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Dissolving Pill (Particle Help)

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BRIAN
Dissolving Pill (Particle Help)
on Feb 2, 2006 at 10:03:52 pm

Hi. I am fairly experienced at Maya but haven't dealt much with particles (just the basic tutorials)
I have a project where I need to "dissolve" a 3D (Polygon) model of a pill as it travels thru a tube.
The pill needs to start dissolving from the outside-in, getting smaller as it dissolves and travels.
It's the "dissolve" that is the problem... can anyone help me figure this out? I am thinking particles are the way to go?Maybe a specific tutorial or some solid advice? I'd be very grateful.

Thanks,
Brian




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Steve Sayer
Re: Dissolving Pill (Particle Help)
on Feb 3, 2006 at 5:08:49 am

Particles could certainly work for this.

One approach would be to use an animated ramp texture (with some noise) to make the pill surface wipe from opaque to transparent. At the same time, you can use a similar ramp to make particles emit from the surface just where the edge of that transition is flowing.

You'd have to position the camera carefully so we don't see the pill is actually hollow...

A more complex approach (probably too complex) would be to boolean the pill object with some other object, and emit particles from the 'cutaway' surface. As you animate the boolean, particles will always be flowing from the freshly 'carved' surface.

In either case, the effect should be that the surface is dissolving into particles and breaking away. A simple air field (with the 'wind' preset) will make the particles flow away from the object... maybe a turbulence field as well, to noise them up a little.

What the particles themselves look like depends on what your pill looks like... but you'll probably be able to get decent effect with point or multiPoint.

-Steve


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BRIAN
THANK! Dissolving Pill (Particle Help)
on Feb 3, 2006 at 5:16:46 pm





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Ben Insler
Re: Dissolving Pill (Particle Help)
on Feb 3, 2006 at 9:01:07 pm

The hardest part about this (i think) is actually making the pill look like it's getting smaller without making it look too much like it's just being scalled down.

I'd emit particles from the surface (probably hardware points and use a lot of blurring on them in the hardware renderer) as it travels through the tube. That's a long process to get into here, but if you have the old learning maya book (ver. 4-6 will definitely have it) check out the bouncing ball tutorial where the ball collides with the fire and makes sparks - or check out this smoke tutorial below for a starting point:

http://www.painfulurination.com/Tutorial_Cigarette_Smoke/maya_tutorial_cig_...

To make the pill dissolve, I'm assuming that this is a solid capsule, not a gelcap with tiny little balls inside (wouldn't that be fun). I'd go into After Effects and make an animated texture for the pill. Let's say it dissolves over 10 seconds, maybe for the first second the words on the pill are legible but the pill starts to dissolve, then by the end of second two, enough is dissolved so that the words are blurry, then by second three, the words have disappeared, and by second four the exterior of the pill has disappeared revealing it yellow center, the actual medication... who knows.. i'm just throwing stuff out there. I'd create this all in After Effects and then apply it as a projected animated texture over the pill. Then as the pill dissolves over the 10 seconds, scale it down. As long as the texture is a projection, it should not scale down with the pill, so the words won't get smaller on the pill as they dissolve... However the particles, being emitted from the surface, will continue to emit from the smaller and smaller pill until it fully dissolves (at which point you'll have to stop emission of the particles).

Good luck. I'd love to hear how you finally solve this. Post your solution if you get a chance.

Best,
Ben



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BRIAN
THANKS! Dissolving Pill (Particle Help)
on Feb 3, 2006 at 10:51:54 pm

Thanks Very Much! This sounds like a well thought out plan. I like the idea of creating the moving texture in AE first. Seems like it will allow me better control as well as easier to try and re-try different settings vs. rendering everything in Maya (slow).
I will certainly let you know how I make out.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

Sincerely,

Brian



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