[Meshfoot] Galloping Horses As Particles

Hi All,


This is my first real stress test of the Meshfoot system since I ported it from 2.49 to 2.6.3. In this scene there is only one OBJ source of a horse galloping. There are four Meshfoot managed objects each with their own time stretch but referencing the same gallop sequence (i.e datablock sequence). I used the particle system in None mode to simply deploy a number of horses from a group across the emitter surface. The particles are born on the first frame and live for the length of the animation. The group is made up of the four Meshfoot horses. A curve was drawn to be used as the path. The curve is shrink wrapped to the surface of the ground. I used the curve modifier, applied to the emitter to shrink wrap it to the ground as well. The result is the emitter can be slid across the surface of the ground and it will conform to the ground. When the frame changes, the Meshfoot system updates the four managed objects with their new relevant frames. Then the particle system deploys it’s particles picking randomly from the group of four horses. By moving the emitter constantly forward a sense of flocking takes place.

This is pretty darned cool!

If you make the horses lean as they make the turn, it can give it a realistic motion. Overall, it looks great.

Is it possible to use more than 4 feet? How about a torrent of spiders or ants…?

@XeroShadow: I agree. I have not been able to find a way to make particles align to the surface normal of an emitter when that emitter, itself, is being shrink wrapped to another surface. Because I am using the None particle type without any velocity I can enable dynamic rotation and animate along one axis. So I used the z-axis to make the horses turn when the emitter moves along the path. But the Blender particle system does not break out XYZ rotation on an individual basis. So I am still thinking about how to make the horses follow the ground contour better.

@Farmfield: It is possible, but Meshfoot is not an armature system. It plays back or manages a series of OBJ files. In this case the OBJ sequence is a quadruped mesh series that represents the horse. Another OBJ sequence could be generated (from Poser, Daz Studio, Blender etc…) of a spider, a firework, anything you want. Just like footage from a camera can be anything.

This is very cool. I love that they have different colors and different sizes, too.
I have to learn to do this.
And I SECOND Farmy’s call for particle ant armies and caterpillers and spiders and whatnot. Would love to see a bunch of particle scorps. Crap you could do anything. If I could learn to do this I could have a whole army of giant particle DeathCloads menacing the surface of Mars. Or a city or something. Anyways, back to the 3D tank…

You create an animation of one object and then just attached it as a particle… or event group of objects.

Hehe, yeah, that I know, though I was under the impression this was something more advanced than that…?

they are curves that they are follow, or maybe paint brush…


Yeah, I guessed it was something a bit more ‘involved’ than just linking an animated object to a particle system, hehe… :slight_smile:

acutally it is because it’s a big dill with loop animation… to connect particle and he did it!

Yes, I know the theory around this, I can do it in Maya in 2 minutes, but to be able to match movement/speed, ground/height you need to go to Python scripting in Maya where’s in 3DS/Pflow you could make conditional calculations using speed-check & position nodes, so that’s what I’m wondering here, how this is achieved.