How would you do this animation?

In the next week or so I will be creating an animation in which a group of balls of three different colors will be moving through a pipe. At first the camera will be close (Top images) but then will pull away to show multiple pipes (botttom image - just a rough layout) and the camera will travel along the pipes to another place. All the while the balls will be animating through the pipe.

So first part is easy - just 3 arrays of balls each controlled by a curve. And I know how to animate them…but if I multiply the scale a lot as shown above it feels like it is going to become unwieldly…and I am wondering if there may be another way.

I thought of particles by that also seems like it could present problems.

Anyone done something like this recently?


While the Blender particles are terrible they would work pretty decently for something like this.
Several particle systems with curve guides.

Depending on how you want your colors distributed either use the particle info node or use a collection of three differently colored balls and use the “use count” function in the render menu of the particle system.

If you have lots and lots of balls (thousands) nothing else will work.

If you have perhaps only hundreds of ball Animation Nodes might be possible but I think a particle system is the way to go here.

Thank you so much. A very good idea.

Why do you say that the Blender particles are terrible?

I only know the Blender particles…what are the good ones?

Thanks again