One of the first things that occurred to me to play with using the vector field was erosion. I set up a vector field that started with slight randomness and allowed particles with a small constant rightward pull to pass over it. Each time a vector was passed over, it would become slightly stronger with the goal being that eventually the particles would all tend toward one path that had been carved out. This did not work at all
What I found was the particles were closest to sharing one path the right at the start and that my system just introduced randomness. I tried several variations, such as having the angle of the vector be altered just slightly to approach the traveling angle of the particle passing over it, but nothing had a more realistic effect than simply letting the particles pass over the field and observing how they clustered.
What did work, though, was removing the visual component of the field, instead making the area around it grow slightly darker each time a particle passes over it. I played with a few looks, but liked the pixelated one the best as it clearly shows the result of the passage the the water over the rocks over time.
made with openFrameworks
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