View Full Version : projecting movie onto particle cloud?

07 July 2003, 04:45 AM
greetings all
I've run into a bit of trouble attempting to map an image sequence onto a osciliating particle cloud, for that "face talking within the smoke" effect.
my initial idea involves projecting the sequence onto the cloud w/ a spotlight but, alas, I haven't even come close.
any ideas?

07 July 2003, 07:54 AM
you could try mulitple particles for this, sounds pretty tough

it would be easier to map a sequence onto sprites instead. Using the sprite wizard.

or maybe fluids volume clouds if it was a volume face clouds talking thingi-a-majig.

or better still if it is a talking ball of clouds make your face in polys/nurbs whatever then paint particles onto the face with make live and animate them or animate a sprite on them to cheat the movement of flowing clouds. (ere i'll think i'll do that too, just to see if it works!)


07 July 2003, 08:19 AM
thx stallion, sprite wizard what i was looking for. however, when i add the sprites i get a bunch of small bubbly faces - though im trying to get only one face mapped onto the entire particle cloud. are there some particular settings i need to pay attention to?

fluids wouldn't be out of the ?, though im still trying to get particle FX down.

keep me updated on your painting particles into the face thing (im really not sure how to do this...) post some pics if possible. im looking to go full throttle with particles/fluids for abstract motion grafix.

so if anyone else has any tips/tricks for getting neat particle fx (doesn't have to be a face in a cloud), please share!
the only real examples i've found online are mainly for smoke or fire (with the exception of screaming ghost's fluid tut) - certainly important, but im looking for dynamic simulations that serve no purpose except for looking asbsolutely beautiful.

07 July 2003, 11:13 AM
what happens with sprites is that the one image is added to every single particle plane. If you just wanted one image, not sure how to do it with sprites but there might be a feature for spreading across particles or something in the ball park.

But for one image best to use one image plane. And add an array of clouds around or something.

I'll see what i come up with. Sounds like such a cool idea i must say.

07 July 2003, 11:45 PM
Why not just use a projection map on the color of a pCloud?
If you have a 3d procedural in the blob or transparency, it will look somewhat like a projector on smoke. You will be able to see the image going all the way through if viewed from an angle.
You can try turning up the diffuse coefficient and using the projection on the surface color too, this might look like more dense clouds.
you could also try 2 projections, one from the front (the image) and one from the side (a ramp, white to black) and multiply them together and feed that into the color, that way the image would only penetrate so far into the clouds.


07 July 2003, 11:53 PM
I'd say try doing it in compositing instead.

Using the spotlight idea I managed to get a face image onto particles, but you need 1000's of small particles in order for the face to have enough resolution to know what it is!

I've attached a render.

07 July 2003, 05:18 AM
thx noxy, yer certainly onto something.

mapped projection onto pcloud color & surface color. got the effect i want, now it's just a matter of getting the texture to encompass the entire cloud, instead of repeating.
taken into afterFX & layered w/ reg clouds + masks, this effect will come across well. haven't tried the multipler node yet.

hey Joz, i'm still not getting anything w/ the spotlight method. did you map the image onto spotlight color?

thx for the interest guys


07 July 2003, 01:23 AM
Yeah I just mapped it into the light's colour.

But it only seems to render it through Mental Ray! Through the standard renderer I get nothing.

Weird. :scream:

07 July 2003, 03:49 AM
so 5 will let you render particles in MR then? wow, that's pretty significant. too bad im still on 4.5...

07 July 2003, 07:33 AM
ok guys, more problems. my initial tests involved only a single image rather than a sequence.
all is well with a single pic, but as soon as i turn on "use frame extension" it all goes to hell (using =frame)
if it's a movie i've mapped, i get nothing - just blackness.
if it's a file texture, it works til frame extension is checked, and then i just get nothing. (using cylender projections)
anybody have experience mapping actual sequences onto particle clouds?
input would be most appreciated.

i suspect this is a problem with the wording of my frame extensions?
in the help line, i get a message saying "mask_cloud_00000.tga.298 doesn't exist" (on frame 298 in timeline)
the actual name of the sequence is "mask_cloud_00298.tga"
this is what afterFX generates with my .tga sequence.
so perhaps the solution is to rename these frames to the bizarre extension that Maya is asking for? (guess i need a whole seperate app for this purpose?)
you'd think the integration between these 2 apps would be a little tighter...

07 July 2003, 01:24 AM
jozvex was right, only MR, was there any doubt.

Everytime i think about this i see the movie the Mummy, when the giant face full of sand tries to eat the plane.

That's what i'd like to see happen here.

i haven't had much luck either.

07 July 2003, 05:14 AM
resorted to an avi &, although i was able to get the frames to update properly in att edtr, my render produced nothing, just blackness.
CONCLUSION: movie files & image sequences cannot be used in conjunction w/ particle clouds. (someone prove me wrong!)

got the avi to work with reg shaders on blobby particles, so i guess i'll just have to work with that.

07 July 2003, 06:06 PM
Ive had the same issue with the image sequences. Its all in the extensions. You have to remove the TGA from the extention.

Ex: "mask_cloud_00000.tga.298" to "mask_cloud.298".

So you would have Image files looking like

Mask_cloud.03 etc.

Hopefully that helps

07 July 2003, 06:00 AM
that's what i figured it was. trouble is, i don't know how to skirt the .tga issue. i tried renaming the frames in fcheck & in afterFX, but if im saving them as .tga files, the apps automatically give me that .tga extension, right?
so how do i save save/rename 300 .tga files withouth the extenions?

i asked a professional afterFX meeting what to do & they said rename it in render que. so what i ended up with was filename.#.tga.#.tga (cuz ther's no way out of that default extension as far as i know at the moment)

btw - have you ever used sequences w/ particle cloud shader?

07 July 2003, 07:52 PM
Using the spotlight idea I managed to get a face image onto particles, but you need 1000's of small particles in order for the face to have enough resolution to know what it is!

If you use software rendering(cloud or tube) then this should not be a problem. Simply texture the color of your particleCloud shader with a planar projection and render. You could see the full texture on a single particle, if desired.


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