Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

This could be a giant series exploring particles, n-particles, dynamics, n-dynamics, n-cloth, n-hairand so forthin Maya.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

I will start with basic particles and dynamics in Maya and then move towards the high end n-particles and dynamics systems. I will show you how to create production ready effects as fire, smoke, explosion, rain, cloth and hair simulation.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

In the first part of this tutorial series, I’ll explain how to set up the dynamic particles system using emitter, gravity field and collision and reaction with other objects.

1.Setting Up Particles Emission

Step 1

Open Maya.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 2

Jump
in the Dynamics mode so that you get
the dynamics menu items.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 3

Go
to Particles > Create Emitter and
click on the option box.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 4

In
the Emitter Options box, give the
emitter a name as Particles Emission. Presently, the Emitter type is set
to Omni and Rate is set to 100
particles/ second which you can change anytime later in the Attribute Editor.

Speed
is, by default, set to 1.

Click on Create button to create the emitter in
the viewport.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 5

The
default timeline length is up to 24 frames only. You need to Increase the
frames number on the timeline because in order to view the particles act, you
need more numbers of frames.

Go to Window
> Settings/Preferences > Preferences.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 6

In
the Preferences box, go to Categories > Settings > Time slider
and set the Playback start/end and Animation start/end from 1 to 500.

Click theSave
button.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 7

If
you scrub the timeline, you will see the particles coming out of the emitter
icon from all directions. This is because the Emitter type is set to Omni.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 8

With
the emitter icon selected, press Ctrl-A
to open theAttribute Editor of the
emitter. In here, change the Emitter type
to Directional.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 9

Press the play button and you will see the particles coming out in X direction since
the value of Direction X is set to 1.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 10

Change
the Spread value a bit to scatter
the particles.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 11

You
can change the Speed and Speed Random values also to get random
speed of the particles.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 12

With
the emitter selected, go to particleShape1
and open Render Attributes drop down
menu. Right now, the Particle Render
Type is set to Points.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 13

Set
the Particle Render Type to Spheres. Click on Current Render Type and then you can control the Radius of the spheres also.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 14

To
make the particles fall on the ground, you need to apply the gravity field in
the scene. So, with the particles selected, go to Fields > Gravity and apply the gravity.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 15

Now
you can see the particles are falling down due to gravity.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

2.Adding Deflector

Step 1

You
can also show the particles to react with the ground plane. To create the
ground plane, navigate to Create > Polygon
Primitives > Plane and drag and draw a plane in the perspective
viewport.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 2

To
collide the particles on the ground, first select the particles and then select
the plane and then go to Particles >
Make Collide.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 3

Press the play button to see the animation. You’ll see the particles are bouncing
too much.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 4

To
control the bounciness of the particles, select the plane and go to Attribute Editor > geoConnector 1 and decrease the Resilience value. Now the particles
will bounce less.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 5

Right
now the particles are sliding and falling down from the ground plane because
there is no friction on the ground plane.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 6

To
increase the friction of the plane, select the plane and go to Attribute Editor > geoConnector 1 and increase the Friction value.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

3.Controlling Particles Emission

Step 1

By
default, the life of particles is set to Forever.

To control the life of
particles, select the particles and go to particlesShape1 in the attribute editor.

Open Lifespan Attributes drop down menu and change the Lifespan Mode to Constant.

Set the Lifespan
value to 5. It means the particles
will live up to five seconds and after that they will die.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 2

You
can also set the Lifespan Mode to Random Range. In this case you can set the Lifespan
value to 3 and Lifespan Random to 5. It
means the particles will die randomly between three and five seconds.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 3

You
can also control the emission of the particles. You need to animate the value
of particles generation. With the emitter selected, go to Particles_Emission1 in the Attribute
Editor.

Right now, the Rate of
particles emission is set to 100
Particles/Sec.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 4

For example, I wish to show the particles emission at the rate of 100 particles
per second from 1stframe to 100th frame and then the emission to
stop gradually from 100thframe to 150thframe.

In this
case, navigate to frame one on the timeline and set the value of Rate to 100 and with the primary-click on Rateand select Set Key.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 5

Now
move to 100thframe on the timeline. Again set the value of Rate to 100 and with the primary-click on Rate, select Set Key.

It
means the value of particles emission from frame one to 100 is 100 particles per
second.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 6

Now
move to 150thframe on the timeline. Set the value of Rate to 0 and with the primary-click on Rate,
select Set Key.

It means the value
of particles emission from frame 100 to 150 is going to 100 to 0 particles per
second.

Press the play button and you can see now the particles tend to vanish by 150 frames.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 7

In
case you need to modify the frames and particles emission rate, just right
click on Rate (Particles/Sec) and select Particles_Emission1_rate.output.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Step 8

It
opens the Anim Curve Attributes box. Here you can play with Time
and Value options to change the frames and number of particles emission
rate.

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 1

Conclusion

In the next part of the tutorial, I will show you how to use Instancerto create instancing particles.