Animating tracking laser beams

Assuming you know how to use the particle system to create a laser beam.

Place an empty behind the particle emitter. Select the empty and create a wind generator. Then have the Empty track the target using COntrol+T. You may have to play with the tracking axis to get it to work correctly. Again you’ll have to play with wind speed, etc.

Here is my slow demo (looks more like I’m hitting something with oozing Aquafresh toothpaste).

http://stlgoalie.trap17.com/demo.mov

Format: QT/Sorenson 3.

This works for “trek” style phasers. The movie is only 15 FPS just to reduce file size and show a demo.

Ahhh, minty fresh with all the goodness of added flouride :smiley:

Suggestion: If you want an instant laser, try using a spot lamp with the minimum possible angle and make it a halo type so you can see the beam.

Cool idea!
I was always frustrated by the spread of a spot type lamp over large distances.

So much for the speed of light…

Good idea. I too have been plagued by metre thick laser beams at a hundred metres distance %|

I got the idea from Toy Story 2 - where Buzz encounters another Buzz Lightyear toy that uses it’s “Laser” on him and we see a nice volumetric track and a spot of light on Buzz’s forehead.

But it still spreads a lot

You can make it darn near instant by making the wind speed much higher. This was more or less a demo. My big deal is doing pulsed laser beams (or even tracer rounds from a moving AA gun) so that beams or rounds would track to a target.

Like anything in particles, you have to play with it a bit to get exactly what you want.

Right now I am working on a Python script in my spare time (yeah I know, oxymoron) that will allow an emitor to release say 100 particles in 10 frames, wait 30 frames, and repeat. Basically to create those nice starwars laser bolts or Defiant pusled phasers.

However, with classes starting in a few days and other projects…maybe this summer.

hEY uNIMATRIX loved your tooth paste vid :stuck_out_tongue:

I found a blend from a few years ago, it’s a ship (2d) for tutorial reasons and it’s parented to a curve or path and at predefined intervals it fires particles (lasers) from specific points of the ship.

The particle emitter is set to fire 6 particles at frame 160, end frame 181.
So if you also want your ship to fire 6 lasers on frame 251 end 171, just duplicate the emitter and put it on a different layer, an so-on an so-on.

Material
Set particles to vector and create a new material then apply a linear blend texture and set [black-red-black] at the middle of the texture’s colour ramp also the black colours are set to Alpah to 0, Set MapInput to Orco, Flat. Set MapTo, Col, Alpha, and set Halotex on.

RE texture ramps, if you prefer the tooth paste look :smiley: [black,wite,blue,white, black]

Also I’ve been experimenting with different effects and Ive come up with a very realistic, fully dynamic photon torpedo effect in 3d just like star trek.

David