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JayAims

particle "beam"

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Hello Houdini Masters!

I'm having trouble with finding a starting point for creating a beam of energy being shot out of the barrel of a weapon. I haven't worked with particles much, but I don't really understand how all those particles become something so clean as a solid beam of "energy".

I have some reference as to what i would want the beam to look like:

(lilo & stich - the green ray from Jumba's gun):

 

(WoW: Legion trailer - Sylvanas's arrows she's shooting)

 

If anyone has any links to tutorials, articles explaining the process for this, or has any first hand experience working with partcles/"energy"beams your help would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance :)

Edited by JayAims

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Hehe, the question is, are those particle effects? All/only particles? There's nothing that says it has to be particles. And particles are just points with particle attributes used with a solver that uses those attributes and input forces to advect them - if mess around with points in a solver SOP, you basically built your own particle system. ;)

My point here is you shouldn't lock yourself into thinking in terms of particles, think about the beam you want to create and then use whatever tools needed to create it, be it particles, SOP geometry, fluids, etc... :D

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Sometime those effects are just done in post. For instance, the light saber style particle beam can be done with the Video Copilot Saber plug-in.

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51 minutes ago, Farmfield said:

^ also a very good point. (though AE makes me cry, even if VCP's plugin's are pretty awesome)

 

I think that one may have been a bad example. something more like this green beam from the spear

 

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For something like the green beam from the warcraft trailer, I would start by doing a particle and geo based solution. Particles for the trails and maybe geo for the front hot core. It looks like some volumetric solutions were used for the trails in a couple of shots after also. All this is really going to be about shading.

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