This peek behind the scenes tutorial, How to Use Particle FX in LightWave 3D to Animate Rouge Crystal Flow, is a continuation that builds upon my previous blog post: How to use Instances to Animate Rouge Crystal Growth in LightWave 3D.
Once I had the rouge crystals grown on the inside of the pipe surface I needed to animate some of them breaking off and flowing along with the water in the pipe. Because the surface was so crowded with crystals and there would be many loose crystals flowing by the camera in the water, it wasn’t really necessary to break individual crystals off the surface. Instead I could simply have a new set of crystals start behind the pipe surface and move forward through the surface and then turn to move right, in the direction of the water flow. An easy way to simulate this was to use a particle fx emitter set to surface type and applied on a clone of the pipe surface offset slightly behind the original pipe surface. I could then use a wind controller to make the emitted particles follow a curved path. The crystal/fiber models could then be attached to the moving particles using instance generators.
I started by applying a Particle FX Emitter to a clone of the inner pipe surface that had been offset slightly behind the original inner pipe surface that had the crystal/fiber instances applied in the previous blog post. On this cloned surface I changed the following settings on the Particle FX Emitter’s Generator tab:
Group: Rouge: (I used a different particle group for the flowing turbulent water effects)
Birth Rate: 3.0, Generate by: Frame (creates 3 particles every frame till limit is reached)
Nozzle: Object-Surface (so the particles emit from the entire surface)
Particle Limit: 633 (maximum number of particles generated)
Start Frame: 150 (the frame where the crystals start to break off the surface)
I changed the following settings on the Particle tab:
Life Time(frame): 1000 (to give me plenty of frames to use the particles on)
Random Rotation(HPB)-Min + Max for each of H, P, B: 0 (Don’t need to rotate initial orientations)
Random Scale(XYZ)-Min + Max for each X, Y, Z: 1.0 (Don’t need to scale the particles)
Random Spin(HPB/s)-Min for each H, P, B: 0
Random Spin(HPB/s)-Max for each H, P, B: 180.0 (so that they will randomly spin over time)
There was no need to set any motions for the particle FX emitter because the motion would be handled by using an FX wind controller. To create the wind controller I started by adding a null and named it Wind-Null. I applied an FX Wind controller to the new null.
Group: Rouge (So the wind will control the FX emitter that’s already in the Rouge group.)
Wind Mode: Animation Path (Answered Yes when asked “Make path items ?”.)
This creates two new nulls parented to the Wind-Null named handle (1) and handle (2).
Radius: 150 mm
I next moved the four handle nulls in the top viewport to create a wind animation path that moves forward and then curves to the right of the scene and accelerates off screen to the right. The distance between the handles controls the relative speed of the wind and therefore the moving particles. The further the control nulls are spaced away from each other the faster the wind moves between those nulls. So the increasing distance to each successive handle null will accelerate the particles as they move along the wind animation path.
Once all the particles were following the wind animation path I then applied six instance generators, one for each of the crystal/fiber layers in the RougeCrystals model, to the same surface object that has the particle FX emitter applied to it. The instance generators were set up in the same manner as in the previous blog post: How to Use Instances in LightWave 3D to Animate Rouge Crystal Growth.
Type: Particles (rather than surface.)
Weight: 50% (so that each instance would only be applied to half of the particles. Using six instance generators, each set to 50%, makes each particle have a cluster of about three crystal/fiber combinations.
Rotation Min H, P, B: 0°
Rotation Max H, P, B: 360° (so that each crystal/fiber would be generated in a random orientation.)
3D Animation Clips from How to Use Particle FX in LightWave 3D
The following short clip shows the relevant portion of the video that is detailed in this post about how to use particle FX in LightWave 3D to create the flowing rouge particles.
The full 3D animation may be viewed on our online portfolio page for the Astro Pak Derouging and Passivation project.