The Swarm

All right, here’s a difficult one. I am trying to render an animation of one spaceship attacking another with missiles. There is one problem with that. The ship that is attacking has 10 columns and 8 rows of missile pods. Each pod has 32 missiles. That comes to 2,560 missiles.

Any ideas on how to render that many missiles, which guide themselves to the other ship and look at least semi-realistic?

A user had an old thing with arrows, perhaps something like that? When you said swarm I was thinking like a camera following a swarm of bees or arrows, and having them all wobbble around and such, that would be cool to learn how to do.

Well, arrows wouldn’t be too hard, but missiles need a smoke trail and to guide themselves to the target.

you could write a python script or use the game engine wich has track to function and record it to ipo’s

I suppose you could fake a flame at the back of a missile with a deformed cone and some alpha and some emmitter material tricks or even a halo or two, then you could just use particles to dupli’ the missiles from a plane emmitter, subdivided so that each vertex corresponds to a pod.

[edit] - You can make the flames from a statit particle emmitter, as you can place a satic emmitter inside a dynamic emmitter ( :o ) but for the number of missiles you’re referring to… DONT!

Then you could play around with the various forces and guides to get the missiles to appear to track individually.

Hmm - trick would only work if each missile travels the same distance. i.e. each particle has the same lifetime.

(Hey, 2.40’s new “Unborn” particles feature would show the unlaunched missiles! - bit of a pain on polys though!)

Makes me wish I knew a thing about either of those.

While I’m here, how do I make particle disappear when they hit a target?

A particle emmitter emmits particles that all have the same lifetime. A particle is removed at the end of it’s life with two exceptions:

  • Particle is set to birth (a) new particle(s) from it’s point of death
  • The option to show “Died” particles in the particle options is turned on.

When you’re setting up your emmitter, see how many frames it takes the particles to reach their target and make that the “life” of the particles!

Ok, but what if both the emiter and target are moving and have iregular shapes?

then, Neo, it’s time to take the red pill and see how deep the Python hole goes!!!