Raindrops on a speeding car windshield

So i have this one raindrop with shapekey animation (without splash, circular shape first, then a waving tail appears):
giphy
(looks like sperm cell, i know, but it’s good)
Its length and certain vertices of its width and tail are controlled by noise modifiers of the shapekeys in graph editor

How can i animate many raindrops starting to appear? Would be nice if each raindrop has a different, unique animation (preferably controlled by the shapekeys i’ve already created).

I could copy that one raindrop, change an offset in noise modifier for every value (to give other animation), restrict frame range for the time when raindrop appears, animate its appearing on a different place on windshield, and start doing the next drop, but it will take ages.

I planned to make raindrops with e.g. 10 unique animations, which would be repeated and then to start to animate their appearing process. The problem is that noise modifier is hard to control, you must type the start frame (below restrict frame range) in every value for raindrop to have a circular shape at the beginning, and a waving moves at the next frames. Typing this for every raindrop would take ages.

I’ve heard about some caching animation. Can it be useful in my case, to not bother with these starting points of the noise?
Or maybe the whole noise modifier isn’t good idea? I try to make effect similar to the one in this video:

Hi there i have just recently switch to blender after 17 years with 3ds max but animation knowledge transfer pretty easy so my guess would be to use a procedural noise and animate the texture in the appropriate direction and you could also include variations of angles if desired.

Recent blender 2.8 build is now suppose to have local animation cache for each animations track making it easier if you want to try with geometry.

All depend on how much realism you want but prepare to put a lot more time if you go the geometry way.

Hope this will help you.

Thanks for the answer. Well, i’ve already rendered the beginning of the raining with above geometry (few first raindrops), so i can’t change the concept now. The problem is that the rainstorm progresses. Later i plan to use boolean modifier to unite raindrops of which pathways overpass. The animation is cartoony, so the only thing i want to get from the video above are those waving raindrops going upwards, getting pushed by the wind.

I can eventually stand animating their appearing and disappearing (6 seconds in the movie), just somebody let me know how to easily copy them with their animation to the different frames on the timeline, without bothering with the start of the noise option, because i want raindrop to be circular at first, then be noising, but i don’t want to type the start of the noise option in every value of every single raindrop.

OK i see but also i forgot to tell you about metaball that make a very good job at it just like in this video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5If5IFVK1cU

I think this is great idea for your problem. A tip I wanted to give. When I’ve observed the rain drops on the wind sheild, I have noticed the drops will most of the time follow a specific path.

You guys are talking about using metaball instead of boolean, what isn’t so much the problem to me. My problem concerns (now concerned) animation of raindrops itself.
I managed to export .obj animation of my raindrop, and then to import it as a sequence of meshes, thanks to this add-on:

Now the only indicator i have to type is the frame where i want animation to start, no other noise bs.

Glad you found a solution that suite your need!

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