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Old 01-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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carmarthen, United Kingdom
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 16
Thinking Particles as light sources

Hi All, happy new year!

I have a thinking particle setup which I'm very happy with, but I'm struggling with one final detail - Basically I want all the particles to emit light while they are alive.

With a standard particle system, it's possible to just make any light a child of the emitter & hey presto, each particle from that emitter is it's own light source. However this does not work when parenting a light to the null object I have as the host for my TP setup (null, with xpresso tag that includes my nodes - Very simple pstorm with gravity & deflector).

I know I could get the effect I want with a material, but I would rather figure out the most technically correct way to achieve this.

So my question is, can anyone give me some hints or an answer to how to create individual TP light sources, either at the layout level or in xpresso?

Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks
Old 01-03-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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Simon Fiedler
Mainz, Germany
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 242

You have 2 Options:

Option1: The classic way

Open your Xpresso setup and create 2 Nodes. First a pPass node with your particle group (for example ALL if you have only 1 group). Now create a pShape node and conect the pPass to the pShape. Click on the pShape node and drag your light into the pShape node. Now all your particles are linked to a particle shpae (in your case, the light). The final thing you have to do is to create a particle geometry object (simulate->Thinking Particles->Particle geometry). Now you should see your lights in your viewport.

Option 2: The Mograph way

Create a cloner and make your light a child of the cloner. Set the cloner mode to object. Now drag your particle group (for example ALL if you only have 1 group) in the object link field. You find your particle groups here: simulate->Thinking Particles->Thinking Particle Settings. What now happens is, that you clone your light onto your particle group. That's it. If you want several lights, just make them all a child of your cloner.

Old 01-03-2013, 10:40 AM   #3
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Chris Cousins
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Gah, Simon beat me to it - but I made a file so you might as well see it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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Björn Dirk Marl
Technical Design
Maxon Computer GmbH
Friedrichsdorf, Germany
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One more word on option 1, create an additonal Null and switch it to not beeing visible in renderer. Make the shape you want to use (in your case the light) a child of this Null.
This prevents the original shape to influence your rendering.
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The views expressed on this post are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of my employer.
Old 01-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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carmarthen, United Kingdom
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 16
Thanks for speedy responses guys!

In the end I went for the pshape & light as child of a null combination & it's working nicely. Just need to sort my light/render setting to look nice now!

Old 01-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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