Lightning Bolt with Maya nParticles

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  09 September 2013
Lightning Bolt with Maya nParticles

Hello Everyone.
So I wanted to dedicate this thread for Tesla & Lightning Bolt effect which I have been trying to achieve it from past few weeks. :

This is in a very Early Stage development critics & feedback are more welcome. My Intention here is to developed it more further into more rich & complex look with help of all you talented people.

I have been trying to follow this Blog : for the uniform particle trail. I am emitting 4 different particles system followed with a noise expression each assigned a different Nucleus solve. I am giving a shot with Nparticles instead of PFX because I can have nice control on the noise pattern & Ghosting effect ( Fading the branches randomly which is bit tricky to do with pfx ). Also I was not quiet happy with PFX turbulent noise..but it in some cases one can get away very well with pfx noise. Doing it with particles is just a personal challenge for me. Stay Tune as I will very soon post an example file of my progress so you guys can participate & help me achieving the look.
My next goal is to attempt for some smooth runtime noise pattern like this one :

- Vik

Last edited by viki164 : 09 September 2013 at 06:47 AM.
  09 September 2013
Hey viki,

Have you considered using SOuP for it (mainly for texture to array node) with deforming few overlaping curves using 3D noise texture and use them as a path for particles rather than using expressions on the stuff? Of course, for the minor bolt streaks expressions would work better, so you could combine them.

Beauty Pass - 3D apps vendors' jest of a lifetime - most of the time it has nothing to do with beauty, and it isn't a pass anyway.
  09 September 2013
Hi benio33 ,
Unfortunately I am not using any curve here. I am planing to drive everything with particles so i can have a control over its noise pattern & the fading effect on a per branch level. like in this video :

Creating a Static Lightning is not much complicated but to make a more dynamic bolt is bit tricky. My goal is to create something like this :

I am attaching a simple test here. I am trying to emit a particle trail ( Then main lightning bolt) with emit command & creating secondary branches by using emit from object with per-point emission rate linked with a noise ramp. It can be further sub-branched in to third branching level to make it look more complex.
now my intention is to have runtime noise pattern which travels along with the particle trail without loosing or breaking the continuous stream of particle shape. Feel free to tweak & update me ( see the attachment ). Thank for your time & efforts.

- Vik
Attached Files
File Type: zip (13.1 KB, 201 views)

Last edited by viki164 : 09 September 2013 at 06:23 AM.
  07 July 2014
Hello there, sorry if i just interrupt, but I did a small lighthing effect time ago and wanted to share with you guys just incase it can give you some ideas... Its done with particleflow from 3ds max and you can download the scene to test to study it or just play with it.

more explained here:

good luck and have fun
  07 July 2014
Thanks for the share , the Branching is Maya is not that easy. I tried something with nconstraints but it tends to break. Kind of not a very powerful approach to do it in maya besides PFX .
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