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I was wondering if there's a way to simulate a moving emitter inside popcornFX, so that a user could get an idea of how it would look with a moving emitter and do a bit of compensation.

I'm planning to use a mixture of containment, and no containment, for a fireball effect, and I need to see how that pans out in motion.
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You can use an editor path to do that.

if you download the 'TutorialParticles' pack (watchout for this issue with 1.8.1, it's one of the packs that suffers from it. The problem is fixed in the current 1.8.2 preview build),
you'll find an effect named "EditorPath.pkfx" that shows just that.

The idea is that you create an animation path in max or maya or whatever, then export it as FBX, put it inside your pack, and tell the editor to use the path contained in that FBX to move your effect around.

More infos on how to do this here: http://wiki.popcornfx.com/index.php/Particle_tips_ImportAnimations

Now, once you opened 'EditorPath.pkfx':

  • select 'Editor Properties' root node in the treeview
  • scroll down to the 'Animation Settings' category
  • pick any FBX for the 'AnimClip' property, this will be your path.
  • enable the 'IsAnimated' property
The TransformRotate / TransformTranslate properties will disable some of the transforms of the path, useful if you only want the position, but not the orientation.
Also, in that effect, it's actually a '.pkmm' file that's set in 'AnimClip'. you don't need to worry about this. just pick the actual .FBX (make sure it's properly built before)



answered by Julien (32.5k points)
Of course, the above technique is pretty limited.

in version 1.8 we introduced "Effect backdrops"
The goal we have for the next iteration of backdrops is to allow you to hook any 3D backdrop to an animation.

Basically you'd drop a new 3D model backdrop, make it point to your FBX with one or more animation paths, then drop some other 3D backdrop as a child, and in the child backdrop you'll see a list of "sockets" that map to the parent backdrop's anim tracks (could be a character's bone, or just an animation path)

this will allow you bring in an animated character and preview how your torchfire effect will look in its hand when it moves around, or setup a racing tesbed, with a car model travelling along a looping path, hook a camera backdrop to the car, so that the viewport cam follows the car, hook an effect backdrop to a wheel, and see how your effect behaves when travelling at actual ingame speeds, etc..

We'd like to have this done for v1.9.

but anyway, in 1.8 you can still get some of that with the simple editor path feature :)
A tutorial on both techniques would be grand. I'm infantile to scripting, and particles, but I have a 3D modeling backround. My project needed a technical artist to do particles and I was the most willing. The tutorials you have so far are excellent, but making more would definitely help sell the software to a wider audience of independents and start-ups.

Thank you forth both the methods you discussed, I'll poke around in the tutorial packs and glean what I need to :)