Animated particles sticking to surface?

I’ve attached a simplified .blend to show the problem.

I wish to create an animation where thousands of push-pins pop up on the surface of a turning object. This is easy to do, and can be seen on the cube to the left.

What I am having problems with is trying to do this with an animated scale on the pins, so that they do not simply “pop” in, but instead they scale up with a bit of a bounce. (This effect can be seen on the cube to the right)

Unfortunately, using a texture to effect the scale does not appear to work if you turn the physics setting to “no”, although that is what I need to be able to turn the whole assembly with the pins.

Can anyone think of a solution to this, or know a workaround? My final animation will have thousands of pins placed from a density map, so animating each by hand is not really an option that I can see.

Would this be considered a bug, since the size from texture is not applied when physics is off? If that worked, there would be no problem here.


pin.blend (144 KB)

I’m kinda talking out my ass here but have you tried keyed particles? I have wondered in the past how something like this could be done. Hope someone gives you an answer.

one way would be: use a particle system only to place instances, then make real -link the pop animation and make local- and use a script to random offset in time; it’s a two minutes workflow but if you need something less random then that would need to be scripted too…

This would/should work, but my big concern would be the number of objects. I’ll be using somewhere around 30-50,000 particles for the effect.

My only other work around so far would be to leave the object stationary, and animate the entire scene including the camera around it to make it appear that the object is turning, but this presents a few problems of it’s own.

Edit: Oh, and thanks for this file. Even if I don’t end up using it for this job, it’s definitely going in my archive to be used at some point.