Thinking Particles vs Particular Flow

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  07 July 2007
" or Aegia to speed things up (apart from just collision)."

I have read something related with Aegia asceleration comming in Box #2 in Orbaz Official Site.


Brandon: Houdini particles, uhmmmm that sound interesting !!
  07 July 2007
Wow, Cool

With such a potentially explosive topic title, there is actually a good bit of (moderately) unbiased info in this thread. That's really great.

Ill refrain form giving any biased oppinoins my self, but keep looking at this thread and try to answer any questions that guys might have on TP.

I do agree that TP is a bit more difficult for some simpler setups but we are really trying to address this in a couple ways.

Blackboxes.. Basically complex or simple setups can be made into custom Dynamic sets for later use with a click of a button

Tutorials.. I wrote the super simple tutorials for TP 2.5 and they really start form 0 and super easy steps to setting up very simple systems.

Training Videos... TP now ships with some great Training videos to get you into the more advanced (matterwaves, fracture, shape collision etc) stuff, picking up were the tutorials leave off. We are also getting ready to release hours of more free video training form top artist in the industry. Some of these are basics and some advnaced.

Community support... The cebas forum as well as the great CGfluids forum provide good community for TP guys to get support.

Michael McCarthy
cebas USA
  07 July 2007
Originally Posted by Bobo:
*New version 3.0 coming soon, I hear it will be amazing

For SURE Bobo. You hear right. TP 3.0 is near to completion and is Jaw Dropping!

We will be showing TP 3.0 at Siggraph this year at Booth 416. We welcome you all to come check it out. Amazing artist Rif Dagher, Lead FX TD at CafeFX, for example, will be demonstrating how his team used Thinking Particles and finalRender Stage-2 to create some exciting scenes in Spider-Man 3.

Also talented FX animator Ari Sachter-Zeltzer from Shadow Play Studios will be demoing his incredible TP techniques.

Michael McCarthy
cebas USA

Last edited by Michael-McCarthy : 07 July 2007 at 01:29 AM.
  07 July 2007
Originally Posted by atd: " or Aegia to speed things up (apart from just collision)."

I have read something related with Aegia asceleration comming in Box #2 in Orbaz Official Site.


yeah, It's been on the cards for a good while now, it was more whether other things on GPUs or the PhysX card could speed up calcs or if it is just collision.

Also, if general particle speedups are possible with hardware, whether it would have to be Autodesk that implements that, or if it could be done in a Box by Oleg.

- Steve
  07 July 2007
Quote: whether it would have to be Autodesk that implements that, or if it could be done in a Box by Oleg.

Can be done both ways. Another problem is that PFlow is too flexible. You can skin the can by so many ways that the method chosen could be not the optimal one. It's like you are able to throw quickly a prototype that works fine for specific conditions, or a limited number of particles, and then you just pump up the quantities without revisiting the design.

Looks like "Efficient PFlow" course in order

One of the reason why Box#3 was implemented - is to get to the optimality of some operations as deep as possible.

Implementation of multi-threading for PFlow - the issue was not the biggest concern and/or demand in the beginning. However, given the turn where the hardware is going (multi core architecture), it definitely becomes more promising.

Oleg B.
More about Particle Flow at Orbaz Forum
  07 July 2007
W O W ! ! ! Only is missing Allan Mckay replys ! and perhaps Spielberg ??

I am impressed as this thread evolve and how many useful comments had generated, So another hot ball:

In one hand TP 3 showing at Siggraph that will promising and in the other hand Orbas Box#2 ? when ?

Thanks to All
  07 July 2007
Quote: Orbas Box#2 ? when ?

The alpha rolls out after the Siggraph. The alpha/beta combines Box#2 and the next release of Box#3.

Oleg B.
More about Particle Flow at Orbaz Forum
  07 July 2007
Hi Oleg,

thanks for the update, I look forward to seeing what's coming up.


