Animation: Particle-based Deformation

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  07 July 2012
Red face Animation: Particle-based Deformation

I have a very simple idea. Hopefully it isn't too complex to implement. But it is this.

How would it be possible to suspend particles inside of a mesh, much like fish trapped inside of a net? Would it be possible to deform an object using particles in such a way, for example shooting particles at a piece of rubber which would deform it, creating a bulge which then deflects the particle away by returning to normal (mesh springs, or Flex)?

Also, one last thing. Is it possible to deform a mesh, say in volume, using particles? Not by combining the particles to create a new shape (ergo, a particle blob) - however by using particles themselves to deform an already existing mesh, either in part or in entirety. Much like how bones affect meshes with the Skin modifier, except the particles act like "air inside a balloon".

I hope I haven't confused anyone. I'm a well seasoned and self-taught 3Ds Max user, however relatively new to the particle system. I build mostly scenes/characters and incorporate various kinds of dynamics in animation. And then it hit me; what if I could use particles to deform my 3d meshes?

Essentially, what I am trying to create here is a plush beanie bag. The kind you can play hot-potato with. Please, if anyone can help me with this I'd greatly appreciate it. It might even surprise how far I extend that appreciation.
  07 July 2012
It would be difficult with vanilla pflow in max and relatively easy with a few different plugins. Both Particle Flow Tools Box#2 and Thinking Particles can easily handle soft body deformations.

Thinkbox Genome could fake that type of deform, unfortunately I didn't get a chance to try it when it was in beta so I can't confirm it for sure. I have only seen some nice deformation work done with it.

You could possibly script a modifier to do the trick, again, me no I have seen some similar scripted tools.

You could try something with Cloth, the problem would be getting it to maintain some form/shape as if it were full of beads.
poof ~>Vimeo<~
  07 July 2012
Here are some examples I showed at the New York Max User Group a few months ago, done with Particle Flow, Genome and XMesh:

Fully Elastic Deformation:

Semi-Elastic Deformation:

Plastic Deformation:

I intend to do a proper tutorial about them in the near future. Might use at Siggraph, too.
  07 July 2012
Awesome. I've been doing that for a project without Genome and it's a pain. Genome particle skinning and particle softbody solvers, that would be kickass!
  07 July 2012
Here is a particle flow box#2 example i whipped up.

Using glue bindings for the outer particles and then filling up the volume with more particles! Then skinning a geosphere to the outer particle shell.

As you can see there are some beans that get get away. This could be fixed a number of ways.

  07 July 2012
Thumbs up Experiemental

Thank you for all the posts. I see this is definitely a shift in endeavors for cg artists. I'm not that experienced with modifying preexisting 3ds max modifiers, except making the most out of what I can already use them for.

Nice video lostdragoon! I hadn't thought about making a 'pillow' with particles filling up the inside, which is a really good idea. But WOW, I must say, that's exactly what I'm going for. Would you mind sharing what you did in the video? Was any of that scripted, and if so what would I need to do to create my own?

Also, what if you used Tetra geospheres, segments set to 1, instead of cubes. It saves memory, meaning more particles in a smaller space (unless that creates some kind of problem) and also that could potentially eliminate a lot of internal 'granulizing'. Though, that depends on what sophistication of beanie bag you want.

At least now, I know it can be done. Now all that's left is how. I'll post my progress once I learn how to do it.
  07 July 2012
Hey Bitnus,

I'll upload the scene file when i get home tonight. Currently at work. Yes using Tetra Geospheres would work. Shouldn't be a problem. Nothing was scripted. It is using the pflow plugin from orbaz toolbox 2 which simulates physics and collisions. You'll be able to understand it when you take a look at the flow. ETA is about 10 hours till i get it up.

  07 July 2012
That would be simply outstanding. Oh, and feel free to experiment with both tetra and octa geospheres. I actually meant to say 'octa' earlier because of their diamond shape. Silly me.

Thanks again, I've just googled orbaz toolbox 2. Very helpful. I'll hope to have a bit more insight and maybe even some results in the meantime.
  07 July 2012
So I attached the hackey sack file. Its a little different than the one from the video i posted above. For the beads to stay in i had to glue them to the outershell particles so if they came close enough to the shell they'd get glued to it not allowing them to leave the volume. there are still some that get away however...needs some fine tuning. I did try a version with the tetra shapes but with the odd shape the tetra beads lose volume much faster and you'd need more of them birthed inside... so they aren't any faster in the end. I found spheres worked the best. Here's the file. You'll need Max 2012 box2 plugin.
Attached Files
File Type: zip (32.0 KB, 23 views)
  08 August 2012
Thumbs up

Ok, whew! I finally got it loaded with PFB2... except that for some reason some items aren't loading correctly. I can see the particles inside the hacky-sack, but the rigid plane will not collide with them when animated. This is, of course, my first time using particle flow. So I wouldn't exactly know how to make them work /or/ fix issues.

I'll be tinkering around with the settings in the meantime. Sorry if it took a while for me to respond. And thanks for the help!
  08 August 2012
Interesting. I sent you a fully working scene. Under each event there should be a physx collision operator with the animated geometry selected. The animated geometry should have a pflow collision shape modifier on top of it. And the activate button should be depressed. Check those options If that doesn't work try re uploading the scene back to me and I'll see if anything changed. Thanks,
  08 August 2012
If proofreading and oversight could get projects completed we'd be living in a dashing retro future! :P Regrettably, I have made no progress. I'm wondering if my particle flow system even works.

See, I can open the file with no fatal errors... the only ones I do get are about missing VRay plugins, which I don't use anyway. Once I open the scene and hit play, the geo_collision_box animates moves upward which is the only thing I see. I've checked the PF_Hackeysack, and it looks intact.

I'll save and send back what I've got. Not sure if anything has changed. Maybe I have to run a simulation? Still unsure.

...and Max just crashed on me! It says the saved file (Save As) is corrupted, and the recovery file itself may also be corrupted. Let me run one more check... tried opening the recently saved file and failed. So, in all efficiency I can't send you what I have. Except of course the mangled file I tried to save. Aha ha.
  08 August 2012
If you are running a cracked version. Corruptions can happen a lot... That said download the linked file again and see if it works. Send that one back to me after you save it...


Last edited by Nickolay411 : 08 August 2012 at 06:04 PM.
  08 August 2012
Red face

Thanks again Nick. Turns out I've got a problem with Max '12. It just doesn't work well with my current system. I'll try rebuilding the scene with Max '10, which PF appears to be working fine.
  08 August 2012
I tried it out for shits-n-giggles it works fine for me. Nice fake with the second glue to keep them contained within the sphere

IN my personal experience 2012 is not a vfx friendly version. Nitrous hates particles/shapes and forget about changing topo. As well as other issues, most all of them have since been addressed in 2013. I am surprised so many shops are moving to it considering its way less-than-optimal performance in these areas. Unless you do static modelling and texturing, it is a version to be skipped IMO.
poof ~>Vimeo<~
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:55 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.