(WIP) Lightsaber Interaction With Dynamic Paint

Hey guys! I just thought I’d share this new project I’ve been working on recently. I’ve always wanted to have a lightsaber interact (semi-)realistically with an environment, so I decided to combine modeling, physics simulation, dynamic paint, and particles into a cool-looking animation. I figured it’d be a fun exercise, and it hasn’t disappointed, but I’ve hit a snag. Before I get into that, here’s what I’ve got so far:

As you can see, I’ve got dynamic paint driving 2 different displacements, as well as a texture mask for the melty parts and a separate texture mask for the glow that fades out dynamically. All that’s left is the sparks. When I began this project, I figured it’d be a simple task to have dynamic paint emit the sparks using simple vertex weight mode. Failing that, I thought surely baking to an animated image sequence would do the trick, right? Well, wrong. Neither of those things worked at all. The closest I got was with the image sequence, but even that only emitted all the particles from a single gash, and not when it was supposed to.
Does anybody here know how to make a point of interaction between two meshes emit particles dynamically? I’d like to avoid getting in there with an emitter and manually animating it along the points of contact. Thanks in advance for any feedback, criticism, or advice!

Final product…

After getting some feedback (and finding out that at this point, Dynamic Paint cannot drive particle emission), I revamped the molten shader and added an emitter that I hand-animated to create the sparks. This project ended up being a great proof-of-concept, and I’m going to take what I’ve learned to my next project, which I’ll hopefully be able to get to before too long.

What hardware requirements are required for your rendering?

I’m not sure what’s actually required for something like this, but I’ve got 2 Nvidia GTX 660 graphics cards, an AMD 8 core processor and 16 gigs of ram. So my computer’s not exactly top of the line, but it gets the job done in most of the situations I’ve put it through.

Did you set up some masking at any point cause I do see a bit of a bleed through of the melted section of floor for about 1 frame before the saber drops into the divot of the melted floor. Other than that it looks pretty sweet. Dynamic painting is fun to use. Just wish that it could emit particles as you mentioned cause I did a tie fighter crashing into the ocean and I wanted a nice impact splash from it and had to set up a separate fluid sim just to get the splash out of the surface.

Ahh, I see what you’re saying…I didn’t notice that before. I think it’s actually a motion blur glitch or something. I didn’t do any masking or anything like that. Might have to re-render that one frame…lol

Might also be something to do with YouTube compression. I have had a couple issues with that.

No, I looked, and it’s actually a motion blur glitch…I managed to fix it by rendering a new frame, but it took me a few tries for some reason. Weird.

Glad you got it worked out, great work and effort put in. The particle sparks did add a lot to the animation was good adding those.

Good work! Need speed up animation.