View Full Version : Generating instances of instances in LW11.6.1?

01-25-2014, 11:38 AM
Hi folks,

I've got a line of objects instanced along a spline to produce something akin to a string of beads. I would like to produce multiple instances of this string of beads using a particle emitter (i.e. so I end of with lots of strings of beads scattered at random orientations throughout the emitter volume). So far I have had little luck doing this and have a suspicion (and a vague recollection) that we cannot generate instances of instances. Can someone please confirm that this is the case. Alternatively, if indeed we can instance instances, where might I be going wrong?

BTW, I've tried various things like ticking the Hierachy checkbox for the object being instanced ( i.e. the string of beads) to the emitter points, but still get nothing.

Thanks in advance.


01-25-2014, 06:56 PM
Nope you can not instance already instanced objects as I know of, but you can instance object that has layers, though that is sort of almost hidden, the small icon between world,local,icon and the item text in the instance panel, and those
layers need to be parented to each other.

dponts instance plugin should be able to do a true nested instancing though, but I havent tried it.

01-26-2014, 03:19 AM
Thanks for confirming my suspicion Prometheus. I'll give DP Instance a try as you suggest - I had toyed with the idea of using DPI but was unsure if both would suffer from the same limitation.


01-26-2014, 04:08 AM
You can also (and I would recommend) use DP Instancer, not DPInstance, which uses the native instancer but with Denis magic for distribution (and instances of instances...). With this plugin you get the best of two worlds, DPI and LW11 native instancer.


01-26-2014, 04:43 AM
Many thanks Captain - excellent tip!


01-26-2014, 07:57 AM
Many thanks for all your help thus far! :)

Just to elaborate what I am trying to achieve here: The original plan was to use LW's native instancer to generate a string of beads and via nodes use an animated turbulence texture to control the offset of the beads thus ending up with a writhing line of beads. This part works just fine! It was the failure to generate multiple instances of this writhing string of beads that prompted me to start this thread.

Okay now that you know what I am aiming for...

I've hit a snag here using DP Instancer.

Unlike LW's native instancer, there doesn't appear to be a spline option (with the associated Distributed/Offset controls) for the placement of instances. There's only a motion path option and I've had mixed success in getting that to work:

First I tried applying DP Instancer to an "Instancing" null and then using the "Item Index" from an "Instance Info" node plugged, via a scalar multiply node, into the "Covered Distance" input of an "Motion Info" node that references/stores the motion path of another null and then using the resulting output Position. Using this setup I get no control whatsoever over the positioning of the instances - they all remained stubbornly fixed at the position of the "Instancing" null.

So I next tried applying DP Instancer to the "Motion" null itself. Using the "Path" Instance Position option and adjusting the Max/Min Path Positions generates instances along the path (so some success there!) but they all move with the null - they should remain static so that the animated turbulence waggles them about. The question is: How do I uncouple the motion of the beads from the "Motion" null?

Any pointers would be gratefully received.