View Full Version : Pflow Question

08-18-2008, 05:28 PM
Hi to everyone! Is there anybody who can help me with something? I am having many problems to make something I think that should be kind of easy. I want to distribute a big amount of different trees and plants in a planet, like if it was the planet of “Le Petit Prince”. I am doing it with PFLOW and the setup I am using is: (

The thing is that I’d like that every tree had a different rotation but I can’t do it. Every tree is placed with the same angle of rotation. Any idea? Thans a lot to everyone!!

08-18-2008, 06:51 PM
Set your speed to .01 and "Icon Center Out"

and your rotation to "Speed Space Follow"

add a send out test and copy the speed op to event 2 and set it to 0.0.

Ooops, I forgot to mention set birth op to vertices, verts random, or selected.

08-18-2008, 08:33 PM
Thanks a lot Johnny,

but I can't make it work, maybe it's that I do not understand it well, but I have an "Speed by Surface" and it doesn't give me the option to put "Icon center Out". The thing is that if I only put "Speed" in the trees they do not orient themselves properly because I need the "Speed Space Follow" to do it.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks a lot for your answer!!

08-18-2008, 08:56 PM
Sorry didn't notice the speed by surface operator.

Just use a normal speed operator in both events.

Also the send out test is important, it will kill the speed operator from the previous event and stop your trees from moving.

08-19-2008, 11:31 AM
Thanks a lot again Johnny!

I do thank you your explanations. The thing is that, after doing everything you tell me, it still doesn't work and all the trees look at the same direction. I leave you here the FLOW in order to see if you can tell me something.

thanks!! (

08-19-2008, 04:32 PM
Somewhat of a pflow shape instance limitation.

Well the easiest way that comes to mind, would be to duplicate the original flow a few times, then make a few copies of your tree (rotate the pivot on the z-axis so each tree has a different rotation) and assign each of the varied trees to each of the new particle flow copies.

Since you are using a greyscale as the placement in the position operator you can use that to avoid overlapping geometry.

08-19-2008, 04:52 PM
Thanks a lot anyway.

At the beggining I did it as you told me, but actually it should be possible to rotate them.

Does anybody knows how to do it?

Can anybody help me? Thanks a lot!!!

08-19-2008, 06:01 PM
Thanks a lot anyway.

At the beggining I did it as you told me, but actually it should be possible to rotate them.

Does anybody knows how to do it?

Can anybody help me? Thanks a lot!!!You could all ways bake the pflow (using or something) once the direction is correct using speed by surface and then rotate then around a bit by hand (or a script if your that handy), still a lot less work then completely placing them by hand.

And im quite sure pflow toolbox #3 ( would do it as well but I dont have any experience with it.

08-19-2008, 06:04 PM
without toolbox3 u need a kinda hack...

note that my timeline starts at negative 1 frame. same goes for the particle birth. the speed>send out>no speed is the same as before BUT i added a SPIN operator with fairly high values and variation. then the spinning particles are handed over by an age test set to 1 and no variation. that is because the spin operator need an inital frame to have an effect, just a send out would send the particles along with out spinning at all.

the inital frame to spin is the reason why i spawn everything in negative 1: so at frame 0 wich will probably be your first frame of animation everything is spinned/rotated randomly already and the trees stay in that position from frame 0 on.

hope that helps a bit.


EDIT: find a max9-32bit file attached! just play with the FIRST spinner operator to have more or less randomness.

08-19-2008, 06:14 PM
I kind of assumed he wasn't using box#3, but ya totally possible:)

Nice workaround the Send out op,Anselm :), I geuss I could have used an agetest :blush:

08-19-2008, 06:34 PM
Wow PsychoSilence, you are the best. Work's! Thank's a lot to both of you for the attention!

08-19-2008, 06:37 PM
here´s a quick and dirty box3 attempt just in case some one is interested...

that one assumes the the object is not moving internally. like animated noise. AND should be baked out in frame one with the script from above (or teh other thread can´t remember...)

was a quicky anyways :D

08-19-2008, 07:01 PM
edit2: now working properly...planet is still. rotation can be changed at any time desired...wouldnt rotate constantly like crazy anymore...

quicky again, but a desireable one :D

kind regards,


08-19-2008, 07:31 PM
LOL, always interested, john() = box#3.sponge :D


08-20-2008, 03:28 PM
Hi! I finally could settle the planet, and I can say the render is quite fast. When makeing small changes it a bit difficult because it kind of hard to recalculate continuosly every particle. Is there any way to make Backups of the events? for exampla, to avoid that it calculates the plants but not the new trees I am placeing?

Thxs a lot!

08-20-2008, 06:42 PM
You can use the cache operator to cache the whole flow or events within the flow. If you are adding to the cached flow it will need to update.

So if you change it (add more particles/trees) it will need to update.

08-20-2008, 06:51 PM
Ok!! A lot of thanks!!! I will try it!

08-22-2008, 03:51 PM
make two different flows and bake the one out u dont wanna be recalculated with a script u can find at

08-23-2008, 10:46 PM
Thanks a lot Psycho!!

Now there's another problem, can you help with this? I have got the planet animated, and when it rotates, every tree changes its rotation.

Do you know how I can make that they keep their random individual fixed rotation, and at the same time follow the rotation of the planet without doing extrange things?? I have proved it in the first example that you sent and it happens the same...

thanks a lot!

08-24-2008, 04:48 PM
that´s an easy one :)

check LOCK ON EMITTER in the Position object operator and make sure that Animated Shape is checked too. Depending on how fast the planet is moving u might want to check Subframe Sampling too. but then u have to set the Quantity Multiplier in the PF Source 01 from frame to Half Frame or even more precise. And of course make sure that the Position Object is instanced into the other events your planet can have internal animation such as a noise modifier and/or transformation or rotation.



08-24-2008, 05:21 PM
Thx for the answer anselm.
It seems doesn't work, i don't know why :P again.

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