Lattices, Particle Systems, and Animation

hi guys!

i was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction…

i’m working on an animation, where the animation is a field of jellyfish swimming. right now, i’ve modeled one jellyfish, and i’m using a particle system to emit the rest of the jellyfish from a plane, to create a group of jellyfish. i’ve also rigged the jellyfish for animation using a lattice and the lattice modifier. however, i’d like to be able to have all of the jellyfish in the particle system animate as well, and i’d like to stagger that animation so that they’re not all “swimming” in the exact same way.

right now, the main jellyfish is in the midst of “swimming,” but the rest of the jellyfish…how do i get them to copy the animation, and stagger the animation? should i not be using a lattice? maybe particle nodes? any tips, pointers, links, or even general directions to go in would be helpful. thanks!!

One way is to make a few variations of the jellyfish animations. Then create multiple particle systems that reference each one of those unique animations. If you are currently using 1 particle system to deploy 1 whole group with a count of 100. You may want to create 10 variations (just alter the speed of the lattice for each variation). So you would have 10 particle systems with a count of 10 particles to create the same particle count. This way you can have, not only variations in jellyfish animation, but also variations in velocity or brownian motion as well.

@ Atom - thank you for your response! that’s not a bad suggestion at all to tackle the second half of the issue, which is to variate the jellyfish animation so they don’t appear identical. however, how do i get the particle system to reference the animation to begin with? that’s where i’m currently stuck. should the particle system be duplicating the lattice instead of the jellyfish? should the jellyfish be parented to the lattice? or, is using a lattice the wrong approach altogether?

I just did this with a flock of birds two days ago, not 100% sure if I follow your statement.

how do i get the particle system to reference the animation to begin with?
Make sure that when you create a group for your particle system to reference that the lattices are not part of that group just the jellyfish model. Also the models that your using in the particles system need to be active in the scene, just move them out of the camera view. Then bake your particle system and it should work.