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Turner
12-26-2003, 06:33 AM
Hi -

I have a project coming up for which I'm trying to evaluate LW; one critical area is control over particles.

I've posted a really rudimentary sketch of a bunch of things I need to be able to do -

http://www.turnerdesign.net/particles/particles.gif

"cloud" may be flocking, or some sort of flocking capability of LW... "Follow", maybe?

Anyway, I do need what is essentially fairly tight numeric control and finely tunable randomness/chaos.. type.. uh... thing. :)

The closest example I can find which is here in the galleries is:

ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/LightWave/VideoClips/quart_480x360.mov

As I am doing a biological-molecular-thingy.

Oh, and PHYSICS! Hmmm... What would make this even better is if I could take, for example, a cloud of particles, replace them with metaballs, and drop the whole shebang down, say, a complex jungle gym. Hee hee...

I'm not sure LW CAN'T do this right now, it probably can - maybe without add-ons such as Napalm, or maybe in V8...

Any help greatly appreciated!

PS: I've read the particle stuff in the downloadable manual.. it's much easier for me to actually "play and discover" but as there is no demo...

cheers
Andrew

prospector
12-26-2003, 06:38 AM
Don't know if that kind of control is available with just particles (or in any system short of a Cray.

BUT

After looking at your drawings, I can see EASY ways to do it with POINTS and HVs.

Turner
12-26-2003, 06:43 AM
Hi Prospector -

Thanks for your quick reply!

I didn't think it was that complex, mathematically - is it? Yow.

Also, I don't know what "HVs" are... Hyper Voxels? I'm a pretty good guesser but I try not to assume ;)

Are you saying I can attach hypervoxels to moving points or something? If so, in which part of the manual can I read about the points' motion control?

Cheers,
Andrew

Beamtracer
12-26-2003, 07:43 AM
Yes, you can attach Hypervoxels to particles/points. That's their main use.

An object can attract and repel partiles. LW particles can also follow a path. There are also jitter controls.

However, you get much more control over particles with Napalm.

Turner
12-26-2003, 07:48 AM
Ah.. Napalm. That's what I figured...

Thanks!

Beamtracer
12-26-2003, 07:56 AM
Displacement maps may be useful.

A displacement map is an image or procedural texture that is usually used to move or ripple the surface of an object.

Most people don't know that you can also move points using these.

You can "spray points" to create a whole lot of single points in an area. Then, you use a procedural texture as a displacement map to move them. You animate the procedural texture to move. Your points will all be moving this way and that. No particle software required.

You can render straight points, attach an object to them, or attach hypervoxels to them.

I'm sure others will think of different ways to achieve the results you want.

prospector
12-26-2003, 08:05 AM
Beam, I was looking at his pictures and it 'looks' like he is looking for specific particle movements and for them to follow paths.
It looks to me like that anyway.

And I don't think (havent seen or heard) that you can get that kind of control in any particle program.

Other than actual points and HVs.

Napalm will let you control individual particles and make them follow a path? Individually?

Turner
12-26-2003, 08:22 AM
"And I don't think (havent seen or heard) that you can get that kind of control in any particle program. "

Wow, I really didn't think I even scratched the surface there... now, all I need is a team of programmers...

prospector
12-26-2003, 08:54 AM
Well maby I am looking at the problem wrong,
Here's what I see;

Fig 1 18 particles expanding from a single event point
Fig 2 18 points in circular shape just sitting there jittering in 2D
Fig 3 Ring of points jittering on the XYZ axis with size variation
fig 4 Cloud moving around single object (rotating or jittering?)
Fig 5 & 6 ???
Fig 7 Particle cloud staying at the points of triangle (jittering or rotating ??
Fig 8 particles following and moving around a pyramid
Fig 9 Particles mostly staying inside a triangle. Jittering??

5 & 6 you'd have to give more explanation about what they do.

But that's what I see, unless it is one of those INK BLOT TESTS :D :D

Turner
12-26-2003, 09:13 AM
lol.. ink blot!

Ok - keep in mind these are all animatable, ideally -

1) 18 spawn points - each point an emitter. Imagine then that this "object" consisting of 18 points would move along a motion path, the circle's surface normal facing the direction of travel. Like a ring of emitters. This is an easy one.

2) Particles distributed in a circular array and only jittering on a the plane of the circle

3) Particles distributed on the surface of a 3d object, such as a sphere, and jittering on any/all axes

4) Cloud or flock moving around a point or object.

5) Displacement from radius along radial - ok, you have a circle - and a particle on the radius. Jitter on the axis of the radial only, i.e. the particle only gets closer to/further from center point of circle. You might say,

circle radius = 10 feet
Jitter = +1 -1 feet
and the particle jitters along the radial between 9 and 11 feet distance from circle center.

6) Displacement from radius along arc - this time, the particle is only jittered along the circle itself, so you might say -

circle radius = 10 feet
jitter = + 5 -5 degrees
and the particle jitters along the arc of the circle; if it starts at 20 degrees, it jitters between +15 and +25 degrees

7) Yes, particle flocks staying near the points of a triangle

8) Particle flocks moving about the "lines" of the triangle, e.g. anywhere along their length

9) Particle flocks moving about the faces of a 2d or 3d object.

For all the examples 3d should be able to come into play.. so you might have a tetrahedron with little swarms of bees flying around only its vertices, or forming a little "network" by swarming around all the lines connecting the points, or bees covering the object by swarming on all faces.



Originally posted by prospector
Well maby I am looking at the problem wrong,
Here's what I see;

Fig 1 18 particles expanding from a single event point
Fig 2 18 points in circular shape just sitting there jittering in 2D
Fig 3 Ring of points jittering on the XYZ axis with size variation
fig 4 Cloud moving around single object (rotating or jittering?)
Fig 5 & 6 ???
Fig 7 Particle cloud staying at the points of triangle (jittering or rotating ??
Fig 8 particles following and moving around a pyramid
Fig 9 Particles mostly staying inside a triangle. Jittering??

5 & 6 you'd have to give more explanation about what they do.

But that's what I see, unless it is one of those INK BLOT TESTS :D :D

prospector
12-26-2003, 10:11 AM
Yep, I would go with points put together in modeler.

And add HVs to them in layout. they will all be animatable
they can move,jitter,rotate,size and whatever other control you need. (size variation of HVs.differing color surfaces of HVs)

You should be able to do all in a day.