Okidoki… I seriously doubt I will have the time to finish this for the deadline, but it’s such a cool topic I can’t stop thinking about it - so I’ve decided my not finishing won’t come from not starting.
For starters, I’ve decided NOT to look at any other FXWars Avalanche threads during my working on this, to avoid being unwillingly inspired by other entries. I don’t know if I can control my curiosity, but for now, that’s my guideline.
Second, here’s my definition of the avalanche I will simulate:
The terrain where avalanches are spawned and live. Ie, a snow avalanche would continue to evolve as long as it has a snowy slope to travel down. If it was to reach a plan of grass, asphalt or water, it would die out, from lack of new material to throw around. My AVALANCHE TERRAIN will be a snowy mountain side (very original).
The first number of AVALANCHE ELEMENT(S). Triggered intentionally by the scene creator, me.
Tumbling elements, which, when then land on AVALANCHE TERRAIN, die, but spawn A NUMBER (for now defined as an average of three, with some degree of variation) of NEW AVALANCHE ELEMENTS. This will result in a chain reaction, and a growing avalanche. The speed of spawned avalanche elements will vary, but they will to some degree inherit speed and direction.
To achieve the look of a huge snow cloud, each AVALANCHE ELEMENT will leave a TRAIL of PUFFY SNOW in the air, much like a MISSILE. This snow is for the rendered look only, and will NOT have force to push things around.
To improve the look of the avalanche, each impact of an AVALANCHE ELEMENT on AVALANCHE TERRAIN will also spawn a handful (for now, an average of 5, with allowed variation) of ICE CHUNKS, inheriting speed and direction just like the newly spawned AVALANCHE ELEMENTS do. Much like the PUFFY SNOW, the CHUNKS are mostly here for the look of the avalanche, and will not spawn new elements on any impact. (they MIGHT, however, continue to BOUNCE until they come to a stop. I will decide on this later)
Unfortunate objects like timber, masonry, local plant life, or vehicles, that might be in the path of the avalanche. They will be pushed around by the avalanche elements and the chunks.
Affects all of the above. (duh)
One possible exclusion might be the PUFFY SNOW. Technically, that should be affected too, only slightly, but in this short animation it might work best just to ignore it.
AVALANCHE ELEMENT -> AVALANCHE TERRAIN
Will result in instant death of the avalanche element, but spawn new avalanche elements and chunks.
AVALANCHE ELEMENT -> OBJECT
Will result in simulated physical impact between the two, and the OBJECT will be pushed about. Since this might result in the avalanche element coming to an absolute STOP before falling to the ground, then causing a magic “fountain avalanche” of new avalanche elements popping mysteriously into the air, I will define that the avalanche element DIES on impact with an OBJECT. But for the sake of drama, it should go out in a blaze of glory, and spawn a new HANDFUL OF CHUNKS.
PUFFY SNOW -> OBJECT
Has NO EFFECT.
I am aware that the SNOW should theoretically “flow around” objects like air, instead of intersecting through them. I will look into this later, as I sense the “correct implementation” will bring any machine to its knees.
CHUNK -> OBJECT
Will push the OBJECT AROUND like AVALANCHE ELEMENTS do. However, unlike the avalanche element, the CHUCK will continue to live, and bounce off of the object. No new spawning will take place.
OBJECT -> OBJECT
Will bounce off of each other, and push each other around.
AVALANCHE ELEMENTS, PUFFY SNOW, and CHUNKS
Have no collission effect on each other.
There… that was my beginning. I’m still only in the theoretical phase, and have not yet started a scene.