Dandelions flying in the wind

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  04 April 2013
Dandelions flying in the wind

Heya guys

I have a question about Dandelions <3

In my current project I have a couple of Dandelions standing in some tall grass. At one point there comes a big gust of wind where I would like to have some of the little tops of the dandelion to fly away.

So basically I want this: http://kila-pusteblume.de/media/Tes...usteblume11.jpg

But my problem is I am just not sure how to do it and all my tests so far did not work out :(

Can I somehow make these poly meshes act as particles and have them fly away? I really do not want to animate them per keyframe :(

What I would wish I could but I don't know how is to turn these polygon meshes into thinking particles and have them be affected by a pWind node. Any ideas how I could achieve that ?

Thank you and I hope you are having a nice day,

  04 April 2013
it is easy in TP, but when you never used TP, i would suggest why not doing it with standard particles? you have all you need for this kind of effect in there.

good luck,
  04 April 2013
Well how can i turn the meshes I already have and that are visible for 100 frames and just wave around slightly as it is connected to the stem into particles that fly away, starting at frame 120 ?

  04 April 2013

I have been doing something similar some while ago. I used the Matrix Objekt to create the Thinking Particles on the steem and there is a slider in it saying "binding" (I only have the German Version so I hope it is the right word, in German it is "Fesseln"). If it is on 100% the particles are not influenced by anything, but if you put it down to 0% the particles are influenced by any force used in Xpresso. So just use a P-pass and wind node in Xpresso and slide down the "binding" slider and it should work. That would be the absolutetly basic set up. I also used things like the reflector node, gravitation and alignment for getting a random movement.

To get the geometry on the particles, you have to create a clone object as well, making the single seed a child of it and then put your matrix into the object modus of the clone.

If you still don't want to use TP you could also use clones and the aerodynamics in the dynamic tags. Switching the dynamics on on frame 120
  04 April 2013
Hey Anna,

Thank you very much ! So far I got it to work to look almost like the geometry I had before but it looks good enough...
Now my question is how I could make them fly not as one big clump but as single particles... can I somehow affect that? This is probably (hopefully) rather simple but I am not very well versed when it comes to Xpresso nodes...

Also one question about the Matrix Object. When I put constrain (which is "fesseln" ) to 0%, the seed meshes become bigger... when i put it to 100% they are the size they are supposed to be... Can you (or anyone ) tell me why?

Thank you very much and I hope you are having a nice day
  04 April 2013
Hey JayCox

For getting rid of the clump of geometry, you could use a couple of matrix objects, each one affecting a different part of the clones and then animating the constrain sliders at different frames and speed. Another possibility would be to use nodes in Xpresso, like wind, rotation etc. It is really easy to set up, you only have to make a xpresso tag, use a p-pass node, in which you drag your particle group of the matrix object, and then connect it's output port with the insert port of the wind or whatever force you want to use. If you have for each matrix object a different particle group you can even say that group 1 should move quicker than group 2 or should be more affected by gravitation.

I hope that all makes sense, if not, I can send you a screenshot of the xpresso set up. I am not sure, why the particles a changing size, did you change the size of your geometry in the coordinates?

  04 April 2013

Last edited by littledevil : 04 April 2013 at 02:44 PM.
  04 April 2013
Do you want to marry me? Thank you so very much! Worked out perfectly!
Divided the starting object into 6 pieces, created 6 TP groups and of it went! Put in an Alignment Node to make them fly right and with a wind set to spherical they fly away nicely

Also I figured out why it was misbehaving when constraining. Turns out the objects were scaled down to .5 and the matrix was at 1, just zeroed/oned it out and everything was fine

Now I am just fiddling around with when which groups start but that is just trying around everything else works perfectly. With a little Random Effector I also got them to look right and diversed

Thank you so so much again

I hope you are having an amazing day and don't have to spend to much time in the office and can enjoy some sun, which hopefully also shows in your town

Greetz and Thanks,

  04 April 2013
hehe, I am glad it worked Can you show me the result, when it is completely done?

  04 April 2013
Will post it once it's done Will still take a while though :(

Greetz and Thanks again,
  10 October 2013
Hi JayCox, thanks for starting this thread. Is there a way you could upload an example of this? I am brand new to thinking particles and is a little hard to understand what you and Anna are describing. I would really appreciate it! Hope your having a great day.
  10 October 2013


I just made some screenshots. In this example I am using a cube. You have three frozen selections of the cube, top, left and front. Each selection is pointed to a matrix object with the same name.
As well I created three particle groups with the same name and pointed them to the matrix object with the same name. Now you have to possibilities to control the particles created by the matrix. Firstly by the moGraph Effectors and secondly by a xpresso tag over a p pass node in which you draw your particle group you want to effect by nodes. You can choose how much the effectors or the xpresso node shall affect the particles by the two sliders "following" and "binding". I hope that makes it all a little bit clearer, if not, just write

Have a lovely evening


  10 October 2013
Thank you so much Anna, This really helps me out a ton. I really appreciate it!
  10 October 2013
It looks like I have a decent understanding of everything but how did you get those selections on the cube? It looks different from a normal set selection triangle? Thanks so much for helping me through this process!
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