156 syllabus      site index      3D artists      past student work        DMA

Particles and Dynamics
Water Fountain Tutorial


Set up your Maya options for animation
Use Windows->Settings/Preferences->Preferences
     Choose the Time Slider section
          Set Framerate: 30 fps
          Set Playback start/end between 1 and 300.
          Set Animation start/end between 1 and 300.
          Set Playback speed:  Play every frame
          Click Save

Make sure the maximum playback on the time slider to 300, over to the right on the time slider.

Switch over to the FX section, choose from upper left, status line.

Choose nParticles->Create Emitter

In the Channel Box, Set Translate Y to 2 for the emitter.

Hit the Play Arrow on the Time Slider, you should see omnidirectional particles.  timesliderplay

Rewind to the beginning of the Time Slider, Select the emitter.
Use the Channel Box to change:   (These can also be done in the Attribute Editor.)
Each time you make a change hit the play arrow and note the difference.
        Emitter Type  Directional
        Rate 300   (Number of particles per second emitted.)
        Direction X 0
        Direction Y 1
        Direction Z 0
        Spread .2
        Speed 7

Add Shading Attributes to the Particles
Open Windows->Attribute Editor for the selected particles.   (Shortcut Control a)
Under nParticleShape1 tab
    Under Particle Size
           Radius  .3
       Under Shading
           Select Particle Render Type: Blobby Surface (s/w)  
               (Renders with software renderer only.)
           Input Threshold .3   (Coagulation like metaballs)

Add a Collision Surface
Create a Poly plane and scale it up a bit.
Select nCloth->Create Passive Collider

Play the animation.

Experiment by adjusting Poly Plane rotation or adding other Passive Colliders.

nCloth can collide with nParticles

Arnold AiStandardSurface Shader
nCloth particles work with Maya Shaders, Maya Render, Arnold Renderer and Arnold shaders.
hypershade Hypershade
Select the Materials
tab, Add an Arnold material
Click on the aiStandardSurface icon
Select the particles
     Hold right mouse over the aiStandardSurface material
     Click Assign Material to Selection

In the Attribute Editor

     Press the Presets* button select a liquid preset you would like to try.

Add Lights
Arnold->Lights->Skydome Light

     In the Attribute Editor
          Change the Intensity value to .3
          Uncheck Cast Shadows 
          Uncheck Cast Volumetric Shadow 
hange the Camera value to 0   (This turns off the background color.)

Arnold->Lights->Area Light

In the Channel Box
     Translate X  -10, Y  15 and Z  10
     Rotate X -45,  Y -45
     Scale X .2, Y .2, Z .2    TThis will give you sharper shadows.)
In the Attribute Editor 
    Change Exposure to 10
Under the Shadows section change Shadow Color to a dark gray

Render Settings
Render Settings icon upper right  srender_settings  (Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings...)

Change Render Using to Arnold Renderer    (Arnold is the default)
Presets-> Import Render Settings->Default Settings   (This resets all settings)
Under the Common
     Choose Image format: tif
     Uncheck Dither
     Change Frame/Animation ext: to name.#..ext
     Input the Start frame and End frame range

Faster settings, with transparency
Under the Arnold Renderer tab:
Under the Sampling arrow:
     Set Camera (AA) to 3      (default 3)
     Set Diffuse to 1      (default 2)
     Set Specular to 1      (default 2)
     Set Transmission to 2      (default 2)
     Set SSS to 0      (default 2)
     Set Volume Indirect to 0      (default 2)

Under the Ray Depth arrow
     Set Total to 2      (default 10)
     Set Diffuse to 1      (default 1)
     Set Specular to 1      (default 1)
     Set Transmisssion to 2      (default 8)
     Set Volume to 0      (default 0)
     Set Transparency Depth to 2      (default 10)

Render an image to the Render View
Click the Render View icon upper right render_view to open the window
Click the Render the Current Frame icon  render_current_frame_render_view  from the window

Make a folder on your Desktop named Deadline Renders

Make a folder under Deadline Renders with your DMA username
Make 2 folders in the username folder: scenes and images

Place copies of any textures
, scene file, cache data folder in the scenes folder.

Start Maya
     Run File Set Project...
          Go to your Desktop\Deadline Renders select username folder
     Select Set

    Run File->Project Window
          Choose Edit->Reset Settings

Render Settings
icon upper right  srender_settings 
     Make sure the Path: is Desktop/Deadline Renders/username/images
     Make sure
Frame/Animation ext:
is set to name.#.ext
     The Start and End frames might be important.

Save a Geometry Cache of your ncloth and particles
You will need to do this for the schools Deadline render farm.
Select your
nParticle1 and any nCloths if you have any

Select nCache->Create New nCache->nObject->option
     Select the folder icon folder
    Navigate to your Desktop/Deadline Renders/username/scenes folder
          Make a new folder named cache, or something descriptive

After it runs check the nParticle in the Attribute Editor under the nParticleShape1Cache1 tab
     The Base Directory should point to your cache folder in your Deadline Renders  project on the Desktop.
Base Directory should connect to scenes\cache, correct this if need be.

If you have ncloth
, check this as well.

Check the cache by changing the time on the Timeline, you will see your animation update.

See Deadline course notes

Convert nParticles to Poly
Modify->Convert->nParticle to Poly  (You might not like the result.)