impworks Logo - a grinning imp in flight

V5I: Making the Roman Candle

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Animation: romancandle3.avi (449Kbyte DivX)

The roman candle effect is a simple animation produced using Vue 5 Infinite and VueDynamics version 0.3.01 (a new version with a couple of minor improvements I’ll hopefully put out tomorrow once I’ve just done a few last checks that I’ve not added any new bugs). You can pretty much get the same effect with VueDynamics version 0.3.0 just the particles will be a bit bigger.

To get a smooth flow of particles being emitted it uses an animation step of 1. An animation step of 3 produced good results but needed higher forces than those listed later and there was a slight fluttering to the emission. The only simulation in use is rotation and the starting force was set to random (type 1). Particles were turned on in the settings and so was reset pausing and cleanup.

The objects were given a minimum and maximum mass of 1 to make things easy to control. Starting forces were set to vary between 10 and 30 so that some particles travel faster than others. The angle of emission on the horizontal was set to be a full circle (0 to 360) and on the vertical was restricted to –10 to +10 degrees. Starting particle rotation was set to –180 to 180 degrees in all three axis. Starting size was set to 0.2 (this is new in 0.3.1). VueDynamics’ infinity point where it stores the particles when not in use was set to be the point 0,0,1000, roughly 1000 units above the emitter’s location. I tried a couple of other locations for the infinity point but they didn’t give as good results with the motion blurring.

The particle type was set to be plains (particles[‘type’]=0) maximum number of particles was set to 400 with a minimum of 30 and maximum of 50 for each key frame as this seemed to give a reasonable density. Age kill was turned on and a maximum age of 10 was used otherwise the particles would have carried on off into the virtual blue yonder.

The particles, once the script had been run to generate them, had their texture modified to add a perlin noise node for their colour and a colour map gradient going from blue to white. I also increased the illumination to 100%.

The render settings were user settings with Apply materials, Enable motion blurring ticked. Advanced effects were set to 0%. Motion blurring was Hybrid 2.5D with number of passes set to 1. Using a higher number of passes sometimes shows up particles as they are moved back to VueDynamics artificial infinity on being killed (I hope to address this issue in a future release if I can find a way to hide the objects when they are killed).

For interesting try variations:

  1. Turning Gravity on
  2. Turning Wind on
  3. Changing the Vertical angle of emission
  4. Changing the step rate
  5. Changing the force they are emitted with

Edit 5th June 2006: I’ve released an updated version, VueDynamics 0.3.1 that includes the settings for this tutorial as the default settings it comes with.

Leave a Comment

impworks © Copyright Mark Caldwell 1996 - 2018