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The blog has been online for more than 4 years and there’s still not a single post even remotely related to the delicious brew called coffee… Perhaps it will someday, but in the meantime you can read the articles about Softimage. Most of the material are tutorials and Q&As I’ve written for 3D World Magazine sometime between today and 2003. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate sending me an email.

Thanks to Letterbox Animation Studios for hosting all the scene files.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Water Drops

Step 1
Setup your particles
Open the file 3dw_can.scn from the cover CD. By examining the scene you’ll see four objects, the can and three slightly altered water drops. Select the Can object, switch to the Simulate Toolbar and click Simulate>Create>Particles>From Selection. In the ParticlesOp Property Editor, scroll down to the can_emission>Overview tab and set the Speed to 0. This will make the particles stick to the surface of the can when generated.

Step 2
Add a bit of variety
Next go to the Ptype>Overview tab and check the Live Forever box. Set the Size to about 0,5. Here we also have the option to add some variation to the drops, avoiding that they’ll appear to uniform or repetitive. To do so, change the Size Var. to about 0,5. Next, go to the PType>Instancing tab and check the Enable box. Open an Explorer, by pressing [8], click the Pick button PType PPG and pick the water_dropps group.
Step 3
Set an initial state
To get a better view of the size and distribution of your drops, change the OGL Display to bounding box. Now, scrub the timeline till until you find a frame where you’re happy with the amount and layout of water drops. If you want more drops, make sure your cloud is selected, click Inspect>Emission> can_emisson and increase the Rate. Once satisfied, click Simulate>Modify>Particles>Set Initial State to make this your initial state.

The project files used in this tutorial can be found at:

Quick tip
Since the water drops are made by particles, you can use any force to automatically add motion to your drops