View Full Version : Need Help with Arcing Beams of Light Lead by Hypervoxels

02-27-2004, 10:35 PM
I am trying to animate something like light beams emanating from one location on a globe, arcing up then down to a dozen or so locations around the globe. I would also like to add some subtle hypevoxel particle effect leading each beam as it goes.

I have run into several problems with my approach and would love some suggestions.

I created a bunch of layers with long cylinder shapes then added a endomorph to each that was 'rail extruded' along arc-ing curved paths. I now have all my arc layers (beams) eminating from a central point on a globe. Having each beam start at the central point and animate through the arc is not that easy.

Having done something like this before (a burning fuse) I thought the endomorph approach would be best because I could reveal each straight cylinder map and the corresponding curved map would reveal. I have done that with a moving black and white mask image map in the transparency channel referenced to a moving null. I tried clip map but wanted a soft edge that clip map could not give. I made the cylinder arcs have a soft light beam look by setting edge transparency to transpanent with the Edge Transparency Shader (actually several of them stacked up).

Is there a better way to do this?

Now I am trying to add the Hypervoxels to the tips of the moving beams. Big problems. I added partigons that follow the arcs by loading the paths into each. Worked great. Got them emitting particles, added Hypervoxels and tweaked it to something that might look good.

Problem is the Hypervoxels will not show up where there is an object (my arc layers) even if it is transparent. It is like the geometry of the objects blocks the effects. If I make the objects unseen by camera or move them over slightly, no problem. But I cannot get them to coexist with the Hypervoxels at the same location using the methods I described above. Why is that? What is a workaround or better approach?

Thanks for all suggestions!

02-29-2004, 11:46 PM
What about rendering the scene in two passes, one for the animating geometry and then the second pass - don't render anything except the hypervoxels and then comp the two image sequences together in After Effetcs or another package.

For the hypervoxel sequence you could try rendering with an alpha channel or otherwise render it against black and then try using the screen or add transfer modes on the hypervoxels layer when you composite the two sequences.

Hope this helps, it's quite an obvious solution so you have probably already considered it.

03-01-2004, 02:35 AM
Use a displacement map for the arcing if the arc is fairly shallow, other wise lay out a string of bones and make them bend to fit your arc, then use an endomorph which slides the beam from one end of the bones to the other, with the 'Use Morphed positions' toggle on in the bone panel.