11 November 2011  
Scholar
Dan Sidi
BskyB
London,
United Kingdom

A little vector maths help, please !!!
Hi there,
I am attempting to write an expression which puts motion vectors into rgbPP for regular Maya particles. I got as far as this:
which does indeed do the job, just as long as the camera is pointing exactly down the zaxis. Fine, but of limited use. Now I need a bit of help with some vector transformation maths. Ideally I want to get the motion vectors to work from my camera, whatever direction it is pointing. I think I can get the unit vector to the camera:
(is that right???) I think I need to multiply the inverse of this unit vector by the particle's velocity but I am not sure how to do that. (I should have paid more attention to my maths teacher in that hot summer of 1976...) Any help would be gratefully received ! I should also let you know that I have no Python at all (yet) Thanks Dan 
11 November 2011  
A newbie
portfolio
Zohar
Wellington,
New Zealand

I didn't understand what you are trying to do. Are you trying to project 3D vectors to the image plane (viewed from the camera)? If this is the case, then you should use the inclusive matrix inverse of the camera, and the projection matrix.

11 November 2011  
Scholar
Dan Sidi
BskyB
London,
United Kingdom

transform world velocity to "Screen Space"
Originally Posted by zoharl:
I didn't understand what you are trying to do. Are you trying to project 3D vectors to the image plane (viewed from the camera)? If this is the case, then you should use the inclusive matrix inverse of the camera, and the projection matrix.
Hi Zoharl, Thanks for your message. Basically what I am trying to do is to recreate the mv2DToxik motion vectors from scratch, and sticking them into the red and green channels of the rgbPP of a particle. This is so that I can render out motion vectors without having to instance an object to the particle. Here are my results: particleeffectstips.blogspot.com/2011/11/motionvectorsforhardwareparticles.html What I am missing is a way to get the particle velocity in 'screen space'. Is there a way to 'transform' the velocity of a particle by the camera position or aim direction or some vector operation or matrix operation (which I have little understanding of) so that I can get the velocity of the particle 'relative to the camera' ? Thank you for your suggestion. I tried to access the worldInverseMatrix but it looks like it has 16 components. How can I use that ? Thanks for your help, it is appreciated very much 
11 November 2011  
A newbie
portfolio
Zohar
Wellington,
New Zealand

Sorry, but I'm not familiar with 'mv2DToxik motion vectors', so if you would be able to define your problem more abstractly (math / physics) maybe I could be more helpful.
But I think if you take two points in 3D space and convert them to image space (screen coordinates), you'll be able to convert your vectors as you wanted. In graphics we work with homogenous coordinates. Which means that our matrices are 4x4, and we convert our 3D vectors to 4D adding 1 at the end of the vector: (x,y,z) > (x,y,z,w=1) To convert a 4D vector back to 3D, you'll need to divide by this last coordinate: (x,y,z,w) = (x/w,y/w,z/w) For an accurate behavior the worldInverseMatrix won't be enough, you'll also need the projection matrix. Needless to say that in python your life would have been much easier. Anyway see if these following links help you: http://www.185vfx.com/2003/03/conve...spaceinmaya/ http://xyz2.net/mel/mel.087.htm 
11 November 2011  
car unenthusiast
Will Earl
craftsperson
Grizzly Country,
Canada

This mel script might be handy as far as converting a 3d point into screenspace (I use the procedures in it whenever I need screenspace stuff)...
http://www.185vfx.com/resources/screenSpace.mel The thing to do would be for each particle to query it's 2d position at the start and end of each frame  once you have that screenspace vector, then calculate it's length  that should give you what you want  although I'd be tempted to say doing this over lot's of particles is going to be slow in mel. 
11 November 2011  
Scholar
Dan Sidi
BskyB
London,
United Kingdom

Originally Posted by zoharl:
Sorry, but I'm not familiar with 'mv2DToxik motion vectors', so if you would be able to define your problem more abstractly (math / physics) maybe I could be more helpful.
But I think if you take two points in 3D space and convert them to image space (screen coordinates), you'll be able to convert your vectors as you wanted. In graphics we work with homogenous coordinates. Which means that our matrices are 4x4, and we convert our 3D vectors to 4D adding 1 at the end of the vector: (x,y,z) > (x,y,z,w=1) To convert a 4D vector back to 3D, you'll need to divide by this last coordinate: (x,y,z,w) = (x/w,y/w,z/w) For an accurate behavior the worldInverseMatrix won't be enough, you'll also need the projection matrix. Needless to say that in python your life would have been much easier. Anyway see if these following links help you: http://www.185vfx.com/2003/03/conve...spaceinmaya/ http://xyz2.net/mel/mel.087.htm Hi Zoharl, Thanks for your speedy reply! As I am trying to do this coordinate conversion in a MEL expression, I don't know if Python would be much use anyway. So, if I have a particle with worldVelocity = << Wx, Wy, Wz>> to convert that to image space I need to, er, make that into a 1x4 matrix, then multiply that by the camera's WorldInverseMatrix, and then... um... oh, just take the first three values of the resulting matrix and that should be the ScreenSpace velocity vector. Here goes...
So far so good. It looks like it is working. http://particleeffectstips.blogspot...particles.html Thanks again, Zoharl, you have been very helpful indeed ! 
11 November 2011  
Scholar
Dan Sidi
BskyB
London,
United Kingdom

Originally Posted by earlyworm:
This mel script might be handy as far as converting a 3d point into screenspace (I use the procedures in it whenever I need screenspace stuff)...
http://www.185vfx.com/resources/screenSpace.mel The thing to do would be for each particle to query it's 2d position at the start and end of each frame  once you have that screenspace vector, then calculate it's length  that should give you what you want  although I'd be tempted to say doing this over lot's of particles is going to be slow in mel. Hi Earlyworm, Thank you for your reply. I've been staring at 185vfx.com for quite some time now and I think some of it is seeping in. It does indeed look like their code is the key to solving my problem. Thanks for the tip and yes, I have one million particles so it will take some computing grunt to get through them all. Cheers ! Dan 
11 November 2011  
A newbie
portfolio
Zohar
Wellington,
New Zealand

Just note for future reference that you can execute python() command from mel, and thus execute a python code. This is one way to python from expressions.

11 November 2011  
Expert

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