Particles in Bloom

Thursday, October 4, 2007 Thursday, October 04, 2007

I had an idea to use particles to create life-like vegetation, and it seems to have turned out rather well. After some experimentation and a lot of photoshopping, I first built an effect that emits grass! Once triggered, grass flows slowly away from the emitter as shown in the photo.

This emitter has some interesting properties. First, you can raise or lower the height of your grass merely by moving the emitter up or down. As with all of my installable effects, the emitter is MOD so that you can blend it into your site, or even make it completely transparent.

I really wanted to create a wavy field of grass, much like you would see on the prairies. But unfortunately, that's not how particles work. You can't easily make individual particles change shape - you can just make them move and stretch - but not wave. However, I had another idea! It came to me as I watched the grass particles slowly flow away from the emitter. If you place several Grass emitters separated by say 10m or so, their grass particles inter-weave together and create a bizarre flowing carpet of grass. Not exactly waving grass, but pretty close and very fun to stand within.

Once Grass was made it was straightforward to create two additional effects: Flowers, which emits a selection of wildflowers, and Sunflowers, which emits.... oh you can guess that one!

All three of these new particle effects are now available at the Electric Pixels Particle Shop in Caso Milo.

Does anyone have any suggestions or requests for other types of vegetation?


Unknown said...

Hi, that looks cool, but I have two comments: one, I think photorealism just doesn't work so well in Second Life. It doesn't look like it "fits". I think you have to select the right artwork that looks commensurate with the world's other items like Linden vegetation.

Also, did you know Bedazzled made particle flowers and grass like this 3 years ago? It's a free and open-sourced script, which has gone through several versions but I think they don't work on it any more. I can send you the script if you want. It's called Field of Dreams. It also has the problem of some of the items looking too photoreal, and they come in waves, which doesn't always look realistic.

Still, your solution and their solution are ones that help with the problem of not having prim space to make a decent looking garden. Glad you worked on this, will try it out soon!


29Blogs said...

Thanks for the comments!

Regarding photorealism, I agree with you. Photo-based items often just don't seem to fit right in the SL environment. That's why my "Fire" effect does not use the typical fire-photo particles and instead depends on shape and motion of standard particles.

However, it seemed to me that if you have lots and lots of photo-particles arranged in an array such as I have done with the vegetation effects, an overriding patina emerges between all the particles. In other words, it looks pretty cool!

Did not know that Bedazzled has those effects. I consciously try NOT to visit other particle shops to maintain originality of my items, so I am often unaware of what else is going on.


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