Got asked on twitter by Dermot Gallagher @ddeerrmmyy about how I made the above image on my everyday projects page. Always happy to help, I saved out my scene file for you guys to look at if you’re interested.
Its all done using thinking particles and the PMatterWaves node. This is an awesome node that lets you generate particles off geometry based on either texture maps & uv’s or from the scene lighting. In this case its simply a texture mapped onto a plane. The key to getting more random animation is to use a few PMatterWaves nodes with different settings to birth particles into different TP groups. The animation is done mainly with gravity and the wind node – again different groups have different settings so it creates a less uniform look.
Its important to make sure that the geometry you use is converted to polygons – it needs uv coordinates, and you need to make sure to drag that uv tag into the pMatterWaves node. Also the texture needs to be set in the pMatterWaves node (it doesn’t use the material attached to the geo).
For rendering I just used a simple pyrocluster material, with a gradient set to the particle life and the final glow effect is done using trapcode starglow.
I had to swap out the image I used because I don’t have the rights to distribute it, and sadly my own efforts and painting in photoshop created the creepy Steve Martin lookalike that you’ll see in the project file.
You can see the animation here
and grab the scenefile (r13 studio or higher required) here
Have a look and any questions feel free to drop them in the comments