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Insect generator (like particular)
  • Particular can generate smog, snow, rain etc. Does anyone know of a software or plugin than can generate insects i.e. fly, mosquito, butterfly. It would essentially take a 3d model from say - Maya, then animate the wings, then change the size depending on the Z-axis values.

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    By idea good particle simulator must allow it. Also check such plugins. I am just not sure about 3d models, most probably limit can be animated sprites.

  • Cinema4D has been doing this for years. You build different insects, animate them in a cycle, and the particle generator spits them out according to the rules you set. But nothing fully automatic…

  • Question is a bit misleading. There's no software that understands that your array of vertexes (3D model) is an insect for your mind, so you have to find a model which is already rigged. That means it has bones or deformation keys for animation. Than you have to make the animations for every kind of action you want (fly, take off, land, walk, turn head,..) After that you can use a plugin to control a big number of clones with different size and different behaviour according to different massive algorithms. You can do that with Maya, Max, Houdini, Blender, Cinema 4D with the correct plugins. Some are for free, some are cheap, some are really expensive. Or otherwise you can use the award-winnner Massive Software (if you have thousands of dollars to buy it) and create Hollywood quality animations of whatever insect, animal, lifeform you want in huge numbers.

  • With a flying insect there is only movement in the wings, so its less parameters.

  • Found this - Now I have to figure out how to map this to stereoscopic 3d.

  • If they're just flying and you don't have to blend between various behaviors there's no reason to not use something like Particular with an animated sprite of a fly. Depending on framing even an animated sprite may be overkill.

    The overhead of instancing full geometry for a fly or other winged insect is the wrong way to go in most circumstances unless they get very close to camera and you need to also see complex animation of walking, crawling, eating, etc. A swarm of flies doesn't really need a 3D solution besides the animation of the particles themselves, generally. You wouldn't even have to truly animate the wings of a fly, like you would a butterfly or moth, because they're always a blur, unless landed and we're close enough to see detail.

  • Going for a full-blown 3D animated approach, Element 3D does particle instancing and could apply fly geometry to particles or points on a piece of geometry, within the After Effects environment. I'm just not familiar enough with the various methods of getting animated particle geometry into Element 3D to do the instancing.

    I don't think that Particular particles exist as actual geometry so a Cinema 4D or Houdini or Maya particle animation may still be needed for an Element 3D solution, though it has some fairly interesting tools for animating the points on an object with expressions. You could possibly just generate a static "point cloud" of random point representing your flies, use Element3D to animate these points with expressions and it's built-in point animation tools, and then instance fly geometry to these points.

  • You can import animated obj sequences into Element 3D. But E3D doesn't have a particle generator with emitter and such. You can make a flock of flies, you can manipulate that flock, expand or shrink it or create various turbulences, but you cannot emit objects infinitely or make a snowfall out of them. Depends on what you exactly want.

  • Darn. No fly cannons with E3D.