legallon

Create a stream of particles

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Hi everyone ! 

I've seen that a particleSystem as an emitter attribute, where the particles come from. However I didn't see anything about a "receiver" attribute,  in order not only to emit particles from one point but to really create a stream of particles between 2 points. I know I can kind of simulate that with the direction of the particles, their speed, their lifetime, etc... but the point here is to have a simple way to change emitters and receivers so we can create stream between 2 objects on demand. 

Is there a way to do so ? 

Big thanks ! 

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Hi L!  Cool idea.  For now, I think you will need to use direction1/2.

Can I ask... do you want particle stream to get wider in the middle?  That would require making the particle stream target.... be a "particle attractor".

But think about this:  If you use a box as particle emitter, you can...
  - Set direction1/2 to something like vector3(0,0,1)
  - Set min/max emitbox to vector3(0,0,0)  [particles start at center of box]

Now, there is a narrow stream of particles departing "front" (forward vector) of box.

Now just use emitter.lookAt(someMeshTarget), and the particle stream will automatically aim-at the target.

After that, you need no more direction1/2 adjusting.  Just aim the emitter at some target [using lookAt()]... and the particle stream will aim that direction.

Here is a playground demo that G.I. JS  @Gijs used yesterday... to show how to do lerped/animated lookAt().  I added a particle system, and set its emitBox values so the particles start at the tip of the cone.  Then I set its directions to emit in one direction... (+y in this case), and here we go.

https://www.babylonjs-playground.com/#JEHHJ2#1

Working good, eh?  Why re-aim the particleSystem directions... when you can simply re-aim it's emitter.  The emitter could be invisible, too.

This might work for you, eh?  It's not as cool as a particle "attractor point"... but it is sure easier to code.  :) 

Be sure to answer my question about wanting/not... the particle stream to get wider in the middle and narrow as it arrives at target.  That will be more difficult, but maybe still possible.  Party on!

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Oh yeah this behaviour is  near the one I want to implement ,   I can easily change the lookAt target to redirect the stream toward any mesh I want  and act like a receive point. Thanks for the idea !  

Other thing now is to handle some collisions and stop the stream when it reaches the target, and after that it would be just as cool as a real emitter/receiver stream.

 

To answer your question, my need is to create a 3D interface, acting like a "digital twin" to represent a real time factory, so i need streams betweens my machines, thus the stream provided in the PG is definitely ok for me

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Cool.  You understand perfectly.  And thx for the info about your streams not needing to be fat in the middle.

There is a STATIC method/function on vector3 objects... called .Distance().

http://doc.babylonjs.com/api/classes/babylon.vector3#distance

You can get the distance... between target and gun. 

var distance = BABYLON.Vector3.Distance(gun.position, target.position)

Sometimes, if gun or target has be translated/moved in its LocalSpace, you might wish to use  .getAbsolutePosition() in place-of .position.

So, now, you have a distance.  Now, you need a fancy converter function.

var setParticleSystemMaxLifeTimeAndMaxEmitPowerFromDistanceValue = function (particleSystem, distanceValue){code stuff};  WOW, huh?  :)

No colliding involved... but this function will need some basic math formulas, and serious trial'n'error tweaking.  Should be do-able, though.

I wonder if the function will stay in "calibration" when FPS changes, and when run on machines with different performance traits.  hmm.

------------------

There might be other ways.  Particle systems allow a "custom update function" which COULD test each particle... to see if the particle is too far from emitter, and stop/kill it, if it is.

There are actually THREE easily-customizable functions in a BJS particleSystem.  You can see them here... http://playground.babylonjs.com/#1PQT7P#13  lines 18-75..

They are "installed" in the particleSystem... in lines 89-91.

The my_updateFunction() is the one we would be interested-in.   Lines 53-57... I did some experimenting with distance between particle position... and emitter position.

Currently, particles are free-flying, but if you de-activate line 53, and activate lines 55-57, you can see that we have limited the flying distance.  I did not KILL the particle if it flies too far, but I keep it from further flying... with lines 55-57.

Now you know all the fancy stuff about BabylonJS particleSystems.  You should be able to take over the world, now.  :)

Update:  I fixed code typos in 5th and 8th sentences.

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That's a lot of stuff to deal with ! :o 

Thanks a lot for your time and your precise answers, I will take some time to read this all and to try these functions, I'm pretty sure there's everything here to fulfill all my dreams about particles streams !

(and if not i'll be sure to reply to this topic and to expose you my problems ;) )

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@Wingnut @Sebavan  I've found a simpler and easier way to do it :

You take a basic object, let's take a sphere,  you animate it between a point A and a point B, and you add to this sphere a particleSystem with direction1/2(0,0,0). Then you make your sphere invisible and you're done !  Just play a little with the life time and the speed of the particles to have a perfect effect, but the result is very clean :) 

 

edit : i did a short example on the pg, not optimized at all but still works  :https://playground.babylonjs.com/#QR20Y9#9

 

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