View Full Version : trying to create a hurrcane using particle flow

06 June 2008, 07:58 PM
I'm creating a hurricane with particle flow. I'm using the Birth Texture operator with a map of a hurricane satellite image. The system looks great standing still... but I'd like it to spin like a hurricane would (where some particles trail behind along the perimeter.) Anyone know of a good way to accomplish this?

06 June 2008, 10:07 PM
A galaxy effect can be a good base for your needs.
Pete Draper has a fine sample...
Good luck.

06 June 2008, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the reply... That's exactly the look I'm going for.

06 June 2008, 02:12 AM
that system is actually considerably old now, using the legacy particle system and actually uses an incorrect distribution method (it was based more on aesthetics with the technology we had available at the time); Try looking into using a vortex space warp to generate the rotational motion and use multiple Keep Apart operators in particle flow to collate the particles as they are spinning to drag out the arms and collate groups of particles. Perform the simulation long enough and with the right settings and you'll be able to create an effective distribution; this is how this galaxy version was generated, then snapshotted (frozen) so we could fly around / through it with another system.


06 June 2008, 09:32 AM
Nice update Pete, it's great to see you've added to your site too, really looking forward to book 3!

06 June 2008, 03:09 PM
Wow... yeah that looks much better. I'll give that a whirl and post my results. Thanks for the update.

btw - great VFX reel... is that nebula creation going to be covered in your book as well?

06 June 2008, 08:35 PM
Having issues using the "vortex" method. I keep getting results where the particles form a ring along the outside edge of the system no matter how I alter the vortex settings. See video:

hurricaneTest01 (

Here's my particle flow setup:

I tried adding a keep apart operator to the end of this... it didn't help much and it brought everything to a crawl. Question: Did you apply multiple "keep apart" operators to the selected particles of one PF system... or did you have multiple PF systems with a KA operator on each? Once I apply the KA operators Max becomes unstable and crashes often so I'm interested what is best practice. Any info would be much appreciated.


06 June 2008, 10:19 PM
i used two - one large one to generate the arms and the other for localised clumping.

Yes it will bring the system down, and depending on the amount of particles you have and how much attraction you have applied (using negative Force values), then it may flake out. unfortunately this is an issue with this operator due to its Brute Force method. Try dropping the particle count or even setting a new seed value in the position icon operator. Though saying that, it shouldn't have much of a problem with just 1000 particles..!

the outer ring.. I'd adjust the damping values and see if that makes a difference.


PS I'm now going to be away until tuesday so won't be able to help with anything until then, so apologies in advance. Hopefully this is enough to get you started.

06 June 2008, 01:48 PM
Thanks for your help. I should be able to get a passable result if I play around a bit more.

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06 June 2008, 01:48 PM
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