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Hiding non-colliding objects

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Hiding non-colliding objects
on Jun 6, 2006 at 8:33:26 pm

Hello all. I was hoping I could get your input on an idea for an animation technique
that I’ve been tinkering with.

What I want to do is simulate a pixel-like look in 3-d. I was thinking that
I could make a large stack of small poly cubes in a grid-like configuration,
and then have an animated character move through it. What I would then want
to happen would be to have only the cubes that the character’s geometry
intersects with be visible, and have all other cubes in the stack be invisible,
effectively making a character completely made out of tiny cubes.

Here’s a quick thing I drew to try to crudely illustrate my idea:

People I’ve spoken with have suggested that I do something involving
particles that are regenerated on the surface of my character for every frame,
and whenever one of these particles collides with one of the cubes in the stack,
that cube is turned visible. I’m not sure if that’s the best way
to go about doing this, as I’m not sure what other kinds of information
Maya can output regarding geometry intersection.

Any input or advice you guys and gals could give me into the best way to make
this idea work would be much appreciated. Ask me if you need any questions or
clarifications; it’s even kind of confusing to me (hence my asking). Thanks!

- David

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Steve Sayer
Re: Hiding non-colliding objects
on Jun 6, 2006 at 9:39:08 pm

David, this is a really interesting idea.

I think that particles are definitely going to play a role in the solution. I'm not sure if the best solution will involve a set of particles on the surface of your character, or a grid of particles existing in the world.

In general you can use a particle collision event script to do all kinds of powerful things; read up on that section in your help files. Are you comfortable with some MEL scripting? I think it's most likely going to be a requirement.


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