View Full Version : Particles forming object

12-19-2006, 10:43 PM
Quick question,

did anybody succeed in using particlefx to let the particles move along a certain shape/way before assembling in a certain pattern? I need to create smoke like trails before the smoke becomes solid forming my target object. I wonder whether I should just model everything or use particles as it is for a still.


P.S.: Might be something for you Howard.

12-19-2006, 10:49 PM
If it's a still could you model it and apply HVs to the points? Or am I missing something?

EDIT: Yea, I'm being dumb- your're asking if it worth using fx to create the shapes. Personally I'd go the modelling route- the frustration of trying to get the particles right would not be worth it.

12-19-2006, 11:51 PM
Just a few thoughts on that topic...

LW9's Animation Path Wind is a good way to 'flow' your particles.
Creating a collision object from your final object, then getting your particles to stick to it could be a solution for forming the final shape. Then save the PFX and remove your collision object.

A single emitter may not give you the 'rebuild' effect you're after - Alternatively, make lots of 'smaller' emitters, and section up your collision object into pieces for each 'emitter' to form to create a more complex motion. You can use LW9's Particle 'Save All Motions' option to combine the multiple emitters into a single PFX file that you can apply later.

You could also create a point cloud in modeler, and use a combination of mophs and bones ('Use Morphed Positions') to create a psuedo-particle effect. Layout your path with a bone chain, then use a morphed 'fly-in' to make the particles travel. You could thrown in a little fractal displacement to help break things up a little while you're at it...

Alternatively mix PFX and morphed point clouds to create your effect. If one doesn't give you the look you're after in one area, fudge it with the other and combine them.

Just my 2c on that one...


12-20-2006, 07:21 AM
Thanks guys,

in the end it needs to look a bit like cigarette smoke. It just crossed my mind that ClothFx might help too. I just need to fix the origin and the destination of the smoke and use some wind inbetween to bring in some randomness. But having smoke trails splitting and assembling might be a bit tricky.

But thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'll just need to get started and there are some good point in your posts. I'll try to keep you updated on the way I chose.

12-20-2006, 07:51 AM
Hmmm, have you considered modelling a 'container' object, then driving the particles inside it (make it a collision that keeps them within the container) with winds, etc?

Just another thought while I'm in 'brainstorm' mode...

Sounds like a fun challenge... Be keen to see your results when you're done! :D

12-20-2006, 11:36 AM
In a thread here (http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14504&page=1&pp=15), I give my thoughts on the task you have (which are admittedly very close to what's been said here so far).

Though in that thread, the goal was to match this advert. (http://www.psyop.tv/teletext01) And my result in matching it (using the suggestions in that thread) is here (http://jezza.lwidof.net/downloads/press_text/press_text_preview8.zip).(zipped qt sorenson 3, 2.8mb)

12-28-2006, 03:50 PM
Seeing that it's a still, you may want to try an approach like this (http://www.arildwiro.com/tutorials/effects/smoke/smoke.html). Is with Max but I'm sure you can adapt it to Lightwave.


12-28-2006, 04:16 PM
Seeing that it's a still, you may want to try an approach like this (http://www.arildwiro.com/tutorials/effects/smoke/smoke.html). Is with Max but I'm sure you can adapt it to Lightwave.


Yeah, here's an example scene I did a while back using the geometry method (though mine is animated):

12-28-2006, 05:26 PM
Thanks, Jeremy!

I just went down the same route as my approach needs steam, but not necessarily particles. Right now I try to find a nice way to get the transition right. But using a cone and a very old technique is the most efficient and controlable way to get the FX look right.


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