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PRT Surface - Krakatoa For Maya

Introduction

The PRT Surface object allows the quick conversion of a polygon mesh surfaces to a point cloud. 

It is available in Krakatoa MY v2.3.0 and higher.

Creating a PRT Surface 

The Krakatoa MY Installer creates a Krakatoa shelf in the Autodesk Maya User Interface and places several icons on it, including a PRT Surface icon.

  • Pressing the PRT Surface icon will create a new PRT Surface object at the world origin. You will have to connect it to a mesh, align it and set up the viewport spacing manually or via the Mesh Input Advanced Tools panel buttons.
  • Selecting a mesh object in the view and the pressing the PRT Surface icon will create a new PRT Surface object aligned to the selected mesh, and rename the PRT Surface object to match the name of the mesh object.

 

PRT Surface User Interface

Mesh Input Control panel

Attach PRTSurface Mesh pickbutton 

  • This pickbutton is used to select the mesh surface to distribute onto.
  • Once picked, the text on the button will change to display the name of the Input Mesh. 

Use World Space checkbox  

  • Default is unchecked
  • When unchecked, the particles will be created in object space - transforming the object will also transform the particles.
  • When checked, the particles will be created in world space - transforming the object will not transform the particles, but reveal particles locked to world space. 

Mesh Input Advanced Tools panel

This panel is collapsed by default. 

RENAME PRTVolume Vased On Source Mesh button 

  • Disabled by default, enabled when a Mesh Input object has been picked.
  • Pressing this button will rename the PRT Surface object according to the name of the Mesh Input object, for example if the picked object is called "pCubeShape1" with transform node 
    "pCube1", the PRT Volume will be renamed to "PRTSurface_pCube1". 
  • The proposed new name will be displayed on the button when active, e.g. "RENAME PRTSurface to [PRTSurface_pCube1]" 

ALIGN Position And Rotation of PRTVolume to Source Mesh button 

  • Disabled by default, enabled when a Mesh Input object has been picked.
  • Pressing this button will copy the translation and rotation information of the Mesh Input Transform node into the corresponding values of the PRT Surface, thus aligning it to the source. Note that Scale will not be copied.
  • This option is useful when the PRT Surface particles are generated in object space. Alternatively, check the "Use World Space" checkbox to generate the particles in world space. See above for details.

TOGGLE Bounding Box Display of Source Mesh button

  • Disabled by default, enabled when a Mesh Input object has been picked.
  • Pressing this button will change the Drawing Overrides settings of the Mesh Input object and switch it between Override > Bounding Box and no Override > Full modes.
  • This can be useful when working in shaded mode and the mesh is in the way of the particle cloud display.

 

Particles and Seed Settings panel

Random Seed value 

  • Default is 42.
  • This value defines the random seed to use when generating random particles within each polygon. 
  • A specific seed value guarantees a consistent random pattern over time.
  • For the cases where the random pattern should be inconsistent, this value can be animated. 

Use Spacing checkbox 

  • When unchecked (default), the Count value will be active and will define the total number of particles to generate.
  • When checked, the Count value will be grayed out and the Spacing value will become available. allowing you to define the distance between the seeded particles. 

Count value 

  • This value defines the number of particles to generate accross the whole surface..
  • It is only active and used when the "Use Spacing" checkbox is unchecked. 

 

Viewport Settings panel

 

Enable in Viewport checkbox

  • Default is checked.
  • When checked, the PRT Surface particles will be drawn in the viewport.
  • When unchecked, the PRT Surface particles will not be drawn, but they will still be rendered.

Viewport Percent Limit value 

  • Default is 100.0 percent.
  • This value defines the percentage of particles to be drawn in the viewports.
  • This value can be used to draw a fraction of the particles normally scheduled for display. 

Enable Viewport Particle Limit checkbox 

  • When checked (default), the "Viewport Particle Limit" will be enforced and only up to that number of particles will be drawn in the viewports.
  • When unchecked, any number of particles requested by the controls above will be allowed. 

Viewport Particle Limit value

  • Default is 1000.0 (equivalent to 10,000)
  • This value defines the number of particles (in thousands) to be drawn in the viewports.
  • Once this value is reached, the viewport drawing will stop.
  • This is meant as a precaution since a PRT Surface with small spacing or a very high count could potentially produce hundreds of millions of particles and slow down viewport redraws significantly.

Viewport Display Mode list 

  • Display as Small Dots When selected, the particles will be drawn as one-pixel-sized points.
  • Display as Large Dots - default. When selected, the particles will be drawn as large dots.
  • Display Velocity - This is currently not used.
  • Display Normals - When selected, the particles will be drawn as lines representing the surface's normal vectors as sampled by the particles.