February 25, 2009

cmiVFX Launches Houdini Introduction To Particle Animation Training Video

Princeton, N.J. - cmiVFX | cmiStudios has launched another Houdini Software Training Video for its customer base. Particle animation training has always been limited by selection, says a company representative; yet, cmiVFX is offering robust particle training for a majority of animation packages. The Introduction To Particle Animation video is geared toward training entry-level individuals or those migrating from other animation packages. The video is recommended for all prospective Houdini artists.
Creating Particles
Everything has a beginning, and a particle network in Houdini always begins with the creation of the particles. You will learn in this chapter the first steps for creating particles. It uses a location emitter to demonstrate how and where to create particles.

Location Node Parameters
In order to manipulate particles, the first parameters to change are in the the location node. Because it always begins with the creation, learning the parameters in this phase is a crucial achievement toward getting the most out of your project. During the explanation of the Location Node Parameters, the video shows the details view, an important place to visualize many particles parameters.

Emitting Particles From Geometry
Users are not limited to emitting particles from a location. You can also use custom geometry to emit particles from. Continuing in the particles
creation phase, the video discusses how to use geometry to emit particles using the source node. It also talks about parameters and how to inherit velocity from the source geometry. The session ends with creating a basic rain example.

POP Network Parameters
Particle placement can't really exist without a simulation. In the POP Network Node, we can control some of the simulation parameters. In this
chapter of the video, you will learn about the parameters of the POP Network, which will prove very useful in several situations.

Initial State
Sometimes users may just need particles to begin from a certain point in time, after the beginning of the simulation. One simple and efficient way of achieving this is by using Initial State. This section shows how to create and import an initial state file, applying that to an example in which a fruit bat is blown into a number of smaller fruit bats.

Gravity And Force Attributes
Forces and dynamics are mandatory in order to drive simulations because they reproduce real life situations in a fast and easy way. Here, the video begins with the gravity node and explain the basic force parameters. It also shows the property node, a very useful node.

Fan and wind are two important force nodes that can help you achieve many cool effects. Randomizing things with noise creates a more organic style of movement then with velocity or force used alone. This part will explain in detail those 3 nodes and how to use them in order to continue the bat example.

Planetary Systems
Beside smoke, fire, and other widely used visual effects, particles can serve to a different type of effect simulation. This section combines and explains a bunch of nodes, such as the orbit, torque, group, drag, and more in order to create a not so common effect with particles: a planetary system.

Commercial Soda Bubbles Effect
This chapter is all about making the bubbles in a glass of soda with complete detail. It makes them appear on the inner surfaces of the
glass, change size with age, and float to the surface where they will burst when colliding with the liquid surface. The video then talks about the collision node which is used for the collision of the bubbles with the surface. Continuing, it shows how to make particles interact with rigid
bodies and collide with them without using the collision node.

Shading And Rendering
What's life without color? Just an old black and white TV with bad reception. In this section, the video uses some of what has been learned in
the previous sections to make an electric saw cut into a cube. Users will learn how to give colors and alpha to the sparks emitting from the saw and change them with time. The video shows how to use the render pop to change particle attributes such as shape, and end up giving  particles some motion blur.

Sprites And Rendering
Sprites are a very important aspect of particle networks. They are fast, efficient, and allow you to create very interesting effects such as smoke,
dust and more. This part will be dedicated to sprites, showing how to create them, color them, control alpha, and how you can attach textures or custom shaders to them all while setting them up for Mantra to render.