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Smoking particles? [ANSWER]

Posted: Sat, 19th Nov 2005, 3:36pm

Post 1 of 14

Z28Jerry

Force: 700 | Joined: 15th Jun 2004 | Posts: 141

EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

I'm sure I'm overlooking something basic, but go easy on me.

I am trying to make a smoke effect particle follow a laser on a simple test logo I am making. For some reason the effect comes out in "puffs" rather than following the key-framed emmiter smoothly and emmitting a steady particle that fasdes over time. Here are my settings:

Emitter Attributes:

Smoke1, Smoke2
Single
Emitter point
Free from origin
Max Particles 5000
Particle rate 193
Lifetime 23
Angle range 10
Scale 0.2
Speed Randomizer 0.14
Size Randomizer 0.14
Normal Blend
The gravity is set almost straight up to pull the emmiters up and away a tad, and gravity is set at 0.13

I'm trying to have the smoke trial follow the end of the laser and fade into nothing about halfway up or so over the larger letters. What am I not doing right?

Here is a link to a single frame about halfway through the animation:

http://s41.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=24AH7LGAN7Y5I0KU5VPV3SD7M1


THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY HELP!
Jerry
Posted: Sat, 19th Nov 2005, 4:38pm

Post 2 of 14

shadowninja1028

Force: 1412 | Joined: 30th Jun 2005 | Posts: 144

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Gold Member

For all those to lazy to download the file. biggrin

Posted: Sat, 19th Nov 2005, 5:56pm

Post 3 of 14

cooldude

Force: 600 | Joined: 21st Mar 2005 | Posts: 132

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the only thing that i could find helping was if you just had the key frames closer together. maybe the particle rate all the way up. Maybe before going to the next keyframe let two or three frames pass. and and it might help in other terms if on the speed gradient you put an end tab and put the value to 0 and the first tab a bit higher. Then again this is all an I THINK, but i did renact your conditions. Hope it helps.
Posted: Sat, 19th Nov 2005, 6:47pm

Post 4 of 14

Serpent

Force: 5426 | Joined: 26th Dec 2003 | Posts: 6515

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This is possible and stuff, but I think stock footage is the way to go. I would look into Sollthar's smoke plugin for AlamDV2.
Posted: Sun, 20th Nov 2005, 2:18am

Post 5 of 14

Wizard

Force: 5941 | Joined: 18th Jul 2003 | Posts: 555

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User

SuperUser

Rating: +1

Z28Jerry wrote:

The gravity is set almost straight up to pull the emmiters up and away a tad, and gravity is set at 0.13
There could be several contributing factors that are making this effect not work out. Although I did not find the gravity to be the problem, you may want to consider not using it anyway, not in this fashion at least. I have found that if there is too much speed gradient, or gravity, added to an effect, the particles emit far apart in an unrealistic fashion.

Some times the solution is to turn up the particle rate, but that will make your effect bigger, and will change the over all appearance. Although you could simply decrease the scale, it is best to try and have the particle rate low, if possible. I found that part of the problem did have much to do with what cooldude suggested. However, moving the key frames closer is in fact the cause of your direct problem when animating your particles.

If you move your emitter a long distance in a short amount of time (key frames), the affect on the particles is similar to when the speed gradient is set too high. The particles are emitted too quickly, and end up coming out as clumps, or puffs of smoke as appose to a constant stream.

The solution would be to shorten the distance of the movement, or lengthen the distance of your key frames from each other, making the movements slower. If you need your movements to be slightly quicker, there are a couple of things you can make use of that may compensate.

I have made a quick video clip of what I believe you intended your effect to look like. I will post the video, along with the alterations I have made to the values you specified, to achieve the results I got, below. The video can be found here.

Everything about our emitters are the same, until you reach "Max Particles":

  • Max Particles: 1000 (5000 thousand is not ordinarily needed, and mainly only serves to slow down application speed. The effect you are creating is not big enough to make such a large setting necessary, so the default setting will do.)
  • Particle Rate: 10 (Again, default is sufficient for this effect. Too high of a particle rate can create an unrealistic smoke effect, and is often not needed to be very high as well, at least not for this kind of effect.)
  • Life Time: 49 (This may change, depending on the size of your canvas, and the position of the emitter. A higher life time will allow for the smoke to live longer, and "float" out of the screen.)
  • Angle Range: 39 (This is one of the values that can be used to help stop the "clumpy" look when your particles are emitted, and moving across the canvas quickly.)
  • Scale: 0.43% (This does not have to match mine for this to work well.)
  • Speed Randomizer: 0.22 (this did not need to be changed as well, but may have had an impact on the over all look)
  • Size Randomizer: 0.14
  • Blend mode is set to "Normal".
  • Gravity was not used in the example clip, and I do not believe it needs to be for this effect. That is all up to you of course.


That concludes the altered values. When I reached the frame where the "laser" stopped firing, I turned the particle emitter off, so that it would stop emitting, and allow the particles that have previously been emitted to complete their lifetime, with out additional particles emitting. If you are not aware of how to turn the emitter off, feel free to ask. Just incase, look under Particle Creation.

In the example clip I have also altered the opacity of the effect. This setting will most likely be different for your use of this effect, however, if you wish to re-create the above video, the opacity of the tab on the left is set to 30%, and the tab to the right is set to 0%, with a location of 93%.

Opacity Gradient:


That is about it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I will try my best to answer you promptly, and efficiently. I hope you get the results you are looking for.

Note: If there is a problem with the link, or illustration provided, please inform me by means of private message, so that I may attempt to correct the error.

