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deadpencil
07-22-2011, 11:42 AM
Hi all,
I've got a project where I need to chain 5 find target events seamlessly together in a single shot. I've got most of it working but I have a few issues with certain requirements and I'd like some advice on the best way to deal with these.

I've attached an image to better illustrate the basic idea.

The problems I'm having is that between the find target events I need the particles to do a few things such as change in scale and amount to accommodate the varying sizes of the find target mesh. This needs to happen smoothly between the events (i.e I don't want particles to just vanish when less are needed for the next event, I'd prefer them to smoothly scale to 0% before being deleted (and the opposite for when they are spawned)).
The other thing which I'd like is to still have some control over the way the particles swarm to their target. Due to the shape and size of the various find target meshes, the particles tend to bunch up whilst on their way to the next target, using keep apart/wind with turbulence on these particles in transit seems to be the way to go but this needs to be considered.

I've thought about looking at Box#3 as I'm sure it could do all of this and I'd buy it in an instant if I know I could get up and running and do this easily. However it looks fairly complex and my deadline is tight so I'm not sure I could figure it out in time.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Rob

krueger
07-22-2011, 01:15 PM
If you're entire pf setup is as simple as the diagram, you can get by with standard pflow using a script to get the vector positions of the destination. Watch Allan McKay's tutorial (http://www.allanmckay.com/site/index.php/legacy-tutorials) for Object A>B.

Check out the attached file using the method from the tutorial. You can add some in between events with age tests for when the extra particles spawn and die. Animating the scale will help them fade in and out like you want.

deadpencil
07-22-2011, 01:39 PM
Thanks for the pointer krueger. I've already got a setup working along those lines.
The problem I have with this setup is that I get "particle popping" as the particles pass from one event to the next due to the fact that the particles are shape instances picked randomly from a group. As the particles pass to the next event the shape instance is regenerated again randomly (and I think their rotation also gets lost).

Cheers,
Rob

krueger
07-22-2011, 05:07 PM
In the events before you get the popping, try using a collision test with an sdeflector or something instead of the find target to send the particles out. It's been working for me to keep consistency.

deadpencil
07-22-2011, 06:51 PM
I'll give that a go.
I think I'm getting closer to what I need out of this. Thanks for your help.

I just wonder if there is a more procedural way of doing the particle scaling based on distance from the find targets...

krueger
07-22-2011, 08:22 PM
There could be with box 3, but I haven't used it. Depends if you want to spend the $ on it and try to learn it quick...

JohnnyRandom
07-23-2011, 01:23 AM
As the particles pass to the next event the shape instance is regenerated again randomly (and I think their rotation also gets lost).


I suspect that you need to enable the "Acquire Current Shape" in the Shape Instance Op. This is supposed to retain the same particle shape throughout the flow (of course spawning new particles may indeed mess it up)

Do be too intimidated by Box#3 90% of the ops you build have 10 or less sub-ops in them. ;) You can of course build them as big as you want or need. :) Of course with Box#3 you will have full control over shapes/scale/position/rotation/material/ect/ect/ect.

krueger
07-23-2011, 06:23 AM
I suspect that you need to enable the "Acquire Current Shape" in the Shape Instance Op. This is supposed to retain the same particle shape throughout the flow (of course spawning new particles may indeed mess it up)

That's weird. When I first setup the test scene and turned that on it didn't seem to make a difference, but going back and turning it on does seem to work (at least until I enabled the spawn like you said). And the help file suggests it's only for when you instance an animated object.

deadpencil
07-25-2011, 09:17 PM
Thanks for your help guys. I got it working with this method and I've also mostly managed to get it to work using Box#3 which is great because it's now fully procedural which is a massive help with client changes.
You're right JohnnyRandom, it's not as bad as it looks but I do keep getting stuck with seemingly simple things, the support forum seems like a pretty friendly place however.

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07-25-2011, 09:17 PM
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