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atd
07-02-2007, 11:30 AM
Hi

I have been researching about max particles and I found Thinking Particles, Are this similar in concept and funtionality to Particular Flow. What are the strong point in each one. And there weakness ??


thank you in advance


Atd3d

Massemannen
07-02-2007, 02:05 PM
What is Particular Flow? Or do you mean Particle Flow?

atd
07-02-2007, 03:26 PM
Sorry is "Particle Flow" of course, NOW Help meee !?

Bobo
07-02-2007, 03:27 PM
Hi

I have been researching about max particles and I found Thinking Particles, Are this similar in concept and funtionality to Particular Flow. What are the strong point in each one. And there weakness ??


They are just a bit similar.
Thinking Particles is RULE-BASED system.
Particle Flow is EVENT-BASED system.

TP Pros:
*Very Powerful (creating complex systems is easier than in PFlow)
*Great Dynamics
*Supports Fracturing
*Good caching system
*Very good Material-based control over particle properties (Matterwaves built-in)
*Being rule-based it is a lot more flexible to react to things happening in the scene.
*New version 3.0 coming soon, I hear it will be amazing ;)

TP Cons:
*With Great Power comes great... complexity. Creating simple things in TP is harder than in PF. A PhD degree is a bonus ;)

PF Pros:
*Very simple to use, probably the best balanced power vs. ease of use of any particle system available.
*Very good scripting support (whetever cannot be done with the built in tools can usually be scripted, but would run much slower)
*Additional packs available from Orbaz, PF + Box 3 makes it very similar in flexibility to TP

PF Cons:
*4 years later still no interparticle dynamics (coming soon in Box 2 though, I hope)
*No fracturing either (Box 2?)
*Rather slow calculating complex flows, caching not very good.
*Additional power has to be purchased from 3rd party at extra cost and Autodesk has not touched the built-in system at all since Max 6.

atd
07-03-2007, 12:48 AM
! ! ! WOW ! ! ! Bobo in person answer a little question from a little cuban 3Ds MAX guy ! ! ! this forum is amazine.

Ok I now understarn almost everythink about the two softwares, alone there are four things that I have left pending:

1- one is that Bobo said that thinking particles is Ruled Based?, please what is that?

2- PF interparticle dynamics ?

3- PF No fracturing either ?

4- I suppose but neither I do have left clear, is particle flow with box 1 and 2 similar of powerful that thinking particles??

thanks again Bobo I'm fan of your talent! on scripting too

Atd3d

Bobo
07-03-2007, 06:25 AM
! ! ! WOW ! ! ! Bobo in person answer a little question from a little cuban 3Ds MAX guy ! ! ! this forum is amazine.

Ok I now understarn almost everythink about the two softwares, alone there are four things that I have left pending:

1- one is that Bobo said that thinking particles is Ruled Based?, please what is that?

2- PF interparticle dynamics ?

3- PF No fracturing either ?

4- I suppose but neither I do have left clear, is particle flow with box 1 and 2 similar of powerful that thinking particles??

thanks again Bobo I'm fan of your talent! on scripting too

Atd3d

1 - Read this, it explains the difference between Event-Driven and Rule-Based.
http://www.cebas.com/products/products.php?UD=10-7888-33-788&PID=15

2 and 3 - yep, PFlow particles cannot collide with each-other at mesh level, nor can you turn a solid object into a bunch of chunks without some heavy scripting.

4 - PFlow with Boxes 2 and 3 would be potentially very similar to TP, but Box 2 has not been released yet and I have no internal knowledge of what will be in it, although it is expected to provide dynamics and fragmentation and they are the only things missing.
Box 3 provides similar to TP per-particle mathematical operations using Data Operators you can wire together instead of programming in a language.

atd
07-03-2007, 07:37 AM
Bobo Thanks to you NOW I understand !

Thanks

Atd3d

BrandonD
07-06-2007, 06:10 PM
*Very simple to use, probably the best balanced power vs. ease of use of any particle system available.



I want everyone to remember this statement whenever they bitch about PFlow not being perfect. From day one it was designed to be general particle system for MAX, to replace Spray, Snow, Super Spray, etc. The plan was to make something that had a balance of power vs ease of use so that it could support the largest portion of users in MAX's broad user base. It was made as simple as can be without reducing it to the level of simplicity of the previous generation of particle tools. It was also made to be extensible so that power users could mold it into a niche tool. It is not a specialized system but a general one, and that's why Thinking Particles still has a place at the table. TP wasn't designed along the same lines, allowing for capability to over rule ease of use, as what you would expect from a specialized system.

