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Breath Vapor Simulation in MayaAn intermediate level tutorial involving Particles and Dynamics
One major nuance to contend with in such a shoot is the visibility of breath vapor when an actor or animal exhales in the cold climate. To that end, it has become the job of the soda caffeine-addled animator to add digitally created breath vapor to these actors or animals to further the illusion need for the scene.
This tutorial will take you through a setup and animation to simulate breath vapor in a cold climate. Using a downloaded preview clip from Eyewire.com, I have a scene with two women walking as they talk to each other, down a city street during a cold day. My task is to add breath vapor to each of them through the 90 frame shot. I will assume for this tutorial that you already know how to get around Maya, so Ill cut to the chase.
Once I have the images loaded into my image plane as an animated sequence, I have to track the camera to the background. Its an annoying task, but most definitely necessary to get a good shot going. Figure 1.
Once I have a quick shot of whiskey with a tequila chaser, Im ready to begin. I start first by creating a directional particle emitter. I use a directional so I can funnel the particles in any particular direction. Omni emitters dont work so well here.
Judging from the way the women are facing, I set up my emitters direction axis to spew particles away from their faces. In this case it would be primarily in the positive Z with a little negative X to boot: Direction X = 0.3; Direction Y = 0; Direction Z = 1.
I turn the rate of the emitter to 0, for now, so I can track the emitter to the womans mouth without having particles everywhere. And, to make life easier, I create a locator, which I scale up to make it big and noticeable on my screen, color it red, and center it
But I digress.
Ok, once the breath_pack has been tracked, I am ready to animate the rate of the particle emitter to correspond to her exhales. What I will be looking for here is not just when she exhales, but also how. Is she talking? Is she letting out a big sigh? Has she suddenly been hit by a shopping cart? This will dictate how much breath is being exhaled, which will directly correspond to how high the rate needs to be turned up.
Related Keywords:special effects, animator, maya
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