Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating a particle animation

From: LightWave 10 Essential Training

Video: Creating a particle animation

Creating particle animations is not as complex as you might think. The first thing you have to decide if you want a particle to be a Partigon Emitter or a Hypervoxel Emitter. Partigons are going to be used for little sparks, fireflies, little things like that. But if you are going to do something more dynamic with smoke and flames, it's probably good to create a Hypervoxel Emitter. So let me do that. In the Items tab from the Add category, I'm going to choose Dynamic Object and I'll click that and choose Particle, and then we're going to choose Hypervoxel Emitter, not Partigon.

Creating a particle animation

Creating particle animations is not as complex as you might think. The first thing you have to decide if you want a particle to be a Partigon Emitter or a Hypervoxel Emitter. Partigons are going to be used for little sparks, fireflies, little things like that. But if you are going to do something more dynamic with smoke and flames, it's probably good to create a Hypervoxel Emitter. So let me do that. In the Items tab from the Add category, I'm going to choose Dynamic Object and I'll click that and choose Particle, and then we're going to choose Hypervoxel Emitter, not Partigon.

For the Name, we'll just leave it as Emitter, but you can put in there anything you want. When you click OK, the Hypervoxel Emitter enters into the layout. When you hit the Play button, you can see the little particles are automatically generated. We're going to extend our scene to about 200 frames, just to give it a little more life, and then we have to decide what we're going to do with this. Well, I want to create a nice little stream of smoke for you and this is going to be just moving up on the Y axis a little bit, little soft streaming smoke. So let's give ourselves a little bit of room here.

I'm going to click and move this Layout down just by clicking and holding on the Move tool on the top right, and I'm going to leave this playing. Now one thing I want to show you, and we're going to clear this out. What's kind of neat with these particles is that it will record real time. So I've got my Move tool selected and I'm just going to move this around like this. Use my right mouse button to move it back too. Then when I let go of the mouse, LightWave actually recorded those movements, because I have my Auto Key on.

So let's pretend you have just some kind of dust you want coming off of an object. You literally can do nothing more than parent this to an object that's already moving and those particles will react to the 3D world. That's it. I never set any parameters at all, just added an emitter and moved it around. So just kind of a neat little thing you can do. So let's pause that. Now to get rid of all these keyframes, here is what we're going to do. I'm going to move back to 0, open up the extended Timeline, and from the second frame all the way to the end, I'm going to select those just by using my left mouse over them.

Then I'll right-click and I can see clear selection or better yet Delete Keys, and let's get that 200 frame done too. We don't want that one. I'll hit Delete Key, because that was a motion key that we did not need. So now we're back at 0 and we'll leave this playing so that you see what's happening. The Birthrate is set to 100. The Generator Size is fine. For Particle, we'll just work out right through the tabs. Particle Weight, we'll leave on its own. But I want the Life Time to maybe about 160 frames and maybe a falloff of about 30, meaning that some will die at 160, some will die a little sooner, just a randomization of when those particles will end.

You don't want them just automatically stopping. For the Motion, Velocity is okay. But let's give it some motion up on the Y and you could just drag it to look, but let's try and be a little more calculating. My Grid Square is set to 1 meter. That means every grid is 1 meter in size. The larger darker grids are 10 meters. So 8 or 10 meters might actually be doing it for. So hit 8 m for meters and you can see this particles shooting out the top. I'm going to zoom out so you can see them. But you see that little cluster at the top? That has to do with the Particle Weight.

Well, we don't really want that. So I'm going to increase the Weight also to about 10, but now it's going really fast, more than we want. Okay, so we're going to come back to the Motion tab. Bring the Velocity down maybe to 4 now and you can see that it works a little bit better for us. I'm going to take this Velocity, the general Velocity, and bring that down to about 30. Now we've got good timing for that, not too much, and then we can bring this back up a little bit.

So when you're working with particles, you're often going to jump around a little bit in between both. Now I like how it looks. I like the speed of it. It's pretty good for a little smoke, but I don't like the starting and stopping. What if my animation is going longer? Well, right about here, just like 190, it's already starting to die off. Well, what I'm going to do is bring my Timeline all the way back to 0 and in the Generator tab, I'm going to click Fixed, and hit the Start Frame of -180. Or 190.

But that will make it already coming out at Frame 0. Now what happens is that those particles are just on throughout my animation. However, there is a problem when I get to 200. The particles end, I don't have enough. Okay. Well, back in the Birth Rate at 100 and the Particle Limit, we'll just need some more particles. Well, I can change it to maybe 2000, and then you'll see the particles not end or if I bring it back to 1000, where it was, and I change my Birth Rate down to about 50, that will give me more time, so not as many particles are coming out as quickly.

That's something I want to do too, because you don't often need a ton of particles when we put our smoke on there. In fact, you can bring this down to about 25 if you want, just so you have a good reference of particles. So a nice little spattering. The next thing to do --and I'll leave this playing so you can see it. Come over to Etc tab. You can play with the Gravity, and we'll push a little bit on the Z, maybe a little bit negative on the X, just like that just to give it a little bit of a turn as it comes out. Under Rotation, well, we're not doing anything.

