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Maya Particle Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with the forces


From:

Maya Particle Effects

with Audri Phillips

Video: Working with the forces

In this movie, we are going to talk a little bit about fields. Now fields are ways that you can in dynamics make particles move. There are many different types of fields and I fully encourage you to explore them all, try them all out. In this little movie we'll just try out a few and show you how they work. And you notice I've got some hot glowing particles with a very hot shade on them right now that we will kind of play around with. So you see my particles are basically coming out of two different emitters in this scene, there they go. And to apply a field to a particle, I just simply select the particles and I go Fields and I go Gravity. And I can go Edit > Reset Settings always to get myself back to the defaults. And I'll call this grav and it's going in the Y direction on the Y-axis -1 for gravity. I don't have a volume shape on this and I'll hit Apply. And let's see what happens.

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Maya Particle Effects
2h 8m Intermediate Jun 11, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Particle effects can be used to create everything from realistic smoke and light to abstract design elements. In Maya Particle Effects, Audri Phillips demonstrates the particles she has found helpful in her work creating dynamic visuals for video games,film and fine art. This course goes deeper than the basics, tackling topics like saving time by reusing MEL expressions, implementing physics to create realistic effects, and manipulating paint effects to give particles the look and feel of an envisioned design. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with particle emitters and fields
  • Instancing paint effects and geometry to particles
  • Using Maya particles to produce graphic design elements
  • Using the relationship editor, creating particle collisions and collision events
  • Creating realistic effects such as smoke by emulating real life physics
  • Rendering and exporting final projects
Subjects:
3D + Animation Particles Visual Effects
Software:
Maya
Author:
Audri Phillips

Working with the forces

In this movie, we are going to talk a little bit about fields. Now fields are ways that you can in dynamics make particles move. There are many different types of fields and I fully encourage you to explore them all, try them all out. In this little movie we'll just try out a few and show you how they work. And you notice I've got some hot glowing particles with a very hot shade on them right now that we will kind of play around with. So you see my particles are basically coming out of two different emitters in this scene, there they go. And to apply a field to a particle, I just simply select the particles and I go Fields and I go Gravity. And I can go Edit > Reset Settings always to get myself back to the defaults. And I'll call this grav and it's going in the Y direction on the Y-axis -1 for gravity. I don't have a volume shape on this and I'll hit Apply. And let's see what happens.

Look at that. These are going down and these are going down a bit. And let's increase the Magnitude to say like 30, and now I will start going down more, for 40. Now I am going to do something else. I am going to get back to the attribute editor of it and I am going to pick a Volume Shape for the gravity and I am going to take a Sphere. Always our emitters, by default, are always formed right at the origin. So here is my gravity field right there. I have just turned it into a sphere shape. And let's blow it up a bit, so that you can see it.

Click it again. There is our emitter right there. Now I am going to move it out here. It should only affect these particles that go within its boundaries. And I probably have to really put up the Magnitude of them to really have it affect to those particles because we are moving so fast. And let's see what happens. You can see they start to go down a little bit and let's increase the Magnitude to 300 and you can see as the particles come to the spheres they start going down. And these particles here are not at all being affected by this sphere. However, if I was to move this sphere over, these particles would indeed them be affected by this sphere.

Now the other way that I can do with this is Volume Exclusion, which would mean everything outside of this sphere would get affected by it and everything within the sphere is not being affected. Now I am going to play around with another aspect of Gravity and that would be Attenuation. Most fields have Attenuation. And let's find that. The Attenuation is 0 right now, which means no matter where the field is it should have an affect on the particles, and the Magnitude is 300. Now if I make the Attenuation 1, for example, that means the effect it has on the particle is going to diminish the further the field is away from the particles. And you can see it's already been diminished. It's not affecting these particles as much. And if I move it even further away, for example, from these particles it should affect them less too. Move it further away and up.

It's affecting all the particles less the farther away it is. And of course once again the closer I move the field to the particles, the more it affects on them. And you can keyframe this, like in Maya you can keyframe almost everything. You can keyframe the Attenuation as well. And it can be a number higher than 1. Generally, you would work with it for between 0 and 1. 0 meaning no matter how far the field is away from what it's been assigned to, it will affect it. And 1 is diminishing. The bigger the number it is, the less force it has on whatever particle that's been assigned to it, the further away it is from it.

Now I am going to pick another field and assign it to the particles. But before I do that, I am going to go into the Window > Relationship Editors and Dynamic Relationships, and I am going to turn the Gravity field off for these particles. Just by unclicking, it's now off. But I want to assign another field to it. And I'll just pick Fields. Well let's try Newton, for example. It's formed at the origin and I am going to put up here. It's Magnitude of 50. Let's see what happens there. Not much of a pull.

These are going a little bit towards it. Let's increase its Magnitude, they are pulled more to it, and let's make it 500, and definitely things are going more towards this Newton field as I increase it's Magnitude. The Attenuation is 1. If I made the Attenuation 0, so then everything is really going to it because it is at full force, no matter where it's playing for itself. And of course I can move the Newton field around. The particles will fall wherever the Newton field is. So you can see that you could keyframe the Newton field itself, the position of the Newton field, as well as keyframe its Magnitude, Attenuation, and all these other things.

So we are going to try out one more field in this section. Before we do that, we are going to remove the Newton field from this and then we are going to try to apply a Radial field. Reset Settings to get it back to its default and I will call it rad. And Attenuation 1 and Magnitude of 5 and I'll hit Apply. Once again it's at the origin. Now the Radial field is interesting because what it does is it pushes objects away from a point if the Magnitude is positive. And if the Magnitude is negative it will pull them towards it. Let's go here with this. Not much is happening yet so let's increase the Magnitude of this to 40, for example. See what I've got going.

And we might have nothing going because let's see if our particles1 have that on it and let's increase the Magnitude of this. It's only at 5. Let's make it 100 and that's got to do something to it. Sometimes I forget to hit Enter and then it doesn't do anything. There we go. That's what we like. So it's pushing particles away from it. And let's try -100 and it's pulling particles to it, all right. So then they are going out in the other direction.

And go 100 and it pushes them away and once again, you also have your Attenuation settings that you can play with as well. And you also have shapes, a whole selection of volume shapes that you can play with Attenuation on. So I do encourage you to play with your forces and fields, and have a good time.

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