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Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded

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Jonathan Decker
Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 7, 2005 at 4:43:44 am

I've been playing with the particle illusion program a lot at work, and have been very impressed with the expandability of the emitters and such. I was just handed a project which includes a shot that calls for a large crowd of people extending into the distance. Because of time and budget we obviously aren't going to be hiring extras in that number for the shoot, and looking of the paperwork right now, it appears that no extras have been hired for that scene at all. For time's sake I'll have to finish this before this post gets replied to, but I thought I'd share the idea anyway. I'm going to create this crowd using a few green-screened shots of crew members and such and compositing them in combustion; however, wouldn't it be cool if there were some emmiters for Particle illusion that had random numbers of people milling about! If it's possible to do (it has to be, the asteroid field is animated to a certain degree, so are those crabs and fish) I'd love to see some one create a people emitter. Maybe I'll try my hand at it if I get time next month.

gesamtkunstzwerk


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Glenn Moore
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 8, 2005 at 6:36:27 am

I asked about that very thing about a year ago. I wanted to create a crowd like you see in those mega movie battle scenes. You could change the emitter to a short animation of a person but that would be tricky to keep the scene integrity. I haven't figured it out yet. Thee are ways to do it apparently with very expensive software that I will not be buying.


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Elvis Deane
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 9, 2005 at 3:05:34 am

It's possible, it's really just a question of getting the right footage to use as the particle shapes, a nice 12 or 14 frame walk loop with a number of different people. The tiny basement room I have my greenscreen is in doesn't allow me to pull the camera back far enough to get an entire person photographed, otherwise I'd give it a try.

--
Elvis Deane!
The particleIllusion FAQ
particleIllusion Resources and tutorial CD
Astounding Adventures


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Glenn Moore
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 9, 2005 at 3:16:13 am

Is it possible, then, to have them generate from other than 1 point? I assume you can stretch out the start point so they appear to be side by side or walking 5-10 abreast rather than single file first.

You know , Elvis, your solution is simple. just buy a studio. let me know if I can be of further assistance :-)


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gwwils
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 10, 2005 at 2:46:36 am

You might try creating some figures in Poser, if you have access to that program. I did it with just a few frames and a couple of different figures and created a mass of writhing bodies for a Dante's inferno type scene. In Poser you can set the amnimation for as many frames as you want, vary the costumes and movements, and shoot your figures against a blue or greenscreen background before you import into PI3. I haven't tried it with AVI footage yet, but maybe I'll give it a try. Good luck in your project.


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Aharon Rabinowitz
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 10, 2005 at 3:14:32 am

you don't have to do it in front of a green screen. You can just render out as a TGA sequence witrh alpha.

Also, check out the "People in motion" at Marlin Studios. It's a CD of image sequences of people in motion that you can use in a 3D program. they give away 2 for free at the website.

Aharon Rabinowitz
arabinowitz(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
http://www.allbetsareoff.com
http://www.pIllusionFusion.com


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Glenn Moore
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 10, 2005 at 3:18:41 am

I do have Poser. I hadn't thought about using that. What format did you render to?? Did you make an animation or rendered stills?


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gwwils
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 12, 2005 at 10:58:14 pm

My first effort was just using a series of bitmaps (stills from poser with each pose slightly changed). Recently, I experimented with a 30-frame AVI file of an ancient Sumarian warrior walking, against blue screen. When I ran it through PI3 I generated a huge army of these guys all walking at different speeds. Worked pretty well, but so far I can't figure out how to keep some of the figures from popping in and out of view. If anyone knows how to control this, please let me know.


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Glenn Moore
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 13, 2005 at 1:55:53 am

What size file would that generate if you upped it from 1 minute to 3 (90 frames @ 30 fps)? Did you use 30 frames per sec or shorter?

If you crerate a, say, 10 second walk (or other action) cycle, @ 30 fps, and PI generates a hundred of them that wouldn't increase the file size by 100 would it? If the original Poser file ended at 5 MB, would using PI to create a hundred of that cycle mean the file size would be about 500MB? is the problem file size or processor stress?

This is intiguing me now. I haven't had a chance to try this myself but i will. Just wondering why you'd need to restrict the action to such a short peiod.


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gwwils
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 16, 2005 at 12:28:04 am

The 30 frame walk cycle AVI file I used was 1.71MB (exported from Poser using a 320x240 format, Microsoft AVI codec). I substituted the AVI image into the "stage lights" emitter (Alan Oct-Nov 2000 library) then tweaked it til I got it the way I wanted (I finally got the figures to stop popping in and out). Now I have an army of these guys marching at slightly different syncronizations (so not in "lock step" and looks more realistic). I can let it run in PI3 as long as I want and seem to have no problem with slowing.

However, I tried a longer(19MB) Poser AVI file of a knight swinging a sword, and PI3 ground to screeching halt, so smaller is difinitely better when using AVI files. I haven't yet tried using multiple AVI files within the same PI3 shot, but I'm still experimenting.


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Glenn Moore
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 16, 2005 at 3:05:50 am

That's good news. keep me posted. I plan to try this out too. Thanks


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Elvis Deane
Re: Particle Illusion is about to get Crowded
on May 16, 2005 at 3:40:49 am

Something you may want to try: Rather than rendering out of Poser at 320x240 or a standard video size, render your images with values to the power of 16 (256x256, 512x512, 256x512). pI won't end up shrinking the characters or making you crop them when you import them in as shapes later on.


--
Elvis Deane!
The particleIllusion FAQ
particleIllusion Resources and tutorial CD
Astounding Adventures


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