syllabus | schedule | projects | class notes | resources | students | ARTC courses
Software Rendered Particles
You have to have a light in the scene; you have to apply a material to the particles.

Blobby - Called metaballs - is attracted to meld with nearby particles
      Radius - size of sphere
      Threshold - how attracted it is to the nearby particles;
            1 = maximum attraction; 0 = none
      May need to increase Radius as you increase Threshold

Clouds - Already has the defaultParticle Shader attached, also a metaball
      Better Illumination - increases self shadowing
      Radius - size
      Surface Shading - 0 = cloudier effect; 1 = more distinct clouds
      Threshold - how much they melt together

Tube - can be tapered, must have a volumetric shader like particle cloud on it.
      Radius0 - starting radius
      Radius1 - end radius
      Tail Size - length of tube (is multiplied by velocity) faster = longer tail

Rendering Tip: To render without particles, select particles -> Attribute Editor under Render
Stats: Turn Primary Visibility OFF

Lighting Tip: Cloud, Tube, and Blobby need lights in the scene. Point, Multipoint, Streak, and Multistreak can also use the lights in a scene - all others do not.
Maya Effects Menu - Fire
Can apply the fire effect to only one object at a time. The size of the object will effect the visual effect. You can apply the fire effect to the same object multiple times. You can also emit fire from an invisible object.

Fire is a software rendered type particle.

Can apply the effect to:
  • Geometry (Polys and NURBS)
  • CVs
  • Edit Points
  • Vertices
  • Particles
  1. Select the item you want to emit the fire (to create a directional emitter deselect all)
  2. Effects - Create Fire - Options
  3. Adjust the attributes
  4. Light the scene
  5. Render
Fire Attributes

Object on Fire - enter name of object to apply the fire to if it was not selected previously

Fire Particle name - Enter name of the emitter

Fire Emitter Type - select Surface if its on geomometry
Select Curve if the fire is on a curve
Select Omni or Directional if the fire is on a CV, vertice, particle, edit point, or a stand-alone fire object

Fire Density - how many flames appear

Flame Start Radius - radius of the flames at start

Flame End Radius - radius of the flames at the end

Fire Intensity - brightness

Fire Spread - (Directional and Curve emitters only) 1 = 180 degrees

Fire Speed - How quickly they move

Fire Direction - direction the fire moves

Fire Scale - Increases the values that have been input in the Density, Start, End, Speed, Turbulence, and Lifespan

Additional ways to change the Effects:
  1. Alter the LifespanPP
  2. Alter the radiusPP
  3. Open the Channel Box and change the values on the emitter
  4. Look for extra attributes in the Attribute Editor of the Particles
  5. Change the shaders that are built for the Effects
  6. Change the expressions
  7. Change, or delete the fields that the Effect creates
Maya Effects Menu - Smoke
To start: You need the sample smoke files from the homework directory (50 images of smoke)

You can emit from a cvs, edit points, vertices, particle, geometry, or make a stand alone emitter.
Smoke is a hardware rendered particle

You can make your own image files to use with the Smoke effect but you need to save them with the alpha channel

Smoke creates sprite particles so you can effect the rotate, and scale of the sprites per particle or as an object

Experiment with the attributes to get unusual effects.

Note: If you turn on Cycle Image, each particle cycles through a series of images over its lifetime. If you have it off, each particle gets one image for its life duration.
Maya Effects Menu - Fireworks
Fireworks are software rendered particles. They are not attached to any geometry or object.

Fireworks are divided into three areas:
      Bursts or sparks
      Launch position

You can adjust the parameters for each of the various areas.
Maya Effects Menu - Lightning
Lightning is software rendered.

The lightning is created between objects in your world. You need to select the objects in order of how you want the lightning to jump.

There are a number of parameters that can ONLY be set when you first create the lightning - Look at Lightning Creation Controls under the Lightning Options. If you want to change these later, you must remake the lightning.

You can change many (not all) lightning parameters in the Channel Box after it has been created.
Maya Effects Menu - Shatter
There are three types of shatter:
  • Surface Shatter - breaks along the polygon boundaries
  • Solid Shatter - creates ploys to enclose the interior space of the shard thus creating solid shapes. It does not follow the polygon edges when it splits up the surface
  • Crack Shatter
To create a shatter:
  1. Effects - Create Shatter Options
  2. Select the type of shatter (Surface, Crack or Solid)
  3. Create button
To set the initial state of the shards: Rewind to the start and then move the pieces or their parents