Nested sphere animation - mat based?

05 December 2014 13:12
I am just an endless supply of questions

Is there a way to create the linked effect with nested spheres instead of circles? Can it be done through a material (perhaps using the particle system - totally new to me so I'm not sure if it's capable of doing what I see in my mind)? My first real exposure to 3D was a program called Bryce, and I was able to do something similar with what was called volumetric material (though I never tried animating it). I hope that helps.
05 December 2014 14:46
Bryce volumetric material simulating nested spheres:

05 December 2014 14:54
Well, we are an endless supply of answers then

If I get everything right, here is an answer

this is very easy.
And, of course.. Node materials! *badum-tss*

Our lead artist made an awesome node group just for those cases

Well, now we're going in the math and things. Actually.. I don't know how this works matematically, but it works

Let's look at our material. First node - geometry. Here we have GLOBAL coordinates.. We plug it in second node - vector math. The type is normalize (I just happen to know that it makes round mask on your mesh along with type average, but second needs correcting some things and normalize works great with this example). So I made a circle mask and from gray value output of vextor math I make RGB - channel (node combine RGB)

And now some magic: I added this node group called Procedural_lines and plugged our RGB thing in "UV" input. This node puts your RGB coordinates, works with it due the grey value gauges and makes a BW mask as output. So plug it as factor to MIX RGB node and then to material. Almost everything is ready! Just play with gauges of Procedural lines. Shift gauge just.. Well, shifts your coordinates :) So it does what you need. You just need to plug in "TIME" here, so it will always make radial waves. And that's all!

On the reference you sent other "color" was transparent, so i took output from Procedural_lines and plugged it to alpha in output. And made the material alpha clip. Now everything is done It took me like 5 minutes.
05 December 2014 15:24
The output is similar to what I did in my sample html file. I want to know if this can be done with a sphere instead of a flat circle . To put it another way, I want to expand waves out from a center point in three dimensions rather than two.

I could get a similar effect to what I want by combining the "chasing lights" animated material with a set of different sized spheres, one inside the next, but this would make for many meshes and a large file, which I wish to avoid.,
05 December 2014 16:00
I've borrowed the blinking lightbulbs from the chasing lights example, adding some transparency, to improvise a quick approximation of what I want. I just tthrew this together, so the timing and the look of the objects is not exactly what I would have for the finished product, but it does help show what I have in mind.

Notice that the bulbs flash from inside outward, and they look "full" rather than flat, no matter which way you rotate them.

I would like, if possible, to create this kind of effect with a "volume" material or particle system instead of stacked spheres, so as to save on file size and allow the same appearance to show from all angles. If I cannot do this, the next best thing would be (as I've written in a thread elsewhere) to link the mat-animated objects to the camera so that the 2D faces will always be oriented towards the viewer, preventing them from being seen edgewise.
05 December 2014 16:06
Another way to imagine this would be a set of increasingly large soap bubbles, each inside the next. All of the bubbles expand at the same rate, with the outer bubble disappearing at a set size as a new one forms at the center, over and over in a loop. I want to simulate this pattern with material applied to a single mesh, or something of that sort.
05 December 2014 18:59
06 December 2014 02:42
That looks promising! I'll let you know how my reverse-engineering goes :)
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