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View Full Version : Extrude/loft a trail behind a particle?


EricChadwick
01-03-2008, 04:22 PM
I'm trying to figure out how to grow a loft or extrude a shape behind a particle.

Instead of distinct facing quads (Shape Facing) I'm trying to figure out how to create a continuous line behind the particle. Is this possible?

This tutorial by Anselm v. Seherr-Thoß explains how to bake splines from particle trajectories, but I need to create "live" splines instead.
http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/max/pflow_splines/index.html

Here's a pic of my current setup with a trail of Shape Facing particles, I'd like to replace them with a continuous lofted mesh.

davestewart
01-03-2008, 04:29 PM
Hey Eric,
Happy New Year!

Annoyingly, you can't create a scripted spline plugin as it's not supported, but you may be able to create a scripted mesh plugin - not sure.

The other option is to use the Ghost Trails plugin that lets you create trails from particle systems.

PsychoSilence
01-03-2008, 04:35 PM
http://www.bytegeistsoftware.com/prod01.htm

cheers...worth its money...

EricChadwick
01-03-2008, 04:49 PM
Ah, Andrew Reid's old tool. Thanks guys!

And a Happy New Year!

Bobo
01-04-2008, 08:02 AM
I'm trying to figure out how to grow a loft or extrude a shape behind a particle.

Instead of distinct facing quads (Shape Facing) I'm trying to figure out how to create a continuous line behind the particle. Is this possible?

This tutorial by Anselm v. Seherr-Thoß explains how to bake splines from particle trajectories, but I need to create "live" splines instead.
http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/max/pflow_splines/index.html

Here's a pic of my current setup with a trail of Shape Facing particles, I'd like to replace them with a continuous lofted mesh.

Another alternative -
*Create a spline from the trajectory of each particle, then PathDeform WSM a cylinder to it and set the .transform of the cylinder to the .transform of the spline to "move to path".
*Calculate the length of the spline.
*Keyframe the cylinder from the birth of the particle to the end of the animation so that the height of the cylinder changes from 0 to the length of the spline. If desired, keyframe each frame to the pathlength based on the position of the particle relatively to the spline if you want the cylinder to grow exactly according to the particle's motion.
*Repeat for all particles with as many shapes and cylinders as needed.

If you want, you can also keyframe the visibility of the cylinder so it is invisible before the birth of the particle and becomes visible when the particle starts moving.
Also, you can use a cone with growing base radius to get a more "tentacly" feeling...
My last master class dealt with something like this, minus the splines from particles - the splines were hand-generated but then distributed in hierarchical structures a la L-system.

PsychoSilence
01-04-2008, 10:15 AM
that´s a nice hack! ill try that even with having ghosttrials. GT is just more comfortable i guess...

EricChadwick
01-04-2008, 02:28 PM
I decided to stick with dots this time around, ran out of time. Will keep these ideas in mind for next time though. Thanks guys, much appreciated.

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