guided by the "goal" created in Flock Generator!

The problem for me is that I canīt get the fish to be transformed into the flock generated parts!

If someone could take a couple of minutes writing down a numbered step by step explanation that even a chimp would understand the chimp will be very pleased!

No more or less!

jeric_synergy
01-20-2014, 04:10 PM
You're going at if from the wrong end:

You have a FLOCK (an 'Object')
It will be populated by INSTANCES (in the Object Properties Panel)
You will designate which MESH in the INSTANCES panel.

With no experience, I did this in 5 minutes.

BeeVee
01-21-2014, 05:22 AM
Have you tried the example in the manual?

B

jeric_synergy
01-21-2014, 08:52 AM
And re: switching objects:

In the instancing panel you can have both your stand-in and your hero object ready to go. And you can cut and paste entries so all the many many MANY settings can be identical.

But that's hardly necessary.

jaxtone
01-21-2014, 09:55 AM
BeeVee! If you mean the manual with the name "lightwave_11-6_addendum_lowres_20131031" my answer is yes!

Since nothing works here I guess it could as well has have something to do with bug, error or failure in Lightwaveīs engine Iīve already sent to Lightwave Support that no one seems to bother about, inform me about or care for at all!

I got huge problems and since I canīt judge if itīs the software or my own fault I would be pleased if at leas someone just could take minutes to create a point by point schedule to show "how it is going to be done properly"! Since the error is living in the Lightwave engine itīs impossible to decide if I havenīt got a very simple piece by piece road map that show me the way!

jeric_synergy
01-21-2014, 10:04 AM
Post #15 gives you a road map.

Abandon your full on scene and make the simplest possible scene to understand the workflow. The workflow works, you just have an incorrect assumption.

One thing: the instancing TYPE is PARTICLES, not "Flocking" or whatever.

prometheus
01-23-2014, 04:20 AM
Just a thought process when learning, doesnīt work for all but...I do understand that replace object might trigger the mind to go to replace object as we normally do, and thatīs what I thought too, but since I couldnīt find
it in there, I had to think...where can I find replace object...the ony other thought was fx linker, but I skipped that thought and went straight to where it all origins as flocks, so I went to the flocking surface and looked all over the place
on where to find it, no button directly acessable..fine, then next step..there are often edit and drop down menus...why donīt I try that...and ergo, there it was. It might not have been the easiest served coffe at the bed, but
I feel satisfaction when I can solve these kind of learning issues by myself, and if I do get stuck ..only then I go to the learning tutorials.

This way I get the habit and strengthen my own abilities to solve how to do things which will serve me well further on when working with lightwave, It sorts of strenghten your abilities to work in a software.
it is understandable that each one of us might want a fast learning curve and easy things to setup and follow, but realisticly I think it serves you good to be stubborn and have patience with it...overcoming hight obstacles the hard way
might serve you later on in life forcing you to engage your own resources(mind) and serve much better than jumping over a leaf on the ground that engages not many braincells or muscle cells.

By the way Jaxtone, do you still have issues finding the replace object in the flocking tab?

Michael

machbeowulf
01-23-2014, 08:30 AM
Hi guys! I am so glad for your effort in helping. But I still need some help since there are to many inputs. I probably need to be more focused and have one solution to start with if possible. I guess its very basic for some of you since you seem to have understood the whole production line! I need a very simple step by step guidance since the tutorials either miss parts or start at a level where important actions are missing to make the end result understandable, at least for me!

If someone could take a couple of minutes writing down a numbered step by step explanation that even a chimp would understand the chimp will be very pleased!

No more or less!

This is how I have this working ... there is more than one way ... I think this is the most basic approach
- I use a Null to start with and save out after step 14 so I can reuse the setup as needed.

1. Add null to scene. I named this Null_Replace_With_Obj
2. Open 'Flock Master'
3. Add New 'Generator'(appears as box named 'new_flock')
4. Add New 'Goal' (appears as flag named 'new_director')
5. Setup your animation on the 'Goal' ie. the Flag symbol.
6. In 'Flock Master' apply the 'Calculate All Motions' You should see the effect after
by hitting play.
7. We now go to the Objects tab and ensure that 'new_flock' is selected
8. Click on the 'Properties' and that will bring up the Object Properties Window.
9. Click on the 'Instancer' tab and select 'Add Instancer'
10. Double Click on 'Instance Generator - Item - 0 Instances' This will bring up a new window.
11. Select 'Add Object' and Select in this case 'Null_Replace_Obj'.
12. Just to the left of the 'Null_Replace_Obj' by default you will see a W (World ) - click and change to L (Local)
13. To the right for Type choose 'Particle' from drop down list.
14. This should have the most basic setup in place.
15. I then go back to my Objects tab at bottom of layout and ensure my Null is selected . At top
of Layout select 'Items' tab and on left select 'Replace' and Choose 'With Object' - this is where you would
navigate to your fish object and select it. Click play and you should see the instances and motion. Your objects
are likely going to be all bunched up ... this can be adjusted as needed - but basically if you get to this point you
are there so to speak.

