This section outlines some of the amazingly powerful Probing, Memory and Condition nodes, that allow unlimited control of particle and group particle operations. thinkingParticles offers orders of magnitude of control over your particles.
A common user may wish to add a memory node, that allows the storage of any kind of data, with an adjustable amount of storage depth per variable. This is exactly what the new Memory node does!
The Memory node, which has been added to the thinkingParticles tool set, offers the storage of multiple variables along with multiple values per variable, on a "system-wide" basis. This means that every DynamicSet is able to access the stored values at any time, regardless of the number of nested DynamicSets used in a wired network. Values may be stored per particle or globally.
Storing data is one of the most important tasks when doing complex particle system setups. The Memory node is especially made for this kind of task. One of the biggest features, that the memory operator offers, is the DynamicSet-wide parameter access. Any value may be accessed in any DynamicSet at any time.
A powerful volume testing algorithm has been added to the thinkingParticles tool set. The InMesh condition node helps you to discover whether the particle is inside or outside a given mesh.
Advanced and powerful Nodes, like PSearch, open up a whole new world of particle effects that were never possible before. With the help of the PSearch node, it is an easy task to search for the nearest and furthest particle within a specific radius.
Another ground breaking addition to thinkingParticles is the Iterator node, that for the first time, allows the user to control the amount of Node evaluation that should take place. Iterator nodes are best described as FOR Loops, in a programming language. They allow for the repetion of a Node evaluation, as often as defined by the node itself. Again, this single addition to the tool set of thinkingParticles opens up a whole universe of particle effects that was simply impossible before!
For the first time in 3ds Max particle history, a particle system has introduced a procedural referencing system with full support of a non-linear animation work-flow. Any number of particles can be "connected" to any other number of particles, which may have within, any amount of nested levels of particle groups! A simple set of powerful Nodes offers all the functions needed to create highly complex particle systems.
Double Star Initiator Outputs
In tP4, a secondary Initiator output type has been added to some of the former tP3 Nodes. This new type of output port offers more flexibility and possibilities to access particle data.