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 Post subject: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 18:28 
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Joined: 18 Jun 2009, 19:58
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I promised on the softimage list a while back that I would post some of the lightning/electricity compounds I used on recent projects: verizon etc etc. But I'm still not sure if I'm legally clear to release them. While I sort it out though, here's a very, very simple approach to making point-to-point electrical arcs, like "dark jedi" electricity, simple lightning, that sort of thing.

A sample scene is included. To use, make an unsimulated pointcloud and a target geometry, and connect the compound. Lightning can be set to strike at random intervals, or always be on.

Super, super simple, but hopefully it is of interest. Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 19:33 
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Ok, here's another simple one I made prior to production version... In these scenes are two compounds, one generates laplacian/DLA lightning similar to the popular blender lightning plugin (but much faster).

The other compound in there is a (hacky) way to animate generated lightning - an approach I've actually used pretty extensively in production, because it's such a fast way to give sudden, brief electrical bursts some life without costly, time-wasting simulation. fast/cheap = good

There are 3 variant scenes - one simulation showing lightning "growing" over time, one with the cheap animation set up, and one showing the basic setup. In production I tended to generate very large bolts of lightning (using tropisims etc which aren't available here sorry), freeze them out as a model, and then wrap them around geometry or into roughly defined and controllable/editable shapes and animate.

Cheers

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basic_lightning_Evolving.rar [143.4 KiB]
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basic_lightning_cheapAnim.rar [194.81 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 20:08 
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Joined: 25 Nov 2010, 19:23
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Location: Canada
Thanks for sharing! Very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 20:53 
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Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 22:47
Posts: 111
Changable thickness from root to tip?


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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012, 08:05 
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Joined: 18 Jun 2009, 19:58
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Hmm, about thickness I don't recall, I think I had that going at one point but it may not be in those early compounds.

Wouldn't be difficult to hack that into the first compound, as each strike is a single strand, but the laplacian lightning compound would be tougher because it's made up of many smaller strands, but you could scale by a number of criteria like iteration/generation, distance from origin etc, which I did at some point to grade color along the length of the tree.

You can also get some very cool animation out of the laplacian setup by messing with the iterations, to make electricity crawl along surfaces (think the first star wars when R2 got zapped by jawas) as well as avoid or snap to specific surfaces etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012, 21:43 
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Joined: 11 May 2011, 17:02
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thanks for sharing, Andy!

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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012, 16:11 
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sharing is caring! thanks Matic :D

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 Post subject: Re: Simple Electrical Arcs
PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012, 07:31 
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Joined: 18 Jun 2009, 19:58
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gustavoeb wrote:
sharing is caring! thanks Matic :D


Glad to. :)

For more lightning fun be sure to take a look at Leonard Koch's fantastic new suite of lightning compounds, LK tools. It's really nicely made. http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2164


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