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3D Motion Path in Particular - what it's supposed to do but doesn't pull off at all!

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Matthias Noe3D Motion Path in Particular - what it's supposed to do but doesn't pull off at all!
by on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:34:06 pm

Greetings to the herd,

I'm working on the VFX of a short and have encountered a typical issue of "not so easy to do as it might seem at first" on a swarm of fireflies that I want to create. First of all I didn't want to dip too deep into particle simulation with programs like 3D Max because, I figured, it would be like aiming a howitzer on a (fire)fly. Of course I planned to use Particular instead, tempted by their "swarmoffireflies"-preset. Seemed like the odds were totally in my favor on that one. But they weren't exactly. What was planned to do in the shot is a swarm of fireflies starting close at the camera and then moving far back in z-space, finally disappearing behind a wall. Turns out that a motion path doesn't quite work with the firefly preset and certainly not very well in Z space, I believe, the only thing you can move effectively in Z is the emitter. But I don't want to move the emitter to create kind of a firefly trail, I want my particles to move along a 3D path. But what seems to work in 2D, for example in RED GIANT's very own tutorial on the matter - - , is getting increasingly frustrating for me in 3D with my fireflies positions only in X and Y and doiong so in a very 'keyframish' manner (even when using easy ease). Also the swarm seems to get all 'panicy' along the motion path whilst looking quite steady and fireflyish before and after.

Is the firefly preset or particular in general a false friend on what I plan to do or do you guys have an idea for how I could pull that of without using advanced particle simulations in a 3D program...

Regards,
Matthias


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Matthias NoeRe: 3D Motion Path in Particular - what it's supposed to do but doesn't pull off at all!
by on Sep 13, 2014 at 2:45:27 am

To specify a bit more, I did an all hand-animated mood shot if you will of how the fireflies should move along said path.







This was done crudely by handanimating a couple of lens flares' adjustment layers (hence the bit unrealistic motion blur), wiggling their brightness with an expression, whilst due to keyframing of course not having the slightest bit of universal control over them as a 'swarm'. I COULD do it that way, but I'd loose the great looks of powerful, swarmy look that particles create plus not learn something new while doing it. Maybe somebody in here knows how to pull a shot like that off with particles in AfterFX. I feel like a 400$ PlugIn like Particular should do a trick like that easily...


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Michael SzalapskiRe: 3D Motion Path in Particular - what it's supposed to do but doesn't pull off at all!
by on Sep 17, 2014 at 4:49:03 pm

I can't see your example video due to restrictions on the network where I work. However, I can point out that you can animate the world transform properties to make them move without moving the emitter, if that helps.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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