particle experiment


I’m trying to create the following effect with maya particles.
in reallife when you have a lot of superfine metal debris on a paper and you put a magnet under the paper, the metal particles all come together sorted on the magnets magnetism fields or move away from the metal source.

reallife example from top:

How can i create such an effect in maya. I really dont know where to start because al the particles are layout in 3d directions and also placed on top of each other.

Thank you for any direction!

gr. Dennis


I’d construct it out of semitransparent NURBS or poly ribbons rather than particles.


Or if you needed them animated, consider goals and animating the goal weight via textures. Could be daunting… best of luck!


is it not possible to automaticly generate such paterns instead of modelling? Modelling would take me very long with al those fine elements, and animating them would be an absolute horror i guess… or am i thinking the wrong way?

The goals is indeed to animate it.

i thought i replace particle with different small objects and let them behave on fields. But how would you let the particles place each other on top of them through the fields. it’s not only the x + y directions, the particles are also lay’d out in y direction.

Another idea: script paint those objects on an plane thats driven in y by an displacementmap. the objects from the script paint tool have nurbs circles and lines for random goals. Then it’s animating those.

what do you think? the best way in my eyes is to create something that those paterns are autmatic generated so you can experiment with composition and animation instead of painfully layout everything. it’s more an experimental thing to learn and observe.


I did not mean to suggest doing it by hand, but instead scripting it.

– Mark


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