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Grass blowing in the wind

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Chris Duranko
Grass blowing in the wind
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:56:31 pm

I've been surfing the forum's for some help on this effect but I can't find anything. So I guess I will post it. Basically I have a very large panorama shot of the exterior of a building. I have done a real soft camera pan across the whole scene, and added some wind effects to the trees in the scene.

Basically what I have been trying to accomplish is to create a particle system that creates small pieces of grass that appear to be blowing in the wind. I guess I should have started this by saying, I do have trapcode's particular, and I know how to create custom particles that look like grass. I'm more struggling with a convincing "blowing in the wind look"

Any help?

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Grass blowing in the wind
on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:05:34 pm

I suppose you want this to look photorealistic, too.

Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the work.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Grass blowing in the wind
on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:13:28 pm

What Dave said.

However, I may have some options for you.

You would want to use a custom particle in a precomp, animated in a loop going back and forth. (Don't forget to make your last keyframe one frame past the end of the comp.)
Then, in Particular, choose to have your custom particle start in a random place and loop.
This won't quite have a correct grass blowing in the wind look because in real life it's more wavy then random. I used to live in the country and could look out my window onto fields of grass and it looked almost like the ocean.

You could, instead of using Particular, just use a lot of grass layers tied together with expressions. "WHAT?!?!?!?!" you say? Check out this tutorial. It will give a very natural wave look and you can control how much like one's neighbor a layer behaves. I would suggest moving the anchor point of the layer to the bottom and using a noise() expression tied to the z rotation. You'll probably want to create several different-looking grass layers and then duplicate the ever-loving crap out of them.

- 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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Chris Duranko
Re: Grass blowing in the wind
on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:38:28 pm

I will give it a shot.
Thanks so much

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