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Old 29-09-2004, 05:23 PM   #1
ayelar
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Default Best way to animate molecules in a machine?

Hi all! I'm working on a project for a vet school, animating how gas flows through an anesthesia machine. I need to show the gas at the molecule level, like as lots and lots of tiny spheres.

So far, I've just been making big groups of spheres and manually keying them as they fly through parts of the machine. That's not working too well. I thought about particle effects, but they're always so hard to control, and I need specific actions. I read something about motion paths and flow paths... what are they? Would they help with all these spheres?

Thanks!
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Old 29-09-2004, 08:47 PM   #2
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Well a Curve flow could work nicely for you. Essentially you create a curve for your particles to follow (that's your path), and then from there tweak the speed, amount, turbulence and other properties. The Maya docs are a pretty good place to start for this. They are pretty easy to control.

A motion path simply provides you with the math for a signle object, group or heirarchy, but not particles.
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Old 29-09-2004, 09:59 PM   #3
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Hey, thanks! That definitely looks like it's going to work. The only thing is, once I create the curve flow and press play, the particles flow along a much smaller version of the curve far away from where I actually drew it... any idea what it's doing??
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Old 29-09-2004, 10:08 PM   #4
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Oh the fun that is Maya. Yeah, I've seen this. I'm going to guess that your project is set to feet or meters. From my experience, lots of Maya features only work properly when you're working in centimeters. In case you don't know how to set this, go to menu under Windows>Settings/Preferences>Preferences. The click on Settings and set the Linear working units to centimeter.

That should fix it. Throw away your curve flow, and make a new one. You can use the same curve path.
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Old 30-09-2004, 09:34 AM   #5
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Could be a double transform. Is the curve parented under anything? Also try deleting the history and freezing the transforms.

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Old 14-10-2004, 01:48 AM   #6
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Sweet, this all worked out great. Thanks for all the help!!

http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/alr25/short.html
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Old 15-10-2004, 03:35 PM   #7
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That looks really great. Nice work!

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