View Full Version : Freezing flocking in time or Parenting all flocking elements to a null

09-26-2014, 01:04 PM
Hello again!

I have a situation that is going beyond my power of comprehension.

I did a flocking simulation and achieved what I want, more or less. I like the look of the flock on some particular frames. Now I would like to do an effect to that flock (to all of its elements) by rotating it very fast.

So, my problem is that, contrary to my belief, parenting the flock emitter to a Null and rotating the null doesn't seem to do any effect, even if I "bake" the flock using cache. I thought maybe the flock was using world coordinates instead of local ones, but can't find such control.

Also tried to save the PFX from the flock and load it onto another emitter. Rotating or that emitter (or parenting it to a null and rotating it) also doesn't work.

Tried to go to the EditFX tab and fix the current particle at the specified frame, then using the command "Apply All". I thought this would, you know, fix the particle to that frame and then apply that script to all particles... Silly me! That seemed too logical! "Fix" is to set a range for moving the particle, and the "Delete" button doesn't delete the keyframe/path, but the whole particle (which is useful for other situations, but we should be able to delete path as well)

So... this is all I know, which doen't seem to do any good. So either my knoledge is not enough and I'm missing something here, or this is not possible to do.

Am I an idiot? Please tell me I'm an idiot! I would prefer to be an idiot right now, as long as I could rotate my flock of particles at will...


09-26-2014, 02:12 PM
Use Dpont's Particle Scan on your PFX data.


Open up the interface, select MDD, choose any name for your MDD, e.g. pfx2mdd...
Select create .LWO and Click "Start"

Load back the LWO it created ,add MD_Reader, load the MDD pfx2mdd, set it to object space and parent it to any NULL you want

09-27-2014, 03:05 AM
I forgot to say, mdds can be time remapped so you can adjust playback speed using the graph editor

09-28-2014, 11:22 PM
Hello Bazsa!

Oh, I see, another solution provided by the great Dennis! More and more it seems he provides more value to Lightwave than... well, don't want to insult anyone.

OK, I tried it ut, and after a few tries made it work. I baked the MDD motion from my flocking, then loaded the created object and the MD into it, parented everything into a Null and could rotate at will. So it solved most of the problem and I thank you very much for pointing out the Pontonier DP_Pointer plugin ;-)

PS: I say "most of the problem" because now I got the cloud of particles but not the objects that were flocking around. So I ended applying Instances to the new generated point cloud, but the particles don't seem to have rotation information, so the instances follow the particle could, but not banking and turning as they should. I will try it out anyway, as it will be a very quick thing... added some random rotation to the instances and with lots of motion blur et all... let's see what comes out of it.

PSS: Now that I think of it... I realize that Dennis also has an Instance plugin, and it has a "align to path" function... maybe that works better than the native instances... will have to try it later.

Thanks again!