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Author Topic: Various Effects using particles and paths  (Read 2146 times)

uexilon

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Various Effects using particles and paths
« on: Apr 05, 13, 11:07:45 AM »

I'm providing here some particle (and others) effects you may use (and/or improve - they are far from perfect) to create your own living world. You can use the textures and models if you want so.

At the moment I got 4 effects ready for the community.

Note: Those aren't Tutorials, but I think they fit well in this section.


Important: You have to retexture the models because fbx doesn't support the Hero Material. I think this should work even though the models and the textures got german names  :P

Effect 1: Give your spring-style world a busy and humming (you may add sound  ;) ) touch with these restless bees.
Settings for this Particle System

Settings:
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FZPS5Iqim4
Assets: Attached as bee.zip
Performance: Still got over 120 fps combined with billboards and dynamic sky.

Effect 2: Rolling through the desert, we sure saw it in different films but how do we call it? (I really have no idea, not even how it is called in my native language)

Just create a path following the surface of your desert heightmap and use the pathfollower as the parent instance of the "rolling" modell (export the model as animated asset).

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwwUDLqU5RA
Assets: Attached as rolling.zip
Performance: low impact on performance on my machine

Effect 3: Waves arriving on the shore

Settings captured on a Picture:
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezwPguiJoKk
Assets and particle files (open in Notepad for copy & paste of some settings): Attached as coast.zip
Performance: In this test area I get 120-140 fps)
Step-by-step Tutorial: available

Further information: For this effect, I used 2 particle specs. One for simulating the impact on the shore and one that renders the waves. If you put a ship or another static object in front of the shore, the waves will show up there.

If you have long coastlines, you could work with cloned instances of the emitter, placing them side by side an change the viewable distance settings. I think two or three viewable emitters should still work with a acceptable fps, but I didn't test it.

If someone got a better texture feel free to share it ;)


Effect 4: Waterfall using particles and geometry

Settings captured on a Picture:
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vpVlD3Ikv8
Assets and particle files (open in Notepad for copy & paste of some settings): Attached as waterfall.zip
Performance: In this test area I get 145-160 fps)

Further information: Model your own waterfall to get the right look for the specific location. Waterfalls are a bit tricky because they have to look good no matter from where the player looks at it. Use stones to hide the seams around the waterfall (I used some stones that were not supposed for this, but it works more or less).

If someone got a better texture feel free to share it ;)

NEW

Effect 5: Waterfall using particles only

Settings captured on a Picture:
Video: http://youtu.be/Soi6dQ5QAWE
Assets and particle files (open in Notepad for copy & paste of some settings): Waterfall2.zip (Can't attach more files due to size limit)
Performance: In this test area I get 80-95 fps)

Further information: Sometimes a modeled waterfall is just no good. Perhaps you want the player to walk along/through the waterfall, but everytime the player/camera moves through the poly waterfall it's looks just .... :S
For this scenario it's maybe better to use an Waterfall based on particles only.. It's a bit more diffcult until you get it fit to your area and it sure decreasess fps, but like I said.. sometimes you just need it :)
Replacing the texture with a more transperent one should give you a more realistic look, I didn't dive further into it, because it's not worth the time until it's needed in a production area.

Note: I reused the waterfall_dust particle chain, thought I need to mention it here  ::)


Next effects will be:

Avalanche effect using both path and particle
Waterfall using particle - done
Waves arriving on the shore - more or less done.. Maybe I'll improve it later

Any other effects you'd like to get an approach? Let me know  8)



PS: I hope HeroEngine and/or 3ds max doesn't mess with the measure of objects and particles (I think Hero Engine shouldn't be a problem but 3ds max.) It's quite possible that you will have to rescale the models.
« Last Edit: Apr 08, 13, 05:52:36 PM by uexilon »
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Amanda_Brooks

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #1 on: Apr 05, 13, 03:00:39 PM »

I'm interested in the wave one, as our main game area has quite a long coastline.
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byberg

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #2 on: Apr 05, 13, 06:18:25 PM »

yeah the wave could be aof really good use!

also maybe if you could come up with some nice bird effects. flying in flock or single ones
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PN-Dwight

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #3 on: Apr 06, 13, 08:11:18 AM »

We have a bird effect and we did so as follows:

Create the bird with a simple flying animation and attach it to a path, exported as an animated asset (like he did with the desert-thingy). but instead of having an offset of [0,0,0] with the parent, use different offsets for different birds of course. Mind you that you have to look at the physics, it can cause an enormous amount of lag if you don't set them up as they should (potential crashing).

uexilon

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #4 on: Apr 06, 13, 04:38:11 PM »

Updated the first post with a new effect: Waves arriving on the shore.

I think it's okay for a first stage, but there sure is some space for improvements. With a different texture the look can completly change, so I think I'm gonna try to create some more textures. But till then, feel free to try and modify this one.

Update 2: New effect -> Waterfall using two particle chains
« Last Edit: Apr 08, 13, 10:56:10 AM by uexilon »
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jcsmith562

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #5 on: Apr 07, 13, 03:47:21 PM »

Some nice effects here. Thanks for sharing.
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uexilon

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #6 on: Apr 08, 13, 10:55:49 AM »

Update 3: New effect -> Waterfall using particles only 

I did a short test on the birds effect.  It's really just as simple as that: Create a path and the follower. Copy the follower ID and paste it in the parent instance field of your bird model. Important: Set the Physics Shape of the bird to: No Shape  You won't need it anyway and it avoids the problem Dwight mentioned. For a realstic scene, use a nice animated lowpoly bird .. not like me while doing the test with a 20 seconds bird:



Edit: okay now it got me and I build a bird cannon... no clue if that's a better approach.. at least it shoots the birds away iin a random manner ;) And players love random things. But I didn't test it with animated assets.. maybe animated assets and particles don't like each other

EDIT: No they don't like each other.. so let's called it a "randomly static asset firing cannon"

Anyway... here is the "randomly static asset firing cannon":
Set the trajectory in the objectcannon_p file to 1 or something like that.. the attractor in the objectcannon file just gives it a bit more randomness.
« Last Edit: Apr 08, 13, 06:17:56 PM by uexilon »
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HE-Cooper

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #7 on: Apr 08, 13, 11:08:35 AM »

Correct, you can't use an animated granny mesh as a particle. So it's paths plus animated meshes, or particles plus trajectories, motions, and wind effect.
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uexilon

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #8 on: Apr 08, 13, 05:47:20 PM »

ya.. thank you cooper. Thought so.. It wouldn't be performance friendly anyway  ;)

I got asked to do a step-by-step tutorial for the wave effect.

So here it is

If someone has a problem with this tutorial let me know it.
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Amanda_Brooks

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Re: Various Effects using particles and paths
« Reply #9 on: Apr 09, 13, 01:02:54 AM »

Thanks for that - we'll definitely be using it for our seashore area.
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