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Particles filling a lung

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Matthew ChildsParticles filling a lung
by on Mar 6, 2013 at 10:17:20 pm

Hey Creative Cow,

I'm having a tough problem.

I need particles (Just general white particles that I can add glow/color to in AE) to flow down a trachea into two lungs as a character breathes in. The particles spread out into the lungs, and while he's holding his breath, the particles are spinning in a vortex like fashion in 3 dimensions as they start to settle. A couple seconds later, the character breathes out and the particles need to rush back out the entrance they came in and out through the mouth in zed direction.

The lungs are rendered out with C4D and nulls are placed in key areas so I know where objects are in 3d space. The camera movement is also exported as well.

In pre-vis, I assumed that this would be easily done in Particular... and when I couldn't crack it in there, I headed to Motion... then C4d... and couldn't find a comfortable solution in any of them.

At my disposal I have:

Apple Motion
Adobe After Effects
Cinema 4D broadcast edition
and cash to burn if a plugin is necessary.

And for the record, I am totally willing to dampen down what I'm trying to do, if the particles need to be in 2D, thats fine. If they could just enter the lungs and float around, I'd be okay with that as well. I don't care what kind of backwards dirty methods are used at all!

IF YOU'VE READ THIS FAR thank you for reading!! I really appreciate people who take time out their days to help others. I will pay this forward!!


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Particles filling a lung
by on Mar 6, 2013 at 10:28:31 pm

One thought is to use Newton, from Motion Boutique, a phyics based particle system which is pretty simple to grasp, and very powerful:

They just released Newton 2, and it's got some amazing new capabilities. To get the Brownian Motion you want in the lungs, it would be pretty simple to set the particles for inside the lungs to have low gravity, and little mass - that should get you going. Look at the demos on the site, and see if it will do the trick. You'll probably have to set up a couple of different systems - the Trachea ones separate from the lungs ones, and maybe masked off in different layers.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Kevin CampRe: Particles filling a lung
by on Mar 7, 2013 at 1:03:21 am

you might look at foam or particle playground. both are 2d, but can use a layer map to direct particles, so you could create matte-like image of the lungs and produce particles within that matte.

to produce the exhale, i think you'll need to disguise a transition in there and then run the particles in reverse.

if you haven't used either before, to save time, quickly run through a tutorial or two... particle playground in particular is not too intuitive.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Kevin CampRe: Particles filling a lung
by on Mar 7, 2013 at 1:11:22 am

actually, in particle playground, you can use a mask as a 'wall' that the particles will bounce off of, so you can aim a canon producer down the trachea and then the particles will bounce around within the lung shaped mask...

i'd still check out some tutorials though, as you can further affect the particle with layer maps... possibly creating a repeller to create the exhale.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Vishesh AroraRe: Particles filling a lung
by on Mar 7, 2013 at 7:18:12 am


As Joseph said, Linking Particular to Newton is an option. Though you have to go through a lot of experiments as it is totally Physics based system and you should have a little bit knowledge of terms used in it.

Check the tutorial:

Also make sure that you are comfortable with it and its interface.

Try the Trail Version first. It is Fully Functional:

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra


2011 3D Demo Reel:

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Ridley WalkerRe: Particles filling a lung
by on Mar 7, 2013 at 2:09:35 pm

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the very old-school Foam effect.

Using a Flow Map in the shape of the lungs would restrict the particles motion to that area.

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Matthew ChildsRe: Particles filling a lung
by on Mar 11, 2013 at 7:11:30 pm

Thanks everyone. This has definitely given something to work with. I love that plugin Newton!

I will probably end up using a mix of all solutions provided. Thank you again! I will pay it forward!

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