I want to fly through field of particles which animate on when they are close to the camera. At the moment I have an animated cloner which works as my particle, however the particles all sample the cloner at the same time i.e. all particles are sampling the same frame at the same time. I figure I could simply change the particle group when they are close to the camera, on being born I want each particle to play through the cloner animation from frame 0, so effectively each particle has its own 'time'. Is this possible?
Can you describe how you want the cloner/particles to animate in a little more detail?
I can't think of a way to trigger keyframe animation based upon proximity to the camera, though it may be possible (not an Xpresso guru).
But here's something that may work:
Create one copy of your cloner in the initial state and another in the end state. Put both cloners in another cloner with clone count set to 1, with the method set to blend. The orignial state cloner should be the first child.
Reference the parent cloner as your particle.
Apply a plain effector to it with all parameters off and modify clone set to 100%. Give it a spherical falloff and place it in the position of the camera and then make it a child of the camera.
Now, as the camera moves through the particles, the plain effector will cause the particles to morph from the start state to the end state.