Good luck.
Wizard.
Posted: Sun, 20th Nov 2005, 3:31pm

Post 6 of 14

Z28Jerry

Force: 700 | Joined: 15th Jun 2004 | Posts: 141

EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

Excellent help guys, thank you all very much. I'll give it a go and see how I do.
Posted: Mon, 21st Nov 2005, 5:16pm

Post 7 of 14

Marcopolo1

Force: 0 | Joined: 30th Oct 2005 | Posts: 43

Windows User

Member

Hey I'm on a slow computer and can't seem to download the video right now, could you post a screen caption for me Wizard? One more thing, you said you would tell me how to turn off the emitter , how do you?
Posted: Mon, 21st Nov 2005, 5:40pm

Post 8 of 14

Wizard

Force: 5941 | Joined: 18th Jul 2003 | Posts: 555

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User

SuperUser

Rating: +1

Marcopolo1 wrote:

Hey I'm on a slow computer...could you post a screen caption for me...
I thought this may be a problem, as the file can be quite large for some. I just want to let you know, that you can right click on the link, and hit "Save Target As", and it will download to the specified location. This tends to work better for me when trying to download/play large files, so you may want to give that a try, as a screen caption does not give you an idea of how the effect looks in motion.

Either way, I will post a screen caption, just incase others, along with yourself, do not want to download the file.

Laser smoke screen caption:


The video is just a quick mock up of what I believe Z28Jerry wanted to accomplish, and is not meant to look as aesthetically pleasing as it could be, but I think it will suffice.

Marcopolo1 wrote:

you said you would tell me how to turn off the emitter , how do you?
I have received a private message about this as well, so I will reiterate part of that message. After you have created your effect (placed the effect on the canvas), you should be in the effects "Attributes" (Emitter Attributes), also called the "Effects Inspector". If you read through the headings you should see Texture, followed by Position, and then Particle Creation.

In particle creation, you should see "Emitter: ON", with a green button to the right:

Particle Creation/Emitter: On:


You simply click the green button, and the emitter will turn off from the frame you clicked it. Once you have toggled from "On" to "Off", the green button will become red. Give it a look; I am sure you will be able to find it without any problems.

Have fun.
Wizard.
Posted: Tue, 22nd Nov 2005, 5:08pm

Post 9 of 14

Marcopolo1

Force: 0 | Joined: 30th Oct 2005 | Posts: 43

Windows User

Member

That looks really good, and I appreciate the help. I finally got the download to work for me when I right clicked, thanks for that as well smile.
Posted: Sat, 26th Nov 2005, 12:25am

Post 10 of 14

Z28Jerry

Force: 700 | Joined: 15th Jun 2004 | Posts: 141

EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

O.K. Finally back in town and re-worked some things. Everything turned out the way I was going for. Thank you all for helping out.


Wizard, I find myself battleing this problem with almost every moving emitter I animate. If I really wanted to speed it up (say, on a jet flyover or something) how would you approach it?
Posted: Sun, 18th Dec 2005, 2:21pm

Post 11 of 14

RP Hoogle

Force: 200 | Joined: 29th May 2005 | Posts: 11

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User

Gold Member

wouldn't it be better if they were a small bit at the start of the particles where they are orange or yellow sparks
Posted: Sun, 18th Dec 2005, 2:32pm

Post 12 of 14

Z28Jerry

Force: 700 | Joined: 15th Jun 2004 | Posts: 141

EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

Yeah, I wanted to have contact sparks where the beam hit the letters but ran out of time. I might as well give it a go just for kicks anyway.
Posted: Mon, 19th Dec 2005, 1:06am

Post 13 of 14

Wizard

Force: 5941 | Joined: 18th Jul 2003 | Posts: 555

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User

SuperUser

Z28Jerry wrote:

Wizard, I find myself battleing this problem with almost every moving emitter I animate. If I really wanted to speed it up (say, on a jet flyover or something) how would you approach it?
Hello Z28Jerry, sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you. I remember when you asked this question, but I could not respond at the time, and eventually forgot; I apologize. Unfortunately, my long awaited answer is not an absolute, as it would be difficult for me to tell you the exact changes that would need to be made for this to stop happening, as every effect is different, and therefore, every change made would have to be made with the desired look and over all effect in mind.

There are various options to choose from when approaching these kinds of effects that you could use to stop this from happening, but there are just as many variables to consider that could make one solution work for one case, but not work for another, different case.

There is the option of slowing down the speed that the particles are emitted at, but again, if it is a jet flying by, slowing down the speed of emission could affect the realism, or just add enough of an "odd" look which keeps the audience from "buying" into it.

I would like to sit down and get started on a few examples for you; however, I still do not have the time. If you do encounter this for every effect, try to play with each of the values I spoke of in my other post in this topic (Speed gradient, particle rate, etc...). I would suggest altering each single value on it's own, and see how the effect reacts. At that time, try a combination of the different values, and see where that gets you.

I am sure you will be able to find the correct combination for each of your effects. It just takes time, patients, and the willingness to try new things. If you do have a specific effect in mind, and have tried so many combinations that you have now reached your wits end, or if you just want some advice, feel free to private message me, and I will try my best to give you an answer that helps, at least a little, if not a lot.

Although I am quite busy, the same message still stands for any other member. I may not be able to help every time, and it might take me a while to respond, but I have gotten many private messages about various topics, and I have always tried my best on each one, so feel free to private message me about anything. Sorry I can not be more specific as to what you could do for this at this time, but I am still willing to give advice.

Happy holidays.
Wizard.
Posted: Tue, 20th Dec 2005, 12:37am

Post 14 of 14

Z28Jerry

Force: 700 | Joined: 15th Jun 2004 | Posts: 141

EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

Thanks very much Wizard. I am playing with the parameters alot and fine tuning my ability to play with particles, and your directional help has saved me alot of time, and pointed me towards the settings that I needed to tweak (and you let me knowe not just how, but why, which is the most important thing for us memebers to learn)

Thanks Again!!!