View Full Version : any quick and dirty particle solutions?

10-17-2004, 05:55 AM
hey guys.

im working on a short student film that has a few visual f/x shots in them, and I have no dynamics education/experiance. I have toiled for hours upon hours with maya's help and the thousands of threads on the web, but they are either too general or too specific. Here is what i need to get done.

1) Have a waterfall.
I have gotten a decent enought simulation for this with a surface flow effect, but I still have no idea how to get a decent looking water like render out of the particles. If someone could tell me what they do to achieve this that would help immensly. I have tried particle clouds, but they always look "smokey". What kind of texture tweaks to i need to give it to look right? I have also tried a little experimenting with sprites, but have no idea how to get a good look going this route, either. How big do the images applied to the sprites need to be? how varied should they be?

2) Smoke clouds and debri.
Anyone have any quick and dirty solutions for this that they have been happy with? Again, the same questions here. How did you texture the particles to get a decent look?

Sorry for the long rambling post, but if I have to rumage through another neverending thread on creating time node connections to 2d fluid containers i am going to ram a screwdriver through my skull...;)

10-17-2004, 10:29 AM
for a waterfall i'd use an animated bump map on some geometry to simulate the solid water, then use some multipoint particles emitted lightly from the top or any obstructions and a large amount at the base of the water fall, then just put some blur on the in the comp, or in the HW renderer.Debri you could use instance particles and the smoke could be sprites, but however you want to do either effect you are going to have to know expressions. :(

10-17-2004, 12:21 PM

Particles in maya requires, unfortunately, quite a lot of setting up even in `quick and dirty` setups. And the out-of-box rendering solutions are quite limited in many ways (imho).

Anyway sprites are the way to go for you. But first, I think it would be beneficial to familiarize yourself with `Particle Illusion`, a sprite-based particlefx application. You can download a demo from their site. It is very fast to use and understand.


After playing with that and understanding how things are done, you could (if you still want to use maya...)try to build similar setup in maya.

Or something like that.


10-17-2004, 09:57 PM
thanks for the input so far guys :)

for the animated bump map, are you talking about just a procederial bump map that is animating, or some footage of a water fall mapped onto the geometry? If it is procederial, than what 2d/3d textures do you recommend? If it is animated footage, what should the texture size be,ect..? Also, any recommendations of a good shader for the water?

I will definitly check out particle illusion. hopefully it will give me a better idea on how to get the most out of sprites and get a decent look from them. I know it can be done, just not by me, yet...

Thanks again for the advice. As I said before, this is a student film, so im not trying to win an oscar for f/x. Just anything that will get the job done.

10-19-2004, 07:31 PM
heres a suggestion on top of your particle flow along surface....

1. set the goal weight down, you'd probably have to tweak it later on to get what u want...
2. select the particles and create a terbulence field. you'd probably have to animate the phase. give it an expression, something like >>

turbulenceField1.phaseX = sin(time);

you have to get the right one tho, or maybe you'd wanna do all X, Y and Z phases.

3. make your particle render type multi point (or streaks if you wanna make them fall real fast). use your hardware render to render it out, the option you're probably looking for to give it that little extra is multi pass rendering. gives it that bit of motion blur like effect. you'd probably have to tweak all the settings to match your live action plate tho'.

4. i hope you can comp...

good luck....

10-20-2004, 05:32 PM
For a real quick and dirty solution you could try a waterfall pfx brush. The water brushes
animate for a flowing particle effect and one can paint exactly where the spray should
bounce off of rocks and such. The general animation is somewhat static, however, and
it does not compute collisions.. you need to paint the bounces by hand.


11-04-2004, 08:40 PM
hey guys. thanks for all of the help so far.

I have been getting pretty satisfactory results from using the surface flow option, but I have found that no matter how I tweak manipulator resolution, ect. that the particle flow is always offset from the original surface quite a bit, as though I rotated it in the -y direction about 40 degrees. How can I get the flow to rest right on the selected surface?

Also, razorback, is the muti pass option you are talking about under the hardware render globals? Is this different from the motion blur option available in the hardware render globals?

Also...is there anyway to manipulate the colors of hardware rendered particles? With cloud renders there is the particle cloud node that you can do quite alot with, but what can you do with streaks and multi points?

well, thats about it, for now...:) thanks alot guys!!

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