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Setting position of particles?

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Samuel HintonSetting position of particles?
by on Jan 6, 2017 at 6:04:05 am

Hi guys,

I've been tasked with creating some visualisations of galaxy surveys for my cosmology group, and at the moment I have simply written some python code to output plots, which I animate manually, and have manually had to code additive blending. It is not ideal. Video in question is here:

I would like to move to AfterEffects using some particle system (inbuilt/particular/other), because it would make life a thousand times easier. However, I cannot find a way to manually set particle positions. I have the x,y,z coordinate of each particle, and can save them out to csv or any format, however I cannot find a way of importing those positions into AE and using them in a particle system!

Does anyone know of a way to do this?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Setting position of particles?
by on Jan 6, 2017 at 4:14:54 pm

Key consideration: you can't modify the mass of particles, and gravity affects all particles the same way.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Walter SoykaRe: Setting position of particles?
by on Jan 6, 2017 at 4:16:40 pm

I don't know of any particle system for Ae that lets you manually place particles; they all work based on emitters or arrays.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

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Shawn MillerRe: Setting position of particles?
by on Jan 6, 2017 at 7:12:46 pm

Hey Samuel,

It sounds like you're really trying to generate a dense point cloud. You might not be able to do this with a particle system, but you might be able to do it with a 3D tracking system like Syntheyes, Boujou, PfMatchit or possibly AE. You already have the coordinates of the objects you want to represent, so you just need to put them in a format that a 3D tracker can understand. After that you'll need to shade those points, but I imagine you could just generate a mesh from those points and then render the vertices - maybe using something like Trapcode Form.


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Samuel HintonRe: Setting position of particles?
by on Jan 8, 2017 at 4:39:01 am

Hi all,

Thanks for the suggestions, especially to Shawn. I was able to export my points manually to an obj file and import that using Trapcode form!


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