Lava Palaver

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  10 October 2005
Lava Palaver

(Also posted on Postforum)

Hereís a nuggety little problem thatís been keeping me awake nights... I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

Iíve been asked by a client to create an animation as follows:

Imagine an amorphous blob kind of like what yo get in a 70s lava lamp. For the sake of argument, lets say itís yellow. Now, also floating around are several simple shapes, say a cone, a pyramid, a cube and a sphere each a different color.

now imagine the blob attracts and absorbs the cube so that as it approaches the surface of the blob, the cube becomes less cubic and more blobby, while at the same time the colour of the cube, say blue, is absorbed into the blob which becomes green, sort of like mixing paint.

So colored shapes become absorbed into the blob like mercury, and in reverse, the blob spawns other primitive colored shapes each time their colours and shapes mixing and merging.

Itís kind of hard to explain, but itís for a logo sequence for a product where the customer can mix and match components to tailor a custom solution.

So can anyone think how this might be possible. My first thought was naturally Mettaballs, but I immediately ran into a couple of problems. Firstly using anything other than spheres under a Mettaball object seems to create ďlumpyĒ geometry, and secondly, it doesnít seem possible to use multiple materials inside a Metaballs object.

Iíve also played around with Boolean objects inside HyperNurbs without much success, animating the objects being booled seems to cause the HN smoothing to jump and jitter around.

Then thereís the small matter of the material colors. Iíve experimented with proximal, but canít get it to mix colors together so Iím guessing this will have to be done with expresso.

So all in all, Iíve failed miserably. Any lateral thinkers and/or technical geniuses out there have any bright ideas Iíd be eternally grateful.

Thanks all

Linds Redding
Dept. of Motion Graphics

C4D 9.101 Mac OSX 10.3.9[I][B]
The Department of Motion Graphics
Auckland, New Zealand

Find something you really love doing,
and you'll never have to work again.

Last edited by Linds : 10 October 2005 at 11:07 PM.
  10 October 2005
sounds like this may be a job for a combination of Thinking Particles or Realflow and 2d Compositing. Animate the objects coming towards each other, do the same with blobby versions then morph in post the results at teh right moment, you shoudl be able to get a pretty good effect. Also for the textures check the use of proximal (and maybe even go and check JeremyW's site as he's produced a lot of interesting proximal/blending/metasurface stuff )
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  10 October 2005
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