Tractor Beam Effect RnD

Hi again. Alright, lets get serious! I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work for the car project. Some research and development in order to achieve the required effects for the two shots we’ve planned. But sadly it has been a lot of trial and a lot more error. So I didn’t feel I was in a good place to show stuff until now. 

Now that I had access to the two models, I was able to clean them up a little and optimize them in order to import them into my RnD scene and play with them. This is the result so far for the second shot.

As you can see it is still VERY rough, but it’s ok, its gonna be gorgeous by week 10 😉. To achieve this, I did a simple fracturing of the ground using voronoi and RBD add interior detail (I prefered this over material fracture since I have control over what’s happening if I do it this way. When I dive into material fracture I see all the spiderweb of nodes that make up that tool, panic and get out of that level ASAP). 

I didn’t want all the pieces to be lifted up, so with a point wrangle I set some of them to inactive. First, the ones under the car by a “group” SOP, using the bounding box of the car to have a base group to drive an if-statement. Then I used modulo to randomly select some of the pieces and also set them to be inative.

Now, this is the fun part. I was researching a way of having a custom force pulling upwards and ran into this “force field” node within DOPs. In order to use it, firstly I blocked the overall shape of the UFO beam using a tube. I made sure to have some decent amount of subdivisions because I was gonna need them later. 

deleted all but the top cap, move it up, scaled it down a little bit. After this by the use of a ray SOP, I projected the whole cone to the cap to be able to perform a vector subtraction. This vector subtraction gives me upward pointing vectors, which are gonna be used to create velocity (@v).

This is what I got from that vector subtraction. Upward pointing vectors. But also, if you notice, they also go along the surface of the cone. Very appropriate for the rays.

With the help of a “point wrangle”, I can make the velocity larger, or add some twist to the force.

By the use of “points from volume” I filled up the cone with points, then I “used attribute transfer” to transfer the velocity to each point.
After this, I built a pretty straightforward DOP network for RBDs and then added a field force node in which I plugged my cone of points carrying over my velocity to my simulation. The force can be animated, which I did. So the RBDs are kind of just waiting for the force to kick in to be lifted up (no, the car is not part of the simulation, the car is animated to have control over it).

And that’s all (for now). This is how I set this up. I’m planning on adding constraints to this and clearly, there’s gonna be some soil, debris, particles, etc. included with this. 

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