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Creating a streaming water effect off of the tip of an airplane wing

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troye bolin
Creating a streaming water effect off of the tip of an airplane wing
on Mar 30, 2014 at 4:53:30 pm

I thank the community in advance.

I have a video sequence of a plane flying through a rain storm. I made the plane as a 3-d model in Sketchup, animated it with my 3-D Conexxion mouse and Fraps, then added a stormy backdrop image and rain with CC Rain and Mr Mercury. I want to finish the illusion with a stream of rain droplets shedding off the far end of the wings. This will be particularly nice as I have the plane spiral.

My questions:
Can I make the stream with Trapcode Particular? I am not clear how to make it a straight line of particles that tracks with the tip of the wing in X-Y-Z dimensions over the time of the sequence as the plane recedes from foreground to background. Am I correct in believing I would start by making a particle emitter with a diminishing size over its life and associate it with a null object and light? Also, and this is the big mystery to me, I do not know how to get it to track to the wingtips? If I can do this, how can I create the spiraling trails for when the plane spirals?

Any help is greatly appreciated!


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John Cuevas
Re: Creating a streaming water effect off of the tip of an airplane wing
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:52:07 am

I think this tutorial on motion paths might help you out.

Red Giant QuickTip #25: Aligning Particular Motion Paths

Long time ago, I saw a tutorial on faking a wind tunnel using particular and the puppet tool, but I can't seem to find that one anymore, but that might be a method you might want to try also.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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troye bolin
Re: Creating a streaming water effect off of the tip of an airplane wing
on Mar 31, 2014 at 1:13:54 pm

Thanks John, I had viewed that tutorial earlier in my planning stage for this effect and just didn't see how relevant it is. I took your advice and re-reviewed it and I see how much it will get me to my spiraling plane effect.

I am wondering if there is a way to pin the emitter to an object, or does After Effects require me to keyframe each movement? The Puppet Tool would be nice if this was more static, but I think I need something more dynamic to pin the emitter to the wing tip throughout the space and time in the sequence. Would this be done by assigning Parent/Child relationships? This is something barely familiar to me but I would learn it or anything else recommended to achieve this pinning solution.

I assume After Effects has this pinning capability and I just have not found the tutorial. Maybe I am wrong. It would be like users thinking there was a Rotobrush function back when AE only provided Rotoscoping.


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John Cuevas
Re: Creating a streaming water effect off of the tip of an airplane wing
on Mar 31, 2014 at 2:12:58 pm

Do you have positional data for the object? If so, you need to use a couple of simple expressions to your emitter.

I made an example project with a light and wiggle expression. For the emitter, you would make an expression like this, where you alt+click the emitters Position XY to start the expression, type in x = and pickwhip the object's X position value, then do the same for Y:

x = thisComp.layer("Light 1").transform.position[0];
y = thisComp.layer("Light 1").transform.position[1];

[x,y]


For z, you don't even need variables, you can just pick whip right the Z position and get:

thisComp.layer("Light 1").transform.position[2]

You should be able to copy those expression and replace the "Light 1" with the name of your object to pin the emitter. Here's the project where I did this... 7314_emitterposition.aep.zip

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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