Ascorbic acid molecule animation WIP (Updated with video)

Hi, long time lurker, first time poster here.

I’m working on visualizing an ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) molecule. I wanted it to look a bit different (and perhaps more accurate) than typical 3d molecule models, and this is where it stands now:

I’ve ran into many problems that I’ve been able to solve, but there is one I can’t seem to figure out.

I wanted to create the atoms with more dynamic electrons than ones flying in static orbits, so I created the electron trails out of particles whose emitters objects are randomly traversing along the shells. When the atom is stationary, this is how it looks:

But I have the atoms vibrating just a little bit and this is what happens:

The problem I have is that I can’t figure out how to have emitted particles stay on their respective shells.
Is there a way to do this? If not, is there better way I could approach this?

what about using dynamic paint to make an animated texture for the trails, and using that instead of actual particles.

Can’t help with your problem - but I do like the aesthetic - very nice.

With regards to it’s ‘accuracy’ however…hmmm :wink:

nice effect
you should ask in the forum on physic/particles or animation may be!

and let us know what happen

happy bl

Does the shrinkwrap modifier work for particle systems?

I doubt
but you can add curves to follow for particles!

problem here is that he is animating the mesh and I think the particles are not following it in real time!
not certain why !

happy bl

Awesome, thank you for your replies!

After researching and trying different things, I was working on a solution using utilizing a beveled Nurbs path with hooks with offset animation using the NLA editor. Not as dynamic as particles, but was working good enough for my purpose.

Then I had a sudden deadline so I decided to scrap experimenting and just make something simpler. Here’s what I came up with (with some post work done in After Effects):

I may or may not continue to work on creating the animation with the fancier atoms that I wanted, but I certainly learned a lot working on this project.

@Modron: I did try dynamic paint per your suggestion but it seems I’ll have to bake out the effect and assign them as textures for every shell. Seemed to be more trouble than it’s worth. =/ Great suggestion though.