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Particle grid build from elements floating down screen.

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Adam Seeley
Particle grid build from elements floating down screen.
on Sep 3, 2012 at 3:58:51 pm

Hi Guys & Gals,

First new post here. I've gleaned much information from many of you in the past though so thanks for that already.

I have a six minute filler piece that I would like to create procedurally in After Effects rather than pre-rendering out first. 21,600 images of anything is a drg to deal with. I use Softimage and could create it fairly quickly there but would like to keep it live in AE if possible.

I need to fill the screen with a grid of particles/snowflakes (1000 or so) that drift down one by one with a bit of randomness involved. e.g. a bit of turbulence as they drift down.

Dodgy image to demonstrate:

I'm not sure of the best way to do this. Expressions?, scripting? (would have to learn how to do it within After Effects), handy plugin?, included plugins?

Any pointers much appreciated before I trawl through Particle World/Particular/Particle Playground tutorials etc.

Many thanks,

Adam Seeley.

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Andrey Sibiryakov
Re: Particle grid build from elements floating down screen.
on Sep 4, 2012 at 11:50:32 am

All I can think out, is to create a grid out of particles and then wash them out by turning on gravity or wind and reverse the vid.

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Adam Seeley
Re: Particle grid build from elements floating down screen.
on Sep 4, 2012 at 1:25:35 pm

Think I may have found a way to skin this particular cat. (particular - geddit?)

If I:
1. Apply the Explode effect & use Hexagon shapes for nice placement.
2. Turn off the actual forces so we're just using gravity.
3. Create a vertical grad (a Ramp with a bit of fractal noise)for use in the Gradient Layer.
4. Animate the Shatter Threshold over time.

This lifts all the elements away pretty much one by one over time. Shove it into a pre-comp and Shift+R to reverse the timings and it builds from the ground up.

Only down side is that the gravity influence makes the velocity start slow and accelerate, so in reverse the individual flakes slow down before they land. Ideally a Speed limit for the elements would solve that.

Also, I have to create an image with the snowflakes in the right place to match the tiles.

I'll try and upload a comp & project when done.



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