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Introducing particles

From: LightWave 10 Essential Training

Video: Introducing particles

You've probably heard us talk about particles at some point and I always wondered what they were. It might be a little scary to you to even use them, but they are really quite useful. You can make things like sparks and flames and fire and water and all kinds of cool things like that. But before you do that, you have to learn how to control them. So let's take a look under the Items tab. I am going to come down under Dynamic Object and choose Particle. Now when this panel comes up, you've got two options. You are going to have a HyperVoxel Emitter. That's what HV Emitter means.

Introducing particles

You've probably heard us talk about particles at some point and I always wondered what they were. It might be a little scary to you to even use them, but they are really quite useful. You can make things like sparks and flames and fire and water and all kinds of cool things like that. But before you do that, you have to learn how to control them. So let's take a look under the Items tab. I am going to come down under Dynamic Object and choose Particle. Now when this panel comes up, you've got two options. You are going to have a HyperVoxel Emitter. That's what HV Emitter means.

You also have a Partigon Emitter. Let's just start with the Partigon. You can give it a name but Emitter usually works and we will click OK. When you do that, you get a nice little box right in the center of the screen and then the FX_Emitter panel comes up. To begin, just hit the Play button and particles are generated, that easy. There's not much more to it but what if you want to control them a little bit? What can you do with these? Well, if you look under here, under the Generator, you've got a Birth Rate and you can tell it how often those particles are birthed, how soon they come out.

You can generate that by a Second or by Speed or by Collision, by Wind, but for the most part, you're often going to do it either by Frame or by Second. This is the most common. The Nozzle of how those come out. It could be a Sphere or a Box. The Size Effect, I am usually going to change that from Mass Change and I will show you why. The Key Effect, we are not really going to have any at this point, but you would do it for an envelope value or a parent value. But the Generator Size is important. Now a lot people want to size an emitter down in their actual layout and that doesn't necessarily always make the best alternative.

You generally want to set the size in here. So I am going to go to 0.2, 0.2, 0.2, and why would I do that? Well, let's say you have somebody walking around with a pipe and you want this to be smoke coming out of a pipe. Well, we can't have this super large emitter like a giant fireplace on top of their pipe. You need a little small one. So you change the Generator Size. Particle Limit is how many particles would be generated in total. So 100 particles per second and you have 1000 of them that can be generated. Let's come back here a little bit. So in the Particle tab, you can set the Particle Weight.

Now this might work a little differently than you think. You would think that increasing it adds more weight and in fact it's kind of the opposite. So if I open this up and put more weight, well nothing really happens. The reason is I need to give the particles some motion. So we'll come back to that after I put the motion on. Well, we want them to have a little bit of velocity on the Y. We just want them to come up and look what happens. The default 60 frames can start to get annoying. So let's open this up to about 300 frames, give ourselves ten seconds so we could see things happen.

So, now that the particles have motion on the Y just by increasing the value of the velocity on the Y axis up and down, we can go back to the Particle Weight and the more I increase this weight, the lighter the particles become. If I bring it back down to the 1, you can see they kind of get heavy and they stall. Let me zoom in so we can see that. They are kind of stalled at the top. So the lower that weight value, the more weight is applied to the end of those particles, opposite of what you might think.

Now the speed of this might be a little fast for let's say a pipe, like little smoke streaming out. Well, two things have to happen. First, I need a lifetime. How long those particles are going to be visible as they come out? The default 60 frames actually can work for us, but the plus or minus, we used the plus or minus value earlier in Modeler to create different level of bevels of randomization. Well, you can do the same here. Lifetime randomization could be maybe 20 frames. So, some will last a little longer. Some will last a little less, and now they start dying off a little bit sooner.

Just give it a little more realism. If you go to the Etcetera tab, the Etc, you can change the Gravity and if I just bring this negative gravity down on the Y, well, it really doesn't do much because I'm already putting the velocity up on the Y. What if I put it perhaps on the X? What's going to happen? I am pushing the particles off to the side, just like that. So that can work really well. You have to think in gravity in terms of 3D space.

Don't think of it in real world up and down, but you can have it on the Z, you can have it on the X, and the gravity is just a force we can push the particles to. It's pretty neat. So to make them last a little bit more, we can come back to the Life Time and put that back up to about 90 and now they're actually streaming out just a little bit more. The last thing I want to do is I don't want them to actually start right at 0. If they are right here at 0, and they're starting, I already want them out.

So if I look at my timeline, they start right about the 100, 90 to 100. So what I am going to do is go to Frame 90 and see if that works well for us. You can set up a pre-role. So, if I come down to Fixed in the Generator tab, the Start Frame at 0, I can make -90. So 90 frames of the particle generation has already happened by the time I get to Frame 0 and what happens is that those particles, as soon as the animation starts, are already in place and that works really well. If we want to slow those down a little bit, we can go to Motion tab and we can bring the Velocity down a little bit.

So our initial velocity for the Y is 430mms. We can bring the overall velocity down a little bit and we will rewind and play. Now they travel just a little bit slower. So the interactive feedback that you get from these particles is great. Simply making changes, you can see them right here in layout. Now the difference between this partigon that I have created versus a HyperVoxels Emitter is basically this. If I come down to Virtual Preview Render and we take a look here, you can see that I have got my particles and my overlay.

I am going to turn my Overly off from this dropdown here and while I really can't see anything in here, if I go to the Surface Editor for these partigons and I make them 100% luminance and come back, and I'll put these on 60s here and I press 6 to get to my camera and press T to move the camera in like this, right mouse to move it up and I press F9, I can actually see those little particles. That's great for many things. Little bugs and sparks, but it's not good for smoke.

So, that's the only difference when you, say add dynamic object of particle. HyperVoxel Emitter or Partigon Emitter. Everything else is same except that partigons will render on their own. They are single point polygons. The HyperVoxel Emitter is used to create smoke and we are going to load HyperVoxels to show you that. Initially to get started with particles, it's really pretty simple. Load up the Partigon or the HyperVoxel Emitter and play around with it. Put some motions on it and if you are not seeing a result, move the motion even more.

A lot of people tend to get hung up when they make little changes and they don't see results. So they think it doesn't work. If your value is at 1m perhaps and you go to 1.2 and it doesn't change, well type in a value like 10 and see if you get a really strong change and then bring it back a little bit. Really experiment with those tools, so that you can understand how these particles work.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for LightWave 10 Essential Training
LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5151 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

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