Dynamics – Week 3

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Our homework for the third week of Dynamics was to use a particle instancer to create a squadron of planes flying through the air. We were provided with the model (which was animated) and a camera to be viewed through. The shot required 72 planes to fly by. Each plane was to appear to as though it performed its own individual actions as if it was being flown by a pilot separate from the rest of the squadron and not by a common force being controlled by a computer.

The 72 particles that represented the planes were created first. This was done using the particle tool. I set the tool’s settings so that the conserve was 0.9, the number of particles to 72 and the maximum radius to 30. 

Once this was done, I selected the plane and created an instancer. The plane was now assigned to each particle so it appeared as though there were 72 planes. However, they were not moving. I animated the particle node so that it moved past the camera over 100 frames. Now it appeared as though the squadron of planes flew past the camera.

The planes, despite that, still appeared lifeless and controlled by a computer. I created a gravity field and set its magnitude to 98 as I wanted the planes to feel as though they really were being affected by gravity. Next, a turbulence field was created to push the planes about as though they were being pushed about in the air. This helped randomise the planes and gave off the appearance that they were being piloted by individuals.

Finally, two expressions were created. One in the position to randomise the positions of all the particles. This expression was;

particleShape1.position = <<rand(0,100),rand(0,100),rand(0,100)>>;

This allowed the particles to represented by each plane in the squadron to be spread out randomly with 100 units.

 The second expression randomised the acceleration of the particles so they all moved at different speeds. The expression for this attribute was; 

particleShape1.acceleration = <<rand(0,250),rand(0,250),rand(0,250)>>;

Using these expressions allowed the planes to fly past the camera in a manner that looks as though each plane is being flown by a separate pilot.

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