Particle Flow Discussion

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Old 01 January 2004   #31

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This helped me alot for saving HD space...
Old 01 January 2004   #32
I just wanted to point you to Brandon Davis homepage where he put out some cool online video-tutorials about Particle Flow. Brandon has been closely involved in the development of Particle Flow.

Brandons homepage:

And his tuts:

Old 01 January 2004   #33
And did you see this cool example of Particle Flow use .. in combination with Max Scripting from Christopher Thomas - his crawling spiders example

Chris Thomas homepage:

And his tutorial:


PS. Note that Max 5.1 and finished animation is availabe for download on the tutorial page.
Old 01 January 2004   #34
I love the way that he used pflow to animate the spiders, but I donít have the scripting knowledge to keep up with him. I would love to get to spend some time in after burn some time.

I will have some more test renders up later in the week, im swamped at work right now.
If you can't win.... LOSE
Old 01 January 2004   #35
Pflow is a very flexible system and will allow most users to acheive most effects most of the time. However, some times you will quite simply hit a brick wall and need to find a solution. Thats where scripting comes in. Also, somtimes you may want to try something beyond the initial scope of pflows core operators. Again this is where scripting comes in.

To be honest the same goes for much of Max, and indeed CG in general. I would really recommend going through the pflow scripting tutorials that can be found on Bobo's site.

Each of those tutorials demonstrates a basic feature of scripting with pflow and if you read through those tutorials and the associated scripts you will see that you do not have to be a scripting ninja to script in pflow. (and indeed I am not, and I did)

First steps are try modifying Bobo's scripts to do something similar. Or maybe combining them. After doing these tutorials I was able to start thinking of doing my spider script.

The idea behind the spide script is to show that you can drive the animation of particle by using various particle paramaters. In my example I'm using the speed of the particles to controll the animation speed of the spiders legs. However it would also have been possible to animated the spiders heads, palps or abdomens and have these animate based on proximity to food for instance or maybe to each other i.e. spider passes by on the left, and it looks over at it. If someone wanted to they could have taken this idea and created a crude kind of flocking system with it?

I recently also did a sample script that would take 200 pre-made omni lights, position them based on particles (omni_01 = particle1 positon etc). And then modify their hue and brightness based on the speed of the particles. It could be easily modified to modify the hue based on proximity to an object or maybe on size?

Anyway, there are a world of possibilities there, it just to be taken on board. Have an open mind and have a go. If you fail you don't have to tell anyone?


Chris Thomas
CG Academy Forums
Old 01 January 2004   #36
Wow, thanks jmonkey2000,

I had seen his tuts. when I was looking around at p-flow stuff. I had never really thought about using p-flow for more than its original assumed purpose, particles. Now I see that with some scripting and some luck, you can achieve untold effects. Tonight, I will read up on some scripting and see how far I get before my head pops. A big thanks has got to go to Bobo for spending the time to make the awesome tuts. and go through it step by step.

The hardest thing right now is coming up with particle effects that my computer can handle. I am looking into some computers to buy and I think that I will focus in on a machine that can run some elaborate particle setups. Some kind of duel processing beast or something.

Best of luck and I hope to posts some examples soon. And I hope to see some also.

If you can't win.... LOSE
Old 01 January 2004   #37
Welcome to the thread Chris!

Thanks for the pointer to Bobos tuts (Wow!), and for your enlighting comments.

I love the idea and implementation of your spiders - something that I would have thought required Character Studio or similar. I also was thinking about flocking systems when I saw it. Cool idea having the spiders turn their head when some other spider is close, using the particle speed to control the legmotion etc.

That idea with creating lights based on particle also sounds very interesting. Could you not also create lights on the fly as particles are emmitted .. or is creation of objects not possible in pflow scripts? - is it possible to see your omni light pflow animation?

I hope to get some time soon to look more into depth on Pflow .. there is enough already to keep me busy for a very long time

Old 01 January 2004   #38
Here's more interesting research on smoke and fire. Again, would be nice to create something similar with Pflow.
Jeff Patton
My Website
Old 01 January 2004   #39
Ok, here are the omni lights and particle flow example files.


Chris Thomas
CG Academy Forums
Old 01 January 2004   #40
Ok here is my first fire test..
I did not spend any time on the texture. I really just put this up here as a starting point. I need to find out better how the wind settings work. I will do some looking tonight.

I know that the fire is going to fast, and I would like to have some flames that break off and make the fire not so stream like. I think that I can do this by having the particles spawn new sets one they reach a certain age.

ZIP of Max file

If you can't win.... LOSE
Old 01 January 2004   #41
I have a little question :

I have a Pflow particles system, and i want to have 2 or more different materials on a selection of it.. for examle, when they pass trought an object, they change color,or texture map..

Is possible??If so How to??

Old 01 January 2004   #42
Yes, you can have a collision test in your stack and that way you can set up a deflector with a continue set up in it. Have the collision make a change in the material operator.
If you can't win.... LOSE
Old 01 January 2004   #43
WHat i want to recreate is a pflow Fire system, where u have the inside color yellow/orange/red of fire, and outer color black of the smoke.. some sort of fade from inside to outside color..

maybe with a gizmo for selecting where is the fire and were is the smoke..
like the afterburn explosion demon..

thx for any help...
Old 01 January 2004   #44
great help rans. thanx for posting those. i will post mine as soon as its done.
we all know Custer died in the battle for Little BigHorn. What my book presuposes is.........

maybe he didnt????
Old 01 January 2004   #45
folical9, yeah that stuff is pretty cool on the site. I wonder what software was used to get that dynamic smoke look? I know PFlow could get the motion of it, but the shader is awesome. I bet Afterburn could pull it off pretty easily.
-Tyler Reed

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