View Full Version : Can Lightwave do Ghostrails?

08-12-2005, 05:03 PM

Video from 3d studio max plug in.

Was wondering if there is a simlar plug in for Lightwave. This could be very useful. I'd pay alot of $$$ for it.

08-12-2005, 05:38 PM
There was a plugin I saw that had a similar effect but I don't remember it's name.

08-12-2005, 07:26 PM
At a guess.....


08-12-2005, 09:16 PM
I don't know if this'll do the trick or not. What I was thinking of was similar to this.


08-13-2005, 12:43 PM
You could do it with particles and HV sprites.
Shift afterimage filter does it on a surface by surface basis.
You can also use FIs Lagmotion or LWs Intertia on objects to make
them stretch and leave a trail. With motion blur and other settings it can look pretty good. :)

08-13-2005, 04:50 PM
SplineGod's right. This took just a few minutes to make using particles, wind, and HV sprites.

08-15-2005, 01:41 PM
Axis, that's sweet. I've been looking for something like this in LW to do animated backgrounds with... your image is exactly what I've been looking for. Would you mind sharing your settings? I understand how to get the "glowing" look with HV sprites... what I don't get is how to make them curve and trail like that....

EDIT: I just looked at that "Shift Afterimage" plugin posted above... is that what you used? If so, is there anything else does something similar? We're running on Macs over here, and that plugin is only for PC. :thumbsdow

08-15-2005, 01:57 PM
Shift afterimage filter works great but as you said its PC only.
Getting the effect with HVs is easy. You just have to have a moving particle emitter which emits enough particles to have tight spacing. Apply HVs to the particle emitter(s). :)

08-15-2005, 02:30 PM

One of the perils of working on a Mac. No plugins. Sigh. Anyway, I've messed around with the method you mentioned before, but animating a bunch of emitters by hand is tedious. Ah well, 3D really isn't the career for someone with no patience, now is it?? So I suppose I should suck it up and just do it :foreheads

08-15-2005, 02:36 PM
Make a 2 point poly chain in modeler. Make sure the start is at 0,0,0 and the tail goes in the +Z direction.

In Layout, load the 2point poly chain and keyframe it around; add lazy points to it so that the points dilly dally about, swinging wildly with the motion.

From here, high blur, corona and the like give great background starting points. More than one chain, in shapes and letters, make for some cool stuff.
And when Aurora gets back and releases his plugin, there's gonna be even COOLER stuff than this available to you.
Look here:

08-15-2005, 03:00 PM

The effect is very simple and done entirely with no plugins.

1. Add a Particle Emitter. In mine, I changed the birth rate to 20 per sec.

2. Add a second Particle Emitter. I name this one Trails.

3. Parent the Trails emitter to the first emitter.

4. Open the Properties Panel for Trails emitter. Change Nozzle to Parent-Emitter. I chose a Birth Rate of 3 per frame. This makes sure your trails won't look like dotted trails. You might have to add more per frame if you have a fast-moving emitter. Also, change the Generator Size to 0,0,0. I changed the Particle Limit to 10,000.

Switch to the Particle Tab and change the LifeTime(frame) to 0. Entering a 0 in here basically disables the "die out" function of the particle and the particle will remain for the entire animation.

Switch to the Etc Tab and change the Parent Motion to 0. This keeps the particles from being flung by the first emitter. These particles will just be born in place and will basically just "trace" the path of the parent emitter's particles.

5. Next, add a Wind effector. Choose anything that stirs up the particles in a neat way. I chose Vortex in my example.

6. In Layout, if you click play, you should see the Trails emitter being traced out by the path of the first emitter.

In my example, the wind is influencing both particle groups. You could tell each particle emitter to be part of its own group, then have the wind effector influence only the first particle emitter. That way, the Trails emitter won't be bending and twisting during the animation. It will only trace the exact path of the first particle emitter. There are a million variations. Hope this helps.

08-15-2005, 03:22 PM
Thanks for the good tutorial! :thumbsup:
Here is a test I did: :lightwave

08-15-2005, 03:29 PM
What I would do is create a particle object in modeler...something with 15 or so vertices in it.
In layout make it a particle emitter. Set it to emit the same number of particles per frame as you have points in the object. This basically makes each vertex in your particle object an emitter.
Now you can animate it, scale it, rotate it, move it etc and thats the shape the trails will follow. You could also have it travel thru a displacement map set to world coords. The object could also be animated using a series of endomorphs or deformed by bones all at the same time. :)

08-15-2005, 04:14 PM

YES! thank you for the helpful info. I did a quick test and this was exactly what I was looking for. There seems to be a ton of possibilities... when I have some time I'll explore it more. Thanks again!