PsychoSilence
07-06-2007, 11:35 PM
I want everyone to remember this statement whenever they bitch about PFlow not being perfect. From day one it was designed to be general particle system for MAX, to replace Spray, Snow, Super Spray, etc. The plan was to make something that had a balance of power vs ease of use so that it could support the largest portion of users in MAX's broad user base. It was made as simple as can be without reducing it to the level of simplicity of the previous generation of particle tools. It was also made to be extensible so that power users could mold it into a niche tool. It is not a specialized system but a general one, and that's why Thinking Particles still has a place at the table. TP wasn't designed along the same lines, allowing for capability to over rule ease of use, as what you would expect from a specialized system.

Perfect framed picture of PFlow! :)

atd
07-07-2007, 12:10 AM
Hi I have been watching some allan mckay and Brandon videos and is awesome what can we do with PF. Thinking Particles is too a powerfull particle engine.

So maybe this is Of but I need ask, In your professional opinion is 3DS MAX Particles engine (TP, FumeFX, Afterburn included) as powerfull as Maya Particles. ????

Maybe this is a theme for another Thread but if someone may answer me ?

Thanks for everybody timesss
Atd3d

PD: I love MAX ! ;)

joconnell
07-07-2007, 02:39 PM
Mayas particles can in theory do everything but a lot of the stuff is accessed usng mel scripting. Apparently Rif Dagher from cgfluids demo'd thinking particles to the guy who original wrote maya's particles and he was quite wowed - he didn't expect it to be that powerful.

As for tp vs pflow, for me pflow is far faster to get simple effects with - it's very agile and you can knock out a tonne of stuff very quickly. When you start getting up to millions of particles or using a lot of geometry instancing it starts getting quite unstable though - I reckon if autodesk had let oleg keep updating it we might have less problems but anyway. Pflows caching system is great in theory with the down stream operators but doesn't work as well in practise.

Tp is a far heavier system, it's potentially a lot more flexible but this adds in a lot more complexity that will slow you down on simpler effects. It's way more powerful out of the box and its playback / caching engine is way more reliable than pflow in my experience. It's fracturing and dynamics operators are fantastic - they were the main reason I bought it originally but there's hundreds of other great things in it.

To compare the two, as bobo said it'd more like pflow and box #3 vs tp. For heavier stuff or where I need dynamics or fracturing I'd use tp. fr simpler effects I'd use pflow and get a quicker result than tp.

Please note that while I do a huge amount of particle work, I'm not a full time particle td like allan, brandon or rif - I don't get the time they would to get really deeply in to these systems (for example - rif would have a lot of tp presets to make things far quicker than I could and bobo and brandon could use box #3 to get tp style results).

Ideally I'd get both and apparently max particles are as good and possibly better than mayas, especially with stuff like fume to add in a fluid solver and krakatoa for massive point rendering.

BrandonD
07-07-2007, 05:48 PM
On the subject of Maya particles and how they compare to the rest of the tools out there, they are in my opinion highly dated and not a whole lot evolved since Dynamation in the mid-90s. Capable? Yes, but as mentioned they are exceptionally reliant on MEL scripting. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when you need to do something very complex, but it makes doing simple things painful when your alternatives are more modern interfaces that intuitively let you build particle systems.

Houdini's particle tools are hard to beat, not because it has features others don't have, but because the way Houdini works in general is VERY benefitial to particle systems both simple and complex.

Steve Green
07-08-2007, 08:22 PM
I'm not a hardcore particle user either, so PFlow suits my needs, although I do wish it could be a bit nippier. (I remember a good example being emitting particles from a deforming surface, like whitecaps. It just seemed to be a lot quicker using PArray than PFlow for that)

On that side of things, I'm not sure how much can be done (without resorting to cacheing) by Oleg to speed things up, or if the ball is solely in Autodesk's court on that one.


- Steve

JohnnyRandom
07-08-2007, 09:00 PM
On that side of things, I'm not sure how much can be done (without resorting to cacheing) by Oleg to speed things up, or if the ball is solely in Autodesk's court on that one.


- Steve

Multi-threaded calcs would be great, if possible! I'd pay for a Box that did that no problem, would be great if AME would do something in that department, think its time for them to rollback through the particle department with the updates. We've seen a bunch of stuff for animation, character enhancements, archviz, some modelling, hair, ect. but little in the way of particles since what max6?

Steve Green
07-08-2007, 10:05 PM
Yep,

it was an extension for Max 5, but I don't remember anything new since it was rolled into 6.

No idea if it's easily multithreaded, if any of it already is, or can use GPUs or Aegia to speed things up (apart from just collision).

