WIP: Apache Helicopter Attack Sequence - A PySwarm V0.4 Study

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  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Step 3 - Helicopters Fire Missiles (Animation Stage 2)
    (continued)

    Test 3 Setup

    Test Objective:
    To build on the results of test 2 by testing PySwarm's ability to work with grouped objects containing missile objects, particle emitters, and missile exhaust glow to the missiles. Further, I wanted to test setting the start firing time in the simulation to 2.0 seconds, rather than at the very beginning. In the final test, I will set the start firing times to different values for each of the 5 helicopters.

    Scene Setup:
    I used the same Carrara scene used in the previous test. I made some adjustments to the camera locations.

    The "missile" objects were modified to be a group containing the basic missile (used in previous tests), a particle emitter, and a spot light (see screenshot attached).

    PySwarm Script Settings:

    I made the following adjustments from the previous test settings, which are described in this post:
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/489872/

    seed(200) (to force testing a different firing sequence, which are set randomly)
    max_acceleration = 125.0 (new parameter - limits acceleration to 125 feet/sec/sec)
    attraction_adj = 2.0 (reason described below)
    min_landing_time = 2.0 (start launching missiles anytime after 0.1 seconds into the animation)
    max_landing_time = 5.0 (launch all missiles by 3.0 seconds into the animation)

    Test 3 Results

    I spent a lot of time testing different particle emitter settings before finally settling on what was used during this test. I will make further adjustments to the emitter and particle settings during the last test of this stage (when rendering in the final scene). Also, I tried several different ways to create missile flames, and finally settled on using a light source (spot light) pointing to the back of the missile, and gave the emitter particles some translucency. This seems to create reasonable results.

    I had to manually set the timers for the particle emitters to match the firing times for each of the missiles, since there is no way in advance to know when launches will occur. Since there are gaps in the keyframe insertions before launch, it is easy enough to know what time to set the "Emission time range:" / "From" value in the emitter modeler. In the final scene, of course, this means I will need to do this for each of the 40 (5 helicopters x 8 missiles/helicopter) emitters! =/ Hopefully, I won't have to do this but once!

    I decided to test my ability to add audio sound effects to the resulting test animation. I got reasonable results finding audio tracks for a hovering Apache helicopter and missile launches.

    A short video of the test 3 results can be watched here (same as the one posted above):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMMaxzk7lDo

    Problems Encountered
    In earlier tests, I was using the "attraction_adj" parameter to adjust the acceleration of the missiles. The downside to this (when the value is low, like 0.15), the missiles do not always strike their target. When the target is moving, this is worse. I finally succumbed to this and added yet another parameter - max_acceleration, which allows the user to set how fast BOIDs can accelerate without having to do lots of calculations to pick a good attraction_adj value. More will be provided in the Users' Guide when the parameter is released in the next version of PySwarm.

    I discovered it is important to turn off the particle emitters' particle displays when importing the PySwarm script. PyCarrara does not want to wait for Carrara to compute the particles before forcing it to the next animation sequence point. This creates a timing problem, and sometimes locks up Carrara. I found that by checking "No calculations in 3D view" for the emitters before importing works (mostly). Occasionally, the display screen gets out of sync. In these cases, I just saved the scene (with the new keyframes inserted), quit and restarted Carrara, and then opened the scene file again. This resolved the issue.

    Next Step
    I have one more test. In the final test, I will go back to the main scene, and create full missile animation for all 5 helicopters.

    Test_4_Screenshot.jpg
    1599 x 839 - 267K
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,095
    edited November 2013

    This is all looking very impressive and you are making great progress! The particle emitters and sound effects add a lot to the final sequence. Looking forward to the final animation!

    Post edited by PhilW on
  • SpacelandSpaceland Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    Wow impressive stuff there, great work and yes the sound effect add alot to the scene you did.

  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,941
    edited December 1969

    Hello FD,
    I took your advice well and even tested all the other modifiable parameters: they is marvellous, one would spend the hours to see all that one can do with Pyswarm!
    I tested 2 groups of boids in collisions and that does not work too badly except some rare nonsimilar interlacings of boids (you have to add a text for your future improvements which will be the welcomes!)
    2 questions:
    - How can we do for not that news keyframes be created for the main camera and camerafocus?
    - I don't believe that the physical parameters of the scene influence the boids, considering they have keyframes, but the parameters of materials (Density, bounce, friction)?
    Now that I have the principle in the head, I will start to study your very instructive project of helicopters, it should be a good base for future personal projects.
    Sorry, still a small question: can I have the link of Pyswarm 0.4.1 (or more recent)?
    Thank you.

  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,941
    edited December 2013

    Until now, I made my tests with simple cones.
    I tested with fishes, but those run with the tail in front (if for a man it's normal, not for a fish!).
    I remade tests with sharks, those have the head up…
    What do I have to make?

    Post edited by DUDU on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,411
    edited December 1969

    missle test 4c looks amazing - congrats :)

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hello FD,
    I took your advice well and even tested all the other modifiable parameters: they is marvellous, one would spend the hours to see all that one can do with Pyswarm!
    I tested 2 groups of boids in collisions and that does not work too badly except some rare nonsimilar interlacings of boids (you have to add a text for your future improvements which will be the welcomes!)
    2 questions:
    - How can we do for not that news keyframes be created for the main camera and camerafocus?
    - I don't believe that the physical parameters of the scene influence the boids, considering they have keyframes, but the parameters of materials (Density, bounce, friction)?
    Now that I have the principle in the head, I will start to study your very instructive project of helicopters, it should be a good base for future personal projects.
    Sorry, still a small question: can I have the link of Pyswarm 0.4.1 (or more recent)?
    Thank you.

    DUDU, because your questions are general to PySwarm, I have responded to them in the general PySwarm thread.

    You can find my response by following this link.

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/499232/

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Until now, I made my tests with simple cones.
    I tested with fishes, but those run with the tail in front (if for a man it's normal, not for a fish!).
    I remade tests with sharks, those have the head up…
    What do I have to make?

    DUDU, you can find some information about this question at the following post (just posted):
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/499244/

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks PhilW, Spaceland, DUDU, and HeadWax for the feedback!

    It has been a very crazy 2 weeks, but the icebergs are finally starting to break free and I hope to have something to show later this week for this thread. I'm still struggling with having 80 emitters in the scene, which is adding time to my setup, but I'm still dogging a solution!

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