Maya 2009 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating collision events


From:

Maya 2009 New Features

with George Maestri

Video: Creating collision events

Now let's talk about Collision Events. These are events that happen when a particle hits something. So for example, if a particle hits a wall, you may want it to break into several different particles. We can do that using the Collision Event Editor. Let me show you how this works. First thing we need is something to collide against. So I am just going to create a plane, move it up a little bit and then let's go ahead and create a particle system. We are going to create an Emitter, let's go ahead and create balls. I am going to create an Emitter Omni and let's make sure the rate is kind of low. In fact, let's just make it like five particles per second. We are not going to emit a whole lot here and just leave the speed here and just go ahead and create that and move it slightly above the plane, so it will collide with it. But of course, if you want it to collide, you need to select the plane, go nMesh > Create Passive Collider. So I am going to go ahead and expand my frame rate here and let's just go ahead and create a simple particle system.

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Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2009 New Features
1h 40m Intermediate Dec 11, 2008

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In Maya 2009 New Features, George Maestri demonstrates several breakthrough updates in the latest version of this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. He explores the upgrades to the interface and covers soft selection and other modeling tools. George then delves into more complex new features, including the Asset Manager for organizing objects and nodes within a scene; animation layering to blend, merge, group, reorder, override, and add to preceding layers; Maya Muscle, for creating lifelike skin motion; and nParticles, a new particle system. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with the new interface
  • Organizing assets
  • Creating muscles
  • Sculpting muscle shapes
  • Working with nParticles
  • Creating emitters
  • Animating with layers
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Creating collision events

Now let's talk about Collision Events. These are events that happen when a particle hits something. So for example, if a particle hits a wall, you may want it to break into several different particles. We can do that using the Collision Event Editor. Let me show you how this works. First thing we need is something to collide against. So I am just going to create a plane, move it up a little bit and then let's go ahead and create a particle system. We are going to create an Emitter, let's go ahead and create balls. I am going to create an Emitter Omni and let's make sure the rate is kind of low. In fact, let's just make it like five particles per second. We are not going to emit a whole lot here and just leave the speed here and just go ahead and create that and move it slightly above the plane, so it will collide with it. But of course, if you want it to collide, you need to select the plane, go nMesh > Create Passive Collider. So I am going to go ahead and expand my frame rate here and let's just go ahead and create a simple particle system.

That's great. Now, what we want to happen is that when each of these spheres hits the ground, we want it to break up, or do something a little bit more interesting. So what I can do here is select this particle system and go into nParticles and go Particle Collision Event Editor. Now what this has, it has the list of the particle systems in the scene. And what we can do is we can create an event. So we can say when all collisions happen, or the first collision say, we want something to happen. So we want it to either emit more particles, or we want it to split into multiple particles. So let's go ahead and emit a couple of particles, like three or four particles and then down here go Create Event.

Now what this does is as you can see here, you get these particles. I don't know if you can see them all that well, but what happens is, particles start flying off as these hit the ground, and also you can see that these balls disappear and turn into these other types of particles. In fact, we have now two particle systems in the scene. We have the first one which is the spheres, and then we have the second one, which is the emitted particles, and we can certainly change those from dots to spheres, or whatever type of particle we want.

Now let's go ahead and reselect particle one and go back into that Particle Collision Event Editor. So I can select that event and I can delete it. Now let's go ahead and create a new one here. If I want to, I can split these particles. Let's go ahead and create one more. We'll split the particles into say, three separate particles and create that event and let's see what happens now. So now when they hit, they split into three separate particles.

Now if I want, I can select this second particle system and go into the attributes from that and change the Render type to sphere, streaks, whatever. So if you want to make that into spheres, you can certainly do that. So let's go back into this one more time and let's go over it again. So what you do is select your particle, select the event and then select what happens. So one of the things you can do is you can keep going. You can have your initial particle system create additional particles, which in turn create even more particles. So as you can see this can get very complex, very quickly, but it's also very, very powerful.

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