The above animation (also available in HD!) was created using only FROST and 3ds Max Particle Flow.
The simulation was set up as follows:
- 10 initial particles were emitted over the first 30 frames.
- They were sent out to a new event where they received a random Velocity and a random Float channel value.
- The particles were sent out to another event where they would spawn particles by distance.
- A Script Operator in the same event was used to rotate the velocity vector on each integration step based on the per-particle random Float value and its age, resulting in closer spirals as particles got older.
- The spawned "trail" particles were sent to another event where every 200th particle would be sent back to the previous event to become a new leading particle with a random direction and rotation amount.
- The trail particles were assigned a Vertex Color synchronized to their Age, keyframed from cyan to orange.
- The Particle Flow generated about 100,000 particles over 310 frames.
- Click on the thumbnail below to see the general flow.
The following FROST features were employed:
- Meshing used the Zhu/Bridson algorithm, with additional Relax on top.
- Shading was based entirely on the Vertex Color channel generated by Particle Flow - the channel was propagated by FROST to its mesh and was rendered using the 3ds Max Vertex Color map.
- The Scaling By Age was performed by FROST using a custom curve, starting with a Scale of 0.0, going through 1.0 and back to 0.0 over 200 frames - the branches actually "detach" from the structure after a while...
- Only the trail particles were meshed, the leading particles were skipped.
- The mesh had 3,360,212 faces on the last frame 310.
Rendered in V-Ray 2.0.