October 2008

Particle Caching in Softimage XSI

Caching the particles
Start a new scene and press [4] to switch to the Simulate Toolbar. From the Create > Particles > From Primitive menu choose From Grid. Under the Simulation tab in the Particles operator PPG change the Execution State > Mode to Standard Caching. Switch to the Output tab and set a unique name for the particle files. Go to the last frame in your animation to make sure you’ve cached the entire simulation. Select the particle cloud and press [H] to hide it.

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Animating Growing Vine

Start by creating a cone from the Get > Primitive > Polygon Mesh menu. Set the Length to 30 and the Base to 0.2. Increase the U Subdivisions to 12 or so and the V to 50. Name it Liana. Click the Center button in the Select menu and in the front viewport, move the object’s center all the way down to the bottom of the liana. This will create the effect of the liana growing from its base rather the center of the object. Since lianas usually don’t grow in perfectly straight lines, you’ll need to give it a bit more organic shape.

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Symmetric modeling

Step 01
Clone your object
While there are a number of ways to (at least partly) do so, none of them are completely without flaws. However, don’t let this stop you from setting up one of your own. Select your (half) object and from the Edit > Duplicate/Instantiate menu chose Clone Single. Any changes made to your original object will automatically propagate to the clone but changes made to the clone object will not affect the original.

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Modeling a bottle cap

Regardless of the task at hand, the importance of good reference material can never be stressed enough. So, the only responsible thing to do in this scenario is to visit the closest pub for the ungrateful and cruel duty of gathering reference material.

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Offset in Time


If you don’t have a deck of dominoes of your own, start by opening the dominoes.scn scene from this issues CD. Select the stone object, from the Main Command Panel > Constrain menu chose Curve (Path) and chose the dominoes_path curve when prompted. In the Path Constraint PPG, switch to the Tangency tab. Check the Active checkbox and click the –Z button to align the stone. Leave the PPG open, because you’ll return to it in just a few seconds. With the stone still selected, press [Shift]+[Ctrl]+[D] to open the Duplicate Multiple PPG. Enter 30 as the number of Copies and press OK. Press [8] to open an Explorer. Select the stone object, hold down [Shift] and select the stone30. This is important as the order in which the objects get selected will determine in what order they’ll get distributed. Return to the Path Constraint PPG and enter L(100) in the Path %age. This will distribute all the selected stones evenly along the curve. Once that is done you no longer need the path constraint, so with all the stones still selected chose Constrain > Remove All Constraints.
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