VFX Dynamics: Playblast & Self Critique Part 2

This post is the next lot of self critique and a breakdown of processes I went through to achieve the current version of my tractor beam.

Between my concept post and now, I have found one more reference I would like to add to my research. Recently the cinematic trailer to Overwatch was released, there is a part within the trailer where there is a close up of a glove in a display case. The particle effects used here are similar to the idea I was going for when I concepted my core beam.

Currently the core beam is using both Particles and nParticles, I made this decision once I played around with a few options using Particles for the main cone shape. My first solution was to create a cylinder, adjust the verticies to suit the shape of the tractor beam and emit from object. I had issues here where I couldn’t get the particles to do what I wanted to, the opacity was either too much or not enough making it really hard to see through the “veil” to see the wooden man. Also finding that it was hard to find “the right amount of particles”. Below is a screenshot as an example of the result using this method.


My second attempt at a solution, was to create a volume emitter in the shape of a cone. This I had some trouble with, trying to get the emitter to release the particles how I wanted them to. I struggled with trying to get the cone shape wide enough, I am sure there was something I wasn’t doing and it would have been an easy fix but in the end I had a feeling I would have ended up with a similar result to the first method.

The final solution I tried was to use nParticles instead of the old particle system, I found this was a quicker, simpler solution to the other two methods. Using two torus’s, I emitted from the top one and made the bottom torus a goal weight. I found it easier to control the opacity and have the particles look more like a “veil”, one thing I would do is to get the core beam to spin in a slow clockwise motion as I feel the accidental cross over motion at this point in time feels too static.

The other particle systems that are within the scene, are made from Maya’s original particle system. Using a similar technique to the nParticle solution, I used torus’s to emit from. The only thing I feel needs to be tweaked is the particles being emitted from the ground. I feel the particles at the moment are too bright, they could be toned down just a little bit by changing the lightest colour in the ramp on the Opacity PP to a darker shade. I am not quite sure if I should add an additional light source underneath the wooden man…

At this point in time I am thinking to scrap one of the elements of the core beam, this I can add in at another time when I can play around with the settings and explore the best way  to achieve the desired result. This part is the 5 particles that drop down from the UFO as a goal to the wooden man to appear as though these particles are lifting the wooden man back into the UFO.



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