This post is about a well known effect due to its appearance on one of the greatest movies of all time, 2001: A Space Odissey.
I was asked to recreate a similar effect for a project and I did a research in order to achieve it in a simple and effective way. I recommend you as well a fantastic video, as always, made by Filmmaker IQ based on the history of this effect and what Douglas Trumbull, VFX Supervisor in the film, did to achieve it.
Greeting, also, to JadeLightningDash to cover this effect on his channel done with After Effects.
And thanks to Ivan Busquets and Time Machine, a great tool, he developed based on Houdini's Time Machine, very similar to what Time Displacemnt does inside After Effects.
DUSTFX is a script aimed at generating a specific number of particles, according to the resolution that is stipulated, and based on the volume, through the introduction of dimensions for each of the axes of a user-defined geometry. It is a structured script sequentially, that is, the user enters or manipulates the controls step by step, although the set is executed once the EXECUTE button is pressed.
Here is the 6 steps included in the script *:
* (Each of the elements has a flag "sbm: Status Bar Message" with a brief description of the functions that they carry out)
01. SET RESOLUTION: Details the resolution of the cmds.ParticleFill. More or less particles. For a cube of regular dimensions the number of particles is the cube of the resolution.
02. SET DIMENSIONS: Allows you to set the dimensions for each axis [x, y, z] of the geometry that will serve as a reference volume for cmds.ParticleFill.
03. SET PARAMETERS: Flexibility when controlling 2 important parameters of the shape of particles, such as: the collision between particles and the interaction with the gravity of the solver (Nucleus).
04. SET TURBULENCE **: Allows detailed interaction with the parameters defined by the 6 sliders * (Magnitude of the field of turbulence, Frequency, Attenuation, Phase X, Phase Y, Phase Z) * It is detailed as by means of a flag 'sbm' in the slider of each parameter.
05. SET COLLIDERS **: It allows you to intuitively add geometry that works as collider of the particle system.
06. EXECUTIVE: Executes the operations sequence whose parameters have been previously defined by the user. A progressBar is responsible for increasing as the process takes place.
** The parameters / checkers / buttons that are accompanied by a symbol such as this (○) means that they have implemented a if statement, which in the case of being disabled does not execute the parameters associated with the corresponding step. In this case: SET TURBULENCE, SET COLLIDER.
*** WISHLIST: As possible elements to incorporate in the next version besides correcting small errors, they have been halfway, due to lack of time, tools such as the implementation of a button in order to establish an initial State for the particle system and the inclusion of a button to activate / deactivate the ground plane of the Nucleus.