- Steve

atd
07-08-2007, 11:44 PM
" or Aegia to speed things up (apart from just collision)."

I have read something related with Aegia asceleration comming in Box #2 in Orbaz Official Site.


Atd3d



Brandon: Houdini particles, uhmmmm that sound interesting !!

Michael-McCarthy
07-09-2007, 02:12 AM
Wow, Cool

With such a potentially explosive topic title, there is actually a good bit of (moderately) unbiased info in this thread. That's really great.

Ill refrain form giving any biased oppinoins my self, but keep looking at this thread and try to answer any questions that guys might have on TP.

I do agree that TP is a bit more difficult for some simpler setups but we are really trying to address this in a couple ways.

Blackboxes.. Basically complex or simple setups can be made into custom Dynamic sets for later use with a click of a button

Tutorials.. I wrote the super simple tutorials for TP 2.5 and they really start form 0 and super easy steps to setting up very simple systems.

Training Videos... TP now ships with some great Training videos to get you into the more advanced (matterwaves, fracture, shape collision etc) stuff, picking up were the tutorials leave off. We are also getting ready to release hours of more free video training form top artist in the industry. Some of these are basics and some advnaced.

Community support... The cebas forum as well as the great CGfluids forum provide good community for TP guys to get support.

Thanks
Michael McCarthy
cebas USA

Michael-McCarthy
07-09-2007, 02:21 AM
*New version 3.0 coming soon, I hear it will be amazing ;)


For SURE Bobo. You hear right. TP 3.0 is near to completion and is Jaw Dropping! :D

We will be showing TP 3.0 at Siggraph this year at Booth 416. We welcome you all to come check it out. Amazing artist Rif Dagher, Lead FX TD at CafeFX, for example, will be demonstrating how his team used Thinking Particles and finalRender Stage-2 to create some exciting scenes in Spider-Man 3.

Also talented FX animator Ari Sachter-Zeltzer from Shadow Play Studios will be demoing his incredible TP techniques.

Thanks
Michael McCarthy
cebas USA

Steve Green
07-09-2007, 06:42 AM
" or Aegia to speed things up (apart from just collision)."

I have read something related with Aegia asceleration comming in Box #2 in Orbaz Official Site.


Hi,

yeah, It's been on the cards for a good while now, it was more whether other things on GPUs or the PhysX card could speed up calcs or if it is just collision.

Also, if general particle speedups are possible with hardware, whether it would have to be Autodesk that implements that, or if it could be done in a Box by Oleg.

- Steve

OlegB
07-09-2007, 07:50 AM
whether it would have to be Autodesk that implements that, or if it could be done in a Box by Oleg.

Can be done both ways. Another problem is that PFlow is too flexible. You can skin the can by so many ways that the method chosen could be not the optimal one. It's like you are able to throw quickly a prototype that works fine for specific conditions, or a limited number of particles, and then you just pump up the quantities without revisiting the design.

Looks like "Efficient PFlow" course in order :)

One of the reason why Box#3 was implemented - is to get to the optimality of some operations as deep as possible.

Implementation of multi-threading for PFlow - the issue was not the biggest concern and/or demand in the beginning. However, given the turn where the hardware is going (multi core architecture), it definitely becomes more promising.

Thanks,
Oleg B.

atd
07-09-2007, 02:32 PM
W O W ! ! ! Only is missing Allan Mckay replys ! and perhaps Spielberg ??

I am impressed as this thread evolve and how many useful comments had generated, So another hot ball:

In one hand TP 3 showing at Siggraph that will promising and in the other hand Orbas Box#2 ? when ?


Thanks to All
Atd3d

OlegB
07-09-2007, 02:55 PM
Orbas Box#2 ? when ?
The alpha rolls out after the Siggraph. The alpha/beta combines Box#2 and the next release of Box#3.

Thanks,
Oleg B.

Steve Green
07-10-2007, 09:25 AM
Hi Oleg,

thanks for the update, I look forward to seeing what's coming up.

Cheers,

Steve

amckay
07-11-2007, 04:58 AM
hah thats funny, I wrote a reply the other day but hadn't hit send - so just refreshed and saw that...

Yeah honestly, both are equally great plugins to use. With box set 3 you cant really not do anything, you're fully open to being able to assemble your own plugins inside of pflow etc. and blackboxes, it definitely opens up the door to creating much more complicated flows within pflow. I find pflow is great for ease of use and practicallity, and you're able to pass it on to other artists to work with, without a problem. Box set 2 will definitely allow it to catch up to TP with fracturing and rigids etc. as well as a lot of other cool stuff.

