Pflow is a very flexible system and will allow most users to acheive most effects most of the time. However, some times you will quite simply hit a brick wall and need to find a solution. Thats where scripting comes in. Also, somtimes you may want to try something beyond the initial scope of pflows core operators. Again this is where scripting comes in.
To be honest the same goes for much of Max, and indeed CG in general. I would really recommend going through the pflow scripting tutorials that can be found on Bobo’s site.
Each of those tutorials demonstrates a basic feature of scripting with pflow and if you read through those tutorials and the associated scripts you will see that you do not have to be a scripting ninja to script in pflow. (and indeed I am not, and I did)
First steps are try modifying Bobo’s scripts to do something similar. Or maybe combining them. After doing these tutorials I was able to start thinking of doing my spider script.
The idea behind the spide script is to show that you can drive the animation of particle by using various particle paramaters. In my example I’m using the speed of the particles to controll the animation speed of the spiders legs. However it would also have been possible to animated the spiders heads, palps or abdomens and have these animate based on proximity to food for instance or maybe to each other i.e. spider passes by on the left, and it looks over at it. If someone wanted to they could have taken this idea and created a crude kind of flocking system with it?
I recently also did a sample script that would take 200 pre-made omni lights, position them based on particles (omni_01 = particle1 positon etc). And then modify their hue and brightness based on the speed of the particles. It could be easily modified to modify the hue based on proximity to an object or maybe on size?
Anyway, there are a world of possibilities there, it just to be taken on board. Have an open mind and have a go. If you fail you don’t have to tell anyone?