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Best way to approach this?

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Sally Podein
Best way to approach this?
on May 9, 2018 at 8:20:30 pm

I'm trying to figure out the best way to create this animation. I thought of several comps of butterflies animated and then adding them into a main comp and using a mask on the head to create the empty spaces. Is there a simpler way?


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Eric Santiago
Re: Best way to approach this?
on May 10, 2018 at 3:20:08 am

You kinda just said it.
Have the butterflies fill up the area to make up the shape.
You can use an animated mask to finish it off.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Best way to approach this?
on May 10, 2018 at 3:35:14 am

The trick with these "transformation" effects is that the butterflies have to fill up the head entirely AND the shapes of the butterflies alone must define the edge of the head before they take flight. (otherwise you end up with a dissolve at some point, which can work but its not as effective as the head entirely made of butterflies).

Hand animating some of the butterflies works the best (and some can be a particle system).
Make sure one or two of the cluster elements is a set of butterflies oriented so that their edges define the shape of the head. That's going to be a little hard to do over the dome of the head (the wing points can make the nose and the wing edges will make the straight neck). But you can alter the butterfly shape of a few key butterflies so they start with rounded shapes (to make the head) and then animate to become their regular shapes as they fly off.

Its better to have way more than just enough butterflies to cover the head - once they start to fly off you loose the shape of the head pretty fast so if some of the inner ones (that don't define the shape of the head) can get going and leave the head first, you get to see the shape it was and the shapes its going to end up being at the same time and it becomes an animated Escher.
Doing this all with a particle system is doable but hand animating a good number will give you the exact look you want. Particles are harder to wrangle individually.



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Eric Santiago
Re: Best way to approach this?
on May 10, 2018 at 11:33:25 am

When mixing particles and traditional (yep I said it), careful with your particle resolution.
You will drive yourself crazy trying to match the pixelization of one to the other.
Just to add, do the old backtrack animation (good luck with particles on this one) where you set the pose first then work backward.

Wish you luck it will be fun :)


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