Multiple Materials on a single Particle Cloud

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  09 September 2012
Multiple Materials on a single Particle Cloud

Hey Guys... First time poster in this Maya forum. I've dug around a bit and am trying to find a workflow that will aid me in assigning multiple materials to a single point cloud.

I am pulling off a fireworks effect, and its broken into stages,
1) Main Rocket
2) Trail off of main rocket
3) Explosion on death of primary rocket particles at end of life
4) Trails off of explosion particles

I should mention, I'm using Softimage ICE to create the effect, as trying to do simple things like spawn particles at end of life, which is a single node in Softimage, and a bunch of Mel in Maya, makes it a bit cumbersome to manage on the Maya side.. at least for me. I had been looking for some way of killing a particle at end of life without resorting to Mel, but couldn't find a way. Thats another story,..

I can push the single point cloud containing all of these into Maya using the Send to functionality, but there is where I am stuck.

I can't quite determine how to break up the single point cloud into these 4 stages for separate shading effects.

In ICE, I would use State ID's as a way of separating the effect, and I would assign shaders using the state ID.

I can cache State ID as an Attribute in ICE to bring to Maya, but I am not sure where I would proceed from there..

I know its a bit of a shot in the dark, especially considering I'm using Softimage and Maya together, but I was hoping that at least for the shading side of things, someone on this forum would be able to point me in the right direction, if only for the methodology you would use to assign multiple shaders to a single cloud..

As a backup, I can spawn particles into separate clouds in ICE, and can bring the 4 separate clouds into Maya and then shade from there, but I was hoping to contain all of the functionality of my system in a single ICE tree on the Softimage side if possible.

Many thanks for any thoughts..

I imagine I'll be posting in here quite a bit more, and I don't want to come off sounding like a Software flyboy.. I am just looking to understand the Maya particle system a bit more, as its workflow is substantially different than the way I'm used to working in ICE.

  09 September 2012
Hey Again.. I'm still looking for information on how to assign different particle shaders to the different stages of an effect, and haven't had much luck finding answers. Am I to assume, that you simply can't do this in Maya? I find that hard to believe..

For a point of comparison, the two links below explain my situation and how I would go about solving it with ICE and the render tree.

I would be so happy to find an equivalent type setup in Maya. donState.htm

Thanks for any replies...

  10 October 2012
Hi again.. I thought I would push this to the top again, my last post must not have gone through. I have been digging around and still haven't been able to find information that would suggest I can assign multiple shaders to a single particle cloud to account for the different stages of an effect.

If I can't, I will go the multiple point cloud route, but would just like to know if the above is possible?

  10 October 2012
You could possibly create a customPP variable for each particle with the state it belongs to, then use an array mapper for each of the material properties (color, opacity) for each state.

If you are after different shaders you might be able to drive them with a few switch nodes and particleSamplerInfo to get the appropriate state.

Having them separate may be easier though for tweaking later, especially to use all the different particle types.
  10 October 2012
Thanks for the thought JM.. I will look into it. For this project, I will just go with multiple clouds, but definitely want to look more into the suggestions you've made.
  10 October 2012
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