11/16/12

Particle instance tutorial

particle instancing
Particle dynamics is a wonderful addition to the 3d software. In Maya you can create a wide variety of effects using particle dynamics. Instancing is the commonly used method to create mind blowing Hollywood effect and motion graphics. In Maya particle instancing is easy and more productive. You can control the instancer using custom expressions and attributes. This technique gives maximum freedom to technical artist to create whatever he like to do. But these possibility can be achieved only if you know Maya well and some scripting.

In this half an hour length video tutorial you will learn the basics as well as some advanced functions of Maya particle instancing. This tutorial is more towards motion graphics but using the same technique you can create debris of blast and other possible instance of dynamic object. Please note that this tutorial skips some basic of dynamics and collision attributes because those are not necessary for this tutorial.

Software               Autodesk Maya
Difficulty              Intermediate. If you know how to manipulate Maya this tutorial can be easily followed.

Topics covered

· Creating the particles and emitter
· Emitter attributes and manipulation
· Controlling the particle life and number
· Controlling the behaviour of particles using fields
· Instancing the custom meshes/ objects with particles
· Precautions for instancing
· Controlling the instance attributes such as object index, scale and rotation
· Adding both creation and run time dynamic expressions to particles
· Caching the particles
Must note,
All the instancing meshes or groups should be placed at the base of the grid i.e. 0, 0, 0 co-ordinates and their transformation should be frozen.

Expressions used,

For random object index, replace “text_particleShape” with your particle name.
Creation expression
text_particleShape.rand_obj=rand(0,6);
For instance rotation
Creation expression
text_particleShape.rand_rot=rand(-360,360);
Runtime expression
text_particleShape.rand_rot+=10;
If you are adding custom ramp to any particle attributes, make sure that you are using custom float attributes rather than array attributes. See I have created float attributes for custom scale value and connected with ramp. If it was a vector attribute the scaling will be at any one of the axis.

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