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Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(

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David HonanSnow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 6:35:00 pm

Hi from totally dark and freezing York UK :-(

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc53/zymurgy_bucket/snow-effects-not-goo...

The above illustrates my problem but here goes....

With thanks to previous help on this forum I'm getting to grips with "Particle Playground" and for my standards Ive made quite a bit of progress. But here is where I got a bit stuck...

I wanted to mess with Depth of filed and soften the edges of the particles eg feather. Due to my rookie knowledge Ive been a bit over whelmed with the options on particle palygroung (In CC version).

But can anyone advise on how to make the snow flakes do the following:
1. Ones nearerer the screen appear in focus
2. Feather the edges
3. Make it look more 3D, it looks a bit flat.

Any help to make my snow effect look more realistic is much appreciated. And please note for any pro standard critiques out there this is just for fun usage not a Pepsi cola add ;-)

Grazie mille,
David


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Kevin CampRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:17:33 pm

particle playground wouldn't be my first choice for realistic snow... being a 2d system limits it (as you are finding).

you should be able to use property mappers to affect both the size and speed of the particles, which would help to create the illusion of depth, but i can't think of a way to add blur to that (there's no blur in the effect settings).

to fake dof, i think you'll need to create snow on different layers (i'd plan on three layers, foreground, middle ground and background), varying the size and speed of the particles. then add a blur effect to the layers that need to be blurred due to dof.

there are particle systems like trapcode particular that are 3d systems and have dof built into the effect (you might try the trial version). after effects is bundled with particle world, wichi is 3d, but doesn't support dof (at least not in my ancient version of ae).

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Kevin CampRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:21:32 pm

i should also add that you may be able to accomplish the faux dof method more easily with the snow effect on three layers and blur accordingly, but you'll learn more using particle playground.... even if all you learn is how hard particle playground is to use...

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Kevin CampRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:27:15 pm

i should have looked at your sample first... since the camera is moving, the snow movement is likely more towards the camera and slightly falling, so 3 layers really doesn't make for this.

let me think about this for a bit... i'm thinking you might be able to create a system to use as a depth matte for lens blur....

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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David HonanRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 27, 2014 at 1:40:05 pm
Last Edited By David Honan on Nov 27, 2014 at 1:41:05 pm

HI Kev & thanks for taking a look into how to use particle playground to create snow effects. I'm going to have another crack soon and will update how i got on.

Being a rookie I'm hoping by bashing around with particle playground (Or Particle World as suggested) something good will happen!

Grazie mille :-)


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Richard GarabedainRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:29:10 pm

Playground? Why not particle World? which has the depth your looking for. not to mention a texture option, and a floor option.


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Kevin CampRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 11:14:48 pm

yep, i think particle world would be a better way to go. it won't give you depth of field, but being a 3d particle system will give you 3d depth, and will be easier to use and faster to render....

try something like this to get the particles to look like they are falling and moving towards the frame of view:

set grid to off

particle:
particle type = faded sphere
birthsize = 0.01
death size = 0.1
birth color and death color = white

physics settings:
animation = direction axis
gravity = -0.1

producer settings:
position y = -0.25
radius z = 0.5

camera settings:
rot x = 20
rot y = 90

i think that would get you close. again, no depth of field, but much more realistic than particle playground.

you can also enable motion blur (on both the layer and preview)

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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David HonanRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 27, 2014 at 1:42:35 pm

Hey thanks Richard for this suggestion I'll take a look at this soon and will post progress here :-)

Ciao David


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Matthew KeaneRe: Snow effect with particle playground looks lame :-(
by on Nov 28, 2014 at 8:55:57 am

By coincidence somebody just tweeted a link to this tutorial about making realistic snow:


It uses Particular, but if you don't have access to that plug-in, I guess the techniques for camera tracking and moving the particles around could still be useful.


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