Custom Field Manipulation ?

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  02 February 2013
Custom Field Manipulation ?

lately I have been seeing some folks developing a custom field manipulation tool inside Houdini & 3ds Max..Its like one can model the velocity field into desired shape or can turn geometry's surface normals into some force fields.

In Houdini :

the idea of controlling fields with graph is kinda cool & look so much customizable as compare to regular fields. Is this possible to expect something in Maya ?

  02 February 2013
hey vik,

See SOuPs pointCloudField, probably best solution in Maya at the moment. You can extract the surface normal of a mesh and use that for direction and animate a bounding object to influence the normal direction for example.
  02 February 2013
The SOUP pointCloudField that Aikiman suggested is pretty sweet.
But don't forget that nDynamics lets you use the any mesh as the source of a field, you can use normals for direction or just use the surface as the source of a field. I've mentioned the volumeCurve field before, which lets you create a pretty robust field around any curve.
For all of these fields, there are basic ramps that gives you most of the control that you might need. Not that it will be easy to get things to behave the way you want.

The biggest thing lacking in Mayas fields are the kind of visual feedback that your example vids show. But I think those things seem pretty doable with Vanilla Maya stuff and SOUP.
  02 February 2013
Just to expand on some of Maya/SOuPs power, I made a scene where I sampled a 3d crater texture and used the RGB values at those sampled points as direction of velocity for pointCloudField. Not really useful in production but really cool. Also Ive done stuff like used a 2D texture for magnitude of field, so say you have a checker texture, where it is white your mesh points will have a magnitude of one, black it will have no magnitude for example.
You could also sample a fluid in much the same way if you wanted to where the color of the fluid affected direction and density was magnitude.

Remember you can always use a fluid with velocity draw on the visualize any field in Maya.
  02 February 2013
Thanks Aiki, Benjamin,

so far I have been using 3dpaint tool to paint velocity on a static grid or emitting speed from geometries.. it worked fine for me.. but I will look into SOUP pointcloud field

Thanks very much for the valuable tips. I appreciate it much !!

- VIk
  02 February 2013
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