TP put in the right hands is a great powerful piece of software, it does allow you to do many complicated set ups. Although I wouldn't trust a mid or junior to be able to open it up and get it going. I did a job last year for Frantic in TP and we had to change a lot of stuff over the phone and if someone hasn't used TP before it does take a bit of explaining to walk them through it :) but it all worked out ok in the end. I think at least in the current state both are in development there might be some key features of each, however it really will come down to user preference. I will say there are some older qwerks with pflow from it's original development, however Oleg has done a great job of revising a lot of it.

I'm using pflow a lot right now because I'm able to knock things out quickly, whereas there are some shows where I go "ok we need TP for this". So although it is becoming more mainstream, its still a specialists tool at the moment.

The new feature film we're doing in Australia we're using Houdini for a majority of the effects. We've actually built a 100% complete pipeline in and out of houdini and max. I wrote all the max in and outs and Rangi at Kanuka wrote the houdini in and out on his end. This has worked really well and allowed us to do fluids in max and the rest of the show in houdini. Pretty interesting!

I think Pflow is a lot easier to use, whereas TP has a few advantages right now with rigids etc. and it's newest versions have a few cool features too! I still use pflow for a lot of stuff because it's more practical, and with box set 3 you get a lot of control that you couldn't usually have. TP on the other hand, you can really break out the effects and get really good results from everything.

McCarthy - cant wait to see Ari demoing that should be very cool

I'm probably repeating myself a bit in here (coming and going from my desk) following earlier talk of maya particles etc. I will say they at least right this minute are by far the least practical solution out of all of these. Which is funny since for a long time they had been referred to as the serious mans toolbox. They can do some great stuff but it's always going to be up to you to write it all up yourself, the interface (and especially if you plan to use collision events) is old and clunky and very dated. Of course I'm sure this will change soon, but what max is doing right now with particles is so much more powerful and flexible. Plus with the addition of fume, krakatoa and all of these amazing and wonderful solvers and solutions being added, it makes it a dream to work in max's system.

cganimator
07-15-2007, 06:37 AM
I have used both. but nowadays I use TP more often.

Because...

1. TP is faster than PFlow.
2. Inter-particle collision(No choice..)
3. Amazing ESC response
4. Export to Object
5. We don't have BOX3(T.T)

BUT....
I hate TP manual. Video tutorials are great, but TP really need a better reference manual.


Oh... I forgot a very important thing.
Sometimes I have to use PFlow, because of Vray motion blur issue with TP.

rudinie
08-03-2007, 08:31 AM
Is there a educational version or a trial version of Thinking Particles? I'd love to try if this rule-based stuff works for me, before i decide to buy it.

Why the big diference in price in Euro and Dollars by the way? (euro: 1489,25 vs dollar 1295 (i.e. 945.738 euro))

joconnell
08-03-2007, 12:11 PM
Sales tax on the price difference I think. There's no education or trial version of thinking particles but if you drop michael a pm or an e-mail he should be able to get you a temporary license.

entrancea
08-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Can someone give an example link of any video that has been created using TP?

Thanks.

SoLiTuDe
08-10-2007, 05:42 PM
http://www.cebas.com/products/products.php?UD=10-7888-33-788&PID=15 <--they have all sorts of simple sample videos as well as some screens of the blade stuff.

feldy
08-10-2007, 06:12 PM
phffff. tp I have probaly only sat with it for about an hour. I have been wanting to use it since i saw the Final Destination 2 stuff back in the day. Allan Hows the switch comming going to Houndini and back and forth from max how is that working? I know someone was useing the realflow exporters to get data back and forth but I am not sure how clunky that would be. And congrats on the AutoDesk Master classes.

entrancea
08-10-2007, 06:31 PM
So how is TP actually like?Does it have the same type of work flow as that of PFlow or is it a completely different experience altogether?

And Allan....I have been following your stuff very very closely and want to congratulate you for the Autodesk Masters Program.

Regards,
Subhro

SoLiTuDe
08-10-2007, 06:38 PM
It's got a pretty different experience... you should see the fumefx / tp videos -- you'll get a tiny glimpse of the tp interface at least.

http://www.cebas.com/news/read.php?UD=10-7888-33-788&NID=203

feldy
08-10-2007, 06:56 PM
i love how i still see the tp and aura images on top of cg talk all the time. aura is dead

entrancea
08-11-2007, 03:48 AM
Can anyone tell where I can find tutorials for Thinking Particles or FumeFX?That would be really great!

Thanks,
Regards,
Subhro

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