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overriding effect maximums/accumulating particles

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Matthew Woodsoverriding effect maximums/accumulating particles
by on Nov 10, 2010 at 6:49:05 pm

We have an attract screen for a museum piece we are working on where we want the screen to slowly fill with particles like an hourglass over the course of 4 minutes. I am trying to figure out some way to achieve this effect.

I first tried using trapcode particular, but while I can have the particles land on a surface, I can't have them land on each other, and thus accumulate. I ran across a previous post about a similar subject that suggested using the built in foam plugin. I have been experimenting with it, and it almost does what I want (though its very hard to control, and some of the particles don't seem to respond correctly to the controls). The particles do accumulate nicely though.

One critical sticking point however, is that the particles have a maximum lifespan of 1000 seconds. Is there any way to override this? I'm running CS5 and have lots of memory so hopefully the machine could handle it if I could tweak a pref file somewhere.

Barring that, does anyone else have any other ideas on how to achieve this effect. I might just have to use an expanding mask over an animated texture, that the particles dissolve into. Accumulating particles would look much cooler though.

Thanks,

-Matt


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Walter SoykaRe: overriding effect maximums/accumulating particles
by on Nov 10, 2010 at 6:59:58 pm

[Matthew Woods] "One critical sticking point however, is that the particles have a maximum lifespan of 1000 seconds. Is there any way to override this? I'm running CS5 and have lots of memory so hopefully the machine could handle it if I could tweak a pref file somewhere."

You could precomp your foam layer and use time remapping to slow down the animation. Of course, you'll need to adjust some particle settings to compensate.

Walter Soyka
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Kevin CampRe: overriding effect maximums/accumulating particles
by on Nov 10, 2010 at 8:02:28 pm

you can actually just time stretch the foam layer within the main comp.

add a marker (or trim the layer) at 1000 seconds, then use time stretch to fill the duration of the comp.

it may make it easier to adjust the settings this way.

also, the lifespan may be frames not seconds, but i'm not sure....

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Matthew WoodsRe: overriding effect maximums/accumulating particles
by on Nov 10, 2010 at 8:17:33 pm

I meant 1000 frames. I misspoke. Thanks for tip though. This may be working. I think its probably easiest to render out a 1000 frame comp, then time stretch the rendered version. I'm still having to do a lot of setting tweeking, trying to get it to fill the frame by the end, but the particles do pile nicely, and its starting to look cool, and I think it might work. My comp is starting to get very heavy towards the end... :)

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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: overriding effect maximums/accumulating particles
by on Nov 12, 2010 at 5:42:30 pm

Once the cycle is completed, couldn't you just freeze the sequence, rotate it so that it's upside down. Then start from frame one again to get a more natural loop going. besides, attract loops are usually meant to be loopable.

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