Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Scatter and Displace, part of Element 3D Essential Training (2013).
In this tutorial, we're going to look little more closely at the scatter and Displace features of the Multi-Object functionality in Element. Here's a little example that I created using Scatter and Displace. So, in the last movie, we kind of looked at just basically how to use the core features of Displace, what that can do, and the obvious thing is that you can blow up objects, and scatter those pieces, and that looks all fine and dandy, but there is a difference between scatter, and displace, and you can use it to create cool gathering effects like this as well, which is what we are going to look at here.
I have also added some cool other effects, like depth of field, ambient occlusion, and lighting, all that kind of stuff. We'll talk about that later on, but for right now, again, scatter and displace is the order of the day. So I am going to go over to Scatter and Displace Start. I have already added a Light, and a Camera, and an Element for you, but we need to set this up. So, I'll go to Scene Setup, and go to the Starter_Pack, and add that chessboard again, and what we are going to do is use the Multi-Object feature. So, you don't need to separate these into separate components and different groups like we did last time, so we'll leave this all on one group, Group 1, and click OK.
Now, you instantly notice the light here; the different that that light makes. There is before, that's how it is regularly; just one little parallel light makes all that difference. It's beautiful. And we are kind of zoomed down here pretty far, but I am going to leave it like that, so we can really see what we are doing here. I am going to open up Group 1, open up Particle Look, open up Multi-Object, and Enable Multi-Object, and then again, we have all of these new parameters in the Multi-Object area. Now, you'll notice that there is Displace XYZ, and there is also Scatter XYZ.
There is also a Displace Amount, and a Scatter Amount. Now, the difference between displacement and scatter is that displacement is more uniform. So let's say, for example, I'm going to displace X here. As I displace this X, you see that it's a uniform adjustment, or uniform displacement along the X-axis. I'm just going to undo that. But as we scatter X, it goes also along the X-axis, but it's all over the place. All those different components are going all random.
So it's a same thing on every axis. So, Y is the same way; displace is uniform, and Y scatter is just kind of all over the place. Now, something to be aware of is that when you displace an axis, or whether you scatter an axis, the transformation happens from the center, so that might not be what you want. So, in this case, as I scatter Y, the chessboard goes up through the pieces, and you might not want that.
So, in this example, the final example, I had to deal with that as I was dealing with scattering the pieces along the X axis, and the Y axis, and displacing them. So, if I select this Element layer, and press the letter U to see all of its keyframes, you can see that I scattered the pieces along the X and Y-axis; that's side to side, and up and down. And what happened was that these pieces were intersecting the chessboard. So then what I had to do is to displace to compensate for that. So, if we go back over to Scatter and Displace, you will notice that I have scattered these pieces along the y-axis, but again, the chessboard goes through the pieces, ao to correct that, I need to go back to Displace, and adjust the Displace Y, and so those pieces are no longer intersecting.
So, I find that even if I want to just scatter pieces randomly, I'll often use Displace as well to help offset things that are messed up with Scatter. So again, these kind of work hand-in-hand. It's kind a push-pull type of thing sometimes as you're working with Displace and Scatter. If you're looking for something clean, and more uniform, Displace is the way to go, and again, if you want crazy chaos, Scatter is the way to go. Now I am just going to reset the Scatter and Displace Y parameters, and you'll notice that there is a Displace, and a Scatter, and this is kind of like Displace XYZ and Scatter XYZ all in one.
So, if I Displace, then it's kind of like a uniform spread apart, which is, again, good for, like, a uniform kind of gathering like that. Let's undo that. And of course, Scatter is the same thing, except it's super chaotic, and all over the place, so everything just kind of goes all random. But again, once you scatter something, or even displace it, it's frozen like that in time, so you could go over to a camera move, for example, I'll select the Unified Camera Tool, and click around, and we can actually move through this, because it's just frozen that way in time.
So, it's a great way to create maybe stopped time, or maybe Matrix-like effects, where objects kind of explode, or maybe they gather together. Kind of a cool trick. But again, just remember if, when you are scattering things around, if things don't quite line up like this, you might need to offset things with some extra displacement to get things the way that you want them.
- Assigning objects to groups
- Adjusting basic object transform properties
- Creating 3D objects from text and masks
- Working with bevel presets
- Creating custom materials
- Adding illumination
- Creating bumps with normal maps
- Using replicator shapes
- Animating with the animation engine
- Creating a shallow depth of field