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  • Chunny Baker

Dots In Space Virtual Dynamics

Recently have been researching , experimenting and learning about dynamic systems in Maya. Focusing on Fluids and N particles.

Exploring these systems has been exciting and a little daunting as there are many possibilities combinations and settings. I would like to further explore these systems in the future to try and mix different effects together.

Have been using Maya Nparticle system to replicate insects flying out then chasing a object.

Here is a still render of what the final shot looks like.

At the start of this project I looked into various tutorials on Nparticles to get a feeling of how the systems work.

During the first experimenting stage I experimented with particles acting as emitters with this experimenting i created a little firework simulation of particles being shot out of a emitter creating a kind of trail as they go.

This was achieved using the first particles as the base for emitting a second set of particles. This was quite a simple setup.

i tried playing around with modified the per particle lifespan and age to try and spawn new particles on death to simulate the exploding part of a firework. So far i have no luck playing with the per particle emitting at the end of their lifespan.

I was able to set up a basic system in a new file where when particles hit a geometry object to collide then create new particles on collision using the Nparticle “Collision editor.

Throughout this project have been doing things quite inefficiently, looking up tutorials and getting inspired and sidetracked. No real planning of final output just been tinkering as i have been progressing forward. On reflection it would have been better to follow tutorials to get a fell of the dynamics then use that knowledge to create a dynamic simulation of my own. Instead I watch or listen to tutorial while at same time changing the tutorial to see what settings I can get working that can suit my own project or to see what happy accidents can occur.

In the end i am happy with the overall look of the simulation, but many of my over the top ideas and experimentation didn’t quite pan out as expected. The overall simulation turned out to look a lot simpler than the amount of work i tried and put into the is simulation.

What i have learned playing with the Nparticle system.

Expressions can be handy to tweak and modify the look and feel of the particle system to create more complex or dynamic simulations, The other side of that coin

expressions can become pretty complicated pretty quickly.

Maya can cycle animations into loops using the animation menu and the graph editor this is a super handy feature can explore later.

The particle instancer doesn’t like to use Animated mesh as a instanced object in 2017.

To overcome the instancer not liking animations you can instance a sequence of different models to simulate an animated object, similar to blend shapes.

Particles can be driven via fluids, and visa versa.

Fluids can be used to interact and morph n cloth.

You can create pretty complex systems with a mix of collision events and small amounts of code.

Arnold doesn't support streak smoke type particles.

Arnold cant do a batch render have to use the sequencer instead.

Can set a initial state of particles and simulations so the simulation can start from the initial state.

Particle systems can be rendered as geometry which can create unique bobby type meshes. This can be used to create organic type of Terran,

You can pin vertex of a mesh so it isnt affected from solvers if it is a rigied or passive body.

Ambient lights not supported in Arnold.

More updates to come.

Thanks for reading


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