  07 July 2007
hah thats funny, I wrote a reply the other day but hadn't hit send - so just refreshed and saw that...

Yeah honestly, both are equally great plugins to use. With box set 3 you cant really not do anything, you're fully open to being able to assemble your own plugins inside of pflow etc. and blackboxes, it definitely opens up the door to creating much more complicated flows within pflow. I find pflow is great for ease of use and practicallity, and you're able to pass it on to other artists to work with, without a problem. Box set 2 will definitely allow it to catch up to TP with fracturing and rigids etc. as well as a lot of other cool stuff.

TP put in the right hands is a great powerful piece of software, it does allow you to do many complicated set ups. Although I wouldn't trust a mid or junior to be able to open it up and get it going. I did a job last year for Frantic in TP and we had to change a lot of stuff over the phone and if someone hasn't used TP before it does take a bit of explaining to walk them through it but it all worked out ok in the end. I think at least in the current state both are in development there might be some key features of each, however it really will come down to user preference. I will say there are some older qwerks with pflow from it's original development, however Oleg has done a great job of revising a lot of it.

I'm using pflow a lot right now because I'm able to knock things out quickly, whereas there are some shows where I go "ok we need TP for this". So although it is becoming more mainstream, its still a specialists tool at the moment.

The new feature film we're doing in Australia we're using Houdini for a majority of the effects. We've actually built a 100% complete pipeline in and out of houdini and max. I wrote all the max in and outs and Rangi at Kanuka wrote the houdini in and out on his end. This has worked really well and allowed us to do fluids in max and the rest of the show in houdini. Pretty interesting!

I think Pflow is a lot easier to use, whereas TP has a few advantages right now with rigids etc. and it's newest versions have a few cool features too! I still use pflow for a lot of stuff because it's more practical, and with box set 3 you get a lot of control that you couldn't usually have. TP on the other hand, you can really break out the effects and get really good results from everything.

McCarthy - cant wait to see Ari demoing that should be very cool

I'm probably repeating myself a bit in here (coming and going from my desk) following earlier talk of maya particles etc. I will say they at least right this minute are by far the least practical solution out of all of these. Which is funny since for a long time they had been referred to as the serious mans toolbox. They can do some great stuff but it's always going to be up to you to write it all up yourself, the interface (and especially if you plan to use collision events) is old and clunky and very dated. Of course I'm sure this will change soon, but what max is doing right now with particles is so much more powerful and flexible. Plus with the addition of fume, krakatoa and all of these amazing and wonderful solvers and solutions being added, it makes it a dream to work in max's system.
Allan McKay
CG Society Instructor
  07 July 2007

I have used both. but nowadays I use TP more often.


1. TP is faster than PFlow.
2. Inter-particle collision(No choice..)
3. Amazing ESC response
4. Export to Object
5. We don't have BOX3(T.T)

I hate TP manual. Video tutorials are great, but TP really need a better reference manual.

Oh... I forgot a very important thing.
Sometimes I have to use PFlow, because of Vray motion blur issue with TP.

Last edited by cganimator : 07 July 2007 at 05:43 AM.
  08 August 2007
Is there a educational version or a trial version of Thinking Particles? I'd love to try if this rule-based stuff works for me, before i decide to buy it.

Why the big diference in price in Euro and Dollars by the way? (euro: 1489,25 vs dollar 1295 (i.e. 945.738 euro))
  08 August 2007
Sales tax on the price difference I think. There's no education or trial version of thinking particles but if you drop michael a pm or an e-mail he should be able to get you a temporary license.
  08 August 2007
Can someone give an example link of any video that has been created using TP?

  08 August 2007 <--they have all sorts of simple sample videos as well as some screens of the blade stuff.
  08 August 2007
phffff. tp I have probaly only sat with it for about an hour. I have been wanting to use it since i saw the Final Destination 2 stuff back in the day. Allan Hows the switch comming going to Houndini and back and forth from max how is that working? I know someone was useing the realflow exporters to get data back and forth but I am not sure how clunky that would be. And congrats on the AutoDesk Master classes.
Jeremy Kendall current reel
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