Many modern particle systems offer "follow" features which allows a user to control the way particles should follow an object. thinkingParticles is no exception. It offers hundreds of different ways for particles to follow an object. Keep in mind that thinkingParticles is a rule-based particle system, so there are no limits to the amount of different follow situations that you can program. Follow operators are the perfect solution for crowd control simulations.
You may create a rule that tells the particles to start following an object, when it is near, or passes the particles. Another scenario would be to create a rule that tells the particles to follow an object. When it is blue and as it turns red, the particles are released ... As you can see, there is no limit to your own creativity and skill. Below is a list of basic follow operations found in thinkingParticles.
Here are some of the features the Follow operator has to offer:
Follow an object in an absolute manner
Follow an object in a relative manner
Follow an object with a certain offset
Follow an object and use its transformation
Follow an object and hold the position
Catch an object absolute
Catch an object relative
Catch the object's position
Follow an object based on the distance to "follow node"
Follow and keep relative distances between particles
Follow a surface position Follow a volume positon
Complex Example of Follow
With the introduction of a new, powerful PathFollow operator, thinkingParticles extends its toolset even further than anything else on the market. PathFollow offers a multitude of options and methods to make particles follow any path, or leave any path at any time. One amazing feature of PathFollow is its ability to use an edge loop as a path definition. The effects resulting out of this feature alone, are limitless!
Spline Based Follow
The SurfaceFollow operator constrains particle positions and movement to a selected surface. This operator also offers many extra features with which to create well defined particle generation, based on distances traveled. The SurfaceFollow operator found in ThinkingParticles offers powerful features and along with its overall rule based approach, it allows you to create particle effects unmatched by any other system for 3ds Max. Here, for example, you can see how particles slide across a surface driven by gravity. They are shaken off automatically when a certain rotational force is reached.
Surface Based Follow
Even better, particles are staying perfectly on the surface while it is deformed or animated in any way.