If we're doing smoke, that would require Align to Path. But if we had more of a motion path in there, we can have those particles follow it. Under Interaction, we're not interacting with anything, but you could put on a Push, a Bounce, or a Drag if we had other items in the scene. Now we're not going to do any File type stuff right now. This is where you can actually save out these particle motions, and same with the EditFX. Now the EditFX are a little bit different. Let's just say you have one rogue particle that you don't want. You can click the Edit tool.

It allows you to click on any one of these particles like this, and it gives you a number. Each one of those actually has a unique number and then you can simply delete that particle. So it's a great way just to edit particles, especially when you're doing more collisions and interaction. So the last thing for the Motion, what we're going to do is play with the Vibration and Explosion. So if I change Explosion to 2, it spreads that out. Explodes that as it comes out. Vibration, not quite what you might think. If I change that to 2, it gives sort of this little random appeal.

So they're not coming out as even. If I did that, then maybe I'll bring Explosion back down just a little bit. Now we've got just more of a general random smoke coming out, but there is not any smoke yet. There will be. So setting up a particle animation is not that difficult. Using the interactive display will always help you and a matter of using Explosion, Vibration, and Velocity can create the very nice effects you need for just about any type of particle animation.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for LightWave 10 Essential Training
LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5142 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 22s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Working with projects and setting the content directory
      2m 3s
  2. 46m 20s
    1. Understanding the LightWave 3D interfaces
      1m 50s
    2. Exploring the Hub
      1m 54s
    3. Understanding 3D space
      1m 13s
    4. Working in Modeler
      6m 49s
    5. Working in Layout
      4m 48s
    6. Selecting elements
      5m 31s
    7. Identifying the elements of a 3D model
      5m 26s
    8. Using the Numeric panel
      3m 10s
    9. Using layers
      8m 38s
    10. Using the Statistics panel
      2m 52s
    11. Working with menu and keyboard configurations
      4m 9s
  3. 22m 49s
    1. Working with geometric shapes
      4m 21s
    2. Using Extrude
      5m 11s
    3. Building with Bevel
      3m 47s
    4. Working with Polygon Bevel
      6m 4s
    5. Editing polygons
      3m 26s
  4. 34m 37s
    1. Understanding subdivisional surfaces in LightWave
      3m 20s
    2. Comparing Subpatch with Catmull-Clark subdivisions
      2m 18s
    3. Creating a basic model
      4m 27s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      3m 50s
    5. Adding detail to models
      6m 39s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 13s
    7. Recapping subdivisions
      6m 50s
  5. 48m 42s
    1. Working with EPS files
      3m 24s
    2. Correcting EPS errors
      6m 13s
    3. Creating 3D text objects
      8m 1s
    4. Building objects with curves
      10m 6s
    5. Exploring Rail Clone methods and uses
      5m 13s
    6. Exploring Rail Extrude methods and uses
      2m 49s
    7. Modeling with Array
      4m 42s
    8. Using Symmetry
      8m 14s
  6. 56m 24s
    1. Understanding the Surface Editor
      10m 56s
    2. Comparing the Surface Editor and the Node Editor
      5m 12s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      5m 11s
    4. Editing surfaces
      4m 39s
    5. Understanding the Texture Editor
      6m 22s
    6. Looking at image map textures
      4m 29s
    7. Using procedural texture options
      7m 40s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      4m 39s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      2m 43s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      4m 33s
  7. 42m 2s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      1m 26s
    2. Importing, loading, and working with objects
      8m 29s
    3. Organizing a 3D scene
      8m 48s
    4. Working with different light types
      9m 25s
    5. Lighting a 3D scene
      6m 39s
    6. Employing environmental lighting
      7m 15s
  8. 22m 27s
    1. Understanding LightWave cameras
      8m 25s
    2. Setting up a camera in a scene
      7m 6s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      3m 27s
    4. Animating cameras and camera elements
      3m 29s
  9. 38m 23s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      3m 9s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      6m 9s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 44s
    4. Using motion plug-ins to enhance keyframes
      5m 15s
    5. Animating textures
      7m 37s
    6. Enhancing scene animation with displacement maps
      7m 29s
  10. 36m 58s
    1. Introducing particles
      7m 29s
    2. Creating a particle animation
      7m 21s
    3. Working with Hypervoxels
      9m 6s
    4. Going a step beyond with particle animation
      8m 8s
    5. Replacing particles with items
      4m 54s
  11. 21m 58s
    1. Understanding dynamics in LightWave
      1m 27s
    2. Setting up a dynamic scene
      4m 21s
    3. Animating cloth
      2m 39s
    4. Building collisions
      6m 16s
    5. Creating a hard dynamic scene
      7m 15s
  12. 27m 30s
    1. Understanding bones
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding skelegons and when to use both skelegons and bones
      4m 4s
    3. Placing bones in an object
      6m 10s
    4. Fine-tuning bone placement and activating bones
      3m 51s
    5. Setting up Inverse Kinematics
      6m 37s
    6. Working with rigged characters
      3m 34s
  13. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      2m 21s
    2. Setting up a render project
      6m 50s
    3. Determining the proper anti-aliasing filter
      4m 24s
    4. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      7m 57s
  14. 4m 8s
    1. Exporting an object
      2m 13s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      1m 55s
  15. 1m 0s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 0s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed LightWave 10 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.