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- Working with particle forces and the Emitter object
- Using Thinking Particles with the MoGraph Tracer
- Understanding the Dynamics engine
- Combining Thinking Particles with Dynamics
- Creating dangling objects with spline dynamics
Skill Level Beginner
In this exercise we're going to combine MoGraph, Dynamics, and Thinking Particles together. I've got a very simple scene with a Cloner object that has been made Dynamic and I'll hit play. And this is pretty much the same setup that I created in the previous movie. What I want to do is create a situation that when these spheres collide with the plane, they generate a particle, and I can use that particle as position information to make a little disc show up where they land. It's going to be used for making footsteps or little bullet holes and things. There's all kinds of really cool things you can do with it.
So let's rewind back to zero. We need to have a Thinking Particles Emitter in the scene, but we need to have a very special kind of Emitter. Let's go to the Content Browser, and I'm going to change the View to a List and let's go into the Presets and then under Studio and then Simulation and then Thinking Particles. Then under Presets, we're going to go to Dynamics. And we want to have a TP Dynamic Collision Emitter. So let's grab that, double-click on it to bring it into the scene, and let's go into the Object Properties.
The way this works is that we're going to have a particle shape, and that's going to be the little disc that's going to get created every time one of these spheres collides with the plane. Then you have Collider A and Collider B. And A is going to be the actual clones themselves and the B is going to be plane object. So wherever A and B touch, it's going to generate one of these little particle discs. So let's make the disc. Let's go to the Primitive Objects and add a Disc Object into the scene, and the disc can sit right there in the middle of the scene. I'm going to in fact add a Hider object. Let's make it Null and call this one Hider, and let's drag that down to the bottom of the scene and then put the disc into that hider.
And then I'll make both dots on the Hider Object red. I'll hold the Alt or Opt key and click twice on those dots. Now, let's apply this material to the disc so the disc is really obvious color when it gets created. Now, we can go back to the Collision Emitter and we can put the disc into the Particle Shape field. Let's put that in there. Now remember, with Thinking Particles, you'll never actually be able to see a particle in the scene rendered unless you add a Particle Geometry Object. So let's go to the Simulate menu > Thinking Particles, and add a Particle Geometry Object.
In the TP Dynamic Collision Emitter, we need to have Collider A and Collider B. Let's go and add the Cloner as Collider A and then add the plane as Collider B. Let's rewind back to 0 and hit play, and you'll see that as soon as we do that, those little planes get generated. In order to see what's happening here, let's hide the plane. I'll hold on the Alt or Opt key and click twice on these red dots to make the plane invisible.
Let's zoom in on that just a bit, and you can see that the discs in fact are being created, but they're facing the wrong direction. So let's go to the disc and under the Object Properties, change the Orientation to -Z. Now, when we rewind and hit play, we'll see-- and we'll wait for one of those balls that come into frame--and you can see that the discs are actually being created flat now in the same direction as the plane. Let's back out just a bit, and then we'll rewind and hit play.
Now, you'll notice that the discs are popping off. They literally only exist for one frame, and that's controlled by the Dynamic Collision Emitter. Let's click on that, and you can see that underneath the Emitter Properties there's a lifespan of only one frame. Let's make that higher; let's make it 90 frames. Now when we rewind back and hit play, you'll see that the particles will now live for a much longer time. We'll actually be able to see those guys when they hit the ground, and this is a really fun look. Let's zoom in on that and look at it from up above.
I'll deselect the emitter to get rid of those rotation bands, and let's hit play and stop it right about there. Let's do one more thing. And on the Dynamic Collision Emitter, if we scroll down, there is under the Advance Option, a Size Variation, and we can make these a little bit bigger. And don't worry; nothing is going to happen here. And let's change the variation a little bit so we get different sizes. Now, let's rewind back to 0 and hit play.
I'll stop it right around frame 84 or so. And you can see that's a lot more fun-looking. If I render, Command+R or Ctrl+R, you can see that it looks like these balls are sitting on little droplets of paint. So that's a really fun look that you can create with Thinking Particles and Dynamics. The combination of these tools is really only limited by your technical ability and your imagination.
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