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Distribute particle paths evenly

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Ryan Hannebaum
Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 3, 2018 at 6:52:28 pm

This isn't about spacing the creation of particles out evenly (e.g. for a dotted line), FYI, as I've seen plenty of posts about that. This is about distributing their paths/trajectories evenly around/from the emitter.

I'm trying to create an animated version of this:



But I can't get the rosette to be perfectly formed like that from an Explosion emitter. This is as close as I could come:



It still works, obviously, but it made me curious to see if a more uniform shape was possible!

All random values are set to 0, etc.


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:29:37 pm
Last Edited By Kalleheikki Kannisto on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:30:58 pm

Particular if pretty much built around randomity, so there's no easy way to achieve that. What I would try is emitting the desired number of particles during a single frame while rotating the emitter 360 degrees in the same amount of time, using a directional emitter with no variance. That might work. There is a precision control that you may need to play with as well, considering you're emitting all particles almost instantly.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Ryan Hannebaum
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 8, 2018 at 4:23:55 pm

What's this precision control you speak of? Not sure I'm familiar with that one.

And if I rotate the emitter 360 degrees in one frame, won't it just be back to where it started? ☺ Or maybe I misunderstood your directions....


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 9, 2018 at 6:15:05 pm

I was talking about position subframe. Doesn't matter, I tried this idea and it didn't work. Looks like Particular doesn't care about subframe rotation values when emitting particles.

It seems that your only option is to stack a bunch of directional lights pointed at each of those directions from a single point and use light emitters.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Ryan Hannebaum
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 9, 2018 at 8:20:45 pm

I appreciate you trying it out! And that's actually a good idea about using lights rotated at even intervals around a point—it's shameful, but I didn't actually think to use Light Emitters.

Thanks! I'll let y'all know if that works as expected.


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 10, 2018 at 7:47:26 am

You don't really need Particular for this. You could make a comp that has the lines in parallel, animated in from one side, then use polar coordinates to turn them into explosions from the center.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Ryan Hannebaum
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 10, 2018 at 7:42:54 pm

Okay, I was completely unaware of polar coordinates, and now you're my hero. Although it cuts off the round caps of my strokes, so I'll have to figure that out.

Still though, top marks for your suggestion!


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Steve Bentley
Re: Distribute particle paths evenly
on Oct 25, 2018 at 11:50:23 am
Last Edited By Steve Bentley on Oct 25, 2018 at 11:51:43 am

Its not actually cutting off the round ends (unless they extend off the bottom - polar starts at the bottom and works it way up - the top becomes the center and the bottom the outside of the "circle". Its more the extreme distortion that happens that sort of flattens the round caps. You can over compensate by making the ends more like a very tall bishop's mitre but that means you have to draw the shapes instead of using a stroke with a Round Cap.
Also keep in mind Polar conversions prefer a perfect Square to start with so the source lines might have be precomped in a square comp and the polar effect would be applied to the precomp in the outer comp.
Also because of the round offs in the polar math competing with perfect integer pixels, the image tends to get a little soft so you loose that vector feel - although a sharpen filter or some contrast might fix that right up.
Or you could try making the pre comp and the comp with the polar effect huge and then scaling it down to sharpen things up.



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