This weeks homework was to begin working on our assignments. I looked around on the internet for images of tractor beams. After a while I began searching lightning storms and found an excellent photograph of a lightning strike. It looked very much like a tractor beam with several small lightning strikes surrounding the larger “beam” which appeared like arms reaching out for something.
I then started experimenting tractor beam looks by playing around in maya attempting to create a heat wave. I achieved this by creating a polygon cone and adding soft bodies to it. Next I created a turbulence field and assigned it to the particles. However, the field polygon cone was moving far too aggressively. I wanted to create a relaxed gentle motion that made it looked like an actual heat wave. A few expressions were added into the magnitude and the phase X, Y and Z so that the turbulence field allowed the geometry to react in a gentle manner.
Next, I just simply played around with particle emitters and fields. I wanted to go for a look in which the particles would spiral around in a swooping motion whilst also moving down, slowly at first but then more quickly. This was done using a volume emitter with a gravity and turbulence field. An expression was placed into the X and Z direction in the gravity field to get that sweeping, swirling motion. Another expression was placed into the magnitude so that that particles moved more quickly over time. The results created a particle effect with a motion that I’m happy with.