What’s New in nParticles

New particle generation system

There is a new particle generation system called Maya® nParticles in Maya 2009. nParticles use Maya® Nucleus™ , which is the same dynamic simulation framework that generates nCloth simulations. As part of the Nucleus system, nParticles interact and collide with nCloth and passive collision objects, as well as with other nParticle objects. You can use nParticles with Nucleus-based nConstraints to create particle effects and dynamic simulations that cannot be achieved with Maya classic particles. Like other Nucleus objects, nParticle objects are assigned to a Nucleus solver which calculates the nParticle simulation in an iterative manner.

In addition to Nucleus-based dynamics, nParticles can be used in place of Maya classic particles for particle goals, geometry instancing, and sprite effects. nParticles can also be manipulated by external non-Nucleus forces, including gravity and wind.

nParticle collisions

When nParticles objects are created, they are automatically capable of colliding with nCloth objects, passive objects, and other nParticle objects. With collisions between nParticles and nCloth, you can use the force of emitted nParticles to drive nCloth deformations. For example, you can create an nParticle rain effect with droplets that fall onto and deform the material of an nCloth umbrella. nParticles can self-collide, meaning that nParticles generated from the same nParticle object can collide and interact with each other. nParticle collisions can only occur between nParticles and nCloth or passive objects that are members of the same Maya Nucleus system.


nParticle constraints

You can use nConstraints to control the behavior of individual or emitted nParticles by restricting the particle’s movement or by attaching the nParticle object to other Nucleus objects. For example, you can constrain nParticles to an animated nCloth or passive object so that particle splatter, fire, or smoke effects move with the object. nParticles can be constrained using Transform, Component to Component, Point to Surface, Slide on Surface, and Force Field constraints.

Internal per particle attribute ramps

nParticles objects have internal per particle attribute ramps created on the nParticleShape node. The internal ramps simplify the workflow of setting per particle radius, mass, color, opacity, and incandescence. nParticle internal ramps work the same way as Maya texture ramps, but provide additional control for setting ranges of input values and randomized multipliers for output values.

The internal ramp’s per particle attributes can be deleted from the nParticle object when you want to set per particle attributes using expressions.


Generate force fields with nParticles

nParticles provide Force Field Generation attributes that allow you to generate force fields that repel and attract nCloth objects and other nParticle objects. nPartice force fields are defined by the magnitude of the force field as well as distance, which is the distance from the field generating object that the field is active.

Liquid simulation with nParticles

nParticles provide Liquid Simulation attributes that allow you to create nParticle objects that look and behave like liquids. Control over liquid properties, such as viscosity, allow you to create effects that range from fast moving waterfalls to slow rolling lava flows.

nParticle to polygon mesh conversion

Static and emitted Blobby Surface nParticles can be converted to polygon meshes. nParticle output meshes can be edited and manipulated like any other polygon. Before the conversion, you can use the Output Mesh attributes to set the quality of resulting polygon mesh. nParticle output meshes are useful for creating smooth flowing surfaces for realistic liquid simulation effects.