08-15-2005, 04:24 PM

08-15-2005, 04:50 PM
Wow, Nice.

I like it. Looks a little dotty in spots but I am guessing that could be resolved with a setting adjustment.

Very nice work.

Going to test later.


08-15-2005, 04:58 PM
Thanks...I rotated the wind and added a bloom to it.
Render the ami. now :)

08-15-2005, 08:11 PM
Similar technique using HV's to create an organic effect :)

08-16-2005, 11:51 AM
Low res vid of the above image.
(3.5 Meg)


08-16-2005, 12:24 PM
T-Light - very cool. Is that a gradient controlling the size of the emitters? Neat stuff, guys.

08-16-2005, 01:15 PM
So is that a HV effect by it self or is it using afterImage?

Its really cool and exactly what I was looking for. :D

08-16-2005, 02:28 PM
Heres an example using the method I described.
Its an object composed of 12 vertices. Im running a displacement map thru it.
The object itself is a particle emitter.

08-16-2005, 03:05 PM

T-Light - very cool. Is that a gradient controlling the size of the emitters? Neat stuff, guys.
Yup, Gradients on HV size, colour and transparency. :)


So is that a HV effect by it self or is it using afterImage?
Its really cool and exactly what I was looking for.
It's purely HV, no other filters or post work, just straight LW output :thumbsup:

02-19-2007, 05:33 AM
Thats all fantastic stuff. However i dont get it, sorry.

I create a particle emitter, which i make the child of an object thats spinning about.
I create another particle emitter and make that a child of the particle emitter i created first.

I can see the particles emitting when i press play. When i do a scene render i see no particles emitting.

What am i missing, apart from a brain?


02-19-2007, 06:24 AM
Are you actually rendering something for those particles? For example, have you set up hypervoxels for the emitters?


02-19-2007, 06:39 AM
Probabley not no.

I am a newb after all

Can you explain a little further?


02-19-2007, 06:52 AM
Ah ok, after hitting my head on the desk a few times i started to remember the little bit ive learnt about hypervoxels. i now have some kind of a trail behind my object, although its not exactly how i would like it, im sure with some messing about i can crack this now.

At the moment the trails (well they are more like blobs at the moment) dont fade. Would i be correct in saying that to effect the life of these 'blobs' i would need to adjust something in the particle emitters interface?

Thanks for your time on this Jarno

02-19-2007, 09:39 AM
You need a gradient on the opacity channel of your HVs. Use particle age as the reference. That should get you up and running.

02-19-2007, 10:46 AM

this one is awesome too.

02-19-2007, 10:59 AM
Fact is that you can do just about anything with any 3d package these days, with or without plugins...
you just have to sit back, look over your toolset, and figure out the "outside of the box" solution.

I'm currently working with a "ghosttrail" effect where a guy has a stroke, falls onto a table, and his soul is sucked from his body into another creature on the set...
the soul is "ghosttrailed" from the actor to the creature standin and I haven't found the need for any additional plugins, although I've thought about bringing in RealFlow for a smoother ride from point A to point B.

We'll see.

02-20-2007, 03:23 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Im looking into a couple of solutions: the hypervoxels solution and the weightmaps+inertia solution you linked to coremi. Id already looked at that thread but didnt fully understand what was being said. Ive spent some time on weight maps last night and think i can now probabley bottom that out to a satisfactory result.

I understand you can do anything these days in 3d. Its certainly moved on from the last time i was doing 3d (about 10 years ago!) when i was using Infini-d (remember that?) for modelling and 3d max (version2 i think) for layout.

Cheers for the pointer on hypervoxels Phil (it was needed).

Cheers all

02-20-2007, 07:29 AM
Ah Infini-D...that takes me back.

02-20-2007, 07:34 AM
now everyone i knew didnt rate Infini-d, i thought it was pretty **** cool

02-20-2007, 07:39 AM
Well...at the time, I was trying out anything I could get my hands on...

Poser (1, that's right 1), RayDream Designer, Infini-D, Detailer, etc...

I would've used anything as I wasn't making enough money to jump into the higher end stuff...Phillip Nelson talked me into Lightwave back in the LW5 days. Glad he did.

02-20-2007, 07:44 AM
yea i wish id gotten into LW earlier than i have. I think i tries LW 3 a couple of times, but didnt find it intuitive at the time. Im on LW9 now of course, which is a bit of a beast. Its cool though, im liking it......steep learning curve to begin with (especially after about 8 years out of the 3D thing). I used Bryce for a short time when that first came out.

I think ive always been lucky, ive always worked for people who provide the software. Ive only just now started to get the money together to start getting a studio together.