There is an enormous amount of fine tuning you can do after this ... options appear to be almost endless.
Hope this gets you past the first steps. Unfortunately, I do not have time to do screenshots this week but am on
vacation next week - and would be happy to provide then.

... and btw ... if you make any changes to the animation of the 'Goal' item you have to click 'Calculate All Motions'.

jeric_synergy
01-23-2014, 10:07 AM
... and btw ... if you make any changes to the animation of the 'Goal' item you have to click 'Calculate All Motions'.
There used to be a command, a button, that you could link to a hotkey, to do all the calculations.

Since mousing is SLOW SLOW SLOW, I'd prefer to use a hotkey. Can we still?

(The only thing slower than mousing is menus.)

machbeowulf
01-23-2014, 12:15 PM
There used to be a command, a button, that you could link to a hotkey, to do all the calculations.

Since mousing is SLOW SLOW SLOW, I'd prefer to use a hotkey. Can we still?

(The only thing slower than mousing is menus.)

100% agreed - just wanted to keep step by step for workflow .. Command in 11.6.1 is FlockCalculate but needed to be assigned - I have assigned to my ! key ---

Eagle66
01-23-2014, 01:34 PM
Here is a LW challenge: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139747-LW-Flocking-and-Instancing-Crows-as-in-other-Software for a realistic flocking :)

To create an exepted result with a little project is more difficult and useful to learn a tool as to play randomly around with settings IMHO.

bobakabob
01-23-2014, 02:31 PM
This is how I have this working ... there is more than one way ... I think this is the most basic approach
- I use a Null to start with and save out after step 14 so I can reuse the setup as needed.

1. Add null to scene. I named this Null_Replace_With_Obj
2. Open 'Flock Master'
3. Add New 'Generator'(appears as box named 'new_flock')
4. Add New 'Goal' (appears as flag named 'new_director')
5. Setup your animation on the 'Goal' ie. the Flag symbol.
6. In 'Flock Master' apply the 'Calculate All Motions' You should see the effect after
by hitting play.
7. We now go to the Objects tab and ensure that 'new_flock' is selected
8. Click on the 'Properties' and that will bring up the Object Properties Window.
9. Click on the 'Instancer' tab and select 'Add Instancer'
10. Double Click on 'Instance Generator - Item - 0 Instances' This will bring up a new window.
11. Select 'Add Object' and Select in this case 'Null_Replace_Obj'.
12. Just to the left of the 'Null_Replace_Obj' by default you will see a W (World ) - click and change to L (Local)
13. To the right for Type choose 'Particle' from drop down list.
14. This should have the most basic setup in place.
15. I then go back to my Objects tab at bottom of layout and ensure my Null is selected . At top
of Layout select 'Items' tab and on left select 'Replace' and Choose 'With Object' - this is where you would
navigate to your fish object and select it. Click play and you should see the instances and motion. Your objects
are likely going to be all bunched up ... this can be adjusted as needed - but basically if you get to this point you
are there so to speak.

There is an enormous amount of fine tuning you can do after this ... options appear to be almost endless.
Hope this gets you past the first steps. Unfortunately, I do not have time to do screenshots this week but am on
vacation next week - and would be happy to provide then.

... and btw ... if you make any changes to the animation of the 'Goal' item you have to click 'Calculate All Motions'.

Machbeowulf, many thanks for your time, this is crystal clear.

machbeowulf
01-24-2014, 11:47 AM
Machbeowulf, many thanks for your time, this is crystal clear.

You are very welcome, Bobakabob ! Once I got the basic steps down and returned to James Willmott's three flocking tutorials - found them to be crystal clear too !!! Just a couple notes .. the replace object is available in the instances panel .. found it .. saves steps .. and if the object itself is animated ... thinking instead of setting to Local should be set to Parent.

jeric_synergy
01-24-2014, 12:02 PM
You can also duplicate and activate/deactivate items in the Instances panel, that way you can have multiple objects and leave their settings active.

Just 'cuz they're in there they don't need to be ON.

dwburman
01-27-2014, 10:58 PM
I generally think of instancing (in this case) as attaching objects to particles / flocking agents. You aren't replacing the points that fly around the screen, you're just attaching something to them (in this case it's instances of an object, but you could also "attach" hypervoxels or pixie dust or another volumetric.

Thanks for reminding me how confusing this stuff can be. Once you get your head wrapped around it, it's easy to lose site of the struggle you went through to learn it and not give the clearest examples when trying to teach someone else.

jeric_synergy
01-27-2014, 11:46 PM
Potato, patahtoe.

jaxtone
02-01-2014, 12:57 PM
MachBeoWulf!

Fantastic! You just explained it as I wanted from the beginning. Hopefully I can try this out as soon the License.LWK error in Lightwave is solved!

A big thank you to all of you that tried to help me understand the principles of flocking!

Regards
Jack