RainMaker : Animated texture generator.

Andrew Price tutorials are always a source of inspiration, and his serie about weather gave me the urge of making a complementary work.

So, I am currently creating a setup allowing to generate animated texture to simulate droplets falling on the lens or ground as well as ripples on water surfaces.

I will release this setup under CC license when it will be more usable and versatile. I was going to release it sooner, but I got some new ideas, so I will postpone a bit.

You will find there a short video showing the effect done by using an animated texture and real displacement. It is done with the current version of my Ripples Maker, but I think it can still be improved a bit :

http://vimeo.com/12821683

Stay tuned !

Philippe.

Great! Really useful! Can’t wait… Will it work in Blender 2.5?

I am still using Blender 2.49b, but as this setup is rather simple and doesn’t use complicated features, I think that it will be usable too in 2.50. Anyway it should be easy to modify if necessary.

Its ironic how much easier this is to do with the Unreal Engine. One thing that would be quite useful in Blender is a ring texture that would generate just a single ring that would expand outward as you animate Z. It could be smooth or noisy just like we have with wood but you wouldn’t have to try to create a mask to hide the continually generated inner rings as your “ripple” expands outward.

That is nice, but what would really “sell” the effect if there were rain drops/particles actually synchronized to the ripple hits in the puddle.

Synchronisation with falling droplets is very difficult, because the effect is currently done by an animated texture.

It is possible to create several animated textures to get also something like a bouncing droplet in the middle of the ripple, and perhaps a droplets crown, by using a very heavy technic involving duplivert copies of pre-modelled crown shapes supported by a grid animated by a texture.

This said, I have a basin in my garden, just in front of my bedroom window, and when rain starts falling, only ripples are visible. Falling droplets themselves are not or almost not visible,so synchronisation would require a lot of work for nothing really noticeable, I fear.

you wouldn’t have to try to create a mask to hide the continually generated inner rings as your “ripple” expands outward.

No mask required : With my current system, you can choose how many circular waves you want, and they fade out when enlarging.

I’l post a Blend soon.

Roubal -> could you make a version that would make irregular ripples? eg when a shoe steps into a puddle it makes a shoe shaped ripple rather than a ring.

New video demo and Blend file release !

http://vimeo.com/12857911

-> could you make a version that would make irregular ripples ? eg when a shoe steps into a puddle it makes a shoe shaped ripple rather than a ring.

Sure ! Once you will have put your eyes and hands on my blend file you will see that it is easy to create your own templates objects to create ripples of any shapes.

In the example, ripples seem to appear at random, but in fact you can decide exactly where and when they appear, by simply placing vertices at the right location. The core of the animation is a cloud of vertices moving in the Z direction, and supporting a template object.

This setup is very versatile and also includes creations of water spots (or paint spots) and bullets holes.

Here is the Blend file, released under Creative Commons BY 2.0 license. France :

http://3d-synthesis.com/tutorials/RipplesMaker.blend

Instructions for use are included in the text window of the blend file.

Select one layer at a time : each layer supports a specific effects. Layer one is best for ripples.
Layer two creates animated texture for bouncing droplets.

In the blend file, always select and look through the camera present on the selected layer.

Render to see the effect with an without compositor (with or without blur).

You can get more rain drops by increasing the number of dots of the cloud, or by compressing the cloud in the Z direction. This second method will shorten the available animation duration, but you can duplicate the cloud vertices at will.

Currently, one thing is not fixed, but not much noticeable : bouncing droplets can’t be shorter that 2 or 3 frames. If it is set to a lesser value, some droplets could be missing.

Feel free to comment.

Enjoy !

Philippe.

marvelous, I’ll try it in 2.5
thank you!