Softimage Tutorials

In this tutorial Alan begins to explain the highly anticipated icy mathemagic behind the "ICE balloons" simulation teased a few weeks back:

This is the first of multiple parts to come, each explaining a next chapter of depth about this particular effect. (Remember there are multiple possible ways to do anything, and this is merely one of many.)

TABLE OF CONTENTS (click timecodes to skip)
00:12 - Final balloons result with strands and all
00:48 - What we'll end up with by the end of this first video
02:17 - Explanation begins...
03:33 - Basic emission parameters
06:49 - Visualizing the math a bit
11:50 - Computing the future (next frame) PointPosition
14:45 - Setting up the vector math for the balloon distance constraint
20:30 - Adding our Forces and a forgotten matrix multiplication
25:34 - Working out the "empty gap" logic
29:46 - How to soften our distance constraint
34:42 - Quick run-through over the whole icetree (if you got lost or whatever)
44:32 - Dealing with different particle sizes
50:37 - Conclusion and goodbye
53:00 - ?!?

In this chapter, we touch on emission and behavior, including how to:
- "predict the future" by seeing where our particle will be on the next frame,
- modify a particle's future by recomputing its PointVelocity to do our bidding,
- create our own "distance constraint", so our balloons don't fly too far, with customizable softness;
- work out how to leave an empty gap for the strings and still have it look natural,
- make the balloons collide with each other and a null, and handling varying particle sizes.

Special thanks to Kim Aldis for putting out that tutorial ages ago explaining how to manipulate pointvelocities.

If you have any problems following this, comments or other feedback, feel free to speak up here in the comments or on our Facebook page. :)


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