Posted Thu Jun 28, 2012
ThinkingParticles 5 is out!0 Comments
New features in the latest version of Cebas's rule-based particle software include:
Interoperability: Realflow and Krakatoa
- ImportFile Node - The new ImportFile node offers file compatibility with Next Limit's Realflow *.bin files and Krakatoa *.prt files. Both *.bin file types (Mesh and Particle) can be directly loaded and displayed in ThinkingParticles; written out particle or mesh simulations can be fully used and interacted with.
Rigid and Softbody Dynamics
- Bullet Physics Library implementation - Offers advanced features such as multi-threaded physics solvers as well as soft body rope dynamics. While PhysX from NVIDIA will still remain a core feature, latest advancements in dynamic simulation effects will be based on open standards and proprietary Cebas technology.
- BulletVehicle simulation node - This new Node enables the creation and simulation of all vehicle based physics within ThinkingParticles, leveraging all the power of procedural particle effects.
- BTVehicleData - allows to procedurally adjust vehicle parameters at any given time within a simulation. In addition, this operator can also be used to query vehicle status as well as modifying some interesting physics simulation-related variables.
- BTRope - The first soft-body physics object developed for ThinkingParticles. The Node is used to create an actual rope mesh in a fully procedural way that mimics the actual physical behavior of a rope or cable. It is based on two points in space where a spline is drawn between those points. Rope physics simulations are based on a soft body solver, so it can stretch and spring back.
- BTRopeData - This Node is a matching ThinkingParticles operator used to access or modify the underlying data of any Rope object in the scene. It allows a fully procedural access to the Rope properties at any time in a simulation.
- BTJoint - BTJoint is used to procedurally create joints between particles. The new Bullet Physics Engine in ThinkingParticles comes with a rich set of joint types.
- BTJointCounter - Iterating through an existing set of joints is essential for the fine control of dynamic effects the user usually expects of such a system. The BTJointCounter node allows the artist to control physics-based joints.
- BTJointData - BTJointData is a Node that can be used to either get information about a joint or set it. This operator is used to set a joint's ability to break as well as its breaking velocity and rotation thresholds. It can also set the ability to define or redefine joint types and particle To/From connections and track when a joint is broken. All this in a fully procedural way.
Handling of physics properties is now done in a fully dynamic way - adding only little overhead on those objects/particles when needed. In fact, if there is no specific Bullet Physics effect in a setup - properties will not exist at all in memory or throughout the whole simulation.
- EggTimer - The EggTimer helper Node behaves exactly like an alarm clock and a timer combined - it runs for a certain (pre-set) amount of time and then stops and flags a signal. This can be used in a variety of ways to control other connected Nodes.
- Math - This new Node allows users to do a variety of mathematical operations on any 2 input values and present the final result in its output port.
- Matrix - This node offers raw Matrix of mathematical operations in various combinations. It is best used with the newly added Math operator
- Comment - A few weeks in, who can remember what idea someone had in a dynamics setup? This helper node stores a text that can be used to describe a wire setup, a scene or anything else important enough to be stored along with a DynamicSet.
- Path - Handling of paths from within ThinkingParticles has been enhanced with the addition of the Path Node. The new node is meant to serve as a "path feeder" for operators able to work with splines. Paths are either defined by a spline object or a mesh with an active edge selection.
- GeomObject - ThinkingParticles 5 introduces a new category of helper nodes called Geometry access helpers. In many situations when creating advanced special effects, there is a need to query about object states and such queries can go even down to the face or vertex level of an object. The Object helper is specifically designed to supply object data to other ThinkingParticles nodes.
- GeomParticle - This new Helper Node permits the query of any connected particle about mesh specific data. A user can query for the closest Object by Surface, by Vertex or even get the closest point by surface along with the relevant distances and vertex IDs.
- GeomPoint - The GeomPoint node outputs and uses object (mesh) data. Users can query for the color on a surface, material index Face Normal, velocity and many more point related data.
- GeomVertex - A new Helper Node used to query vertex-related data from any mesh. Such data can be further used and fed into other Nodes.
- GeomRandom - The new node creates random points in space based on the geometry data that is fed into it.
- VolumePos - A new and enhanced temporal interpolation option has been added to this helper node, enhancing particle position accuracy on fast moving emitters by a magnitude.
- SurfacePos - A new and enhanced temporal interpolation option has been added to this helper node, this enhances particle position accuracy on fast moving emitter by a magnitude.
- Group Helper - The new Helper node is used to feed a Particle Group data stream into another Node - mainly the Geometry Nodes.
- Max Recursion factor added to the volumeBreaker Node.
- Viewport redraw with Nitrous display drivers is between 30-100 times faster when compared to Release 4 of ThinkingParticles.
- Updated Maxscript support - In addition to the fully functional operator nodes written in Maxscript, complete Maxscript access to DynamicSets and Node properties is now possible.
- Improved interoperability with FinalRender 3.5 even further for scene transfer with large particle counts, instancing and sub material handling as well as particle motion blur.
Sample videos and more at Cebas.