Freeform Circling Spray Scene


Free – A spray of champagne spiraling around a champagne flute.

This scene demonstrates how simple math expressions can be used to create special effects (VFX). Typically, the purpose of a animated spray of wine or glitter is to draw attention to your product posed in the middle of the scene. (If you want to use this scene for personal or commercial purposes, simply replace the champagne flute with your own objects.)

The scene uses three simple expressions that are applied to the spray emitter. A sin and a cosine expression are applied to the position of the emitter to cause it to rotate around an invisible “helper” object at the center of the scene. A third expression is applied to the rotation of the emitter so that it always points toward the champagne flute. A fourth expression is applied to the invisible helper object and tells it to lift from the bottom to the top of the champagne flute.

Expressions make the task of automating a special effect very simple and easy. But their real utility is that you can easily change parameters of the special effect with just a simple change to one of the values of the expressions. For example, you can change the number of rotations around the flute, speed up or slow down the spiraling liquid, move the spiraling liquid in closer to the object, or change the trajectory to form a spiral that is larger at the bottom and smaller at the top.

You can change the nature of the emitter so that the freeform droplets are replaced by larger amounts of liquid or liquid circles and you can change the material applied to the spiraling liquid.

Please use the magnifying glass icon to expand and view the several images here. Also take a look at the attached video to see the actual animation.



The Freeform Circling Spray Scene creates an upward spiraling spray of champagne droplets around a static champagne flute.

The scene has a single line (linear) emitter that is positioned about four units away from the central champagne glass. A sin and a cosine expression are used for the Position X and the Position Z values to rotate the emitter around the champagne flute in a flat plane.

A simple keyed animation curve for the Emitter’s X Rotation value directs the spray toward the center of the scene, regardless of the position of the emitter.

The Emitter’s Y Position value has a simple expression that link’s the Y value to the value of a Helper object – a Null Object in the scene. When the Helper object is moved from the bottom of the champagne flute to the top during the animation, the revolving emitter also rises.

The result is that the emitter sprays champagne drops in an upward revolving motion during the length of the animation.

The scene is “commented.” Colored panels in the Realflow Relationship Editor explain the purposes of each elements of the scene. The comment paneles also show the math expressions applied to the position and rotation of the emitter and to the helper object. (Shown in one of the images above.)

Use of some simple expressions in combination with some simple animation curves allows you to create a scene capable of generating many different kinds of special effects.

Two of the image above show how simple changes in the Type of Emitter can create unique effects, while leaving the underlying expressions and animation curves in place.

More complicated expressions can be subsituted for those used here. For example, an Archimedian Spiral (outward or inward curving spiral) could be used in place of the simple sin and cosine expressions. A randomization function could be used. The single emitter could be cloned to create multiple weaving and intersecting spirals.

Preview-quality animation snippet

Video embedding powered by Webilop